Rachel’s Random Five Friday Thoughts

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5/29/21

1. It’s been a jello-ice cream-popsicle-eat-anything kind of week. My son has been sick since the weekend. He’s feeling a bit better now, and has finally started eating again since yesterday. But we were literally trying to feed him anything he might just take a few bites of. You know your child is really unwell when they won’t even touch cookies or ice cream.

2. My son’s birthday is coming up in July. He wants more trucks (like we really need more!), specifically a crane truck. But he told my husband that he doesn’t want it for his birthday. You know why? Because he wants his dad to go out and buy it for him now so he doesn’t have to wait until his birthday!!

3. We took the rabbit out one evening for a stroll around the yard, in the hopes it would cheer up our son and entice him to get outside for a bit for some fresh air. I don’t think my son (or the dog, for that matter) was really too impressed. But the rabbit sure had a whole lot of fun!

4. My raspberry patch is becoming overgrown—again. It’s been my mission for about 3 years now to try to tame the thing. We even put down weed barrier and mulched around the plants, but it doesn’t even look like we did that at this point. I just want nice raspberry rows so I can get in there easily and pick the berries. Anyone have any suggestions on how to prevent my raspberry patch from becoming so unruly?

5. The baby is starting to “inchworm” by pulling herself forward and getting her legs underneath her. She’s not quite sure what to do with her arms after that so she kind of just does a header into the floor. Won’t be long before we have a crawler.

5/21/21

1.Last Saturday, my first client call got cancelled last minute, so I managed to sneak in a 3 mile run with the two kids : ) I didn’t think I’d get in a run at all, but it ended up working out perfectly. It’s all about flexibility these days. I used to be fairly rigid in my running and in my training, but it’s actually refreshing to just be able to go out on a whim (or not). And sometimes, the kids (or the weather) have other “plans” when letting it go to another day is necessary. We did, of course, collect rocks and pinecones. But I made sure they were small rocks this time. My son insisted that we get four—one for him, his sister, me and his dad.

 2.Yesterday was my birthday. My husband and son made me my favorite: chocolate on chocolate cake. It was delicious! But what was even better was seeing the two of them bake together in the kitchen.

 3. It’s officially black fly season. I did not have the “pleasure” of these pesky flies when I lived in CT. They are the WORST. I can’t feel half the time when they land and bite, but they leave blood, welts and itchiness. We will gladly wait to do any serious hiking until we’re just into regular mosquito season.

 4. My cats have a plastic and foam obsession. I can no longer have foam yoga blocks, leave my yoga or exercise mats rolled out, or use foam flooring for my workout area in my basement. As far as plastic is concerned, it’s fairly important for them to get into it, chew it or otherwise LOUDLY RUSTLE it around at odd hours of the night when all other family members are trying to sleep!

5. But I guess the cats are worth it for the sweet moments that they *do* share with the family! This is Ana in the pictures. She loves to be “in the mix” as my son would say. And, she’s fairly tolerant of little hands grabbing fistfuls of fur and being picked up (sometimes upside down!) and toted around lately.

5/14/21

Rachel’s Random Friday Five 

1.Treadmill vs. outside debate 🏃‍♀️: The TM is nice because I can just go down to the basement and not have to worry about “gearing up” the kids. It will certainly get easier as it gets warmer and we don’t need as many layers. I’m also not quite ready to try to do this before work yet. I used to go out with the single before work when my son was little, but now with two and the double …not so sure. Plus, it currently takes me a good 15 minutes after a run to schlepp them up the steep hill back to our house!

2. We took a mini adventure in the stroller last Friday to the Morgan Store to go check our mail. My son thought it was just the most fun. He got “his” mail and proceeded to “read” it on the way back home—check out the photo with his legs crossed! Too funny!  The bonus was going by a man in a bucket truck working on the power lines on the return trip. Such exciting stuff!

3. We already got our wood for next winter. It’s nearly all up and stacked (thanks, Honey!). Our son LOVES to help stack 💙 Family time well spent!

4. New daycare this week. Our son seems to be adjusting quite well. My tiny one is having a tough time with taking the bottle, like 3-5 oz/day isn’t really enough. And yesterday she slept a total of 25 minutes. Combined. All day. 😳 My poor mama heart ❤. Hopefully, she settles in more next week and starts eating better.

5. Looking forward to the weekend!!!!! 🥳

5/7/21

1. If your child insists on picking up rocks along your run route, how many is an “allowable” number? For me, it was 3. And one was a pretty good size. Huffing 45+ pounds in kid weight alone does not make me want to collect any extra weight. I much prefer scouting for pinecones!!

