February 16, 2011

In the blink of an eye

Posted in Firstborn, Working tagged , , , at 10:37 pm by Lauren

What just happened? I wrote my last post and ran my last (first) run (er, not good for training) on January 20? Where does the time go?

I’ve gone back to work, and it was easier than I expected. Expect the worst, I guess, and you’ll always get better. I don’t miss Stinkerton too much during the day because my job is insanely busy this month. The two biggest challenges both relate to timing: getting up an hour and a half earlier than I used to so I can get to work on time (nurse baby, change baby, pack pump supplies, restock diaper bag, shower and dress self, drive to and from daycare), and trying to leave work shortly after the workday ends at 3:30 so that I can have more waking hours with the baby. (I used to work regularly until at least 5 pm, but I set that as my daycare pick-up time, so those days are past! That means trying to be much more efficient during my workday.) If I had to choose a challenge to put into the third place slot, I’d go with pumping breast milk in a school bathroom. Unsavory.

So I’ve been back to work for 2.5 weeks, but it feels like I never left. As happens when you work at a school, I’ve been smacked with a pretty good cold. I hardly have a voice today. That’s my excuse for not running last weekend (and the weekend before was poor time management, which was fine for missing one weekend’s run, but which I regretting last weekend when I had to skip that one as well). I haven’t mentally committed to the idea that if I want to run during the week, I may have to do it after the Stinks goes to bed (thus on a lighted trail) or miss out on some time with him.

Stinkerton’s still a giant, and when we look at him, we can’t believe he’s only 3 months old. Seems like he’s been around forever. He smiles very readily now, from the first moment he sees us in the morning to the last look before he falls asleep. Last weekend, he started laughing out loud, but those moments are not yet regular. He sleeps from around 6:30 pm to about 6:30 am, waking once in the 2 am hour. (Our challenge is just going to bed early enough to take advantage of this.) In the past couple weeks, he’s started drooling heavily, chomping down on our fingers, and sticking his tongue out even further (he’s a big tongue-sticker-outer and has been, but he apparently has much more control now), so we’re looking forward to teething soon. (Of course I mean, “looking forward to.”) He’s over 26 inches tall and 16 pounds – we haven’t measured or weighed him in a couple of weeks though, but suffice it to say that he continues to hit the top of the growth chart percentiles. And there are signs that he may be growing a neck! (But I think he may have stolen it from some other baby, because where did this Chunky Cheekerton get a neck?!) Finally, in the litany of “things I should write down before I forget when they happened,” I think it’s safe to call the eye color as brown.

Caught up? Okay, good.


January 20, 2011

One month, one mile

Posted in running tagged , , , at 11:46 pm by Lauren

I was steeling myself for a major reality check when I went out for my first run after having a baby. I’ve been scheming about races and what reasonable training schedules could be, but it was all fanciful daydreams until I actually went out for a run to see what I had left. I was focusing on the fun of running and not on the beating my body was going to take.

So today I finally did it. Dad watched the boy, and I went out for my first postpartum run. This was my pleasant surprise: going for a run after having run during pregnancy is like shedding a resistance suit for a swim meet. I intended to try for three miles, walking if I needed to. After a mile and a half, rather than turning around, I mentally committed to four miles and went on another half mile before turning around. I ran the whole four miles, feeling good, shaving a minute and a half off the pace during my last mile just because I could. (Granted, I averaged 12:30 miles.) I like the symmetry: one mile for each month off of running.

Now, it wasn’t all giggles and rainbows; I’m certainly going to be extremely sore tomorrow. But it’s a promising re-start. And now I’m registered for the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler on April 10. Here we go!

January 8, 2011

New Year’s Resolution: RUN!

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:30 pm by Lauren

Two words: half marathon.

2010 was supposed to be the year of the half marathon, but by gum, I’m doing it in 2011. As of right now, this is my race schedule for this year:

April 2: Monument Avenue 10K, Richmond (registered)

April 10: GW Parkway Classic, 5K or 10 Miler (undecided on distance)

October 1: Freedom’s Run Half Marathon, Harpers Ferry

October 9: Army Ten Miler

November 13: San Antonio Rock N Roll Half Marathon (perhaps)

And of course, plenty of 5Ks sprinkled in (because my second resolution is to beat my 5K personal record of 28:29) and possibly a spring half marathon as insurance that I actually get one in this year. Ah, the year of the half marathon! The year of the jogging stroller!

One of those mornings

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:43 am by Lauren

Poor Colin had to get a handful of vaccine’s at the pediatrician yesterday, so he woke and fussed a little more than usual last night. It amazes me that in the first two months a fever is an emergency requiring a visit to the emergency room, but at two months and one day, it’s safe to give vaccines that will cause a fever for the next 24 hours or so.

