Monday, July 28, 2014

Pause on the Fitness Mondays

Another week where I am just not feeling the goal setting and focus on fitness. Life is just a little too unpredictable right now with our summer schedule and I...well, I have lots of other excuses but I won't list them all for you :) Anyway, I'm going to continue to work towards my goals (core exercises, water drinking, etc), but in a more relaxed and non-bloggy fashion. I'm thinking I will return to this in September when I will be more ready to buckle down. I am assuming I'll get a nice blast of back-to-school-style motivation since September is the other 'New Year'. You know what else September brings? SCHOOL SUPPLIES. Man, I love me some school supplies.

Hope all those others who were checking in are doing well with their own goals!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Letters to Lily: Three Months

[Lily was 3 months old on June 29.]

Dear Lily,

You are now 3 months old.

So what are your recent tricks? You are now tracking things and people with your eyes and you have begun to grab for things.

You are much more interactive with us and this means you are showing some interest in books (when we, uh, remember to read them to you). You do get a lot of Berenstain Bear exposure during Bella and Oliver's bedtime routines, though!

You have been showing a lot of effort towards rolling onto your tummy and I am surprised at how focused you will be at working on it, trying again and again. You aren't quite there yet, but I think it will happen soon!

You continue to sleep very well at night, although you haven't had another super long sleep 9 pm - 5 am stretch like last month. You generally wake to eat one time and it's a very quick thing and you go right back to sleep.

You nap pretty well, although often on the go. Luckily you often take a longer nap in the middle of the day, which means we all get a nice rest then.

You have been a little bit fussier, probably because your naps get interrupted during the day and you are simply getting more aware of all that there is around you.
I like to make sure Daddy shares in those moments with you via text messages :)

Other random tidbits: your eyes are still very blue with amazing eyelashes, you refuse to take a pacifier or a bottle, and you have started gnawing on your little hands often (teething already?)

Your siblings LOVE you so much. They have exceeded my expectations with the way they respond to you.

You are such a delight for all of us and we are so very lucky to have you.

The experience of being your mother has been a gift. Not to Jerry Maguire you (look it up, Lilypad, it's an old movie), but Lily? You complete us.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Bullet Point Bonanza

