Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sweet Sleep

So the little Pickle seemed pretty cranky yesterday. New Grammy to play with this week, and I think she was a little confused. Not to mention she's not a good napper anyway these days. So the little crankpot ate around 5:30 and then I put her in her PJs, and she was asleep in my arms by 6. I didn't think it would last, but at 6:30 I put her in her crib, zipped her into her blanket, and crept away. Around 8 I realized she really was out for the night, but I was worried she'd wake up too early and be hungry, not to mention I hadn't changed her diaper since 5. So I changed her and fed her a little, and she never even opened her eyes. Woke up on her own around 6:15 this morning, right on time! This was the first night she slept unswaddled (although I tucked her arms into her sleepsack rather than putting them through the armholes).

The girl loves her 12 hours of beauty sleep.

(Yeah, I know I am about to be proven wrong. Teething, bad karma for bragging, it'll get me I'm sure.)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy Birthday...

..to me! 34. Tonight's the last night my mom's in town (til mid-Arpil when she returns for 2 weeks) so she gets to put Andra to bed (sort of) while Fred and I go to dinner.

I'm at school now. It's my free period, which is also over lunch, and it's 60 degrees and sunny out, so I should be out for a run. But, instead a kid is making up a test and I'm here. No worries, I plan to run with the BOB later. I haven't run with it much AT ALL lately, so it'll be good for me.

A few of the bloggers I read are struggling with going back to work post-baby. Today I went down to talk to an English teacher who is due Wednesday, and today is her last day. It all got me thinking about where I am and what we're doing.

I had mild panic over going back to work during the month of February. I didn't have a clue how I'd get out the door by 7am, showered and dressed. Thank god my mom came. Now I'm having mild panic about how it will be when she's gone, but I also realize that if I just take things as they come everything works out. Being back at work for a month now, it's all good. I love my job, still. I'm not the horrible teacher I thought I'd be. Luckily, this is my 8th year and I know what I'm doing so my prep time is minimal. I don't waste as much time at school (umm, today being an exception!) so I get a lot of my grading done before I leave (I also grade while I pump!). Working out is suffering, and I don't like that, but I also am telling myself that it will get better as the weather improves and that summer (and twice a day workouts) are right around the corner. I feel a little like I'm missing out on Andra, but since I'm home by 3pm most days, and I see her for an hour before I leave (even though it means walking her up at 6am), it's not terrible. She absolutely adores my mom, she's a fantastically happy baby (at least until bedtime), and there are no indications that she misses me at all (ok, mixed feelings there!). I was really shy as a kid, and my husband and I are still quiet people. I want Andra to be more social than we were as kids, and daycare will provide that. Other teachers here have told me how their kids have thrived in day care socially and academically. Is it better than being home with mom all day? Maybe not, but it reminds me of the whole breastfeeding/formula feeding debate; both are fine, what matters is what works for you and your family. I think Andra and I will love the daycare I chose. We'll find out in May hopefully, as the plan is for her to spend May and June there. If things don't feel right, I can always re-evaluate. While I liked being home on leave, I think Andra is doing great on more of a schedule, which I wasn't able to implement (if she cried, I fed her...now she eats 5 times a day and has a solid bedtime). I like having my job identity still. I like Andra being able to be fed from other people, I like the idea that she's not 100% dependent on just me. At 3.5 months, she's so different from how she was at 1 month, or 2, or even 2.5. I think that as she gets older, I will feel even better about "leaving" her at daycare (until the clingy stage, which I think isn't for a while).

Anyway, I think I wanted to put that down on "paper" for my own peace of mind. Now, if I could only (WOULD only) eat better...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lunchtime run

I tried to upload a cute video of our chatty little girl. For some reason I can't, but the link is here. And another of her (with a surprise at the end...) is here. (You'll see why the kid wears a bib 24/7.) We had the best weekend. Andra is apparently capable of sleeping 11+ hours straight at night (and going 12 hours without eating) which puts her in a fabulous mood for at least the first half of the day. We need to work on naps still, but...not bad.

I ran today at school, during my free period. Luckily it was over lunch, so I got an extra 25 minutes to pump, change my clothes, and take a super quick shower after. (I still managed to keep sweating, and need to plan for a better outfit to get me through the last 2 periods without looking completely drippy and gross.) I did 3.5 miles - .5 warmup, 1 at 7:30, .5 at 10:00, 1 at 7:00, .5 cooldown. I just put a couple new songs onto my iPod (and managed to remember to bring it) and I loved running to Billy Joel's "Downeaster Alexa." Weird maybe, but I am not known for having any taste in music. It worked though... And, my Achilles was fine. Not perfect, but fine, and I am not limping now. So it's back to "normal."

