Monday, December 29, 2008

Greener pastures

The midwife and I got a run in today. Nothing fancy, just 30 minutes out and about (me with the stroller that pulls so hard to the left I'm beginning to not enjoy running with it). She stayed for tea after, and we got chatting, as we're apt to do. I'm struggling with heading back to work post-baby - and not so much because of leaving the Chou, because, frankly she's so bored of me. So, so, so bored and half a day playing with her peers is going to be so good for her, and me, probably, once I get over my separation anxiety.

What I'm struggling with is this: I think I'm totally sick of my job. Sort of. See how convincing I am? (oh, and Dave B - let's keep this between you and me, OK?)

My problem is several layers deep. I'd rather not be desk-bound for my job, or at least not all of my day. In fact, I promised myself that my LAST job was my last 100% desk job. Then there's the monotony of what it is I'm doing; I'm going on six (seven?) years of essentially doing the same thing over and over. And I'm working from home, which is lovely in so many ways, but some days I crave the everyday interaction that is the office. And, quite frankly, there are so many things I'm interested in and want to do that I start looking at the calendar thinking - there's so much more I could be doing.

And then the midwife steps in and offers up a very real and much needed reality check. My job is pretty sweet for a new mum. I've been able to freelance and make some extra cash while on mat leave and that's not possible for most career types. I can work from home, adding a level of flexibility in my schedule. My job is mobile; something that means the world right now to Mr. Wumpus's job. And while I may be desk-bound, my job is intellectually stimulating, interesting and sometimes even fun. I've met some magnificent people and feel honored to have told their stories. I've traveled with this job, and it's provided opportunities to experience places and conferences that would have been out of reach if I were only freelancing.

In short, my job is a really good fit for us right now. Maybe that will change in 6 months or a year or never, but right now, it's pretty sweet.

The midwife added that we're a rather blessed generation, too. And she's right. Our grandparents, heck, our parents had one job and stuck it out, whether they really enjoyed it or not. Our generation's mentality is so different - we feel we should be happy in our work (and I think we should) and that we should find that balance between life and work. I'm blessed because a) I have a job and b) I feel like I could change careers, experience something new or do anything I really wanted to do. Not everyone has that luxury.

I'm content for now, and even looking forward to work in some ways. The office here is a little quiet, but the coffee is good and the dress code is very, very informal. Instead of focusing on what I'd change, I'm going to dive head first into what I have in front of me to do and give it a good go.

I could love writing people's stories again. I think.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Redux

We drove on a beautiful sunny Christmas day.

We got books! Lots and lots of amazing books.

We got spoiled, and Chou ate paper.

We got a Christmas dress and looked adorable in it.

Oh, and? I have no pictures of it (and only one poor video) but wee Chou started STANDING on her own on Christmas day. She pushed up with legs (no arms) and balanced for a good few seconds, and then did it over and over. Eep. She also started playing drums on the pots and pans. Now that's fun!

As for me, I missed my WW meeting because of our delayed visit down south. I did ok, but ate far too much anyway. Today, in the 9 degree warmth I shall run. Or at least marvel at the 9 degrees in late December that is turning all our snow to ice.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas, Baby

We're weather delayed here Chez Wumpus. We were supposed to have headed out for a 5 hour drive to see Mr. Wumpus's family, but freezing rain and yucky snow at our destination has us holed up here for the day. We'll head out early Christmas morning and get there in time for dinner.

Hope you're all safe and happy with your loved ones today and tomorrow. Merry Christmas!

And a Happy 2nd Birthday to Newt, Chou would like to add.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Nine months of Chou

I'd say she's been out as long as she's been in, but that point will come some 12 days from now...nonetheless, Chou is in fact a nine month old baby as of today. I look at her these days and realize all too quickly that she's racing towards being a toddler and a child and leaving the lazy days of infanthood behind. It's frightening and exciting all at once.

But on to what this is really supposed to be: a peek into Chou's life at this time, so I don't have to keep a baby book.

Dear Petit Chou,

These last few weeks of being 8 months have been ones of acquiring all sorts of new skills. So many in fact, that your sleeping has been all messed up. Thankfully, last night was a return to "normalcy" (maybe average is a better term), you were up only once after 9:30 and didn't truly wake until 7. I needed that, so thank you.

And just what are all these new tricks? For starters, you made a total liar out of me when I told everyone at playdate that you weren't into finger foods and didn't seem to have any sort of chewing/gnawing instinct when it came to food (causing major heart attacks for me at every feeding). And then sweet little Naya promptly handed you a rice rusk and you grabbed it, gnawed and chewed it and didn't once even gag. Right.

Of course, you learned to clap, give fives and are learning the signs for all done, more, mum, dad and thank you (all done you've nearly got down pat).

You're a mime of the highest order these days and want to do everything mummy and daddy do. You've even started drinking straight out of our mugs and glasses. We're only allowing you water, although at the donor clinic that mummy passed out at you not only drank from a straw the first time, you also sampled orange AND apple juice (you preferred orange).

Furniture cruising is a fine art for you, crawling is a messy, topsy turvy affair, but either way, you are one mobile baby. You pull yourself up on something as thin as our lamp (maybe an inch across) , and the bookshelf (of which you pull nearly everything out of), mum's computer chair, the bed, your crib, the wall, the dining room table, chairs...the list goes on. You love to destroy any and all paper and have a fascination with specks of everything on the floor.

My favorite things you do are turning the pages on your books as we read them and your bouncy, boppy dancing. You seem to love a wide variety of tunes, from the music to the Nutcracker to Beyonce, Kanye and the ABC song. Whatever gets you moving is fine with me. We dance together to Elvis's Blue Christmas too. You like to be dipped, of course. In fact most things that involve any sort of physical are your favorite: tickle fights, wrestling, pony rides on mum's knee, dancing, flying, cruising, standing, it's all your favorite. You are never idle. Ever.

Christmas should be a treat as you love to destroy all things paper. Already, the few gifts you've opened have been absolute entertainment for us and you - although really crinkly tissue paper makes you crawl up on my lap and play with it from the safety of this perch. That was funny.

As for eating, you've finally decided to like solids, but you're not a big volume eater. You love spice - you've eaten ginger chicken (your favorite), curry, spicy lentils, and prefer strong tastes; blueberries and prunes to apples or bananas. You'd also prefer if you ate everything out of my hand or off my plate. Apparently my food tastes much better than yours.

