A Work-Out-Of-Home Mom's Routine

Over the past two weeks DH and I have been working on a new routine. Previously our schedules and preferences were very different and

DH used to wake up at 5 a.m. and I would snooze until about 5:30 or whenever he was out of the shower.  He would then work on school stuff or put dishes away until 6:30 when I was ready to go (he stays as back up in case EH would happen to wake up early.)  When I vowed to start exercising again I resumed my previous routine from a year ago of exercising around 8 p.m.  This worked well because usually by that time EH is in bed for the night.  DH said he had trouble sleeping after night exercising though, so for a day or two he tried exercising in the morning and I woke up earlier to shower so that he could still fit in a shower after me.

But that didn't last for long.  Although DH likes to believe that he is a morning person, I believe that it takes a special type of person to roll out of bed and immediately start working out, and DH was struggling with that as well.  So we came up with this new schedule, and it's been working well for us so far.

It looks like this:

5:15 a.m. - My alarm goes off, waking us both up
5:24 a.m. - My 9 minute snooze cycle ends and I get out of bed and into the shower
During this time DH does things like put dishes away or do lesson planning
6:10 a.m. - I am done in the bathroom and DH goes in
6:15 a.m. - I work on prepping EH's food for the day, usually cutting up a banana (1/2 for morning, 1/2 for evening), putting yogurt in a cup and making sure he has food for lunch. I also get his bottles ready for day care and get my own breakfast and lunch ready.
6:35 a.m. - DH leaves for the day; I get EH's morning bottle ready
6:40 a.m. - I go into EH's room to wake him up; often times he is already awake and just playing quietly in his crib, although sometimes I have to wake him
6:45 a.m. - Change EH's diaper, get him dressed for the day, with bib, socks, etc, and then we start his morning bottle
7:05 a.m. - Done with the morning bottle; he plays or follows me around while I get dressed
7:15 a.m. - Pack up my bag and EH's bag and put them in the car
7:20 a.m. - Start to get him in his car seat, at which point he usually poops; diaper change
7:25 a.m. - Out the door for the day (this is a little later than I'd like to leave, but it's how it's been going lately)
7:40 a.m. - Drop EH off at day care
7:45 a.m. - On the road to work
8:15/8:20 a.m. - Arrive at work and start the day

In the afternoon:
4:30 p.m. - DH picks EH up from day care
5:30/5:45 p.m. - I usually arrive home from work, as long as traffic wasn't too horrible
5:45 p.m. - Start making dinner, and prep EH's dinner food (usually a combination of the other half of the banana or some veggies along with whatever we're having.)
6:30 p.m. - DH does the dishes while I play with EH; sometimes we'll play in his room and I'll tidy up or do other things, other times I'll just focus on playing
7:00 p.m. - Start filling the bath tub if it's a bath night, followed by a bath
7:20 p.m. - Get EH's night time bottle ready; put on jammies and get his crib ready (clean up the stuffed animals, fluff his pillow, make sure there is a blanket nearby and a "blankie.")
7:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. - Start the bedtime bottle, depending on his level of fussiness.  As soon as he starts showing signs of being tired, he is whisked off to bed.
8:15 p.m. - DH and I head downstairs for our evening workout.
9:00 p.m. - Workout over; head upstairs to get ready for bed and read.
9:30 to 10:00 p.m. - Ready until we get drowsy and then fall asleep.

As you can see, there's not a whole lot of quality time in there for spending with EH, but we try to make the most of the time that we do have.  Last night, for example, we had a quick dinner of frozen pizza and then went to the park instead of playing at home. There's also zero time for anything else that isn't already on this schedule.  So, if I need to do my laundry or make food for Evan in the evening, then that usually means less playtime or less reading time (for folding laundry or something like that.)  It can be stressful, having such a strict routine that doesn't allow for much variance.  But in a way it's also helpful for all of us - we know what to expect and what comes next, and much like EH, we appreciate the sense of order that it brings to our lives.

14 Months Old

EH is 14 months ago, and he just keeps getting more amazing.

Those people who have infants and say they don't want them to grow? They're crazy.  Those people made me worry that once EH started crawling or walking that I would go crazy keeping up with him, and that I'd miss the infant years.  But that has not been the case.  I LOVE the toddler months, and I wouldn't trade this in for anything.

