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Running! (Or, if I can do it, anyone can!)

10 Apr

I started “running” the autumn after we got here. 2010?
How? Well, I googled it. Found a couchcouch to 5k to 5k training plan, wrote that day’s run on a post-it, strapped the small boy into the stroller and off I went. In an oversized shirt. Down an unpopulated cycle track. I thought the 20 minute run would kill me. And it nearly did. But I can still remember the feeling of accomplishment when I completed it.
Once I got to 3 miles, running was part of my routine. I became slightly addicted. I liked the time with my own thoughts. Although some days it was all I could do to breathe.
The day after I found out I was pregnant again I lost the ability to run. I felt like my bones were going to fall out of my joints. It was odd. But what can you do? You have to listen to your body.
And so began my running hiatus. Which may or may not have been longer than the length of time I spent as a “runner”.
Then I had two kids and a husband who worked all the time. So there was no running. Until I grew sick of being a couch potato. I began to make time for myself, and I used that time to run. Not regularly. Or very fast. But every one of those runs felt like an accomplishment. Mainly because I was so unfit. Still, every step counts.
Once the big one started school, things became easier. A routine was established. A routine interrupted only by illness and public holidays. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays were run days. Runs were 3 miles long. The odd time there was a 5 miler thrown in. It was cool. The small one didn’t complain. And would usually nap in there.
Then it started to take her longer to fall asleep. So I had to run further. Then one day I needed to go to the post office to pick up some flat rate boxes. So I decided to swing by on my run. And that’s how you accidentally run 6miles.
Now I run 8miles once a week. 22 miles total per week. Mondays and Tuesdays are 4, Wednesdays 6 and Fridays 8.

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And now I’m a runner. I have more than one sports bra and everything!
So if you want to get out there, go do it! If I can, anyone can. The hardest part is putting on my running clothes. Once I do that, I know I’m going. So that’s my top tip. Putting the clothes on is oftentimes the hardest bit. The trick to keeping going? Comfortable underwear.

Breastfeeding Bingo

15 Sep

Ok, it’s official I am awarding myself a prize for winning “Breastfeeding in Public Bingo”. I may not have conquered the supermarket or Walmart yet, but yesterday’s adventure was a rocket launch, so I’m pretty sure that gets bonus points. (It was a singularly underwhelming event, on the Hubby’s advice we drove up close to the launch pad, right into the fog so we saw NOTHING. If we had gone where I said we would have at least seen it come out of the fog. But no. Ahem. A slept/fed through the whole thing anyway. T woke up just before it and got to hear it. Awesome.)

But yes, rocket launch, pretty cool! That goes on the list with parks (a myriad), restaurants (more than one), a farm, the zoo, the aquarium, museums (more than one), the mall, beaches, a campground and a Mission.

I doubt I could have managed it without my wrap. I certainly wouldn’t be going all of these places. And I couldn’t be so discreet. Because boob out, you do feel a bit vulnerable. Especially when you have a small girl who pops on and off willy nilly. But a large hat and no one knows what’s going on. And I don’t have to use one of those mad cover things. It’s brilliant.

My prize will have to be a new wrap. I need to justify the expenditure to myself. I’m a bit mad like that.

Similarities & Differences

5 Sep

It’s fun watching A’s personality develop. And it’s true what they say, every child is different. But there are similarities there too.

  • Daytime sleeps cannot be had in the crib. Not ever.
  • Baths are fun. Always.
  • Toes are hilarious.
  • Being bare bottomed is awesome.
  • And tummy time is over rated.

The main differences seem to be emerging as a result of me parenting differently. She lives in the sling*. Lives in it. Because it’s so much easier. Loading two kids into the car is hard enough, without having to heft the stroller in and out of the boot too.  Plus, we do a fair bit of off-roading and well, when I don’t have a buggy I don’t have to make that choice to abandon the small one to run after the big one. And I know she’s warm enough. I can feed her in it and when she’s in there I can deal with her needs and her brother’s. At. The. Same. Time. Awesomeness! That assuages the guilt I have when she is left to cry sometimes when we are at home. T wasn’t left to cry. Not that I remember. But then, we were living with my parents. First time grandparents are more attentive than first time parents. Infuriatingly so, if I remember correctly. Even though I doubt I would be that infuriated now. Delighted, more likely. Because the second one is different. You’re less proprietorial. You take help wherever you can get it.

You also don’t dress the second one in entire outfits. Co-ordinated and whatnot. They’re lucky to be clean. And pajama clad.

I’m also more confident with breastfeeding (partially because she is a 15lb beast at less than 3 months old). I’m not worried if she’s getting enough or feeding too much or any of those other mad things. She’s happy, so I’m happy. And she is happy. Another similarity!

This parenting malarkey is fun. Watching the personalities develop and seeing their relationship grow is so special (right now, I do realise that they are likely to fight like cats and dogs once the small one can walk and talk).

*A woven wrap, not a stretchy. The best parenting tool, in the world, ever!

Positively parented

22 Aug

Me, that is.
The other day I came down the stairs to a puddle in the living room.