You've slimmed out and stretched taller this month, and tiny perfect curls are collecting at the back of your head, ready to grow and build into a giant white afro like I had, I'm sure. Your face has changed, becoming more of your own and less of either your dad's or mine. You've got an ever-expanding vocabulary of sounds (the latest sounds like Darth Vader). You certainly know what Stop and NO mean, but it doesn't mean you listen. But your gummy smile (still no teeth!) lights up a room, the grocery store, our WW meetings, or anywhere else we go.

I love the sleepy moments of you curled in close, suckling away, your hand twisted in your curls, opening and closing as you nurse. As much as I'd love a full night's sleep some day, this middle of the night or early morning snuggle and feed is probably my favorite, when the whole world is quiet and you're mostly asleep and I simply stare and marvel at the perfectness that is your rounded cheek, your pudgy hand, your long lashes. I try to memorize the size and shape of you at this age, knowing that all too soon you'll be on your own more, too busy for me. But I don't wish you to stay just this way, that would be selfish. You love to explore and learn new things, and I love watching your face light up as you learn each new skill.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter running

Winter running is not easy, but it is fun. Especially without a stroller or windchill of -37. The midwife and I headed out for my first real winter run. The air was chilly, -15, but the sun was out, the wind none existent and the roads were clear for half of the run. I learned a few things.

1. Wool mittens are only warm if they're lined.
2. Running Room hats make even the nicest shaped skull look like a penis
3. Long vests/jackets are a must or your ass WILL freeze
4. Cameras kept in front pockets (not against your skin) will NOT work after a 3 mile run

And due to number 4, I don't have the wonderful post-race photo I was hoping for. Instead, you get me, grumpy (and making a mad face) because my head looks like a penis. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

WW Week Two Report

Weigh-in: Down 1.2 lb
Total loss to date: 2.6 lb

I don't know what I'm prouder of - that I still lost this week in the face of delicious cheesecake and gingerbread or that I ran today, on snow and ice, WITH the Chou. Have I mentioned my midwife rocks? Yeah, she called last night, said "I'm coming over to run." There's not much to do but run with her, I guess. And so we did.

I learned a few things this week. One, that I should choose my treats at parties and then savor and enjoy them fully, but then step away from the treats. On Saturday, I had been doing really, really good and then the cheesecake came out. I didn't even want it and yet, I took a piece and ate the entire thing. WTF? And then, at yesterday's playdate I went back into the kitchen twice to graze. I wasn't hungry. Again, what? With one more big week of eating to go (two if we do anything for new years), I've learned that I really have no will power when it comes to grazing. My new strategy? Try and get Chou to nap on me. That worked the first time!

This week's challenge? Run, run, run.

See, Mummy? These only help if you USE them.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Work widow

Being a new mum can be isolating enough, but being a new mum in a new city with a husband whose job is demanding evenings and weekends is down right shiterific (hey! a new word!). Here I was, all thinking that hey, I'm a grown woman with her own interests and life and I really don't depend on my spouse to have a life so I'll be totally OK with him working until 6 every night and at least one full day on the weekend.

Hmmm, not so much.

It's not like he's around during the day, and that's okay. Chou and I have our routine, and more often than not, we both get a little put out on the weekends when Mr. Wumpus is here disrupting things. Still, we like him so we make the effort. But evenings? Evenings he's always been home for, usually by 5. It's been a month now of more like 6 pm, and seeing as wee Chou starts her bedtime routine around 7 to 7:15, that doesn't leave much time for daddy daughter time (or sans-Chou time for me, but that's secondary).

Yesterday, it all sort of smacked me around. We had temps nearly in the double digits (ABOVE Celcius. In December. I know, weird), and all I wanted to do was get in 3 miles sans-Chou. My last two runs have been really disappointing - first with the stroller and feeling like I would collapse, then in the snow and slush and ice sans-stroller and feeling about the same. I just wanted to get out there and knock out a feel-good few miles in celebration of my signing up for my second half marathon.

By nearly six at night, with no sign of the husband, I knew I wasn't going to be running. I was also bored out of my face and tempted to eat every last cookie in my freezer. I was pissed off that I hadn't worked out earlier in the day, and kicking myself for being stupid enough to think I'd get a run in with at least half light (the sun sets by 4:30. Stupid winter).

And maybe that's part of the problem. I wake up in the dark, I head out for some sort of errand or visit, I work out while the Chou sleeps, then I twiddle my thumbs around here, make dinner in the half dark and then, boom, it's dark and my husband isn't even home from work. Have I mentioned it's dark at 4:30? Yeah, next week's solstice couldn't come soon enough.

What's really getting me worked up is that apparently it's one particular person at the hubby's work that's creating this need for so many hours, and not everyone else has to do it. It's this lopsided time demand that's really getting under my skin. Well, that and my lack of running, combined with wanting to eat everything in sight while being bored.

Hey, at least I've got a cute kid. There's always an up side, right?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Party at my place, you're all invited

I got the best, best, news this morning.

Check it out at Decaf Please.

That's right, kick ass momathlete Jennifer P has chosen my sweet new home as the site of her first ever full marathon. And while the whole full marathon thing is enough to celebrate on its own, what's more is it means she'll be coming to visit me the third week in May. I'll have my running buddy back! She'll of course bring along her wee Newt and hubby to keep my hubby and baby entertained. What fun they'll have cheering us on for hours on end (according to the fantasy in my head).

Sundays just don't get any better than this.

The next finishers medals we'll be sporting together will be for a full and half marathon...and hopefully this time neither of us will be carrying a 4 week old fetus-Chou, like I was in this picture.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Five things I did today

Call it a Friday Five, if you'd like. You're welcome to do one too.

1. Had a dance party with the Chou. She likes Beyonce and Christmas carols to groove to

2. Ate and drank plenty in anticipation of number three

3. Gave blood

4. Finished giving my two cups, and promptly passed out

5. Saved three lives anyway because I had finished giving when I took the unscheduled nap

Oh, and as a bonus:

6. Ate way too many cookies and OJ post-pass out. There goes the "no flex points this week" goal

Thursday, December 11, 2008

WW Week One Report

Weigh-in: Down 1.4 lb.

I'll admit I was cranky this morning. I didn't feel any different or that I'd made any progress. I was happy with how I did at both parties in managing my food intake, but I was already beating myself up for not doing as well as I had hoped.

Then I got on the scale and was totally encouraged. Over a pound! Since the meeting (all two hours hence), I've been going over the good things I did this week and I'm focusing on them instead of feeling like I could have done better.

1. I ran. In a lot of snow, on uncleared sidewalks during a storm. I kick ass.
2. I also worked out two other times (50 mins) each and was darn sore the next day.
3. I managed to eat half decently at not one but TWO parties, one of which was named "Cookie". Enough said.
4. I've yet to feel deprived or famished. I'm eating filling, nutritious foods and not mindlessly snacking for the sake of putting something in my mouth.

