Another Mother Runner

I do more than half of my runs by myself, without the stroller, so I still tend to think of my runner identity separate from my Mom identity. However there have been several instances lately where I realized that I definitely am a mother runner.

-When Cooper decided 3 miles away from home that he was tired of being in the stroller. The only way to keep him happy was to sing Old MacDonald as loudly as I could in a funny voice. On a very crowded path on a Sunday morning. We got a lot of funny looks. 

-When I spent a whole run watching my watch obsessively, not because I cared about my pace but because I wanted to make sure I was on my phone to sign Cooper up for swim lessons at exactly 7am (they fill up really quickly).

-The fact that I smell like maple syrup when I sweat because I am taking Fenugreek to help with my milk supply. I come back from every run wanting pancakes. 

-When I wore 2 head lamps and carried a flashlight on my early morning run so that I could see well enough to scour the sidewalk for the toy that Cooper dropped on a walk the day before (FYI it’s not easy to find a yellow and green toy amid the piles of fallen leaves)

The Best Way to Run With a Stroller is.... Any way you can

When I saw this article in the New York Times about how to best run with a stroller, I was excited since I do quite a bit of stroller running these days.

To determine the “best” way to run with a stroller, the researchers gathered 16 fit runners with no experience running with a stroller and had them run 800 meters. They compared their pace and energy expenditure running without a stroller and then with a stroller and 35 lb dummy using different techniques (one-handed, two-handed and push-and-chase).

The conclusions? Parents “should push themselves while they push the stroller, says Ryan Alcantara, who led the study as an undergraduate at Seattle Pacific.”, but  “running at or near your prestroller pace ‘‘will feel much harder than before.’’

Gah! So many things about this bothered me.

They used runners with no stroller running experience. Obviously the first time you run with a stroller, it is going to majorly affect your stride and pace. I would have liked to see them use experienced stroller runners to see if, with experience, you can adapt to running with a stroller. And if you tend to naturally develop the most efficient way (for you to run) with a stroller or if you should try and get used to one specific technique.

Their primary objective was calorie burn. For many of us, we don’t run just to burn calories. Especially with young children, we run for our sanity. We run to feel like ourselves. We run for fresh air. We run to feel good. And not every run is supposed to be balls to the walls.

They only ran 800 meters. This is very short and doesn’t do much to address comfort and sustainability. I run 800 meters much differently than a few miles. I want to know what the most efficient and bio-mechanically friendly way to run distance with the stroller is.

The ultimate conclusions are so obvious. Like anything, if you want to burn more calories you have to work harder. Duh. And running pushing something heavy is going to be harder than running unencumbered. Duh.

Since this article did nothing to answer the real question of what the best way to run with a stroller, here’s what I’ve found.

-For me, it feels most comfortable to push the stroller with one hand. This seems to affect my stride the least. I try to alternate pushing hands every few minutes or so. The exceptions to this are hills and fast speed work at the track. On steep hills I push with both hands. When trying to run really fast I use the push and chase technique.

-I try to plan my easy days for days I have to run with a stroller

-If I have to bring the baby on days I either go to track, where I can park him in the middle for my hard efforts, and then push him on the recovery. Or, I adjust my pace to account for the stroller.

Anyone out there running with a stroller, no matter how you push it, or how much it slows you down, GOOD JOB FOR FINDING A WAY TO GET OUT THERE!

Other stroller runners- What are your tips?

A Work Day in The Life

sunrise at the track
I love reading day in the life posts by other bloggers, so here is a look at a what a "typical" workday looks like for me.

A Day In the Life

5:30 Alarm goes off. I grumble and look at the baby monitor. Cooper is still asleep so I go brush my teeth.
5:35 Cooper is still asleep so I go downstairs to pump
5:45 Cooper wakes up mid-pump. I dump what I’ve pumped into a bottle and go change and feed him
6:10 Cooper falls back asleep after eating (yeah!) so I head out on a solo run.
7:00 Back from running. Check the monitor while starting to stretch. Cooper is just starting to wake up, so I abandon my stretch and go get him.
7:10 Bring Cooper into the bathroom with me while I shower. He plays on the floor and we play a lot of peek-a-boo during my shower.

