Sunday, October 27, 2013

(NO) More Peas, Please

Today Zooey tried peas and pears for the first time. Decide for yourself whether you think she enjoyed them.....
Clean bib to start.


Maybe I like new things?

Definitely not this new thing....


Really, Mom? More?

I didn't want more!!

I'll tough it out.

Though I really don't want to

The authorities refuse to release me from this doggone
high chair.

But I love post-meal baths!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Adventures and Misadventures at 6 Months

Zooey has had a busy month. (Read: Zooey's parents have had an INCREDIBLY busy month!) In addition to fun antics at home like rolling over, transferring toys from one hand to the other, getting closer and closer to sitting on her own, starting to enjoy books and even turning the pages sometimes, Zooey had a couple fun out-of-house adventures this month.

One short adventure was to a pumpkin farm in the S Suburbs. I can't endorse the location (it was kitzchy and weird), but it certainly was good to get a few photos of Z in her Halloween costume! Before Z, the only time I thought kids were cute was in October in their adorable furry Halloween costumes. Since Z, I can appreciate the cuteness of other babies, but still....aren't all kids cuter in fuzzy Halloween costumes? This will not be last pictures of Z as a bunny, I promise!

Last weekend, we went to County Line Orchard in Hobart, IN which I do endorse. It is a very well run pumpkin patch and apple orchard and has a nice kids' farm as well. I must confess that we had a minor (major?) parenting fail. I've been pretty stressed about trying to get some cute photos of Zooey- she is just adorable right now and I want to be sure we capture her at this maximum cuteness! I thought Zooey next to a pumpkin or two would be just perfect! So we found some great looking pumpkins and plopped her down next to them. She was a bit too enthralled with the newness of the outdoors to give us any good smiles. She really seems to enjoy new experiences- she does not cry, she actively looks around and pays attention- but when she's not home or at daycare or Grandma's (familiar environments) she smiles and laughs a bit less. But Adam, being the fantastic spouse he is, got down on his stomach in the dirt of the pumpkin patch to attempt some good shots. Despite the lack of smiles, I think we got some cute shots.......but......that's not the whole story.......

What good looking pumpkins!

Grandma placing the baby

"Hey, this isn't so bad. I have an arm rest, I'm chillin'"

"I'm not sure what you guys want from me here"

"Weeee! I'll lift my legs, getting in a good core workout"

"Maybe I'll grab the grass with my right hand.
Yeah, that's the ticket.
Ooh, maybe I'll grab some grass even FURTHER to my right"

.......and then she fell to her right and faceplanted. She landed on her belly and her face. Face full of dirt. Crying. Our never crying little girl, crying. And it was all our (I guess my) fault. Poor little thing. We cleaned her off, calmed her down and (perhaps foolishly) tried again. You probably don't need me to tell you what happened this time. Faceplant. This time I was close to her but was trying to get my hair out of my face so I could see her and wasn't able to get to her in time. Poor Z. She was also hungry by this point so it took some maximum parenting to get our little one back in good spirits. I guess as a full time doctor and only part time mom I'm bound to make some mistakes. Luckily no harm done though Adam was none too pleased with me for the rest of the day. (And Grandma, to her credit, tried her hardest not to laugh at newbie parent mistake 101.)

We then meandered over to the orchard....

Dad comforting Zo after the Great Pumpkin Incident of 2013

Still shell shocked from the fall.


And the the kids' farm.....

After watching the goats playing.

And miscellaneous other fun!

Zooey weight: 12 lbs. Pumpkin weight: 30 lbs. Pumpkin gets the stroller.

Diaper change in Elly!

It was an absolutely beautiful day. I'm so glad we had Grandma Nelson with us to enjoy it!

Last weekend, we also tried solid foods for the first time. Butternut squash. A perfect fall food. As expected, Z played with it a lot more than ate it, but she did put some in her own mouth and was accepting when we put it in her mouth as well. I think we have 40 minutes of video of this first food adventure. Want me to post it? Overkill? :)

Zooey is such a happy baby. It's hard not to be happy around her because she is always looking for a reason to smile (diaper changing time? yippee, let's smile! breastfeeding time? wait, let me first give you a grin! bath time? let me hold my feet up for you to clean the fuzz from my toes! playtime? the best! giggles all around. tummy time? not my favorite, so I'll just roll over and give you a sheepish grin.) We know how lucky we are. And we are doing our best to enjoy every minute! Even the 'minutes' that happen between midnight and 5 am:)

6 am this morning. Happy 6 month birthday, my love!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Z Update Months 4 and 5!

