Week of exercise (10/3-10/9)

Exercise….Ooooh, exercise. How crappy you feel! As a follow up to my last post, I ran a few more times and then stopped. Stopped everything. I needed an emotional rest. This past week, I restarted the Post Baby Bod plan that I started and stopped a few months ago. I feel a lot better doing it now, than I did when I originally tried. I should focus on that…. improvement! This is what last week looked like:

Monday – The plan was to get 45 minutes of cardimg_6002io in. As we set out, we quickly turned around to deal with a flat stroller tire…. We then got about 10 minutes out when Maura started screetching. I turned around, she screamed until we got to the drive way then fell asleep. I did another quick loop around the block before she woke up. We got a total of 25 minutes in.

Tuesday – Upper body workout day. In total I did 3 sets of: bicep curls, overhead tricep extensions, push ups, shoulder presses, and good mornings. I also did my PT exercises which included: 2×10 up-up down-downs with a towel to increase stability work, 2×10 single leg bridges with extension, 5×10 seconds boat pose with squeezes, and 2×10 leg raises in side plank, and used the eStim machines (ugh, more on that later, and I’ll do another post soon and detail these exercises).

(I was also supposed to walk…. I didn’t….)

Wednesday – Lower body workout day and walk…. I again skipped the walk. (It was not a good cardio week). I ended up doing a total of 3 sets of 15 body weight squats, 15 side lunges each way, 10 stationary lunges, 20 bridges with 10 lbs (1 set with 20…. Maura loooooves sitting on my hips during these), and donkey kicks. For PT: 5×10 second boat pose with squeeze, 5 x 10 sec adductor squeezes, 2×10 up-up-down-down with towel, and 2×10 crunches with towel.

Thursday – Absolutely Nada

Friday – Absolutely Nada…. oy. We took a day trip to Portland with friends and I didn’t plan ahead well enough.

IMG_6011.JPGSaturday – I did the strength workout I was planning on doing Friday. In total I did 3 sets of: 15 squats with a 10lb kettle bell, 15 bicep curps, 15 stationary lunges each leg (the work out called for side lunges, but side lunges didn’t feel good so I opted for stationary), 15 bent over row with tricep extensions, 10 push ups on my knees. For PT exercises I did 2×10 up-up down-downs with the towel, 2×10 single hip raises with extension, 5×10 sec boat pose with squeeze, 2×10 side plank leg raises, and 2×10 crunches with the towel.

Sunday – Walked for about 45 minutes pushing the stroller, and eStim.

Positives about the week – I got in all the strength days that I had planned, and had several days of good PT exercises.

Negatives about the week – I don’t like that I took two days in a row off and jipped the cardio aspect. I should also be doing the eStim a minimum of 3 times per week, I only did it twice.

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A week of exercise (8/28-9/3)…

Last week was the first full week since I officially started running again. I’m tempted to say I started “running” again…. but I should give myself some more credit. I ran – slow – but I ran. I figured I’d try and keep track of what my early weeks look like getting back into a routine. Thus far – it’s run when I feel like it and it’s convenient. The other days we walk. Don’t underestimate the power of a good walk! I was unable to run for quite a long time, but I think walking almost every day makes the transition back to running that much easier (even though it’s never easy after much time off).

My week:

Sun – 5 minutes walk, 20 minutes run, 30 minutes walk (This was my 3rd run back… the first two were 15/16 minutes each)

Mon – 55 minutes of slow walking with the stroller

Tues – I honestly have no idea…. I think I must have strolled a slow walk somewhere in the day – maybe 30ish minutes? My mom brain really has no clue…. how scary!

Wed – 5 minutes walk, 30 minutes run, 25 minutes walk (This was a whole family run! My husband had the dog, I pushed Maura… she LOVED watching the dog run alongside her and giggled constantly at him… motivation to keep going!)

Thurs – 30 minute slow walk with Maura in the carrier while she resisted nap time… the second half was quicker than the first because she ended up screaming until we were in the driveway returning home. She then fell asleep for 5 minutes only to wake up once I tried to move her to her crib… :sigh:

Fri – Nada….My husband took both ‘kids’ out for a run while I stayed home and tried to get a little work done in peace.

Sat – Hour long walk

The week doesn’t look like much, but it’s something. Seeing it in writing helps keep me accountable. I also realize that my PT exercises have become more sparatic – I think I’m just frustrated. Doing them has been reminding me of how slow going recovery has been. This coming week I’ll try to keep track of when I do those as well. I’m not helping myself by skipping them!

It’s only the beginning but I’m able to see the light at the end of this lack of fitness tunnel. I cannot wait until we can take long hikes and trail runs with Maura and introduce her to our love of being active and out there.

