Louisa: Weeks 27 & 28

Week 27 was all about kicking!

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Louisa kicks her legs when she is on her stomach, getting closer and closer to crawling. She kicks her legs in the tub because she loves the big splashes it causes. And she kicks her legs in her crib as a protest to being put to bed.

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Yeah, sleeping wasn’t any better last week. She has a four hour sleep period from about 8pm to midnight, but then she’s up every two hours after that until 6am, when she’s up for the day (so up at 12am, 2am, 4am, and 6am for good).

It’s HARD!

She also seemed so much heavier this week – everyone who saw her commented on how much she’d grown, so perhaps a growth spurt is responsible for the many night wakings…

Week 28

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Food! Louisa has been eating solid food for a few weeks now. It’s amazing how much more laid back I am about feeding my baby this time around. Basically, here are the things I learned from Nico:

  • Baby portions are TINY! I buy one extra sweet potato, and it feeds her all week. I can’t believe how much baby food I made for Nico, only to have most of it go to waste because babies that size only eat a TEASPOON at any one sitting.
  • I’m not even worry about variety! Seriously, She’s still getting ALL her nutrients from breastmilk, so I’m not even attempting to give her a balance of things.
  • And since she’s still getting ALL her nutrients from breastmilk, I’m not even concerned with having her eat every day. If I can’t get it together to feed her for a day or two, I don’t let it stress me out (most of the time).

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This is markedly different to my attitude with Nico, where I obsessed quite a bit about feeding him. And of course, Louisa’s been a better eater so far, gladly munching on lettuce leaves and other green foods. We’ll see how she progresses…

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She had her 6-month well-baby checkup this week, and she’s now 16lbs 14oz and 26 3/4 in. It puts her around the 70th percentile for both height and weight.

She is now pretty good at moving, either by pivoting around on her stomach, or going backwards in an attempt to crawl. I feel that crawling is days away, and it won’t be too soon, either. She wants so badly to get places and discover new things. Baby girl’s growing up!! ;)

2014 Hintonburg 5k Race Recap

Well, this year’s Hintonburg 5k is in the books.

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I was nervous about the race the night before, nervous about busting a knee, crashing hard, or generally feeling lousy, but none of those things happened. I woke up with Louisa at about 6:30am and we began our morning routine. By 7:30am everyone was up and we were focused on getting Nico pumped for HIS race. He was underwhelmed, though. When we told him it was finally “RACE DAY!” (we’d been playing it up all week), he answered with: “Noooo, stay back home.”

Uh, uh-oh. So the day didn’t go quite as expected, but isn’t that the norm for every family with young children??

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Oh yeah, and it was raining. Womp. When we left the house at 8am, it was just a drizzle. We headed down to Parkdale Market and got our bibs.

That’s when we encountered problem number one: Nico’s bib would cover the Thomas on his shirt, and that just could. not. happen. We ended up pinning his bib to his back instead, and he tolerated it.

Problem number two was more major, and one I totally should have anticipated: his race started ten minutes AFTER mine. That means that he had to watch me run away from him. This lead to an epic breakdown, apparently. We should have spent more time explaining to him that I’d run before him, and then he’d go for his race, but honestly, I’m not sure that any amount of explaining would have helped. He likes it best when we’re all together, so there you go.

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By the time the 1k start was announced, Nico (who had agreed to line up with the other kids) was still upset and wouldn’t run. And so all the other kids took off, and Angelo and Nico were the only ones left standing at the starting line (which is when Ange snapped the picture above). What could they do but head over to the banana and bagel table and wait for me? Just as well, really, since the skies totally opened up at that point and it started to rain BUCKETLOADS!

Aside: My mom came out in the pouring rain to stay with Louisa while we were all on the course. Thanks, Nic!

