Walking

I’ve resolved this month to spend more time in nature. I started a new job in April that requires a longer commute so I’m in the car and/or my office a lot these days. That’s not really what led me to decide to get out more though. What really prompted this was my discovery that Google is tracking me. I know, I know. It’s creepy, corporate domination, big brother, rise of the machines, etc., etc.

It happened on June 1. I got a notification from Google Now (a service you have to enable to let Google track you) (I mean, they probably were anyway)(but maybe they’re not creepy and weren’t until I said they could?) that I had walked 3 miles in the month of May. That’s probably not super accurate because, according to the Google Now terms, Google only gets periodic updates (they claim anyway) and I don’t carry my phone with me every time I go for a walk (unsafe, I know), but that’s still a number that’s waaaaay too low for my taste.

So. This month I’ve decided to make sure that number is a bit higher and I’ve been trying to make sure I get at least half an hour of time in nature everyday. Usually that takes the form of a walk either with the bear dogs or the husband and baby. Sometimes it’s just some time playing in the yard and gardening with the baby. Sometimes its a lunchtime stroll across campus. The point isn’t really a specific activity. It’s to make sure I see some sunshine and get a little more movement in my life.

Thus far it’s going really well. All the time in nature is making me focus on things I wouldn’t have noticed before. Like that there’s a couple of wild ducks that hang out in my neighbors yard in the evening and that my dogs give the illusion of being really well trained when there’s other people around provided those other people aren’t also walking dogs. Here’s my favorite view from last night’s walk in the park near my house.

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I discovered heaven on Earth

Guys. Did you know there’s a beer cheese festival? And did you know that for $5 you can taste like 30 different kinds of beer cheese? I know. It sounds too good to be true. But, luckily, it is true! It’s happening today in Winchester and it’s awesome.

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We spent the early afternoon there today with a few thousand of our closest friends. Not only is this festival awesome because it revolves around beer cheese and Ale-8, the fact that it was on Father’s Day weekend got me out of going to a steakhouse to celebrate. Beer cheese and no steak. Win-win.

This was, surprisingly, our first festival with a baby. No wait. That’s a lie. I took Stella to a festival in Berea last year. BUT. This was definitely our first festival with a toddler. She LOVED it. She spent most of the time people watching but when she wasn’t doing that she was tossing her hat on the ground to distract us while she bolted away.

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We just got home and I’m already looking forward to next year!

Jumping back on the horse

 

It’s been a while since I posted something here. The truth is I had a really really rough few months in the fall in winter. I won’t bore you with the details suffice to say it wasn’t anything super serious. It was really just a work-life balance thing. Things are better now and for the last several weeks I’ve felt the old urge to write again. I’m feeling excited that my creative spark is every so slowly starting to shine again. I’ve been putting off posting here though. This is by far the longest blogging break I’ve taken and I was am nervous about coming back. Here I am though. I’m back and I’m ready to write again. Stay tuned!

I’m not down with OPPC: Other People’s Parenting Choices

I wish that wasn’t true. I wish I was very zen about other people’s parenting choices (OPPC). But I’m not. And it’s probably the biggest surprise to me since I became a parent.

Understand when I say that  “I wish I was very zen” I don’t mean that I’m out there berating parents who make parenting decisions I wouldn’t make or that I think my choices are the gold standard of parenting or that I’m perfect. Just the other day, I decided to keep Stella out of the dogs’ water bowl by giving her her own bowl of water. Shockingly, SHOCKINGLY, I ended up with a mad wet baby and a puddle of water on the floor.

What I mean, and what’s been a huge surprise to me, is how much seeing other parents make choices I wouldn’t bothers me. I suspect OPPC upset me because I just don’t understand. 95% of the parenting choices I’ve made (and Sean has agreed with), I made because my instinct told me to do it that way. Stella slept on my chest for the first three weeks of her life because it felt like the right thing to do. We practice baby led weaning because my instinct told me she didn’t need purees at 4 months old. I wear her a lot because keeping her close feels right. I think because my parenting “book” is just my instinct, I don’t understand how or why people make other choices.