I am a sweaty runner, so a shower is a must
7:25 Head downstairs, put the baby on the floor to play, start the coffee, stick my pre-prepped oatmeal in the microwave
7:30 Put Sushi out and feed her
7:35 Eat breakfast while sitting on the floor and playing with Cooper

7:45 Realize I never finished pumping, so I put the pump parts back together and do that.
7:55 Frantically get re-dressed, gather all my bags (lunch, pump, work bag), and go wake up my husband
8:00 Drive to work. Braid my hair (at a stoplight) and gulp coffee while driving
8:15 Get to work, get settled, prep for the day
8:30 First patient
10:00 pump break, check in w/ my husband
12:15-12:45  lunch break. I eat in my car while driving to Target to grab a couple things
getting baby pics at work always makes me smile
1 Afternoon patients start
2:00 Pump Break
4:45 Head home
5:00 Walk in the door to a hungry baby, so I feed him right away
5:15 Rory heads up to take a nap before he goes to work at 9
5:30 Put Cooper in the bouncer in the kitchen while I unpack from the day (wash lunch dishes and pump parts, store pumped milk). I set the coffee maker for the morning.
5:45 Heat up leftover pasta for dinner for me and cook an egg yolk for Cooper.
6:00 Dinner with Cooper. He gobbles down his egg yolk and a couple bits of broccoli and then amuses himself with his spoon and some Cheerios.
6:20 Clean up Cooper and our dishes
6:30 Stroller walk with Sushi
6:50 Bedtime for the baby. He eats, but because his teeth are bothering him, the feed is a sh*tshow. He alternated between gulping milk and crying in pain first from his teeth and then from gas from gulping. Despite my best efforts, he is so loud that he wakes Rory up. Whomp. Eventually he calms down, we read a couple books, sing a song, and then he is out.
7:00 My legs have been killing me all day since I never stretched after my run. I do some foam rolling and stretching while watching an old eposiode of Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix.
7:20 Ice Cream
7:30 Pump
8:00 Brush my teeth and get ready for bed
8:15 Climb into bed , Rory wakes up and we spend 15 minutes talking before he gets up to get ready for work
8:30 Read
9:00 Lights out!
11:45 Cooper wakes up crying because he is teething and in pain. I soothe him and feed him since I’m up anyway
12:15 back in bed
2:00 Cooper is up again. I decide to give him some Tylenol since he really seems uncomfortable and it is not like him to be up so many times in the night
5:30 Cooper is up, hungry, and ready to start the day.

Half a Year

Holy Moly, I’ve had a baby for more than half a year.  We have settled into our new normal and I can hardly remember what life was like before a baby. So here’s an update on what’s happening with us.


banana pop
Sleep: He is sleeping! We did sleep training at about 5 months and transitioned him from the Rock N Play to the crib. It went way better than we expected and he is now consistently sleeping 8-10 hours and sometimes even makes it through the whole night.

Eating: We are still breast-feeding. Kudos to all those breastfeeding Moms out there- breastfeeding is hard! I had an over-supply at first which had one set of problems, and now that I’m back at work I can’t pump enough to keep up with my greedy little guy. Feeding him at the moment is like trying to wrestle a distracted alligator because he is getting so big and is so curious about everything around him. We started solids a month ago and that has been a lot of fun. It is great to watch him experience new things. He LOVES food- especially bananas, avocado, and peanut butter. He bangs his spoon and yells if we aren’t feeding him quickly enough for his liking.

Favorites: Baby Einstein Jumper- he will jump and jump and jump. Bath Time and the pool- he loves to kick. Chewy Q- We now have 3 of these and it is his favorite toy by far.

naked baby

Milestones: He is rolling, sitting, and desperately wants to crawl. He responds to his name and is “talking” up a storm. His first tooth is just about ready to pop through.

So far month 6 has been my favorite age. He is so interactive and fun- and sleeping again makes life so much better! I can't wait to see what the next 6 months brings


Work: I went back to work at 12 weeks and am working 2-3 days a week. I am so conflicted about work. At times I love getting to be  a real adult- to be someone other than Mom. But at the same time I miss my baby so much on work days. These are also such a long days- I am completely wiped by the end of them. I’ll post a day in the life post soon. Pumping while working is also a challenge, despite having a supportive work environment. At times it feels like the worst of both worlds- I’m away from Cooper more than I want to be, and yet I’m still not working enough to make much money. I do recognize though that I am lucky that I don’t have to work full time, like many people do.

Body: I’m actually below my pre-pregnancy weight and have been since about a month post-partum. This just happened naturally and I didn’t feel any pressure that I had to “get my body back.” It was relatively easy because I didn’t gain much weight while pregnant (because I was sick for so long). The extra calories from breastfeeding definitely help too! However everything on my body seems to have shifted, so none of my old clothes fit quite right! My sweet tooth also came roaring back with a vengeance as soon as I delivered. I was hoping I could continue the better eating habits I developed when pregnant (fewer sweets and smaller portions), but I have not. Whomp. Oh well- my days are very long and having a bowl (or 2) of ice cream at the end of the day is not the worst thing.

