Thursday, May 29, 2014

sleep deprivation

I am not feeling particularly sleep deprived, but in the last 24 hours I have fallen asleep while pumping, while breastfeeding, and tonight I even sat on the toilet and promptly fell asleep.  I don't think I was out long, but that was definitely a new experience for me.  MrH thinks that I am expecting too much of myself and I am starting to agree.

Let's see what perfectionism will lead one to do (in other words, optional energy drainers):
-using cloth diapers and insisting on line drying everything because it is summer and it seems silly to use the dryer (I just love the smell and the starched feeling)
-making bread from scratch EVERY TIME (and I mean milling my own grain, sifting it, and even fermenting sourdough).  Delicious, but c'mon!
-ditto for making every meal from scratch.  Even the yogourt.  And the cookies.
-planting and watering entire garden complete with tomatoes, potatoes, herbs, celery, beans, etc
-pumping on top of breastfeeding so that I can go swimming and leave some breast milk behind just in case
-dieting (takes energy to motivate myself, especially when I am constantly hungry and losing so very little each time)
-sorting out ten big boxes of my own clothes, Emma's clothes, baby clothes into ages, washing, etc.
-getting back into jogging my usual 3 miles four times a week or so (I am at 2.5 miles now consistently and it is getting easier)
-juicing every day (celery, kale, cucumber, carrots, parsley-green juices for the adults, and green apples for Emma with some vegetables hidden in there for good measure)
-the training for swimming the 1 km in the triathlon.

Speaking of the swimming, there are training sessions that have started in January.  They happen at 6:30 am twice a week, and they are quite seriously brutal.  I have decided to go for it, even though everybody in the group has been already training for four months, and they are very, very fit.

Well, at least the last person in the group can now feel better about not being the last one anymore.  After my session on wednesday I am happy to report that I did not drown.  That was all I was hoping for.  Mission accomplished.  If everybody including the instructor wondered what I was doing there, they kept it to themselves really well.

The problem with being slow when you swim is that you never get to rest.  Say if you are doing sets of 50 m on 1 min (we were using fins), then every minute you are starting another set, so if you are slow, you don't get the 20 second rest that the fast people get.  You just barely arrive at the wall, and it is time to go again.

On the plus side, training in a group is very motivational, and last year I stuck with it, improving both my time and my form tremendously.  (By form, I don't mean my thighs decreased in size unfortunately).  I am considering ordering a breastfeeding suit somewhere, since I might need to bring Daniel to the pool sometimes, and I love breastfeeding clothes this time around for their ability to allow for more modesty than simply pulling the breasts out upwards through the neck scoop.

Today Daniel is going for his 2 month vaccinations.  I am not as stressed out as I was with Emma about the event, and because my little man has gone through so much more than this, I am not even worried about a bad reaction or fever.  He just seems to be lucky and resilient, so I am counting on that to get us through  pretty much anything.  My little man is so sweet, waking up often now and looking around, checking me out, his little eyes crossing in the middle when he is trying to focus on my face.  I love him so much!

Monday, May 26, 2014

diet, exercise stuff post partum

I am now almost 2 months post c section, and have only managed to lose about 6-8 lb.  I have another 30 lb to go to get to my ideal weight, and about 15 lb to reach pre-pregnancy weight.  I have no idea why it is going so slowly.  My mom has joined me here in Little Town for the past week, and we are basically eating just about the same things,  plus another 250 calories for myself because I am breastfeeding.  Daniel eats around 100 ml each feed, so around 600 ml per day by now.  To make 30 ml of breast milk, one uses 20 calories, so I am using 400 calories just to feed him per day.

Overal, I am consuming 1250 calories per day, and exercising four to five times a week, always some form of cardio (usually running 2.5 miles).  My mom has lost 7 lb, and I have lost 1 lb.  We both have about the same ideal weight goal, and I started further from that goal than she has.  Generally the further from goal one is, the easier it is to lose weight.  I don't get why I am losing so slowly, except for the fact that my diet was very careful during the pregnancy and afterwards, so for me it was not as great of a change.  Is the breastfeeding somehow hormonally preventing the weight loss?  Have you guys experienced this as well?

However frustrating this is, I am of course sticking with it, since this is my actual lifestyle, only with fewer calories than usual (usually I go for 1500 cal per day).  I am prone to gaining weight easily, and so cannot really afford to have 2000 calories daily, even if exercising quite seriously, because if I do, I see the numbers climb up and my pants shrinking in the wash.

I am moving further from meat and more towards vegetarianism again.  It just feels right for me.  I think I will continue to have some form of meat once a week, and eggs perhaps 5-6 per week, fish twice a week, and for the rest veggies, legumes, mushrooms, a bit of grains (which I mill myself and make into a brick like concoction that I leaven with a combo of yeast and sourdough starter).  I do drink 1 to 2 cups of milk or yogourt (which I make myself, the yogourt not the milk that is), and the rest is cashew or almond milk (which I also make in the blender).

It is a good diet, on which my skin looks good and I feel well.  I am not hungry often.  I am just not sure where to go with the caloric intake, stay the same or cut further as the breast milk gets more established (after another month that is).  So far I am keeping up with making the milk Daniel needs, but I don't want to rock the boat, especially since I am still on domperidone, blessed thistle, fenugreek, and oats.  Any suggestions would be great.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

crazy idea

Wanna hear somethin' crazy?

I have entered the annual local triathlon again.  I mean, it is the logical next step after having had a baby less than two months ago, with the mandatory c section and the surprise hysterectomy, plus the (not so surprising by now) intrapartum hemorrhage.  Also highly recommended after being on bed rest for a few months...

