Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy 1/2 Birthday

Little E is 6 months old. This time last year I was dealing with morning sickness. I can't believe our little peanut is here and growing up so fast.



Weight: 17 lbs
Height: 27"

Milestones: Eating oatmeal and green baby food
Sitting up unassisted (but still may topple over unexpectedly)

Loves: babbling, blowing raspberries, giggling, "singing"
toys that play music
chewing on her toes

We also got her ears pierced! I thought M was going to fight me, but he didn't have a problem with it. He walked away when they did the actual piercing because he's deathly afraid of needles, but otherwise he was cool. It's cute watching him clean and turn her tiny little earrings.

(If you think it's inappropriate to pierce a baby's ears please send your comments to runblondie26@doesntgiveacrap.com. I had a bad experience getting mine pierced as a kid, so I wanted to get her's done early on.)

E's also teething now so

everything....................goes.....................in the mouth

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's On Like Donkey Kong

We went on our 1st family run last night. It took some goading, but I convinced M into it. There was actually more walking than running, but we covered 2.8 miles together. As pathetically slow as I am, I was still leading M while pushing the jogging stroller. Some of our neighbors teased and made cat-calls as we went by. After we finished, I went off on my own and ran another 5 miles. I think it took a little chunk out of his pride.

It's on now.

We'll be running a 10K on Long Island at the end of September. M runs this race every year as a tribute to his dad (this is the race I mentioned a couple weeks ago...his dad was the original race director). It's the one day every year he runs. M never trains, suffers through it (and for days afterwards), and then vows to train for next year. As long as I've known him it's never happened.

When M left for his trip this morning his running shoes were in his suitcase. He said he's going to work out in the hotel gym while he's gone. Looks like the competitive flame has been lit....

Monday, July 27, 2009

H&F Week of 7/27/09

Last week’s exercise schedule went as planned except for Sunday. I spent the morning in cleaning mode, so I wanted to share the reminder of the day with hubby and the baby. In the old days this would have sent me into a semi-panic, but with better perspective now, time with my family is more important than missing a single workout.

This week’s schedule:

Monday: 70 mins elliptical, abs   completed
Tuesday: 7 mi run w/ jogging stroller
Wednesday: 7 mi run
Thursday: 3.5 mi run w/ jogging stroller, 30 mins elliptical
Friday: off
Saturday: 70 mins elliptical, abs
Sunday: 7 mi run

You may wonder how I’m choosing the amounts of running and elliptical work to do. Two loops around the neighborhood lake is approximately 7 miles, and it currently takes me a little over an hour to run that distance (depends on whether I have the stroller not). I equate 70 minutes on the elliptical at 75%-85% max hr to 60 minutes of running. I’m still working on rebuilding my endurance base, so there’s not much variety. Just trying to put in my time, at least an hour of cardio at each shot.

I’ve added returnsforsale.com to the list of discount websites I stalk daily. Today I scored a Valco Universal Sunshade for 12 bucks. According to the product description, it should be compatible with our BOB stroller. Little E is almost ready to graduate from the infant carrier to the regular stroller seat, so I’ve been meaning to get one of these. 70% off retail price…not too shabby.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hypothalamic Amenorrhea

Last night I did a vanity Google search of “Runblondie26” to see what would pop-up. Interestingly enough I found my name on this list. It’s the Hypothalamic Amenorrhea “graduates list”, tracking the success of women who were once members of the Hypothalamic Amenorrhea support forum on FertileThoughts.com. It’s being maintained by Nico, the moderator of the forum and a former HA’er herself. If it weren’t for her, I probably would have faced a more difficult treatment path, and it may not have ended with the precious daughter I have today. She’s provided a great service by sharing her story and spreading the word about the treatment of HA.