Running: I ran my first races this month (a 5 miler and 10) and was very happy with my times. I’m back to my pre-pregnancy running, if not faster, thanks to weighing less and gaining some fitness from running with the stroller. Given that I’m really tempted to sign up for a fall half marathon to see if I can break 2 hours. However, I just don’t know if I can devote the time to it that I need. My husband and I work alternate schedules, so I either am working or have the baby. Fitting 2 + hr training runs into that schedule is going to be nearly impossible and I don’t think it is fair to the baby to stick him in the stroller for that long. I keep vacillating and probably will continue to do so until it is winter and too late (way to put off making decisions).

Also Sushi would like me to remind you that she still exists and that since she is now horribly neglected, you should feel bad for her and send treats.

Baby is up for his nap so bye for now!

Beach to Beacon 2017

I ran another race! Two blogs posts and two races in 8 days? It’s almost like I’m back to being a runner blogger!

Elite Women! I heart Shalene
So my second race post baby couldn’t have been more different than my first. Peak’s Island is a low key, small race while Beach to Beacon is a major event. For those of you not familiar with the race, The Beacon to Beacon 10k was founded by Joan Benoit Samuelson (the1984 Olympic marathon gold medalist) who wanted to bring world class running to her home state. This year’s race had more than 7,000 runners and featured elite runners Mary Keitany (who set a new women’s record at the London Marathon), Shalene Flanagan, Abdi Abdirahman, Stephen Kosgei Kibet. It is pretty amazing to have these world class runners just minutes from my house!

nice guys at the bike valet
The race totally takes over the small town of Cape Elizabeth for the weekend. I was hoping to beat the crowds by heading to the expo as soon as it opened at 4 pm on Thursday, but apparently a lot of people had the same idea! Luckily, it is incredibly well organized so I still had my bib and shirt within just a few minutes. I had planned to stay and browse the expo a bit, but it was really hot and I had a sweaty baby strapped to my chest. So I just said a quick hello to the ladies at the Spandits booth and then headed home.

bathroom line selfie
Race morning is a little more complicated with a baby, especially since I’m still breastfeeding. I have to either feed him or pump as close to the start of the race as possible, which in this race was a good 2 hours before the race started. With a point to point race in a small town, traffic on race morning is also an issue. Luckily, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine started offering a bike valet service a few years ago. This is absolutely the way to go! I had a nice 3.5 mile bike ride warm-up to Fort Williams Park, checked my bike in, and then hopped on a shuttle bus to the start. It was so easy and stress free! 

My one complaint about this race is that there are never enough porta-potties! Knowing this, I skipped my pre-race coffee in favor of a straight up caffeine pill (#hardcore). So I only had to wait in the long bathroom lines once. Then I found my husband who was working, providing security at the start, and then headed to the corals.

I was not exactly raring to go. Id barely slept the night before and had also made the mistake of doing a million deadlifts on Thursday so my legs were super sore. So I decided to just go out at a pace that felt comfortable and see what happened.  Once I got running, the energy of the crowds and the other runners definitely helped motivate me, but I never felt the surge of energy and motivation I felt during the Peaks Island race. It was also incredibly humid, I felt like I was running through a cloud. The first couple miles are mostly flat, with couple gradual downhills, then the next 2 miles are a gradual uphill followed a big downhill and then steep rolling hills in the final 2 miles.

The Beach to Bacon sign on one of the final hills always makes me laugh. Probably the only time in my life I say no to free bacon.

I just kept running at a comfortably hard effort, only checking my pace at the mile markers, and not stressing about my pace. As I clicked off the first couple miles I realized I was on pace to finish in under 54 minutes so I made that my goal. I actually ended up way under that: 51:40- a 8:19 pace. I’ll take it!

The beacon behind the finish line

creeping on the elites at the finish- that's Deena Kastor in black!
I got my medal, took a finish picture, and then booked it to the Dunkin Donuts tent! After skipping my morning coffee, I had a major craving! Iced coffee in hand, I headed through the food tent and then ate my blueberry bagel, blueberries, and watermelon. There are a lot of fun things to do after the race, but I skipped them this year because it had been 4 hours since I pumped and I was getting uncomfortable. Plus I missed my baby!

Thanks to the bike valet I was home in less than 15 minutes- unlike all the other people stuck in traffic in their cars! After a second strong race performance I think it is safe to say I'm officially back in shape after having a baby. Now what?

Peak's Island 5 Miler 2017

Well hi there! I'm still alive, and I even ran a race! I've done the Peak's Island 5 Miler for the past 7 or 8 years so I figured it would be a good first post-partum race.

Image result for peaks island road raceThe race takes place on Peak's Island, which is a short ferry ride from the Casco Bay Ferry Terminal in Portland. But even that short boat ride makes the whole day feel like a little vacation. Although the race is at 10:30, we always take the 8:30 boat (which they add just for race day). This year I went with my friends Brad and Dana, and then my sister and a friend also decided to come at the last minute. It was going to be Cooper's first race too, but since my husband got a (minor) injury at work Thursday night he was able to be home with Cooper. I missed my baby, but travelling solo is definitely easier!