Dear Five Month Old Maura…

Dear Five Month Old Maura, fullsizerender-3

It seems like you just turned 4 months – in part because I wrote to you so late last month, but also in part because time is simply flying by, and I know I say that every month, but it really is. Next month half a year will have gone by. I just can’t believe it.

You are such a sweet heart. You greet me with smiles and now a hug every morning. Your little arms grip my neck and you rub your face against my cheek or neck when I lift you out of your crib. Getting you up in the morning is my favorite time.

fullsizerender_1You’re a master of rolling, which you have begun to get pretty good at last month too. Now there is just no containing you anywhere. You also love to grab Ramsey’s fur whenever he is near you – or if you can roll to him before he walks away. He has been very well behaved and often licks your hand until you let go. (Gross – but he’s being extremely tolerant because you’re little grip hurts!)

You’ve slept through the night (7pm-7am) every night for the past three weeks…. I don’t want to brag or jinx us… but it makes me happy. Sometimes I feel like I won lottery with you, you’re simply awesome. (Napping is another story, we did NOT win the lottery there… but that’s a work in progress…. ) We’ve also started going for easy runs with you in the stroller. You love it – especially when we all go and you can watch Ramsey run along side us. Going fast is your favorite – unfortunately going fast is not mom’s favorite yet! I think this is the beginning of many miles together. I’m excited to share runs with you.img_5641

And the best news for last: This month you got a great gift – a COUSIN! Jack Edward was born on September 1st. He came a week early but we were all eagerly awaiting his arrival. He is absolutely perfect. He and the new parents are doing fantastic and adjusting to their new life. I’m very proud of your uncle Jay. We can’t wait for the two of you to meet over Christmas. It’s going to be great to have a cousin to grow up with even though we don’t live near one another.

 

 

Maura, you amaze me every day. I’m so lucky.

Love,

Mom

 

First run in almost a year…

I did it. I went for a run. It wasn’t pretty, but I did it. I did some math and determined that it’s been about 45 weeks since I stopped running at 18 weeks pregnant.

I got my physical therapist’s ‘go ahead’ before hand… actually her encouragement. I wouldn’t have gone out if she hadn’t told me I should. I’ve been extremely nervous due to the prolapse issues (that have no fully resolved, and may not ever). She told me at this point, that running will not make it worse… just maybe uncomfortable. She was right and although it was uncomfortable, it wasn’t unbearable and I felt no worse when I finished than when I started – prolapse wise – my legs and lungs definitely felt the burn of a run, in the best possible way! I feel better knowing that I still have my PT if for any reason things do get worse… but I’m also confident in her opinion that it will not. We still have a game plan for the rest of recovery, I’m not done healing…. but I can heal while I run.

Running and exercise have fallen to the back burner and my emotional health has suffered because of it. Having that run and now the possibilities of many more runs makes me feel like me again. And just in time… there is nothing as refreshing as running in the fall. I think it’s nostalgia for many cross country seasons past. Fall training feels new, fresh, full of possibilities.

 

 

Roasted Black Bean and Corn Salsa

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I’m not a food blogger…. BUT I have a few tested and approved recipes that I make over and over again. Eating nutrient dense food has been a priority of mine on this road to getting myself back. Healthy food has always been a priority, but when you can’t get in the quality exercise that you’re used to, or are trying to heal your body – what you eat becomes even more important.

I’m pretty picky when it comes to my salsa. I usually will opt for guacamole or hummus over salsa, but this salsa can compete with the best.

We eat this salsa with chips, over chips for nachos with a little cheese or sour cream on top, over rice, in veggies tacos, etc. etc. etc. The addition of black beans gives it a boost of fiber and protein to balance out your snack or meal. The below recipe makes 5 or so cups… the photo above is in a 7 cup Pyrex bowl – just to give a little perspective.

Ingredients

  • Cherry tomatoes (2 pints)
  • Half of a big onion
  • Corn (1 can)
  • Olive oil
  • Black beans (1 can)
  • Lime or lemon juice (just a squeeze)
  • Spices (I use salt, pepper, cilantro, cumin, chile powder, and garlic powder)

Directions

  • Preheat the over to 350-375ish.IMG_5450
  • Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, chop the onion, coat with olive oil, and toss in the oven on a baking sheet until the tomatoes start to get a nice char going.
  • Drain and rinse the corn, coat with olive oil, and toss in the oven on a separate baking sheet until the corn starts to brown slightly. The corn needs less time than the tomato/onions.
  • Let the tomatoes/onions cool a bit and put in a food processor for just a few pulses. I like to get the tomatoes nice and juicy but not pureed. The other option is to put half of them in the food processor and leave the other half in big pieces if you like chunkier salsa!IMG_5453
  • Mix the tomatoes/onion, roasted corn, can of drained and rinsed black beans in a big bowl. Add a squeeze of lime (or lemon) juice to give it a nice fresh flavor, and add spices to your taste. I don’t measure my spices but add some and taste, add some more and taste….
  • Chill in the fridge and eat! (Although you could eat it hot over rice or in tacos too)

Let me know what you think!

