Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I Had Big Plans

In three days my staycation will start. All I have to do is get through these three days. Of course it is the busiest week ever for work, quarterly reports are due and I have to go into the office for a business lunch and presentation. Didi's school is also super busy these past two weeks with parent teacher conferences, science fair, Parent Partnership Group meeting. Every weekend for six weeks we have had a birthday party or two to attend on the same weekend, it has been crazy busy and this go-go-go has effected my energy supply and my motivation for getting anything "done" during my staycation. Dan is also taking off the week and oh we had such grandious plans! Such big huge awesome plans! And now they are dust. We can barely get off the couch to go to bed early these past two months. Let me break it down for you.

Ever since I found a love for Pinterest right before Christmas (I know, I'm totally late on the bandwagon), I have been obsessed with finding home improvement pins. We still have over half the rooms in our house to remodel and redecorate and come to find out we get a little money back from our taxes and I got really excited about the possibilities! I want to remodel our den with a fresh coat of paint and new curtains, I want to take down the wallpaper in our laundry nook and freshen it up too with paint and art, and then also the guest bathroom attached could use come paint, a new toilet and some art. I learned how to paint paneling, put in new trim, and even bought new houseplants and a giant mirror for above the fireplace. Dan and I daydreamed for months about this and also other things we wanted to accomplish on our week off; mulch for the swingset area, replace the mulch around the rose bushes with pretty rock to match the front rocks, stain and fix the fence, stain the swingset, paint Didi's room, paint our room, fix up the garden and put in flowers, so much to do so little time!

I became a little overwhelmed and with everything else going on, all of this remodeling and redecorating started to feel like a chore and all I want to do is sit, read a book and drink coffee. We are so burnt out on busy weekends! My heart is sad, but I know my body and mind need some time off from planning, working, routine, schedules, errands, playdates, birthdays, all to make room for playing with my daughters, no pressure, swinging in the park, riding bikes with Didi, watching movies really late and taking turns with Dan to sleep in. Laying in bed while the girls are napping to read books and books. Lounging on the back porch watching Didi swing on the swing set, listening to the birds, looking for shapes in the clouds, kicking the soccer ball around, chasing the dog. Getting sunburned on my face while I run outside, taking time in the mornings to have two cups of coffee while Didi plays with her doll house and horses or in the sandbox in the early morning while I make eggs, bacon, biscuits, or pancakes. No rushing and hurrying everyone in the morning, just taking it easy and letting the day flow. I am having wonderful flashbacks and longing for how it was like during maternity leave. Spending time as a family and enjoying ourselves outside of a strict schedule and routine. We need it.

Saturday we will be celebrating our "Easter" with a visit from the Easter Bunny, hiding eggs and a brunch. Then Sunday we will head out to Glenwood Springs for one night. I can only handle one night because I don't know how Ruby will do in a hotel. We are staying at an amazing hotel that has an in door waterpark and Didi will have SO much fun! We will order food and I won't have to cook yay!!!! Then Monday morning early we will check out and head to the hot springs for the whole day!!! I am BEYOND excited. I love hot springs, they are my absolute favorite vacation and if it is only for one night and now we have two kids to keep our eye on, I don't care, I WILL TAKE IT.

Oh well on the other plans, I am just too burnt out to have to organize, coordinate, shop for, plan, work and do. Dan is already planning on working on his motorcycle and brewing a beer. I might even take the girls to the zoo one day, that place is awesome and we always have a fun time. So we'll see how it goes. I would love to catch up on some sleep and naps too. If anything, I want to plan on doing nothing other than making sure the girls are fed and happy, well, for me too.

To all a lovely mid-week,
La Sirena

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Decisions Decisions

I bit off all my nails. I couldn't sleep for days. I was on edge, impatient, angry, tired. My eczema on my hand flared up and reared it's ugly itchy self. What was going on, I stopped to think last week? Why am I acting like this? What is wrong? I am usually not like this, not all at once, not nervous and full of anxiety. In two weeks I had only run a short 2 miles and was feeling it, everything happening at once. I have to exercise or my hormones decide to work against me. Exercise helps me be a better person, a better mommy, a better me.


