Thursday, January 29, 2009

WW Week Eight Report

Weigh in: Down 1.8 lb
Total loss to date: 10.4 lb

Yesterday was my hardest day on weight watchers to date. I don't even know why. Wait, I'm lying I do know. I've got a week until my trip back to Manitoba, I don't feel prepared and more than that I felt like Mr. Wumpus wasn't even going to miss us. I know it's dumb, but hey, I'm allowed to get all emotional and stupid a few times a month if I want to. Regardless, I just couldn't stop eating yesterday and not good stuff - I ate 1/4 of a pan of failed puffed wheat cake (thank goodness it's mostly air), a half a carrot cake slice, 1.5 pieces of vegan chocolate cake (so decadent and only 4 pts per piece! but that only helps if you eat one), not to mention tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa plus soup and yummy bread. All in all, not horrible. But I was home by 1:30 and had consumed ALL of my daily points. Argh. I knew I was headed for trouble when I saw the clock and it was only 4. The husband wasn't expected home until 9.

But I got through the day. I woke up this morning excited for my weigh in, excited to work out, excited to start fresh. And I did, and weigh in went better than good (um, 1.8 lb? Woot woot! AND I passed the 10 lb mark and got a shiny gold star). And now I'm going to get Shredded with Jillian.

Today is good.

Oh, and Mr. Wumpus? Is totally going to miss us when we're gone. So much so that we may trim back the time we're gone to just 3 weeks from 4 and I couldn't be happier.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Imperfect timing

It's time to wean the Chou off her middle of the night/pre-dawn nursing. It's been time for a few months now, actually, but we (mostly me) just haven't committed to getting it done. She's more than ready, having proven she can go five, six, even seven hours without waking to nurse on occasion. The problem is, in order to wean her off the boob between the hours of 10:30 and 6 a.m, I need help, and I'm not getting it. Mr. Wumpus is a wonderful husband, a doting dad, but he's working more hours than a child labourer in Taiwan and I simply don't feel I can ask him to step in and rock a screaming baby for the three (or more) nights it'll take to get Chou to push her nursing to the daytime hours.

Most of the mums tell me I'm being to easy on Mr. W, that Chou and I both deserve help and more sleep, that we simply have to mark the calendar, make our plan and stick to it. I know all this. I agree with all this. But at 1:30, when she starts calling for milk, it's just so much easier, faster and quieter to pop in booby and get back to my warm bed. That said, when she then wakes at 4, 5, and 6, I'm pooped. This doesn't happen every night, of course, and her top teeth are coming in, so it's hard to know where habit ends and teething starts. What I do know, however, is that her average night is: 7:30 sleepy, 10:30 wake to feed, 2:30 wake to feed, 6:30 wake for the day. If we did that every night we wouldn't be having this blogversation. But we are because other nights it goes like this: 7:30 sleepy, 9:30 crying fit, soothed back sans boob, 11:30 feed, 1:30 feed, 3 am feed, 4 feed, 5 fuss/soothe, 6 feed, sleep until 645 or 715. See? Not enough sleep for either of us.

And here's where the poor timing comes in. Yes, the daddy is working a lot and needs to sleep, and yes, the mummy is past the point of caring and just needs to teach her baby to sleep...but the stupid mummy booked a month trip to various frozen tundra cities and any sleep training we do now is all a mute point once we a) switch timezones b) switch sleeping areas, houses and routines and c) switch more timezones d) don't have a daddy for a month.

It means another week of just muddling through and then, then I'm on my own. Which, truth be told, we've done before and have managed just fine. But now we're going for an entire month. I'm daunted, I'll be honest.

Mummy Vegan Brownie (named because that's what she's amazing at baking) had a great suggestion this morning. They did a two week timezone hop before Christmas and decided that on arrival back at home the new routine and habits started on night one. Their plan: Baby is put down in usual routine, fed at 10:30 wake up (he had the EXACT pattern Chou does now), and between the hours of 10:30 and 6 am there is no booby, and only daddy to comfort and soothe. It took them only a few nights and wee baby E is now snoozing happily from 10:30 to 6 almost every night.