I have a 3 mile race in 3 weeks (the one where I just missed winning a chocolate bunny last year). A PR is possible...maybe not likely (I remember how awful it felt to run that hard last year and how much I wanted to quit) but definitely possible. I'm going to do a 5k in April also because I know I can PR in one. I guess the bar isn't set that high (same with my 4 miler 2 weeks ago), but I'll take anything I can get now. I do keep thinking though, if my running is pretty good for the shorter distances now despite not doing any long runs, imagine if I hadn't gained 10 pounds since giving birth! Ugh.

Tomorrow = legs after school. I miss my real gym, but the fitness center at school totally gets the job done!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Legs and Heels

I did a fairly intense leg workout at school today last period. I haven't trained my legs is a while...I am anticipating serious soreness tomorrow. Yippee!

I ran 2 miles Tuesday on the paved paths at the beach. My right leg with the sore Achilles felt completely dead...there was NO bounce, spring, anything in my step. It felt like I had a flat tire. So I'm taking a full week off from running and jumping and we'll see how it is next week. I'm keeping up the lifting, and I know I should get my ass on the bike trainer (I have zero excuses other than it's hard to work out in my house during the day because Andra doesn't nap, and after she goes to bed I just don't want to). I am trying to stretch my hamstrings and calves (gently) multiple times a day. I should go see our trainer at school (I actually saw her today but we spent a few minutes catching up and I totally forgot I wanted her advice). I know it's an old Achilles injury, but the thing that hurts is actually the sides of my heel bone (calcaneus). I had this problem in 8th grade (even though I never knew its name) and honestly this feels the same, like I have huge bruises on my heel. It hurts to put shoes on (though it's fine once they're on), I pretty much limp all the time while walking, and no way can I go up on tip toe on my right foot. So yeah, running isn't easy. And I want it to be easy, so I'm willing to wait to see if it will feel better.

My WebMD piece is in the works...I just had to email them some pictures and sign a release, and I know the editors are working on it.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


8:18 pace officially (33:16), 8:13 by my watch (32:52). Close, but I did it! 7:56, 8:30 8:22, 8:02 were approximate splits. Felt good! I've run a 10k faster (8:08 pace) but I ain't complaining.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Even if the race sucks tomorrow, I win. Check out Pickle!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009


I had last period free today and planned ahead to bring my gym stuff to school. We have a great fitness center (though clearly designed for 300 pound, 18 year old football players) with 3 OK treadmills. I cranked out 4 miles no problem, 3 of them (after a warm up) at 8:19, 8:19 and 7:56. As usual, I could have gone longer if not for the "stomach issues" that seem to plague every PM run lately (another reason I prefer treadmills for now). Seriously, the pace felt easy. I wish I'd been wearing my heart rate monitor, just to know. But if the Achilles is OK and my "stomach" is OK, I wonder if my A goal shouldn't be sub-8 minute miles. I kind of think this is that post-pregnancy thing where my increased blood volume makes me seem more fit than I really am. If I can do sub-8's, it won't be because I earned them. I kind of feel like I'll be on performance enhancing drugs...just pregnancy ones. Of course, let me see if I can even run a decent race before I go shooting it down. And I guess I should remember that I have been doing speedwork, if not long runs, for 2 months.

Anyway, it was great to remember that I can run at school before I come home, or even during a free period. My last period classes might just have to get used to me teaching all sweaty and in workout clothes. (Come to think of it, most of them wouldn't even notice. Teenagers.) It will save 20-30 minutes versus driving to the gym, and actually soon enough it should be warm enough that I will be able to run outside. (Umm, today, 43 degrees wasn't warm enough. I have become such a weather wimp.)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Elusive 8

The 8 mile run I planned for Sunday, in the nice warm weather, ended up being a 5 mile run, 2 mile walk in the rain with a tight, sore Achilles and a serious need for a bathroom around mile 4. Oh well.

I'm running a 4 mile race Sunday. I want to PR, despite few long runs. I have been running, and doing probably more speedwork than usual, but definitely lacking in endurance. My only other 4 miler was an 8:21 pace that included some walking in the last mile due to a bad side stitch (because I went out way too fast for what I could handle). So the bar isn't that high and I might be able to do it. B goal is 8:30, C is...well, I don't want to set a C goal too high, so I'll say 8:59! I also plan to run the course again (much slower) with my friend who's doing the half with me. She hasn't been running long either. So assuming my Achilles holds up and everything else falls into place, I'll do 8.