Since I have been physically exhausted from being up a lot at night and with Ruby, I didn't take on any running. So I sat, I wrote in my journal, I explored all of my thoughts. There was just a lot on my mind last week and decisions having to be made, that I just wanted to ignore. I want things to remain as they are, is that too much to ask? Well, yes, because that never happens, especially when you have two super fast growing little girls in front of your eyes. I finally acknowledged that taking Ruby to backup care and the decision for choosing a child care center and soon was completely throwing me off balance. My cousin who watches Ruby at home during the day for me was on vacation for the week so I used backup care at the center for a couple mornings. That meant taking Ruby over, packing all of the stuff like diapers, wipes, clothes, food, and then of course the bottle. She has only had one bottle in her short 8 months on Earth. I was a mess just thinking she may not drink it, but thank goodness she was only gone half a day. It was the fact that I had to face packing up everything and everyone and heading out the door. Thank goodness hubby still took Didi to school in the morning, which is at a different center.

Ruby did great, it was me that was a mess. Confession, I even had to take a few hours off work the first morning because I had to pull myself together. She has not been away from me for more than 3 hours since birth. It was tough. That morning at home alone, working, with only the dog was tough. I know it has to come to this as my cousin is leaving the last day of May to head back to Boston for the summer. ***Sigh*** My baby. My baby girl Ruby will be heading to the center. My goal was to have her home with me until her 1st birthday in July, so I think I did pretty awesome by getting to June. With Didi, she had to go to the center at 5 months old, this has been extra special having Ruby home with me for this long. I am blessed to be able to work from home and for such an amazing company.


The decision has been made, Ruby will be going part day to the center, just mornings to start and I will pick her up on my lunch hour. I only work till 3ish so she will go straight into a nap after I pick her up. She usually sleeps well from 1-4 so that is perfect. I can still nurse, I don't have to pump as we will have made it to almost one. Didi nursed till 2 years old, I pumped until she was 15 months old, but I won't be doing that with Ruby. I will continue to nurse her on demand, maybe pump once in the mornings until she's 12 months. I do think about my supply a lot, but she would only be missing one nursing session while at the center in the mornings. I think my supply will be fine. Plus my running will decrease from 4-6 miles 3x a week in June to 2-3 miles 3x week since the Bolder Boulder will be over and I plan to bike a lot more. As long as I stay hydrated. Now if I could only drop some of this weight! But that's for another blog post right?

Another decision is about Didi. Do I move her to Ruby's center as well? So many things came across my thoughts last week. Too many things to consider and think about. Didi only has about 1.5 years left in a center, then it's kindergarten (can't wait!! then she only will go to summer camp at the center. yes!). Cons about moving her to Ruby's center: leave her good friends, her teachers she loves, her environment. Pros about moving her to Ruby's center: she went there before so she knows the teachers, she will make new friends, the girls will be together and she might be proud to have her sister so close, easier for me in terms of pickup/drop off, bike commuting (although it is around 5 miles away and Didi's current school is only like 2 miles, so that's a bit of a con), kids are pretty flexible at this age.


After Didi goes to kindergarten Fall of 2015, Ruby would turn 2.5 the following January and then could move to Didi's current school, since they don't take infants and toddlers we have to wait. It would be another move, but right now I can only concentrate on this one :) Hubby and I did talk a lot about it, weighing all the options, it's definitely weighing on me, whereas he is like "sounds good, that's great, let's do that, I will do whatever we need to do". I guess Didi making friends is not weighing heavily on his mind, like mine, oh a Mama's mind. What are we to do?!

Then on top of all that, my training for the Bolder Boulder was slipping. I had only run about 2 miles in 2 weeks and was feeling really really guilty. I just couldn't get it get together enough to make it a priority, partially because I didn't want to. I have been a bit burnt out, running 4 miles 3 days a week, plus only getting like 6 hours of sleep at night, working full time, organizing for birthdays and events, cooking every night, grocery shopping, nursing, plus I was biking a lot. I don't think I was keeping up with enough water and staying hydrated, plus eating enough and a wide variety of foods. We don't eat out but once a week and I only have one soda a month, it's just that I wasn't getting enough fruit and protein to be honest. Vegetables are never a problem for me, nor are carbs, I struggle with protein and fruit. Ugh. At any rate, physically I was exhausted, so mentally I just could not gain enough motivation or stamina to do anything other than maintain, make sure everyone is fed, safe, and slightly entertained.

