Friday, August 26, 2011

Pack your Bags--Bags!

The above statement is no longer!

Sleep is glorious. I have taken for granted all the mornings I slept in as a teenager and a hung over college student. Serious lack of sleep will make you feel like you are living in an alternate universe. For lack of a better example, a dull catatonic version of your vibrant self.

In addition to not stressing about working out (which I am working out even more than before LOL), I have decided to slowly start weening Aven from breast milk. As much as I know it is SO good for her, I think it is time.

I was pumping 2 times at work, preferably 3 times. 1 time after she went to bed, but before I went to bed. A final time in the middle of the night, around 3:30 am. I had to do this to keep up with her demand; if I wanted to do 100% breast milk.

As I might have mentioned before, we found a formula that she doesn't reject (aka projectile vomit). Gerber Good Start Soy formula has done the trick. Since this discovery, my life has been MUCH less stressful. I pump 2 times at work and that is it!!! We are doing 1/2 formula and 1/2 breast milk in her bottles. I nurse her before bed and when she wakes up.

Me: Sleeping through the night for the first time in 8 months this week has been amazing!

Aven: Sleeping through the night since she was 2 months old. *jealous*

I feel like myself more than I ever have before. Don't get me wrong...I don't feel like I have sacrificed a huge amount of myself or anything. It is just a little sleep here and there. I would totally do it all over again in a heart beat. But I gotta say, uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep is freaking A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

I woke up this morning with the ability to make a plan for the day, look forward to going to work, pack a bag to work out over lunch, and plan a yummy healthy dinner for the hubby and me. WOW.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Yesterday I got some very bad news. A friend of mine died tragically. Sorry to just blurt it out like that, but there is no way to soften the event. I won't go into personal details about him, because I am not sure if his family is ready to read about all that in a blog post.

The true purpose of sharing this sad story with you is, just like most of my blog posts, I want to share insights I have discovered with "my readers" and to journal my thoughts as well.

Michael was someone I worked with for a short period of time. He had a good heart, he was kind, and from what I knew of him, had a wild streak. Like most men in their 20s this is not too surprising. I liked talking to him, even though I had nothing in common with him. I thought once he found his path he would/could do great things.

Things are still under investigation, but from what the news is saying, he and a young woman (whom I also knew) were standing on the rail road tracks and didn't move when the train came...

Maybe the two of them thought they were alone in this world. Maybe they felt they couldn't face another day in their own skin. Possibly there were substances involved. I am hoping this is just a horrible accident and neither of them wanted to be on those tracks when the train came. I have no clue what was going on in their lives. Maybe none of us will, but I do know there are a great many people who are saddened by their deaths. Devastated. Bewildered.

I don't think I have ever been this upset about someone dying. Maybe it is because I knew them and they were young. Maybe it is because I thought it was something that neither of them would do. I don't know, but it has made me really evaluate how we effect each other.

Try to visualize a lake. Lake Bloomington, Soddy Lake, or Chickamauga Lake. Any large body of water will do. Imagine the lake is the world we live in. It is comprised of millions, if not billions of drops of water. If you take 1 drop of water and let if fall back into the lake what happens? Ripples and more ripples and more and more. It never really stops moving. The one drop effects the entire body of water. It is so small, but yet so powerful.

No matter how alone someone may feel they are apart of something bigger. The people they work with, the people they love, even the people they despise. Everyone is connected to each other. We all have a responsibility to be good to each other and value the time we have with this very fragile life we get to live.

I am going to really miss Michael. I didn't get the chance to see him finish what I knew he was capable of. There are no words to really express how sad and horrific this situation is. I guess the only thing I can take away from it is how I want to treat people from this point on.

One small drop can do so much...what will you do with yours?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Triathlon + Mommyhood + Life = Balance -- WHAT???

I am freaking ridiculous! Really. I am. Here are the list of things I have decided to take on as a new mother:
  • Breastfeeding
  • Cloth diapering
  • NEW Full time job (40+ hours a week)
  • Pumping b/c of full time job
  • Making Aven's baby food
  • Training for an Iron distance triathlon in October
And this is all on top of cleaning the house, doing laundry, grocery shopping, cooking dinner, and trying to be present in my marriage. Not to mention we have 3 doggies that have been woefully ignored. What the H am I thinking?!

I came to my breaking point last week. Not so much a breaking point, but an epiphany of sorts. I have been so freaking stressed out with breastfeeding, and life in general, I can't even begin to explain. I think I have brought all of this stress upon myself though. I want to be the best mommy to Aven possible, I want to be an awesome wife to Andy, I want to do really well at work and not take breaks to pump, I want to pump 4x a day at work and get a large supply, I want to work out on my lunch hour everyday, I want to wake up early and get a swim in, I want to time trial every week up at Raccoon Mountain, I want I want I want...

Well, I can't get everything I want. At least not at the level I am trying to obtain it. I read in a forum the other day a great piece of advice from an experienced Mom to a new Mom... "you can do it ALL, but you just can't give it your ALL." When I read that it hit me. HARD.

Aven is only going to be less than 1 year old ONCE in her life. Granted she will have milestones beyond 1 year, but as she gets older they will be less dramatic and less poignant. She will adjust fine if I am not there to witness them, but I won't. I am a Mother. I am an athlete, wife, friend, sister, daughter, professional, etc. But first and foremost I am Aven's Mom. She needs me more than anyone in the entire world right now. Everyday she becomes more and more independent. As excited as I am for her to learn about the world around her, I am sad that one day very soon she will turn to me and say, "I can do it myself." So I have had to make some really hard decisions.

As much as a stickler I am about finishing something I set out to do, I have decided Ironman training is not in the cards for me right now. I thought about dialing it back to a half Iron distance, and then realized even that is a bit too much for me currently. I feel like I have reneged on a commitment I made to myself, but when I actually said out loud to someone I was not doing an Ironman, I felt SO amazing! It was like a weight lifted off of my shoulders. I started enjoying my days more and stressing less. One less thing to add to my very full plate.

I want to get back into shape, but I don't think I need an IM to motivate me anymore. I have 5 pounds left to loose and a lot of toning up to do. I think I am going to go back to my very first work out program, from 6 years ago. I am going to "work out" 5 days a week. Not sure of the exact days, but 1 day will be running (30-45 min tops), 1 day will be biking (over my lunch hour), 1 day will be swimming (over my lunch hour), and 2 days will be yoga. No target work outs, no heart rate to "hit," nothing structured, beyond getting out of the office to enjoy the last bit of summer/fall. If I miss a workout...oh well. I am not gonna stress about it anymore.

Another thing that has been less stressful is we found a formula that Aven will NOT throw up! Yeah. We have very slowly started to mix it with her breast milk and things are going really well. She has also started on table food. I have pureed some fruit and veggies. She likes carrots, sweet potatoes, peaches, pears, and cereal w/applesauce. She HATES (makes this hilarious gagging face) corn+green beans and bananas. This weekend I am going to try some new combinations to get more veggies into her.

So this is going to be my attempt at being "normal." Normal amount of working out balanced with family, life, and work...wish me luck! ;-)