She loves her activity gym!
Zooey is 5 months old in just a few short days! She's been with us for almost half a year! She's such a cutie, and becoming more fun and interactive every day. Here are some of the things she's been up to lately:

She loves to talk. She coos and cackles and screeches. You can tell she really enjoys many of the sounds she is making even though someone who doesn't know her well might think she's uncomfortable- she's just trying out her newfound focal range which includes screaming! We call her Zooey "creaky door" Nelson Lilly and "pterodactyl baby" because that's how she sounds! ("Archeopterix!")

Z with my triathlon medal!
Z started daycare in late August. I was initially quite nervous about the whole thing, wondering if we were doing the right thing by sending her to daycare instead of hiring a nanny. I am so, so grateful my Mom was able to stay with her until she turned 4 months- any sooner and I think daycare might have been too much for such a little one- but after two weeks there, I feel totally fine about it. She is the youngest one in the room (and only one of 2 girls in a room with 8 kids!) but I don't think that's a problem. She watches the big kids and the teachers all seem to adore her. She even enjoys tummy time (sometimes.....for a couple minutes at a time....that's an improvement). The daycare is very communicative, telling me in person how her day was and what developments they are seeing as well as via email and an interactive website where they upload photos and even video. For the price of a year of an elite private school, I suppose I should expect that, but honestly I'm pleasantly surprised!

Even when the toy is by her hands, her feet must
get in on the action!
Other Zooey antics include grabbing her feet, trying to help guide the bottle with both hands, and still loving the heck out of her activity gym. She loves Mr Monkey and Mr Crinkles most of all but will smile at anything with a face- animate or inanimate. She is quite the kicker- if given the option between playing with a toy with her hands or feet she'll choose feet most of the time.

Mom excited about golfing with Dad
and Z excited about going to "school!"
Sleep is less of a battle than it used to be. Daytime naps are still a struggle at home (though they tell us they are fine at daycare), and one out of every 3 days is a nighttime struggle (much better than every single day!). Z will get herself to sleep if we put her in the crib drowsy but awake about half the time. Most people have stopped asking if she "sleeps through the night" and I have stopped even thinking about it because the answer is a resounding no, and I really don't expect that to change anytime soon (though she pulled off 8.5 hours last night! Woo-hoo!). She (usually) gets up twice to eat. She basically sleeps through the feeds and goes right back down to sleep. Even if she smiles and interacts during the diaper change part she still goes right back to sleep. She's small, she's still nursing, I think she just needs to eat. I expect this to last as long as I'm nursing. The cost of nursing is high but the benefit to health is higher so I press on. When she wakes up three times in a night (which she did twice this week), I really question how long I can carry on (when your baseline is incredibly bad barely functional fatigue, any night worse than baseline is DEVASTATING!). Oh well.

Tummy time is less of a battle as well. She actually enjoys it for the first minute or so and does a great job of holding her head up.  She rolled over from stomach to back once a few weeks ago and then TWICE in a row last weekend. She then (accidentally, I think) rolled from back to stomach in the crib! Making progress. Such a cutie!

Who loves tummy time?

Zooey is very attentive, she pays close attention to anything (or anyone) around her and can easily amuse herself with simple toys (or just looking around the room) for 20-40 minutes at a time. When she gets bored, she'll do well with a simple change of environment or toy. Here is she is watching Adam across the room:

This seems okay....I'm not sure.
Other firsts in the past two months include first (and second!) swim in a pool, first ride in a swing and first trip out of the state- to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin this week. She takes in new experiences very well, pays close attention to her surroundings, but rarely gets upset. Z has a great temperament, only fusses when tired. Not really even when she's hungry, so we just pay attention and feed her when it seems right. She's such a good kid. I think we'll keep her:)

I'll end with a comparison: Zooey post bath at one week and today, at 21 weeks. What a cutie:)

One week old

5 months old!

Stay tuned for more Zooey antics in month 6!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I didn't run.....

...on Tuesday, September 12th. Or September 13th. And I don't plan to run today.

The last day that I didn't run* at least 1 mile was December 28th, 2010. Since then, my husband and I have been "streaking"- running at least 1 mile a day^, every day, no matter what. NO MATTER WHAT. That's 989 days in a row of running at least 1 mile a day. During that time I've completed 7 marathons, 2 half marathons, and 3 triathlons. I carried Zooey for 36 weeks and 5 days and delivered her via c-section. I learned how to swim (hence the triathlons!) and lifted weights. I ran in the snow and rain and 90% humidity after the sun set and well before the sun rose. I ran in the middle of the day and went back to work without showering (oops!). I ran in my Danskos between dinner and drinks in the dead of a Chicago winter with my winter coat on (again, without showering). I ran in at least 12 states (likely more that I can't remember).

