Thursday, December 29, 2011

Milk Machine

I was looking back through old photos, and as the milk machine has grinded to a halt, I realized I never posted these photos we took back in January, when I was in the midst of peak production.  And I was a Machine.  So without further ado:

I'd pump into bottles.
Pre-label bags.


Pour into bags.

Get all the air out before closing.

An overview in process.
And end up with a lot of milk for freezing.
(I always bagged several days at once, because I found the bagging process so labor intensive, but I didn't like pumping into bags because The Overachiever/Exsanguinator produced so much more than The Slacker that I needed to even it out for storage.  Well, that, and The Overachiever actually produced more in one session than a bag could hold.)

 For the record, the dropping of the mid-day pumping this week has gone well.  I'm not sure how many oz I had frozen when I was at peak capacity - my guess is several hundred - (definitely enough to necessitate that we buy another freezer!) but as of Zoë's final daycare bottle last week, there were 7 oz, read it, 7 oz remaining frozen.

It just turned out absolutely perfectly - I couldn't have possibly planned it this well.  Z was exclusively breastfed for 12 months (even through the assassination attempt and my tooth issues), and all bottles from 12-15 months contained breastmilk, even after we added cow's milk from a cup and that shifted to her primary beverage.  And I still have 7 oz in case I need/want to go on a date one night. ;-)  And we're still happily breastfeeding mornings and nights.  I really, honestly couldn't have asked for more. :-)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Do You Know What Today Is?

No, Not Christmas Eve Eve Eve.  (Well, yes Christmas Eve Eve Eve, but that's not what I was going for.  (Even though I cannot WAIT to get my Kindle for Christmas!))

Today, dear reader, is THE VERY LAST DAY that I will be pumping at work. (Unless my mom comes to town and I get to come in early and have to pump the morning feed.)

Oh yes.  The last day.  EVAR. (For this kid.)

Do you know what that means?

No more lugging 80 pounds of pump and corresponding cooler back and forth to work.  No more panicking that I've forgotten bottles or bottle caps or an ice pack for the milk.  No more worrying that I'm not producing enough for tomorrow's bottle.  No more pump parts to clean.  No more husband to bug to clean said pump parts.  No more closing my door and feeling the creepy-wrong feeling of being topless at work.  No more forgetting that I have a meeting and then not having enough time to pump beforehand and getting all engorged in the meeting.  No more not taking breaks because I'm pumping instead.  NO MORE PUMPING!!!!!  WahooooooO!!!!!!!

*doing a little dance*

No more pumping.  No more pumping!  NO MORE PUMPING!!!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It Finally Happened

Dear Zoë,

Yesterday Daddy claims that you were asking for me as soon as y'all got home.  You were all, "Mama, mama?"  He claims.

Then I got home and I reached out for you and you DENIED me.  Ouch.  Daddy said, "Zoë, do you want to go to Mama?"  And you said, wait for it, "NO!!!"  While shaking your head no.  Emphatically.

Mommy had a sad.

So I went about my business, putting away the milk that I SQUEEZE FROM MY BODY every day at work for you to drink, and then without looking at you directly (It's like a kitty - don't look at you directly, and somehow you don't know I'm coming), I snuck you into my arms from Daddy.  Daddy promptly vacated the premises, and I was left with you yelling at me while I tried to quickly get you some dinner.

By the time Daddy rejoined us, I was almost glad you love him better.  (But not really.)

With you fed, I read to you while we waited for Daddy to get the shower ready (you still prefer me for reading), then y'all headed off to the shower while I made your meals for the next day, our little nightly ritual.

So I'm at the cutting board cutting up grapes for you when I head Daddy call for me, and you start crying.  I ran to the bathroom to see what happened - how you got hurt.  And, oh, little girl, Mama had a big laugh, because it finally happened, the thing I've been worrying about: you had dropped a GIANT deuce in the shower.  Complete with visible corn and spinach in it.  Nice.

All I can say is THANK YOU for giving that lovely gift to your favorite parent!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Little Fall

Last Friday I was headed out to my car in a dark garage (light burned out) with Zoë on my hip when I tripped (I think?) and fell.

It was literally the most terrifying thing that has happened to me since I fell when pregnant.