WW launched its new Momentum plan this week. Really, it's more along the lines of how I eat anyway (it focuses more on whole grains, filling vegetables and using your points for maximum fullness), but I like the new recipes and suggestions. This week's meeting was a good one. It helps that Chou is a favorite attendee and manages to yell at all the wrong times making everyone laugh. Oh, and one thing that I had questioned was the amount I'm to eat while nursing - Chou is still mostly nursing, but is eating more solids. The older she gets, the less she'll nurse and so I had an issue with the blanket 10 points you get for nursing. They've since changed that. Now, a baby that also receives solids or formula only sucks 5 points out of you, not 10. I (rather arbitrarily) gave myself 8 instead of 10. If after the next few months I'm not making progress or plateauing I may kick that back to 5. We'll see.

I'm so encouraged for this week. Only one party to contend with and now I know that's not a death knell for my progress.

This week's goals: one to two runs, one to two cardio workouts (plus abs) and one to two weight workouts.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Give her a hand, folks

Yesterday went better than planned. Sure, I ate two more delicious treats than I would have liked, but I managed to fill up on veggies and yet still enjoy sampling some of the amazing cookies put together by my lady friends. I now have a freezer full of (to name a few) mudslide cookies, truffles, banana bread, iced sugar cookies and, yes, bourbon fudge. Oh cripes it's good.

I tallied up my points for the afternoon and was surprised to see that I was actually still within my daily allowance. The day wasn't a write off after all! I had a yummy dinner and a snack and managed to come in at just 2 points over (and I'm now OK with that). As Manateemomma pointed out, before WW, when she'd go to a party she'd consider the day a write off and just continue to eat junk for the balance of the day, whereas now, she realizes that she can work that party binge into what's reasonable for her to consume and still salvage the day and week's work of losing. I like that. Yesterday was the first day I felt like that. It's liberating and empowering and encouraging.

And then there's the Chou's big achievement - clapping. She discovered this trick on her own, for the most part, and it was truly hilarious to watch the understanding dawn on her face. The face quickly turned into a scrunched up grin, then came the screech of delight. Goodness is she proud of herself for this one. She now claps for everything, including her ability to clap. We've created a monster.

On a training note, and because this post seems to be entirely random, I've officially signed up for my next half marathon. It's May 24th, which seems really far away, until I count the 15 or so weeks of training, and then, well, it's not far away at all. Of course, as I look out my window at the fresh foot of snow covering the world, I wonder how I'm ever going to really train in January and February. I need Speedo Steve to come shovel the local track. I wonder how much he'd charge?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Further to being stupid

I'm so stupid.

I joined WW the week of a) a giant, food-centered Christmas party and b) a cookie exchange party - one where I come home with SEVEN DOZEN DIFFERENT KINDS OF COOKIES.

In the past, I would have told you I'm a salt lover, not sweet, and that I could take or leave cookies, cakes, pies and baked yummies. I would have also said that chips held no sway over me, but cheese and snacks woo me. All of that (except for the chips part) was wishful thinking. The truth is, all snacks, sweet or salty, are my favorite. I just like snacking. And if it's in front of me, on the table, out for guests, on the doesn't matter...I will eat it. All of it. In little nips here and there. A bite, one slice, one cookie, one dip, one cracker at a time.

This has been one of several realizations this week while having to chronicle every single morsel I put in my mouth: I'm a mindless eater. I never realized just how much I put in my mouth while baking and cooking. I also am now hyper aware of just how much grazing at a party adds up to and it's not pretty.

I did okay at the party on Saturday. It helped that a post-vaccination Chou fell asleep on my chest and conked out for a solid half hour. You can't eat much when you're weighted down by 21 pounds of slumbering infant. I used 10 flex points (you're allowed 35 in a week), and have worked off 8 of them (my goal is to workout the equivalent of flex points I use, to a minimum of 10 points per week). But now comes the cookie party. I really don't want to use ANY flex points as I'm already just barely going to work them off by Thursday.

Here's where will power comes in, something I don't really have when it comes to parties. Shit. Are there any places that do emergency mouth wiring? No? Double shit.

Monday, December 8, 2008

You've got to be joking

The Chou is loving her new routine.

I realized some time ago that as much as we don't do much in a day, I also wasn't paying enough attention to what she needed in her day to help her sleep. I'd sometimes take an hour of trying to lay her down for a nap, only to be frustrated when she'd have none of it. Night time wasn't all that difficult, but the waking every 2 hours some nights was wearing me down. I read two or three books, all of which had some good points but a lot of rubbish I couldn't wrap my head around.

Then I found Tracy Hogg. Again, there are a few things I don't agree with, but for the most part her philosophy is: feed your baby, have play and activity time, then they sleep and you have time for yourself. She explains the entire theory of course, and never, ever suggests a schedule for babies - but a flexible routine so they know what to expect.

Reading the book I realized a few things - I jump to Chou's aid at every noise, day or night, and I should first stop and listen and try and figure out what she's saying. In just a few days, I've figured out just how different her boredom, hunger and sleepy sounds are. I thought I had it figured, but alas, I did not. I've also always nursed her right before putting her down for naps or night time. Hogg's suggestion? Nurse, then have activity (bath, stories), then bed. You're still having a night time nurse, just not RIGHT before nodding off. Same goes for nap time; feed her when she wakes up, play and then when she shows sleepy signs (that I now notice) lay her down after a cuddle and let her drift off on her own. And if she cries? Go in and reassure her, stand by her crib and pat her back until she calms - pick her up if you must. No crying it out, no scheduled leaving/returning. This I could do, I thought.

And after two days? Chou put herself to sleep in 32 minutes the first nap, 20 the next, then 10, then 7 - and never cried and I didn't nurse her to sleep.

Last night was the kicker though. I thought naps were an anomally in that I don't typically nurse her to sleep during nap time anyway. Instead of bath/stories/nurse, we did nurse/bath/stories and Mr. Wumpus put her to bed. I expected tears, I expected crying, I expected an hour of reassurance and staying by her crib.

Instead, she laid her head down, grabbed her Cuskie and her sucky and nodded off to dreamland without a peep or nipple in sight. And then she slept for five hours straight.

You've got to be joking.

