Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chun Li(l W)

Total steps yesterday:  14,867
Exercise for today:  3 mile run

Guys, we need to talk about how I'm eating all the Halloween candy.  I don't even really like candy all that much and would always prefer something more substantial, but this week I'm eating everything candy.  I've decided to just give in, embrace it, and then not look at candy again until sometime next year.  I think it's the best choice.

Lil W must love all the sugary goodness, though, because today she has been doing this all. day. long:

Chun-Li's Lightning Kick Cosplay

I texted H that I've decided to name her Chun Li, and he seemed totally cool with that, so I guess we've found our girl name.

Today's run wasn't very fun.  For 38 minutes, my thoughts went a little something like this:

0:00 - 6:30 -- "I hate everything in the entire universe."
6:31 - 8:27 -- "Why is it so hot in here?  Gyms should be arctic."
8:28 - 10:56 -- "Almost to a mile.  If I get to a mile I can quit."
10:57 - 13:30 -- "One mile.  I can push to a mile and a half.  It'll probably feel good soon."
13:31 - 13:35 -- "I feel amazing!  I can do this.  I can do anything!"
13:36 - 17:12 -- "Need to pee, need to pee, need to pee."
17:13 - 22:00 -- "Ah, there's my stride again.  Hello, long lost best friend."
22:01 - 25:17 --  "Feet hurt.  Need new shoes.  Need new shoes that don't cost anything but support 20 extra pounds.  Life is so hard."
25:18 - 27:30 -- "I hate everything in the entire universe."
27:31 - 32:43 -- "If this were a marathon, I'd barely be a tenth of the way done.  I'm never running a marathon.  Marathons are the worst."
32:44 - 33:00 --"Dun-dun-dun-dun-duuunnn-dun cha cha cha (aka the theme from Chariots of Fire)"
33:00 - 34:00 -- "Cool downs are the best.  I should always just do cool downs and never, ever run again."
34:00-38:00 -- "I love running.  Running is the best.  I should probably register right this second for next year's NYC marathon because if running is the best, marathons are the bestest best."

In this respect, I'm pretty sure running is probably pretty much like pregnancy and labor.  Mostly shitty, but there are times when it feels so good, and even the horrible moments have an end.  And by the time I'm done and Lil W is here, I'll probably forget all about all the troublesome times.

Or I'll remember every minute and still be glad I did it.  I wonder if it'll be like other races, where I always swear halfway through that I'm never doing this again, and then about a week later start planning for another one.

Basically, babies = running in my mind today, which is how it should be.  Babies are the best.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Number Obsessed and Fitness Jealousy

Total steps yesterday:  16,793
Exercise for today:  2 mile walk

Most runners I know, including myself, are very number focused people.  We're constantly chasing that next PR, adding miles to our long runs, taking minutes off our miles.  We think more than most of us would admit about 3.1, 13.1, or 26.2.  This obsession has stayed with me during pregnancy, even as the numbers I'm focused on have changed.  Now I'm focused on 25 weeks, total miles ran/walked in a week, how many minutes extra it takes me to run a mile. 

But that doesn't mean I'm not thinking about what's to come, and during yesterday's awesome run my brain started ticking away with a post-pregnancy training plan.  Depending on how long I'm out of running before Lil W arrives, I figure I can start back with Couch to 5k and New Rules of Lifting, and then once I've built back up to a 3 mile base, I can start half marathon training, and then marathon train, and then succeed in a randomly created goal to run a marathon by the time Lil W turns 1.

I think part of this ambitious plan stems from some major fitness jealousy I'm currently feeling.  On a logical level, I know that I'm doing very well and I have no reason to be jealous of those who are more fit than I am at the moment.  I also am a firm believer that we all have our own fitness journeys and strengths and that for every time I'm jealous of someone for being "better", they're just as likely to be jealous of me for doing something they couldn't do.

I'm part of a fitness message board, which is awesome and inspirational and a great group of women.  They're constantly pushing me to try harder, even if "trying harder" is defined as taking a walk rather than a nap.  But right now they're all doing such amazing things and I'm SO jealous.  Samantha destroyed the Tough Mudder earlier this month and is now killing it on improving her 5k time.  Gia's in the process of tapering down before this weekend's New York City Marathon.  Courtney is gearing back up in to triathlon training for next year's season (and has an awesome promo code right now for fitness products from if you want or need anything).  All of these things are so inspirational but also feel like something I'll never be able to do again, and that's frustrating.

Which is why I was so, so glad to find this new blog yesterday.  The blogger is a runner who has completed 24 marathons over the last 10 years - I couldn't find her PR, but she ran last year's Marine Corps Marathon in 3:17, so it's at least that.  She also has three kids, and an extensive section on running while pregnant.  My favorite, favorite thing about it was that she posted her mile times during some of her pregnant runs.  She had miles ranging from 9 minutes to 15 minutes (though some of those also including pushing two kids in a running stroller).  She also had a very healthy attitude on pushing yourself during pregnancy, but focusing on things other than time.  It was so helpful for me to read that someone who was as slow as I am during pregnancy could turn around and average less than 7:30 miles on a marathon.  I don't think I'll ever be that fast, but it helps me feel better about how fast I am now.  I may or may not achieve my goal of marathoning within the next 15 months, but I'm going to keep putting one foot in front of the other and at least get closer to that.

And until then, I'll just focus on living vicariously through my fitness friends, rather than being jealous of them.

Monday, October 28, 2013

I don't have any toes!

Total steps yesterday: 5,062
Exercise for today:  3 mile run

Today's run felt good.  Really, really good.  And my back isn't remotely sore at the moment, though it was last night when I went to bed, which is both good and bad news.  The good news is that I don't think running is the culprit.  The bad news is that I think pregnancy is the culprit, which means I have 3 or so more months of this to look forward to.  Boo.

But at least I can keep running.

Other important moments in pregnancy this week:  I have officially made the transition to looking pregnant enough that the general public asks me about the pregnancy.  Which is good to know, if only because it means I'm safely out of the "fat or pregnant?" gray area.  No one wants to be there.

Along the same vein, an important thing happened the other morning when I looked down at my feet.  When standing straight up and looking down, I can no longer see my toes.  Luckily I know they're still there, or else running would be much harder, but I'll miss them.  And I need to buy more flat boots to get them through the cold winter ahead.

I feel like this blog has been really boring lately and like I should have more to say.  But I also think pregnancy is kind of at a boring point right now.  The rush of new baby excitement is wearing down, but there's still so long to go until the baby arrives that there's no real excitement for her arrival yet.  The weekly updates are pretty much "yep, your baby is growing".  Feeling her kick is awesome but is also pretty regular now so doesn't feel special.  There are some minor physical changes for me (have I mentioned my back pain?) but nothing that is unmanageable.  Next week I go to the doctor and have my glucose test and sometime in the next week or so I  have to go in for a rhogam shot, but neither of those are particularly sexy / blog worthy.  I'd rather have a boring, normal pregnancy than an exciting, abnormal one, but seriously, I'm ready for actual baby arrival right about now.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Grrr back pain.