(^though my crazy- crazy impressive- husband is running three miles a day in 2013!)

My streak ended as unceremoniously as it began. It started because in December 2010 Adam announced that he was going to run one mile a day in 2011. I thought that sounded like a great idea, and was something I had contemplated doing myself in the past so I decided to join him (I'll admit it, there was some component of me not wanting to be outdone in the fitness arena as well:)). It went so well the first year that neither of us saw any reason to stop. Granted, there were days when it was hard. Certainly, days of illness, travel days, days when running clearly cut directly into sleep time were hard days. Days after the first few marathons were hard, though I do think aided in recovery and by the last few marathons the 1 mile run was no big deal. Some days early pregnancy (nausea) and mid pregnancy (need to pee!) were hard. And my pace definitely slowed late pregnancy. Of course, there were days when the couch called. MANY days when the couch called. But, in all honestly, sitting on a couch for the 10 minutes it takes to run a mile wouldn't result in any meaningful relaxation or rest. I almost always felt better after running whether better meant an improved mood, that last burst of energy to get through the day or just the peace of mind that I continued to prioritize my physical and mental health through exercise. Most days I ran more than a mile (or biked, or swam, etc). But the days I ran only a mile were completely worth it.

Streaking helped prioritize exercise for Adam and I both pre- and post-baby in a way that a non-daily regular exercise routine never would. Let's face it: despite incredible support and help from our family in the past few months (with a special shout out to my mom who moved in with us for 8 weeks!), we are spread very, very thin. And we are people who were already spread very thin. In fact the reason my streak ended is probably in part because I am simply not treating my body the way it needs to be treated- aside from one random night in August I haven't slept more than 4 hours in a row in, well, FIVE MONTHS. And I usually only get 6 hours a night. And I'm a person who needs my 9-10 hours. I'm barely functioning. Adam, I think, is better physically, but mentally stressed from a very hectic job. Bottom line= we have every excuse in the book to forgo exercise "temporarily" or "until things calm down" or "until she sleeps through the night". But because of the streak there has been no question that we need to prioritize and organize such that we each get our runs in. Which has leaked over into making sure I get my other work-outs in as well. From the day after Z's birth, running (*well, walking actually for the first month immediately after she was born), daily has been my 'me' time or sometimes my 'Adam and me' time or even 'family time', but time where I definitely am prioritizing my health and my sanity, which, by the way I think is an excellent example to set for young Zooey.

As I said, my streak ended as unceremoniously as it started. I didn't run on Wednesday because I was too sick to get out of bed. Unfortunately we were on our first vacation as a family of three in Lake Geneva, not the best time or place to get sick. But I was too nauseated and too lightheaded to even walk further than the bathroom. It really wasn't an option, and I didn't even consider running. Same with yesterday. Today I could pull it off, but I'm not going to.

My streak taught me a lot. I'm very strong. I'm very motivated. I'm a bit crazy. I don't mind if other people realize I'm a bit crazy. I am now a faster runner.  My streak strengthened my body. My streak strengthened my marriage. My streak carried me through a pretty easy pregnancy and postpartum recovery that resulted in a wonderful healthy baby girl despite her being a few weeks early.

Will I streak again? Probably. Life can be overwhelming and I'm sure will only be more so in the coming months as I continue the job hunt and then start my practice as an oncologist. Adam, Zooey, and I have a lot of transitions in the coming year and transitions- even when good- can be stressful. I can easily see how exercise might get edged out if (Adam and) I don't continue to fiercely guard our work out time. But I don't know when I will start again. It might be tomorrow. It might be next year. We'll see how I feel. But I know my first streak was great. 989 runs, not all of them great individually, but definitely a great first streak!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Chicago Triathlon Take Two

Sara, David and me before the race.
According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, I should be sleeping right now. I am most definitely- by any measure- terribly sleep deprived. And I just put my body through hard, hard work this morning (written Sunday) in 90 degree heat. But I'm too excited about my great triathlon to not blog about it. Plus, my sleep debt is so large, a half an hour nap isn't going to leave a dent!

Now that I think about it, I've been turning Maslow's good old hierarchy on its head for a while as I chose training over sleep day in a day out since little Z was born four months ago. Not that I would be well rested if I hadn't been swimming, biking and running so often- I would still be tired, I'd just be tired AND likely depressed AND certainly less self-actualized. I'll stop talking about Maslow now, but I do feel that I just skipped straight to the top of his hierarchy today:)

View of the swim from our apartment race morning.
As you may recall, my first foray into the world of triathlons wasn't pretty. Last year at the Chicago Triathlon (sprint distance) I did a lot more panic stricken hanging on boats and back floating than I did swimming. I redeemed myself at the Lake Geneva Tri (sprint also) a few weeks later, but still, it was clear that swimming was my weakest leg by far.