I landed on both knees, my right hand, and my left elbow.  I looked down into Zoë's face and she was laying on the concrete.  We just looked at each other for a second, and then her little face crumpled and she started crying.  Not wailing, like she normally does when hurt, but a scared crying.  And then I started crying.  I apologized over and over as I got up and very painfully made my way back into the house.  I wasn't sure if she had hit her head.  By the time I was on the phone with Preston I was panicking so badly that I could barely speak.  Zoë actually calmed down very quickly, perhaps in response to me extreme reaction?  Preston calmed me down, and after a few more minutes of mutual cuddly comfort with the Z, I cleaned myself up (I tore my jeans!), and we headed to daycare.

Where I had to tell Miss Mary what happened in case Zoë started acting funny, and I cried again while telling her!

Long story short: Z is fine.

Behold the physical carnage:

Golfball ankle.
This actually looks worse now with a nice big scab.
Ditto this with its scab, and it hurt way worse than this photo looks!
Elbow bruised so badly it hurts to put it on my armrest at work.
5 days later and the ankle is still tweaky, there is a giant bruise on the non-scabbed knee, and scabs all over the place.  And the mental scarring is worse than everything else!  (At least the baby is ok.)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Breakfast with Daddy

Imagine a photo booth.
Qurl! (Squirrel.)
Nana. (Banana.)
Issa! (What's that?)
Brr! (Bird.)
(Signing "bird".) Tweet tweet. (Tweet tweet.)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fredericksburg Fotos

While we were in Fredericksburg over Thanksgiving, we were whiling away some hours until the rest of the world woke up, and we ended up alone in a little winter wonderland on Marketplatz. With a camera.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

TMI: Girl Stuff

Boys, don't say I didn't warn you!

So, I've experienced my.... return to fertility.  I went 23 (23!!!!!) wondrous months without being... fertile... but, alas, that's over now.

I think it is because we dropped down to only 3 breastfeeding sessions per day... The funny thing is that I've been thinking that this sad day was coming.  I had noticed some "climate changes" in myself in the past few weeks, and I had this weird gross dream the other night only 2 days before things got going again.  Suffice it to say that it woke me up and I ran to the bathroom to check!  And I'm growing a new crop of zits after a lovely 2 year drought.  Le sigh.  (This is kind of funny because I had been telling Preston all of this and he was pretty shocked that I could be that in tune with my body.  I'm not - I knew I was pregnant, and this is just another aspect of that same function.)

The good news is that I'm not experiencing any of the horror issues that I've heard often come with this momentous event.  I'm moodier than a normal day but not disproportionately so.  I haven't had my normal (for 2 years ago, at least - what is the new normal?) cramps or upset tummy at all!  I'm not even taking ibuprofen.  Or anything else!  So on the scale of 1 to really terrible, I'm at a 2 because of the inconvenience, but really this is probably the least bad period I've ever had (there, I said it).

Now where is some wood I can go knock on?

Monday, November 28, 2011

ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot Race Report

It has been 2 years since my "annual" Turkey Trot, and I'm glad to be back at it!  I hope this is the beginning of a lifelong tradition for my daughter, most importantly.

I'm not gonna lie: I was nervous about this race.  I was sick the week before and my last 2 runs were really pretty terrible.  I also hadn't trained as much as I'd have liked, and I hadn't trained much with the stroller (okay - I trained with the stroller once (for a mile)).  So I really wasn't sure how this thing was going to go down.

To back-up a bit: we left for Austin on Wednesday night after work.  We drove to Brenham and stopped for dinner, then drove the rest of the way in.  We stayed at the Hyatt right next to the start/finish.  (Brilliant move, btw.) Arrived late for Z's bedtime, she finally went down around 10, I crashed immediately after.

Allowed the baby to wake us up around 6, breakfast was delivered at 6:20, and wandered over to pick up my packet at 7:30 when packet pick-up opened.  The race itself wasn't starting til 9:30, and it was pretty chilly out, so I went back to the hotel to relax til about 9 when we headed over to the start.