I can do this.

But I guess not until next month.


And then there's all the other good, but poorly timed, stuff going on Chez Wumpus (excuse me while I go on a wee tangent). The horsey farm I've been working at offered me a full time job in March. Yes, something darn close to my dream job has floated up in front of me, mine for the taking, but you know, not one part of me is entirely disappointed that it's not feasible right now. Sure, I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to do it, I do. But I also have something that takes up my heart and soul right now, wee Chou, and that's not going to change in the next month. She's my one and only and will likely be my one and only forever. She deserves to have me for most of her waking hours every day while she's still a baby, and I know that that's possible (it's not for all mums and I know I'm lucky that we're financially stable enough for me to only work part time and care for Chou most of the day).

But part of me couldn't help but marvel at the ridiculous timing of it all - I've waited and searched and volunteered my way into barn after barn, just content to spend my time smelling sweet hay, warm ponies and green grass, and now, I find one barn that's not only looking for full time people, they want ME. And me? There just isn't enough of me right now to give them. Chou's got the monopoly, at least for the next while. And that "while" could be three months, six months, two years, I don't know, but it helps to make passing up this opportunity a little easier.

Oh, but don't think I'm passing it up entirely, I'm not that strong. I will be taking on part-time hours there, probably two to four mornings a week, depending. But only while the Chou is at daycare. And then in the fall, who knows. It'll all work out in the end. I think.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A training regime I can handle

This is week one, friends, of half marathon training. The midwife was good enough to find a really great 17-week program and fine tune it for her and me. Day one was yesterday. It said "Rest". What did I do? A 25 minute Shred video by Jillian Michaels (the trainer from the biggest loser). Speaking of loser, my training for the day was TO DO NOTHING and I did something. Argh. And you're thinking 25 minutes - big deal! Um, right. It's freakin' hard and I am so sore today (which I love). Today is a 3 mile tempo run. I may have to take the Chou out with me, which also doesn't really make it a tempo run, but heck, I'm going out swinging - training will likely taper from here. Right.

I like this training program - it's less repetitive than the last I did and has a longer endurance building phase, followed by a strength phase, then speed. My last 15 week program was easy to follow but rather boring and a little too simple.

Perhaps the best part is my time in Manitoba will take me through the endurance phase, and I won't need to be doing any hill workouts until I'm back in the land of, well, hills. I'm going to have to lean pretty heavily on my Manitoba folks to get all these runs in, but thankfully it's the beginning of training and my long runs start at 5 miles and work up to 8 miles before I come home. That's not too long to ask someone to watch Chou, right? Hmm, I might be buying a lot of coffees and baking some mean banana bread loaves.

And now, I've got a last freelance project to wrap up and a month-long trip to pack for.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday montage

And now that blogger will let me post photos, here's Chou's 10 month montage.

Happy baby eating her puffed wheat

A telling photo - her new teeth and her first real shiner on her forehead. She managed a matching one on the other side later in the day (I was watching her for the first one, her dad for the second)

She may be a dentist. Not only does she love her toothbrush, she loves to pick at our teeth. Weird, but cute.

Her bangs are so long they get full of schmutz when she eats.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A perfect 10

The Chou has got us all hopping - 10 months is the new 12 according to her. She's mastered the art of pointing at objects, either out of curiosity or want. She now offers to share toys or snacks but seems somewhat offended when you eat her food. I think she's a little young to understand "Indian giving" but we're trying to explain (and the inappropriateness of the term, too, for all you politically correct folks out there).

Chou is moooving. Non-stop crawling (one leg up, one leg under) keeps me building new barricades daily and her cruising of furniture is boring - now she wants one finger with which to grasp so she can motor around with lightening speed. Her walk resembles some sort of Shaggy-like swagger and with her tiny legs is nothing short of hilarious. She stands confidently and often and can stand for as long as she feels like it seems. She often takes one step, has taken two, but she's not really walking. Soon, oh so soon.

