Last week, I treated myself to an in-the-house only yoga mat (my other mat has spent some time outdoors, on the beach, and being run over by toddlers wielding doll strollers). It only took one unrolling for Grace to claim it as her own. She told me she’d share it with me and then demanded I do squats and “exercise with my feet.” Lord, help me.
I do appreciate that I am able to workout with both children at my side, as challenging as that can be at times. I want them to see exercise as an opportunity to care for themselves. I want them to feel strong, capable and proud of themselves and their bodies.
And hopefully, down the road, they’ll have a much better understanding of how those bodies work. For instance: They will know that before they were born, our belly buttons were not connected to one another by an umbilical cord (a fact I came to grasp just weeks before Grace was born… so that was special).
Anatomy aside, here are last week’s workouts. (I’m including FitBit stats this week for the heck of it).
Last week’s workouts | 002
Monday: Class with Mama Beasts // FitBit: 16,065 steps, 6.71 miles
Tuesday: At home workout (for our Mama Beasts challenge) // FitBit: 12,121 steps, 5.06 miles
Wednesday: Class with Mama Beasts // FitBit: 11,517 steps, 4.81 miles
Thursday: Yoga and a little time playing around with my Stretch Deck (a great, portable reference for people who know they need to stretch, but are too lazy/tired to put much thought into a routine). I signed up for a free trial with OneOEight and have been loving their online yoga classes and guided meditations. You can select classes based on length, vibe, etc. // FitBit: 10,048 steps, 4.2 miles
Friday: More yoga. // FitBit: 10,056 steps, 4.2 miles
Saturday: At home tabata workout (for our Mama Beasts challenge) // FitBit: 7,073 steps, 2.97 miles
In an effort to make good on my January goals (uh…three weeks into the month…), I’m sharing last week’s workouts. This was my first full week back in the game, so to speak, having been cleared to exercise by my midwife the week prior.
Also, to be clear, this “game” I speak of is basically dressing in lululemon, getting the babes packed up, searching for my phone/keys/sunglasses/wallets/extra change of clothes/keys again/extra package of wipes/and snacks (always snacks), attempting to leave the house, sometimes succeeding, always arriving with spit up in my hair, and occasionally participating in a workout.
I bought an 8 class pass with Mama Beasts and started back last Monday. The timing could not be better, as the group’s winter team challenge kicked off mid-month. We’ve been earning points for workouts, logging our meals, staying hydrated, making time for ourselves and occasional special challenges… like squat day.
I’ve also been making use of my home gym in a bin and “do anywhere” workouts found on YouTube and Pinterest.
Last week’s workouts | 001
Monday: First day back at class with the Mama Beasts — this is also the day I realized how much coordination it takes to leave the house at a specific time with both Grace and Nick.
Tuesday: At home ladder workout… and 315 squats… because I mis-read the instructions for the aforementioned “squat day” and overshot by 100+. Needless to say, I could barely walk after this. All in the name of points.
Wednesday: Class with the Mama Beasts
Thursday: Random yoga flow (thank you, Pinterest*) and gymnastics class with Grace. I fully participated in the warm-up and stretching… like, to the extent that it may have made the coach and other parents uncomfortable. Regardless, it felt good.
Saturday + Sunday: Plank weekend. I totaled 17 minutes (in sum, not in a row) of planks of all sorts (high, low, side, modified) between the two days. And um… that’s all I did workout-wise. I can only hope my form was as good as Grace’s.
It would appear I haven’t cleaned under the sofa recently. Or ever.
*Random aside regarding Pinterest: Am I the only one who finds Pinterest completely annoying lately? I have to scroll through 800 sponsored or “picked for you” pins before I find anything that’s not junk. Oh, and one of those “picked for you” pins the other day was “How to get a thigh gap.” (It was recommend for my healthy living board….)
On one hand I was like, that’s not okay. And on the other hand, I was like, Bahahahaha. That ship has sailed. And I’m waving it off in my maternity leggings, which I refuse to give up. Like, ever.
Also On Tap for Today:
Taking the Jeopardy! online test. I have a snowball’s chance in hell of passing, but a girl can dream.
Painting (I made an appointment with myself and my art cart)
Sort of meal-planning and definitely food shopping
I missed President Obama’s final State of the Union last night. I was wide awake, and just feet from the television, but was preoccupied by one event (that sounds nicer than crisis) after the next, most of which involved diapers.
