Thursday, April 30, 2009

First biking...

...then hiking.

In March, Jus' folks came out for a visit. We took Russell on a hike in his hiking pack. He loved being able to see.

Getting ready to go.

Out on the trail...

...and loving every minute of it.

So exhausted he took a nap while we hiked.

and the obligatory scenery picture: a view out over Phoenix

It was a lot of fun, and certainly something we will be doing more of, when Mommy has some spare time...sometime in the future.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Some odds and ends and excuses.

I've been a lousy blogger, but it's because I've been a darned good student (mostly). Fair trade. Just a heads up that it might not get much better for a while, but I promise it's only temporary.

Working hard IS going to pay off eventually.

But, for now, since I am here, how about a few cute baby pics? Here are some random everyday pics from March that are cute. (And since some of them are over a month old, maybe it's time to get them up, no?)

Making it hard to put PJs on him after a bath.

Wild hair. It's like this a lot these days.

Sticking out our tongue at the camera.

What? I swear, I FOUND these tissues all torn up.

Opening a present.

I'll try and get posts up when I can, but no promises.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Biking babies!

Russell has gotten (on a few occasions now) to go biking with his daddy. He loves it! (Mommy doesn't own a bike yet.)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Having a Ball!*

One of Russell's favorite toys right now. A giant (for him) beach ball. If we underinflate it just slightly, he can pick it up really easily.

He loves to bang on it.

and he is learning to roll it to another person.

Next step, how to shoot a jump shot. hee. hee.

*come on, I love good puns.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Too cool for this blog.

I have friends (one, in particular) who can remember every detail of every day of their lives. I, on the other hand, have vague recollections of things that were noteworthy, single frame images, and strange sensory memories, that are really nonspecific and often hard to figure out what they are reminding me of.

Right now I really wish I were that other type of person, because I want to make reference to a song my 5th or 6th grade chorus sang (I think, it could have been junior high) where we all had to bring in sunglasses. I think the name of the song was 'Shades' but I can't be certain...

Anyway, that's all a long winded way of introducing the coolest baby on the block:

Yeah, he's too cool for this blog...

...and he's getting a big head about it, literally. See those super-cute sunglasses. They are supposed to fit kids to age 2. Right now I am trying to figure out whether I need to get him a bigger pair He's only 10 MONTHS old! But he's got the biggest head ever. I am going to try one more time to adjust the velcro, but I think we need to get the 2-5 YEARS pair. Oy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pic of the day: beanbag portrait.

We were visiting friends about a month ago, and I needed to entertain the baby. Lucky for me he loves to pose for pictures.

And I got for a run today. Unfortunately, it marks the first occasion on which I fail to finish my run due to lack of ability. Which is funny, if you think about it, because I've done this run before. The details:

Walk/Jog C25K Week 4 day 1.
Start time: 11:30 am MST
Run time: 29.5 minutes
Distance: 2.1 miles
Pace: 14.0 minute mile
Estimated Miles on Sneakers:
Pink Adidas 13.31
Blue Brooks 14.83

Notes: Living out here has started to teach me what it really feels like to be dehydrated. The first sign for me, barring plain old thirst, is a slight dizziness in the back of my head. It feels like I do when I get motion sick. I didn't feel it today until I got back to the house, but when I was running I felt something strange which made me stop and walk halfway through the last 5 minute run. I guess you could almost call it weakness. It could be an even earlier sign of dehydration that I hadn't noted before now. I will be more cognizant of it in the future.

Now, for those that are prone to such things, don't worry. I had water on me and drank it all the way home. I just don't think I was hydrated enough to run.

I will repeat week 4 day 1 on Friday. If at first you don't succeed...and all that.

Oh yeah, and Happy Tax Day!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter and some Catch up.

I hope you all had a pleasant Easter (well, thems of you who celebrate it.)

Russell had his very first visit from the Easter bunny er, dingo.

He was brought bubbles and six plastic eggs filled with Cheerios, all in a blue bunny bucket. It was very exciting.

In lieu of the 'standard celebration', we went on a hike and had a picnic lunch. It was lovely.

Russell discovered that Mommy's green apple was tasty.

We enjoyed the scenery.

And it was all so exciting, Russell took a nap towards the end.

(Yes, these pics were taken yesterday, demonstrating that I can, in fact, post pictures in a timely fashion. Don't get used to it. I still have about a month's worth of backlog to make up for.)

For instance...

I fell behind on my posting for a few days there, many apologies. Because of that, I never posted my run on Friday. I admit, by waiting even a few days, I have forgotten many bits of it. But here is a close approximation:

Walk/Jog C25K Week 3 day 3.
Start time: midafternoon
Run time: 25 minutes or less
Distance: let's call it 2 miles.
Pace: a complete mystery
Estimated Miles on Sneakers:
Pink Adidas 11.21
Blue Brooks 14.83

Notes: Another beautiful day in Phoenix. I had to turn around a wee bit early because I had to use the ladies room, but other than that, a good run.