My race: I ran the first .5km at a 5:10min/km pace, and though that seemed way too fast, I kept it up as long as it felt comfortable. That first kilometre I was surrounded by young kids (like 9-12 year olds) and thought that was actually pretty awesome, if not a bit humbling. There was one mother-daughter duo who was just ahead of me, and I kept pace with them for most of the race. Kilometres 2 and 3 were fine, just slugging along in the rain, which was falling hard at this point, but then the course went more uphill, and things started to get hard. I looked at my Garmin and I still had 1.5km to go, so I just tried to not self-destruct in that last third of the race. I walked through the last water station, gulping water and trying to catch my breath. It was a good call, because I picked it up after 15-20 seconds and felt okay. I took another walking break at the 4k mark, and was passed by that same mother-daughter team. I thought, I can’t let them get away from me, so I picked it up and kept them close.

I had nothing left in me for the sprint to the finish, but I was already going to post a better time than I thought I would, so I didn’t care, I just focused on the shortening distance between me and the finish line.

Zoomphoto Inc Event Photography

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Meanwhile the rain just poured down on us. I was completely drenched from top to bottom.

After the race, I found the mother-daughter and told them that they kept me in the race. They were super appreciative and we all hugged it out! That’s pretty much the vibe at the Hintonburg 5k, lots of families, and lots of good cheer. It’s always such a fun race. Rain or shine!!

I ended up finishing in 25:12, HOWEVER, the course was only 4.75km, so while it certainly helps my time look good, it’s not entirely accurate. Whatever, it’s a good ego boost to keep me motivated to run for the rest of the summer.

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Stats:
Chip Time : 0:25:03
Place: 75 (out of 487)
Div. Pl. (F30-39)
 : 11
Gender. Pl. : 26
Pace/KM : 5:01

I feel super bad about Nico, like I let him down or something, but really, there’s always going to be another race, with better weather, and we’ll have lots more opportunities for smiles and race selfies.

So thanks again to the race organizers, the volunteers, the other racers, and my great family for supporting me, even in the rain!

Louisa: Week 26

Why, hello six-month-old!

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So, even though sleep is at the forefront of my mind, it’s the absolute last thing I want to talk about, so let’s just ignore it for this week, okay?

Louisa is a much more substantial baby now. She is heftier than before, heavier to hold, and she seems so much more solid when she’s sitting and playing.

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Her motor skills have improved a lot too. She can get from a sitting position to her stomach on her own, and she scootches on her bum, too. She’s also really good at righting herself whenever she teeters while she’s sitting up. There were a few times when I thought for sure she’d take a header, but instead she put her arms out and her hands on the floor to regain her balance. Smart cookie!

Her hands are still of great fascination to her. She looks at them often, and she uses them to grab on to things. She reaches out with an open hand in the general direction of a toy or other object, and then will sweep and grab with her fingers until she’s got it in her grasp.

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Louisa’s been eating a few more things too. She’s had a strawberry and an asparagus, as well as hummus, baby cereal, and a few other things. I’m SO MUCH MORE relaxed about food this time around. She doesn’t have any kind of schedule for food, it’s really just when she seems particularly interested, I hand her a bit of whatever is on the table.

She’s a funny little soul, too. She smiles so easily, laughs a lot, and does raspberries with her mouth ALL THE TIME. Man, it’s funny. She also crinkles her nose and snickers.

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As for how we’re spending our days, well, Nico has been sick (poor boy) and so we’ve been laying pretty low. We spent some time at the cottage, but mostly we just stayed close to home and played in the yard or the park near our house. Lazy days of summer for sure!

2014 Hintonburg 5k Training

About a month ago I wrote that I was ready to start running again, and I had pumped myself up to get in shape for this year’s Hintonburg 5k. I’ve run this race twice now (and volunteered for it when I was pregnant with Nico) so you’d think I would be looking for a best finish time or at least try to contend with my previous races.

Well, maybe that was the plan at first, but then this happened:

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I could barely muster one run a week, only one run was over 3k, and most of these runs were pretty ho-hum. I thought I really understood what it meant to start running again from scratch, and that I’d have to work hard to regain my speed and stamina. But I just couldn’t get over a few major hurdles:

My knees: Even though I thought I was starting off easy by aiming for a 6min/km pace, even that was too aggressive for my poor old knees. My postpartum body has much less muscle and a bit of added weight, and the relaxin hormone really did a number on my ligaments while I was pregnant. My knees feel sore and weak, and so I’ve made a conscious decision to focus on doing my strengthening exercises (from my physio days) from now until the race.

