Sunday, 29 March 2009

11 weeks old

Life goes on. New tricks include more and more smiling, continued projectile pooping, peeing on his head (question: how much is too much, when it comes to ingesting your own urine?), and he found his hands earlier this week! He spends quite a lot of time in a Burns-esque "excellent" pose, when he's not trying to fit both of them in his mouth. So talented, my son.

I still get a good stretch of sleep between the 9 pm and the 3 am feeding, and sometimes he lets me sleep in till 6:30...but not often!

Vaughn seems to have inherited my ginormous pupils, so his eyes often look like mine in photos, but this shows the difference in colour; so far, he's got Chris' colouring exactly.

Daddies are super fun to play with... much more so than Mommies, it seems. Flying Baby!

They also give fantastic snuggles.

When I rule this country and/or planet, my first order of business will be to legislate the mandatory wearing of hats with ears for all children under the age of 2.

Our growing boy now "eats" at the table with us. Ok, he just hangs out and watches us eat, which is probably just as good, right? I'm pretty sure there's a picture of me like this somewhere... Mom?

Rambling Fitness Update

(simulpost on kapowfitness blog)

Well, it's been a while.

It's now been 11 weeks since the blessed/dreaded event, and although I'm now back to my pre-pregnancy weight, give or take 3-5 lbs, I'm definitely not the same shape that I was. My theory is that my pelvis hasn't shrunk back together yet, but that probably doesn't explain why some of my shirts don't fit well on my arms... I know that nursing will keep some extra baby fat on me till I stop, but still! And there is definitely a bit more pooch to the stomach than there used to me, but it seems to be tightening a little bit more every week.

Here's what I've been doing to get back into shape: From 5 - 8 weeks post-baby, I was getting to the gym 2 times a week (they have a babysitting room at the Y), and sometimes getting out for a stroll with Vaughn strapped to me. (Aside: I REALLY didn't think that walking was a workout, but I've changed my mind...especially with my walking buddy - that 10 lbs makes a difference!) I would do 30 minutes of weights, supersetting everything, with as little rest as possible. The order of exercises would change with each workout, depending on what equipment was free, but there would be 2 sets of 15 reps of:

Stiff-Legged Deadlifts
Leg Extension
Leg Curl
Lat Pulldown or Seated Cable Row
Incline Dumbbell Press or Dips
Lateral Raises
Biceps Curls

This would be immediately followed by a dash to the babysitting room to make sure that Little V was still sleeping (nice that he sleeps when we're out!), then a dash up to the cardio room for 30 minutes of elliptical or stairmaster. All of this felt good, and I was seeing definition in my arms again, and feeling stronger and fitter.

THEN, I re-read the Oxygen magazine that I got in my stocking for motivation, and switched to a 3-day routine, involving three sets of one of three options for each body part, with a progressive load structure, so that each workout would be slightly different, attacking the muscles from varied angles and rep ranges.

Confused? So am I. Good thing I still have my handy-dandy fitness logbook, to keep everything straight. For each day, I need to choose one of the below exercises for each muscle group, and select a weight that will challenge me within the rep range given, making sure that I do all three variations in any given week. Generally, I shouldn't ever do the same workout twice.

Day 1: 3 sets of 6-9 reps / Day 2: 8 - 12 reps / Day 3: 12-15 reps

Leg press / Squat / Lunges
Bent-over Row / Lat Pulldown / Cable Row
Bench Press / Flyes / Incline Dumbbell Press
Rear Delts / Shoulder Press / Lateral Raises
Triceps Pressdown / Skull Crushers / Overhead Extensions
Preacher Curl / Barbell Curl / Dumbbell Curl
Knee Raises / Crunches / Oblique Crunches

..followed by my new attempt at cardio, which I like to call Trying To Run, But Failing Miserably And Feeling Foolish. My first "run" involved a 5-minute walking warmup, followed by a 1-minute run and a 3-minute recovery, of which I needed every second. The next day, it felt like I had a bowling ball bouncing around inside me...not good. However, I'm up to 3-4 minutes running, 2 minutes recovery now, and hope to manage a full 20 minutes, straight, within the next 3 weeks.

It seems to be going fairly well, but I've already started "slacking" on the biceps and triceps, only doing 2 sets. After all, I put the little pooper on a postal scale the other day, in his car seat. He weighed in at 20.5 kg, which any gym bum knows is exactly one of the big weight plates, or 45 lbs. THAT explains my somewhat-toned arms!!!

And FINALLY, I'm back on the schedule! I got a call last Tuesday night, saying that they really needed someone to teach the Wednesday morning step class the next day, that they had called everyone else already, and that they were desperate. I felt the love. So, the class is mine, at least till May.