After being misdiagnosed by a series of doctors for over a year, I was finally given a correct diagnosis of HA in February 2008. First, my doctor recommend adding more fat to my diet (“Use a pat of butter at every meal and eat real ice cream” were her words), and to increase my body fat from about 14% to 22-23%, which is considered the ideal range for trying to conceive. Also, I’d need to trim down my exercise routine. Over the next 3 months I gained almost 15 pounds and reduced my running from 50-60 miles a week to about 20. Still no signs of my cycle returning.

Traditionally, HA is treated with a mix of diet and lifestyle changes. Sometimes that isn’t enough if a woman has been amenorrheic for a long period of time (almost 8 years in my case, I only got AF by taking triphasic birth control pills). From there, the next step is injectible hormonal drugs (GnRH). Not only is it far more invasive, it is also a lot more $$$ to do a cycle of injectible fertility drugs.

Fortunately for me, my RE (reproductive endocrinologist) was progressive in seeking new treatments and was willing to try an alternative route. It was a copy of Nico's blog entry on the use of Clomid to treat HA, that my doctor handed me as she explained what my treatment would entail. In her blog, Nico cited a small yet very important study in Italy where doctors were able to restore the cycles of amenorrheic women without weight or lifestyle changes. You can read more about the study here, but in short, they gave women 50mg of clomid CD 3-7 followed by 100mg CD 8-12.

$9 worth of clomid did the trick. I developed OHSS during my cycle on the extended clomid protocol and was not able to get pregnant. I also gained 5 more pounds (clomid does some evil stuff to your appetite) which brought my body fat to about 22%. These factors combined got my body back on track and we were able to conceive the following month.

To prevent relapse back into HA, I have to be very conscientious to take in an adequate amount of calories to offset the amount I’m burning. I was never restrictive with my eating (love me some Ghirardelli's), but I should have been eating more than I was to keep up with my activity level. Also, I must maintain a higher level of body fat than I might feel comfortable with, and get at least 30% of my daily calories from healthy fats.

I’m happy to share my story with anyone who may be dealing with HA. I want to also offer thanks again to Nico. Your list is one I’m happy to be on!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Christening & Other Good Stuff from this Weekend

Sorry, couldn't think of a catchier title for this entry.

I’ve been stressing out about the christening for weeks, but after arriving in NY everything went really well. Getting there was chaos on Friday night. M and Little E left Thursday morning, so I was going it alone. The flights to JFK, LaGuardia, AND Newark were so oversold it would have been futile to even try. Forced to resort to plan D, I listed for a flight to White Plains. From there, I was up against a shady gate agent who took her own liberties to clear passengers off the standby list out of priority order. Despite the blatant disregard for policy, I did make it onto the flight. Once I landed, I had the pleasure of driving the hour and a half to my inlaws in a torrential thunderstorm. After good night of sleep, I was able to put it behind me and get the rest of the weekend started right.

M's step-dad is a Lutheran minister and led the service at his church. The gown Little E wore was the same one that my mom and I were both christened in. My mom had it dry cleaned and shipped directly to my inlaws so it would be waiting there when we arrived. Having not seen it before-hand, I was nervous it wasn’t going to fit. The booties and hat were too small (I had purchased back-up just in case), but the dress fit perfectly. E smiled at all the appropriate times during the blessing, and threw in a few coos for good measure.

The brunch afterward also went smoothly. We had to plan the catering from out of state so it could have gone very wrong. The food was good, and I ate way too much.

We also had the chance to go out on the inlaws' boat. E tolerated the life vest better this time. (probably because it wasn’t as hot, and this one was a hand-me-down from our nieces so it was broken in).

M was in his glory fishing with the new reel I bought him for Father’s Day.
  

Sadly, I’ve been sans baby the past few days. M still has another 10 days off, so I wasn’t going to rush him back after the christening. No point in making him sit at home in Atlanta all while I’m at work all day. He’ll be back with E tomorrow. Yay!