My babies: Taking care of two babies full time has been very challenging for me. I know a lot of parents do it and don’t complain nearly as much as I do, but it’s been dang hard! I’m really wiped by the end of the day, and there isn’t always a time to duck out for a run once Ange gets home. And while the idea of running first thing in the morning sounds great, there’s that pesky little problem of…

My MAJOR sleep deprivation: Oh Louisa, that girl that I love so much, cannot sleep for more than 3 hours at a time at night (and most nights it’s between 90 and 150 minutes). This girl is SIX MONTHS OLD and so I have been SEVERELY sleep deprived for HALF A YEAR. HELP! This has affected every aspect of my training. I eat quick and easy sugars and carbs because I crave energy so badly, which makes me crash easily, and I can’t muster much motivation to do anything (seriously, my floors went unwashed for three months this winter). Also, my body is hoarding fat because it’s not getting enough sleep, etc. etc. etc. Sleep deprivation is the worst thing, and I’m so ready to start getting some better sleep.

So… where does this leave me? Well, for one thing I’m aiming for a 30 min 5k. That’s keeping my pace at 6min/km which I’ve been able to manage on my runs. I’ll also be wearing my knee sleeve and will focus on my running form to make sure that nothing gets injured on race day.

But seriously, my biggest goal for the race is having my picture taken with Nico in our bibs and running shoes, since he’ll also be running his own race that day. I can’t wait for that moment!

As always, I’ll be back after the race to tell you how it went.

Akoya

Akoya

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Yarn: Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply / sport superwash (colour 311 – Sugar Mouse) Needles: 3.5mm dpns and circular Ravelry: My Akoya

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It is a solemn occasion for me to be posting my first ever totally completed sweater that I can actually wear. It has taken me a really long time to knit this cardigan, and I’m so happy to finally have it finished and blocked, and that it is ‘good enough’ to hang in my closet amongst my store-bought clothes.

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I can already tell it will be a staple in my cold-weather wardrobe. It can go with office clothes, or jeans and t-shirts, and it looks good open or closed. I’m really excited to add this my closet, and it’s really inspired me to make more hand knits!!

I learned a LOT knitting this sweater. The pattern was really great, clear, and had lots of stitch counts so I never felt lost. Even attaching the arms to the body was no problem. The cables + lace pattern kept things interesting, and since the yarn was so lovely to work with, I didn’t mind knitting this thing for 6 months!

I did make a mistake on the buttonhole band, and after a short internal struggle, I decided to rip it out and do it over. It was a bit of a enlightening moment for me to overcome my desire to “just get it done” and to instead think about the finished garment. I wanted this sweater to be right, and so I took the time to do it right.

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Since knitting a whole sweater while caring for two young babies seemed too daunting and impossible, I set up weekly goals for myself. I wasn’t aggressive in my timeline either, knowing that my babies would most likely make it difficult for me to knit more than a few rows at a time. And even though it took me weeks and weeks, I was making constant progress, and it helped my motivation a LOT!

Speaking of babies:

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I blocked this sweater since I needed a bit more length, but I was pretty timid about it (I’d read on the ravelry page that this yarn likes to GROW so I didn’t want to overdo it) but I think I’d like to block it again and try to make it just a bit longer, and to give the trellis lace a sharper finish. It’s nice and crisp at the bottom of the sweater, but it’s still a bit compacted along the front.

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Finally, just as I was sewing up the buttons for my akoya, I read this tutorial from Lauren on how to add petersham to your buttonbands. It’s something I may do later on, since this sweater does have a negative ease and it might help it keep its structure.

A few more detail shots:

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In the meantime, I’m just so happy to have it finished, and wearable. Though, now that we’ve officially entered Ottawa’s hot and humid season, I think I’ll have to wait till the fall to wear it for longer than just a photo shoot!!