The Achilles injury is from a partial tear while playing soccer 7 years ago. That combined with pointy heels that cause the tendon to rub constantly, and with a lack of stretching and (my theory) post-pregnancy hormone changes makes for a sore heel.

I do find it kind of ironic that with a chronic disease like RA, the thing that's holding me back (physically at least, let's not talk mentally) is an injury.

The WebMD series has started to be put up online. My segment isn't up yet but they are adding a few new ones every week. I will definitely post it when it's up, assuming I don't sound or look too dumb.

I can't believe I haven't posted any pictures of the Pickle lately. We have some great ones that are still on the camera but haven't made their way to the computer yet. Here's a cute one from like 3 weeks ago.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Settling in and eating like crap

First week was a success. The second day was the hardest, as I had major guilt Tuesday night. But it's all been smooth. My mom just adores Andra (and vice versa it seems) and really seems to have the same instincts as I (probably no coincidence there). Andra figured out the bottle, I've been able to pump almost enough for the 2 bottles she takes while I'm gone (and should have enough starting Monday), she seems to be on a schedule of taking a 3 hour nap every late morning, and bedtime is becoming more consistent. I managed quick workouts (core class Tuesday, 3 quicker (2 at 8:00) miles Wednesday, off Thursday, lifting Friday. That's been possible this week because classes ended earlier and I could do that and still get home by 3. Next week the normal schedule will be back, and I'll have to figure that out.

The whole weight thing is bothering me. I weigh now what I did when I was 5 months pregnant. And it's completely because I am not paying any attention to what I eat. Or how much. And it doesn't help that 2 kids brought me homemade cookies last week, and the girl scout cookies were delivered. I don't FEEL fat...most of my clothes fit (except a few pants that barely fit when I was at my thinnest, and some tighter shirts that the boobs don't fit into...guess they ARE a little bigger). I have been doing a lot of lifting and I know I am STRONG right now. I just wish I cared enough about my eating. I keep having these deadlines of sorts...like, I'll eat better when I go back to school (not so far), when my mom leaves, when the weather is warmer and I can be running outside more (I don't like taking Andra out when it's in the 30s) and more consistent in my workouts, when I stop breastfeeding (June maybe? 6 months?). Excuses all of them. I just don't WANT to focus on that, I guess. Which is ok, but I also don't want to go all the way back to where I was 3 years ago when I didn't work out much or eat well. And I'm half way there, so it's a little disconcerting. It takes such a dedication, especially when my husband and I don't like to eat the same way. He just declared that he didn't like chicken any more, and that the way we cook is too bland. He likes lots of olive oil on his vegetables, I like steamed. But if he cooks (and especially these days I just can't be bothered), he cooks his way. And I just eat.

Anyway, it's on my mind but not enough yet to take action. I just hope I do something before the scale goes back over 160. And at 155, it's getting close.

Planning to run 7-8 miles tomorrow...temps in the 50s, and I think I committed to running a half marathon in Central Park with a friend at the end of April. So my 5 mile "long" runs aren't exactly going to cut it! Although I won't be worrying at all about my time since I haven't exactly trained. But I need a swift kick in the ass, so hopefully this will be it.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

First day

I survived the first day ok. Didn't have to go in early, so even though I got up and did the routine so I could see if I could get out the door by 7, I stayed and snuggled with Andra until 9. She did fine with my mom, and I was home by 2:45. I pumped at school (this will be what I do at lunchtime now). I was mean to my first class (they were horrendous to the sub and in general are just little twits) and made them scared and sheepish, and then I was nice to my next class because they're good kids. That's really all I did today, teach 2 classes (and before that, figure out what the hell I'll be teaching for the next couple weeks and get copies made, etc.), because the morning was testing for the 10th graders and we only had a few classes in the afternoon. That's the plan through next Tuesday. I only have to be in by 7:30 on Thursday and next Tuesday.