I was going to go out for another run yesterday, but we wound up on the hike instead. A far better deal, in my opinion. My intention is to start week 4 on Wednesday. Progress is slow but steady.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Poor dingos.

We, as doggie parents, have the audacity to clip the dogs toenails.

See how sad it makes her?

These photos just make me laugh. She is such a wuss. She looks like this when we brush her too.

Poor dingos.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pic of the day: Hanging around with daddy

Too cute not to share.

And another run! Three in a row!

Walk/Jog C25K Week 3 day 2.
Start time: 9:30 AM MST
Run time: 30 minutes
Distance: 1.97 miles
Pace: 15.2 minute mile
Estimated Miles on Sneakers:
Pink Adidas 9.21
Blue Brooks 14.83

Notes: Another beautiful day in Phoenix. Another great run. While I briefly considered going straight to week 4, I have decided that I am going to finish up week 3 on Friday, I am really feeling good right now. No need to rush it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Look who's 10 months old!

Cute as ever.

We bought him this rubber puzzle mat so that he could be outside on the patio with us, otherwise he only has cement and/or gravel. Unfortunately, he's a clever one, and rapidly learned how to pull all the pieces apart.


pulling it up

playing with the pieces

And just plain causing a ruckus.

But he LOVES it, so we let him have his fun. At this point, he's much better about not banging his head on the ground, so if there are parts of the patio that are uncovered, it's not as big a deal.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

...and a run

I managed to get out for a run today! Two 'in a row'! I am so glad to be back to healthy.

Walk/Jog C25K Week 3 day 1.
Start time: 11:00 AM MST
Run time: 35 minutes
Distance: 2.44 miles
Pace: 14.34 minute mile
Estimated Miles on Sneakers:
Pink Adidas 7.24
Blue Brooks 14.83

Notes: Phoenix is all blue skies, flowers, and butterflies today. TOO gorgeous for words. Even some of the most common weeds around here blossom with daisy-like flowers in the most fantastic shade of orange.

The run itself was good. Exactly the speed I need right now. It was a little challenging near the end, but I did it without huffing and puffing and thinking I was gonna die. Perfect. On Wednesday, I will do week 3 day 2.

Too true.

In this tough economy, we are relatively lucky. Justin has a solid job that is in no danger, and the cost of living is low here. But still, we watch our spending and budget monthly. There are many things we would like still, but nothing that we NEED is out of reach.

In fact, after several years as grad students (and last fall when we were supporting two homes halfway across the country from one another) we seem to be pretty comfortable. (Comfortable enough, in fact, that I start to feel guilty about how much we do have compared to others that are being hit hard by this economy through no fault of their own.)

Occasionally though, I am reminded of what it really means to be comfortable. A recent blog post I stumbled upon reminded me again. If you have a chance, read it.

May you all be so lucky to have the important things.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

What a nut.

Funny story... on Wednesday, I dropped Justin and Russell at work and daycare respectively, and on my way home stopped at the natural foods store, an Arizona chain called Sprouts, to find some Fenugreek supplements. (Fenugreek is commonly used to increase milk supply, a recent concern of mine, so I thought I'd give it a go.) Now, I LOVE shopping at Sprouts. It's got beautiful produce, three aisles of bulk bins of grains, candies, nuts, trail mix etc, and a great bakery. (Never mind their meat counter!) So letting me is is always dangerous. Especially alone.

So on Wednesday I wander in. I find my fenugreek capsules (thanks Em!) and take the opportunity to shop for a few minutes. I ponder some organic baby food, but decide Russell is barely letting me spoon feed him anything anymore. I look at the produce and pick up some pears as a new finger food treat for Russell. I grab a round of my FAVORITE tomato focaccia, and then I give in to wild temptation and get two treats for me. Some chocolate covered pretzels and some roasted salted pistachios.

Now, I knew chocolate covered pretzels were a weakness of mine. But I had NO idea how powerless I was in the face of pistachios. I ate half the bag. I could. not. stop. By some miracle, in the guise of a mild tummyache, I did not finish them all off.

Then I went to pick up Justin.

In regaling Justin with the travails of my (rather boring) day, I mention that I am completely powerless in the face of pistachios.

This is when he points out to me, much amused, that there is a pistachio recall and associated Salmonella scare.


You see, I have recently started avoiding the news. I HATE the fact that it's all about children being abused, crazy people killing themselves and others (often children) and how stupidly bad our economy has gotten. So I had no idea. And seriously, I buy myself pistachios maybe once every six months! But I had to pick Wednesday..., after a few hours of wondering I finally went to the Sprouts website where they posted a notice that said that their pistachios were unaffected by the recall. So I am not going to die of Salmonella. I might still suffer a stomachache or two from eating the whole bag, but I won't die of Salmonella.