Total steps yesterday:  7,362
Exercise for today:  none

It's the perfect lazy Sunday afternoon.  I'm looking out the patio window at orange and yellow leaves falling from the trees.  James just brought me a cup of half coffee, half coconut milk.  Zoe is sleeping with her head on my feet, which both keeps my feet warm and looks super adorable.  Lil W is training hard for future marathons, a near constant tapping that gently announces her presence. I feel very surrounded by my little family, and very happy.

Except for my back.  Oh, this terrible terrible back. I'd planned to run today, but knew when I woke up this morning that I needed a full day of rest.  I'm not sure what exactly is causing the pain.  I was initially worried it was from running, but it seems to hurt whether or not I run.  So I think it's just a natural consequence of carrying 20 more pounds on the front of my body than I was a few months ago.

It does feel a million times better when there's pressure against it, which has made it super challenging to not sleep on my back the last few nights.  I've always been a back sleeper before pregnancy, and it's been a huge adjustment to switch to my side.  I gave myself mental permission before bed last night to sleep on my back if it felt comfortable, but Lil W has gotten too heavy to make that work.

Luckily, James is the best husband ever and kept shifting positions with me so I could always lean in to either his back or his chest.  That helped get me through the night, and hopefully a day of taking it super easy will help me feel better.  In the end, a little bit of back pain is a small price to pay for Lil W.  As long as both James and Zoe are willing to take turns bracing my back while I sleep, I hope I can make it through the next three months without major issues. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

T Minus 15 Weeks

Total steps yesterday:  12,775
Exercise for today:  3 mile run

It's crazy to me that I started blogging at about 15 weeks along, and now I'm down to only 15ish weeks to go. Both James and I have had moments this week of freaking out over how little time we have left.

Some fun Lil W facts for this week:  she now weighs in at about a pound and a half and is around 13.5 inches long, or about the weight of a rutabaga.  She's also starting to gain baby fat, so will look less like Skeletor and be getting less wrinkly.  And if I could see her, I'd be able to make out her hair color and texture.  I hope she ends up with her dad's thick, dark hair and not my super fine boring auburn hair. 

Notice:  both super fine boring hair and a bump picture not in gym clothes

Speaking of her dad's hair, I think I'm starting to notice more gray in it.  He's clearly dealing with some physical changes as well!

I'm continuing to slow down a little bit.  After last week's 21k step day, I realized that I just can't do that any more.  As much as I'm still trying to hit my 10k a day goal, I'm now trying to cut back and not go over about 13k on my most active days.  It just seems like that suits my body's needs better (and means Zoe is getting more time at the dog park instead of on walks, which she seems perfectly happy with).

My only other major physical symptom is that my mid to upper back hurts a lot.  I wasn't expecting this, since I'd been braced for lower back pain.  It's not a huge deal, but I do tend to get in to bed super early now - not because I'm tired, but because it's the only way I'm comfortable.  Zoe has been super cuddly lately (more on that in a moment) and one of my favorite things that she'll do is to plop down against my back when I'm laying on my side.  I can lean back in to her a bit and it helps brace me / feels awesome and cuddly.

I do think Zoe definitely knows what's up at this point, too.  I'm not always one of those people who is like, "My dog has psychic feelings and totally gets me", but her behavior changes recently have me thinking she knows that there's a baby on the way (or at least that something is going on in my stomach  and her new job is to protect it).  She spends a fair amount of her time in the evening trying to (and usually succeeding in) sitting on my lap.  At night, she cuddles up as close to my bump as I'll let her get.  And you should have seen my 40 pound dog take down the boxer at the dog park who dared to try to jump up to greet me. 

So basically, late fall and cold is settling in, and I feel like my entire little family is now playing a waiting game focused largely around my torso.  I'm glad that Lil W continues to grow and be strong, and am thankful that we are all in good health and good spirits as we inch ever closer to third trimester.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Look familiar?

Total steps yesterday: 12,887
Exercise for today:  3 miles on the elliptical

If you knew me in August 2011, I guarantee you probably saw some variation of this picture:

Like most every woman, I was pretty obsessed with my engagement ring for a while, even though James and I had the least romantic engagement story ever (I e-mailed him asking if he wanted to get married, and he responded affirmatively two hours later). And then we went out that weekend and bought a relatively inexpensive ring and haven't looked back since.

I didn't miss my engagement ring when I switched over to my wedding ring, which has a reassuring weight to it.  But this weight, combined with my sometimes swollen fingers, has made me give it up for now. It's not that I'm particularly worried about it getting stuck, or that I can't go most of the day without it. But I've found myself taking it off sporadically (when I workout, when I sleep, basically any time I get too hot) and I'm worried that I'll lose it.  So at least for now I'm returning to my engagement ring, and accepting this as a small price to pay for baby.

Though I'm also remembering how much I like my engagement ring now.  Maybe I'll never go back.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Care packages and cupcakes

Total steps yesterday:  14,026
Exercise for today:  2 mile run

Just a few minor updates for today.

First, I have the best sister in law ever who sent me a wonderful care package.

You know she's amazing because she supports my nasty pumpkin spice latte habit.  I haven't tried these yet but have thought about grabbing them every time I'm in Starbucks lately.  I'm looking forward to some experimenting and will mostly likely devote a whole blog post (or two) to discussing their awesomeness.

Also, she must be a little bit psychic because I've just started noticing dryness and other stretching stomach issues and have been meaning to pick up some lotion for the last week.  Lo and behold, now I don't have to do that.  So thanks Maria!

I don't know if I've ever talked about how James is weird and doesn't like dessert.  But every once in a while we'll find a place he likes, and then I get to drag him along for my sweet tooth cravings, and it's the best.  The most recent discovery was a cupcake shop that makes perfect cupcakes.  I won't tell you how much we've spent on them in the last few days, because it's shameful.  I also won't tell you how many I've eaten, because it's even more shameful.

Anyway, on my last cupcake run on Monday, I'd picked up extra cupcakes for us so we could have dessert on Tuesday night without me having to make another cupcake run.  I ate mine right after dinner, but James saved his for later in the evening.  And then at around 9 p.m. he did the nicest, most wonderful thing anyone has ever done for me.

He gave me his cupcake.  And I was pretty much like this:

Cupcakes dog

I really do have the best husband ever.  He's clearly going to be a great father.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Registry blues (and pinks) and the worst pregnant exercise advice ever

Total steps yesterday:  6,566
Total cupcakes yesterday:  2
Exercise for today:  35 minutes on the elliptical

Yesterday's rest day was the exact thing that my brain/body/soul needed.  The sore back that has been plaguing me for the last few days is gone.   I feel a little bit less mentally foggy, and the fog that is there seems to be normal pregnancy fog, not "feeling depressed about life" fog, which is a marked improvement.  Overall, it was definitely the right choice to take a mental health day, and even though I'm back to the grind today, I'm feeling much better.

The downside of being back to the grind is that, today, there is nothing that actually needs grinding.  There were a few small things I had to deal with I first got back to the office, but overall it's a slow time at work.  Which is good, since it means I could spend approximately 3 hours of the morning fine tuning yesterday's baby registry attempt.

Phew.  Babies need a lot of stuff.  And I feel like many of the decisions come with more questions.  Like, I would love to do cloth diapers, or at least use cloth diapers when convenient and then have disposable ones when inconvenient.  However, we currently use the laundry room in our building, and pay for each use, which makes me think it wouldn't be convenient to do cloth diapers because we couldn't wash them daily.