At any rate, I needed a space for me to breathe and Friday night was it. Didi had been in a horrible mood and threw the longest and most horrible fit I have ever experienced. She is never like that, no seriously, she never threw tantrums as a 1 or 2 year old, she rarely if ever cried, but my oh my 3 and 4 years old has been TOUGH. She is experiencing such a large array of emotions, stuck between wanting to be a baby still because Ruby is, and then wanting to be a big girl and independent. It is such a struggle and I know she does things to get attention, but there are times I just can't acknowledge the bad behavior. Friday after school we played in the backyard until dinner for about an hour, she was running and got a small scratch on her palm from a rose bush. We washed her hands before dinner, wiped it with peroxide and put a band aid on it. Oh my. She did not stop screaming and crying from 5-7:30. She hurled herself into her room, screaming, slamming the doors, wouldn't eat dinner, wouldn't take a bath, all over this small scratch. Of course I held her, that didn't work, I tried to reason with her, that didn't work, I tried to distract her, that didn't work. It was funny, when we went to do the warm bubble bath that she loves, she wouldn't. So I put her in the bath in her clothes. That got her attention.

I took off her clothes then, she calmed down. It was 7, so we got the bath done fast and all along Dan and I kept our calm, our cool, but we were shaking underneath. There is just so much you can take, until you need a break. I am usually the one that does really with her, so Dan stepped out of the picture and I calmly told Didi what we were going to do. By 8pm, she was fast asleep, but I was a frazzled mess. After the week I had, I needed some time alone to readjust. I had an awesome walk alone, 2 miles of slow intentional walking underneath stars. It was SO clear and SO beautiful out. I felt like my cells were slowing aligning back to normal. I got home and felt much much better. I felt like a lot of the answers I was seeking came to me under those stars Friday night and I am thankful for that. Plus I am thankful Didi had her cry, her fit, it feels so good after a long hard cry, that next step or realizing everything will be ok, maybe you just need to cry it out. When I was putting her to bed that night, she said "Mama, I'm sorry, I will be good tomorrow" It was just so innocent, she knew her behavior was out of the ordinary and reassured her crying is not "wrong", it is good to cry sometimes, to let it all out (just not for 2.5 hours at high decibels right?)


Long story short, that walk bumped me back into my desire to kick start my training again. I ran 4 miles Sunday morning. Felt good and set a new personal record. I decided that I will do the long runs on the weekend and then two shorter runs during the week, that's all I can really accomplish right now and that will be good enough. April will see 5 miles on the weekend and then 3 miles 2 days a week. I feel a lot less pressure with this training since I will also be picking up more biking. That's a good amount of time I can spend on running, since time is of the essence these days.

Decisions, decisions, probably not that big of a deal that I am making them out to be, but to a Mama, it can be everything. So many changes coming up, I love change, but since this means Ruby leaving me for part of the day, I am extra sensitive. A new routine will be put in place, which we will all get used to, and then it will get better. And just to think, part of this doesn't even start till June, geesh!

To all a lovely week,
La Sirena

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Like a Vacation

Last night Ruby only slept 7-9pm then 1-7am, the time in-between was spent crying, fussing, moaning, and groaning. Dan and I took turns getting out of bed to check her diaper, rock her, nurse her, make sure she was ok. Dan gave her Hyland teething tablets at 12:30, rocked her and she slept finally til morning. It left us a bit weary from only getting about five hours of sleep since Didi came strolling into our room around 6am. No matter how bad the night goes every once in a while though, I am grateful Ruby is a pretty good sleeper. Compared to Didi, who was a nightmare and kind of still is, we get "enough" sleep.

As a parent, I am starting to realize that whatever I get I am grateful for, I can hope to high heaven that I can sleep 10 hours one night, straight through and til 8am, but it ain't ever gonna happen you know? I push my expectations to the side and go with the flow, cause no matter how hard you hope for something, it will most likely be the opposite. It's the little things I completely enjoy these days, or as my hubby calls it "the mini-vacations".