I made a crucial mistake: as I said, it was chilly.  I chose to run in long sleeves and capris even though the hourly forecast had it warming up to near 60 by the time the race started.  I had a jacket on over that that I removed as I was standing in the starting corral (at the very back of the timed starters, as requested of stroller runners) and stashed in the stroller according to the grand plan.  That's one thing that is really cool about running with a stroller: you've got plenty of places to put stuff, and in the face of pushing 40 pounds around, what's another few ounces?  I ran with the jacket, a bottle of water, my phone, a baby, and diaper gear in the stroller.  Anyways, after I took off that jacket, I knew I had screwed up by not wearing short sleeves because I was comfortably warm while I was standing still.  This was doubly idiotic since I had the stroller and could have simply put a short sleeve on under the long and removed the long at any point.  Annyways.... I'll know better next time!  I also stressed over what to put the Z in, finally settling on her fleece sleeper so that I didn't have to worry about blankets or coats or anything else getting tossed out of the stroller.  I do think that this was the right move.

So the race started off immediately with a mother-hill.  I mean, this was a serious freaking hill.  I live in Houston, people.  The only hill I ever see is an overpass.  And I'm sure as hell not training with a stroller on an overpass!  (Not that I trained with the stroller anyways.)  So I started running up this steep San Francisco style hill, and I knew I was going to get my ass kicked.  But I wasn't walking in the first 5 minutes of the race.  Even if that meant I burnt myself to a crisp and ended up walking the entire rest of the race!  So I set my eyes on this little gazelle-woman hauling ass up this steep mother-hill with a DOUBLE STROLLER and I just tried to keep her in my sights.  This hill was double evil because when I got to what appeared to be the crest, it was actually a false flat and then another steep rise to the actual crest.  The only two things that kept me going were energizer-gazelle and her (probable) at least 60 pound load pulling away from me, and the knowledge that the start and finish lines were in the same place, so at some point all this climbing meant that I was going to get to come back down.  People running by kept laughing and commenting on how cute Z is in the stroller because she leans forwards and grips the bar like she's on a roller-coaster ride!  Even though the ride must be moving backwards since everyone is passing us...

I finally got to the top of that hill, and if I remember correctly, it flatted for a bit, then we got to experience the joy of running downhill with the stroller.  Let me just say, hold onto your hat and clear a path, because I felt like I was getting dragged down that hill by an out of control - I dunno - something really freaking heavy that rolls - an out of control STROLLER.  Ha.  I was running (braking) on my toes with straight legs and leaning back, pulling on that stroller with all my might.  And a few times I thought I was going to lose it, sheesh!  And this happened on several hills throughout the race.

My initial plan was to run, but walk the water stops.  Once I remembered I was running in AUSTIN, I decided I'd be walking up hills, and running the rest.  This strategy worked well for me.

The Z fell asleep around mile 2, and woke up again around mile 4.  I could tell because she let go of the bar to sleep, and grabbed right back onto it when she woke up,  (I hope I can find some pics of us, she was really cute.)

I called Preston at mile 4 and told him to come meet us at the finish line.  And then I ran it in.

Final time: 58:26 for 11:41/mi pace.  19th of 24 in the female all-ages baby jogger division.

Slow as a turtle?  Yes.  But I was secretly hoping for at least a sub-hour finish, so I'm really pleased with this!  Even more pleasing is the fact that I never felt like I was pushing myself to an extreme, once I got past that first hill.  I felt good for the rest of the day, and only had minimal soreness in the following 2 days.  I dare say that I could have gone faster, but I'm actually glad that I didn't, because I enjoyed myself, I enjoyed the race experience, and I still felt good enough afterwards to enjoy my holiday.  And I "raced" it with my Zoë in her first Turkey Trot and we had fun!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

On Cussing - Update

So I wrote about cussing before I actually expelled the Z forcibly from my body.

And then I spent a year cussing around her.

She's even listened to Cee-lo's song. :-)

But now, oh now we have a little imitator.  When Preston's changing a poopy diaper, he pulls his shirt over his nose and when the smell is bad he often says, "Oh God!".  Well the other day he went to change her and he pulled up his shirt and SHE said, "Oh God!" (Oh gah, oh gah! - so cute! - but also so wrong on a lot of levels.)