I love you, Tracy Hogg. I love you.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

First I thought I was dumb, but it turns out I'm just stupid

I've been a bump for the most part all week (so much for my three times a week idea), but today I was determined to get out there. The Chou went down for her nap (we're sleep training with much success but that's another post), leaving me free to run sans stroller. I headed outside in the midst of a low-grade blizzard. The wind was howling, the snow blowing and the car was under at least six inches of snow, but that didn't even slow me down...until I tried to clean off the car before driving to the midwife's. I felt a snap and then a sharp prick in the shoulder. WTF? Sure enough, my sports bra strap had given way. I nearly burst into tears - it's bloody hard to find the time let alone the motivation to run IN A BLIZZARD - and there I was about to go, when the bra broke.

I went upstairs, lip trembling, defeated. The husband took one look at me and asked who died. "My bra broke," I said. "The world is conspiring against me to run! I'm never going to get fit. I'm never going to train! The world as I know it is ending!" (there may be a bit of editorializing going on here...)

I took off my shirt to survey the damage. That's when Mr. Wumpus started laughing. Turns out, my sports bra is very adjustable - the straps end in velcro, go through a metal guide and stick back onto themselves. I've owned this bra for two years and I had no idea. All that had happened was the end had come off and slipped through the guide, scratching me.

I'm so stupid.

Either way, I raced back downstairs, hopped in the car, and was running within 30 minutes.

And then we ran...the slowest I've probably ever ran. But you try running in slush/snow six (and more) inches deep, sliding the entire way. The wind was gale force, straight off the river, icy cold and unforgiving. We did 33 minutes and I won't tell you how dismally far we went, because it doesn't matter. We got a good workout in and I'm pumped for the week ahead. Go me!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Swim

In the past week, wee Chou has learned to crawl. She's been threatening to do so for some time, but was waylaid by her new skill of pulling herself up and walking along furniture. I mean, who needs to crawl when you can walk, she says.

But necessity got the better of her when I left her on the floor dangerously close to a bookcase and didn't hand her The Art of War. She must read it, apparently. And so she crawled over and grabbed it, and then moved on to Dickens. Since then it's been a slippery slope to more movement, except that we have hardwood floors. So while her first few crawling steps were a more textbook crawl, she's since discovered she can get around far more quickly on her belly, one sock off and by using a sort of one-sided front crawl swimming motion.

The scary part? She's wicked fast. I left her for a few seconds happily playing on the floor, turned around and there she was on the other side of the room - reaching for a most inappropriate plaything. What was it, you ask? You'll have to watch to find out.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Putting points where my mouth is

Today is the day.

I'm joining Weight Watchers.

It's something I've looked into more times than I can count, something that I've avoided doing just as many times. Except this time. This time I feel like it's something I need to do, and that my goal is a manageable one. When I had 50 pounds to lose, it felt like an insurmountable task and therefore why bother starting something I had no hope of accomplishing? That was my thinking then. Terrible, I know, but true.

Now I have between 10 and 25 pounds to lose depending on which healthy weight range guide you subscribe to. Personally, my goal is more a size/fitness goal, but tracking weight will help me get there. I would agree that a 10-pound weight loss puts me at a healthy weight, so we'll start there.

Every other time I've considered joining WW, I've been going it alone. I could have named maybe one person I knew on the program. But this time, not only do I know two or three people who have had great success, I've got three friends who are tackling WW right now. My amazing midwife is one of them - she and I are nearly the same height and weight (she's now about 5 pounds lighter thanks to her last few weeks with WW) - and we've both committed to May half marathons. She's also a major details stickler and shopping with her at Costco yesterday was like having my very own WW fairy listing off the points value of everything I picked up. While it'll be tough to run with her regularly (being a midwife, she's on call a lot), we're already sharing recipes and getting out for some running.

Then there's my newest mummy buddy, Manatee Momma, who has been doing WW online for a few weeks to no success. But she's done WW before with great success. What's different this time? A new city, a 10 month old underfoot and a real winter to contend with (their last home didn't have one to speak of). Manatee and I are very similar - we have similar workout loves and hates, have babies, are nursing and are generally uber hyper, loud, ridiculous and love to snack. Between the two of us, we should be able to motivate each other to move and move away from the binge eating over coffee. Um, right.

Then there's the pioneer for me - Jennifer P - who no longer blogs and lives far away and that makes me sad, but at least we can talk. She's a WW veteran, both pre and post baby, and a triathlete to boot. She's got tonnes of tips and offers me a very real reality kick in the pants when I need one; as in, it's not easy but it works. I do need the meetings, I think, and Jen P would agree. And heck, it gets me out of the house one more day a week, and that's a good thing.

Today is the day. Weigh-in is at noon. I won't be posting my weight for a whole host of reasons, but I will be posting progress. My greatest hope is not so much for pounds lost, but for a real incentive to keep moving. The more I move the more I get to eat, and, well, I really like to eat.

Yours in point counting, Ms. Wumpus.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Maybe she can read? Maybe.

And then last night she slept 5 hours, then 3, then 3 again. Hmmm.

And I ran yesterday.

A good day. A good day indeed.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Simple sleep

The Chou is not a bad sleeper by any stretch. She's taken to twice daily naps, sometimes as long as two hours. She's caught on to the night time routine quickly and goes down without a fuss 99% of the time. She's back to her long stretch of 3-4.5 hours sleep on the beginning and end of her night. She's no longer getting us up before six.

But the middle of the night? Sometimes it's not so fun. She can sometimes wake up five or six times in a two hour stretch. She's not really fully awake, just fussing, and once in a blue moon she wakes entirely, although never to play or chat, just to look around and drift back to sleep.

Some will say it's teeth. Or she's growing. Or she's not tired...or, or, or.

I can't complain much. I seem to function just fine on short stretches of sleep. Compared to some babies, mine is a peach who, on average, gets enough sleep and lets me get enough too.

But I also see the beginnings of patterns I don't much like, and that leads me to start reading books. And books are wonderful things until you're drowning in advice that all seems wonderful on the page and then doesn't really work in real life.

And what of real life? I want to start some basic sleep training to help Chou get more like a 5-6 hour stretch at least once a night (12-6 am would be nice). Yes, I said to help Chou, not me - sure, I'll enjoy the sleep, but I think she needs it more than I do. All the books tell me this is reasonable and super easy in just seven to 10 days of sleep training! Right. But how does one person sleep train? I'm not calling down the husband. I recognize that he's got to be up at 6 for a 10 to 12 hour work day. He's working 6 days a week, too. I'm at home and can nap and therefore I get up at night with Miss Wumpus. Always have.

Sleep training is tough and it's draining. The trick is to always be consistent (as an aside, the more I read about raising kids, the more similarities with horse training I see. Funny, no?). But it's tough to be consistent when your partner is a) not really part of the sleep training and b) doesn't actually read the books himself. And it's not that he doesn't want to help, he does, but his help usually only happens on weekends, which by definition isn't really consistent.