Then there are the important questions that we all must ask ourselves, such as whether or not a snoogle is an adequate substitute for a boppy. And whether to purchase the pale pink or the pale blue bamboobies.  And why all baby items are given such ridiculous sounding names.

The sheer number of items that are needed, not to mention the sheer price, is a bit nerve-racking.  Out of morbid curiosity / wanting to hate my life, I added up how much all the items on my registry would cost.  The total came to $3787.55.  Now, not all of the items are necessities, and a lot of them were chosen with long term or versatile use in mind, so the high price now is justified down the road.  Or there are things like diapers that I registered for in bulk that I can buy piecemeal as needed instead.  In the end, it's not a huge deal.  But considering that we won't even have a real nursery for the first three months, and that Lil W will be roughly the size of a football during that time, there is just an astonishing amount of things that are needed or would just make life a whole lot simpler.

Someone suggested registering so you had a complete list of what was needed, and then doing a massive thrift store / Craigslist shopping effort to pick up as many items as possible.  Something like that might be in order sometime soon. 

Or maybe James and I will just move to Finland.

And finally, a pregnancy and exercise update related to the elliptical, which I rocked for the first time during pregnancy today.  I don't love the elliptical - for some reason it seems to bug my knees more than running, but I need a cross-training alternative, and I'd forgotten my running belt today, so it seems like a good chance to get back on the elliptical horse.  I've heard a few things about it leading to damage after pregnancy, though, so I did some quick internet research to find out if it's fact or fiction.  It seems to be mostly fiction - like any other exercise, listen to your body, but it's highly suggested as an alternative to running.

Except there was on additional suggestion, having to do with your body overheating, that I found so repulsive I had to share.  However, I'll insert this space buffer GIF here so that those of you not inclined toward pregnancy overshares can discreetly close the page and move on with your day.

What's The Best GIF On The Internet?
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
Apparently, in order to insure that your internal body temperature doesn't get too high while ellipticalling, you should purchase a rectal thermometer and check it every 20 minutes.  Never, ever happening.  This is just one more reason I don't like the elliptical.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Forget my wedding day. Today was the happiest day of my life.

Total steps yesterday:  10,662
Exercise for today:  petting alpacas

Let's talk about the ways that today was the best day ever.

1.  Marriage mind meld at 5:45 a.m. that led to both James and I deciding that the best plan for the day was to take personal days from work.
2.  Zoe being fully on board with the personal day plan and letting us sleep in until 7:40.
3.  Deciding that the best choice was to spend the morning at the zoo.  Turns out cold Mondays in October = only 5 other zoo guests there, aka pretty much a private zoo.
4.  This face.
5.  These faces.

6.  This face (when safely contained behind glass, and also while glad I'm not Harry Potter at the zoo).
7.  The most debonaire kangaroo ever.
8.  Getting to pet a highland cow.
9.  Touching the horns of a watusi.
 10.  This moment happened in my life:

11.  Finally getting our act together and registering for baby stuff.  Apparently our "nursery colors" will be purple and lime green, based on our bedding choices.
12.  James looking at the bedding set and asking, "What is a window valance and why would we ever need one?"
13.  Taking pretty much the best nap ever and having exactly zero guilt about sleeping away two hours of the afternoon.
14.   James using his game points in a random online game to purchase this:
14a.  The fact that this even exists as a prize in an online game.
15.  Feeling reconnected with my husband, reconnected with my dog, and reconnected with my long lost alpaca friends.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New anti-PR

Total steps yesterday: 7,863
Exercise for today: 3 mile run

Greetings from the floor of my apartment!  Apparently this week in pregnancy = lower back pain when when I sit in traditional places like couches and chairs.  So there's been a lot of floor sitting lately, which equals a lot of animal attention as a consequence - both Zoe and Zebra seem a bit weirded out when I invade their carpet space.

It's been a relatively boring weekend in the W household.  There's lots of housework to be done, so I'm slowly chipping away at that list, while also prioritizing things like sleeping and a Sunday morning run. 

Is it possible to have an anti-PR?  Like, the slowest you've ever run?  If so, today was my slowest 5k ever since I've actually been able to run a 5k.  It took me about 38 minutes to cover the distance.  Part of that was because I took a few small "catch my breath" breaks.  The first half of my 3 mile loop is all uphill, and hills and stairs continue to be the bane of my existence.  So I  had to take a few minutes along the way to let my heartbeat slow down and catch my breath a bit.  It wasn't a huge deal - it's beautiful outside and I enjoyed the day, and still covered the distance I wanted to.

I was thinking as I ran, though, that I am inching ever closer to the point where I can't run.  I was really hoping that I might be able to push through the entire pregnancy, or at least close, but based on my body the last few weeks, I just don't know if that will happen anymore.  I'm not giving up yet, but I think the point of no return is approaching.  I'd like to make it to at least my third trimester, which translates to 4 more weeks or 12 more runs.  I think I have at least that many left in me.

So far, Lil W and I have travelled around 734 (Fitbit verified) miles together.  That's quite a distance, but I'm still planning to chip away and reach 1,000 miles together before her 2014 arrival.  Baby steps, right?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Seething anger and others things I'm learning to cope with

Total steps yesterday:  21,697
Exercise for today:  yoga

It's been a very long few weeks in the W household, folks.  Between the government shutdown, October blues, and James' hospital stay, it's been way more stress than a 5 month pregnant woman should have to deal with.  Now, normally, when I get stressed, a good run, a bit of ice cream, or just stepping away (mentally and/or physically) from the issue  helps.  When worse comes to worse, there's always crying - a good cry solves everything.  And in general when I'm stressed to a breaking point, that's how I react - I cry, and it's overly dramatic, but then I get over it and I'm fine.

Well, pregnant Kathryn does not handle things that way.  Pregnant Kathryn seethes:

Now I am not normally a temperamental person.  Well, I have these flashes of anger that quickly dissipate to make room for more important things like yogurt parfaits.  But this week, the smallest, most innocuous things set me off.  

Things that have made me furious this week:
  • Zoe, any time she comes up to me to let me know she needs something that's probably not all that important any way (you know, like food, or water, or to go outside).
  • Zoe, any time she growls at another dog or a small child on our walks.
  • Zoe, in general.
  • NPR for doing their fundraising week this week instead of reporting non-stop on when/how the government shutdown ended.
  • Household chores, especially when James doesn't contribute.  I mean, he can't really help with dishes since our kitchen is too small for two people, and it would be foolish for him to clean out the guinea pig cage because he's allergic.  But clearly he should be doing these things anyway, right?
  • Virginia drivers.  Seriously, people, learn to use your blinkers.
  • Myself, when I get so angry I can't function and just need to step away.
Basically, I've been Mrs. White from Clue this whole week.

So suffice to say, after dragging myself out of bed at 8:30 this morning (furious at Zoe and James for getting to stay in bed later than me), I wasn't in the best frame of mind to go to yoga.  But I haven't been in a few weeks (since I've had to do infuriating things on Saturdays like research daycare and take care of my sick husband), and my body was sore from yesterday 21k steps day (note to self:  no more 21k step days).  So I ate breakfast (irate at my Special K cereal for having an inadequate ratio of red berries to cereal), drove to yoga through the crowded farmers market neighborhood (irritated that there's still a farmers market going on because who even needs decorative gourds these days anyway), and finally pulled in at the yoga studio.  My instructor greeted me with a bright and shiny good morning, and I greeted her with a bright and shiny no comment as I gathered my supplies for class.