A lot of parenting choices I make aren’t exactly mainstream. I know the way Sean and I parent isn’t for everyone and that all parents do what they think is best for their child. Hell, other parents probably even have different instincts. But. That doesn’t make me feel less sad when I find out a friend gave up on breastfeeding two weeks in because they didn’t have family support.  I hope that the intense… feelings I have about OPPC will fade with time. Or that at least I’ll get so used to it being there that I can ignore it. Right now though it’s raw. I know I’m not the first mom in the history of the world to have this problem, so any suggestions for dealing with this?

Unbelievable

So, I went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago for my physical and a couple of vaccinations (the flu and whopping cough–both only because of the baby). Yesterday, I got the results from the bazillion (not an exaggeration) tests they did. Slightly unsurprisingly, I’m super healthy. Except. I have high cholesterol.

At first, I couldn’t believe it. I mean, if you know me or have been reading ye olde bloge for any amount of time, you know I’m pretty healthy. I run (sometimes), I do yoga, I weight train (less often than I should these days), I’m a  vegetarian, I don’t eat processed foods (very much). I’m generally speaking pretty super healthy. In fact, I think this is the first time, I’ve ever had a slightly abnormal test result. So what did I do? That’s right. I turned to the interwebz.

Here’s what I found: Having high cholesterol when you’re breastfeeding is pretty normal and common. Which is weird, but makes me feel a little bit better and talked me off the OH-MY-GOD-I’M-GOING-TO-DIE-A-PREMATURE-HEART-DISEASE-RELATED-DEATH cliff I had been on. I mean, if the results don’t change after Stella weans I’m sure I’ll be back on the cliff, but for now I’m good. Has anyone else had this experience?

Life these days

Wow. It’s been awhile since I blogged anything here. I bet you guys thought I forgot all about you, didn’t you? 

To be honest, I did for a bit. Life has been crazy lately. We moved a couple of months ago and are still not completely unpacked, Stella is growing and developing like crazy, I’ve been working crazy hours at work, and Stella started a new daycare. Basically all this adds up to basically zero free time and zero blogging time. Things are finally starting to calm down, so there may be more updates coming soon as well as the long awaited birth story (I know you’ve all been holding your breath). For now, here’s a cute picture of Stella!

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Who interrupts my slumber?

Confession time: when Stella was born I never really had a period of sleep deprivation. I mean, for the first three weeks of her life the days and nights ran together with really no separation at all, but I slept whenever she did. So, while I may not have known whether it was 5pm or 5am, I wasn’t actually that sleepy, just confused.

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Once she got her days and nights sorted out, it was smooth sailing. Sure, she woke up at night, but she went back to sleep quickly and I just napped with her during the day to make up for lost sleep. Then, miraculously, when she was about 6 weeks old, she started sleeping through the night. There have been a few hiccups since then. She doesn’t like sleeping unswaddled and now prefers sleeping with us to sleeping alone. Generally, though, Stella loves sleeping as much as we do.

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Fast forward to today. Stella is six months old and I think I’m finally getting a taste of that infamous newborn sleep deprivation. Today is morning two of me waking up after only getting three hours of sleep a night. I know, I know it’s only two nights. But, seriously. This sucks.

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I’m too tired to think of a clever ending or even just a conclusory sentence, so I’ll just end with a question. Anyone have any idea why my formerly sleep loving baby has suddenly decided sleep is the devil and can only happen in hour long increments during the night?

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Five Months

Guys. It’s been five months (and a little more) since Stella was born.

DSCN0226Stella’s first time in her high chair 

Being a parent is awesome and overwhelming and hard and easy and wonderful and terrible and… all that and more all at once. Most of the time I’m in awe that I made a person and that that person is not a tiny baby any more. I mean, she is a tiny baby (even now at 5 months she only weighs a little more than 12 pounds) but she’s learning things and developing her own personality. It’s hard to accept and amazing to realize that she’s not just an extension of me. That she is actually an individual.

So what does this little individual like to do? She likes to grab things. She likes to put everything in her mouth all the time. She likes sitting up and rolling over and “petting” the dog.  She likes to make noise and she loves going for walks.

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Most of all, though, she likes me. Don’t misunderstand. She likes Sean too, but I don’t think there’s any dispute that I’m her favorite.

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Oh. And she love love loves her foot. Loves. It.

I’m simultaneously shocked that Stella is already 5 months old and shocked that she’s only five months old. She’s changed so much in these five months. She’s gone from a sleepy little new born to a wide awake active infant. Sigh. Excuse me while I go play with my infant and mourn the newborn she used to be.