2. We finally took the plunge (uhm, pun not intended) with potty training this week. So far so good! I feel like we’re making constant trips to the potty (3 within the span of 30 minutes when we were outside yesterday!) but I’d rather that than the alternative. 

3. Related to the above, on another immediately emergent trip to the bathroom, I found out that I could nurse a baby with one arm while assisting my toddler with the other arm. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice to say, it wasn’t pretty!

4. We’re starting to talk about hiking plans for this summer. We’re thinking about doing some overnight tent camping with the kids, too. I think a dry run (or two) in the backyard is in order before we do! My son’s most pressing question: what color is the mattress? (!!!)

5. Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there!!

4/30/21

1. Teach ‘em young. Caught on video, our second “race.” My son loves to run, and what kid doesn’t? He doesn’t quite understand “winning” and “beating” someone else, but he sure thinks it’s a lot of fun. He also told me today out on our trails, that he had to run to get his exercise! 

2. Speaking of running–when don’t I?–my son was commanding me to run more on our stroller run the other day. He doesn’t quite understand these walk : run interval things and that mom isn’t quite ready to run straight out yet!

3. Onions. My husband has recently gone through a phase where he thought we needed onions every time he/we went to the grocery store. We’re currently at 2.5 bags (yes, bags! The 3 pounders) of onions in our cupboard!! And we don’t even use them that much. Recipe suggestions welcome! 

4.The dog got porcupined (that IS a word, right?) again yesterday. I think she’s one of those dogs who just isn’t going to learn her lesson. I managed to load up both kids and the dog into the car to get to the vet today. Did you know our dog’s name, Stella, actually translates to “Money Pit”?

5. For those following, we did find a daycare! Start date of May 10th. My son vacillates between wanting to go to make new friends and wanting to stay home. I totally understand, My Love. 

4/23/21

1. Making time for exercise with two kids is a challenge, but doable. I definitely have to get creative with a swing, a playpen, a wrap and lots of entertainment! When we’re inside, my Tiny only tolerates about 10 (20, if I’m lucky) minutes in her swing so that I can do some strength training. There’s no way I could run on the treadmill with her nearby yet just given her time tolerance. My cardio is walking on an incline on the treadmill with her in the Ergo. And she gets in her first cat nap of the day!

2. If you missed my post earlier this week, I went out for my first real postpartum run with the double stroller!! Boy was I sore the next day! But all good muscle soreness, and no significant pelvic joint pain. Woohoo! I’m excited about that.

3. I have not been out for another run since…as the weather has changed back to snow, yet again. We didn’t even go outside yesterday as the temp was 20 degrees and with the wind, the “feels like” temp was 11!! My son thinks Christmas is coming again much sooner than December because of the weather!

4. I’m making the most of being home with the kids. We went out for a hike in the rain and then a hike in the snow the next day. We made snowmen, have had dance parties, built blanket forts and have played play-doh. It’s been quite the challenge to get them both napping at the same time. 

5. My parents visited this past weekend and got to meet Lily for the first time and reconnect with Ryan. I think my dad had as much fun as Ryan playing with all his trucks and trains!!

4/16/21

1. No luck in finding a daycare. As of yesterday, I’m out on leave until something becomes available. There’s so much more I can say about this, but for now,  I’m leaving it at that.

2. My son always tells me or my husband to wash our hands after using the bathroom (pretty much an open door policy over here). Ironically, he fights hand washing all.the.time when he’s the one who has to do it!

3. We celebrated 6 years of marriage on Sunday! We went out to dinner with the kids –our son has proved yet again that it IS possible to eat only french fries for supper. We also made a cake for dessert. I had to hurriedly frost it just so the little guy could have some before bed. I think he thought the cake was really for him!

4. A FB memory came up on my feed from 8, maybe 9 years ago, when I ran 🏃‍♀️ Trap Rock 50k. It was my first official 50k, as the one I did 6 weeks prior supposedly (as per my then-trail running group) didn’t count 🙄 because the course was short! That feels so long ago!!

5. The running stroller got a tune up. 👌 Looking forward to starting to log some postpartum miles with my littles. Here’s a shot of big brother “checking” on his baby sister 🥰❤

4/2/21

1. I’m still trying to get the ink out of our clothes from my little mishap. The rubbing alcohol is working, but it’s taking for-ever! I’ve used almost a whole bottle of the stuff. I have about 4 more items to get through.

2. Sometimes I just hold my daughter well after she falls asleep at night just because I miss her so much during the day. This often leads to going to bed later than I probably should.