On one hand, I’m disappointed because I really wanted to watch it. I wanted to see Dr. Hamo seated with the First Lady. I wanted to pretend I was high-fiving Vice President Biden every time President Obama said something great. I wanted to watch it so I had something normal to talk about today, in case I was lucky enough to encounter another human over the age of two.
This photo sums up my life at the moment rather perfectly.
But I didn’t watch the State of the Union, because I was taking stock of our own union and serving as Commander and Chief of “No, I don’t think we’ll see Santa at exercise class.” (Side note: I will be *fingers crossed* cleared to work out after my postpartum checkup on Thursday. In the meantime, I need to come up with something cooler and less geriatric to call it than “exercise class.”)
I was folding enough onesies to clothe a small nation (small, because its citizens would need to fit into size 3-6 months), and cleaning up enough cereal (like… how on Earth did it travel from the kitchen and end up in the sofa) to feed an army.
If our condo were a country, it would be called something like The Land of Unfinished Projects. Or, Island of Perpetual Laundry. Or, What Is That Smell?
I would be in charge, not because I’m especially capable, but because I am always awake… And I was the only one who voted when I held an election at 3:45 this morning (while writing this post on the Notes app of my iPhone…). Being awake seems like a good qualification for being in charge. Or a decent start, at least.
And in my State of the Union address, I’d say this: Things are kind of wild right now, but they’re bound to level out. In the meantime, we’re doing okay. Some days are more okay than others. I can only hope my children and husband go to bed every night knowing just how loved they are.
And I’m increasingly hopeful about tomorrow and a month from now and a year from now. But I don’t want to look too far ahead, because I cry when Grace and Nick outgrow their tiny pajamas… so I can only imagine how I’ll feel when they can read or drive or go to college or whatever. That’s just too much right now. Then again, 18 years from now, I hope to be averaging more than 3 hours of sleep a night.
It may take us 2 hours to leave the condo for a 15 minute trip to the library, and I sometimes forget to shower, and I’m not sure when this bone-deep exhaustion will pass… but I feel lucky and grateful and happy… all good (emotional) states to occupy.
(For the record: Now that we’re nearing a month of newborn-related sleep deprivation, everything I say and do is the funniest thing ever… to me, at least. It would seem my siblings feel differently. Either that or their phones are broken in such a way that they cannot reply to my hilarious bitmoji texts.)
January goals and a printable calendar
Materials used: Micron pen (black 01), Sakura Koi Coloring Brush Pens, Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolors, random craft paint (acrylic), good old Microsoft Word (for the calendar table)
My questionable comedienne status aside, it is New Year’s Day and I’ve got January goals and a printable calendar to share with you. Rather than setting year-long resolutions, I’m sticking to monthly goals and intentions. Mostly because I can barely imagine what tomorrow will bring, let alone how many days I can deprive myself of Diet Coke come November.
The calendar is a part of a larger goal I have to both make and share more art. Please feel free to share, download and print as you like. Consider it a gift to offset the un-funny Adele joke above. And unless I completely space out, I’ll draw and paint a new calendar for you on the first of each month.
Join a new parish (this is sort of major, and in the works — we love our current parish, but will be moving to one in our own neighborhood this year)
Participate in at least one of my fitness group’s social activities (the group has monthly birthday parties for kids, a mom’s night out, recipe swaps, etc.) rather than ducking out right after the workout, as I’ve done in the past #awkwardfaceemoji
Share at least one friend’s blog post or project per week
Here’s to a productive, happy, healthy, sort-of-hilarious month.
The mild weather made this month feel more like April than November, so we got plenty of adventures in. And I sort of forgot to have my snow tires put on. Whatever, man.
I assumed (along with everyone else, I think) that we’d be a family of five by now (counting Clark, obvi… I do not have a secret human child somewhere)… but unless he makes his grand entrance before midnight, we’ll be welcoming a December baby. All this anticipation is making the days crawl, despite the month having flown.
And like any month, there were ups and downs — but one of the most wonderful moments had to have been meeting our niece who was born two weeks ago. She is just perfect.
Speaking of perfect, the weather and view (minus the seagull) could not have been better on a recent stroll along the Harborwalk.
Currently | November, 2015
My copy of the Get Messy x UNHCR charity magazine arrived this weekend. I am so grateful to have been a part of this collaboration, which supports relief efforts for Syrian refugees, and love seeing everyone else’s art work in print. You can order a copy here (all proceeds are donated to UNCHR).
Mostly just looking at the pictures: Vogue, December 2015
Adele’s 25 (along with the rest of the planet) on repeat. I’m not ashamed to say, I am obsessed.
