Things I Keep Meaning To Tell You

I am really trying to slow things down, but right now life just feels like it’s on hyperdrive. Somebody press pause! So… this is just some of the stuff that’s been going on with me…

I made an impromptu trip to Massachusetts last week. 

Unfortunately, it was for an incredibly sad reason… My great aunt Connie (also my Godmother), passed away.

You were with me from the very beginning and will always be in my heart. RIP Aunt Connie. You were one of a kind. ❤️ #tbt

Isn’t this picture the best? Yes, I still make that face AND have the double chins.

She was one of the most amazing and determined women I’ve ever known, and I can only hope that her spirit continues on through me and my kids – especially my daughter. She didn’t have children, but she was a L&D nurse and helped deliver hundreds of babies including my dad, my brothers, my cousins, and – yes- me. I know she was with me in spirit when I delivered all of my babies – especially last  May when my labor/delivery went an unexpected direction (I guess you could say she was my honorary doula). I’m glad she got to meet each of my kids…

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My trip was very, very short – about 36 hours and I brought this little man with me.

Serious face. Must be sad about leaving his Boston family.

I figured he would provide a few smiles (he did) and I know my aunt would have appreciated that he was there. He was a great little traveler.

It’s never easy saying “goodbye” to a loved one, but I will carry her memories with me, always.

I picked a charity!

RMHC

I will be running the Chicago Marathon for the Ronald McDonald House Charities in October! I have some big plans for some fundraisers – I hope I just have enough time to make it all happen. More details to come. As well as some begging (but for a really GREAT cause!).

I picked a 2nd marathon!

SpaceCoast

I was originally thinking I wanted run the Jacksonville Bank Marathon – but it’s the weekend after Christmas and that timing is JUST not going to work.

So, I went with Space Coast! It’s November 30th – the weekend after Thanksgiving – and 6 weeks after Chicago. I was hesitant to go with Space Coast, because it’s still pretty warm in Florida (of course, it’s February and last week it was in the 90s), but the medal and the timing won me over. I’m hoping that my extended family will also come and cheer me on (HINT HINT) since it’s so close. There’s nothing better than having cheerleaders at a race.

I cut my hair — and tried Keratin for the first time.

New year, new hair!

I know, I know – Keratin is full of chemicals… but it is AMAZING.

I have never been able to just wash, blow dry, and style my hair in 10 minutes — and now I can. I think my coworkers are shocked because they have NEVER seen me wear my hair down this often.

I also LOVE my cut. I went with a “Lob” (long bob – I had to ask) and it’s perfect. It still feels long in front, but it’s not incredibly annoying. I went in not knowing what I wanted — short, long, ACK! and thankfully my stylist knew exactly what to do. She is amazing.

I’m an aunt!

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My youngest brother is a daddy – and I couldn’t be happier for him! It’s funny to think that of all of the roles I’ve taken on him life – sister, cousin, wife, mom… the one that has eluded me the longest is aunt! The little (big) guy arrived last week and I am finally going to meet him this week. Related: My kids have a cousin!! They are getting another one in April – I can’t wait :)

I am trying really, really hard to still include strength training in my weekly workouts.

In fact, I have a new at home workout for you….

All you need is 25 minutes...

It took me 25 minutes and made me sore. I even included burpees which I REALLY, REALLY hate. So, you should try it too.

Life is crazy and full and it’s not going to slow down any time soon.

In the next few weeks I have two races, two baby showers (one that I am throwing), and a wedding. There’s also family visiting, a night in with friends, the start of baseball season, and L’s birthday party that I have not yet schedule or planned. Does it count that I’m thinking about it?

Thankfully, there’s wine. Lots of it.

2 hours of baseball practice with all the kids, by myself = a giant glass of wine.

What are you looking forward to in the next month?

New Workouts and Cute Pictures

So, a few people asked me how I fit in workouts in during the week and truthfully… I don’t.