And then, as class commenced, the instructor asked us all the share something going on in our lives this week.  And without thinking about it, I shared that I was incredibly angry at everything and everyone and I didn't want to be that way anymore.  It helped so much to hear the other moms-to-be in class share that they'd gone through similar weeks during pregnancy, and that they passed.  There were a few good suggestions on how to deal with it - take walks, take deep breaths, take yoga class.  The best, though, came from the instructor herself.  She started talking about all of the forgiving things we do for ourselves when pregnant - we give in to cravings, give in to naps, accept help when we maybe wouldn't have before.  This is obviously something I've talked about a lot on this board in terms of exercise - I'm much more patient and forgiving of myself and my sometimes lame exercise attempts than I once was. 

The instructor pointed out that we should feel the same way with our emotions.  Forgive the urge to cry at random songs on the radio.  Forgive the urge to yell at our husbands when they do something inconsiderate like bring us a cup of earl gray tea when we'd asked for english breakfast, dammit.  Forgive the urge to wake up our dogs when they're sleeping because they'd interrupted our naptime earlier.  She wasn't say to actually cry, or to yell, or to bully our animals, but rather to be forgiving of the impulse toward anger.

That message, coupled with a good yoga class, was what I needed today.  Today hasn't been perfect.  I rolled my eyes at James for having the tenacity to ask me refill the cat's food bowl.  I lost my patience with Zoe when she decided she'd rather roll around in leaves than come back inside from our walk.  But by consciously thinking about my anger, and whether or not it's legitimate, I've given myself the space to acknowledge I am angry, which conversely makes me less angry.  I'm still really hoping that this stage of pregnancy passes quickly, because I am over it already, but at least I have a more balanced outlook toward it than I have had the last week.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Welcome to the world, Littlest Spaghetti!

Total steps yesterday: 18,757
Exercise for today:  3 mile run, and lots of walking

Today has ended up being the weirdest scheduled day, and I have these awkward gaps of time in my schedule that I feel like should definitely be filled with the gym.  So, I think I might hit it up at lunchtime for a two mile walk, then go kill an hour by running 3 miles until it's time to go pick up James from the metro.  So, lots of steps will probably happen.  And it'll be the first time in a few months that  I've had back to back running days.  But honestly, exercise endorphins are one of the few things keeping me sane right now, so I feel like it's good to get the running going.

In WAY more important news, my favorite hometown friend delivered her baby girl last night.  I'm impatient and want all the details / 1,000 pictures right this second, but I guess I'll give them time to get settled in before I start berating her with questions.  Congratulations, Mama Spaghetti and the rest of your family, and I sincerely hope that you had the birth without fear that you were planning for.

It's been pretty much the best thing ever being pregnant at the same time as my dear friend, and clearly Littlest Spaghetti and Lil W are going to be the best friends ever.  Now the next four months just have to hurry up and pass.  Seeing the first picture of a new baby makes me incredibly eager for my own little one to arrive.

And that's about all I got today.  New baby > anything I have going on in my life.  In the best way.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

24 weeks down, 16 to go

Total steps yesterday:  12,587
Exercise for today:  3 mile run

Great news!  James is back at work today and while there are still some issues and questions regarding finances, I think we'll be just fine.  The biggest frustration today is hearing the various comments about the "three week paid vacation" that federal workers had.  This wasn't a vacation.  If, on September 30th, his boss had said, "Go home for three weeks, relax, and get paid at the end of it" that would have been a vacation.  But instead the message was "don't call us, we'll call you" and each day was spent pinching our pennies and watching the news for any sort of update on when James could work again and whether or not he'd get paid.  All is well that ends well, sort of, but I'm tired of people pretending that this was an easy few weeks.  It wasn't, and while James and I pulled through okay, I know other families weren't as lucky.  I'm grateful James is back at work, and am glad that in the end he gets paid, but that doesn't mean it's been a fun, easy-going October.

Anyway.  Tomorrow is 24 weeks for Lil W, who is now the size of an ear of corn.  I, on the other hand, am the size of a field of corn.  I feel like Lil W is definitely wanting to make her presence known to the world:

This is the first week where I've actually had moments of feeling unattractively huge.  And even those are minor.  Overall, I still feel pretty great and am not nearly as concerned about weight gain as I thought I would be.  It's a good feeling.

In terrifying news, when I was reading the updates on Lil W's size and progress this week, one whole section was about the dangers of preterm labor.  And now I'm misreading every symptom as being preterm related.  Pregnancy fear mongering is horrifying sometimes.
So I choose to ignore the fear and just keep swimming.  Or just keep running, as the case may be.

I've recently started following a new blogger who is also a pregnant runner, and she's adorable.  One of my favorite features of her blog is a list of pregnancy questions that she'll answer every few weeks, and this week I'm stealing her list since answering questions is more fun than original thought.

How far along?  24 weeks
Size of the baby:  An ear of corn, or about 1.3 pounds and almost a foot long
Maternity clothes?  All the time.  I briefly wore real jeans last weekend and immediately regretted it.
Stretch marks? None, so far!    
Sleep: It's been okay.  I'm super hot which makes sleeping hard, but overall have had better quality / less nightmares than about a month ago.  
Symptoms:  My body stops functioning at about 8:30 each night and I have to lie down.  And I'm still getting leg cramps a lot.  
Best moment this week: James legitimately feeling the baby kick.  He's had times where he thought he felt her before, but was sure this time.  Bonus:  his first time feeling the baby for sure was at about 3 a.m. in the morning in the emergency room, so it was a good distraction from not being able to breathe.  
Miss Anything?  Having a beer while cooking chicken etouffee.  It's so hot when making a roux.
Food cravings: Everything sweet carbs - cakes, donuts, cupcakes, coffee cake.  I can usually resist, but cave more frequently than I used to.
Anything making you queasy or sick:  Nope - for right now I seem to have fully left morning sickness behind.  
Have you started to show yet: See above picture.
Belly Button in or out?  Still in. 
Wedding rings on or off?  On for the most part, but comes off for exercise and sometimes late in the day.  My engagement ring is larger than my wedding ring, so I might switch back to that soon for the remainder of the pregnancy.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy most of the time, but when I get moody, I do it right.  Since I'm a fairly even tempered person, my occasional hissy fits seem to really entertain my husband.  He helps me keep things in perspective.

Looking forward to:  Still running for at least a few more weeks, and the impending arrival of third trimester!
New mom tips I received this week (which I love getting!):  I haven't really gotten any.  Mom friends, you need to get on this!
Favorite part of being pregnant so far:  Having a more live and let live attitude toward eating and exercise.  As long as I'm mostly doing what's right, I don't worry about the slip ups.
Still Running?  Yes, and I'm hoping not to have to stop soon.  My runs still feel good, if a little harder than usual, and I still anticipate there will be another drop in speed soon, but overall I still feel great, and the feeling when I'm done is better than anything.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Another day, another woman body shamed...