I did go to the core class tonight. I think I'm going to give it up for a while though. It's at 6:30, meaning I don't get home til 7:45. Bedtime lately is around 7:30. Andra tends not to nap during the day, which makes for a cranky baby come 6:30 or so, and in general I feed her more often. So she just cries if I'm not there (and even if I am sometimes). And since I'm the only one who can put her to bed (or, rather, my boobs are), it complicates things. I guess we could give her a bottle at night, but I'm not ready to do that because she will now be getting them during the day and I guess I just want to nurse her as much as possible still. I'm ok with giving up the class (until she's a little older), but the thing with a class is I'm more likely to get there. If I do have to go on my own, I'm more likely to bail because I'll feel bad spending more time away from her. And yes, I know the whole thing about how I need my own time and to keep working out because it is for me, etc. But that doesn't make it easier. So the next few weeks are going to be tough. I'll be away from Andra for 8 hours (7-3) most days, 9 if I go to the gym right after school. I'm thinking that I'm going to try to get her to bed at 7 (so asleep by 7:30) and just go then, twice a week. I'll take one day off, and maybe once it warms up I can run with her twice. And the bike trainer? I used it twice the week I got it and not since.

Argh. Trying to figure out how to fit workouts in without taking more time away from her (which is impossible) is very stressful.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Snow day!

Never have I wanted a snow day as much as today. Not even when I was a kid. I was waking up every hour and 15 minutes on the dot last night. I'd get up and check Andra and then lie awake for a little bit worrying that it wasn't snowing enough. At 5am my phone rang with the message that in fact there WAS enough snow! Nice. So I spent the day sort of showing my mom the ropes. I decided to have her try the bottle for the 2 feedings I'll be gone for. The first was weird...I wanted to give her 2 ounces of formula, then burp, then 2 ounces of breastmilk. Well, the formula was fine, she chugged it, but once she had time to think about it, I think she was confused and mad about the breastmilk in a bottle. That didn't work, she cried and then went to sleep for a little bit. (She and I seem to share the personality trait where we get overstimulated easily and the best defense from that is sleep.) I nursed her about an hour later. Then a few hours after that we tried the bottle again, I think it was 2 ounces of formula mixed with an ounce of breastmilk, no breaks! It worked fine, she chugged it all at once and then passed out. My mom is good with her (though slightly annoying when I'm around too, but...) and took my suggestions for what to do when she starts fussing, versus real crying. Except for the fact that I just don't want to go, I feel fine about going in to work tomorrow. Luckily it's state testing week so our schedule is all weird. I have to proctor the tests for 4 out of the next 6 days, and I managed to make tomorrow one of the days I don't -meaning, there is no hurry to get into school since the tests don't end til 11 and my first class (out of just 2 per day this week!) isn't til 11:25. So I think I'll get up as if I had to go, feed Andra earlier than I have been, and see how long I think it'll take me to get out of the house. But I won't actually leave til 9:30 or so, so I can feed her again before I leave. I'll be home by 3, so it's max 6 hours I'll be gone. I've left her for 3 hours before, no problems, I just think LEAVING is going to be hard!

Didn't work out today. Will try to keep up my Tuesday core class even though it will mean another hour away. But...I know I need to.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Pit in my stomach

If we don't have a snow day tomorrow I really will cry. If we do, I'll put off the crying til Tuesday. My mom flew in today. I know Andra will be fine. I was out for 3 hours today (tutoring and the gym) and I was fine (she slept) but how on earth will I concentrate on a JOB? And deal with little whining dumbasses (sorry) all day? I am going to be so mean, they'll WISH they had their substitute back.

Today at least Andra decided a schedule will suit her just fine. She ate at 7:30 when she woke up, 10:30 before I left to tutor, slept the whole 3 hours I was gone (my husband apparently can make her nap...I can't), ate at 2, 5, and 7:30 when I put her to bed (fell asleep around 8:15). She was a little fussier and cried a bit more when I put her down...everyone tells me she won't sleep through the night tonight, that she'll sense that something's up. That's fine, I doubt I will sleep either. At least not til 5am when I get the phone call telling me NO SCHOOL. (Please.)

At the gym, I ran another 5. 3.5 at just under a 9 min pace, which felt easy except my legs do start to feel heavy. Then I had to take a quick bathroom break and came back to run 1 7:30 mile and then a slow .5 to end it. It felt great, really. Despite weighing in at 156 this morning (halfway between pre-preg and heaviest pregnancy weight) I feel the same. I have more of a tummy pooch than I did even 8 weeks ago, and I need to find my body glide (ouch, chafing...), but I feel strong and not too slow. Slower than pre-preg, but defintely nothing to get upset about. I'm planning to do a 4 mile race in 2 weeks, which will be a good gauge. And maybe a half marathon at the end of April, just as an incentive to get my long runs...well, to get them to actually be long.

Ok. Off to think snow. And not school. If I think school too much I will puke. Really.