This coming weekend Didi is staying with my aunt for the whole weekend and Dan and I are super excited. It's supposed to be our "anniversary" weekend (even though it's actually on another weekend, but my 4 year old's social calendar is booked that day). We'll still have Ruby, but she's pretty easy and low energy. I asked Dan what he would like to do and mentioned hiking, walking for margaritas downtown, work in the yard..................or we could just get takeout, watch movies, and alternate between who gets to nap next. He said it sounded like a "mini-vacation". Yes, oh yes it does. I will take any time to relax that I can get.

Most likely we will go shop a little, drink a bottle of wine, and dream big. I love my mini-vacations with hubby.
To all a lovely night,
La Sirena

Friday, March 14, 2014

First Bike Commute

It was such a beautiful day I HAD to get on my bike to go get Didi. Dan was home early so as soon as I finished up work, I nursed Ruby and was out the door. Not sure if you remember, however I have a dream of bike commuting full time from May to October. I have not lost my passion for this goal and as May gets closer and closer, I have been making some plans. Of course I won't be able to go completely car-less, but will make a definite effort. Ruby should be able to wear her helmet by then and I am still considering if I will have her in the trailer or if I will get a little seat for my handlebars. More to come on that later.

I took advantage of this beautiful day and rode to get Didi. It took one hour round trip for five miles, including the time in her school to pick up all of her stuff like nap bag, lunch box, coat, etc. The ride was quick and the views of the mountains were breathtaking. The sky was a stunning blue, with wispy white clouds, sun high in the sky.

Didi in the bike trailer.

Most of this commute is quick and pretty safe. There are a few intersections that I get quite nervous about, crossing north and south bound across highway 119 via Hover, then across Hover to get to the west side. Then I go about a mile north on a sidewalk past several shopping areas and eateries, you have to be very careful and attentive to the cars. No one was out watching today, the intersections are quite large and bikes and pedestrians are not very visible. However, I do live in a state and a city that I feel is somewhat accustomed to bicycles, runners, pedestrians, etc. Most drivers are safe, attentive, and nice. I've never been yelled at (yet), and usually get friendly waves, maybe it's because I am pulling a giant trailer.

More to come on my bike set up, it is a sweet set up, with lights, mirrors, baskets, coffee cup holder, and my most favorite, the Schwinn Joyrider. Didi loves this thing, it is SO comfortable, it has a tiny soft couch (with harnesses of course), a trunk for all of our "stuff", cup holders, a rain/wind guard, a flag (which I am embellishing) and can be converted into a stroller. We paid about $250, however it is no longer available and I am not sure why. I wanted something super reliable and super comfortable for as much as I have been and will be biking. We bought it in 2011 and it barely looks used. I'll write a little more about our super fun bike transportation in a later post, with pictures. Dan's putting on a tiny locking trunk, can't wait!

One happy girl!
My plan is to ride Didi to school early in the morning around 7 and be home to start work around 8, Dan can watch Ruby until I get home and then he is off to work around 8:15. He rides a bike too, but it's a motorcycle! Then I am off in the afternoons at 3:30-4ish and I can ride to get Didi, bringing Ruby along. Didi loved it when I would ride her to and from school in the past. I think it clears her head as much as it does mine, we get fresh air and sunshine and enjoy the outdoors. Colorado is just perfect for cycling and almost year round to be honest. Longmont is awesome for bike transportation, except for a few strange intersections and some other interesting places, more to come on that for future rides and posts!

We'll be enjoying the Bicycle Longmont party this Sunday. What are you doing this weekend?
Enjoy!
La Sirena

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Samstag Morgen

Guten Morgen Freunden. Good morning friends. Saturday morning here, had eight hours of sleep last night, feeling like a new person. That happens so very rarely with a 4 year old and an eight month old in the house, I am taking full advantage to soak up it's restful goodness and the energy that comes from a full nights sleep. It's chilly here in the 40's, snowed yesterday, but we should see a nice warm up today to 50 and tomorrow to 65. Spring is on it's way, but of course so are a few snowstorms here in Colorado. March is the snowiest month, albeit the snow melts very quickly.