Does he get into everything, including bathroom drawers, kitchen cabinets, dresser drawers, and everything on top of anything he can reach?  Absolutely.  But we just have to be smarter than him - keeping the doors closed to rooms we don't want him in and keeping things off of end tables and night stands.  Easy enough. 

He is so smart.  So. Stinking. Smart.  It blows me away.  He will repeat almost anything that we say, and learns new words on a daily basis.  Right now at daycare they are working on learning the sounds that each letter makes, and he's already mastered H, T, and M and a bunch more that I don't remember.  When I ask, "Are you hungry?" He usually says, "Mmmm mmmm mmmm" to indicate yes and when I say, "Ok, go get in your chair," he walks over to his high chair and tries to climb into it.

He regularly says "more" when he's eating something that he likes.  And he still has not developed a taste for meat of any sort, including chicken and turkey.

When you give him a bowl and a spoon he stirs around the imaginary food and then holds out the spoon to you to "eat."  If you ask him where his tongue is he'll stick it out.  If you ask him where his nose is he'll point to it (or his ear, he gets those two confused pretty regularly.)  

When it's time for bed he comes into the kitchen to watch me make his bottle and then when he sees that I'm almost finished to starts walking back the hall to his room and stands by the rocking chair and waits for me. 

The say that toddlers appreciate routine because it's predictable for them and they know what to expect, and that couldn't be more true for EH.  While there are rare occasions (mostly on weekends) when his strict schedule can feel somewhat limiting, the majority of the time the schedule works like a dream for us, and I don't think there is anything about it that I would change (other than the time when I get home from work, which is far too late in the evening, in my opinion, but sadly something that I have no control over.)

14 months.  I can say with certainly that THIS so far is my favorite age ever.  

Baby Weight Loss Failure

Ok.  So, here's where I sit down, take a deep breath, and admit a really hard thing - I totally failed at losing weight after my baby was born.

I lost less than 10 pounds after my delivery of EH, which was a disappointing percentage of the 34 pounds that I had gained.  But, over the next couple of week, most of it melted away.  Between breastfeeding and being so sleep deprived that I was eating really poorly, that early weight loss came fairly easily.  At 5 weeks post-partum I had lost 17 pounds, or half of the weight I had gained.

By 6 months or so I weighed in at 153!!! Awesome right??? Except that as of today, I weigh 162.5 which is nearly 10 pounds up from that 153 mark.  So where did things do wrong?

As I mentioned above, in those early weeks with a newborn - we'll say months 0 through 3 - feeding your child and getting him to sleep is what you spend 95% of your time doing.  That leaves very little time for something like feeding yourself, unless you have someone taking care of that for you, and I did not.  I believe that the world is divided into two groups - those who chose to eat, and those who chose to sleep.  When and if deprived of both food and sleep, which would you chose?  I always choose sleep, and I am sure that in those days my calories in were far less than my calories out, which is the perfect formula for weight loss.

During months 3 to 6 I think that the sleep thing gets much better for a lot of people.  But in our case, EH was very very sick during those three months, because of all of the illnesses and infections he was getting from day care.  Even though I was back at work full time by this point, I still spent many, many nights awake with EH, rocking him to sleeping, giving him antibiotics and trying to suck the snot from his nose with those bulb things so that he could attempt to breathe.  It was awful.  I was too overwhelmed to cook most of the time and once again, I was losing weight simply because I was choosing to sleep instead of eat whenever I could.  That's how I got down to 153.

Then we pulled EH out of day care and he started going to A-Care (a woman watching him in her own home.)  This was a turning point in his health and his development, as he was finally able to start catching up developmentally with other 6 month olds, something he couldn't do when he was sick for 3 months.  He started eating better and sleeping better and this finally meant that things started to get on a somewhat normal schedule for us.

After over 6 months of feeling that I never had a moment to breathe, I took full advantage of this change!  I started cooking dinners again (although somewhat reluctantly, even now) and once EH was asleep for the night, we started soaking up the quiet time by sitting in the living room and having a drink or a snack.  It was soooo nice to enjoy a Blue Maui and just not do anything. I loved it.

And that really became our routine.  We started going out to eat more frequently and an evening libation was just part of the schedule.  Of course, having a drink in the evening isn't a bad thing, but honestly sometimes I would have two or three, and I wasn't eating very well and you better believe I was NOT exercising at all.