H&F Week of 7/20/09

Last week I stuck to the plan as written. I squeezed in the run at my in-laws early Saturday morning. The temperature was in the upper 60’s, there was a strong breeze, and the air was dry. The run felt so much easier than usual, keeping my faith alive that I’ll be seeing marked improvements in my performance once the summer heat and humidity are gone.

It's already half way over, but here’s my schedule for this week anyway:

Monday: 7 mile run completed
Tuesday: 7 mile run completed
Wednesday: 5 mile run, 20 min elliptical, abs completed
Thursday: Off
Friday: Off
Saturday: 7 mile run
Sunday: 3.5 mi run, 30 min elliptical, abs

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tentative schedule for the week of 7/13 – 7/19:

Monday: 7 mi run
Tuesday: 7 mi run
Wednesday: 70 min elliptical, abs
Thursday: 7 mi run
Friday: off
Saturday: off
Sunday: 1 hr run (at the in-laws, no exact course mapped)

We’ll be in NY for Little E’s christening this weekend so Friday, Saturday and Sunday are subject to change. I’ll squeeze in a run at some point on one of those 3 days, most likely it’ll be very early Sunday morning.

A few minor amendments to last week’s workouts: If it seems like my training is a bit willy-nilly, that’s because it is. At this point I’m not too concerned about changing things, as long as I’m doing something reasonably equivalent to what was originally planned.

Friday: 1 hr run w/ jogging stroller at a local park (~6.48 mi according to mapmyrun.com) It was a nice breezy night, and I didn’t feel like being inside.

Saturday: Elliptical 70 mins, abs Worked-out midday during Little E’s nap, it was too hot and sunny to take her outside in the stroller.

I also have one H&F indiscretion confession. My dinner on Friday night was a Chick-Fil-A peach milkshake. I ordered a small, which is still a mind-numbing 720 calories, but it was sooo good going down. I developed a nasty stomach ache afterwards, so I won't be tempted to order another one anytime soon.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Farmers Market

The early bird gets the zucchini. Little E and I made it to the farmers market around 8:00, just as the aisles were filling with customers. I was impressed with the variety and freshness of the produce. I probably could have done better on the pricing, but being a 1st timer I was too timid to haggle. I spent about $16 for the items pictured:



2 avocados, 1 bunch cilantro, 2 mangos, 5 zucchini, 5 peaches, 1 bunch asparagus, 2 pints strawberries, 1 pint blueberries




and one of these...


Although not locally grown, the "dragon fruit" was too interesting to pass up. I'm not sure how to eat it yet, but a google search should reveal the answer.





One of the zucchinis went into a batch of muffins. The final product was loosely based on this pecan zucchini bread recipe from allrecipes.com. Once in the kitchen, I took the liberty of making substitutions to improve the nutritional content.

Makes 14 muffins.

2 3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c rolled oats
1 1/2 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 whole egg, 4 whites
1/2 c canola oil
1/2 fat-free plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 c chopped pecans
1/2 c golden raisins

1) Shred the zucchini (leave skin on). Spread between a layer of paper towels and press out the extra moisture.
2) In a large bowl, mix the 1st seven ingredients. In another bowl beat together the eggs, yogurt, oil, and vanilla.
3) Stir in dry ingredients just until moistened.
4) Fold in the zucchini, pecans, and raisins
5) Divide batter among cupcake tins that have been coated with non-stick cooking spray
6) Bake at 350 degrees (convection setting)

Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Times will vary. It took about 18 minutes in our oven.

I would recommend using the convection feature if your oven has it. It yielded muffins with a golden, slightly crunch top and a fluffy moist interior.

I was really happy with the final product and plan to use this recipe again. I've set aside 5 to take to work. Breakfast each day this week will be a muffin and a Stonyfield Farms yogurt. The remainder of the muffins are in the freezer, so I won't finish them before the end of the weekend.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Holding Down the Fort

The original plan was to accompany M on a trip this weekend that includes a 36 hour layover. This means he finishes flying on Friday night, and doesn’t operate a return flight until Sunday. These type of layovers can either be a lot of fun or a real drag depending on the destination. Mind you, he’s not getting paid for this time, and he’d rather be working or at home with us instead of sitting in a hotel room by himself.

