9 lovely views from Seattle

I had the privilege of visiting Seattle for the first time this past week. It was for a food journalism conference, which is just about the greatest work-related reason to travel.

Of course the food and drink were excellent. The conference sessions were enlightening. I met some very charming and interesting people and got to spend time with my Seattle-based cousin and his wife.

But one unexpected highlight of the trip was this:

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Two wheels borrowed from my cousin that provided me free and fun transportation (and exercise to burn off some of the aforementioned food and drink) around a most bike-friendly city.

There is a lot of beauty in the Pacific Northwest, and between bike rides and conference events I packed in some memorable views in my four days there. Here are nine memorable views of and from Seattle.

  1. Magnolia Park

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After getting off the plane and catching up over dim sum with my cousin Spencer and his wife, Allison, we jumped on bikes and headed 7-8 miles north for some hiking. On our way up a particularly long and painful hill, we stopped for a break and were met with the above view of Puget Sound from Magnolia Park.

And turning to the left… hello, city.

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2. Discovery Park

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Our hiking destination was Discovery Park. It was a nice maybe 3-mile loop with a section along the beach and a section up into the rainforest. Pretty foliage and more lovely water views. With blue skies!

My awesome guides.

My awesome guides.

3. Gas Works Park

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On day two I ventured out on bike by myself to visit Gas Works Park. Above is the… gas works. But the real view is of the city, seen across Lake Union.

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See the Space Needle?

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The photos don’t really do it justice. You’re standing on the top of a very green hill with the city around you in every direction. The lake is quite active with boats and rowers.

4. Pike Place Market

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Pike Place Market is a far more impressive place than I realized. That’s another story, but I’m including it in my list of views because if you glance up out shop windows or in alleys you might be surprised to see something like this:

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There’s also the gum wall, which was completely cleaned off in November, but is back and once again quite a sight to see (and smell).

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5. Out my hotel window

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I enjoyed several sunrises and sunsets out this window at the Sheraton in downtown Seattle. But up 25 more floors was our conference room, which had this view of Elliott Bay that same night:

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(Corban’s earnest reaction when I showed him this picture: “Wow! Look at that construction!”)

6. Rooftop of an Amazon building

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Spencer took me up to the roof of one of many buildings owned by his employer, Amazon. Above is a view of Lake Union from the side opposite of Gas Works Park.

Another side of that rooftop looks out to the Space Needle.

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7. The Space Needle

Speaking of the Space Needle, that night we had a cocktail hour there followed by a food and drink tasting event at Chihuly Garden and Glass, just below.

Based on my knowledge of Seattle weather, I think this view from the bottom with blue skies above is probably noteworthy.

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The view from the top was spectacular. I was not expecting it to take my breath away like it did.

Here is downtown and Elliott Bay.

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Below is Lake Union again. Watching the traffic flow from this vantage point was mesmerizing.

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And on the other side… mountains.

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From inside the glass atrium where our dinner/tasting event was held, we had another nice view looking up through some Chihuly artwork to the Space Needle.

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8. Elliott Bay Trail

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The next morning, I was up early enough for a solo ride along the Elliott Bay Trail. Once I got past Pike Place Market and the cruise ship docks, the view was peaceful. We finally got some real Seattle weather—misty and gray. No complaints though.

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Their fall colors are quite a bit ahead of us here in Wisconsin, so this ombré wall was a treat along part of the ride.

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9. Woodinville/Chateau Ste. Michelle

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I only got a quick glance at winery-laden Woodinville as we headed into Chateau Ste. Michelle for a wine tasting dinner, but the scenery was lush. The grapes are all grown in eastern Washington, but this area 30 minutes outside Seattle is where many of Washington’s hundreds of wineries make the wine.

The view inside at our dinner was fabulous—or at least the food and wine was! It was the perfect end to my trip.

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After that I was off to the airport for a miserable red-eye home. But these two faces that greeted my sleep-deprived face made me grin more than any sweeping sight from the previous days.

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It was good to be gone and it’s good to be home.

*Side rant: WordPress really degrades the image quality once I hit publish!

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7 thoughts at 7 months pregnant

My due date is two months from yesterday. That seems like both a very short time and a very long time.

Here’s what’s on my mind:

1) I actually went through the entire day yesterday thinking today was July 24 and telling people my due date was two months from today. I was in serious shock and disbelief to learn that today is in fact July 25. It’s cool to just blame pregnancy brain for being a day behind, right?