So poor Stinkerton has a fever, and we don’t like it. Fortunately, once we calm the original upset after he wakes, he’s back to smiling and cooing, if he does look a bit glassy-eyed.

After nursing him, I need to pump, so Allen and Stinks entertain each other with dueling cooing. I leave them smiling at each other on the bed while I go to bag up the milk.

I get no further than the bottom of the stairs because a large puddle surrounds one side of the doormat.

After I clean the cat pee (undoubtedly The Beast’s doing), I come back upstairs, rinse the towels, and throw them in the washer.

Back downstairs, I begin a mini battle with the bag of milk because I can’t get my grip on it just where I need to in order to squeeze out all the air bubbles. I move my operation to the counter on the island where the light is better. Trouble jumps up to see me, and as I sweep him off, he takes with him the tooth-shaped box that Allen’s mother brought over earlier this week.

The top of the plastic tooth pops open when it hits the floor, and now Allen’s wisdom teeth are scattered on the linoleum, so big they look like caricatures of teeth.

I bend down to gather them and throw them out, but stop myself. I need to finish storing the milk with clean hands. Trouble and The Beast sniff the teeth and then lazily bat them around the floor, only half-interested in this new toy.

Back upstairs (urine cleaned, milk stored, teeth disposed of), Allen and Colin have fallen asleep next to each other on the bed.

Good morning and good night.

January 7, 2011

This is for Elliott.

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:00 am by Lauren

I wouldn’t want anyone to get a skewed vision of parenthood from all the smiling, happy baby pictures. So when Colin started to fuss yesterday, I grabbed the camera and took this picture:

And then I took one step closer, Colin realized I was coming, and the next picture looked like this:

He’s a real pistol, that one. It takes entire seconds to comfort him.

January 6, 2011

They grow so fast…

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:45 pm by Lauren

Colin is a baby giant.

That kid you see is two years months old today.

Already, I look back at pictures of him from when he was first born, and you’d hardly recognize the kid. (I never really believed I could have produced such a lean baby in the first place, but apparently the master plan was to be born small and then inflate himself to an appropriate size for taking over the world!)

Once upon a time, when he was a wee little baby (two months ago, for about three minutes), his Tati Stephie had the great idea of making a plaster mold of his handprint. When several visits passed without accomplishing the task, Stephanie put the handprint kit under the tree on Christmas. So yesterday, Colin and I started our little project.

I rolled and kneaded the clay while Colin supervised. Then I pressed it into the tray, and Colin obliged by letting me press his foot and hand into the clay.

Actually, he was not obliging about pressing his hand into the clay at all. For several minutes, he refused to unclench his fist. I was just considering doing the other foot instead, when I finally got his hand open, but the impression we made in the clay wasn’t very deep. Colin didn’t care because he was hungry by that point.

After nursing, Colin fell asleep, so I came back to the kitchen, mixed the plaster, and poured it into the mold to sit overnight. In the morning, we had this masterpiece:

Then Colin painted it. Those fine moter skills are really coming together for him.

And voila! The “German shepherd puppy feet” (said his pediatrician) and hands are immortalized in plaster.

January 3, 2011

Itchy, itchy, scratchy, scratchy!

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:19 pm by Lauren

The sudden appearance yesterday of 13 bug bites (unknown origin) on my legs has really taken it out of me, mentally and emotionally. I’m terrified that a pair of pajama pants I bought last week could be the culprit – I was lazy and didn’t wash them before wearing. All of the bites are on unexposed skin that the pajama pants would cover (and range from the ankles to the waist). If this is bed bugs… I have already lost sleep over it, googling pictures of insect bites (they look like mosquito bites), treatment for bed bugs, signs of bed bug infestation and so on. I’ve washed all the linens and, of course, the pajamas. And all that on top of the itching is driving me mildly nuts most of the time and absolutely insane when I’m nursing and can’t address it right away!

Before I forget to mention, I wanted to write down that two days ago, I was laying in bed with Colin, and he scootched his body (or perhaps his head) closer to me. He accomplished this entirely by flailing, which is why I was so impressed. I moved my pillow away from him to give him more space, and he flailed and flailed until he was right next to my head again. It only looked like foolish baby antics; clearly it was calculated and meticulous physics-based flailing. Or so the child’s mother would have you believe…

January 1, 2011

Welcoming the new year

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:15 pm by Lauren

I had already opened this page to start a post on my so-called New Year’s resolutions, when a friend’s post on Facebook stopped me in my emotional tracks. I am reminded that I am fortunate to look forward to 2011 with a light heart. Several of my close friends experienced deep tragedies in 2010 – too many of them – and the coming of a new year, the significance we put on the passing of one minute to the next in the dark of night, does not erase their losses.