March brings 4 milers for me (run / walk training intervals), three days a week. I've been doing pretty well keeping up with exercise, and when I don't, I make sure not to get down on myself and just pick it back up when I can. It keeps me motivated knowing I have the 10K race on Memorial Day and a 5K race not even a week later. Today I mapped out a new run I would like to do outside. I have mostly been running on the treadmill, due to weather and also schedules. It's easier for me to run at lunch time inside when baby is napping on the weekdays. I'm looking forward to running at least one day a week outside, get some fresh air and sunshine. I am so pale, these dark circles under my eyes age me about 10 years, so does the grey hair coming in where I had postpartum hair loss. The sun should fix everything come warmer longer days spent outside, getting tan and the hair lightening, then the grey will mix in.

I have so many photos I want to share and some updates, however at this time in my life, I am avoiding too much technology. I don't have a lot of time to load pictures from phone to computer as my bluetooth is broken on my computer, it takes up a lot of time loading and editing, and with my low energy in the past few weeks, I have not felt up to it. Plus being on the computer all day for work really makes me avoid it at nights and on weekends. I love social media, sharing little instant bits of my life on Facebook or Instagram (@sirenanow), mapping out my plans on Pinterest (SirenaNow). Pinterest is addicting, I love getting ideas from it, it helped with Didi's birthday party immensely and today I am trying out making some pillows. Didi wants a unicorn pillow and I am making my cousin an elephant pillow. Crafts keep me sane, I have to have a creative outlet and make things. These things are mostly gifted, but I do try to create a few things for around the house.

I will post photos and update you soon. Hope all is well in your little corner of the world.
La Sirena

Saturday, February 8, 2014

3.5

In January I ran 3 miles 3 days a week. In February I upped it to 3.5 miles 3 days a week. I will go up a half mile or mile every month through May. I registered for the Bolder Boulder 10K, which is held on Memorial Day. I've seen some really great improvement in the past 3 months. I've shaved my mile time from 15 minutes to 14 minutes. My left knee pain has improved dramatically, I really believe more exercise has actually helped it than hurt it. I was able to run outside almost 2.5 miles straight. I usually do intervals like run 15 minutes, walk 15 minutes, etc. I was pushing Didi in the stroller a few weeks back before the polar vortex moved in. For 3 miles, she really enjoys it, looking around and on the creek path she yelled out "mom look a mingo!" I looked over and it was a blue heron. So beautiful and wonderful and magical. Seeing herons is a sign to me I am on the right path. Ever see certain animals or birds show up in your life? Owls? Eagles? Hawks? Foxes? Yep, those are your spirit guides telling you it's the right path.

Baby Ruby is great as my workout buddy too, mostly indoors the last few weeks. I've been running on the treadmill and Ruby just sits in her bouncy seat playing or lays on a blanket on the floor laughing and giggling. I haven't seen any movement on the scale, but then again I haven't tried hard with the diet. I really can't decrease calories below 2,000 because I am nursing. I'm pretty proud just to be making these improvements at least with exercising, I don't want to make too many changes at once, little steps to concrete them over time.

Speaking of little Ruby, she is 7 months old today. Woo hoo! Time just flies by. She is such a cuddle bug, we power napped together in the comfy nursing chair this afternoon. Her little body tucked into mine, her tiny breathe on my neck, nice and warm soft hair. These days don't last long, I will cherish these moments. Didi's turning 4 next week. 4. Wow 4. Sigh. Breathe in Breathe Out. 4. My oh my oh my. Where does the time go?

Oh and all the hair I lost during the post partum hair loss time, it's growing back in gray. Yep, two people actually commented on it, that's what solidified my acknowledgement of it. Gray. Seriously like all around my face, I'm not talking one or two hairs. It's enough to be noticed. A lot. 35. I'm 35. Really? Gray hairs now? I thought I had until at least 45. Anyway, where is this post going? I don't know. Just rambling while hubby's watching Portlandia. I should probably live there.

What are you doing this weekend?
La Sirena

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Past, Present, Future

Don't you just love the start of a new fresh month? So much hope for the month to go well, a fresh clean calendar to start filling in, goals to reach, events and accomplishments. The start of the year was a bit challenging, but we made it through, strong and anticipatory for the new month. I thought I'd fill you in on a few things from the past, present time and future plans and dreams.