2) My excitement to meet this child is growing – a lot. I just want to know – boy or girl? And I want to hold my dear baby and see him or her, and enjoy a sweet, tiny newborn.

3) My fear of being a mom of two babies is also growing. At this point, I just do not have the emotional or physical energy to keep up with Corban after working all day, and I know waking up six times a night with a newborn is 10 times harder than being pregnant. So I’m sure everything will be a bit challenging at first, although I won’t be working… which brings me to my next thought…

4) I keep thinking once I’m on maternity leave I’ll have time to do all the junk around the house that is currently neglected because I have no energy beyond working 40 hours a week and scraping by as a mom. Am I crazy? I also have this idea that I will be able to attend playdates and go out and do typical mom things that happen during working hours. I probably am crazy.

5) I joined a fitness challenge with a few other moms (basically we just set goals for ourselves each week and then get points for meeting them) and it has been really motivating for me to be consistent with what I know I should be doing to prepare for labor and the end of pregnancy. My goals seem really silly compared to my pre-motherhood athletic endeavors, but they are important and make me feel healthier. I’m focusing on walking, squats, pelvic floor exercises, sitting on an exercise ball (yes, sitting is considered exercise for me at this point, haha), drinking water, eating vegetables and getting enough protein in my diet.

6) I really desire to have a natural labor and delivery this time. I almost did with Corban (had a tiny bit of painkiller in the IV at the end), but I didn’t really have any intentions one way or another regarding meds (other than let’s see how I feel and then decide). But now I’m feeling more drawn to do it the old-fashioned way and do whatever I can to prepare myself for that. That means it’s time to check out some natural childbirth books from the library. Any recommendations?

7) I drank a beer tonight. This beer, specifically, and I don’t know if it’s just because I haven’t had a beer in roughly six months, but it tasted amazing. [And no, it will not give my child fetal alcohol syndrome. My doctor has sanctioned an occasional alcoholic beverage in the third trimester.]

A happy new year

I am in such a good mood going into 2013!

2012 was a great year. It will be remembered as the year we attended nine weddings, the year Corban went from helpless, tiny newborn to sweet, lively almost-toddler, our first year as parents and the year Peter worked nearly exclusively from home and I finagled my vacation days to spend one day of almost every week I worked home with Corban. We saw lots of dear friends who live far away in 2012. We met new friends and went outside of our comfort zone. I spent 21 weekends out of town (Peter and C were with me for most of them except for a few bachelorette parties). We hosted more visitors than ever before and our new basement guest bedroom quarters got lots of use. Looking back, my heart is full as I think of all the treasured relationships that were nurtured in 2012.

Looking ahead, though, I feel like 2013 is a crisp, white piece of paper waiting to be written on. The frenzy of our travels for weddings, showers, bachelorette parties and holidays has slowed down and we should have more time to freely choose how we spend our weekends in 2013. It brings a welcome sense of calm and possibility.

I’ll address goals for the year in a moment, but first, some highlights from this very first day of 2013. The year is off to a great start.

Corban slept through the night (until 6:05 a.m., at least)! We let him play in our room while we attempted to sleep in a bit, then enjoyed a pancake breakfast.

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Plain, chocolate chip, blueberry and coconut varieties.

Corban was in a great mood for morning playtime, and impressed us by correctly identifying the sheep from his Little People nativity by bringing it to me when I asked (twice!) I am continually amazed by how much he is starting to pick up on.

After his nap and lunch (and lots of messing around — it takes forever to get out of the house with a one-year-old) we headed over to a local county park for some sledding. I spent many long hours in 2011 training for the Birkebeiner on the cross-country trails of Minooka Park, but had never sled down its giant sledding hill.

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It’s almost too gigantic. It’s great fun going down, but walking back up really takes it out of you. They need a tow rope! We did one run with Corban secured between us on the sled, but it’s a little too steep and fast for him. He didn’t seem scared, but also didn’t seem to love it, so we opted not to risk it any further. (We also may have been too winded after carrying him up the hill to consider repeating.)

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Instead, Peter headed out for a loop on skis, while I played with Corban in the snow (he loved crawling), then pulled him around in his little red sled, which he loves speeding around in.