Me: “What happened?”
T: (furtive) “Nothing.”

Me: “Did you pee?”

T: “Yes.”

Me: “Go and get clean underwear.”

T: “Ok ……… Good job Mom. Good job not getting cross.”

I’m working on it. I’m working on it.

How can you be four?

28 Jul

Just how?

Surely you were just born a minute ago? Weren’t you?

I know I watch you grow every day. With amazement and awe mostly. But still, four years?

Your favourite things are dinosaurs. You can identify them on sight. Not only that, you spout random facts about them and can answer more questions than I care to ask. Marine mammals and sea creatures come a close second.

Your favourite colours are blue, brown and pink, at least that’s what you say. But you seem to favour bright orange and neon green when it comes to clothes.

You like watching The Octonauts, Dino Dan, and Caillou. Thomas gets a look in sometimes too. You used to watch things from start to finish. Now you tend to wander off in the middle, still managing to pick up whatever factual tidbit is going. But you can sense when I’ve turned off your shows, even when you’re outside. But that’s ok “Cos I’m is big now. I can watch the news with you Momma.” And you do. Picking out random words and repeating them until you have yourself in hysterics. Then you declare “That man is silly” and wander off.

We go on “adventures” almost every day. Thankfully you are easily pleased and an adventure can be going to the supermarket. Your favourite adventures are going to the children’s museum, the beach, and the aquarium.

You’re super excited about your sister, eager to show her things and kissing her at every opportunity. She loves to see you coming too. It’s the cutest thing.

You have just started colouring things in. Before, everything was scribbled. I am no longer worried that you won’t “graduate” from kindergarten 😉

When asked, you say your favourite  food is “beans and cabbage”. I have no idea what you’re talking about. It would seem it’s a dish I cooked, once, aeons ago. I have no idea what it could be. I would have said your favourite food was mussels, any kind of seafood actually. With seaweed being your favourite snack. But you’ll eat just about anything, except tomatoes, peppers and brussel sprouts – I won’t eat tomatoes or sprouts either so I can’t say anything!

Each year I spend with you brings new joy. Seeing the world through your eyes is an education. Thank you.

I miss you

15 Jul

No one told me that when you had a second child you miss your first. Even if he’s there, bopping around, still doing the things he always did. The problem is that his unbridled enthusiasm threatens to waken the small baby that I have just gotten to sleep. The problem is that when he wants to play his sister wants to feed. There is just less time to interact with him. And less energy. Perhaps even less willingness – who doesn’t want to spend their time snuggling a newborn, smelling their head?

Another problem, unique perhaps to us, is that my Mother is still here. So he goes to her. And, well, I miss being the first port of call, even when I have my hands full.

I can see that our relationship is evolving. He is growing up, becoming more independent. He is the big brother. But he’s still my baby. I love who he’s becoming, but I miss my baby, even when he’s right there, looking back at me.

And I know this was coming regardless. I mean I have and “Oh My God! My baby is growing up panic about every two weeks, but the arrival of his baby sister seems to have accelerated the whole process. And made it all the more real.

But moments like this make it all worthwhile.

Breastfeeding, take II – or – My leaky left boob!

30 Jun

I breastfed the Turtle successfully for 14 months. When he was born there was no question that I would try to feed him myself. None. That had something to do with the 5 foot long flow chart I was given in my antenatal class about how to prepare a bottle. It all looked very complicated – boiling water, waiting a half an hour, utter madness. Breastfeeding just looked easier. And it was. Although I never thought I would feed him for “that long”. I set myself small goals. 1 week. 6 weeks. Until he got teeth. 6 months. Until we got to the States. 1 year. As long as I could. He stopped one day, all of a sudden. It left me perplexed. I didn’t know what to do. How would I get him to sleep? Comfort him? Make sure he ate enough? That was the most nightmarish part of breastfeeding him. (Not that it was all rosy. There was mastitis, engorgement and all sorts to deal with, but he was “a good feeder” so it felt easier than it was.)

This little lady is a different kettle of fish. The Turtle was a gannet from the start. Mouth wide open. Perfect latch. He would feed. Sleep. Wake up. Feed. Sleep. He had no problems with wind (gas). He didn’t spit up. He was the child a first time breastfeeding mother wants/needs. As I said, his sister is different. She won’t open her mouth quite wide enough. There’s a lot of licking. She pops on and off quite frequently (leading me to dread feeding her in public). When she does latch, she takes such big gulps that she almost drowns herself (another reason why I won’t be using a nursing cover – the other being that I want to be able to see her). And she suffers from “wind” (gas) and roars like a banshee.

On the plus side, I have absolutely no doubts about whether I am producing enough milk. My letdown reflex (like the valve that releases milk when the baby starts to suck) seems to be broken. If she grunts I start to leak. If I feed her on one side, the other starts to leak. If she feeds and pops off I leak. The left boob leaks more than the right, just in case you’re interested.
If I lived in a different time I could be a wet nurse for all of the children in the neighbourhood.

I’m sure things will settle down (I hope). For the moment, it’s a good reminder that they may both be my children, but they are different people. No matter how alike they look.

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