Wednesday, July 27, 2011

YouTube: What 2SweetMomma Knows

There are many things I have learned about myself and about the world around me since I have become a Mom.

The first thing is there is no way to prepare a parent for the amount of sleep he/she will lose in the first 6 months of your child's life. Oh everyone said I was going to be tired, and they were NOT kidding! I have always had the ability to "function" very early in the morning and continue through the day. But whoa. Lately all I want is a nap. An opportunity to "catch up." I know that will never happen, but a girl can wish, right? ;-) Now onto the real content of this blog...

The second thing is breast feeding is so totally rewarding. People keep saying stuff like, "She sure isn't starving, is she?" My response to that is "Nope. I did that all by myself." =) ME. I. MOMMA IN THE HISOUSE. BAM. She is a healthy, chubby, cute baby. I am sure she will thin out when the time is right, but for now I love love love her little arm rolls and chubby little legs. =)

There are some drawbacks to breast feeding though. It is really lonely. Me and Aven, Aven and me...and since she isn't proficient on the talking thing, it is just me and my thoughts. ;-) When I first started, I wasn't very talented with doing it 1 handed. So no reading, no working on the computer, and the great room was sorta cold (winter baby) so no watching TV. Thank God for smart phones. I was able to stream YouTube on my Droid and watch videos. At first it was innocent enough. Surfing through the general suggestions and finding stuff to watch in the 15-20 min it took for Aven to eat. But then I realized you can "subscribe" to YouTube channels. First, you need to get your own account. HERE is a tutorial for how to do that. Then, either you can upload your own videos, like I have done with a handful of Aven videos or you can just subscribe. By subscribing, you have a que of videos you like to watch and you can even get an email when they have uploaded a new video. YouTubers like to have subscribers. It is a way of rating how they are doing and they are able to obtain statistics about how their viewers like or dislike their videos.

Basically there are 5 different types of YouTube videos:
  1. Vlogs
  2. Instructional videos
  3. Viral videos
  4. News
  5. Gaming
The Vlogs are similar to what I have posted in the past. Basically, they are on-line video journal entries. There are a couple vlogs that I have become addicted to since Aven has arrived. The Shaytards is my favorite. From what I can gather, they are a family from Idaho that was your typical American family trying to make ends meet and then the dad started doing an online journal entry every day and it went crazy. They get product placement opportunities and other advertising perks and now they are full time "YouTubers." They post up almost daily vlogs and they are funny and sweet to each other. It puts me at ease and makes me smile. The other vlogs I like to watch are: KassemG (put your headphones on at work when you watch him ;-)), Ray William Johnson, and Courtney Pant's

Instructional videos are self explanatory. You can find everything from diaper folding to how to apply Avatar makeup.

Viral videos are strange, funny, disturbing videos that people watch over and over and over. Here are some of my favorites: Laughing Baby Ethan, Roller Man, and Double Rainbow. Sometimes they are real and sometimes they are fake. There are actually YouTubers out there who is their life goal to discover the "fakes."

News is pretty self explanatory, but can also be rather unique as well. There are some YouTube Channels that have created their own version of a "news show" Philip DeFranco is a good example.

And then there is Gaming. I hate video games, so I am not interested in any of these videos and have not watched them. If you are a gamer, then you probably already know of some really great YouTube channels for this stuff.

I think YouTube is AMAZING. It is free, entertaining, educational, and did I say FREE!?!? I really think in the next 5 years YouTube or some other on-line video sharing site will take over regular cable television. Let's face it. Cable TV sucks. Out of 75 channels, you maybe watch 10. You can't pick/pay for the 10 channels you want to watch so you are stuck surfing through the other 65 to get to the shows you like.

Well, off to watch some YouTube. Hope this short little tutorial has been helpful to those of you who didn't really know what the whole YouTube thing was about and for those who did, maybe I was able to share with you some funny cool channels to subscribe.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Back to the TRI

Race Report: Chattanooga Waterfront 7/10/11

I will preface this race report with I am not going to go on and on and on with excuses. There are many things that are working against me right now and I am not really sure how to fix them or correct them.

The main and most time consuming part of my life is breastfeeding. I thought that by 6 months we would be on the "easy train" when it came to this. Not so much. Actually feeding Aven is a breeze now. We have gotten down our routine and it is a really special bonding time for us. Although, when I am not with her it is pure torture! The pump isn't so much a hated object, but the time taken out of my very busy day to actually pump is stressful. I am also trying to make sure I have enough milk for the next day. Stress Stress Stress. Now that I have that out in the open I can get on with my race...