Here's my thing: it isn't really about what I think.  The child has to go to school.  She has to participate in society.  And society finds cussing unacceptable.  Especially in kids.  I don't want to set her up to be disciplined - I don't want to set her up for failure.  But I've gotta find something so say, and I'm sorry, I'm not saying "Jiminy Crickets" or "Whoopsie Daisy".

Thus enters "petaQ".

So I mentioned how I've been doing a grand Star Trek watch.  And in all of those episodes, only one real curse word stood out or got frequent use: petaQ.  (Pronounce peh-tah-K) It's a Klingon word meaning dishonorable person.  Perfect.  And it's got a nice pissed off sound to it.  Double perfect.  So we've been using it in place of our favorite cuss-nouns.

I did some research on the Interwebs and found an invective: ghuy'cha', but it isn't catching on as well.  So, of course, we've been bastardizing the petaQ to make it a verb, adverb, etc.  As in: petaQ the petaQing petaQ.  It's working for us for now.  And the Z is already trying to say it.  We'll be ok unless she gets a Trekkie for a teacher.  (And society hasn't vilified petaQ anyways, so even if they know what it means, can they punish her?  And it only means "dishonorable person", so really, they shouldn't be able to, right?  Here's where I get stuck - is it the meaning (which I think it should be) or the intent??)

"Been drivin' 'round town with the girl I love, and I'm like petaQ you and petaQ her too..."

Got a nice ring to it, yeah?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Last Weekend in Pictures

Squishy kitty wants Momma to be lazy.
Tried the new pho place - Z approved.
You've heard of a club foot?  This is a boot arm.
Gathered stuff for donation. Got an entire bag of shoes - this isn't even all!  But what is funny is this photo reads like a history of the Brooks Glycerin line.
Went to a Cake Wrecks book signing - they had a professional "wreck"plica! (And it was yummy!)
Jen and hubby john of Cake Wrecks, squee!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

This May Have Happened

This conversation actually happened when the news that the Astros might move to the AL first leaked, but it is as true today as it was then... And I was being sarcastic, but I don't like it either.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

3 Pics Thursday

Silly reading with Daddy.

"Helping" Mommy bike.

Just a cool photo!

Monday, November 7, 2011

5 Miler in the Morning

Well, I did it!  I ran 5 miles!  (Well, I ran most of 5 miles.  I'd reckon about .7 miles walked - .2 to warm-up (yes, I counted warm up and cool down in the mileage - I was under time constraints!), .3ish after I ran 3 miles, .1ish after another mile, and .1 to cool down.)

All weekend after I signed up for the Austin Turkey Trot I've been panicking about running 5 miles.  What was I thinking signing up for a race that was a distance that I haven't covered since February of 2010??

To answer: what I was thinking was that if I can run 3, I can run 5.  I know that.  I've known that for a long time.  But I needed to be reminded for some mental confidence.  I thought if I could knock out 5 this morning, even if quite a bit was walking, at least I'd know I can finish on Thanksgiving!  And now I've got a couple of weeks to do it a few more times, so maybe I don't have to walk so much, although honestly I have every intention of walking every aid station, so maybe I'm not too far off.  (And maybe I get some practice with the stroller!)

Also, I was slooooow - almost exactly an hour from start to finish.  Now, some of that was on purpose, as I always run slow when I'm going a distance that I'm not sure I can go.  And some was probably the walking.  But I have NO desire to take an hour for this race.  None at all.  50ish minutes... ok.  But not an hour.  So I've got a little work to do.  Quickly (literally).

Really, though, I'm just blogging to crow about my 5 miles.  Because I woke up 30 minutes early to do it.  Because I got right out of bed and didn't choose to snuggle my warm bedbuddy and go back to sleep.  Because I ran over 3 miles before I walked.  Because I tacked on the 5th mile, even when I went right by home at 4 miles.  Because all of that means it was a victory on about 5 levels (1 for each mile, ha!).  Yay, me!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Potential Race Musings

Something about the fear of signing up for the Turkey Trot has prompted me to *want* to sign up for more races.  I think the fear may be good for me!

It is so difficult to get out to races with the little one that I'm becoming a bit more discerning about what races I'm willing to come out for!  Basically, you either need to be so close that I'd be an idiot not to come out, you need to have a medal or a tech t, or... no, that's it.  Oooo, or if you allow strollers and don't imply that I'm going to have to only walk with my stroller (though I'm happy to start at the back, I'm running, damnit.).