I'm not uber tired. I'm not at wit's end. I'm just finding this task of most wondrous sleep training a big, fuzzy world of not necessarily knowing what I should be doing and I hate that. I like reading up, tackling a problem, solving it and moving on. Nothing about this is going to happen that way. And so we go back to the pages of the book, the timer on the microwave and the fuzziness that is 2 am wake ups.

There's a reason they come out adorable.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oh right, training

Remember how I said I was going to train? Right.

Things have not been going well in the training department. Unless not doing anything counts as training. Then, I'm kicking ass.

I did manage two 3-mile runs last week, but only because I have an amazing midwife who recently joined weight watchers and wants to do a half in May. She called me twice and wouldn't take no for an answer. I even pushed the stroller for one run - wow, I say.

But then said amazing midwife took a very selfish vacation and left me to find my own motivation. Hmph. And as you guessed, I didn't find it. She's back this week, thank goodness.

In the meantime, I had managed to kick the baking habit for a full two weeks, and then promptly crumbled and made both muffins and cookies (in my defense both were for get-togethers and most of the muffins stayed there. The cookies? Not one survived after just 24 hours. But they were small. Right.)

The calendar says it's the last day of November. By now I figured I'd be a solid three weeks or more into strength training and non-running stuff. Instead I'm looking at January 18th with more than a little trepidation. Why, you ask? I've decided to run a half in early May. And what's 15 weeks prior to that date? January 18th. And here's me thinking I would have maintained a 6-mile base. Um, no. But I do have a 3 mile base, which, compared to this last go round is 3 miles better than last time.

My new goal is to get three 3-mile runs in a week. Or any three days of activity. I'll bloody well count laundry if I have to, but I just want three workouts in in a week is that so much to ask, Body?

The Chou, judging my inactivity. We do have daily tickle fights. Do those count?

She looks like all she needs is a cigarette the way she's got her hip jutting out there. At least she's not face-planting anymore...much.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The one where my body wows me yet again

The Chou is getting better. Well, she never got all that bad to begin with. I have yet to have to steam her at night. She's sleeping just fine, and while now again she barks, for the most part we had one tough day and since then you'd hardly know she was sick - just more clingy and, as per today's blog title - is nursing like a newborn.

Thursday was her worst day. She was like a wee marsupial, clinging to me and nursing whenever the mood struck her, and struck her it did. Every half hour, I'm sure. Nights have actually been about normal, but daytime has been all booby all time.

Here's what I love about biology. Chou is nursing for comfort, yes, but also booby juice is the best thing for her right now, full of nutrients and bug-fighting antibodies.

Today is Saturday, and I've got knockers the size of cantaloupes, the likes of which I haven't seen since the first two weeks of feeding. This morning, the husband couldn't stop staring, which is how I knew that after Chou's chug fest two days ago, the body was, ahem, rising to the challenge.

And how amazing is that? Baby needs more booby juice. Baby tells body so. Body responds. Baby gets what she needs. I dare formula to do that. Ha!

Oh, and just in time for family pictures today. Can't wait to be all Dolly Parton in our Christmas photos. Really.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

It's like having a puppy, only less fun

Wee Chou has come down with croup. To anyone out there who has never heard the barking cough that comes with the croup virus, it sounds like a dog barking, really. Wednesday night she went to sleep just fine without a fever, cough or even runny nose, but by 10:30 it sounded like she was snoring, then at 11:30 she woke up to nurse and it sounded like she couldn't breathe she was wheezing so badly. After half an hour sitting beside her crib listening, we picked her up and headed to emergency - thankfully, it's 6 minutes away. We got there and she was the happiest wheezing baby you've ever seen. She couldn't believe her luck to be awakened in the night to go visiting. Yeah, and we were worried? Sheesh.

Once we got to the hospital she did start coughing, and as soon as I heard the bark, I knew what it was and that, really, we could have stayed home and had a steam in the bathroom, but we were there so may as well just make sure. We were seen within 15 minutes (which both impressed me and freaked me out, you know, because it means it's serious), the doctor saw us within 10 minutes and we were released and back home in no time.

Yes, it's croup. It's a virus. There's not much to do, except keep her happy, well fed, well rested and take her outside in the cool air at least once a day, and at night, a good steam in the bathroom can help with the cough.

Thursday she was one sucky baby, but surprisingly well. She ran a very low fever and slept a lot and nursed even more, but last night wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. She slept fine and didn't have any barking fits. What a good puppy.

But the two stories I'm supposed to have written as of today? So not happening. And that's OK. My baby needs me.

It's now Friday morning and she's barking a little more, but making her way around the living room happy as a clam to be tearing up the morning paper. She'll be fine in no time.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I'm a delinquent mother and didn't write Chou Chou her seventh month blog post. In my defense, we flew out to Manitoba that day, so it's not like I was around a computer to jot down a few notes. But alas, now when I try and think of my seven month old baby, few specifics come to mind. She'll just have to live with her eight month blog post. I don't think she'll be too scarred by me missing a month, will she? (note to self, convert RESPs to therapy fund, just in case).

At eight months, wee Chou, you are one happy, smiley, interactive and active baby. In the last two weeks you've learned to not only pull yourself up on everything and anything, but also move hand over hand along the couch or any other object you pull yourself up on (like Lt. Dan, me, your daddy, the laundry basket, the list goes on). While you're pretty confident on your feet, you're also fearless and indiscriminate as to the stability of the objects you use, thus landing on your butt more times than I care to count. When you fall you look at me as if I'm to blame. I hope I don't have to get used to that.

Your fine motor skills have developed rapidly this month. You make your way across the floor from tiny speck to tiny speck, a criticism of my housecleaning perhaps. Your favorite things to chew on are the phone cord, the padded mats down on the floor to protect your precious melon (of which we'd rather you didn't chew on, who knows what chemical they're made of) and the wooden puzzle pieces shaped like farm animals. The drool factor has increased exponentially these last two weeks, but alas you are still toothless. I didn't get my first teeth until nine or ten months, so it looks like you take after me. The hair, oh your hair, is growing, a few tiny curls at the back of your head sit as a promise of what's to come. In the meantime, your crazy wispy hair is growing like mad on the top of your head creating a halo of white fuzz - again, something you get from me.

Your favorite foods are breastmilk, breastmilk, breastmilk and then maybe squash, lentils and oatmeal/raisin/cinnamon porridge. For the most part though, you have very little interest in eating solids, but I still try to feed you twice a day. Mostly, I fail, and you simply taste the food and then chew on your sippy cup. Apparently your cousins didn't like solids much until 12 months, so I try not to get too worked up about it. You'll eat when you're ready. It's not like you've got chompers to chew with anyway.