That's how it snuck up on me.  Slowly.  An ounce here, a half pound there.  I wasn't weighing myself regularly and so I wasn't keep tabs on things, but I started to notice that my pre-pregnancy clothes still didn't fit right (and many will never fit right again anyway, stupid hips.)

So here I am - with a nearly 14 month old baby and 12.5 pounds of "baby" weight still hanging on, mostly in my stomach region.

And today is when I start making changes.

Life with a toddler hasn't gotten any easier, and there are still way too many things to juggle and get everything done, but some things need to become priority now, and the main thing is exercising.

My goal is to work out at least 3 times per week for 45 minutes - that's basically one TV episode without commercials on HULU.  4 times would be ideal though.  At least one night needs to be spent picking up and/or cleaning the house, and the other two nights can be at our discretion (many weekends we'll be traveling so there's no sense in scheduling those days for a particular activity - that would just guarantee failure.)

I am going the painfully embarrassing route of telling the world how much I weigh so that you can cringe with me now and cheer me on in a few months when I come back to "weigh in" - hopefully with a much MUCH lower number.  I am not proud of my failed attempt to lose my baby weight, but I am proud of my myself for admitting it publicly and vowing to make a change and I hope that within a few weeks I'll have positive news to share.  I've battled these demons before, and I know I can do it again with a little willpower!

Today is Wednesday, but I've already successfully worked out two times this week, so I am off to a good start.  Let's just hope it continues!

The Name of the Game

With toddlers, "change" is the name of the game, and EH is no exception.  Every day it's something new - a new word, a new mannerism, a new skill we didn't know he had. The other day DH tapped his finger on the table top as he was telling a story to making his point, and EH started doing the same.  The Parrot.  Last weekend the Daredevil also made his appearance when EH was trying to run - a maneuver he hasn't quite mastered yet - and he fell, ramming his super sharp bottom teeth into his upper lip causing a massive amount of bleeding, swelling, and sadness for all involved.  There are some changes - the injuries, for sure - that we aren't really ready for at all. 

And at the same time DH and I are learning how our lives need to change to accommodate EH.  Two weeks ago we took him to a restaurant.  It was a place that had closed for renovations and had recently reopened so we wanted to check it out.  In retrospect, we should have known - it was too crowded and the tables were too small for a toddler and two adults.  EH wanted to touch everything - our hot plates, our drinks, the woman behind him who was so close he could grab her cane.  It was a nightmare for us and he hated it too - he yelled and fussed most of the time.  After that experience DH claimed to everyone he talked to that we may have reached the point where we can no longer take EH out to eat with us.

But last weekend we went out again. We hadn't been out since that last meal two weeks ago and we needed it.  We decided to go to a mexican restaurant that we knew was fairly kid friendly.  At 6 p.m. on a Saturday night we were surprised to find that it was less than half full, and on this beautiful fall evening there was no one sitting outside on their patio, so we had the patio to ourselves.  EH was his usual loud and somewhat messy self, but we didn't have to worry about it, so we enjoyed ourselves instead of stressing about it. Our waitress thought he was adorable and didn't mind his mess at all, and when we were done eating we let him walk around and explore while we finished our drinks. It was relaxing and wonderful and we had a great time.

Now we know - we can still go out to eat, but we need to go to places that aren't too crowded and places where we don't have to over-worry about him being a little messy or making noise.  He's a toddler, and we can't control everything that he does, but we do know that he's a great baby as far as babies go. 

Similarly, we learned last week that he no longer sleeps well in the car and that we should, whenever possible, avoid the need for him to do that. He's a crib baby now, a tried and true stomach sleeper, something that just can't happen in the car.  And trying to force that just makes for a miserable ride for everyone involved.

Speaking of change, the leaves are changing so quickly that I think they might be at their peak of color around here.  The first picture in this post was taken on September 28th.  The second picture a mere 10 days later but there is so much less green, and so much more yellow and red.  EH has been loving playing around, exploring on his own two feet, picture up acorns and rocks and sticks and everything a boy should enjoy.  Fall is such a fun season and hopefully next weekend it will be dry enough so that we can blow the leaves into a big pile and let EH play in them.