The Undisclosed Podcast
An attempt to finish my Christmas shopping in the next day or two. We’ve done a really fun Secret Santa with my siblings and significant others the last three years and I highly recommend DrawNames.com if you’re organizing a similar swap.
Comfort food: Onion tartlets, mashed potatoes, tomato soup, cucumber salad, quesadillas with sharp cheddar and gala apples
A top secret Christmas card muhahaha (I hope everyone finds it even a 1/100 as funny as I do)
Progress in my sketchbooks and art journals (you can see some recent work on Instagram or here and here)
The Christmas decorations I put up (…before Thanksgiving… couldn’t help myself)
A fresh bouquet of flowers
Our current routine (while it lasts)
That Coach Belichick would be my ideal spokesperson right now. When asked how he felt when he saw Rob Gronkowski get injured during last night’s game, he snapped, “How do you think I feel?” Exactly. Except I don’t think I get away with being quite so sassy. So instead, I’ll just say… okay, fine, impatient, a little cankle-y, hopeful, hungry and tired.
Also On Tap for Today:
Deleting 900 million Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails
I recently had the opportunity to try a complimentary two-person, three-meal box from Boston-based meal service Just Add Cooking. In theory, I love to cook… but in reality, I love to cook the same three things over and over. I often end up eating whatever I whip up for Grace for dinner (fortunately, she has good taste).
Just Add Cooking provided the perfect opportunity to shake things up a bit… and eat like an adult.
With seven recipes to choose from each week, three of which are vegetarian (so the choice was an easy one for me). The remaining options usually feature poultry, seafood, pork and beef. Meals that are designated as gluten-free have been evaluated by a dietitian and are clearly labeled as such, so there’s no second guessing.
My box included everything I needed to make the following meals:
Indian Vegetable Curry
Halloumi Skewers and Couscous
My box was delivered on a Sunday morning, so I carved out some time with my favorite little pajama-clad sous chef and got to work. Grace loves helping mix and pour ingredients, and asking, “What this is?” about… everything.
It takes a bit longer for meals to come together, but it’s worth it to hear Grace yell, “More cauliflower!” at Clark later in the day.
I’ve checked out other meal services before, but never followed through after reading mixed reviews. Being a local company, Just Add Cooking is able to pack and deliver meals throughout Eastern Massachusetts the same day. They use couriers instead of shipping services, so packing materials are minimal. Like… surprisingly minimal. Everything except the freezer bag is biodegradable.
I loved knowing that the ingredients I received were locally sourced, locally produced, and organic whenever possible. In addition to detailed recipes (which include a really helpful preparation timeline for people like me who are inclined to wing it… only to burn half of what I make after forgetting to chop the onion or grate the carrots or, like… stop sampling the cheese), Just Add Cooking includes source information about each perfectly portioned ingredient included in each box.
My box included:
Spinach from The Kitchen Garden in Sunderland, MA
Tomatoes from Long Wind Farm in Thetford, VT
Apples from Barden Family Orchard in North Scituate, RI
Red potatoes from Maplewood Farm in Portsmouth, RI
Cheddar from Grafton Village Cheese Company in Brattleboro, VT
Bell peppers from Confreda Greenhouses and Farms in Hope, RI
Because Just Add Cooking took the guesswork out of both meal planning and shopping, I really enjoyed preparing each meal — almost as much as I enjoyed, you know… enjoying them. Each recipe yielded exactly two portions. I found cooking on Sunday and reheating during the week to work quite well (life as a lazy pregnant lady at its finest).
Boxes start at $39 for a two-person, three-meal box (normally $69) and $69 for a four-person, three-meal box (normally $109) for the first box for new customers. This promotional price will be automatically applied to your first purchase (Just Add Cookingand register by clicking “Get Cooking”). Subscriptions are flexible, so you can skip weeks whenever you please. This means I can keep an eye out for weeks when all three vegetarian meals capture my attention (and appetite), without being wasteful on weeks when I’m just not feeling it.
I’m already looking forward to our next delivery. And I think Grace is, too.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary meal box. All opinions are my own. Obvi (I hope).
The change in seasons, the end of Daylight Saving Time, and the final weeks of my pregnancy have combined forces to make me, basically, an exhausted grouch. I had a routine appointment with our midwife last week (and am headed to see our ob-gyn this morning) and while everything is still going great, she told me in no uncertain terms that it’s time to slow down.