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We warmed up in the car while Peter finished, and then it was my turn to go out on skis. Believe it or not, the last time I cross-country skiied was the 34.5-mile Birkie race in 2011! Being out there reminded me not only of how woefully out of shape I am, but how much I enjoy getting out and enjoying the snowy trails. We will have to figure out a way to fit more skiing in this winter (a significant challenge with a baby).

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We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening just being together at home, watching Corban be his hilarious little self and snuggling with the cats. What a perfect few hours in time.

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Back to goals. First let’s look at last year’s and assess how I did:

  • Work out at least 3 times each week. I did great with this for the first half of the year. I drew three little boxes in my planner each week and checked one off for each workout. Then I went back to work full time and, honestly, fitness dropped off my radar. Not only did I feel I didn’t have the time or discipline to keep it up, but I had no desire. My priorities changed, and I accepted that working out just wasn’t one of them anymore. I’m OK with this for now, though I’d like to add just a little something back into my routine.
  • Read 20 books. I really thought this was the year I would accomplish this goal! But, alas, I only made it to 14. I did have more diversity in my reading list this year though. It included parenting books, Christian books, a historical non-fiction book and, of course, good old fiction. I should also note that one book I read was 976 pages (“The Pillars of the Earth”) so maybe that should count as two!
  • Run a half-marathon. Nope. Just didn’t happen. See first goal, above.
  • Eat dinner as a family at least 3 times a week. This wasn’t really practical for most of the year, since it’s hard to sit down together with an infant. New parent goal-setting fail!
  • Be more present and stop to appreciate the now. OK, so I actually DID meet one goal from last year! This one is hard to quantify, and I know there are many moments I got stressed or wrapped up in and didn’t appreciate until after the fact, but for the most part I felt this goal was accomplished. Each night nursing Corban before bed… playing on the floor with him… standing on the altar in a friend’s wedding… holding hands with Peter on a road trip… that’s just a sampling of little moments I stopped to savor, and that made them all the sweeter as they were happening.

For 2013, I decided not to create a list of goals, per se. In this family-building, new parenthood stage of our lives, it’s just not realistic or even important to me to set and meet goals for fitness, cooking, reading, etc. Instead, Peter and I came up with a list of things we want to do this year. A 2013 Sherwood To Do List that should be mostly fun to check things off of. Here’s a sample of some items on our list:

  • See at least one play.
  • Save $[a certain, lofty amount of money]
  • Have the neighbors over
  • Paint the kitchen
  • Get a massage (this one is just me… and I have two gift certificates that I just need to give myself permission to use!)
  • Go on one date night OUT each month (like, hire a babysitter and do something just the two of us)

I still do love resolutions, so if you made any, please do comment and share them or the link! It’s inspiring just to read others’ goals.

Happy New Year!

Jelly legs

One of my New Year’s resolutions (goals) for this year was to work out three times a week. I was loose with my definition of working out, and counted walks around the neighborhood with the babe some days. But this allowed me to keep this goal successfully for about four months. It was great, even if all the workouts weren’t incredibly intense. They were something. I was sticking with it, checking off three little boxes I would draw in my planner each week. Yay!

Then, at some point after I went back to work, I became less committed to this goal. Body Pump was skipped, runs were “rescheduled” and Corban wasn’t up for walks in 100-degree heat. I have lots of excuses, but the truth is, I lost sight of the goal and prioritized other things.

I’m actually OK with that. There have been more important things to attend to this summer, and that’s fine. The only thing I feel really guilty about is still paying for a gym membership I haven’t been using.

But recently I’ve been craving exercise. It used to be such a big part of my life, and for the past month or two it’s been virtually nonexistent, so now I miss it.

Tonight, I went to Body Pump for the first time in… I can’t even remember. My mom came with (she was in town babysitting Corban today). We both almost fell down the stairs after class. Jelly. Legs.

I love that feeling of exhaustion that comes at the end of class. It’s totally different from the feeling of exhaustion I get when Corban wakes me up at 4 a.m. This is a good feeling – an alive feeling (not a dead-to-the-world-4-a.m. feeling).

This morning I wrote my workout plan in my planner for this week. I got that tough first workout out of the way and checked the box. Now that I’m reminded of what I’m missing, I’m looking forward to sticking with it again.

Does your workout mojo ebb and flow? How do you get back into it after some time away?