Packet pick-up is just a short walk from where the ferry docks. And although the race has grown a lot since I started running it, we still had our packets within minutes. The best part of the pre-race experience this year is that my friend's boyfriend has a house on Peak's so we had our own private bathroom to use while we waited for the start. Where was that last year when I was pregnant?!

Since it was my first race since having a baby in January I really didn't know what to expect in terms of performance. I have been doing some speed work, but I also haven't been putting a lot of pressure on myself in terms of running. And of course I managed to cut open the bottom of my foot 2 days before the race! I decided to wear my Garmin, but not to have my pace on the screen, so I wouldn't be constantly checking it. I ran by feel and let myself check my pace each mile.

Image result for peaks island road raceGoing in I kind of wondered if I was done with racing for awhile. It seemed like so much work and I didn't know if I wanted the pressure. But once the race started I was so happy to be racing. It was so nice to be surrounded by runners and spectators and I really enjoyed the feeling of pushing myself (and not pushing a stroller haha).

The first 2 miles of the race are my favorite. There is a nice downhill and the course runs along the back of the island. There is always a nice sea breeze and the views are amazing. This race is often really hot, but this year it was only in the 70's (yeah!!).

The only hills are between miles 2 and 4 and I had given myself permission in advance to walk if I needed to. But I didn't need too! I still felt strong. I saw my sister during a section where the course doubles back and seeing her as third woman gave me a boost of energy. The 5 miles flew by and the race was over before I knew it. As I got close to the finish I realized I could be close to a 40 minute finish, so that became my new goal. My official time was 40:30, which is a 8:09 pace. They didn't do chip time this year (which I swear they have done in past years). I was so happy with that!

After I finished I found my sister and then we waited for Brad to finish. Then we headed straight for the free beer. Does anything taste better than a ice cold beer after a hot run?

After we enjoyed our beer, we headed over to the Peak's Island Inn for lunch and then headed home. My race back was definitely a success- which is good because I am doing another race this weekend!


Today is my 33rd birthday. It is already turning out to be a great day. Cooper wanted to help me enjoy every minute of my birthday so he woke me up at 530 with happy babbles. After some coffee (me) and milk (him), we headed out for a run.

It was a bright, sunny morning and I felt so happy to be out doing something I love with my boy. I am so lucky to be healthy, live in such a beautiful place, and have such a sweet baby.

When we came home, my husband had gotten me Starbucks and set up a fun scavenger hunt for me to find my presents.

Every year on my birthday I like to reflect back on the past year. As an adult I feel a lot of years are just more of the same, but in retrospect this was actually a huge year. So much, good and bad, happened. Last year when I turned 32 I was pregnant (and so sick), in my last semester of nursing school, and my mother in law had just been diagnosed with cancer.

The Highs
Graduating from Nursing School and Passing the NCLEX
The accelerated BSN program I did was so intense. Deciding to go back to school was a scary decision, but I'm so glad I did. I worked my butt off in this program, but it was all so worth it, because I....

Found a job I love!
I am a pediatric RN at Intermed and I love it. It is most supportive, welcoming, job environment I've ever had. And I get to play with a lot of babies (and jab them with needles, which is not so fun).

I've kept this kid alive for almost 5 months! Labor, delivery, and caring for a newborn are a serious challenge. My whole way of life has changed. It is continues to challenge me on a daily basis. But watching this little guy explore the world and grow is the most rewarding thing I've ever done.

The Lows
Losing My Mother in Law
Marnie passed away in August, just a few months after she was diagnosed with cancer. I'm devastated that Cooper won't know his wonderful grandma. She was such a strong, hard-working, caring person. But I'm so glad that she at least knew he was on the way and that she got to pick out his name.

Losing Dixie Dog
In December we had to say good-bye to our sweet Dixie dog. She was the sweetest, gentlest, most loving dog I've ever met. I miss her happy sneezing, her cuddles, and her pre-bed spinning so much.

I can't wait to see what this year has in store! 

What a Good Mom

Cooper's first run in the stroller was quickly followed by his second and his third. On Friday as we passed an older woman walking her dogs she said "what a good Mom you are."

I couldn't stop smiling the rest of the run. I needed to hear that.

When you feel weak, go running. When you feel strong, go running!Honestly every time I exercise I feel selfish. I try my best to time our run around Cooper's eating and nap schedule, but on work mornings there is a very short window of time. I worry that I am messing up his schedule for the rest of the day. I feel badly that he is confined in the stroller instead of being able move freely. I feel badly that I am not doing something more interactive with him. When I go to the gym I feel badly that my husband has to watch him.