She feeds herself, and that's how it MUST be. She'll rarely eat anything off a spoon if we're holding it. She'd prefer to miss her mouth and get incredibly dirty in the process. I'm running through laundry again like when she was first born. She also seems to prefer to grasp at the spoon with her left hand. It seems dominant, but it's too early to tell for sure. Her favorite foods are avocado (by far the most favorite), banana, carrots, puffed wheat and whatever is on mummy's plate.

Chou is dangerously close to getting the Mama and Dada to the right parent. In general, she does, but sometimes it's indiscriminate. Her babbles are more complex, with changes in sound and cadence. She can be insistent, pissy, loving or questioning.

Her newest love? Elmo and Cookie Monster. Also, goats. You Tube videos of the first two and pictures of the last will keep her doing the "open-mouthed, blank stare" for minutes at a time. She also claps along to The Colbert Report. Atta girl.

Did I mention she finally got two teeth? First the bottom right, then bottom left and now her top two are budding up and threatening. It looks so painful. I can practically feel the sleepless nights coming on. Speaking of sleep, for two nights now we've had really, really good sleeps and 10 to 8 wake ups. Now that I've said that of course....

Her favorite toys are anything we didn't buy as a toy. Mixing bowls, a spatula, her baby toothbrush and my stepper are hot ticket items. Also, climbing on people and picking at buttons on shirts and jeans is a favorite past time. She's so funny.

And that's maybe been the theme of this past month: we're having so much fun together, our wee family of three. We laugh so often and play, loudly and often. It's truly amazing to me how entertaining a wee one with no language and flawed balance can be. It doesn't hurt that she's adorable. Wildly adorable.

(and once again blogger isn't letting me add picture. Fools!)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

WW Week Six/Seven report

Weigh-in: Down 2.8 lb.
Total weight loss to date: 8.6 lb.

I knocked off 3 points per day now that Chou is eating three square non-boob meals a day plus one to two snacks. It would seem that's working. I've been active, but not overly so, and have been using more flex points than before. Realistically, though, I'm not eating much differently or even less, I'm just dipping into my flex points.

That's said, today's weigh-in changed the first two numbers of my weight, which means another point has to go. That brings me to 27 per day. I started with 33 originally. Ouch. In many ways this is a good thing, in that to stay full and satisfied on fewer points you simply must eat your veggies and that's always a good thing.

I managed to attain and surpass my 5% goal this week and the woman at the desk didn't say a thing. I hadn't planned to stay for the meeting anyway (so tired and Chou needed a nap), but I was a little bruised nonetheless. At least I know all my ladies will cheer for me when I call and tell them about today's weigh in. You rock, girls.

And you want to know something? I haven't seen these first two numbers on the scale since I was 16. I'm not making this up. Now everyone go do a little happy dance while I go nap. So sleepy.

What I've learned in 10 months: I need to think before I do

Yes, the Chou hit the double digits today. In celebration, I took her for her shots...with an appointment at the doctor's, across town, at 8 am. During a bus strike. In slippery, slushy weather. Not only did she not get a real breakfast before we went, she napped on and off until we got home, missing her morning nap time entirely. Did I mention it was at 8 am? Why am I so stupid. Also, when I changed her at the doctor's I didn't unfold the diaper all the way, apparently, and on the drive home she peed out the side of the diaper, through her pjs and all over her snowsuit. And is now wide awake when she should be asleep.

And I've only had one coffee and not enough breakfast.

Chou's 10 month letter is just going to have to wait until I clean her up, feed her and get me some caffeine. Ugh.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A wrench

Just when I thought I was getting a handle on this mum/wife/athlete/writer gig, the Chou throws a big ole wrench in the system.

I'm sitting at the computer, staring at a rather large freelance project that Just.Won't.Die. The problem? Sweet Chou is sleeping in to a more manageable 7 am (roughly), which is good. Except that by doing so, she's cut her morning nap in half, to 30 mins, and now takes a monster 2-hour afternoon siesta. The problem? I'm a morning writer. Afternoons my brain can take notes, research, interview, compile but it cannot write. I wish I was exaggerating. And so the same project I had hoped to have at least at draft stage by this past Monday is still only half written.