With that said, I've done a little looking around, and here are some races that I'm considering:

11/12: Team Red White & Blue Veteran's Day 5K/10K - close, tech shirts
12/4: Mistletoe Fun Run (5K or 10K) - fairly close, everyone gets a medal
1/15/2012: EP5K - medals, plus the 1 year anniversary of my comeback 5K!
1/28/2012: Piney Woods Trail Run - close, tech shirts
3/3/2012: The Woodlands 5K Fun Run - close, medals AND tech shirts!
3/17/2012: Warrior Dash - closeish, medals, fun for the whole family

We'll see... we'll see...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

All In

I officially signed up for the Turkey Trot in Austin.  It is a 5 miler.  Even though I've been saying for months that a 5 mile Turkey Trot was my goal, I'm a little freaked out!  It'll be my longest post-baby race.  I entered the Baby Jogger division, so the Z'll be accompanying me in the BOB; our first stroller race!  (I don't know why, but for the life of me I can't find a stroller-friendly race in Houston.  I've been looking!)  I think I've just got to throw down the next 2 Fridays and suffer through 5 milers.  And a couple of little stroller runs on the weekends wouldn't hurt either.  I think that is the only way I'm going to achieve even a modicum of mental calm.  So tomorrow it's on!

(Note: this is not the Run Thru the Woods 5 miler, as I had originally planned.  When I started looking at the Thanksgiving travel, I thought it might be easier to break it up into 2 days from a screaming-child-hates-car perspective.  Therefore, we'll be in Austin on Thanksgiving morning, instead of Houston.  I'm totally cool with this: all I want is a race on Thanksgiving morning.  I could care less what city it is in, and in fact, I'm looking forward to trying a new trot!)

Strongly considering doing the 5K Hill Country Turkey Trot in Fredericksburg the following Saturday.  Because if you're going to be out of town on Thanksgiving weekend, why not get the t-shirts?

After that I've got a year to prep for the 8 mile Turkey Trot in Dallas.  Think I can add on 3 miles in a year? ;-)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Goal Review

October goal review:
Continue working the partial weaning situation down to 4x per day.  WINNER!!  3x per day, and that's perfect for now!

Work out, anything is better than nothing, and whatever I need to do to make it work is good enough.  I win again!  Nebulous goals are greatly attainable. :-)

Goal: get ready to run the 5 miler on Thanksgiving.  Weeeeelllll... partial win.  I only logged 4 runs this month.  BUT most were near the end of the month, and I biked a lot when I wasn't running, and the last few runs were getting progressively better: stronger, farther, maybe faster.  I feel pretty confident that a non-walking 5K is do-able right now, and I wouldn't feel like I was about to die at the end, so if I can just add a mile a week to my "long" run, I can hit 5 on Thanksgiving, even if my training isn't where I want it to be.

Informal goals: survive Z's party with JaMIL intact.  Check.  Finally finish upstairs. Fail, but made a little more progress.  And move on from Mike's death at work - still working on it, but made good progress.

One thing that I did this month that wasn't on my goal list, but that I'm really proud of is I started doing core in my office on breaks.  I'm trying for every day, but am happy with 3-4x per week.  This has been a sustainable, do-able way for me to get in at least a little core, and we all know I've been wanting to focus on my core.  And I have seen some improvement, so yay!

Weight on October 1 was 131.8.  Weight on November 1 was 132.4.  I honestly had a rough month on this front.  It got a little out of control, but I got it back under control before the end of the month, bringing it back DOWN to only half a pound gained.  A slip but a mental win for limiting the damage.

November goals:
See the 131s again.  Yes, even with Thanksgiving.
Run the Run Thru The Woods 5 miler on Thanksgiving day.  Finish upright and smiling.
Keep up the office core exercises. Goal = 4x per week.