Goals for 2012

I know, I know. We’re already 1/12th of the way through 2012 and I’m just now getting around to writing about new year’s resolutions?

I did set a few realistic goals for myself at the beginning of the year, and have been following through successfully on some of them (which I will share at the end of this post), but there’s one goal that I’ve only been kinda-sorta-not really achieving. And after reading this commitment from Sarah, I realize I need to renew my devotion to this goal.

Reading God’s word. I’ve never been good at doing this regularly. I can’t use the excuse of not having time, because I read many other things – blogs, books, emails, news – so there is indeed time for reading in my daily schedule. Unfortunately it comes down to lack of desire, which pains me to admit, but is evidenced by my decision day after day to spend time reading the aforementioned before reading the Bible. I know that’s no excuse either, but I believe my lackadaisical feelings toward reading scripture can and will change if I just make it a habit, as Sarah said she aims to do over the next 30 days.

My goal at the beginning of the year was to spend 15 minutes a day reading scripture or a devotional or other teaching literature. Just 15 minutes. So simple. (I wanted to set myself up for success, not failure, and you have to start somewhere.) I haven’t completely neglected this intention, but I haven’t been as consistent as I should. I realize now, a month into the year, that a big part of my inconsistency is that I haven’t been setting aside a specific block of time each day. I also haven’t been holding myself accountable.

So here I am, publicly recommitting to spend at least 15 minutes each day reading scripture. My schedule with Corban can be all over the place in the mornings, so I think my devoted time will be easiest to schedule in right after I put him to bed each night.

My other goals for this year are:

  • Work out at least 3 times each week (100% success so far this year!)
  • Read 20 books (this is the third year in a row I’ve set this goal and I’ve always fallen short by only a few books. I’m determined to meet it this year, and I’m already halfway through my fourth book.)
  • Run a half-marathon (I would love to run another full marathon, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to commit to that kind of training this year)
  • Eat dinner as a family at least 3 times a week (this goal is currently on the back burner until we get on a more predictable schedule with C, but we do make an effort when possible to eat together)
  • Be more present and stop to appreciate the now (this is an immeasurable goal, but I really feel like it’s made a difference in my stress level and overall joy each day)

Last year I set goals that were way too ambitious and I ended up not meeting them, but I think this year’s are definitely realistic. I am also okay with focusing more on certain goals one month and others the next. In January my focus was on fitting in my three weekly workouts, and February’s big push will be daily scripture reading. The hope is that after a month, these ambitions will become habits.

Did you set new year’s resolutions? How are they going so far? If you’d like to join Sarah and me in our 30-day commitments, I’d be thrilled 🙂

Getting back in shape after baby

For the first few weeks after Corban was born, I was content to take it easy, rest and let my body take its time recovering from childbirth. I tried not to lift too much weight (even Corban’s car seat was a bit much) or be on my feet too much.

As I started to feel better, Corban and I went on a few walks, but walks have never really been my thing.

Three weeks and five days after Corban was born, I was ready to run*.

Peter hung out with Corban and I headed to the Y for the first time in months (I never got around to canceling my membership, so I am just going to consider it a donation to an organization that does a lot for the community so I don’t feel too guilty…) The plan was to walk on the treadmill, then work up to a run, and just see how I felt.

As it turned out, I felt amazing. I ended up running for 25 minutes straight, at a pace ranging from 11 minutes per mile to 9:30 per mile.

It was extremely encouraging, but knowing my injury-prone self, I knew I should take it slow in building up mileage. So here’s my tentative plan for getting back into running shape:

Goals: Work out at least three times per week. Run a half-marathon this spring, most likely the South Shore Half-Marathon on April 7 ($12 race entry!).

Training: January 1 – 29 do weeks 5 through 8 of couch to 5K (using the Ease into 5K app); January 30 – April 7 do a 10-week half-marathon training plan (not sure which yet – will keep you posted). I also would like to make baby yoga a weekly habit (we have not been able to make it out the door in time to go since our first class) and get back to Body Pump in the next week or two. Body Pump seems daunting right now – I know the first class will be the hardest!

So far the couch to 5K plan has been going really well. It is forcing me to be really conservative with mileage buildup, which is great. The workouts are measured in minutes, not miles, and they usually involve a walking break in the middle. I’m up to 25 minutes of running.

Earlier this week the weather was freakishly warm for January in Wisconsin, so I was able to run outside and take Corban with me. That’s right, I did a few stroller runs!