Then there's the running. The midwife and I headed out Sunday for a 45 min run. Good for us, yes, but the snow here is like grease, even at -15, and we slipped around like drunken sailors. Not exactly ego-boosting, or easy on the muscles for that matter. What's more is pushing a stroller in this is near impossible, meaning that the short runs Chou and I used to do once a week are now simply not happening.

On the plus side, this new napping schedule reaffirms for me that mornings out playing with peers is going to be best for her and for me getting some work done. I also had some freelancing inquiries yesterday, nothing firm, but interest is good, no? And on the fitness front, I have muscles again and the scale is moving the right direction. All is not lost.

Editor's note: Just tried to add a picture. Blogger says, Nyet! Gosh darn it all to heck.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My boss is stalking me

Either he can read my mind, or he's reading my blog. And so far, it's working out in my favor.

The boss and I finally had a chance to chat this week. The news on one end was not good - no more money in the budget for me. I expressed my disappointment and was about to counter with a "Well, what about part time for more per hour?"

Except that I didn't have to say a word.

He said, "Have you thought about part-time? We could potentially bump up the hourly rate but you only work two and a half days a week."

Um, did you just totally do some Jedi mind trick and read my mind?

Nothing's set in stone, details have yet to be worked out, but it looks like part-time might happen leaving me free to be with my baby and play with some ponies (maybe).

Perhaps I should start concentrating really hard on four weeks vacation per year....

Friday, January 16, 2009

How far we've come

The same day as Steve posted his back story, sans gross foot picture thankfully, me and Manatee Momma had an impromptu motivational chat about positive changes and achievements in our lives. Well, she chatted, I listened. Rather embarrassingly, in fact.

Manatee Momma says what she's thinking, and not in the annoying I-don't-care-what-you-think-this-is-my-opinion thing that I do. She blurts out the important stuff, the touchy feely stuff that we all need to hear more of now and again.

We were talking health, fitness, weight loss, the balance with family time, mental well being, putting ourselves first, all that stuff, and she told me she considered me an inspiration. Me! Me. I was stunned, and instead of brushing it off, I thanked her (accepting compliments is gracious, try it on).

I've written the story of when I started running (on a blog that no longer exists so you'll have to take my word for it when I say it is riveting, exciting and inspirational), I'm chronicling my weight loss and climb back to health here on this one, but there's another aspect to all this change - the emotional one - that maybe doesn't get the attention it deserves. And that's what Manatee hit on that got me thinking.

When I started making positive changes in my life, such as running and eating well, cutting down on junk and liquor, I was in a good place. I was newly married, in our first home and content with my work. I was - and still am - a pretty content person. Outwardly, I was upbeat, high energy, chatty and (I think) fun to hang out with. Inwardly, though, I was struggling. Struggling with loving myself, caring for myself and recognizing my own self worth.

I admitted it shortly thereafter and have continued to ever since - I don't like to let people down, but the one person I think it's ok to let down has always been me. I'm forever reaching for not the gold, but the brass ring and pretending to be ok with that. My inner monologue has always been defeatist, even when outwardly I'm the first to tell someone doing the same thing to buck up.

Last year, for my first Mother's Day, Jen P paid my entry in to the Fall Colours Half Marathon. Want to know something? Had she not, I guarantee I wouldn't have run it. I would have found all sorts of reasons to put off entering; the cost, the time to train, etc., but the real reason was that I didn't think I could do it. But when someone foots the bill, well, I had no choice but to show up and get it done. And I did.

And somewhere in the midst of all that training I started recognizing what I could do. What I could really DO. I realized that only I was responsible for what I achieved in my personal and professional life. That my health was my own. That I was responsible for every foot in front of the other, for the miles, for the hydration and nutrition. Same thing goes for my constant turning to food for comfort, to combat boredom, to derive pleasure. It's all me. No one else to blame, and, maybe more importantly, there doesn't have to be blame: I am capable. I am good at what I do. I am healthy. I don't have to use food as an outlet. I can have a healthy relationship with myself. I, dear lord, can be an example for someone else.