I DO squeeze in 3-4 workouts — but it’s typically Thursday night (after which I can reward myself with a frosty beer) thru Sunday (when I’m off work).  I’ll start with a 2-3 mile run on Thursday night and then mix it up Friday through Sunday. I try to do a long run every other week. I probably should do a long run EVERY week, but I kind of like the break it gives my body. Someday I will ACTUALLY train for a half marathon again. Instead of just running a random 12-15 miles a week.

In the meantime…. these are some of the workouts I’ve been doing lately. I typically write them up on my phone before I head to the gym. This is so I get there and actually work out. It’s amazing how much it helps! I made them pretty for you for though.

SuperFastSuperset

UpperBody

Arms and Shoulders

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They make me hurt, make me feel strong, and kick my ass. And really that’s what I’m looking for these days.

Things will have to change come November (or sooner) when I will be returning to a 40 hour work week (right now I’m only working 32 hours — taking Friday off for mental sanity and Evan snuggling). I am unsure if this means I’ll try to work out more during the week and then on Saturday/Sundays like normal, or if it means I work out less. I’m guessing it will mean less workouts at first or maybe just more “quick” at home workouts. I would love to get up early and workout again but it’s not happening quite yet.

I am full of excuses. Mostly, I’m just a combination of tired and lazy. Lazy because I don’t want to get up an hour early to pump and worry about waking up E. We’re about to start sleep training with him, so maybe in a month or so it will be slightly easier.

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This is why I need to sleep train. Zzzzzz. And yes, I took a selfie of myself fake sleeping. I have no shame. Or I’m just delirious.

Speaking of E – I completely forgot to do a 4-month update on him…. so I’m hoping to getting around to doing a 5-month update later this week (HOW IS POSSIBLE THAT HE’S ABOUT TO TURN 5 MONTHS??). If I don’t though, here’s an update – he’s still cute and cuddly and happy.  We’re slowly starting him on solids and *no shocker here* he pretty much loves food. I’m trying to wean him off the swaddle/Rock n Play Sleeper (unsuccessfully, so far). And we’re so, so grateful that he’s around to make each day a little brighter.

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Ready for work!

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How many posts can I talk about how sweet E is?? How many pictures can I upload?? (don’t answer that)

What’s your go-to workout? What’s making YOUR day a little brighter? Sleep training — have you done it and have you been successful?

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Crunchless Abs Workout

Oooh, exciting (or maybe not if this stuff bores you!) — I’m back to posting workouts!! Or at least A workout. Let’s not get carried away here.

While I’m not cleared to run yet, I CAN do some exercising to restore my body. It was actually recommended to me during discharge to start doing pelvic tilts (and kegels – which really DO help).

I don’t do these religiously, but every few days I’ll lay day and tilt it out.

Another workout that’s highly recommend to me are planks.

You remember my stellar plank tutorial, right?

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Kinda miss that belly. Kinda.

So that’s what I’ve been doing the last week or so. I am actually very surprised at how fast my muscles bounce back. I started with a few 30 second planks – and now I’m up to a minute and 30 seconds! There is still a lot of work to be done though. Here’s me at 4 weeks postpartum (how has it already been a month??):

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That linea nigra is so attractive, right? It will be there for at least another 4-5 months.

The key to getting my core back into shape is focusing on CRUNCHLESS core work. Crunches can actually jack your abs up when you are in postpartum recovery. Most women have a touch of diastasis recti after having a baby (basically when your abs separate to make room for the baby – and they don’t move back into position) and doing crunches can actually make that situation WORSE. Instead, it’s key to do exercises that pull your abs IN towards your spine. It also helps your back muscles and gives you better posture (which I know I can definitely use!), so even if you aren’t recovering from popping a baby out they are great exercises to strengthen your core.

I know that once I start running my abs will also get whipped into shape (it’s amazing how much you use your core to run), but starting this week here are a few more exercises that I am going to start adding into my daily routine (if you want to call it that).