Sometimes...sometimes my timing is just so amusingly terrible it's funny.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The faster I work...

...the behinder I get.

I was just looking through baby pics and realized that, with regards to posting images here, you consistently get pictures about three to four weeks behind. Commentary without images is usually up to the minute.

For instance, these pics were taken on March fifth. I was sorting laundry. Russell 'helped' by finding the big pile of daddy's socks and rolling in it.

I guess a few weeks behind is the price you pay for uber-cute baby pics. (Or is that the price you pay for relying on me to post uber-cute baby pics? Same thing, right?)

In more timely news: I got out for a run this morning for the first time since...well looking back at the blog records, February 21st. Yikes! Knowing how long it had been, I went back a few weeks in the C25K program to see if I could gauge my fitness level at the moment.

Walk/Jog C25K Week 2 day 3.
Start time: 8:00 AM MST
Run time: 30ish minutes *see Notes
Distance: 2ish miles *see Notes
Pace: hard to calculate from 'ishes'
Estimated Miles on Sneakers:
Pink Adidas 4.80
Blue Brooks 14.83

Notes: So I felt really good today, week two is still under my belt with no issues. Having said that, I didn't finish it as it was supposed to be run because as I was coming up on the last 3 minutes of intervals, I spotted two stray dogs. Both without collars and in really good health, just trotting along separately down the street. I stopped running and pulled out my cellphone to figure out how to report these.

One of them, a beautiful shepard mastiff cross, if I had to guess, trotted along beside me for a little while, then went off to explore someone's yard. I am (as I type this) on hold with the Maricopa county animal control office to report them, so that maybe someone can pick the poor things up before they get hit.

I only wish I had been capable of getting them to follow me home so I could keep them safe until the animal control officer arrived. But I am certainly not going to handle a unknown stray by myself, no matter how friendly they seemed. I hope their mommies find them...or at least that they find a good home.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Babies in high chairs: Part III

Spoons are tough.

you have to know which end is which

How do you do it?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Warning: too much information ahead.

Disclaimer: this entire post is about breastfeeding. If this is a subject you would rather not read about, you won't miss anything by skipping this post. I promise. You can just start again with tomorrow's post (which, I also promise, will contain cute baby pics), no hard feelings.

I have hesitated for a while to write anything regarding breastfeeding because so many people feel so strongly about it. Frankly however, breastfeeding is a huge part of my life right now and means a ton to me. It takes enormous amounts of time and energy to maintain, but I feel it's worth it.

So why write about this now? Because I've been sick. Being sick and breastfeeding at the same time sucks. I can't take many meds (most notably decongestant, ARGH!) I need about 50 times as much water as a normal human being. And when you get sick, your supply drops, your body chooses to use your extra energy to get well rather than produce milk. So I worry that Russell isn't getting enough to eat.

In some ways, breastfeeding is kind of ridiculous in that you have no idea how much your kid is eating. I mean, not only can I not see how much he's eating (boobs aren't transparent. Now THAT would be weird), but I can't pump and measure because I know darned well that he is a far more efficient breast pump than my Medela. Since the engorgement stopped I can't even feel let-down. If he wasn't such a messy nurser, I wouldn't necessarily know he was getting any at all! So unlike formula feeding mommies, I just have to trust him to tell me if he's hungry.

Over the last few days, he has not been shy about telling me just that. Often. (insert Pirates of Penzance joke here, go on, I'll wait...) Which tells me my supply is low as expected. However, it also makes me wonder if this might be the beginning of weaning. What if my supply doesn't come back? I don't know if I'm ready for that. I set out on this breastfeeding thing determined to make it to one year minimum (as per the American Association of Pediatrician's and the World Health Organization's recommendations) and Russell turns 10 months old next week. That's two months shy, minimum. If we really are starting to wean now... that ok for him?
...what do I need to do to make sure he still gets the nutrition he needs?
...have I failed?
...does it affect his psychological development? (nursing is not just nutritional, but comfort as well)

It's a lot to think about, and honestly, probably the second big decision I have faced as a mommy (see my post on daycare evaluations for the first). I mean, I know he'll turn out fine either way. Heck, if I turned out as well as I did on 1970's grade formula alone, he'll be a super hero on breastmilk AND modern formula!

It might all be moot. In 48 hours, my supply might bounce back and all will be well with the world until Russell weans himself or I have to make this decision at a later date. But it might also mean a huge shift in my day-to-day life, not to mention a change in my relationship with my son. Honestly, nursing isn't just a comfort for him...

It is something that means a lot to me and I have spent a lot of time thinking about recently. Just another piece of our life here that I thought I'd share.