Instead of stewing and simmering over all the reasons why I couldn't sign up for another half, I just made myself do it. It was surprisingly easy, and I look at the upcoming training schedule not with trepidation but with enthusiasm (only partly because I'm basically guaranteed no +30 degree days of sprints, yay!). And everyday, I recommit myself to WW and to the next 15 lb. I want to lose. Not because I want to be thin, but because I want to be at a healthy weight (and running is easier when you weigh less? Let's go with that). There are also things I want to do in my life that require I be physically fit, so here I am.

There are those that have really helped me to this place, but if running 13.1 miles has taught me nothing else it's that ultimately it's all you out there. Dig deep, eyes up, keep going.

Wumpus note: My apologies, especially to See Teacher Run, for the emotional blogobarf that is today's post. But it's winter. It's cold. I'm essentially house-bound with an infant and my hormones are in a tizzy.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

How to save money on groceries

1. Bugger up the plug on your diesel car
2. Don't bother fixing it
3. Wait for -30 degrees C for three days
4. Run out of milk, eggs, coffee and vegetables
5. Begin eating canned beans and boiled lentils

I can't really complain about the weather when my former hometown is suffering through -50 with the wind chill, so I won't. But it sure would have been nice for the electrical fairy to have fixed the plug when it was -1 the other day. Hmm, yeah.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My month of Sundays

Mr. Wumpus is working. A lot. Long hours, early mornings, weekends, you know, all the time. His schedule is about to get even busier. My maternity leave also ends in, oh, six and a half weeks. And so, I'm heading back west for a month, for one last kick at the can; to relax, to ride, to visit family and friends. We're not just going back to Manitoba either, we're going even further B.C. Chou has a grandma, step grandpa and three aunts she's never met, and I've got a good friend with not one, but two babies I've never met, aged two and two months. It's a trip to see them all, to meet, to catch up.

I'm excited to go, but a big part of me also feels like I should be committed to my life here, in l'Otterwah. It's my home now. I have friends and routines, running routes and at least a bit of a social life. And I have a new barn, I think. More importantly, leaving the husband for a month, of not having his support and not watching him and Chou together makes me sad and I wonder if it's the right thing to do.

But then I think of everyone I want to see, those who want to see Chou. I think of the year ahead with no holidays and an ever-more active wee baby, and I know we won't be going west for a long time. There won't be such an option for a very long time, in fact.

And so I start to plan my month of visiting, catching up, fun runs, family dinners, a sleigh ride, lunches, coffee and just general spending time. All that's left after that is cramming as much husband time as I can into the next three weeks...if he'd just stay home long enough.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Saving space

I did it.

I e-mailed the daycare to hold a morning spot for the Chou. And you know what? I'm totally at peace with it and even, dare I say, feel good about knowing I have a place for her.

The day home with Daddy and watching Chou at playdates really solidified it for me: Chou needs to play with other kids, and she can do so without me around and still survive. And then, I read Jen P's post about how Newt actually cried LEAVING daycare, and I think, "See? It's all going to be fine." Now, we move on.

Can you see my tooth? It's there...I promise!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

That's better

It's been a long time. Too long.

Today, I rolled out of bed sometime before 6:30 am, nursed my baby, layered myself in warm, mismatched clothing, grabbed a coffee mug and did something I haven't done in a long time: went to work with ponies.

I also left my baby for nearly 6 hours. SIX hours. She slept for nearly an hour after I got home so it was like being gone for seven. And we both survived. True story.

The barn is big - somewhere around 80 horses on the property most of which spend some portion of their day in a stall. There are sweet yearlings, trained race ponies, pregnant mamas and waiting stallions. I did the morning feeding rounds with another girl who works there. It took us over an hour. Seriously. But we hit it off and chatted the entire time, she filling me in on the much needed info of what to do, and me telling her all about my pony past and why I was there.

