Saturday, May 26, 2012

One Month and Numbers

As of yesterday, Alfie is one month old.  She has changed so much and grown so much in just four weeks and change!  Thursday she weighed 8 pounds 10.5 ounces, up from 8 the Thursday before.  She's gained more than two pounds in a month.  Can you tell that I love numbers?

Speaking of numbers, I've been keeping up with mine but do not plan on sharing them with cyberspace any time soon.  I weigh myself once a week and even measure my waist and hips. It's way too early to worry about that, you might say, and I agree.  Weighing myself weekly is my way of not worrying, because the pounds come off naturally at this point, albeit slowly.  By seeing those weekly numbers, I know that I don't need to worry.  I'm someone who needs to see progress toward a goal.  

What is that goal right now?  I don't even know.  I know I won't get down to racing weight (let's call that x) any time soon.  When I got pregnant, I was at (x + 10).  From there, I gained 20 pounds: [(x + 10) + 20].  With me so far?  So from (x + 30), I am now at (x + 15).  The reasonable goal is to get back to (x + 10) by the end of the summer.  

I will be racing this fall, but I don't plan on being in what you'd call racing shape.  I have a half marathon in October and hopefully another in November or December, if I can find one.  Next spring I will run a full marathon, God and training willing.  Even then, I don't think I need to be back to x since Alfie will still (hopefully) be nursing.  Feeding a baby burns calories, yes, but it also requires you to keep a little extra fat around, and there's nothing wrong with that.  

I think I'm happiest at around (x + 2) to (x + 5), and it's never been hard for me to maintain, so perhaps that is the goal by spring.  I've never had to work to lose weight, and I (optimistically) think that's how it will work now.  I know that once I'm running regularly, I'll get to where I want to be.  If that doesn't happen?  I'll have to reassess. 

In running news, I ran last Saturday (1.4 miles) and haven't gone since.  Alfie's a little too small for jogging, even in her infant seat, and Jenn's been super busy at school.  My only option, then, was to run on the treadmill before she left (6:30 after 4-6 hours of broken sleep?  No thanks!) or after she got home, which just happens to be the witching hour.  From 6:00-9:00 each night, Alfie is either eating or crying, or so it seems.  And I'm tired by that time, too.  Oh well.  I plan to run tomorrow morning, still just 1-2 miles and still slow.

This month has been much more active than I imagined.  We've walked to the library or the coffee shop, had people over for dinner, gone out to dinner, school concerts, field trips, and more.  I remember staying in so much when The Bambino was born, but with a toddler and a newborn utter domesticity is not an option.

To conclude, I leave you with pictures from the last month. Enjoy!

April 25, 2012.  Still all goopy.

Alfie getting to know her best buddy Ella (the one the cat thief tried to steal and who is now an indoor cat).

The Bambino doing what he does best: being himself.  Please notice his striped socks, because they were my favorite rugby socks in college.  At least they're being put to good use.
 We are very intentional about including The Bambino in Alfie's activities.  Sure, she's boring now, but what toddler isn't interested in baths and pooping?  He helps change diapers, asking if she needs a cloth or disposable diaper.  He facilitated her first real bath, too.

First real bath.  See how much she's grown?  Big brother was a huge help.

After the bath.  'Nuff said.
 One brave thing we've been doing as a family is going to Saturday night music in Saxapahaw, about 45 minutes from us.  It's a free outdoor concert series, and we've been twice since Alfie's arrival.  We love the atmosphere, the music, and the ice cream, and she seems much happier out and about than in the house.

Alfie in her Maya Wrap, one of our favorite carriers.

The Bambino rolling down the hill.  You'd think it would wear him out, but you'd be wrong.

Taking an all-too-short rest after a roll. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

3 Weeks, Yoga, and the Cat Thief

Today Alfie is three weeks old.  Three weeks ago right now, we were at the hospital.  The midwife had broken my water, the contractions were very strong and close together, and we were less than two hours from meeting our daughter.  Three weeks is a lightning-fast blink and a lifetime, all at the same time.  I cannot remember life without her, just as I cannot imagine life without The Bambino.

Alfie and I went to Mom and Baby Yoga today, run by the kind but demanding Cheryl.  Alfie slept through most of the 75-minute session, waking to eat at the end.  Mom and Baby yoga is not a meditative, zen-like yoga experience; there are babies crying, crawling, laughing, nursing, and getting diaper changes.  The poses, however, are serious.  My body has recovered well from birth, but this kicked my butt!  I was able to do everything, but my shoulders, hips, and core all noticed the hard work.  I fear how my muscles will feel in the morning.  We will definitely go back to yoga next week, and every Wednesday that we're in town between now and August.  I only wish that there was more than one class per week.