Total steps yesterday:  18,826
Exercise plans for today:  60 minute walk

It's been a rough week to be a woman in America.  First there was last week's efforts by a misogynistic blogger to make the week in to "Fat Shaming Week", because it was his responsibility to make women feel bad about themselves so that they'd change for the better.  You can read more about it here, but be aware that it will make you weep for humanity.

Following closely on the heels of that issue, this woman is now getting all sorts of Facebook flack for daring to get back in to shape after having had three babies in close succession.  Now, to be fair, I actually think these two different issues might be tied together.  Maria Kang's photo that started this controversy has the heading of "What's Your Excuse?" above a photo of her three boys, showing how quickly she got back in to shape after having her children.  And I honestly think that the current vitriol toward her might be part of the backlash against Fat Shaming Week.

But to me, the extreme response reads more as fit shaming, and as mother shaming.  One of the comments directed at Ms. Kang said, "Those precious little things need their mommy more than they need you to have glamour muscles". This irks me in several ways.  One, it suggests that the mother is doing something wrong by taking one hour a day / six hours a week to take care of herself, and doesn't acknowledge that the peace that working out brings her probably makes her a better wife and mother.  It also drives me crazy because I can't imagine a father having this same criticism thrown against him.  A dad going to the gym = no big deal.  A mom doing it = probably her kids dying, since that's where every choice in motherhood leads us.

This all got me thinking again about women and body image issues.  It's a funny thing about pregnancy - it's really the one time in a woman's life when it's socially acceptable to gain weight, and even then it's critiqued.  I told someone at the gym the other day that I was five months pregnant and her response was, "There's no way you're five months - you're not nearly big enough!".  And this was a week after my doctor told me I was too big.  And this is on top of all of the other invasions of pregnant women's space and choices - the belly touching, the dietary questioning, the fitness kerfuffles - it all seems to add up to a way to control our bodies when they're out of control.  Also, "kerfuffles" is a fun word.

Back in college, I was in a "class" with my advisor and three classmates.  The class was an independent study on feminist literature, and was fairly informal - that day's class took place in a local pizza parlor and focused on a fictional book about eating disorders.  The professor stopped us in the middle of the discussion and quietly pointed out a couple sitting in the booth across the way.  The woman was sitting cross-legged, with her top leg held as close as possible to her bottom leg, and her arms held tightly to her sides.  The man sat with legs spread akimbo and arms lounging casually over the back of the booth.  The professor pointed it out not to make fun of the couple, but to show how women were subconsciously trained to make themselves as small as possible, whereas men felt no such compunction.  Also, "akimbo" is a fun word.

(Random sidenote:  in editing today's blog, I looked up the word "akimbo" to make sure I was spelling it correctly, and found that, technically, akimbo refers to a specific body position where the hands are on the hips and the elbows are spread wide, and that legs cannot actually be "akimbo".  I'd always thought it just meant spread wide.  So I should technically go back and change that last paragraph, but instead I'm going to leave it as is and we'll all learn something new today.)

I noticed as I squatted / fell on to the couch this morning to check my e-mail that my pose was very similar to the  pizza parlor paramour of years back - legs spread wide to accommodate my bump, arms spread to support myself as I leaned back.  I just take up so much more space than I did before pregnancy, and it's not comfortable for pregnant women - I imagine it's subconsciously even less comfortable for those around us.  A pregnant woman is such an undeniable thing - even if it's annoying to get lots of attention, it's also unique to not be trying to blend in to a crowd.  I have to admire the moms who bring this attention on themselves through their fitness actions.  It's not easy to be physically noticed for something other than your beauty, and whether it's "too fat" or "too fit", I think society will always judge us a little bit. 

I doubt I will ever be an internet sensation due to my mom choices.  And luckily, no one in my immediate life has made any super derogatory comments about my working out while pregnant.  But stories like Maria Kang's make me realize how unlikely it is that the anger against women for making their own choices will ever go away.  I have this tentative dream that I'd like to run a marathon within a year of Lil W being born.  I feel lucky that I have a supportive spouse, and will hopefully live near a doting grandmother, both of whom can take care of Lil W while I pursue my own fitness goals.  I also firmly believe that those choices will make me a better mother.  Give me an hour (or two or three on long run days) to escape in to my own fitness world, and I will be happier and better.  Anyone who could question or criticize that is just wrong.  I will continue to exercise because I love my child and want to be around as long as possible for her, but I also love myself and want to take care of me.  I was my own person for 28 years before Lil W became part of my life, and I anticipate that I will continue to be my own person, with a new little Mom hat, for many years to come.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Return to Routine

Total steps yesterday:  10,008
Exercise for today:  3 mile run

Ah, it's good to be back to the semi-norm in the W household.  James is still waiting to hear when he can go back to work, but at least he's out of the hospital.  Yesterday was the last day of my four day weekend and the first day not spent at the hospital.  Instead, I spent it running around doing the errands I'd put off the previous three days.

In that respect, I feel like this weekend was probably at least a hint at the adventures of motherhood, in that I spent the entire time focused on others' well-being -- I was either at the hospital with James, running home to take care of Zoe, or sleeping.  This isn't a complaint, exactly, but more led to the realization that within a few months pretty much every waking (and some sleeping) moment will be dedicated to caring for another creature.  Good  thing I count naps as "me time", otherwise I'd have no time to myself.

But today was the return to work for me, a return to working out, and a return to blogging, and it's good to be back.  Well, not necessarily back at work, but back to everything else.  My run today was awesome.  I mean, the run itself was whatever.  I struggled along at 11 minute miles and needed to pee the entire time, but I completed it.  And afterward I remembered how good it was to have endorphins flowing.

A moment of realness here:  something about October is always really hard on me emotionally.  There's no real reason for this, but as long as I can remember, I sink in to some sort of an October funk every year.  It's not even sadness, necessarily, but a combination of apathy and helplessness that leaves me feeling kind of numb.  I try to fight it every year, or tell myself that this will be the year that I actually talk to a doctor about it, but it never happens.  And then November rolls around and I'm fine again.  I think pregnancy hormones, combined with way too much stress over this government shutdown, are making it a little worse than normal this year, which is why those running endorphins were the best ever today.  Just 33 little minutes of exercise and my mood is infinitely better today than it's been in about a week.  And I think I'll actually sleep well tonight, as an added bonus.  Long story short, exercise is the best, even when it's slow and pathetic.

Because I shouldn't be sad.  I should be happy, like this girl was after her dad returned from mysteriously being gone for three days:

It's hard to be sad when that's the face I get to come home to every day.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Den Mother

Well, the big news in the W household right now is that James and I are now entering our 37th hour of a hospital stay.  Luckily (?) it's for James, not for me and/or the baby.  That sounds kind of heartless as I type it out, but both James and I agree we'd rather be here for him than for me right now.  He's dealing with some upper respiratory issues, and since breathing is rather important to the grand scheme of life, I'm glad he's getting taken care of.

For my part, I'm using the opportunity to learn the rhythms of the hospital, which is the same one we're planning to deliver in.  It's almost nice to see how it works.  This ranges from small things, like figuring out ahead of time how to order meals to the room and that the cafeteria accepts debit cards.  We're up on the 5th floor, two floors above where we'll be for Maternity, but the same general wing of the hospital, so I'm learning my way around for the (hopefully short) hospital stay after Lil W arrives.  All in all, we're doing okay.  James and I are always relatively hesitant to come to the emergency room wondering if it's worth it, but the response of the ER to his initial condition, combined with it apparently being bad enough to keep him here at least two days, tells us we made the right decision.