We bought a running stroller for $25 on Craigslist, but Corban is still too small for it, so I used our Baby Jogger City Mini with the car seat attached. The City Mini is not meant for running, but the front wheel locks into place, which makes me suspicious that it actually is perfectly fine for running but they tell you it’s not for liability reasons. Either way, Corban is nice and secure in the car seat so I feel comfortable taking it on short, slow runs (like mine were).

Running with a stroller is tough! Granted, I was running with a heavy car seat in a stroller that is not fully optimized for running, but still. Not only is it heavy, but you can’t swing your arms and you have to concentrate on keeping the stroller in line and in control. Hills and wind were brutal!

It was nice having my little buddy out there with me, though.

Anyone else have fitness goals and training plans for the new year? Please share! And join me on Daily Mile for daily training updates.

*I know a lot of people wait for their six-week postpartum check up before exercising, but I was told to do what feels comfortable with no set time restriction.

3 weeks old and an active Thursday

Corban is three weeks old today! I’ve loved seeing the little developments he’s made over the past three weeks.

It may not seem like much, but it’s amazing to me how he’s become more alert, looking around more and focusing on different things that we show him. For the first week or so, he would never cry except when he was hungry, but now he’ll fuss a little when he’s dirtying a diaper or if he’s just not quite comfortable. Overall, he’s still a pretty content baby.

He makes the funniest faces when he’s awake. In the blink of an eye he can go from almost smiling to completely serious or with a look of alarm on his face. When he’s really hungry he gets almost animal-like as he grunts and opens his mouth for food. When he’s done eating and content, he purses his lips and raises his eyebrows with the cutest expression on his face.

I’m looking forward to the day when his sleep patterns become a bit more predictable, specifically at night. He usually has 2 or 3 longer stretches of sleep each day (2.5 to 3.5 hours), but they tend to be in the afternoon, evening or early morning rather than at night. Between midnight and 4 a.m. he seems to want to eat every hour or more. Not fun, as you can imagine. The pediatrician said by about one month he should be settling into more of a routine and sleeping longer at night. I sure hope that actually happens.

Getting active

I have to admit, leaving the house with Corban was daunting at first, and still is to a certain extent. You have to make sure you’ve got blankets, diapers, extra clothes, etc. packed and that he’s fed and has a clean diaper, which all takes a bit of coordination.  It is so nice to get out though. Interacting with others and just seeing the outside world is key to keeping your sanity when you aren’t working.

So far we’ve been to church three times, on a couple shopping trips, to the doctor a lot (five times I think, mostly because of the jaundice in week one) and to the breastfeeding support group at the hospital twice. Today we added another destination to the list – baby yoga!

Destination Maternity in Brookfield, which offers free prenatal fitness classes, like prenatal belly dancing (which, sadly, I never had the chance to attend), also has a few postnatal classes that include baby. Baby yoga sounds ridiculous, but actually was great.

It started with introductions of moms and babies (it’s nice being around other people who are going through the same things you are), then the first part of class focused on baby massage. Baby massage is good for the baby’s physical and mental development. It builds trust and bonding between parent and child and helps build muscle strength. Essentially, you just do a few simple squeezes and touches to the arms, legs, hands, feet, stomach and head.

(Baby chaturanga, a.k.a. tummy time)

The second part of the class is yoga for mom. Some of it includes baby, and some is just mom with baby hanging out on a blanket. While it is still too early for me to do any ab exercises, I enjoyed the good stretch the class provided. Corban was alert and looking around the entire class. He didn’t fuss at all till the end, when he got hungry. During the final meditation, four out of the five babies in the class were nursing. I guess baby yoga works up an appetite!

This afternoon when I realized it was 43 degrees outside and sunny, I decided to take Corban out for his first walk. He got all bundled up, which made him actually big enough to fit comfortably in the Baby Bjorn, and we hit the road.

(It’s like Ralphie’s brother in “A Christmas Story”)

We walked two miles in 37 minutes along my usual neighborhood route. Corban stayed cozy and napped the entire time, making a few noises here and there. I felt great, though carrying a baby – however small – on you while walking does add to the existing challenge of having very little endurance to begin with. It’s possible I might even be sore tomorrow from this little jaunt! I am eager to get back into shape, but I know I need to take it slow. That means walking to start and slowly building up to running farther and farther.