Bedtime is a bit of a treat these days - well, last night you went down like an angel - but the last few nights you started protesting before the last book was even read. This is what we do - daddy gives you your bath, mum dries you off, dresses you and hands you back to daddy, daddy reads three books to you, then passes you back to me for a nurse and a cuddle and down to bed you go. Usually you drift off right to sleep, then you wake at 930 for a nurse, then midnight, then 2, then 430 then up at 630. Ugh. If you wouldn't mind going back to up only twice a night, that'd be super. I think my problem is you're so busy during the day standing on everything that you're saving up all your eating for night time (as you do nurse each and every time you wake up at night). Today, I'm going to try and get you nursing more during the day and see if that helps your sleepy time. You have slept 5 hours straight pretty regularly before, but that was before you found movement. The puzzle that is an infant! The naps have gotten better and more consistent which is making scheduling interviews, playdates and my showering/housecleaning/working out much easier; thanks for that.

This month you have let me know, without question, that you are a social butterfly and need to be out, out, out. You also hate your snowsuit. Those two facts make for some interesting attempts at getting out and about. We're trying though, I promise. You had your first real stuffed up nose this week, meaning that your playdate friends ostracized you. I don't entirely blame them, but you're on the mend, so we should see them this week.

I have no idea what you weigh, though I guess around 21 pounds, and you've definitely stretched out these past few weeks. We have an appointment coming up in just over a week where we'll get your official stats. All I know is, I'm still retiring a few outfits a week. Bah!

And lastly, my sweet baby, you are such a joy. I'm constantly getting told what a happy, content baby you seem. And it's true. You rarely cry (though you babble and roar to your heart's content, all the while grinning from ear to ear), you smile at strangers and giggle as you give five (your newest trick; waving bye bye is coming along but not quite there yet). You are a happy, happy girl, whose eyes sparkle when you smile at me and your dad. As you nurse, I snuggle you to me so tightly, so closely, knowing our months of you needing me this much, this often are drawing to a close. You'll be off like a rocket soon, and before I know it you'll be talking and spending the mornings playing at someone else's house. I love these days, Chou. I'm going to miss them.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I keep waiting for what I'm supposed to do with my life to walk up and hit me in the face. The likelihood of that happening is, I'm guessing, about as likely as Angelina adopting a white baby.

But then again, maybe, just maybe I'm being smacked around and I'm just too dazed to notice. Or in denial. Either or.

I get paid to write. That makes me a writer, I guess. I came into it completely by chance, not design, so a part of me has always felt like a fraud. I never dreamed of being a writer. I didn't attend journalism school. Heck, I hardly kept a journal in my teens.

I am a talker, though. It's not so much that I like to hear my own voice (actually, I hate the sound of my voice) but I just can't help it. I have too many ideas, opinions, observations and so on, that somehow I think people need to hear. You'll note I don't say "want" to hear, because they likely don't. But that doesn't stop me. Oh, no. I hand out advice left and right, much to my own detriment at times. I could sit over a coffee or tea and chat for hours, pre Chou Chou. I know a little bit about a lot of things and just can't stop myself from sharing. I'm also very curious. I read a lot. I remember most of what I read, even in passing. See what I'm getting at?

While I may consider myself a writer, I'm a born talker, and really the two aren't so different. And while I dream of all sorts of careers I think I'd like or even be very good at, I've got a very good one staring me right in the face. And it's one that I can do while still spending all the time I want with Chou - and not many people have that opportunity.

I have a job I'm going back to. But I've asked for a few things before I fully commit to going back. And today I started wondering just what I would do if they weren't going to sweeten the deal for me. I started getting antsy about my fall back plan of freelancing and completely depending on my business for income.

I went for lunch with a friend and while I was explaining to her my situation, it dawned on me. To maintain my current level of income (maternity leave) I have to write exactly one story a week. Seriously. I can do that in less than 5 or 6 hours usually, nevermind an entire week. Then, I think, but where would I get work from? But since I've put out my shingle, I've always had stuff to work on.

And then, kizmet. I got home, my head full of all the possibilities of what I can/will/want to do, and I had two e-mails waiting for me. One to add my name to a list of international freelancers and another for a very lucrative freelance writing opportunity. I sat up just a little straighter in my chair.

Maybe I'm getting smacked in the face. Just a little.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Chou Chou's cold is totally cramping our social life. I'm considering giving her a time out for it (I'msokidding). See, a few of the momma's from our group are anti-sicky (understandable) and a few others just plain can't make it to our hosting of the playdate tomorrow. And that is very disappointing. Not only did I have delightful snacks planned, but I also cleaned and planned to shower. Honest!

But alas, it looks like at most we'll have two visitors (one of which I suspect gave Chou the cold in the first place), and even those two may not trek all the way to this end of the city.

Sigh. It's lonely over here.

On to much more interesting things. Chou has mastered the pull up and is now shuffling a few steps to either side - a precursor to cruising, the precursor to walking. Yikes. And officially my sweet daughter is the most stubborn child on the planet. Really, I shouldn't be suprised - she is mine afterall. It would seem this week that the wee angel has really started to figure things out, such as that she's missing out on fun play time when she goes to bed. Tonight she threw her first real "I will not go to bed" fit. We're not cry-it-outers Chez Wumpus, but don't think I wasn't tempted to just let her scream after the fifth time she was asleep/dozey and I put her down and whump! awake, sitting up, crying baby emerged. She did eventually doze off on her own, but, wow, can that kid fight.

It's also a big wake up call for me. She's eight months old this weekend - still an infant, yes, but every week she's learning so much more about how her world works and the people in it. The concept of mummy existing once I walk out of the room is really quite an abstract thought, when you really think of it, and she's getting it. That's mind blowing. She craves attention, loves being the centre of it and doesn't care who knows. She's happiest in the midst of her adoring fans, whether that be at Costco, playgroup or just in the livingroom with her two biggest. And now she knows that bedtime is the end of that. It's amazing and sweet, and annoying as all get out.

My sister told me that with her first child she waited a really long time before starting time outs. By her third baby, she knew that at a year old the kid was well aware of what she was doing and could handle discipline. That's only four months from now. And while I wasn't sure I could believe that an 8-month old could really try and bend a situation to their liking, I'm now a believer. How awesome is that? I mean, it'd be more awesome if she used it to get us free groceries or something, but whatever.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Well, that went well.

And by went well, I mean it didn't.