I have ALL the Mom guilt.

But this woman reminded me that it is self imposed. By making fitness a priority, I am being a good Mom.

I'm getting him out in the fresh air. He is getting to see and hear and feel so many different things in the outside world.

I'm setting an example of living a healthy lifestyle.

I'm doing something that rejuvenates me so that I can be a happier, better mother the whole rest of the day.

This wonderful woman had no idea how much her comment meant to me. So please people, don't be stingy with your compliments. A quick word to a stranger can totally change his or her day.

Cooper's First Run

Happy Wednesday. We are on the struggle bus in our house lately. Last week Cooper's reflux was so bad that he was screaming in pain every time he tried to eat. There is nothing worse than having to watch your baby scream in pain and not being able to help him. We started him on a new medication Friday and it seems to be helping a lot. Unfortunately Friday he also had to get his 4 month shots which always upsets his equilibrium for awhile. And of course we are in the middle of the 4 month sleep regression- which means we are back to getting up every 3 hours all night.

Things aren't all gloom and doom however- at our 4 month visit we did get permission to do something I've been waiting to do since before Cooper was born- run with him!

The weather has been so bad that we didn't get to it until today. It still wasn't nice out, but it wasn't actively raining so we went for it!

My wonderful aunt got us the Thule Urban Glide jogging stroller as a baby shower gift and it is amazing. Seriously it has better shocks than my car! We got the car seat adapter to go with it so his car seat just sits on top of it until he is big enough to ride in the stroller itself.

Cooper was very interested in looking around at the world whizzing by for about 10 minutes and then he fell fast asleep. I had only planned to run for 30 mins or so since it was our first run, but they say not to wake a sleeping baby. So I ran until he woke up (about 55 minutes).

It definitely felt harder than running solo, but I strategically picked a flat path, and was happy to see that my pace wasn't much slower than usual.

I can't wait for a summer full of running with my boy!

Three Things Thursday

Hi Friends! I've been too exhausted lately to put together a coherent post about anything, here are some random things on my mind and happening in my life lately.

1) Tickpocolpyse
My friend and I went for hike on Sunday with the baby and our dogs. It was a lovely until halfway through when we realized we were all completely covered in ticks. I have never seen anything like it. It was absolutely horrifying. There were hundreds of them. I took off my socks and shoes when we got back to the cars and they were just crawling with ticks. As soon as I got home, Cooper and I went straight into the bath. My poor husband had just gotten up after working a midnight shift and had to spend hours combing them out of the dog. She looked like a Dalmatian she was so covered. I vacuumed and sprayed tick spray all over my car, but Monday morning as I drove to work, a tick fell off the ceiling and onto my face. Its been days and I still feel like I have things crawling all over me. So gross!!

2) On the Other Side
We take Cooper to the same pediatrician office where I work and it is interesting to see things from the patient side. We complain about the parents who call multiple times in a day, but now as a parent I totally get it. When there is something wrong with your kid, you want it fixed NOW. We have been going through this nightmare of trying to get liquid Prilosec to help with Cooper's reflux. We have called the pediatrician, CVS, and insurance dozens of times in the last 2 days and we still don't have the med.

3) Food Rut
I am in a major food rut lately. In trying to eat things that are cheap, easy, and healthy, I find myself making the same things over and over. I never want to see another chicken breast or egg. Easy lunch and dinner ideas?

What is happening in your world?


I am a runner in every sense of the word. Not only do I run for exercise, but I've always run my way through life. As soon as my alarm goes off I am up and moving. I've always filled my days with as much as possible- exercise, baking, errands, long dog walks, eating out, exploring, time with friends, etc...

This week he learned that he can grab his own feet
When Cooper was born obviously the pace of my life slowed somewhat, but he was still pretty portable. As long as he was full, he would sleep just as happily in the car, in his car seat, or in someone's arms as he would in his crib at home.

In recent weeks that has changed. In order to get a good nap in he really needs to be alone in his rock n play in a quiet space. When he doesn't get good naps he turns into a major cranky pants and the whole day derails. Basically after he wakes up, is changed and eats, I have about an hour to try and run and do something before he needs to be back at home to nap again. He also hasn't yet settled into a schedule where he naps at about the same time every day for about the same amount of time. This makes it pretty impossible to make plans in advance.

It's a major adjustment and it is hard. There are days when I feel like a prisoner in my own house- albeit a prisoner with a treadmill and Netflix and a fully stocked kitchen. I knew having a baby was going to change my life, but I feel lately like I can't even do the baby related things I was looking forward to- like going to Mom & Me groups or going for long walks.

I love this little guy with all my heart and I love being a Mom. But I miss being able to run- to go for a run, to run to the store, to run to meet a friend for coffee.

