Thursday, August 27, 2015

The state of the household: August edition

It's the last week of August! I know summer is over for school kids everywhere, but not here at our house. Since we don't do "school" yet, September just means maybe some cooler weather and everybody getting excited about pumpkin stuff and boots. Except not me, since I only like pumpkin if you overwhelm it with chocolate, and hot sandal weather is still my favorite. Maybe the chiggers will die down though? We still have a lot more outdoor activities to partake in.

But! There's this:

This is Hunter enjoying his first television obsession: Paw Patrol. At least he actually learns things that I would otherwise not have had the opportunity to mention yet, such as, "walruses can hold their breath a long time, but not forever." And "bats are nocturnal." 

It does become hard to say no to one episode after another when I can actually take care of the baby while it is on. Yes, sometimes it is hard to care for both little ones requesting my attention at the same time, which is 95% of my day. The husband, on the other hand, seems to have it down. 

Except for that time he seemed to calm them so quickly that I commented on how well he had things under control. "One is staring at the fan and the other is standing six inches from the television. Yeah I'm father of the year." That doesn't happen often, and Daddy is still the champion swaddler, baby sleep inducer, funny guy, rough houser, dish washer, and baby burper. 

This smirk. Amusing, Daddy. 

Daddy also has been creating. He hammered out this teepee for Hunter in 15 minutes flat. The kittens immediately claimed it as their own, as shown by the oversized white paws peeking out. 

The trampoline set-up took a bit longer, but that's what the nights after bedtime are for, while the rest of us sleep. Next up he is building us a fire pit just in time for the marshmallow and corn roasting season. "Maybe we should go to a corn roast!" said Hunter one day after a particular paw patrol episode. Just wait, we will have a corn maze in our backyard at some point, I'm sure. 

While one parent has it all together, yours truly spends the day covered in some present from Josie, usually a combination of spit up and teetee. But she tends to be clothed in similar fluids, since you just can't keep changing a baby's outfit every 30 minutes all day. I have found that if the big brother is being too rough or overwhelming her, all I have to do is say the word spit-up and away he flees. Works like a charm. 

Spit-up-covered, baggy-eyed, crazy-haired, and calloused-kneed is the state I'm in lately. The last descriptor is the relatively permanent state of my knees since having a mobile child. I appreciated Megan explaining that she was told they are "good mom knees," since it is caused by the constant kneeling, crawling, and scraping across the floors while playing on it with kids. One of my ankles has developed a nice callous as well from being criss-cross-applesauce so much. 

Besides looking awesome all day, I also feel squishy and blobby and heavy most of the time. Part of that could be because I actually am pretty heavy while wearing a chunky baby all day, and also the extra few pounds that I need hanging around for spare milk-making calories. 

My stomach is still a bit mushy and my bike wattage is atrocious, and I'm forever glad I don't have to stand next to or race my past, much younger self. But that self had no precious cheering section, and I wouldn't trade that for 100 more watts and a six pack. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Different sorts of exercise

First, a baby picture. Those pouty lips!! Too bad you can't get the full view of the Daddy-wrapped straight jacket she's wearing. Puts her right to sleep. If you need swaddling tips, he's your guy.

And now for some thoughts on postpartum exercise, mine in particular. In some cases, average would be an improvement upon things, like my current state of fitness. Since "fitness" can technically be described in terms of cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition, I might not be failing in all areas.

Side note: when are they going to just go ahead and take flexibility out of the equation? We have learned that it's really not always the best for fitness and especially performance, and it reminds me of a yoga teacher who once said, "If you have healthy hamstrings, you have a healthy body." After that gem, I don't think I ever went back to her class.

If you added the descriptor, "painless," to those fitness components, that's where I run into trouble. It's the hip again! Somehow pregnancy temporarily improved the ability of my hip to withstand running, although my pelvic bones did not go along agreeably all the time. But immediately postpartum, the right one revolted again. There's a sharp pain sometimes, a dull ache others, and an overall fatigue that lingers. And oh my sacroiliac joint. It is in a constant state of disstress.

This is getting troubling. I do enjoy running, and I have a great affinity for triathlons. But instead of jumping right back into running, like a (former? not yet...) triathlete might expect, it has been a slower progression. So far I can handle a measly four miles at a time. Thanks to Damie and the excellent book I borrowed from her, Jay Dicharry's Anatomy for Runners, I have started incorporating a lot of different strength training into my weeks. And there is a small possibility (knock on wood) that it is working. While I do love me a good back cracking, I haven't been back to the chiropractor since before Josie's birth, since I have known all along that it isn't getting to the root of the problem. That doesn't seem to be a chiropractor's MO anyway. I am taking things into my own hands for now.

Since running was going so poorly, I decided last week that my three mile run should be hill repeats, because why not? It actually didn't seem to hurt my hip worse than daily life. And the hours that I have been devoting to foam rolling (not literally, who has that kind of time?) seem to make the biggest difference.

I can't delay getting back into all of the triathlon stuff, since this is my 20th season of triathlon-ing, and I need to at least do one race. The closest one that isn't this weekend is mid-September, so that's on the "training plan," said with sarcasm. It won't be fast or pretty, but hopefully everyone else will do the Olympic distance while I do the sprint race.

Since swimming is my weakest sport, we have hit the pool pretty frequently lately. Just kidding, I do this at the pool mostly, but without the smirk. Nursing is always involved, and what could make it easier than a bikini top?

And speaking of funny faces, this is what we get when we ask Hunter to smile for a camera. He won't smile, but he will agree to a "funny face." Possibly in response to whatever the neighbor in the background was doing. ?? But we couldn't resist capturing him in his jammer/life jacket combo.

Has it really been 6 weeks since Josie was born? She is wonderful, of course. The real lifesaver in this house is the Moby wrap. When she just can't sleep alone, or Hunter needs me to play (which is always) and be mobile (that too), I just wrap her up to sleep on me and nurse when she needs to. The ring sling is good for a quick and less complicated carry, and the Ergo, with the infant insert is just a bit bulky and hot right now. I do get some strength training hauling her around, except that she was only 11.5 pounds when we last weighed her. Kind of not significant. But the sheer number of times I squat while carrying her each day adds up to something. I'm a little surprised I get any pictures of her in her little bed, since I do hold her so much (partly... er, mostly just because I want to).

Mommy, I just. can't. even.