Last week was a gong show. My love and partner for life has basically abandoned me for this new phase of his job. My wee baby has decided she can now pull herself up on anything and everything (or will nearly kill herself trying) and has also started covering ground and picking up the most minute speck of anything she can find. Translation? Icky dust mite-riddled carpet would actually be a good thing to have right now; at least it would save me from all the sweeping/swiffering I'm doing (or should be doing).

What I'm trying to say is that I got in exactly one 3-mile run (though in under 10 min/miles, yay me!) and one weight/ab routine and that's it. In fairness, the weights actually really kicked my butt - literally. I haven't done that particular routine in quite some time and I thought, heck, I'm in way better shape, I can kick it up a notch. Ouch.

Which brings me to today. I'm looking at the week and wondering where I'm supposed to fit everything in, especially in my new found life as a single mum (I'm hardly exaggerating. Seriously. He put in a full day on Sunday, and is getting home a whole hour before the baby goes to bed). I suppose I could adjust my expectations, but that's not going to get me where I want to be. Chou and I do start an aquafit class on Tuesday, but it's only 30 mins Tues/Thurs, so it almost doesn't count. Hmm. Time to get creative, I guess. Any suggestions?

In other news, Chou has a sniffle (her first real cold, awww) and isn't sleeping well, meaning I'm not sleeping well. Meaning I'm grouchy. As if you couldn't tell.

Ms. Chou playing her new favorite game Stand Up. She MUST stand at all times. She's even tried pulling herself up on my leg. It doesn't matter what it is, she. must. stand. It's cute. Except that it leads to walking. Which is cute, you know, when other people's kids do it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

But Y?

I can't do it.

I can't join a gym. After two visits to the Y, one to GoodLife and past experience with Curves and the university grotto, I just can't do it. It's not just the cost (although both GoodLife and the Y are significantly more expensive than back home and that pisses me off), it's the scheduling, the balancing of time and effort and distance with having a baby, a husband and a job. I'm on leave now, sure, but soon, Chou Chou will be in morning daycare and I'll be working. Which means that mornings are my best chance of getting in a work out before the West wakes up. But only the Y opens early, but with no childcare until 9.

And then I look at what it is I need from a gym - weights and classes. I have some weights, I have a stability ball, a mat, resistance bands and two series of videos that I love and have had results with. Combined with running, a few outdoor activities and some investment in bigger weights - I figure I can skip the $60/month. Because really, I need the flexibility of being home. And it's official - I'm not a gym rat. I never have been, never will be. I should embrace it and move on.

My husband disagrees with my decision, but has relented. He wants me to get out of the house. He wants me to sign on with a personal trainer. But he's also the man that thinks we'll both be able to work out by 8 in the morning while some mysterious someone looks after our infant, not to mention he thinks $180 for a pair of boots is "reasonable". Right.

The challenge then is this - I need to create a workout at home plan and then find the motivation and will power to stick with it.

Here's my sample plan for the coming week:
Sunday - 3 mile run
Monday - Weights and abs (likely in the form of my weight training video plus ab video)
Tuesday - Off (Remembrance Day, plus the husband has a doctors appt and we possibly have a playdate? I'm not sure anymore. Side note: playdate time is seems to be losing steam. Another post for another day)
Thursday - CardioParty plus abs (this is no aerobics class - it's hardcore cardio)
Friday - Weights and Abs
Saturday - 3 mile run

That gives me: 2 runs, 2 weights, 3 abs, 1 cardio.

Off we go.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Phase Two

We've been in our new city just over a year now, and after returning from two weeks away, it feels decidedly different. While Manitoba will always be home, this town is starting to feel much more mine. We arrived home on Wednesday, tired but happy, and our place just felt different. It really did feel good to be home and it felt like home. Last night, it sort of hit me - I live here. I'm not visiting, taking a break or vacation, I actually live here, far from family and friends and on our own. All at once it was a little sad, but mostly exciting.

Which brings us to the title of this post - phase two. My first half marathon is in the bag. My body is recovered from birth, even if our lives will never quite be the same. I've shed about 20 lb. and have fixed a few pitfalls in the nutrition area. We're starting our second year here in the city and I've got only four months left of maternity leave to enjoy and savor.

I've been thinking about goals - race goals, health goals, life goals - and slowly I've put a plan together.

This winter, I'm going to join the Y. I want to learn to swim (really swim, not mess around doing handstands and pretending I'm a shark, which is what I normally do). I'm going back to weights. I need yoga and pilates. I'm also going to get outside. I live in a gorgeous city with fabulous groomed skiing trails and tonnes of parks to snow shoe in. I will get outside. And? I will run. I'm planning a half for May and Sept/Oct. I just don't know which ones yet.

I've also got to tame some of the last food demons lingering. I bake too much, ergo I eat to much baking. I never really started drinking again, but I'm recommitting to cutting out liquor. I need to cut back the caffeine and put the veggies back in every meal. I've decided against a weight goal, instead I have a size goal (one to two down from what I am now).

As for life and family, we don't do enough fun stuff and get Chou Chou out and about enough. That we need to change. There are museums and galleries here I need to see, parks and places to explore, and I've finally got some friends here to share that all with.

And then there's work (yes, we do have to talk about it). It's looming - just a few months away. And really? I'm actually starting to look forward to getting back at it, mostly. But first I need to find childcare for half days for my wee baby. And that's easier said than done. (Not to mention the struggle it will be for me to LET someone look after her for a few hours).

So there you have it. Phase Two - more veggies, more outside activities, more family fun. Encourage me, please. It's been a tough to get off the couch since the half.

Chou Chou also went as Yoda. Note the ears - and the hat had real Yoda lines and everything. Princess Leia is helping me hold up the ears. I have the cutest nieces and nephews ever.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And we're back

With so much to say, but even more house and home stuff to catch up on. In the meantime, some photos of our recent trip to Manitoba.

From top to bottom: My other baby, baby's first Halloween and baby's first hockey game.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm an idiot

As of today I still haven't gone running. Yesterday that pissed me off. Today, I'm OK with it and I'm actually not at all upset that I haven't done three miles or more today. I just feel better today, as if I needed the week off. I was ravenously hungry for carbs for a few days and honestly I felt badly about it. And then it hit me - my body was trying desperately to crack through this thick melon of mine and tell me that it needed some down time, some nourishment and some healing time. Begrudgingly, I gave in. I'm only now realizing that was the best thing I could've done.

To make its point, my body *alert - all men reading this who don't want to hear about uterus stuff run away now * even bled. I had a little spotting Thursday afternoon and a bit of me was so sad to think that I had started cycling again. It's been a lovely period holiday since getting knocked up with Chou Chou and while I know it'll be back someday, I want that day to be a few months from now. I was sad, but resigned. What can you do, right? But then, after a bit of old blood - nothing - for over 12 hours. Then a bit more (less than the first time), and then nothing at all. WTF? Lucky for me, my midwife and I still hang out and she's done a marathon and several half marathons. Over sushi, I told her about it.