  • Tis the season of bullet point blog posts. So each bullet point will be the equivalent to what used to be a full (overly emo) blog post of yesteryear.
  • I'm currently at a coffee shop blogging (!) while listening to Fine Frenzy, which always makes me feel very, very 2006 and pre-married and young-ish. As always: hooray for babysitter time. I wrapped our sitter and Lily up together in the Moby before we left so hopefully that should buy us a good chunk of time (Raj has the day off).  Lily has continued to be ever so delicate with taking bottles and our last date night was cut short, although the timing of it worked just fine since we were signing the check at the restaurant (mmm...sushi) when we got the SOS text.
  • So the bottle situation. Thank you so much for the feedback on my last bullet point post. Seems like the bottle-hating baby situation isn't so unusual. For now we are getting her to take down an ounce or two at a time using the most, uh, unusual-looking bottle - the Medela Calma.
    Long nipple, there. (Nipples, real or bottle ones, remain creepy to me even after breastfeeding for a million years.) Anyway. We'll get there eventually, in one way or another. 
  • I've been feeling particularly nostalgic for this time last year and finding out about our surprise baby. It was so crazy and exciting and scary. Then I also feel so very, very appreciative that I do not have a three month stomach bug (i.e. morning sickness) about to descend on me and render me non-functioning. Makes me feel gleeful about the rest of this summer and also makes me feel quite good about us being a 3-kid family.
  • Oh, but I remain surprised by these twinges of longing for a fourth. It's because Lily is a good/easy baby and thus I'm being lured into thinking such a baby could happen again. But then I actually ponder what a fourth baby might actually mean and the idea of being pregnant again is just such a not-good idea for me/us. Chances are that it would all go fine, but I don't want to take away from our family's life with the nausea/vomiting drama again and I know I would be so very anxious once again about the hemorrhaging/speedy delivery situation. Just not worth it. And the thought of an actual fourth baby is also too overwhelming and I know it would push us a little too far past our limits as parents. Again, we would probably do just fine with adding a fourth, but I think we are better off quitting while we are ahead. Anyway - mixed feelings about my childbearing years being over, but the strongest/deepest feeling is that I'm settled and feel really great about having a family of five.
  • So how is life with three going? Things continue to go better than expected and I will continue to attribute that to having a baby who sleeps well, which means I sleep fairly well. The other kids are still getting up so I can't take full advantage of my once-or-twice a night waker-upper baby. Actually we can just say that I have three kids who all fall into the wake up once or twice a night category. Sigh. I am threatening to resume swaddling Bella. If you had told 2009 Laura that she would still be googling about sleep for Bella five years later, well, there would have been weeping.  Ha. Back to life with three. There are some times where I do feel like I'm shortchanging one or two kids while I deal with the third, but I have mostly found their age gaps have led to this being a very smooth transition. Bella is a huge help. Oliver can't exactly be trusted with Lily when I step away for a moment but overall he is very gentle and sweet with his sister. There aren't too many moments where all kids are crying (only twice, I think). Three kids at ages 0, 3, 5 has felt so much easier to me than having a baby and a fresh 2-year-old. 
  • I found this blog post about how Swistle does family journaling to be so interesting and thought-provoking. I'm not quite sure how I feel about blogging these days and I am torn about continuing to publicly share those monthly letters to Lily. I don't expect those details to be interesting to anyone else but future me, but I like having them on the blog for organizational purposes. But if they are boring for me to write and re-read now, who is to say that they will be interesting to me later? And will the kids ever care? I guess I imagine they will only be interested once they have babies of their own, but even then I acknowledge they may never care. However, it seems wrong if I just stop at baby #3 when I wrote letters for one and two. So I will keep it up for now at least. I can maybe make it all private if I'm feeling weird later on. And then I start thinking about blogging in general. There are lots of little stories and quotes from each day that I no longer feel right about sharing on the blog, especially things to do with Bella. So I love Swistle's idea of an actual paper journal where I could keep all those tidbits. But would I keep it up? I fizzled out from writing out our favorite moments each day, though I still love that idea. Perhaps those two concepts could be combined? I am someone who likes things to be neat and even and the same long term, but this journaling process will be messy, especially if I go in and out of doing extras like writing down favorite moments of each day. I don't know. Swistle makes a very good point that you just need to roll with the fact it won't be a consistent record over the years. I'm probably overthinking and getting hand-wringy about memory-keeping as a side effect of having a newborn - you know, that panicky urge to record all moments for times are a-changing. Quick! Quick! You need to slow down! All those endless contradictions of baby days.
  • Actually, that kind of disjointed and nonsensical thinking reminds me of how hard I found life after Oliver was born. I have been thinking a lot about that time and I feel badly that I couldn't enjoy the other kids newborn periods as much as I can enjoy Lily's. I'm only human though, and getting super shitty sleep made me feel super shitty. So I felt like crap back then. It wasn't that I wasn't trying my damndest to enjoy their baby days, but I was so bogged down with a lack of energy and/or postpartum mood issues. But as hard as it was to go through those rough times (relative rough times, but it was a challenging time for me) I'm glad for it because having perspective can be quite a gift in one's life. I can tell very clearly that I'm having a completely different experience right now. I notice it in the way minor annoyances or problems roll off me. Or the way I can get us all to the gym and it doesn't feel like a monumental effort. I'm not burdened by anxious thoughts as I lay down at night. I laugh quickly and often. There has been very little crying for this entire postpartum period. I'm grateful to have a different experience this time, even though I am sad I couldn't be this kind of person before, especially with Oliver. I am sad for Oliver and sad for how terrible I felt back then. So it's a surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) complex feeling to so thoroughly enjoy this time with Lily.
  • How bout a random bullet point? Call the Midwife is on Netflix - ooh I'm enjoying it! Makes me feel nervous since it's birth-focused, but maybe this is an ideal time to watch it - I'm close enough to giving birth that I feel particularly moved by the delivery scenes but I'm on the other side of having babies so I won't be giving myself nightmares. Anyway, I recommend.
  • Oh and I have books I recommend! Lots of them. And thoughts on hynobirthing and freezer meals and photo books to make and a novel I want to write and other stories I want to finish and and and and!!! Ha. I find I'm so filled with ideas and creative energy in the postpartum time but of course this is hardly a time where I can spend a lot of time on creative endeavors. Anyone else find this to be the case for them? Maybe it's all those quiet moments feeding a baby or rocking them  - gives my brain time to throw out ideas. I just keep reminding myself that I can only do so much on any given day and thinking about what I'm not getting done isn't helpful. Let it go, let it go. Life will settle down again. That's a huge HUGE advantage to being on baby #3. You do realize just how fast this will all go and change. Not that I always remember that :)
  • I have figured out the ideal room/place in our house for taking photos of the kids and that makes me happy.
  • Out of fairness, I need to include an Oliver picture.  He's such a funny kid these days. Absolutely turning into a threenager, but still super cute. His tantrums still crack me up at this point, rather than make me want to tear out my hair.
    We had extra time one-on-one this week while Bella spent her mornings at Frozen camp (well, sort of one-on-one since Lily was with us, but she often napped) and it made me look forward to this fall. I love his funny little ways of expressing himself. Like when he yells "Don't talk at me!" when we are telling him he can't do something or telling him he is in trouble for something naughty. I also love that he calls ketchup "syrup" and yesterday he asked me to "Warm down" his ice water because it was too cold.
  • I'm also happy that it's Friday and that my sister and family is in town and it's the weekend and summer and, well, there is a just a lot of happy going on. #seriouslysoblessed