 

 

Dear Four Month Old Maura…

IMG_5351 (1).JPGDear Four Month Old Maura,

I’m writing this about a week late as we’ve been away in NY since you officially turned 4 months old. You were a traveling champ! The chaos of the airport didn’t seem to bother you, nor did the flying itself. You slept on my lap on Boppy and although you tossed and turned a little bit, you never cried – Thank you!

You met lots of new people during our trip – aunts, uncles, great aunts and uncles, my cousins, your daddy’s cousins, your great grandmas, and a lot of friends. You showed everyone your contagious smile and really seemed content to be entertained constantly. You went swimming in a ‘big pool’ for the first time and it was a success – although you weren’t a fan of your floaty – you enjoyed being held in the water and kicking and splashing about.

We had your baptism while we were back East also. The church in NY is a special one and where Daddy and I got married last summer. I was also baptized there, and your grandma and grandpa were married there too. You were a rock star. You smiled at everyone during mass and didn’t cry at all despite falling asleep at the house and not waking up until you were in front of the whole church!

You also managed the tummy to back roll this month! It’s no longer an accident when you turn over, and within about two days of your new trick you learned how to piece together front and back rolls to get from point A to point B! You also have been pushing up onto your knees and even your toes while trying to scootch forward. I think in the next month or two we’ll have a crawling baby! Scary!!!

Sleep is still going well – but I keep holding my breath and waiting for that Four month sleep regression to hit… A friend told me today that her baby hit it at 6 months, so I’m not out of the clear yet. You slept straight through the night about half of the nights that we were in NY. You even slept on and off from 3pm (6pm eastern time) til 5:30am pacific time the night we traveled back. I had been sure you’d be up for the day at 3, but you surprised me yet again. I just can’t believe how good you’ve been.

You had your four month pediatrician visit yesterday. You’re perfectly healthy and growing right on your 90th percentile line. You’re 26 inches long and about 17.5 pounds!

Every morning you greet me with a smile from your crib. I often hear you singing to yourself on the monitor. It’s a reminder that the new day is one to be thankful for.

Love you more and more every day.

Love,

Mom

 

 

 

Introducing healthy habits young…

I have realized that I’m not just trying to follow a healthy lifestyle myself…. it’s about creating a healthy lifestyle for Maura. I want her to grow up loving it outside, running around the yard instead of wanting to watch TV, choosing to eat fresh healthy foods over junk. Sound overly optimistic? Maybe, but if she grows up witnessing a healthy lifestyle – it’ll be all she knows. I’ve also noticed over the past few weeks how frequently she watches me – it’s almost constant. (This might be motivation to kick a few of my bad habits!)

How I’m building healthy habits:

Cooking & Eating together– Maura sits in her swing while we cook, and while I eat most of my meals. We’ve even started putting her in her high chair at the table with us at dinner time. We cook with lots of vegetables from our garden, or the market. I usually end up talking her through what I’m doing…. “I’m going to cook up all these yummy veggies that we picked today in the garden!” She also watches me eat…. the healthy options, and the not so healthy options. I often think to myself – “Would I want her choosing this as a snack?” Sometimes the answer is no, so I need to start asking myself at the grocery store instead of when it’s about to go in my mouth!

Gardening – Our garden is NOT pretty this year. I have no idea why it looks worse than past years but it’s still producing so I’m not complaining! I take Maura out while I pick fresh fruits and veggies from our yard. If nothing needs picking, we still stroll through and I point out what everything is. She might not know what I’m saying yet…. but eventually she will and she’ll know where food comes from.

I also take her to the market. We are very lucky to live in an area with an abundance of fresh food. The market is a great outing and one of Maura’s very first outings ever. Sometimes I take her in the stroller, other times in the carrier. We take our time looking at everything and usually end up sitting on a bench watching some of the local musicians (kid looooooves music).

 

Getting Outside – Even though I haven’t been exercising too much, we’ve been getting out for walks a few times a week. She’s started to stay awake for the first half hour or so and it seems to really relax her even if it’s at a fussy time of day. We also sit on a blanket in the yard when it’s not too hot out (it’s predicted to be in the 90s all week, yuck!). I’ve noticed that when we’re out, she looks to me less for entertainment. She’s busy taking in the sights and sounds on her own. She smiles when the grass tickles her feet and the breeze blows in her face. Nature seems to be the best ‘toy’ yet.

All of these things are good for us both. I need good food and fresh air in my life and by making these a regular part of routine, I hope she’ll learn to incorporate them into her little future life too.