Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Marathon-y Stuff

Taking a break from my intense mommy-style navel gazing, I wanna do some runner-style navel gazing. It's highly unlikely I'm EVER going to attempt this crap again in my life, so I want to say some of this out loud so I'll be sure to remember.

I thought running was easier in general since Grace was born because my mental game improved. I mean, when you go day after day with no sleep to speak of, and have no choice but to drag your sorry ass out of bed anyway, it sort of toughens you up a little. I needed some toughening up, so it just made sense. I saw a story on the news the other day, though, talking about actual physiologic changes that typically improve running after pregnancy. I knew that getting started again right at six weeks would help me take advantage of the polycythemia left over from pregnancy (basically I still had extra red blood cells hanging out to feed delicious oxygen to my body), but they said it goes beyond that. I can't remember what factors there are, specifically, because I am tired and unspeakably stupid these days. But anyway. I guess choosing to do this right after G's birth was not entirely crazy, and maybe even wise. Yes. I knew I was being wise. It was entirely on purpose.


Last weekend was a twelve mile run, and this weekend is thirteen. After that, we're moving into distances I've never run before.

I'm skurred.

Ten miles felt great a few weeks ago. Really, really good. I even sped up the last two miles, pretty significantly. Twelve miles last weekend felt like hell on toast. I limped into my parents' house (they babysit G while I go on the extra-long runs) so pathetically, my mom said, "And you think you're going to run twenty six?" Then I came home and napped during G's afternoon nap, which was so ridiculously short I woke up disoriented, caked in drool, and feeling positively ill. As I ran up the stairs to get Grace (using the word "run" awfully loosely here...), I thought, not for the first time, that this was probably the stupidest idea I've ever had.

In other words, I'm having reeeally mixed feelings about this decision. I know that, if I'm successful, it will all be worth it on October 11th (and really, forever, because this is mostly about showing myself I can do it. and bragging rights. but really, truly, mostly about showing myself I can do it.), but sometimes I feel like I need to THINK before I sign up for these things.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

No, THIS is the best age!

I remember, sometime around four months, realizing that Grace was at an age/stage that I would miss one day. This was striking for obvious reasons- really, who in their right mind would miss colic? Right. But then one day, right around the time she was old enough to play and entertain herself a little, I realized she was FUN. That's when my friend Anne told me, from that point on, every age would be my favorite. Suuuure, I thought. If you say so.

She was right. (She usually is.)

I realized today, as I was unloading her from the front carrier to get back in the car, I want her to be this age forever. And I've thought that for the last three or four months. Every new trick she learns, every outfit she outgrows, every new food she tastes- they're all so exciting, and just when I think it can't get any better, it does. At the same time, I look back on four-month-old Gracie and think, awww, I miss that! It's crazy.

Semi-related note: Stephen says I'll be carrying her around in the front carrier til she leaves for college. Of course he's wrong, her legs would drag on the ground, but it won't stop me from trying.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Gracie's First Vacation: a Success! (no, really!!)

Ever since G was born and showed us just how strong her opinions on life are (already!), I've been nervous about her first vacation. A family trip to Saugatuck was the perfect starting point- help from the parents, lots of people dying to meet her and hold her and play with her, no airports involved, no "trapped in a metal tube in the sky, surrounded by strangers who are not required by DNA to love her"'s perfect!

Getting ready to hit the road was beyond stressful- it stinks enough when you forget something important of your own, but I got this idea in my head that I would forget the most important thing we needed for her, resulting in travel disaster and an entirely ruined weekend. (apparently I thought we were travelling to a corner of Greenland or something, and wouldn't have any way of finding replacements for whatever we forgot?)

Grace wasn't fond of the trip there. We hit hideous traffic and the drive was nearly twice as long as usual, which she did not enjoy. We stopped about halfway there to get snacks, let her stretch her legs (and, of course, practice her driving skills), and then got back on the road.

Once we got there, we checked into the hotel my parents found, which was the perfect set-up. It was more like a large B&B, so there was a great common area right down the hall from our room and access to a frig, both things that made the trip much easier.

She slept shockingly well while we were there- only woke up once friday night and slept until 6am Chicago time- a minor miracle. Saturday night, she woke up twice, but still slept til 6am. She also took a great nap saturday morning. Since my biggest fear was that she wouldn't sleep, this was huge.

It was so cool to go back to Saugatuck, my favorite place in the whole wide world as a little kid, and bring my own little kid. Going to all the same places, walking down the same streets, lunch at the Butler, and taking her on first boat ride, it was a really great weekend. Well. G didn't agree about the boat ride being really great, but I think she enjoyed the rest.