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer 2014 Day in the Life Heads Up!

I will be doing my quarterly Day in the Life post this weekend and it will be posted early next week.

If any other blogger wants to play along, all you need to do is pick one day to document & post between now and Sunday, August 3. Email me the link at navigatingthemothership @ by Monday, August 4 and I will put together a round-up post on Wednesday, August 6 with links to all of the Day in the Life posts.

I may decide to do my full week-in-the-life this summer rather than waiting until the fall (I skipped my usual spring week for baby/reality-there-of reasons) but I need to do one day and decide after that if I can actually take that on at this point :)

The Usual Fine Print
  • Pick a day between now and Sunday, August 3 and take pictures all the live-long day. You might want to keep notes of what goes down so you don't forget later on when typing up the post. I often will take pictures that I know I won't use, but will serve as a reminder of what was happening.
  • Make sure to include pictures of YOU during the day. The kids are callin' em selfies these days. And don't forget to include pictures of the mundane - your make-up on the bathroom counter, the messy office desk, your lunch, what you bought at Target, a note your spouse scribbled for you. That's part of what makes it so interesting.
  • It's up to you how detail-oriented you want to be. I go detailed, but there is no need for you to do the same. 
  • This is not just for the mommy blogger set. I actually prefer it to be a mix of people in all different sorts of lives. And please, please, please play along if you live outside the US & Canada! I heart you, foreigners.

Even if you aren't a blogger, I would encourage you to try this out some time. The little details of life sometimes prove the most interesting as the years pass and this type of exercise allows us to capture those small quirks of life that get lost with the passage of time. When I look back on my past day in the life posts, there are many, many times where I think, "I totally forgot about that!" especially when it comes to the kids. To keep it really simple maybe you could do it entirely on your cell phone. Okay, Mothership's push to have you document your life is done now. :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fitness Mondays

I'm sorry that this is all I consistently blog about these days. BORING. Hopefully more interesting things to come soon as I get things figured out with leaving Lily (who continues to be wishy-washy about taking bottles). In the meantime, fitness posts it is!