Walking to the swim.
Today (again, written Sunday), I did twice the distance (0.93 miles) in only 10 minutes additional time! Hurrah! Did I panic? Yes. Multiple times for multiple reasons. But I KEPT IT TOGETHER!! I didn't not spend any time on my back and my two boat pit stops were needed and probably helped my time overall.

A much less exciting picture since I'm SWIMMING! Without
being able to SEE!
I made it (front left)1
Oh, but the panic. It's just part of the swim for a lot of people. I was nearly in tears in the start corral until I stopped myself thinking it would be no good to have tear water in my goggles. But boy did I want to cry. The start was relatively uneventful but I had a heavy panic feeling in my chest for the first quarter mile. I'll tell you what didn't help. NOT BEING ABLE TO SEE A DAMN THING. My goggles fogged over and I just couldn't see. And there were no life boats to stop at until past the 1/4 mile mark. Eventually Adam and Bonnie realized I couldn't see when I wasn't making any kind of move toward the buoy turn around and they started yelling at me to "go left, go left". I probably would have swam all the way to the field museum if they hadn't been there because I couldn't even see the big orange buoy. Ridiculous. Once I stopped to defog my goggles things got a little better, but I still got freaked out by people grabbing my legs and kicking me. I probably swam an extra 1/8 mile at least because I zig zagged so much. My breathing was not optimal. But there was a good 1/4 mile in there were I felt good- really good- and knew I could swim a longer distance if I absolutely needed to. I stopped at a second boat for a breather because I was getting short of breath, probably cuz my form was deteriorating. But all in all, I'm damn proud of that swim. I've had no lessons or help of any kind since last year- this was all me putting in the time and working on my fears:)

I really need a road bike, I look so goofy!
The bike was better this year too. Maybe not mph-wise (I don't feel like doing the calculations to compare but this year was around 15 mph), but I enjoyed parts of it whereas last year just felt like a slog. Might have helped that I rented a "fitness" bike with thinner wheels rather than my mountain bike.  I really need to get a road bike- I think I could get into biking given the right equipment though 116 miles (Ironman) will always seem really really far. I didn't push it too hard on the bike. I pushed it a little bit intermittently. I spent the first 5 miles rejoicing that the swim was done:)

Cover your eyes! So pale I'm shining!

By the time I got to the run I was hot, hot, hot. And the waves behind me had it even worse. I had to stop to pee and that combined with walking through the aid stations and basically just putting one foot in front of the other I ended up with 9:42 min/miles. In that heat, I'll take it.

My final stats:
Swim: 51:37 (which includes 0.25 mile jog to the transition)- swim rank 2477 (out of 2611)
Bike + both transitions (I forgot to put my chip back on after taking off my wetsuit): 1:45 ish
Run: 1:00:17- run rank 997 (out of 2611)

There's no question what I need to work on: I need swimming lessons and more pool workouts and a road bike. But the first thing I said to Adam when I finished was that I'm ready to do a 70.3. I didn't really want to go any further on the swim, bike or run today in the heat but I could have.  And I will next summer. Not bad for 4 months post partum!!!

Even better than having such a great race was having such a great race with friends! Sara kicked some serious butt after a challenging swim start and super late start time (meaning the heat was the worst for her) and David is an absolute beast on the swim and the bike. I'm trying to convince them both to join me in an half-Iron next summer. I think I might have 'em:)

David owned the bike and swim.

...and looked happy on the run!!

Victorious Sara with her parents....

...and the sunflowers!

Adam did such an amazing job of cooking dinner, watching Zooey, demanding I skip a feed last night to get some sleep. He is so supportive of my athletic endeavors on a daily basis; I am so lucky and so grateful. And Bonnie did some serious pinch hitting- feeding and watching Zooey (and making her giggle, which is awesome!), taking my sweaty clothes no questions asked (truly the definition of a good friend) and enthusiastically cheering us on every step of the way even though she was feeling pretty tired herself. I'm so lucky to have such great friends and family who are supportive and can be talked into crazy things like triathlons:) Zooey, for her part, was super well behaved for Adam and Bonnie and was full of grins for me after the race. It was my first triathlon without her with/in me every stroke, pedal and step of the way! My perfect little girl:)

Waiting for me on the run.

Four month family shot.

Photo credits to Adam, Bonnie Kaplan and David Teplinsky. Thanks for the great shots, friends!