It also has me feeling very lucky that we live in America and have insurance, which has allowed us to make the best choices for his health without immediate thought to whether or not we can afford it.  It's a luxury that I know we're very, very lucky to have, and while I imagine we'll have a little bit of sticker shock when we finally get the bill, at least we can get the care that he needs right now.

And the good thing is, since James is already furloughed, he hasn't had to arrange to take time off work.  So, in terms of good timing to be ill and hospitalized, it is.  Though it sounds like progress is being made on that front and hopefully he'll be back to work soon, health permitted.

He's antsy to get home, though, and I can't blame him.  I'm antsy to have him home.  I went home for about 8 hours last night to take care of the dog and catch some sleep, and learned something about Zoe that was rather interesting.

I'm not particularly worried about introducing Zoe to the new baby.  She doesn't like new people / things, but once someone is around for about 3 days, they become part of her pack and she accepts and loves them.  This has applied to James and I, obviously, and my mom and sisters when they've visited.  It also applies to pets - Zoe and Zebra exist in peace, and she even loves our guinea pig.

So,  I'm pretty used to Zoe's pack mentality, and accept it as part of her personality.  I also accept that in our little pack, James is clearly the alpha.  Last night, I learned that, while Zoe agrees with that assessment, she thinks that she herself is second in command.  It was the first time I've ever spent the night with Zoe without James around, and she decided that she had to take care of me and protect the household.  She usually sleeps by our feet for the first little bit, then crawls under the bed for the rest of the night.  Last night she spent all night either laying in the bedroom doorway or at the foot of the bed, and her head popped up at every tiny noise.

I'm glad she was on the clock, though, as she defended us from the evil 2 a.m. attack of the A/C unit coming on, the 4 a.m. failed coup of the cat to get to her litter box, and the 6 a.m. monstrosity of the alarm going off.  I don't know what I would have done without her.

I don't know if I should be insulted or find it endearing that in her head, she's #2 on the pack hierarchy.  I'm hoping I'm #3 and not behind the cat or the guinea pig. And I'd like to tell myself that her protectiveness is because she can sense that I'm pregnant and she's actually protecting the baby.  But I'm not that delusional yet.  I'll take my 40 pound dog's protection, and at least I know she will bark loudly at any dangerous issues that actually come up.  Like the sound of rain water coming out of the gutter.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Poor communication: the story of my body and me this week

Total steps yesterday:  18,165
Exercise for today:  1.5 mile walk

So I have talked frequently about the important of listening to your body.  I was glad I had a race training foundation in this prior to pregnancy, and it's  been immensely helpful as I've navigated the various diet and exercise challenges of this particular phase of my life.

This week, though, my body's not talking.  Or maybe I have in ear plugs and can't hear it.  Or possibly I'm just a bad listener.  Either way, I can't quite figure out what's going on.  I've been relatively tired despite getting plenty of sleep.  My diet has been on track.  My workouts, however, are suffering.  I just don't have the motivation and when I do start I just want to quit.  Seriously, for today's workout I walked for 25 minutes, or about a mile and a half, and then quit and got a scone.

And I'm totally cool with that, if it's what my body really needs.  I feel like food-wise I can hear my body - I'm feeding it well, but occasionally indulging in an extra snack or eating lunch at 10:30 because that's when I want my caesar salad.  I can't tell with exercise though if I'm legitimately this tired or looking for an excuse to slack off.

In the past, I can tell when I'm getting burned out on exercise, and normally either take a few days off or just push through the pain and look ahead to when it will be awesome again.  I feel like that's not an option right now, though.  Partially that's because I feel up against a bit of a time crunch - there's only so many more weeks of possible exercise, and I want to make the most of them, and I refuse to  believe that 22 weeks is when  my body decides that exercise is no more.  So I don't want to slow down.  But at the same time, despite my refusals, if my body really is ready to  be done, I have to figure out how to accept that and move on. 

So, I now have to figure out how to tell if I'm ready to slow things down.  I might switch up my exercises just a little.  Maybe try switching to the bike instead of walking on my off running days.  That way, if this is just boredom with routine instead of actual signs I should stop, I'll give myself some other avenues to explore.  And I think I'll do my run tomorrow at a slightly slower pace.  Not super slowed down, but 11:30 minute miles or so instead of 11 minute miles.  We'll see if that extra 30 seconds give me some breathing room.  And if after a few more days of fiddling, and some long weekend sleep, I'm still feeling sluggish, then I'll start coming up with a "how to exercise when I can no longer exercise" plan.

In good news, I currently work a four day a week schedule, and was able to switch around my schedule for this weekend so that I have both Friday and Monday off, thus giving me a four day weekend with James.  I plan to sleep, go to yoga, exercise, try to get all our chores done on Friday so we have three days of nothing, and then make this soup which is the best ever but also requires about 3 hours of prep so doesn't get made very often.  I figure as long as James isn't allowed to work, we might as well enjoy the pre-baby time together as much as possible.

Wouldn't it just be super ironic if I rearranged my whole schedule and then he ended up going back to work?  I don't see that happening in the next few days, but it would make me laugh.  And I'd still be making that soup.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Total steps yesterday:  14,439
Exercise for today:  2.9 mile run

Great news guys!  Sunday's bad run was a fluke!  I was able to maintain my pace and my mileage for at least one more day.  Best. News. Ever.

Colbert High Five 

I had to cut my run short by 1/10th of a mile.  There's a zumba class, or something similar, at my work gym on Tuesdays at the same time I run.   I try to time my lunch to get there after the class starts so that the class gets out before my run is over, and they all have time to get done showering before I have to.  It's a very complicated process.  Anyway, today I realized toward the end of my run that the class was running long, and if I didn't get off the treadmill and get in to the showers before the class ended, then I'd have to wait in shower line and would be late for work.  So, long story short, I missed my 3 mile run by 1/10th of a mile but I'm accepting that.


Anyway.  The other big news of the day is that James and I are about 90% sure we'll be returning to my hometown after the baby is born.  We just don't think it makes sense to pay the high rent and daycare costs of the D.C. area any more.  We'd be making ends meet but not much beyond that, and that's not the life we want for us or for the baby.  We want a life of family and rainbows and unicorns.


So it's looking like next May we'll be headed back to Elko in search of new jobs, a new place to live, and a fresh start close to grandparents.  It's scary to up and move again, but less scary since we'll be in a place with a support network. 

Now we just have to figure out how to travel 3,000 miles with all of our stuff, a 3 month old baby, a dog, a cat, and a guinea pig.  I'd like it to look like this:

But it will probably be more like this:

Monday, October 7, 2013

So much pregnanter. More pregnant. Whatever.

Total steps yesterday:  5786 on Fitbit, plus about 6000 more from my non-Fitbitted run/walk
Exercise for today:  2.2 mile walk

Man, I don't know what it is about this week, but I'm feeling so much more pregnant all of a sudden.  I need, like, 14 hours of sleep a day.  I'm hungry all the time.  My exercise abilities are going downhill.  A turtle stuck on its back is more graceful and fluid than me trying to turn over at night.  I'm so hot (temperature wise) at night.  And don't even get me started about walking up hills or stairs - suffice to say, it does not happen without frequent breaks. 