How I did last week:

Fitness Goals:
  • Daily MuTu Core workouts 5/7
  • Daily walks 6/7 (average of 30 minutes)
Dietary Goals:
  • Track eating  4/7
  • Gluten & Dairy free except for dinner (ideally some full GF/DF days) 0/7
  •  3 L water/day 1/7 (more of 1.5 L/day)
Life Goal
  • 5 AM wake-ups for a few days 0/7

My motivation remained low all week, which: sigh. Maybe it will pick back up, maybe not. One positive is that I actually followed through very nicely with my fitness goals, which it didn't feel like until I added it all up. I was down on myself for only walking 15 minutes some days, but my daily average remained high enough. As long as I can get a longer walk in on my two babysitter mornings each week I should do okay to hit a 30 min/day average.

Eating however, womp womp. I just...I don't care. I mean, I care that I feel sub-par with eating gluten and dairy and too many sweets and indulging in a daily wine o'clock, but really? Don't care. The tracking piece is good for me, though, as it's making me pay a little more attention or at least be more mindful. I need to work on my food choices for sure, but for right now I'm going to not get too up in arms about it. I will just keep plugging away at making positive changes. In the meantime I will take the GF/DF goal away while still trying to maintain a more GF/DF lifestyle. Hopefully taking away that goal will also let me focus on my 3L water/day goal (and calms my inner rebel). Trying to keep things simple in hopes of being more successful...

For my life goal  - an utter fail! Ha. I did set my alarm and even included a peppy "Yay! Me Time! Get up!" but then I left my ringer on silent so I never heard it go off on the first day. And the following days I didn't bother because I am enjoying getting to sleep in until 6:30 just far too much. Per usual, I'm half forgiving of myself and can rationalize why it's just fine to let this goal go (Lily might switch to being a 5 AM waker soon enough- take advantage while you can! You still get up at night - you need the extra sleep!) and I'm half annoyed that I can't just buck up. I'm especially annoyed when each morning starts out with a bang and everyone needs something right that second and I've yet to have any coffee. Anyway, my need to get up early to workout is now not necessary because I rejoined the gym and have gone several days and it has been WONDERFUL. Getting that workout in while the kids are occupied and having fun (or sleeping in a swing) is just very, very awesome and it puts me in a good mood. So (for now) no need to wake at 5 AM after all!

Next week:

Fitness Goals:
  • Daily Mutu Core workouts
  • Daily walk (30 min average)
Dietary Goals:
  • Track eating
  •  3 L water/day
  • Limit coffee to one/day (my gut yells when I have 2)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fitness Mondays

This is a week to get back on track. Goals will be as follows:

Fitness Goals:
  • Daily MuTu Core workouts
  • Daily walks
Dietary Goals:
  • Track eating (which influences me to make better choices)
  • Gluten & Dairy free except for dinner (ideally some full GF/DF days)
  •  3 L water/day

I am feeling like my diastasis recti is worse after dealing with the stomach bug. Sit-ups and planks and all sorts of things like that are contra-indicated for D.R. so a couple nights of forceful ab contractions where my muscles were pushed OUT was less than ideal. Oh well. Will just pick up where I left off and see how it goes.

I would also like to share that I was doing quite well with balanced eating prior to getting sick/going on vacation so I'm confident I can return to that.

However, motivation for all this is low low low. I simply need to get back on the horse and the motivation will come with the routine of it, but blah. I am also thinking more about how I want to get everything done, or at least get things done in a peaceful way without kids jumping on me. I joked yesterday that there is no way I will get up at 5 AM to exercise and such, but as I thought more about that I am realizing that truly might be what I need to do to feel more functional. I need to try it and see if it's even possible - I suspect Lily might wake up if I try to sneak away from her. So that's my last goal - I will wake up at 5 AM Tues - Friday and see what that does for me. This also means going to bed right at 9 PM which is not a huge problem for me, although Lily has been staying up from 7:30-9:30 PM every night (NO ADULT TIME EEEEEEEEEE!!!!) so we shall see how this plays out!

Life Goal
  • 5 AM wake-ups for a few days to make life run more smoothly