What's next with Running?

In the past few weeks my running has really clicked. I feel like I'm nearly back to where I was before I was pregnant (when I was not training for anything in particular). I'm running for about an hour 3-4 times a week with one day of speed work to mix it up. This leaves me with the question of what is next.

I miss crossing a finish line
A part of me wants to sign up for a ton of races. I miss racing- the nervous energy before, the energy I get from the competition and the crowds, the feeling of accomplishment after. I'm also tempted to start training for something longer like a half marathon. I miss working towards a goal. After a couple years of running take a back seat (first because of nursing school and then because I was pregnant), I want it to be a bigger part of my life. A few times I've looked for races and started to sign up. But then I close the window before I actually register.

I have a lot on my plate right now. I have an infant. I just went back to work. I'm not sleeping a lot. I eat most of my meals with one hand while doing something else and it is all I can do to shower some days. It's nice that I can choose what workout I want to do each day depending on how much time I have and how I feel. There is no pressure. Racing is also going to be a lot harder logistically. My husband works overnights on the weekend so he needs to sleep during the day, leaving me with no one to watch the baby.

What to do?

I'll Never... 1st Edition

Before I became a parent there so many things I swore that I'd never do. We all do it. When I become a parent, I'll never ________________. In the 3 months since Cooper was born, I've found myself already doing some of the things I swore I'd never do. 

Here is the first edition of things I said I'd never do, but have done.

1) I'll never tip-toe around my house while the kid is napping. I wanted my kids to be used to napping with the sounds of the house happening around them. 

In his Easter bow-tie
Fast forward...... It took me 30 minutes to get Cooper to fall asleep and I know that if he doesn't nap, he will be a grumpy, screaming mess. Quite frequently my husband and I find ourselves whispering and tip-toeing around so we don't wake the baby. Rory has resorted to making margaritas in the garage because the blender is so loud (and we really needed a margarita).

2) I'll never have a rigid schedule and schedule everything around the baby.
 Fast forward........ When he was a newborn Cooper could nap anywhere, but in the last month or so he has had a much harder time falling asleep and staying asleep in his car seat, in the stroller, or in the Ergo. When we doesn't nap, he gets grumpy. He also gets very grumpy when we wake him up before he is ready. So here I am at the mercy of the baby's whims. We leave whenever he decides to wake up and come home when he decides he needs a nap. 

3) I won't force my baby to eat, he will eat when he gets hungry enough. 

Fast forward...... Cooper has thrown us a lot of curve balls when it comes to eating. For awhile he wouldn't eat on my left side, then he didn't want to eat on either side, now he doesn't want to take a bottle anymore. Each time we have gone to ridiculous lengths to get him to eat- like me side planking over him for an entire feeding- because something just feels so wrong about letting him get too hungry. 

Are there things you swore you'd never do (either as a parent or just in life) that you have found yourself doing later?

Just Me

Last week a friend asked if I was ready to go back to work. I responded that I was looking forward to going back so that I could be "myself," for a little while, meaning the pre-Mom me.

Fast forward to the night before I went back when I was crying as I nursed Cooper before bed. I already missed him and I hadn't even left yet. He was always at the back of my mind (and often at the front of my mind too) during my work day.

I know I am biased, but you have to admit he is pretty darn cute

I realized that being a Mom is a permanent part of who I am now. The old me isn't me anymore. The more I thought about it though, I recgnized that I didn't lose a part of myself, I grew. I gained so much.

I am a better wife because I appreciate my husband in a whole new way. It warms my heart to see the relationship he has with Cooper. I so appreciate everything he does to help me- particularly making sure I get my exercise time and making sure I get as much sleep as possible.

I am a better runner because I recognize how lucky I am to have some time to myself and recharge in the fresh air. I also have a new respect for the amazing things my body can do.

I am a better nurse because I have a new appreciation and compassion for what parents go through when their kids are sick.

I am an all around better person. I am more patient, more resilient, more appreciative of my family and friends, and my heart has grown so much.

The Best Banana Trick Ever

I bet that title got your attention. I couldn't think of any titles for this post (which is about bananas) that didn't sound a little dirty.

But seriously guys, this has changed my life. I like actual fresh bananas, but I've never really been a fan of banana flavored things. My college dining hall used to use up left over bananas in all kinds of desserts. It was the worst surprise ever when you bit into a piece of chocolate cake and it had a banana flavor. But never the end of my pregnancy when I was craving strange things I had a hankering for banana bread. I used this lovely cookbook that a friend gave me and the first step of the recipe was something I'd never done before. It called for roasting the bananas before baking with them.

Take the whole banana, peel and all and put it in the oven at 400.