Informal: still wanting to finish the upstairs.  Still wanting to renovate the downstairs.  Hold the line for healthy eating as best as possible, especially on non-holidays!  Get a family picture, darn it.  And get the Christmas cards at least created and ordered.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Because I Can't Resist the Meme

A. Age: 30.
B. Bed size: Queen.
C. Chore you hate: Taking out the trash.  Scrubbing toilets.  That's why I made those Preston's chores!  (And why the toilets are filthy and the trash accumulates on top of and all around the trash cans, but I digress.)
D. Dogs: are very sweet.  I wish we could have one!
E. Essential start to your day: Bolthouse Farms Perfectly Protein Mocha Cappuccino.
F. Favorite color: Blue.
G. Gold or silver: Gold.  I used to be a silver gal until my grandmother passed away and I got one of her rings, which was gold.  I've never liked to mix my metals, so ever since then, gold.
H. Height: 5’5.
I. Instruments you play: Hmm... none really any more, but I've dabbled in piano, violin, clarinet, and drums over the years.
J. Job title: Librarian.
K. Kids: Yes.  Well, one, at least.
L. Live: H-town!
M. Mom’s name: Used to be "Mom", now is "Gramma".
N. Nicknames: Berzle.
O. Overnight hospital stays: Two.  One when I had my baby, and one when she tried to kill me.
P. Pet peeve: Misspelling.  (Not typos, which I frequently make.  Just flat out ignorant or lazy misspelling.)
Q. Quote from a movie: "We've have one, yes, what about second breakfast?" --LOTR-FOR
R. Right or left handed: Dextra.
S. Siblings: Two halfsies.
T. Time you wake up: 4, which is better than 3:30!!
U. Underwear: Yes.
V. Vegetables you dislike: Asparagus, mushrooms (do mushrooms count as veggies? is there a category for fungi?).
W. What makes you run late: My child.  My husband.  The petaQ in front of me going 60 in the fast lane.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Wrist, teeth, knee.
Y. Yummy food you make: Pineapple pecan cake, Blueberry oatmeal muffins, Roast and mashed potatoes.
Z. Zoo- favorite animal: Monkey, but it makes me sad to see them in a zoo.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Big Cooking Day(s) #7

This weekend the cooking joy encompassed 2 days, and once again, I think we've gotten a week's worth of food!

We've (finally!) had a "cold" front, so I was wanting foods that would warm our bodies and our home.  My favorite winter meal is roast, for that reason, so that's what we cooked on Saturday.  My recipe is simple: buy a big honking chuck roast (that's a technical term), put Season Salt and Garlic Powder all over it, rub it in, etc.  Put it in a (floured) oven browning bag in a 9x13 pyrex.  Cut an onion into quarters and place one in each corner.  Divide a bag of baby carrots on all sides.  Stick a bay leaf on top.  Pour in water until you're almost to the top of the roast, however much it takes.  Close up the bag, cut a few slits in the top, and bake for 2-3 hours (for a 2-3 lb roast) at 325.  It makes the house smell amazing, it gives you a roast so moist and tender that it is falling apart, it gives you some super-yummy carrots, and it gives you gravy that makes mashed potatoes taste like heaven.  We ate some that night, and have at least another meal's worth.

Sunday I did the slow cooker Barbecue Chicken, and a Quiche.  We had the quiche for lunch and have another meal's worth left over, and the chicken for dinner and have a meal's worth left over, and that takes us through Wednesday!  Thursday we can have frozen pizza or eat sub sandwiches.

I was also pleased with the 2 day approach because I ate more healthily all weekend using this method - we only ate out on Friday evening (for Preston's dad's birthday), and we never felt the need to eat out the rest of the weekend because there was always something nommy (also a technical term) about to come out of the oven!

Also, Zoë really really likes quiche, yay!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

First Tooth Pic

I've been trying to get a picture of Zoë's first tooth since it came in almost 2 months ago.

This is the best I've been able to do.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Zoë's First Birthday Pics

On the actual day:
There was an awesome 2 liter bottle at Gramma and Papi's.

And a balloon from daycare!

And Gramma, who taught her to remove the lid from said bottle, and she was very excited about it!
 And then at the party:
There was a book!

And Papi read it to her.

There was a cupcake!
Which she really wasn't sure was for eating.
The wrapping paper was far yummier than the cupcake.

There was her wagon that she shared with Cousin Ethan!

And more reading with Mommy and Daddy.

Birthdays = fun!