Why was I there, you ask? Therapy. Much-needed me time. Exercise. Fresh air. A change of scenery. Non-baby time. Take your pick, they all apply.

I came home (in a rush, of course), and once I saw that Chou was just fine and nuzzled in her crib, I was elated. Months of tension had melted away. I was in one of the best moods I've been since moving here. I was tired and smelly and full of joy at the perfectness of my day.

The plan for now is to make this a Saturday ritual - Chou gets daddy time, mummy gets me time, and the barn gets cleaned. Everybody wins.

The barn is, of course, not the same as back home. I miss Neena and crazy Flo. I miss J-9 and the rabble of misfits that would come and go every Saturday. I miss knowing all the ponies' names, where they go and where everything is. I miss the confidence I had in what was expected of me and what I could do. But it's also because of my experience at Flo and Neena's that I even felt qualified to call this woman and tell her I wanted to come work for her. For that, I'm forever grateful.

Now if I could just muck stalls everyday, with Chou strapped to my back, for enough cash to live on, the world would be perfect. Ah, I'll take what I can get. Me time is enough for now.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

WW Week Five Report

Weigh-in: Down .8 lb
Total weight loss to date: 5.8 lb

This week was a short one - Saturday weigh-in to Thursday - so I still feel on track for the "pound a week" trend. That, and I'd just eaten a huge heavy lunch. Stupid me.

Here's what's quite funny about this week and the lowest loss to date: it was probably my best eating/activity week yet. I used only 2 of my "allowance" (you're allowed 35 anytime, extra points) and racked up 14 activity points (that I could have eaten). What I did do differently this week, and not on purpose, is I left a point or two on the table probably three times this week. With WW you're supposed to eat every point of your daily allowance every day. I didn't. Perhaps there's a lesson there?

I am also noticing some muscles coming back, thank goodness. I like muscles - I don't care if they way 20 times more than fat, muscles make me happy. Welcome back quads and biceps! Oh, and here's a little muscle tidbit for you, faithful reader: according to my massage therapist, my right ass muscle is 10% larger than my left. You're welcome.

Happy training.
Ms. W.


The Chou has been working hard at a few things these past few weeks: standing and walking and cutting her very first tooth. Her mum has been working very hard too; at not going stir crazy and trying to find a place to get her pony fix. We've both had breakthroughs, both figurative and literal, this week.

First off, after three days of one cranky, crying, screaming, gnawing infant, we finally have a tiny speck of tooth poking through the gum. It's her front right for those of you following along at home, and her first ever at 9 months and a few weeks. Right on time for what I did, apparently. But seeing as she started teething at month 4/5, I feel like it's been a long road.

And then there's the standing and walking. It's been exactly two weeks since she first balanced on her own. Now? She can stand a solid 10 or more seconds on her own, holding and chewing a toy, she can turn, sit down, stand back up with only one hand and balance again. And then? Then she'll take one and sometimes two balanced steps before either grabbing something, sitting down or, unfortunately for me, starting a face plant. Needless to say, I've been on my toes these few weeks. No, she's not walking, but she's going to put it all together soon and be off like a rocket. Crap.

My breakthrough is a little less momentous in some ways, depending on if you've ever had kids or not. I packed up wee Chou in the car this Tuesday and headed off to a racehorse breeding and training facility on the other side of the city. I walked in, got the tour and told this woman I wanted to come work for her. Just weekends to start (I DO have a baby after all), but who knows where that might lead. She seemed keen and we'll talk today about whether or not she figures it'll work for her. I'm nervous - half because I miss ponies so much and just want to go and muck stalls, walk babies and throw hay, and half because it'll mean leaving Chou for 5 hours at a shot, something I've never done.

That's my biggest hang up, and one I know I have to work on. Chou is 9 months old. She's on to solids three times a day in real volume, she plays, she ignores me, she naps well. There's no reason why her daddy can't look after her for more than an hour. Except for my own ridiculousness. And that daddy told me point-blank on Tuesday that he's not only willing to take care of her Saturday mornings, he WANTS to if it means a happier Ms. Wumpus. I feel for him, I do.

