It’s been a year since I published something … Anything. I’ve thought of various posts and thoughts to share and never got around to it. But here I am today, tapping away on my phone. Why?
I need some accountability.
I started blogging again while reading awesome running blogs to keep me inspired to start training again. Then I got pregnant with Adam and then I had four kids and life was chaotic. Then I had an ankle injury and then it was summer … You get the idea. Every excuse under the sun. Some valid, some weak.
This week I started another training plan. It’s actually my second attempt to complete Train Like a Mother‘s Heart Rate 101 plan. Earlier this summer I started the plan, did great for 8 weeks, then bombed it as temperatures climbed. I’m hoping this second attempt is even better – and the program is only 8 weeks now, so hurray!
It’s slow. I mean, slower even than my post-baby, post-injury pace. A heart rate cap of 140 for most runs means I am slogging. Especially when you add on temperatures and asthma meds. But the changes are worth it.
So yeah … accountability. And doing the plan. Last time I skipped some of the strength circuits (okay, most of them) and never did the resistance loop training.This week I’ve done them! Next week … I’m going to try!
Yes, that’s right – it’s return of the Red-Faced Girl! Adam will be eight weeks old on Monday. (WHAT?!) I had my six-week post partum checkup last week and was cleared for exercise, so I’ve been easing back in … yoga and an occasional, purposeful walk to test the waters.
So here are my fitness plans (such as they are):
Ballet class weekly – YES! I’m going back to the Tiny Erin dreams and taking a ballet class. If I’m going to pay for fitness instruction, it might as well be something I actually like! Two classes in, and I love it. It’s so hard to get out of my mental games, but I’ll get into that another time. I think it’ll be great for strengthening my feet, ankles, and legs.
Yoga at least weekly – four babies have done a serious number on my core. I’ve halfheartedly worked core before because … more babies. Why bother until I knew we were done? Well, Adam is the crowning glory on children for our family, so there you have it. Time for core work, and I’m going to start with yoga focused around core exercises. I need to add arm balances and upper body strengthening, too, but I think toting the baby around is already helping with that … and the ballet upper body work.
Running/walking – today was about a 15 minute mile, two minutes of walking and one minute of running. I feel pretty good about that, actually! It’s been nine months since I dared to run. Nothing felt like it was falling out (#fourkids) and I didn’t feel exhausted after. Granted it was a little over 1.5 miles, but still! It was Houston and gross outside.
That’s it. No weight loss goals specifically, just toning and getting fit again. This is a picture I took at the beginning of August. I’ll keep taking a picture with me and Adam at the beginning of each month to see what changes – for him and for me!
What else should I think about for post-baby fitness? Can’t slash calories – nursing takes a lot, especially when you’re also active. Do you have ideas for healthy additions to my diet that will get me those extra calories without loading up my sugar and fat?
Diapers are a reality of living with babies. Well, I suppose unless you’re a proponent of Elimination Communication. (It’s a thing. Go look it up.) I’m pretty sure I couldn’t make that system work for me or our baby’s caregivers, so we’re sticking with diapers. For all of our kids, we’ve done a hybrid of cloth and disposable diapers. I get a lot of questions about why and how and what and what does this mean, so here’s my cloth diaper brain dump!
Cloth diapers save us money in the monthly expenses of diapers, particularly since we live in a warm and sunny climate that doesn’t require additional dryer time. More on that later. Cloth also saves some landfill fodder, which is always good! Our use of cloth has slightly diminished with each child, partly due to time constraints. The biggest constraint, though, is who’s taking care of the baby. No, this isn’t a Daddy vs. Mommy thing … this is just the reality of Will’s business picking up and our younger kids being in preschool/Parents’ Day Out earlier than the older two were. I still love cloth diapers and plan to use them as much as possible with our new baby, too.
There are a LOT of different types of cloth diapers. I primarily use pocket diapers with snaps. They’re my favorites because you can wash them and dry them within a day, usually. All in one diapers are like pockets but don’t come apart, which means they take longer to dry. Some people get icked out by removing the insert from pocket diapers, but I see so much gross stuff as a mom anyway that this really isn’t that different! Some people use internal liners to make waste removal into the toilet (once they start eating solids) easier … I just felt like that was more $$ and trash in the landfill. (Even if it’s biodegradable.) I like snaps over velcro (also called aplix on diaper sites) because velcro wears out and kids can undo velcro! They also make diaper sprayers that connect to your toilet’s water line so you can spray solid waste directly into the toilet. THAT is tempting.