Coming soon

I am working on writing Corban’s birth story, and have so much more to share about these first few weeks. It’s hard spending time on the computer when you’ve got a sweet little face to kiss and cuddle all day, but I promise there are some good updates to come.

28 weeks

*First I have to say grrrr to WordPress for somehow turning my long post into zero words and zero photos after I hit publish this afternoon – no error message or anything either so I’m just discovering the blank post. Fist of anger. Now I shall attempt to rewrite it*

28 weeks seems so far along! I still get surprised when I see my growing belly in pictures, like this:

Side note: That’s my favorite maternity shirt. I bought it with my bump bucks at Destination Maternity when I bought my jeans. I like that it’s loose without losing my shape and flowy without making me look like a giant kite.

And… spotted! The Shirt on The Morning Blend:

Speaking of The Morning Blend, the last time I was on (September 29) I broke the news to them that I’m pregnant. Yes, six months pregnant and showing, but somehow it hadn’t come up yet.

This is mostly because I have sort of been discreet about it there. I’m supposed to be hip and happening when I talk about what’s going on in Milwaukee, and somehow pregnant doesn’t seem to fit well with that image, so I’ve been wearing looser tops to kind of hide it. And they didn’t know the pre-pregnant me, so for all they knew I just had a chubby tummy.

When I told the hosts, Molly and Tiffany, they were, of course, bubbly and excited (like they are about most things) and they nonchalantly mentioned it on air (they’re good at that kind of thing – that’s probably why they get paid to chat on TV). Tiffany threw in a joking, “Hope you’ve told your mom already!” since we never discussed talking about it on air. I had to laugh because my mom was the first person we told back in May and they were the very last.

In other news

It’s no longer surprising when strangers notice and comment on the fact that I’m pregnant. My favorite cashier at Pick ‘N’ Save commented the other day (I hadn’t seen her for a while) and coworkers who I don’t talk to very often feel comfortable enough to congratulate me based on appearance.

Haven’t had any annoying experiences with strangers petting my belly or asking if I’m having twins, but one conversation was kind of borderline. In the work cafeteria one day, a woman I don’t know asked me when I’m due, and upon hearing “January,” exclaimed, “Wow! You’re small but your baby sure is growing!”

I wasn’t sure how to take it, but then I realized I wasn’t clear that I’m due the very first day of January, and at this point in the year January seems eons away (no one wants to admit the Wisconsin winter is coming), so she probably figured I was only a few months along. Oh well!

Workout update

I suppose since I wrote down a workout plan last week in an attempt to hold myself accountable, I should actually fess up to what I did this week. Here’s the original plan with my actual “workouts” in bold beside it:

M: Walk to the Y (2ish miles) + 7:20 p.m. Body Pump / Incline pushups and tricep dips
T: Prenatal belly dancing / 1-mile walk and Body Pump
W: 2-mile walk to farmers market and back over lunch / 1-mile walk to farmers market (it’s closer than I realized and I was short on time)
Th: 5:30 a.m. Body Pump / Nada
F: Rest / Standing in the kitchen prepping food for a couple hours (that counts right? Standing that long is challenging these days)
S: 3-mile walk / Yardwork

OK, so I fell short by quite a bit. I’d really like to get more walking in and I have no excuse for that. Morning workouts are just not realistic right now because I feel like a bag of bricks rolling out of bed (and to anyone who knows how hard it is for me to get out of bed normally, it’s way worse than normal now!)

But I’m really happy I made it to Body Pump, even though it was a very challenging class even under normal circumstances. I was wiped by the end! When you’re carrying extra weight inside of you, lunges are so hard! And that’s without adding extra weight on the bar like usual.

I think my best action plan for walking more is to get in mid-afternoon walks at work. It feels great to get out of the office for a little bit, and I’m usually too tired or it’s too late after work.

OK, I think I sufficiently summed up my original post. It might even be better written this time. Time to go comfort the husband as he mourns the Cardinals’ loss to the Brewers. Here’s to a good week ahead for all!

Bargain stroller

About that exciting purchase I alluded to yesterday

A jogging stroller!

The InSTEP 5K Single Jogging Stroller, to be exact. The tires are flat and it could use a bit of dusting off, but it seems to be in excellent shape otherwise. And you can’t beat the price: $25. Thank you, Craigslist!