In the past I would have tagged along for moral support, but the dynamics are different now. Poor Little E has been schlepped around enough in the past week (they didn’t back from NY until 9:30 last night) that she'd have a crankfest on the flight for sure.

There’s no chance of sightseeing either. The hotel is located by itself on a highway, and even if we rented a car there’s nothing of interest nearby. Being cooped up in an econo hotel room with a 5 month old infant for 36 hours might be a little intense (ok, probably a lot). To avoid triggering World War III, we both agree my time will be better spent staying at home.

This gives me the opportunity to hit a local farmer’s market I’ve been wanting to checkout. Think I’ll bake some zucchini bread, and maybe muffins if I can get some decent fruit. Haven't played Suzy Homemaker in awhile. My workouts have been going according to plan all week as well. Looking forward to a nice run tomorrow.

Here’s to a weekend of relaxing at home. Cheers!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

H&F Tuesday

It makes more sense to post this on a Monday, but I didn’t have time to use the computer last night. Instead, I spent some quality time playing with Little E since she’ll be gone for a couple nights. Sniffle.

M left for NY this morning to do some fishing and took her along. Grandma and grandpa are delighted they’ll get to watch her.

Since they won’t be back until Thursday, I have some time to myself to. This week’s workout schedule includes:**

Monday: off
Tuesday: 7 mile run
Wednesday: 7 mile run
Thursday: off
Friday: 70 mins elliptical, abs
Saturday: 30 mins elliptical followed by 30 min run w/ stroller
Sunday: 60 mins elliptical, abs

I suppose I can say that I'm "training" now, instead of just working out. I’ve set my sights on a fall race. It’s been over a year and a half since I last entered one. It’s a 15K, and part of the course passes right by the front of our house. I’d be seriously bummed if I had to watch it go by without being part of it.

15k is a rather odd distance, but a good choice for my first race post-baby. I don’t have a previous performance to compare it too. It’ll automatically be a PR by default.

For the rest of this month, I’ll continue focusing on quantity to rebuild my fitness base. Next month I’ll start incorporating tempo runs, intervals, and fartleks (hehe) to increase the quality of my training.

**To keep it honest here, these were my amendments to last week’s schedule:

Saturday: No workout. It was already 11:00 when I woke up, didn’t want to take Little E running in the sun and heat
Sunday: 70 mins elliptical We got home earlier than expected, so I had time

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Oh the Places You'll Go...

M wasn't able to get a nap line this month either, so he's doing 3 day weekend trips again to minimize the amount of time Little E has to spend in daycare. On the upside, his overnights are long enough to make it worthwhile for us to tag along. I was excited when he said we'd be going to Alexandria on Saturday night and started researching things to do in the area earlier this week. I thought it would be fun to go into D.C. to watch the fireworks at the National Mall, so I asked M about renting a car.

Cue Dueling Banjos.

We're not going to Alexandria, Virginia. We're going to Alexandria, Louisiana.

I'm sure we'll have a good time. We always do wherever we end up. But by now I should know better, and expect that we're going somewhere off the beaten path. Let this serve as a reminder to always ask what state our destination is in.

Heading out of A-town. Have a happy 4th of July everyone!

Friday, July 3, 2009

3 Years

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart! I love you so much!





Honeymooners in St. Maarten

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Product Rave

We recently received a set of Podee Hands-Free Bottles from a friend of ours. He's a 27 year old single guy. I still can't believe he knew about these and I didn't. They've taken over the #1 position on my list of favorite baby items. I wish I had known about these sooner. Little E had no problem adjusting to them. It's just like eating from a regular bottle.

They're a lifesaver on car trips, or when you're in the middle of doing something like cooking dinner. I highly recommend checking them out.