Past
  • Ahh, the holidays, thank goodness they are over. I swear I used most of January to recover. We learned that we should not take out Logan our Elf until at least mid-December. It made Didi extremely crazy. I coupled it with tiny gifts everyday for our Christmas countdown calendar. Really bad idea as Didi went crazy for the gifts and was waking up at all hours of the night wanting to find Logan and get the gifts. Next year I will place nutritious yummy bite size snacks in the calendar.
  • These were the BEST holidays since before Didi was born. I was SO on top of things and I have no idea why. I was organized, baked, planned, ordered, packed, and loved every minute of it. Ok, maybe not the nights Didi woke up looking for Logan or when she threw her into the wall screaming, but that comes with the holiday territory LOL
  • One of our new year's goals is to have a date night at least once a month. When you have very small children, including a wee baby it is tough to get away. So hubby and I are making a delicious dinner after the kids go to bed, light a ton of candles, drink a delicious drink and not turn on the TV. We listen to musics and talk, just talk. The last two have been absolutely divine. New Year's Eve I made chicken parmesan and the last day of January we got a baguette, expensive cheese, salami, pear, and a delicious French wine. It was our 16 year "when we met" anniversary. It was so fun and romantic to sit on the den floor in front of the fire and talk about how much we have experienced with each other over the past 16 years.
  • Some tragic family news saw the hubby traveling to the east coast to be with his brother and family. It was challenging for me to be alone with the girlies, however it was worth it for him to be with them during a very trying time. 
Present
  • The 10K training is going really well. I am running three days a week. In January it was 3 miles each day, however now in February I have upped it to 3.5 miles three days a week. I will increase each month by 0.5 or 1 mile until the race, which is at the end of May. I have already registered for it!! I also registered for a 5K a week later with my cousin. It is a Color Vibe run, so really just for fun. It's the 10K that is my ultimate goal this year. What will happen after that? I don't know, I guess you'll just have to keep reading to find out.
  • Sadly I have not lost any weight, however I am definitely seeing results in other areas. My endurance has increased a lot and I am able to run 1-2 miles straight. Increasing to 3.5 miles has been great and not too tiring, so I am making progress. I feel less jiggly everywhere, my bras are a little looser. I really can't get crazy with dieting because I am still nursing Ruby. I am watching calories and making good choices, but I can not decrease calories below 2,000 or I will see a drop in my milk supply. It's kind of a catch 22, but I am happy to be exercising again. It's the baby steps that count. 
  • Ruby is growing like a weed!!! She just had her 6 month check up and weighs 16.5 lbs and is 28 inches long. She is SO tall, like the 110th percentile. She is 7 months old next week and I am pulling out the 9 month clothes. She is such a precious little baby, never fusses unless she is tired or hungry, plays well alone exploring her environment, loves to cuddle and be with her mama. She loves her big sister and watches her SO much. She laughs every time she sees her papa and grabs for his beard. She is rolling over, but not very much. She likes to observe and make noises. Oh the baby noises just kill me, my heart explodes hearing her cooing and talking watching her tiny lips purse out. I love to kiss her baby chin, her little fat roll neck and her super soft cheeks and eyes.
Future
  •  Didi's 4th Birthday is coming up in 2 weeks. How is this possible?! I am in the early planning stages, so far I have rented a room at the city rec center because I have learned having the parties at home just doesn't work. The clean up is crazy, the kids don't want to play the games but rather play with the toys around the house, and lastly parents and friends are weirded out by everyone having to take off their shoes. Ok maybe not, but it is weird and dirty especially if it is super snowy like it is now. Best just to take it off site and the city can clean up the room afterwards LOL Now I just need to organize the games, food, cake, plates, table clothes, gifts, silverware. She wants an alligator theme party. If you follow me on Pinterest, you will find all of my ideas on my board for her birthday. I'm excited, but only 2 weeks left!!! Oh my!!!
  • Date night with hubby for February will be Valentine's Day since it is a Friday. So excited to start thinking of a menu, or maybe we should get yummy take out?
  • Birthdays galore in February, my sister Stef's, which I have an awesome idea for and REALLY need to get going on it. Then Dan's brother's birthday too. Margarita's is tomorrow. so I better remember that and send her a sweet note. 
To all a lovely weekend and beautiful start to the new month,
La Sirena