This model is discontinued, but probably cost about $100 originally. It’s not a high end jogging stroller, but for $25 it’s worth the risk that it might not be perfect. I can’t wait to use it next summer! I might actually take it for a test run this week, if I can overcome the embarrassment of pushing a 20-pound weight around the neighborhood in a stroller. Peter suggested putting a blanket over it so it looks like a baby.

Since we were able to find such a great deal on this running stroller, it made our “regular stroller” decision a lot easier. I had been debating between three models:

The BOB Revolution CE. A true running stroller made by runners for runners. Has options for fixed or swivel wheel (you want fixed for running, swivel for everything else) and can hold kids up to 70 pounds. Probably the best running stroller out there. The downsides are it’s pretty big (I think it’d be a bit tough maneuvering around at a festival or something, and would probably want to get a little cheapie stroller for that) and it’s expensive, at $469.

The Baby Jogger City Elite. Smaller and lighter than the BOB, but apparently can hold kids up to 75 pounds. Again, fixed or swivel wheel options. Pretty maneuverable. Nice adjustable handlebars to accommodate different heights. Not recommended for serious (like double digit) runs (though that’s probably debatable) and hefty pricetag at $399.

The Baby Jogger City Mini. This one is actually not a jogging stroller at all, though I know people who have run with it (probably not long distances though, as it has a swivel wheel only). It is highly recommended by practically everyone for its ease of use – you can actually fold it up with one hand. It’s the smallest of the three and the easiest to maneuver, though the weight limit is 50 pounds. Price is more reasonable at $239 (or $179 in one of the uglier colors).

For a while I was leaning toward the City Elite, since it seemed to have the best of both worlds (made for running, but also easy to maneuver).

But now that we have a decent (or at least passable, hopefully) running stroller, the City Mini is definitely the best choice. I have heard nothing but good about this stroller, and it will be great for everyday use, travel and tight spaces. Now the only question is do we get one of the less attractive colors (primary blue or bright pink) and save $60, or go for the lovely light green and gray model we’ve been eying (linked above). Hmmm. What would you do?

27 weeks

I’m officially in my third trimester! I can’t believe it. My due date is exactly three months from yesterday.

Sometimes I’ll walk into the bathroom at work and catch a glance of myself in the full length mirror and think, “WHOA. Am I really that big?”

And yes, I know I’ll only get bigger from here, but it does seem like my belly has really rounded out in the past few weeks.

I think I wore a real maternity shirt every day this week. It’s actually kind of fun incorporating some new clothes into my wardrobe — all of which were free (borrowed) or super cheap (thrifted). And maternity shirts just look better since, obviously, they’re designed for my current shape.

I’m still clinging to a few pairs of my regular pants, mostly ones that are low-riding, but I did end up purchasing a pair of maternity jeans this past week. I had $30 in “bump bucks” at Destination Maternity if I spent $75. So, of course, I stretched that $75 as far as I could and got a pair of jeans, a nice top and a tank top for a grand total of $50.

The jeans are actually skinny jeans (but not the skin tight kind), which will be nice since I can wear them with flats now and boots later. They’re really comfy (huge stretchy elastic waistbands tend to be). The only problem is they stretched out a bit after the first wear, as jeans tend to do, and kept sagging on me the second day I wore them. I guess that means there’s room to grow though.

I mentioned that my belly has been rounding out, but unfortunately the rest of me is feeling a little jiggly too. This is, I’m sure, due to the fact that I haven’t worked out in a good 2 weeks. Too tired in the morning + commitments every evening = no exercise. I haven’t exactly been holding back on the desserts either. Thankfully this week is a little slower, so I plan to get back to body pump and maybe even try out that prenatal belly dancing that I’ve been teasing you with.

I did attempt a run this evening, just because it was so nice out and I felt like it. I had limited time, so I did one mile, switching off walking and running every .25 mile. I think the one word that would best sum up how I felt is HEAVY. Those extra 15 pounds have never been so evident!

To keep me accountable, here’s a quick workout plan for the week:

M: Walk to the Y (2ish miles) + 7:20 p.m. Body Pump
T: Prenatal belly dancing
W: 2-mile walk to farmers market and back over lunch
Th: 5:30 a.m. Body Pump
F: Rest
S: 3-mile walk

I also made an exciting purchase this afternoon that I will share with you tomorrow. (Oh the suspense!)