*Core Contractions/Lower Back Flatten*

*Flutter Kicks*

*Lying Leg Lifts*

*Supermans*

*Wide Squat Punches*

So my “workout” ends up looking something like this…

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*You can repeat this workout 2-4 times to make it a more challenging workout. Right now, once is challenging for me!*

I’m varying it depending on how I feel and how easily my muscles tire. I haven’t used most of these muscles in MONTHS, so it’s really important I don’t rush into ANYTHING. Yes, even a simple ab workout. It’s also important for me to remember that it took 9 months for my belly to look like a beast, so it’s going to take some time for it get back to “normal.” Plus, it was worth it because look how cute this chunker is?

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Yes, I had to squeeze some Evan pictures in somehow.

What’s your favorite core exercise??

PS – Countdown to my first run back? 16 days (Nope, I’m not excited/terrified AT ALL!)

Feeling The Itch

Despite claiming that I’m going to sit on my ass for 6 weeks, I have the itch to work out. Who am I?

duh

Now, I’m not going to do anything crazy and I’m definitely not going to start running until I have clearance from my Dr. (I have no desire to be restitched or have my bladder prolapse any time soon), but I think I am going to be a total hypocrite and start walking a few miles a day and then add some upper body strength training later this week. I figure I am already lifting a) my 32lb 4-year old and b) a 30+lb car seat – so what’s the difference?

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I’ve also started doing some planks to get that core back in shape (and by started I’ll add that I’ve been doing them for the past 2-3 days) — and I can already feel a big difference.  I would love to start lower body as well, but again with the stitches and whatnot. I hate to keep bring these up, but I admit that it scares to start running again again because of them. Well, that and the fear that I might pee myself or trip over my legs. Have I mentioned I’m clumsy? I almost fear learning how to run again – because yes, that’s really what I’ll be doing.

Feeling the itch to workout is kind of weird because most days I am beyond exhausted and can’t fathom doing anything more than sitting on the couch with the kid on my boob (no lie, how I spend roughly about 80% of my day), burning more calories than you could possibly imagine And I’m not even remotely interested in working out to get back into shape or lose weight. If anything, I just miss that adrenaline rush. I could definitely use a visit from the endorphin fairy.

I also miss having stuff to talk/blog about. I mean pictures like this are cute…

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This is literally what I am looking at as I post this…

But it’s not the only dimension of my life – even though if feels like it right now.

Now the hard part, finding workouts that are POSTPARTUM friendly. As much I want to get back into a “normal” routine – I don’t want to throw myself into it and regret overdoing it. Anyone have any recommendations? I have the previous round of Best Body Bootcamp to start once I’m feeling more like myself again, but I’m totally not there yet.

So that’s where I’m at. And yes, feel free to also call me a crazy, loon, hypocrite in the comments, because I totally deserve it. Unless, I totally don’t follow through on any of this… which is highly likely at this point. In which case… carry on.

Move Monday: Not Your Mama’s Walking Workout

Did you know that it’s ridiculously hard for a runner to “just walk”? Yeah, I bet you don’t find that surprising.

Every time I get on the treadmill, even though I despise the treadmill, I just want to jack the speed up to 7.0 and go. But, you know that’s pretty much impossible right now (although, I don’t get how I have absolutely NO issues doing jumping jacks and butt kicks! Can someone explain?).

Instead, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve resorted to walking. Sure I could pick another cardio activity (like the elliptical…zzzzz), but I find that my walking workout actually CAN get my heart rate as much as jogging and spinning does (in a very healthy, pregnancy-friendly way). It’s kind of a pregnancy miracle that took me 3 times to figure out. Third time is a charm! Here’s the workout:

Walking Workout

Seems pretty simple, right? Well, I can’t lie it is! Ha. But, it’s worth trying out if you aren’t able to run, but are still looking for a good endorphin high!

As a bonus here are some songs I am jamming out to right now. A mix of new and old (of course!):

What’s getting you moving this week? What are you jamming out to lately?? Can you “just” walk on the treadmill? Or does running call to you too? I swear the treadmill mocks me.