Perhaps the one most surprised by my chickenshitedness about leaving her is me. Every day I'm floored by just how unwilling I am to let her out of my sight for even an hour while I go run (which I have now done with someone other than her dad, yay me!). And part of me is totally ok with this - she is my baby, I am her mother and I want to be her primary caregiver - but part of me can't believe just how anxious and stressed the very thought of leaving her makes me. I think about the mums who have to go back to work at 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 6 months, and I think, "You're being a spoiled brat," but this is my reality and so leaving her at all at 9 months is hard for me. Full stop.

We'll see how this Saturday goes, if I go. Who knows, maybe the smell of alfalfa mix square bales, wood shavings and fluffy equines will over ride my extreme need to be next to my infant.

I can hope.

Chou would like to add: A very happy birthday to cousin Matthew who turns eight today. Eat cake for us, please!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Calling my bluff

I interviewed a daycare yesterday.

The woman is lovely, we chatted as the children played. The house is nice with a giant backyard in a good neighborhood. She has cats and dogs, tonnes of toys, happy kids toddling about. She does crafts and takes the brood to playgroup on Fridays. In short, it was a great little daycare.


She's looking after her own son, who is 3, plus a 16 month old, a 13 month old, and a 5 year old at the same time. Chou would be an addition to the group. That's four under three plus a 5 year old and one caregiver.

While there, one of the girls wasn't feeling great (the 16 month old). She climbed on my lap while we chatted and wanted to look at a book. Really, she just needed a cuddle. Chou was happy immediately, playing on the floor with the new toys and staring at all the new faces. The woman's three year old was a bit uncomfortable with a new baby and woman in his house and was clinging to her. Happy, but shy.

I left realizing that the children were safe, clean, fed and cared for.


I looked at my 9 month old. She'd be the youngest. She's be only 11 months old when she'd start. I felt pressured to agree to full time (and got the same story from another daycare).

I'm not ready. I can't do it.

I need to know that Chou's bum would get changed ASAP. I need to know that she'd get cuddles when she needs them. I don't want to wean her, but know that even half days away from me may mean she weans far sooner than I'd like her to. Would they sing and dance like Chou and I do? There was a big ole TV in the playroom; would she spend her days plunked in front of it? Would she get the attention an 11-month old needs? I'm not sure.

In short, I feel that I'm the best qualified to care for my child at this age.

This will change, I know. Part of me feels that it's Chou's age that's got me stuck on not letting her go. She won't even be a year old - an infant still - and I'll be expected to leave her in a stranger's care for half or full days. Right now, she's not even walking, so she needs more sit and play with me time, more supervision. In two months, who knows, maybe she won't need so much, but as I drove away yesterday, I couldn't shake the feeling that it was just all wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. And not because of the daycare, just the concept.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I've agreed to go back to work, and I will, I just don't know what that's going to look like right now. And maybe in 2 months from now, my headspace will have changed, but right now, all I want to do is sit on the floor and bop along to top 40 hits with my toothless grinning 9 month old, in between interviews, writing, running and playdates.

Is that so wrong?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Long run

Have I mentioned how much I love my massage therapist? Well, I do. A lot. If I won a million dollars the first thing I would buy would be him. Really.

I had been having trouble with my right glute/hip/hamstring. It didn't hurt exactly, more a dull ache that was restricting my movement and keeping me up at night. I guessed that the move of Chou from sling to hip and the winter running had caused a major shift in my pelvis; I was right. Boy, was I right. After an hour of active release therapy (thank the heavens above for such a thing) on Saturday, I could move again.