There are going to be days when Grace doesn’t nap (payback, perhaps, for my own unwillingness to nap as a baby) or when my car needs to have its actuator replaced (and don’t worry, I called it an actuary… like the person who provides actuarial services… when speaking with the mechanic #whyme), and slowing down is just not in the cards.
But I’m quickly seeing just how many opportunities I do have to take it easy (or easier). And while this often feels a lot like being indulgent, I also know it’s downright important. I’d like to avoid getting sick or overly run down or more grouchy during these last few weeks, and ensure that I’m enjoying as much time as possible playing and reading and dancing and drawing with my silly, precocious, thoughtful and fun only child. While she’s still our only child.
Ideally, I’d nap when Grace naps… but not only is her nap schedule unreliable, I can rarely sleep during the day. I can, however, curl up on the sofa with Clark (and leave the dishes and laundry and writing projects and whatever else until later) and the baby monitor. And that’s got to count for something. I like to think of this hour or so (and any other chance I have to put my feet up) as being responsibly indulgent. Here are few other ways I am indulging.
Being responsibly indulgent
Rethinking what constitutes exercise: I finished up my last outdoor bootcamp class last week and did not renew my membership or by a class pass for the new season. While I absolutely loved the workouts and getting together with the other women and their kids, I just had the sense it was time. One thing that has been different (and I am so grateful for this) the second time around, is that I am less inclined to compare myself to other pregnant women. I’m much better at trusting my own instincts.
Instead of going to class, I’ve been making sure to get out of the house for walks (albeit, slow ones — and I’ve stopped wearing my fitbit, for now, because… welp, my weekly step count was getting depressing) with Grace. We’ve made two trips to the Trailside Museum in the last week. We’re getting plenty of fresh air, plus bonus points for improving our mental health by walking in nature.
Poodle doodles Being playful: We’ve got enough serious business to attend to as adults. I try to draw or paint every day, which is usually very restorative, but sometimes I take even that too seriously. I was recently inspired by one of Grace’s favorite books (it’s so, so good)– Gaston, written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Christian Robinson— and cracked open a new sketchbook and doodled some poodles. And Frenchies. Happy, playful, and not at all serious.
Making “down time” appointments: This is more of a big indulgence, but sometimes we just need to treat ourselves. The spa inside Whole Foods Market South End recently rebranded and when I saw they were offering prenatal massages, I jumped at the chance to book an appointment. They were offering a 10% discount during the spa’s relaunch, but their prices are really reasonable… plus, you can get your grocery shopping done while you’re there. Multi-tasking is (usually) responsible and (definitely) indulgent when a massage is involved. The massage with LaToya was absolutely blissful and I am definitely looking forward to going back. I wish scheduling in down time came as easily as scheduling in the necessary stuff (like last week’s dental cleaning… woof).
Reading more, watching less: Our midwife had all kinds of suggestions for (attempting) to get more sleep. Unfortunately, I’ve been super uncomfortable at night and barely logged two hours the night before my appointment. We’ve heard it all before, but when the woman you’ve entrusted with nine months of care for you and your child speaks up, you listen: limit screen time, don’t watch murder shows, don’t watch the news, don’t read anything upsetting, ease into bed and let your brain know you’re winding down. Old habits die hard. I sleep with my phone next to my head, the baby monitor cranked up to “can be heard on Mars” level, and you know I love a good true crime story (which is not to say that I love when crimes happen…). But with the help of some new reading material, I’m making progress. I’ve been watching less TV and crawling into bed as early as I can. I’m currently working through Food Gift Love, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, and the current issue of Yoga Journal.
I could get used to this whole being indulgent thing.
I’ve never been a good sleeper, but being pregnant really brings out the insomniac in me. It’s partly the discomfort of being the size of Oh my God, Jay, it’s a baby whale, partly the inability to roll over without involuntarily making grunting noises (and/or inducing the worst calf cramp of all time), partly the need to get water and snacks every 20 minutes, and partly a tendency to make and re-make mental hospital bag packing lists all night.
Clark does not believe in insomnia.
Lately, I’m awake far more than I’m asleep… which is a problematic when it comes to, like, the daily functions of life… but it does have its upsides.
The upsides of insomnia (in no particular order)
4 AM is the perfect time to update your iPhone operating system. No one else is awake, so no one is calling or emailing you, and no one will notice if you’re off the grid for however long the update takes. And by update, I am obviously talking about NEW EMOJIS. While you were sleeping, I was procuring the chipmunk emoji.