Of course, last night's sleep was atrocious, but I think it's just because she thought the trip was too short. I just might have an adventurer on my hands.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Know I'll Forget.

One of my favorite bloggers wrote a post full of random things she wants to remember about her daughters. Stuff she knows she'll forget. I am totally going to copy her, not because I lack creativity (although I do), but because oh my GOD, I cannot remember a damn thing these days. Also because, I can remember, with intricate details, some of the most upsettting, difficult, and sad moments of G's early days. Then, there were other moments, sweet ones or happy ones, when I would think to myself, remember this! Commit this to memory, this moment, right here. And while I remember *thinking* that, I can't remember a single damn thing I was trying to remember. Even with all that deliberate effort! Sigh. The brain, she is fried. To a crisp.

And I just HAVE to remember some of these things. Like last thursday, when the counter guys came and made all kinds of noise installing the counters and drilling holes for the faucets, and she napped through all of that. When she finally woke up, we went in the yard while they finished. It was a perfect day with a clear blue sky and lots of sunshine and a gentle breeze and just the right amount of humidity and she sat on my lap and peacefully nursed under a blanket*, and it could not have been more perfect. I want to remember that when she's seventeen and screeching that she hates me and she's NOT GOING TO COLLEGE so who CARES that she's failing remedial PE, GOD mom.

And I want to remember littler things, like the fact that every time she sneezes, she breaks out into the hugest grin you have EVER seen, or the way she smiles with her mouth wide open if you hang her upside down, or the way she eats the tightening strap in her carseat with such dedication every single time she's in the car, and even the fact that playing on a blanket in the backyard is an exercise in insanity because she absolutely INSISTS upon eating grass (which may or may not be covered in dog pee). Um. There's more. But that's what I can think of right now.

*Yes, I nurse under a blanket in my own backyard. Normally, I most certainly would not. However, there's the matter of the giant high school across the alley that looks directly into our backyard, and I have no need to go all National Geographic for a bunch of 15 year old punks.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

You've Come a Long Way, Baby

Overheard in our house:

K: She's seven months old!!
S: Can you believe it?! In five months, she'll be a year old. She'll be WALKING.
K: She's closer to a year than she is to being a newborn.
S: She still lives with US, and not with GYPSIES.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Is that "Taps" I hear?

Ah, swing. I feel a stronger tie to you than any inanimate object since...well, ever. You are the only reason we didn't jump off the roof or sell our daughter to the gypsies. You gave us thirty to ninety minutes of peace every evening. You gave us our very first three hour stretch of sleep after G was born. You were our failsafe- we never had to panic, if worse came to worst, "we can put her in the swing."

It's funny how scared I was to have to break her swing habit, only to find she mostly broke it herself. (I was also worried about using it too much because what if she found herself all swung out and the swing stopped working?! We'd DIE!!!) One day, I came home from work to find her in the swing, toes just at the edge. I looked in the manual, and she was still within the size range, but between those edge-tickling toes and the fact that we had to crank it ALL the way up to the highest setting to make it swing at all, it seemed like a losing battle. Anyway, she was starting to go to bed earlier, eliminating swing time, and was finding the exersaucer, and later the jumper, a lot more fun anyway. Also, the world was maybe not such a hideous place after all. And so she didn't need the swing anymore.

It sat in the living room for two and a half more months. Mostly because we had better things to do than take it apart and put it away. But was sad! Our best friend, our little battery-powered nanny, getting taken apart and stuffed into black plastic bags, shoved into the garage rafters, to be used by the next baby (who please dear god don't let that baby need it as much as she did, please please please). Finally, today, I bit the bullet and took it apart. It was taking up too much room and she's definitely too big to use it anyway. Let us have a moment of silence for our dear, temporarily departed friend.

(G isn't nearly as emotional about this as I am)

PS- Yes, I know her jumper was too low. I took her out and raised it as soon as I took these pictures. Priorities and all.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My dad's take on Internet Message Boards

"Have you ever gone to the GardenWeb? It is a really cool garden forum with scads of topics. If you do good searches you can find really wise old gardeners happy to share info. But, then there are the dupas, lots of them and they really bug me. The worse always shows up like this: Someone asks a question like, "Is it easy to grow plant XYZ here in Greenland?" the dupa answers, "I have never grown plant XYZ but I really love to watch the guppies swim between the vallisneria." I would like to put poison electrons in their computers."

This has been making me smile all day.