3. We had family snuggle book time tonight. All of us got onto the “big bed” for stories. My son was in heaven. He kept looking over at me and just grinning from ear to ear. Sweet moments after a super wild afternoon and evening of no nap (enough said!).

4. My hair is getting super long and it takes ages to wash and comb through. I mostly co-wash with the occasional shampoo, and I only finger comb. Baby has to be in a really good place for me to take the time to wash my hair.

5. It’s Easter this weekend. Wow, that came fast!

3/26/21

1.Spring has sprung. There are signs of crocus and daffodils making their way up out of the Earth!! But not in our yard yet! We seem to be in a snow belt area, on a hill….we need a little more melt before our flowers start coming up. But I am looking forward to some green!

2.This will be our first year doing an Easter egg hunt with our son. What do you like to put in the little plastic eggs? How about non-candy alternatives? (chocolate and candy make the boy a bit too “energized” if you know what I mean!!)

3.Our rabbit is coming up on 8.5 years old. He is showing minimal signs of slowing down. He hops around, visits the cats and loves pats on the head. He eats SO much hay and veggies. We actually get him his own head of lettuce weekly. I’ve read that the life expectancy for indoor rabbits is 7-9 years. My coworker just told me this week that she’s had a rabbit live to 13, and another one to 23!! 

4.I’m a list girl. If I don’t write it down, I often forget. I have lists for my lists. It’s so satisfying crossing something off the list when it’s been done. Do you ever write things on the list that weren’t on the original list just so you can check it off? Just me?

5.This is me over the past weekend trying to get some stuff done at the computer. Baby slept great in her carrier…until I sat down. This seems to be the pattern lately. So I’m trying to type with one hand and hold her with the other arm. She quite likes peeking over my shoulder at Daddy.

3/19/21

1.I feel like my clothes are wearing me instead of me wearing my clothes today. I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone. My clothes just don’t fit the same as they did pre-pregnancy. It’s taking a bit longer this time around.

2. Family yoga. My son suggested it over the weekend. He knows down dog and single leg dog…and when it’s time to stop stretching and get his trains instead! 😄 He has happily played with books and toys on the yoga mat since he was tiny. It’s just part of his practice!

3. The weather has been back and forth. We are back to arctic blast weather today. It was the same last weekend with lots of cold, snow and wind. My son insisted we could go outside–he would just wear his neck gaiter and he would be fine!! (We didn’t go out.) We are looking forward to a warmer weekend this weekend to be able to get outside for a bit.

4. Advice: try not to leave a pen in your work pants when you do the laundry 🤦‍♀️ I’ll be doing lots of stain removal this weekend. Any tips out there on getting ink out??

5. I called Nordic Track last week to come out to service our treadmill. It’s horrendously loud. They said it could take up to 10 business days to get a call from the tech just to schedule! Still waiting.

3/12/21

1. Well, we made it to Friday. It’s been a challenging transition week for everyone. Day one I had to run over to daycare to nurse the baby. She’s doing a bit better with bottles but her overall intake is quite low. Hopefully that improves as she settles in to a new routine.

2. Eric has been amazing taking care of dinner each night. Thank you, Honey, for all you do!

3. The baby and I are still treadmill walking/napping (I’m walking, she’s napping. Although this week, I wish I was the one napping!). I’m really not in any rush to get back to running. Still doing my strengthening and still occasionally getting SPD symptoms if I do too much single leg stuff. So….the plan is to wait until things don’t flare with exercise too much before beginning running.

4. It’s been in the 50s the last two days. Which is nice, however, our road has mudded up and rutted nicely as a result. The upcoming below freezing temps will really nicely solidify those ruts, making the drive up our hill more interesting. Mud season isn’t too far off.

5. Hot ticket item in the Pope household right here! Whose activity mat is this, anyway?? 😆

3/5/21

1. Beat my stair record of 23 trips up and down to get my little one to settle. Walking on the flat just wasn’t cutting it. Every time I tried to end the stair madness, her little eyes would pop open. If I add that to the number of trips I make up and down, that’s….well, a lot of stairs in one day.

2. My countertop is currently littered with bottles and miscellaneous pump parts. I need to make room (somehow) in the cupboard for all this stuff. I won’t lie, I’m not looking forward to having to pump 3x a day again. It’s been interesting trying to do explain to my 2yo what pumping is!

3. It has been really cold and windy lately. It makes me just want to hunker down and not go anywhere. My favorite place is home.

4. Back to work on Monday. If it looks like I’ve been crying after daycare drop off, I have been. I’m already having separation anxiety (Yes, me! Not my kids).