Wednesday, 18 March 2009

9 weeks old: Fashion File

Though some may say that mixing horizontal stripes with animal prints is a recipe for disaster, I think it's just a matter of the right attitude combined with the right body.

Below, Tarzan Baby models what the runway models only dream of. Eat your heart out, Kate Moss!

Along with the thumb-sucking (yay for self-soothing!), the smiling is coming along very well, along with lots and lots of different sounds and vocalizations, including our favourite, "happy squeak", which will be a giggle in no time, I'm sure!

Hey, what's the best thing in the world? Daddy Time! When Daddy's home, Vaughn has eyes for nothing else...unless one of Gordon Ramsay's shows is on tv. Here's hoping that his first word isn't ...

His new skill (as of yesterday) is tracking the stars hanging from the mobile (thank you, Andra and Chris!) - he's able to focus on them as they revolve, even in just the glow of his nightlight. He's totally happy and mesmerized by it, and if he could talk, he would definitely be screaming, "This is AWESOME!!!!"

Tummy time is still a challenge, since, apparently, we're trying to kill him, but his neck strength and head control are really good, as long as he's not overtired.

All in all, we're all feeling much better -- we're well-rested (5-6 hours of sleep in a row, almost every night), and happy babies DO make for happy parents. Even if Vaughn doesn't think it's bedtime, after the initial protests (what? you want to read me a book? I know what's coming! you can't do this to me! this is an outrage!!!), once he's in his crib, he's ridiculously happy, which tricks us into staying with him and trying to lull him to sleep. It's so hard, when he's grinning from ear to ear, babbling away, and waving his little hands around! Little stinker.

Finally, International Man of Mystery, Count Von Huff, will be globetrotting quite soon, so we've procured a passport for him. Whoa. Guess how much fun THAT photoshoot was! Everyone survived. I wish I could post a clear image, but this is the best I could do without a scanner.

DG Presents: Rustic Whole Wheat Bread with a Creamy Nut Spread, Complimented with Sweet Berry Jam

A simple, yet gourmet repast was the goal of today's inspired creation.


Monday, 2 March 2009

7 weeks: All By Myself / Holy Crap!

After 6 weeks of constant togetherness and teamwork, my better, taller half has gone away. He's been travelling for the past 10 days, and won't be home for 2 more.

I've got to say, I don't know how single moms do this; I spend all day and all night with the little pooper at my side, and it's tough.

It was quite a transition, to go from Chris being with me 24/7, getting on each other's nerves, to him being completely gone, and all the responsibility for Vaughn to be on my shoulders, not to mention finding the time and inclination to dress/shower/feed myself. There were some breakdowns (most notably the first night I was alone with the little guy), and I questioned my abilities to make sure this helpless little thing was getting what he needed, felt bad that he was stuck with such an awkward parent as myself, and kept repeating over and over to myself and to anyone that would listen how hard this was.

But as of today (the second day of a relatively good sleep at night: 10 pm - 3 am / 4 am - 7:30 die for!), I've come to understand that this period of intense immersion in all things Vaughn has been good for me.

I'm gaining confidence as a mom.

I'm beginning to figure out what he wants, and how his natural rhythms flow. I've discovered that at exactly an hour and a half after he wakes up from a nap (give or take 2 - 3 minutes, literally), he needs another nap, and during that nap, I have 60 - 90 minutes to get things done. (I'm not quite mastering the cloth diapering, but there's an improvement), that, by 1 pm, he wants to sleep longer, and that, by 6 pm, he wants to stay up and be cranky.

I'm figuring out that when he's cranky at other times "for no reason", there's often a bubble that needs to come out, and also that he's an aggressive snuggler - he will leave no cranny left unsnuggled! If I want him to have a longer nap, I just need to make him nap on me.

And I'm discovering that he has the cutest, most radiant, heart-melting smile that makes the past 7 weeks all worthwhile (still to be properly captured on camera; the below shot's a bit goofy)...and I'm learning how to coax it out of him.

So, in my "spare time", I've managed to do a few loads of laundry, keep the bedroom clean, eat 3 times a day, thanks in part to very generous friends who have brought me food or invited me over for dinner, and I also managed to watch the 6th season of the Family Guy.
Like my little Huffalump, it's freakin' sweet.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

The #1 Reason to Have a Baby

Well, I can tell you what it's not:

  • Poopy diapers
  • Middle-of-the-night waking
  • Bouts of emotional crying (on your part)
  • Feelings of incompetence and self-doubt
  • Never wearing anything for more than 3 minutes before it's covered in spit-up
  • Constant care of someone who is wholly dependent on you
  • Innumerable aches, pains, unspeakable body changes, and, of course, labour
  • Being stuck in sweatpants for at least another month, and no Lulu in town

Nope, the number one reason to have a baby is baby sneezes. Failed baby sneezes, to be exact. They are AWESOME!!!