I have exactly four weeks to train.  I am definitely doing the 1 km swim (but I am going to declare a slow time, so that I swim in the less competitive heath, otherwise the lean mean machines will put me to shame), and probably will have to run 5 km.  They allow a team approach, and I am getting a team mate to do part of the run and the 40 km bike ride, since my bike does not have breaks yet (which should help with the speed) and I don't have time to train for everything.  I am going to be lucky if I don't drown in the pool as it is.

After having my two kids, nothing seems too hard anymore.  I think eventually this might land me in trouble :).   However, my main impetus for signing up is remembering Emma's face when I came out of the pool last year (I did the swim part last year too) and her asking to go swimming and playing with my goggles for months afterwards.  It is inspirational to her, and the kind of thing that I know she would be good at.

Do they make swimsuits with the "Don't laugh at me, I just had a baby" inscription on the buttocks?  I need one in XL.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Learning how to ride the tricycle

I love summer in the North, because it is brief but intense.  Everybody is outside, using the time wisely, since we only have about three months to enjoy the outdoors for activities like biking and playing in the sprinkler.  Today Emma decided that she wanted to ride her own tricycle, and MrH taught her how.

I also take her on my bike every single day.  I will post a picture of our setup.  I am still thinking of getting one of those Bakfiets...

OK, just kidding.  This is the bike that I am drooling after. 

Sleeping men

Oh, isn't this the best?  Sleeping with one's nose right next to the little soft hair that smells so good... I love, love, love my little Daniel, his head is so soft and warm and vulnerable.  I just want to nuzzle into it all day long. 

back home!

We are finally back at home.  Travelling with two small children and the luggage accumulated over the past four months in Vancouver is exactly the kind of circus that you probably imagine it is.  I used to be a light traveller, doing a full two weeks in Europe with a small carry on bag that held a dress, a skirt, a change pair of sandals or ballet flats, a second top, a bathing suit, a pair of pants and some underwear.  That was it.  I would wear a sweater and perhaps fold a rain cover in one pocket, if I felt particularly extravagant.

Gone are the days.
Wanna know what I had to bring along this time?  Four suitcases, one for each family member that came along (Daniel, who got gifted a lot of used and new clothing for the next year, Emma, who outgrew her old wardrobe while we were in Vancouver and hence came home with new clothing, my mother, who did not dare pack more than a spare change of clothing as her suitcase was full of things like my breast pump, cloth diapers, and organic coffee, cacao, olive oil, waxy diaper rash creams and calendula lotions from Whole foods, and my breastfeeding clothes, which are just about the only thing that I brought back from Vancouver, since none of my bottoms fit anyway, and none of my non breastfeeding tops will be practical for the next one to two years).  OK, so that was the suitcases.  Then, comes the giant double BOB stroller (named THE BUS by one of the fellow airplane travellers that had a good look at our moving circus), the photographic equipment (remember I bought a new used camera and a lens on Craigslist, and fixed an old broken lens, and MrH bought me another nice lens, and I got a flash, and in the end had to get a new camera bag to hold it all, so overall it was a sizeable piece of luggage as well), then come two car seats, a diaper bag, my purse, my mother's purse, and an umbrella stroller (more for the camera equipment really).

All that was missing was a cat in a carrier and a straight jacket.

Ever since we arrived, I am busy unpacking and hence will update soon.  I did not forget that I have a blog, I am just trying to prioritize things, and at the moment clean underwear and feeding the children and my husband just has to come first.  :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

We spent a very lovely morning over here in Vancouver, where Emma gave me a big hug and a box of chocolates (I think my dad got it for her) and wished me Happy Mother's Day, then, when she saw how happy that made me, she took the box back and gave it to me again a few times, with the same degree of pump and ceremony.  I have enjoyed the whole process tremendously.  

I have taken a nice bath with both my kids, and relaxed for a while.  I feel so blessed and thankful to have this opportunity to enjoy my family.  I feel very, very fulfilled at this point in my life.  I sometimes want time to stand still so that I can enjoy it a bit longer.  I think that is why I like to take pictures, and I have a nice collection of photos so far.  I feel that taking pictures captures the moment a little. 

I have also started to write a diary, which initially was meant for my children to read when they grow up, hence it would have been written in second person.  However, I enjoy the diary format the most, hence I started writing it (once again) for myself, about them and about mothering them, and also about my own experience of being the child of my parents.  Other than the fact that I have picked out a notebook that is too short and fat for my liking (my hand keeps on slipping off the right side, if that makes sense), the diary is a very rewarding way to spend my time at night.  

I remember many years when Mother's day was nothing but a giant festering abscess in my heart, and I am very glad to be out of that situation, but don't for one moment think that I have forgotten that pain.  It takes only one second to remember the first Mother's day after losing Adrian, and the feelings that I had while running into this colleague of mine who had had three children by then, seemingly without much fuss or trouble.  I am now like that lady to those people who are still struggling.  Sort of.  From the outside.  From the inside, I am both the festering abscess and the very fulfilled and lucky woman with a full family.  It takes only a split second to be who you were in the past.  If only it took as little effort to be that person that you will become in the future.  Too bad it does not work that way.  

I think eventually I would have resolved the pain somehow.  I don't know how exactly, but I remember that I was starting to become numb to it at certain moments.  I also remember that nature-the sound of birds chirping, a warm summer morning, a peaceful night sky, the waves lapping on the beach, a busy spider casting a net off the evergreen branch above my head- was enormously healing. And of course the love of a good man, like the one I am married to, was my main stronghold.  

I am just mentioning these things in case somebody out there can use the ideas today.  
As for myself, I have to go wipe the yogourt off the walls.  Emma has just finished breakfast. 
Happy Mother's Day ! ;)