And I still have 18 weeks to go.

Oh, did I mention the leg cramps?  After dissipating for a bit last week, they're back in full force.  My life is so hard.

Also, at my check-up this morning, my doctor told me that I was gaining weight too fast.  I wanted to yell back that it's actually her nurse who doesn't accurately measure weight, but I realized that would make me sound crazy and hormonal (it's actually true, but I'm not going to fight my doctor over 3 pounds.  Except when that translates to me "gaining" twice as much weight as I actually have since the last visit, maybe I should have said something.  Whatever, I'm over it and probably shouldn't have left this in parantheses).  So apparently my emotions are a little out of whack right now as well.

None of this is inherently a bad thing.  I don't mind being more pregnant.  I realize it's going to get worse before it gets better.  It's just a bit of a hard reality.  I only have about 5 more weeks in the supposedly glorious second trimester, and while I'm mostly feeling fine, I'm not ready to give up feeling good and having energy just yet.   And I'm really not ready to give up running.  Tomorrow's workout is planned as a three mile run, and it's going to be my test of whether yesterday's bad run was a fluke or the new normal.  I'm really, really hoping for a fluke, but will of course adjust to the new reality if I really have slowed down that much. 

I have, though, pretty much given up strength training as a lost cause.  It just doesn't feel right, and I'm not going to push the issue, so I'm now alternating running days with walking days.  And throwing in some at home yoga each night in the hopes of avoiding the aforementioned leg cramps, but I'm not really counting that as exercise. 

I'm still glad I have my Fitbit back, though, and still hopefully that I can hit my 1,000 miles to baby goal.  I'm currently at 660 miles with the baby, which just means I need to average 20 miles a week if I want to hit my goal.  I think that's pretty doable.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Reunited and it feels so good

Guess who I finally brought back to life today?  That's right, my beloved Fitbit is finally re-batteried and kicking again.  It feels so good to have my dear, close friend back.

Also, I don't know if other bloggers do this, but I'll sometimes just do a google image search of a phrase to try to find something appropriate for a post.  If you're ever bored, I HIGHLY recommended going a google image search of "reunited and it feels so good meme".  It's mostly ridiculous animal pictures:

But also has sports analogies, a Walking Dead reference, various NSFW pictures and comics, and a fair amount of Backstreet Boys references.  Win for a five minute timekiller.
Speaking of the Backstreet Boys, James and I watched This is the End last night, which I enjoyed more than I was expecting.  It's an apocalypse movie from the same group that brought us Pineapple Express and other stoner comedies, which aren't typically my bag, but this one was enjoyable.  And if you like Backstreet Boys, it's worth the watch.  And that's all I'll say about that.

Anyway, I didn't fix my Fitbit until after my run today, so I'm sure my steps will be low, but I should be back on Fitbit track starting tomorrow.  And I can't wait.

Today I attempted a run, and it was bad.  It's the funny thing about runs - many are good, some are amazing, but there are always a few really terrible ones.  In my experience, most runners / racers of any kind can recall the details of a bad race/run vividly.  Sometimes it's our own fault, like the 5k portion of a tri relay that I attempted at 24 while hungover on four hours of sleep.  That was never going to be a fast 3.1 miles.  Then there are the ones where something in nature works against us - rain, snow, ice, wind.  My 12 mile training run for my first half marathon was hampered by Colorado wildfires - it was an out and back route, and by 6 miles out the smoke had thickened to a point I could barely breathe.  And I'd stupidly forgotten to bring my cell phone, so I had no choice but to run/walk my way back to my car, kicking myself for not just avoiding the run on a smoky day.  And then there are the runs where you just hit a wall for no reason.  Everything can be right and perfect, but you can still find yourself 10 miles in to a half marathon unable to push through at your desired race pace and in a horrible mood because you're going to miss your goal time by 20 minutes.  For example.

I think, though, that pregnancy potentially gave me another running gift this morning.  It's already allowed me to relax about my pace.  Today, it showed me that I can enjoy the run even if it's not a good one.  Normally on a bad run I spend the time beating myself up - trying to figure out what I did wrong in pre-race prep, running too fast to try to make up for lost time and just tiring myself out more, kicking myself for every hill I can't make it up.  But today, I was able to relax, enjoy the weather, and not beat up on myself too much.  What should have been a good run turned in to a decent walk and my mood stayed relatively elevated.  I hope I can take the same attitude in to bad runs after pregnancy, especially since I imagine my first few back after baby will be terrible.

Here's a few random pregnancy thoughts for you:  I had expected a relatively gradual deterioration of my running speed, and a fairly steady weight gain week by week.  Instead, what I've found is that these things seem to come in sudden jumps.  I was weighing consistently at 164 for about three weeks, and all of a sudden jumped up to 167, where I'm holding steady now.  I saw the same thing happen about a month ago when I jumped from 158 to 164.  It's not a huge deal, but it's definitely a strange weight gain pattern.

The same thing seems to happen with my running pace.  I was fine holding at 6 mph until about 14 weeks, when my body said no and I dropped to 5.5 mph.  I think I might be at the beginning of another speed drop.  Even before today turned in to a walking day, it took me about 12 minutes to make my first mile.  I'm not too worried about it - just another evolution in this changing body of mine.  Still, it's interesting intellectually to track the various changes.

Estimated steps for the day:  probably around 12,000, between the run/walk, errands, and dog walking.

Positive shutdown thought for the day:  the House has passed a bill to give furloughed employees backpay for the time they weren't allowed to work during the shutdown.  This was very unexpected this time around, and while it doesn't help us with our tighter finances right now, it does guarantee we won't fall behind on saving for Lil W.  That's good news.

Friday, October 4, 2013

A list!

I think this will be a list blog post today to quickly encompass the various things going on:

1.  Today is 22 weeks, and Lil W is the size of a spaghetti squash.  Suddenly that sounds very big.  And also makes me want to make spaghetti squash.  James and I have been looking for non-tomato, non-acidic meals to help with a recent bout of heartburn, so my usual go-to spaghetti squash recipe of making spaghetti with it won't fly.  I might poke around for some good recipes today.

2.  It's still in the 80s here in the DC area so not exactly fall weather, but I'm definitely shifting in to a fall frame of mind and want to only make soups and stews and hearty meals like that for dinner.  And with James home during the day for the time being, there's more time to throw those together and let them simmer like they should.  This might inspire my meal plan this week.

3.  There's a monster in our closet.  Or, more specifically, I have come home from work the last few days to find the closet door opened just a bit:

Clearly evidence of a ghost
At first we thought that it had just been accidentally left open (it's James' side of the closet so  I wouldn't put it past him).  And then we thought that maybe Zoe had somehow managed to poke her head in there, but that doesn't make sense since nothing was destroyed or pulled back out of there.  Zoe is not subtle enough to just open something a crack.  Finally, at about 10 p.m. last night as I was falling asleep, I discovered the real culprit:

Somehow, our tiny little cat has figured out how to dive headfirst in to the seam between the closet doors and basically wedge herself in until it opens wide enough to enter.  We normally try to keep her out of the closet, but I admire her gumption and ingenuity so much that I feel like I need to let this one slide.