"Oh that? Yeah, I always bleed after a half or a full. It's just some of the lining giving way after all that bouncing and stress on the body."

Um, really?

Turns out, she's right. (Insert Yay! here for not cycling yet). It's actually quite common, but also (and this is what hit me over the head and got me to wake up) it speaks to what my body has just gone through, while lactating, six months post partum.

The. Body. Needs. A. Break.

And today, I'm happy to have had a week of nothing. I no longer feel badly about it or want to berate myself for being lazy. I wasn't being lazy, I was resting.

Instead of being grumpy about all this, I'm getting excited. I've turned the corner in my thinking and I'm off on a new tangent. I'm excited because I've actually got a really good fitness base from which to work off of now. Sure, I'm not planning any half marathons until May, but there's a whole world of other stuff I can get working on, and it won't be that difficult to keep up a solid 6 mile running base. Imagine that - me! - always being at a fitness level that I could at any time go run 6 miles as a workout, not as a major accomplishment.

That's wicked good stuff, I tell myself.

And now, I'm off to visit for two weeks. I hope to update the blog while I'm there. I know I'll be running - but even if I do very little, it's OK. I've got a base. I ran a half marathon last week. That doesn't just disappear over night (or twelve).

Now, I just have to negotiate Halloween without going into a diabetic coma. Right.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The name game

This post got me thinking, and then a little angry, and then back to just plain old curious.

Me and Chou Chou don't share a last name. Neither do my husband and I. And we like it that way. Within my ladies and babies group, nearly half the children have their momma's names, not daddy's, and the daddies are the ones who wanted it that way (except in one case where it was decided by the baby's gender (girl = mum's name, boy = dad's name). For the record, we're all married and some changed names but most did not. Outside of my circle of friends and family back home, most women I know kept their name or hyphenated it, and babies are being given mum's name as a middle name, or mum's name, or both. Personally, I love the diversity of it. I love hearing the reasons for either or. I love seeing a little boy with his mum's name because the baby's dad had such respect and reverence for his wife's family. That's powerful, wonderful stuff.

And then those same wonderful people may be stopped at our border and questioned as to their authority in traveling with the child? That gets me angry. Then logic takes over, and I recognize that better safe than sorry fits here, and then I relax, just a little.

I think back to the agony over naming our Chou Chou - all before she was born, of course. The moment I saw her - her perfect face, the mop of curls, the sweet blond wisps of hair tucked behind her ear - I knew her name (none of the ones we had picked out, by the way). But before she arrived we spent hours discussing names, the importance of them, the meanings, the sound, the cadence, the significance, the spelling and, yes, the possible pitfalls of her carrying a name different than her mother's.

The travel question did come up. As did schooling and child care. Would it be an issue if I went to fetch her and our names were different? Would it bother her? Would she care? Ultimately, we decided it was as important to me to keep my name as it was that our daughter have both our names. Not wanting to saddle her with a huge name, we gave her only one as her last, and mine as a middle name (Chou Chou Caddywumpus really is enough, don't you think?). And before someone bites my head off, I get all the reasons for having a "family" name - but I don't think simply sharing a last name makes you a family, or more of a family, than those who don't.

I then go back to getting more than a little annoyed over the border guard's response (especially when the were coming BACK to Canada. Good grief, people). It's not like parents take this naming responsibility lightly. And I get more than a little pissed that, indirectly, it's a dig at a woman keeping her name. A name she likely kept for some very good reasons. I also get more than a little annoyed that in this age of blended families, in a country where all sorts of cultures collide, some of which have a tradition where women ALWAYS keep their name (in Vietnamese culture, for one, for those of you who need examples for credibility of argument), that we still get flak for doing so.

Lesson learned, though. Chou Chou and I will travel with appropriate documents, and just might end up changing names...but only so she carries mine as a last name, not the other way around.

Caddywumpus Comment Generator: What did you do? Would you do it differently if you could do it all over again?

Friday, October 17, 2008


The shitty thing about completing a half marathon is that now it's done.

I've been in a funk all week. I recovered quickly from the run, although Sunday's knee-icing was a good idea. By Tuesday I could walk with almost no soreness and yesterday I ran a few blocks while pushing Chou Chou and didn't feel any twinges. I still plan on taking it easy for the next few weeks, but I'm ready to get moving again.

I say that here, but in reality I've been a junk-eating, caffeine-fueled lump of mush all week. I couldn't stop eating (Thanksgiving didn't help, to be fair), and I've done nothing but walk (to the coffee shop, grocery store). What's wrong with me?

Shopping is not my forte. Anyone who's ever met me will tell you that. But I'm wondering if picking up my race-finishing present to myself might help with my mood?

Beautiful aren't they? They're Nike Air Structure Triax 11. Long name that translates in English to - super comfy, won't make your big toe go numb, joint-saving loveliness. Really, it does.

And then there's setting my next fitness and racing goals. In the short term, I've got a Halloween family fun 5 km I'm doing once in Winterpeg next week, but that's it. Long-term, I'm looking at a half in May and in September. I need to go one step back from that though, I need to look at my immediate day to day eating and training and try and work out some sort of truce with my mind and body. Right now, they're fighting like cats and dogs and I end up losing. It sucks.

Wow, when did this become all weepy and downer? Sorry, guys.

On the upside, I leave for the Hometown in just five sleeps to spend two weeks visiting, relaxing, riding, running, shopping and generally showing off the Chou Chou to any and all who care to see her. Perhaps the change of scenery, the catching up with friends and the sweet wrench in the hum drum of the everyday will be just what I need to snap out of this.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The First Rule of All Caddywumpus

Is not that there is no Caddywumpus, but that there are no real names used - not in comments, not in stories, not ever. Use my real name and you get bitten by one hundred furious hamsters, OK? Now that we've got that out of the way...

Welcome to All Caddywumpus, where most things are ridiculously crooked and stupid looking? Sure. We'll call it a metaphor for my life or a description of how I run. Probably more the latter than the former.

If you've been invited here, consider yourself lucky - you are the Caddywumpus elite. If you've just stumbled across me and my wumpusness, you're obviously gifted (or really good at clicking the "next blog" button. High five!).

What follows now is my new blog; all about me and the delicious adventures of being a stay at home mum to wee Chou Chou Wumpus all the while freelance writing, recovering from my first half marathon and training for my next. Welcome here!