I plan to run either tomorrow or Friday, depending on how sore my legs are.  Running even a mile or two will feel amazing.  Alfie is too little to run with me, even in her infant seat, and The Bambino is way too much trouble to push right now, so I'll head out solo after Jenn gets home.

In completely unrelated news, we got a strange call yesterday from the microchip company for our cat.  Apparently, she had been taken to the vet by someone in the neighborhood who wanted to adopt her.  Thankfully the vet checked for a microchip and we were alerted.

This on its own is not that strange.  I know that outdoor cats, especially friendly ones, will  eat whatever food is offered to them and act like they've never had a real meal.  I know that if a cat came to our door, we would pet it and offer it food and water.  When I posted that someone tried to steal our cat on Facebook, a lot of my friends admitted that they had accidentally done the same thing.  The difference is that this person did not really let up!  When Jenn went to get Ella from her house (which is one the same block as ours), she continued to talk about feeding her, letting her into the garage when it rained, etc.  Ella comes into our house whenever she wants.  She eats dinner every night, is up to date on shots, and loves to play outside.  She's half bobcat, for Pete's sake!  Ella is back at home, but I have serious doubts that this woman understands that the cat is ours.

We are nervous that this person will really poach our cat, so she is strictly inside for the foreseeable future.  She's not going to like it, but how else do you counteract wet cat food several times a day in a neighboring yard?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

2 Weeks Already

Yesterday as of 5:17 pm, Alfie has been out in the world for two weeks.  She's thriving, and it turns out that she's a pretty easy baby.

We had her two week appointment yesterday, where we learned that baby girl gained 20 ounces in 8 days.  In case you were curious, that's a lot; the average is about 1 ounce per day.  This just means that she's a good nurser (and that her mom makes some pretty awesome milk- just sayin').  She has an adorable double chin and some good leg and neck strength. I now hope that she will be a runner AND play rugby (probably scrumhalf or flank, since she will not be tall).

So civic-minded at such a young age!  Note the pudgy cheeks and double chin.
I feel pretty much back to normal, although my core is very weak.  Having muscles stretched out that far for that long does not make for a six-pack once the baby arrives.  Tuesday I started doing daily yoga and I can already tell a difference.  Here are some typical poses right now:

  • sun salutations- at least 4 total, 2 per side
  • cat/cow with leg extensions and leg and arm extensions
  • downward dog
  • seated spine twists- this feels amazing after several months of having to turn my entire body to see what was happening over my shoulder
  • tree pose
  • chair pose
  • bridge
  • seated and reclining leg stretches
  • plank
  • low lunge
Yesterday I also did a few lunges and some sumo squats.  They felt hard at the time, but today my legs are not sore.  The trickiest thing right now with lunges, squats, and a lot of the yoga poses is keeping my spine and hips in alignment.  Because it's hard to do, I know that I need to be doing it.  Next week Alfie and I will go to mom and baby yoga, brought to you by the same wonderfully demanding woman who teaches prenatal yoga in town.  I went to mom and baby with our son as well, and it was not easy.  Not in the least.  

On the running front, I think I might try a few very slow miles next week.  I feel great, and any concerns I might have had about my milk supply went away at the pediatrician's office yesterday- Alfie is a champion eater, and I know logically that moderate exercise will not harm supply.  Until then, I need to walk at least every other day to remind my body what forward motion feels like.  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Alfie's Here!

Alfie (actually Eden) arrived Wednesday, April 25 at 5:17 p.m.  She weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces and has a head of strawberry hair.  She's amazing!  We came home Thursday evening and have been enjoying family time ever since.

Wednesday morning, contractions started but they were not very close together or impressive.  We went to the midwife's office at 1:30 because they weren't stopping, and she informed us that I was already 6 cm dilated.  It was hospital time!

We got to the hospital, got checked in, and the midwife broke my water at 3:17.  Exactly two hours later Eden arrived.  To say it was a fast labor is a bit of an understatement.  It was exactly what I had hoped for: no drugs and quick.

6 pounds, 7 ounces of adorable love

Baby Alfie arrived ready to nurse and very alert. We thought that she was going to be at least as big as her brother, who was 6 pounds 11 ounces at 3 weeks early, but she was a small peanut (but long!  21 inches!).

Mama and baby resting together- it was a big day!

A family friend (who is the mother of James' best friend) took the toddler home after school Wednesday and brought him to the hospital to see baby sis .  Then my parents arrived, cuddled with the new addition, and took James to our house.  He is still going through grandparent withdrawal, after several days of favorite foods, exciting toys, and new people to read stories.

Since baby and I were both doing well, and since I do not voluntarily stay in a hospital longer than necessary, we came home as soon as we could, which was 24 hours after her birth.  It has been busy here since Alfie's arrival, but it's also pretty amazing.


The Bambino and Baby Alfie together- he is so proud of being a big brother!