So I’ll save my resolutions for another day and instead, kiss my husband, cuddle my child, and leave a moment of silence for what saying goodbye to 2010 means to some of those I love.

December 31, 2010

Goodbye, 2010!

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:28 pm by Lauren

In retrospect, 2010 seemed to have been all about being pregnant, for me. Or about doing things while being pregnant – or about not doing them. (Fortunately, being pregnant is something I turned out to be really quite good at, and I count myself among the fortunate for that!)

January and February were a mess of snowstorms (and 7 days off from school!), and by the end of February, we’d just gotten serious about training for our half marathon(s). Then I found out I was pregnant on March 2, Allen turned 30 on March 10, and during the last week of March, we ran the awesome Monument Avenue 10K in Richmond with Rebecca and Chris and then lazed away the rest of the week in Harpers Ferry, feeling blissfully secluded from the world.

In April, the baby and I ran 10 miles but then had our half marathon dreams crushed the week of the race when I had some spotting. Instead, I spectated at 3 different mile markers along the Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon while Allen, Brandi and Steven, and Melissa and Naqi completed their first half marathon! I fully felt the meaning of bittersweet that day. Or perhaps, “opportunity cost.” Then in May, Rebecca finished her first half, the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon in Fredericksburg. I am so proud of all my awesome friends who completed their first half in 2010, and I can’t wait to join them in 2011.

Where were we? I have a love-hate relationship with June, aka Anger Management Month. School ended, and I said goodbye to a well-loved group of 5th graders. I packed up my July and August with math workshops – some kind of light came on this year, and I am still well into my honeymoon period with teaching math. I spent a week in August with my mom in Orlando and got a visit in with Jill as well. We began a major renovation of our master bathroom and closets in August, and Allen and John worked around the clock for a week, while I made runs for food and materials (and did a bit of tiling and grouting and painting myself). I squeezed yoga and a handful of indoor runs (waddles?) into the holes in my summer schedule, and suddenly, September was here, and school was back in. Those nine weeks of summer seemed to have gone by so quickly, and I only had nine weeks until my due date. Terrifying!

September and October were a total frenzy at work, punctuated by two lovely baby showers, one empowering 5K, the completion (after so many weekend and evening and early morning hours put in by Allen) of our bathroom renovation, and daily comments on how big I was. (Word to the wise: the word big need never be said to a pregnant female, not even when conversing with a rhino.) And just as quickly as the summer passed, the next nine weeks had ended, and I found myself on my couch, waiting for the baby to arrive.

And then, November 6, Colin arrived, and I don’t remember anything that’s happened since then. I’m sure I’d look back on it fondly if I did, but regardless: 2010, goodbye. You were a good year.

December 30, 2010

Sleep of babes

Posted in Firstborn tagged , , , at 11:12 pm by Lauren

We’ve been entirely indulgent of Colin’s schedule – he sleeps when he wants, he wakes when he wants, he eats when he wants, he says jump – you get the idea. But with only four weeks until I go back to work, I started worrying that a 10:30 pm bedtime was a little unrealistic, no matter how much I loved sleeping in until 10:30 am with him.

So last night, we instituted a 7:00 pm bedtime. Fortunately for us, he happened to fall asleep right at 7:00 pm. Because really, who are we kidding? He’s still the boss.

Anyway, we put him to bed at 7:00 pm. (Show no weakness!) He slept until 8:20, when he needed to eat. He went right back to sleep, woke and nursed again at 11:00 pm, and slept until 3:00 am. (Usually he’s up for an hour sometime between 9 – 11 pm, which is why we were putting him to bed then. Last night, he fell right back to sleep after nursing and skipped that hour.) The 3:00 am waking was a little harder; he was up for an hour and fifteen minutes. But when he woke at 6:00 and 8:00, he went back to sleep within 5-10 minutes. When I got out of bed at 10:00 am, I felt fairly refreshed. And confused. He went to bed earlier, and we were still in bed at 10 am? Well, that wasn’t so bad!

I got up, took a shower, waited for the baby to wake up any minute… And then I waited, and I waited. And waited. And finally, at 11:30 am, a full hour later than he usually gets up, he decided to join the world of the waking.


He had a totally pleasant day, filled with happy waking times and appropriate naps (including the one above). And then he went to bed at 7:30 tonight. Shabam!

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