Roast until the peels are black (10ish minutes depending on how ripe the bananas are)

Wait for them to cool and then slit the peel and squeeze out this lovely caramelized banana goodness. 

I've been using it for all kinds of stuff- in banana bread, in oatmeal bakes, and even just plain with a little greek yogurt and granola. 

Try it- you won't regret it!

Bananas- yeah or nay? What about banana flavored things?

You Never Know (Moments from my life that I didn't share)

I read this blog post last week about how a blogger that I have followed for awhile got over her body issues. What surprised me is not that she got over her issues, but that it was such a problem in the first place. After reading a blog for awhile I feel like I know the blogger. I always thought of this person as such a positive, love myself type of person. This reminded me that we see such a small, curated version of life on social media.

This is problematic because we often compare ourselves to these idealized images. No one's life is as perfect as they make it seem on the inter-webs. So in the spirit of full disclosure, here are some real life moments from my life in the past week. This is who I really am.

Moments I Didn't Instagram

real life with an infant
Tip-toeing into the kitchen and trying to silently (so that my husband won't know) get a third portion of dessert. Healthy living blogger right here.

Ordering Dominos during the blizzard and eating 3/4 of a stuffed cheesy bread, 3 slices of pizza dipped in garlic butter, and 1/2 an order of cinnastix. This was followed by a bag of goldfish over the course of the afternoon and then a full dinner and ice cream. Then, waking up with a food hangover and such a sense of regret and guilt the next morning.

The evening that the baby screamed for hours no matter what we did to try and soothe him. I was so frustrated at one point that I screamed back at him for a minute. Mom of the year.

Dumping breast milk all over myself and the floor at 3 am when I was pumping. That carpet is going to smell great this summer.

Cooper refusing to eat on my left side unless he was flat on his back and I was doing an awkward side plank over him. I'm glad no one got a picture because it wasn't pretty.

What were your fail moments of the week? Do you think it is important than we try to depict our lives more realistically, or do you think the whole point of social media is to allow us to show our lives as we want them to be?

Monday Mash-up

I keep having to come up with new names for this post because I keep running out of time to finish it! It started as fun things Friday, then was Saturday Stuff, then was Sunday stuff, and now it is Monday already. Life with a baby keeps you on your toes! Anyway, here is an update on what is new in my neck of the woods.

I had 3 good runs last week! Yeah! 2 were on the treadmill due to babies and blizzards but I did make it outside once. I felt strong and my "speed" is starting to come back. I have really been struggling to get below a 10 min/mile average since the baby, but finally last week I dropped down to a 9:30 pace. Yeah!


Somehow my little guy is 2 months old! He is very interactive these days- smiling and "talking" to us, which is so fun! He has also been sleeping 5-6 hours more regularly. Hallelujah!  Of course, he is also throwing some challenges at us. He started screaming like he was in pain last week every time I tried to feed him on my left side. The lactation consultant thinks it is a musculoskeletal alignment issue so we have been desperately trying to get him into a DO for some osteopathic manipulation. In the meantime, I have gotten creative. He will eat on the left if he is lying flat on his back and I do an awkward side plank over him or if I stand up and hold him straight up and down. Neither are comfortable for me- but I try to think of it as an extra workout for myself! Despite this, he is still growing like a weed. He is 11 lbs, so he has almost doubled his birth weight, which usually doesn't happen until 6 months!

Blue Apron
We were gifted a few weeks of Blue Apron when Cooper was born and we just are finishing them. We had done Blue Apron a year or so ago and loved it, but I've been disappointed this time. I don't like how choosing one meal makes other meals that week unavailable. I lean towards vegetarian meals while Rory prefers meat, but we seem to have to get either all meat or all veggie dishes. Plus our boxes have arrived with spilled ingredients, incorrect ingredients, and spoiled ingredients. And they just don't taste as good as I remembered them being. Whomp. 

Anyone in the Portland area have a recommendation for a DO that sees babies?
Or any other recommendations for helping us get over this feeding hurdle?
Any recommendations for other meal delivery services?

Running and Breastfeeding

Let me start by saying that although I am successfully breastfeeding now, it is still a challenge. It is something that I don't think people talk about enough and so I felt so under-prepared. Breastfeeding is hard! Don't feel alone or like a failure if you are struggling. You are not alone!

In addition to the normal challenges of breastfeeding, I've found that it has some specific challenges for runners. Here they are, along with how I'm getting around them

1) Your breasts will be LARGE
I didn't think it was possible for my breasts to get any larger than they already were in pregnancy.  I was wrong. They easily doubled in size again after my milk came in. This was a little frustrating since the larger sports bras I'd had to buy when I was pregnant were now too small already. Annoying because sports bras aren't cheap! I opted to just buy 2 really good quality sports bras that fit me perfectly now, rather than invest in a whole new bra wardrobe. This works since we are already doing laundry ALL the time for the baby and because once I stop breastfeeding I'll be able to go back to my old bras.