I used Fuzzi Bunz perfect size with Seth and Nora. Over the 4.5 years since I bought them (and used for 3 years!), the elastic wore out and needed to be replaced. I didn’t have time or patience to do that, so I switched to a few Rumparooz (which I love!) and BumGenius 4.0. There’s a a local boutique that I use for a lot of the more crunch-mama type things (non-lanolin nipple ointment, healing sprays and ointments for after birth, nursing bras, baby wraps/carriers, diapers) called Nurtured Family. It’s “local” to us … it’s northwest Houston, so still a good 45 – 60 minutes away from me. They are awesome. (Side note: They’ll also do nursing bra fittings for you, free classes on cloth diapering and baby wearing, and they’re great about swapping stuff out.) I got my Fuzzi Bunz there but to be very honest, I got my BG 4.0 at Buy Buy Baby, one at a time, with my periodic 20% off coupon. Then Nurtured Family had a big sale on the bulk order of diapers – Buy 5, get 1 free – and that was how I finished out my stash.
I think we have about 14-15 diapers, and that’ll usually get us through a day and a half while we do laundry. That’s during the early baby stages of lots of peeing and pooping, of course. Once they start on solid food and their systems shift to pooping less frequently (again, the Glamour of Parenting), you don’t have nearly as many. You could let them sit for a while in the wet pail while you build up a bigger load of laundry, but the stink always drives us to wash earlier than I’d like. That’s also because by the older age my kids are at preschool the majority of the time.
I’ve sent my kids to preschool in cloth diapers, and our caregivers were very accommodating. Even the best of intentions can sometimes lead to mistakes – parental or caregiver – like using diaper creams with the cloth diapers. Most creams will harm the absorbency of the diaper, so most of the time I default to disposable for during the day at preschool. I also tend to use disposable diapers once baby is sleeping longer at night, too. My kids all seem to be heavy wetters at night, and even double inserts can’t contain them sometimes.
The biggest “hardships” about cloth diapers are that most of the time you use a special detergent that won’t cause build-up. It lasts forever, though, because you’re only using it on diapers! I use the Rockin Green detergent. Never ever use fabric softener with your diapers! If you use liquid fabric softener on your other loads of laundry, you may want to think about switching to dryer sheets (or white vinegar) or doing a few loads without before you do your diapers. We found that the liquid fabric softener tended to leave a residue in the washer that would build up on our diapers. **Note: I’ve seen some sites start to recommend various Free & Clear detergents. Always check your diaper manufacturer’s recommendations. Those do NOT work well for my water hardness and diaper type.
We only line-dry our diapers (to save electricity and avoid softener build-up in the dryer), which is easy here in Houston. We put them on a sturdy drying rack or clothesline outside. They dry fairly quickly, and we have the advantage of the sun bleaching out the unattractive stains. 🙂 (It’s magic … try it on other stained clothing. Get it wet, dry it in the sun, and a lot of the stains will disappear.)
Another challenge of cloth diapers is the bulk of carrying them around. It’s not really that bad, though. I’ve also found that the Skip Hop Duo diaper bag has been great at carrying cloth diapers and all my other baby stuff around. It’s like a Mary Poppins bag, but it’s not enormously bulky! You also need some sort of bag to put wet diapers in. I’ve attached one of those dog poop baggie dispensers to put any sort of soiled diaper or clothing in. We also keep a gallon-sized ziploc in the diaper bag for soiled diapers.
So … there’s my brain dump! 🙂 Here’s a good link for learning some of the terminology. There’s a whole wide world of obsession out there …
Did you or will you cloth diaper? Which disposables are your favorites? I’m a Pampers Swaddlers fan, myself.
Pardon me, my four-year-old has been watching Cinderella over and over. Yes, the classic and iconic princess has claimed Nora’s #1 Princess spot, over the likes of Elsa, Sofia, etc. Rapunzel and Elsa are probably rounding out the top three, with Sofia making a strong push for third too.
This past weekend was the Disney World Princess Half Marathon weekend, full of such fun as the Glass Slipper Challenge (10K + Half Marathon), kids’ races, a fun 5K, and princesses everywhere. I would have loved to run this but … did I mention baby due in June? And not a good pregnant runner? Thought I might have.
Also this weekend came an announcement of a Disney race close to my heart: the inaugural Disneyland Paris half marathon in September 2016. The husband is French, see, and 2016 is our 10th anniversary year. I’d already talked about wanting to do the Tinkerbell Half (Disneyland in California) as my “We’re done having babies!” race in May 2016, and the Wine and Dine Half Marathon (Disney World in Florida) since it’s near our anniversary in November 2016. (And earn that coast-to-coast, because why not? It’s a big year.) So if we added in a Disneyland Paris in September for an unofficial “around the Disney world” challenge … ah, it’d be so fun. And expensive. Let’s not forget expensive.
So dreams and wishes and et cetera … in honor of all the Disney racing fun, I thought I’d share some fun running costume boards I’ve put together. I started doing these for the Disney 10K in 2014, and it’s become a fun little hobby of mine. I’ve done some of the “main” princesses, but love to do characters less known or emulated.
First: a princess who always does her best. Sofia‘s sister Princess Amber.