4.  The aforementioned tiny little cat has been super in to my baby bump since about week 14 - apparently cats like how warm and vibratey pregnant stomachs are, so they have a tendency to nap on them.  Zoe, on the other hand, has somewhat avoided me / somewhat been pushed away by me since she's a bit heavy for belly jumping.  But last  night she was super cuddly and awesome and adorable.  I think once she gets used to Lil W, she's going to be her best friend:

Estimated steps for the day:  not very many.  I have a work lunch to go to so no official workout today, and other than my Zoe walk after work, I probably won't get in too many steps.  My guess would be that I'll come in somewhere around 6,000 for the day.

Positive shutdown thought of the day:  people are starting to realize how much the federal government does.  I feel like there's this narrative out there that some people believe about federal employees being lazy and not actually doing anything helpful.  So every time I hear even a small story about how someone is affected (can't access a research website, unable to hike in a park, can't change their name on their passport, etc) I'm glad to know that federal workers are getting some recognition.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Two weeks without a baby bump?

Guys!  I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since I shared a blurry baby bump picture with you.  I've clearly been remiss in my pregnant woman duties.  Thus:

22 weeks
I don't really feel like I'm noticeably larger, but then I looked back at my first post on this blog, about 7 weeks ago, and there's definitely been some progress:

15 weeks
 I do think, when looking at the side by side comparison, that I both need to take more pictures than just the ones in my workout clothes at the gym, and that my face is starting to get a little puffier.  Is it weird that I had zero worries about weight gain, and zero worries about any other physical changes, but really dreading getting puffy face?  I have to get my priorities in line.

Not much else going on today.  I wasn't feeling my workout so I just walked two miles.  Now I'm feeling super lazy and just want to hang out on the couch all day.  James and I are trying to come up with a list of things to keep him busy / entertained as long as he's stuck at home.  Unfortunately it's not a huge list, so feel free to share any ideas in comments.

Estimated steps for the day:  probably around 8,000.  My two mile walk added some in, and a few Zoe walks ought to bump me up, but it doesn't feel  like a 10,000 step kind of day.

Positive shutdown thought:  Zoe is so, so happy to have James home with her.  She's a rockstar at being on her own during the workday, but I know she's happy to have a friend.  Even if it's just expressed through napping in the living room with him rather than under the bed like usual, she's getting to hang out with someone and that makes her happier and calmer.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pajama clothes, charlie horses, and other nighttime related things

A few years back, as I was first entering the workforce and dealing with the challenges of acquiring a professional wardrobe, I became obsessed with the idea of what I called pajama clothes.  These were clothes that looked perfectly presentable but were the epitome of comfort, like pajamas.  The fewer buttons, zippers, or decorations the better.  I wouldn't wear them every day, but there were certain times when it just felt better to have incredibly comfortable clothes on.

And that, so far, is my favorite thing about maternity clothes.  They're ALL pajama clothes.  Oddly, the one piece of restrictive piece of maternity clothes I've picked up that I don't love is an actual set of pajamas.  But for the day in / day out stuff, I've never been more comfortable and don't know how I'll ever go back to regular clothing.

In other pregnancy news, I'm keeping this little mental tally of things that people don't tell you about pregnancy.  A lot of it is stuff that's sort of just not for polite company to discuss, so it's not a big deal.  But the new discovery this week is that apparently nighttime leg cramps are a thing in pregnancy?  I've had more charlie horses in the last week than I have in my entire life.  Also, I'd somewhat forgotten the term "charlie horse" until 2 a.m. the other morning when I was trying to stretch one out, which made me think of the character Charlie Horse on the old Lamb Chop PBS kids show, which made me think of the song that never ends.  And let me tell you, there are few forms of torture more exquisitely painful than being half-awake at 2:00 a.m., attempting to stretch out a painful muscle cramp, with that song running through your head.

Anyway, I've started implementing pre-bed stretching and relaxation time in an attempt to avoid middle of the night muscle cramps, and so far (for the past two nights), it's been successful.  In its place, though, the nightmares have come in.  

I've had three stages of nightmares in my pregnancy.  Or rather, two, and I'm worried I'm entering the third now.  The first stage, in early pregnancy, consisted of what I call "adult nightmares".  We couldn't pay our bills, or were losing our jobs, or something similar that would be a legitimate nightmare in real life.  The second stage consisted of super vivid regular dreams that weren't nightmarish in content but had the feel of a nightmare.  So I'd dream that I was grocery shopping or on a run or just typing away at my computer.  Nothing nefarious, but it would feel super scary.  I don't know.  As of last night, I was plagued with full-on, hardcore nightmares.  Getting chased by monsters, getting kidnapped, various creepy crawly things good.  So while I had no leg cramps, I still woke up frequently having to talk myself down from nightmares. Dreams are weird.

Estimated steps for today:  Probably around 16,000, between walking around work, walking the dog, two breaktime walks, and a three mile lunchtime run.  God I miss my Fitbit.

Positive shutdown thought of the day:  Since I don't have to drop James at the metro / pick him up at the end of the day, I get to both sleep in later and get home earlier.  I'd rather James be working, but if he's not, I'll take a 5:30 home time for right now.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Worst. Day. Ever.

Total steps yesterday:  14,456
Exercise plans for today:  a few dog walks

Well, today is the worst day ever, for one very simple reason.  This is something that affects all of us but is felt very keenly by me, and is going to put a serious hamper on the tone of this blog for at least the next few days.  And if you're a regular reader of this blog, I imagine you'll know exactly what the reason is and why I'm so incredibly upset about it.

Angry office selfie.
That's right:  my Fitbit is dead.  I'd taken the dog out for a quick walk this morning and went to check my Fitbit afterward in the hopes of seeing how far I'd gone, and there was no response.  No smiling face reassuring me of greatness.  No step count slowly ticking toward at least 10,000 steps.  No positive affirmation that I am doing what's right for my body.  Most importantly, no steps are adding up to keep me at the top of my friends list on Fitbit.  For those of you looking to dethrone me, now is your chance.  In short, I am sad face, much like the face on my Fitbit when I haven't taken enough steps in a day.

Okay, it's more of a taunting face than a sad one.
I realize, in a rational way, that this doesn't affect my body.  I can still take as many steps as I want and it still does me good.  And I realize that the miles are still ticking away despite me not having digital proof of them, but man, that digital proof is so nice.  It's just a matter of replacing the battery, but it's one of those funky flat batteries that I never seem to have around the house.  And so, for at least the next few days until I get things in order and get a new battery, there will be no step updates on this blog.

SO.  In place of the step updates, I'm introducing a new feature to the blog for the next few days.  Instead of a Total Step Count at the top of the entry, I'm going to end each blog post with an estimated step count, as well as a positive thought related to the government shutdown.  You might have heard about that in the news or something.  James has been furloughed and we're now in an unpaid holding pattern until government reopens.  I could whine and moan about it (and believe me I have), but I'm going to attempt to focus on the few good things about it.

Estimated steps for the day:  probably right around 10,000.  I skipped my lunchtime run to pick James up after his early out today, but have gotten in several walks and have a long Zoe walk planned later, so I'm most likely coming close to my goal.

Positive shutdown thought for the day:  Because James didn't have to get to work as early as normal, I got an extra half an hour of sleep and am feeling well rested.

God bless America.