Yesterday, the midwife and I planned a long run. I was a little nervous. My last short run out at her end of the city was tough. We made it just to 31 minutes and it was really hard work for me. I was discouraged and my leg was killing me. This time, we wanted to run just 40 minutes. We never discussed doing 10 and ones or anything like that, we just suited up (me with my new micro fibre long johns woot woot) and ran. The difference I felt was amazing. About 1/3 of the way in I felt like I was working about 6/10; the same point on our last short run I would have said 8/10. I could move, my legs responded, I had power and stability in my stride. We turned for home, climbed a massive hill, got near home, saw the watch and kept going. Our 40 mins turned into 45 and then we called it quits, afterall we did have a scumptious WW-friendly brunch awaiting us.

We finished just shy of 7 km. No 10 and ones and we both felt good enough to chat the entire time and could have continued. We weren't super fast, but we did it. I think you could have driven a truck through our grins after that run. Wow, did I need that.

Instead of worrying about starting training, I'm actually looking forward to building my base and finally choosing a training plan. So, I'll put this to you, Blogosphere - I have a training plan that I used for my last (first) half marathon. But then I found this one. Thoughts?

Oh, and two things: the Chou and I got rear-ended on Friday - very lightly, everyone is fine - but the dude didn't even apologize. What is wrong with this world? AND I'm interviewing a home daycare today. Wish me luck.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

WW Week Three/Four Report

Weigh-in: Down 2.4 lb
Total loss to date: 5 lb

I don't know if I've ever been more excited to get a gold star in my life.

I attended the Saturday meeting sans-Chou and regretted not bringing her - there were at least three babies there (one exactly her age), and two other mums with similar-aged babies (not in attendance). I might switch to this meeting permanently. I liked the leader, although she was filling in for someone else, so I'll have to try again with the "real" leader before I make the switch.

What did I learn in weeks three and four? That as long as I work out proportionately to how many treats I have, I'll be OK. Further to this, I was reminded of just how kick ass my midwife is, she's running far more than I am and getting much faster. Therefore a run with me and the stroller must be painfully slow for her, and yet she's still willing to run with us. She's also getting my ass out of the house when I'd rather be hibernating. Then there's Jen P, who is actually running in -30 weather (but not -41 because that would be stupid). If she gets out there I can get out in -15 (insert "but it's a damp cold" excuse here).

I'm also developing a better house menu. Some of our dinner favorites still make the cut with only few modifications, but some I just don't make anymore. I'm experimenting with new ones, the midwife passes on what she's tried and we swap. Manatee momma lent me her WW cook book and that's helped too.

Next goal: get boredom eating under control. I took time a few days this week to track the times I'm eating. The tale it tells is rather shocking - I'm not hungry, I'm just really, really bored.

And now I'm off to continue my gold-star, five pounds lighter happy dance!

Friday, January 2, 2009

How to get your baby to sleep all night

1. Feed her nearly half an avocado over lunch and dinner - that she can proudly grab and squish into her mouth and chew chew chew.
2. And pears.
3. And chickpeas.
4. And prunes and oatmeal.
5. And a few baby mum mums
6. Plus booby juice.

Put her to bed around 8. Feed her again around 1030. Snuggle in until her 5 am feeding. Oh, yeah. Now THAT was a perfect way to start the new year.

Eat baby, eat!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Manitoba morning

It's cold here this morning, but honestly minus nineteen never looked so good to me.

We had a great New Year's eve - we attended a good-sized house party in a kid friendly house where the Chou stayed up until ALMOST NINE and then promptly slept 'til almost 2 in the morning, and awakened only because we had to get going. The rest of the too-short night sped past, and suddenly it was a beautiful, sunny, crisp, cold New Year's day.

These are the kind of winter days I miss. Pure, cloudless blue skies, crunchy snow and a nip in the air; these are the things that mean winter to me, and silly me is grinning from ear to ear in the chilly sunshine.

The babe went down for her nap, and Mr. Wumpus and I snuggled down under the covers to whisper and dream about the coming year. The watery sunshine spilling through the window made everything seem possible and nothing too far from our reach. While we've always said September feels more like a new year to us, somehow today feels like a fresh start, a new beginning, a clean slate.

Or maybe I'm just a bit of an optimist after 4 hours sleep with a bellyful of crab dip, lobster bisque and champagne.

Happy New Year, whatever the case.