2) They will change size all the time
All of  Mom's yummy milk makes for a chubby baby
Your boobs will change size all day every day depending on how long it has been since the baby ate and how much he/she ate. They will probably also never been the same size as each other. This makes it challenging to get a bra that fits well. I got around this by getting bras that have lots of options for adjustment. I got the Moving Comfort Fiona bra because the straps have velcro in the front allowing you to adjust the fit. I can custom adjust it for each side of my body for each run. (I have no relationship with Moving Comfort- I found the bra and paid for it myself.

3) They will be HEAVY
Besides just being generally large, your breasts will also be super heavy from the milk. I found that feeding the baby and then also pumping to get them as empty as possible before I run makes me a lot more comfortable.

4) You need easy access for feedings
Newborns especially are impossible to get on a schedule. Even when I think I've timed things perfectly, my baby somehow always needs to eat right before, after, or even in the middle of my run. This means that I need a bra that allows me to feed him easily without having to get completely naked on my top half. Again, the Moving Comfort Fiona bra works well for me because I can completely undo the strap on side and the fabric is soft and flexible enough for me to pull down to give the baby access.

5) You can't wear a bra with underwire
My lactation consultant advised me against wearing any bras with underwire because it can interfere with milk production. This limits your options in finding a bra supportive enough for the high impact of running. I found it really helpful to go into an actual store to try on bras because it is hard to know if they provide enough support without actually jumping in them.

Did you breastfeed while running? What worked for you?

Postpartum Fitness: 6 weeks

Cooper is now 6 weeks old and while things certainly aren't "easy," I am starting to feel a lot more like myself, mostly because I am back in the swing of things with my exercise routine.

picture just because he is so darn cute

I had a relatively uncomplicated delivery, with minimal tearing, so my midwife told me that I could resume exercise when my bleeding slowed and I felt ready.

Week 1
For my first week postpartum all I could do was hobble! But I found that getting out of the house for just 15 minutes of fresh air, sunshine, and movement made just a huge difference.

Week 2
By week two I was starting to feel stronger and was in a lot less pain. I started doing longer walks (30-45 minutes) and even figured out how to get the baby in the sling so I could walk with him. I was lucky that we had some beautiful, and very atypical weather for Maine, this week so that it was warm enough to take him out. I also did some gentle yoga to help everything loosen up and settle back into position.
Family Walk! (The white thing on my chest is the baby)

Week 3
At the end of week 2 my husband and I started sleeping in shifts, where one of us was in with the baby and the other was in the guest room. Getting several hours of uninterrupted sleep made such a huge difference and I felt like I recovered so much in just a couple days. My bleeding slowed almost to nothing and I had so much more energy. So half-way through this week I made my return to the gym! I went back to my favorite classes (kickboxing and metabolic conditioning), but made sure to ease back in and not go all out. I also went back to the yoga studio for a gentle vinyassa flow class, which did wonderful things for me physically and mentally.

Week 4
I continued to feel good, so I went for my first run at the beginning of week 4. Since I hadn't run in a couple months, and had been doing intervals of run-walk before that, I knew it would be hard. I stuck to a 1 minute run-1 minute walk ratio and went for 30-45 minutes. I made it outside one day and the other 2 stuck to the treadmill since I was on baby duty.

A mid run selfie as proof that it actually happened

Week 5
I was feeling really good at the gym so I started pushing it a little harder. Since I had continued both classes and weight training right up until week 40, I felt like I'd hardly lost any fitness. In fact, I felt like I was stronger than before pregnancy since I'd been hauling around all that extra weight for months. It felt great to be able to get back to my favorite moves like burpees that had been really hard with a giant baby belly.
Running wise, I upped my run interval to 2-3 minutes. I also started increasing my running speed, especially on the treadmill to make it more interesting.

Week 6
By week 6 I was basically back to normal at the gym. It was nice to be able to really go hard and get my heart rate up without worrying about the baby like during pregnancy.

Running on the other hand is still very much a work in progress. I've always known that running fitness is very specific and this just confirms it. There is just no way to stay in running shape without running! I'm up to a 4 minute run-1 minute walk ratio for 45-60 minutes. It feels hard and I am slow, which is discouraging. I was really hoping I'd be one of those magical people that is faster after pregnancy. But I remind myself that I was pregnant for 40 weeks, I can't expect to be back in racing shape immediately. Ultimately running has never been about being the fastest person out there for me, so it shouldn't be now. It is about clearing my head, getting some me time, and feeling good about my body.

Cooper has also been working on his fitness. He has some serious gains in the chin department. 


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