So this was my first race since baby girl was conceived and arrived. All others were "fun" events. The first time I did this race I thought I was so out of shape. We had moved from IL and I was 7 months post IM Florida. I hadn't really trained then and thought my efforts were OK at best. Fast forward 2 years and all the stuff that has happened since then and in hind sight, I was a freaking rock star! LOL. My times from 2009 were: swim-26:29, bike-1:21:04 (19.2 mph), and 56:22 (9:06 miles). This year... swim-29:15, bike-1:32:53 (16.79 mph), and 1:04:37 (10:23 miles). Dramatically slower all around.

I know! I know! I JUST had a baby...I have heard it from many people. Some of whom are happy b/c they feel they should be beating me because I am so out of shape. Yea...there are those really wonderful people that say OUT LOUD "Well, you JUST had a baby, so if you are beating me, there is something really wrong here." Nice. Real NICE. :-/

It just rattles me a little bit. I am having trouble finding the motivation and time to train when all my free time is spent pumping for Aven. Or trying to catch up on cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, paying bills, dishes, etc. I don't know how IM training is really going to fit in right now. I can barely find the time to train for an Olympic distance tri for goodness sake! Andy said he would help out, but there is only so much he can do...pumping is all consuming and like I mentioned before...torture.

Ugh. I am so angry with myself. I said no excuses, right?

Recap: The swim was hot (water temp. was 89*), the bike was the worst 26 miles of my biking life (I actually wanted to cry at one point), and the run was surprisingly good--considering I was running on the surface of the SUN!

On the way down to the race, I turned to Andy and reflected on the past 2 years. All complaining and excuses aside, we have been very blessed. We set out a goal 3 years ago to move to Chattanooga, buy a dream house in the woods, have careers to be proud of, and start a family. We have done all that and more. When I got bussed out to the start of the race I looked around at the 1300+ people and realized the last time I was at the start of this race I didn't know a single soul. This year when I looked around I had so many friends doing the race with me! I found Susanna and Gina and we chatted a bit before I went and got in line. It was such an awesome feeling knowing I am a Chattanoogian now.

Not sure if IM is still going to work out. I will be disappointed in myself if I can't get it together to put the training in, but I know that life is more important than racing. It is just a hard pill to swallow after years of wanting/trying to be competitive. I never thought of myself as a completer rather than a competitor. Aven is teaching me a lot...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Baby Backpacks ROCK!

I will give a little back story to this entry...

Elaine, my mother-in-law is a blue ribbon, wicked awesome garage sale warrior. She has found SO many great deals on really good baby stuff. When Andy and I mentioned to her we wanted to get a baby back pack...she found one last summer. I think she paid maybe $5-$10. We were so happy. It has been sitting around our house waiting for the day Aven was big enough to hold her head up and be carried around in it. The day came about a month ago and I couldn't resist taking a pic of her in the mirror!

She was so excited to be upright and seeing the world from a new vantage point. I had set her in it with out tightening down the leg straps, because I didn't know how she would like it initially and how fast I would need to get her out if she hated it. So after I discovered she was good to go, I pulled on the webbing for the leg harness...and it completely disintegrated! I was SO SO sad =(

I knew it was not safe to actually go hiking with her, so I chalked it up to c'est la was a great garage sale find, but didn't last the duration. =( Then my friend Courtney came to visit! Brilliant brilliant Courtney gave me some great advice. Why not reach out to Kelty backpack's warranty department and see if they would repair it. I thought even if it costs me $35-$40 to repair it, it is cheaper than getting a new one, right? The comparable style is $150.

I went on their web-site and emailed the warranty department and got a response in a couple days. Bad news, they don't repair baby back packs. They said because of the structure of the pack, it is not cost effective to ship. So instead they would straight up warranty it for us!!! A FREE back pack???? What??? Yes sir! I had to cut off the small white tags on the inside of the pack, fill out the RA (return authorization) form, and cut off the adult shoulder straps. In essence destroying the pack. I was nervous doing it, but I couldn't really use it the way it was anyway; so what did I have to lose?

I cut off both straps, tag, and sent the RA request form and in about 2 weeks...our brand new current model FC1.0 pack arrived today -- free shipping!!!!
I am planning on purchasing the sun hood for $35 + shipping; so she won't have to wear a hat if it is sunny. Yeah!

So, when you purchase a Kelty Kids back tempting as it may be to cut off the little white tags -- DON'T. Also, know you have purchased a great pack from a company that really takes care of their customers and cares about kids =)

I seriously can't wait to go on adventures with Aven, even more than before!
Photos of said adventures to be posted shortly ;-)