Sometimes it’s not quiet… like the time our neighbor crashed his Rascal scooter thing into the dumpster next door at 2 in the morning, dug around a bit, and then sped off into the early morning. You don’t get to witness things like this when you’re sleeping. At the risk of sounding like a real creep, I know all kinds of stuff about all kinds of people because, welp… I’m awake. (The downside to this particular upside is obvious, though: I pretty much think everyone is a murderer.)
If you check the news at set intervals during the night, you become decently aware of the world’s happenings and can basically do your own broadcast each morning. It’s like that show with the guy from Friday Night Lights (the one where his newspaper got delivered a day early), except that you might be a tiny bit less handsome than Coach Taylor (due to the lack of sleep, sorry). I love giving Nick updates on celebrity deaths (that sounds morbid, because it is), political polls and um… new emojis when he wakes up.
Every once in a while, one of those late night impulse purchases on Amazon Prime turns out to be that thing you couldn’t live without. (Mostly, though, this is wasteful and fiscally irresponsible… but you’re probably too tired to care.)
And because I try to keep things fair and balanced…
The downside of insomnia
No need to say more.
Also On Tap for Today:
Bootcamp (I feel like our days of outdoor workouts are numbered…)
We’re more than half-way through September and my fellow old folks and I are left to wonder, Where has the time gone? I’ve been feeling a bit in limbo (but physically unable to actually limbo) lately.
Part of me wants this third trimester and all its grouchiness, discomfort and ill-fitting pants to fly by. And part of me has always wished the calendar went Winter, Spring, Summer, Christmas. But most of me wants to freeze time… or at the very least, slow it down a bit. Even if that does mean being surrounded by fall decor (a.k.a. the worst) a bit longer. Pants and faux pumpkins aside, here’s what’s currently going down.
Currently | September 2015
A little adrift and a lot disorganized. Which is unsettling. I usually have my act way under control, but I’m finding myself losing track of my keys, doctor’s appointments, and days of the week. I’ve resorted to using Google Calendar (I’m usually paper-and-pen only), my regular planner and a dry erase calendar. I’m making more lists than usual. I’m triple-checking my handbag before leaving the house. And I still forget something.
Like I sort of miss the back-to-school rush. Sort of. I love being home with Grace (and I know this was the right decision), but this is first year I haven’t been swept up in that new year’s feeling that used to come with September. I did treat myself to some new school supplies paint, though. Which brings us to…
Paint dry. I put together a new watercolor palette this morning and keep peeking to see how it’s setting up. (I’ll probably let the paint sit overnight before using it.) I’ve been using a pre-filled palette for ages, and am excited to see how limiting my colors and being selective will affect my creative process. Then again… 18 shades is not really a limited selection.
Grace, Clark and mini-plastic-Clark snuggled up on the sofa. They melt my heart.
Football… but only because it’s on. And hockey is not.
A little doodle from earlier this month
Articles about potty training. Because Grace decided a few months ago that diapers are weird. I don’t blame her. And while I appreciate her enthusiasm for forgoing the diapers, I wish she were a bit less interested in testing out every, single bathroom available to her. From her new gymnastics gym to Target to the Chatham Fish Pier… we’ve seen and experienced ’em all.
A pre-baby check list (which I will likely lose and/or forget about… see above).
Apparently this is what Grace thinks my workouts look like… she’s not far off.
Outdoor workouts and lots of stretching.
Making plans with friends.
Rediscovering old favorites on Spotify, including Patty Griffin’s “Heavenly Day” and basically anything on the 90s Pop Radio Hits playlist.
New mid-workout treats. As a Sweat Pink Ambassador, I had a chance to check out last month’s Bulu Box for free. I’m a sucker for monthly boxes — they’re such a fun way to find new products. I think a Bulu Box would make a great gift for the athletes on your list this holiday season (Too soon? Nah…). The August box was sort of hit or miss for me, but I suppose that comes with the territory. I loved the movit energy gummies and racefood fastbar — both were perfect for a mid-bootcamp boost. I received a weight loss supplement, which (even if I weren’t pregnant) is not really my jam. Similarly, I’ve cut back on the caffeine, but I have a feeling the Runa tea included last month will come in handy soon enough. I’ve loved other Runa drinks I’ve tried and look forward to brewing a nice hot cup once our little guy arrives. I (thankfully) haven’t had occasion to use the fourth item included in my Bulu Box — an anti-itch cream — but hey, you never know. If you’re interested in your own Bulu Box (or one for a pal), use the discount code SWEATPINK to save 50% on a three month subscription.