5. How is it my little boy looks all grown up?

2/26/21

1. My son has learned how to twist things: caps off the milk carton, tops on containers…and every knob on every drawer and cabinet in the house! I go to open drawers and the knob just falls off, or it’s super loose. Things you say as a parent that you never thought you’d have to: “please stop taking the knobs off the drawers.”  Which is promptly met by the all encompassing and never ending “Whyyyyy?”

2. I already did my exercise today. Then the baby wouldn’t settle. So I walked up and down the stairs with her about a dozen times. That’s gotta count for something, right?

3. I’m trying to eat healthier. Less processed foods, more fruits and veggies. But sometimes (like when it’s just me and the two kids at home) it’s just a canned soup and grilled cheese kind of night. 

4. Only one more full week left before I go back to work. I want another 12 weeks!!!

5. Donuts. They shouldn’t put these in a center display at eye level with your toddler when they’re sitting in the grocery cart—in the bread aisle, next to the eggs!! There’s no avoiding them. When he asks so sweetly, how could we say no? This directly goes against #3, but hey, everything in moderation, right?

2/19/21

1. I’ve been able to do some floor and standing exercises without a small child attached to me for 3 whole days straight! The baby is tolerating her swing for 15 minutes at a time and my son is running around playing or “exercising” with me. He told me today “This too much exercise, I’ll do it later.” That was after about 3 glute bridges !!

2. Potty training was rescheduled. Our 2yo was sick with a cold so we thought it best to wait. To be continued…

3. Do you ever get a sign from a family member who is no longer with you in person? 

My Avo (my mom’s mom) would make knit socks for everyone every Christmas. I had so many pairs and little by little they wore out with use. After she passed, I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of the single socks that no longer had a mate. Well, one day, I was doing some rearranging in the Baby’s room and I found one of my old socks. It was in the bottom of a basket that my older daughter, Calah, had left behind with hangers in it. Sure enough, I still had the mate! I thought that I had gotten rid of one of them but apparently I didn’t! My grandma, it seems, was just saying Hello!

4. I’m going back to work in just a couple more weeks. I can’t say I’m looking forward to getting out of the house on time with two Littles and to not being able to see them ALL DAY!!!

5. I love being a Mom!! All the frustrations of dealing with a 2 year old and the nights with little sleep are so worth the smiles, the cuddles and the coos.

2/12/21

1.I finally joined Instagram. If you want to follow me there, you can find me @runyogatherapy.

2. We’re undertaking potty training this weekend with our 2yo. Wish us luck!

3. Wireless open ear headphones: Anyone use these kind? What brand? AfterShokz is the brand I mainly see/hear recommended, just wondering if there’s any other good ones out there.

4. Our cleaning lady got a job elsewhere so won’t be back…back to the drawing board. Or, maybe I just need to clean more myself. It’s like speed-cleaning anyway. How much can I get done while the baby lies peacefully on her activity mat? Or, maybe I should just eat lunch!

5. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. It was my grandmother’s and grandfather’s (Lillian and Leon) wedding anniversary. I always remember her telling the story of how she had $15 to spend on her dress and her shoes. And she made her own veil. 

2/5/21

1. Our dog just turned 4. She might be slightly more mature than she was when she was a puppy but she is no less reckless. Major events include bilateral ACL surgeries, porcupine encounters (notice the “s”—lesson NOT learned), and most recently a run by my husband using the machete in the woods. This included two recent vet trips and failed stitches. Now we’re just antiseptic spraying her twice daily.

2. Our little girl is smiling regularly now and cooing!! It’s the sweetest! Today she was imitating our facial expressions and going from smiling to frowning and back again.

3. I did ball wall squats and mini lunges with the baby IN the carrier. She wouldn’t let me put her down for a few minutes while I tried to exercise a bit. Floor exercise? More like me making funny faces at her trying to convince her to smile and not cry at me. I think I need to work out my timing better!

4. Local friends: we went to April’s Maple the other weekend for a meal and to get more syrup. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend going!!

5. Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog

Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog

We’re splitting the scene

We’re full of beans

1/29/21

1. How is it the end of January already? The time just seems to go!

2. Many thanks to Shanna Fortin for the recommendation and to Tracy Gooley for coming out to clean for us! The house looks and feels amazing! Thank you so much : )

3. Toddler funny: My son says “Thanks, honey” and “Hi, sweetheart” to me and my husband as we say it to each other and to him. Sometimes we don’t know which “honey” someone is talking to in our house! And one night he repeated after my husband and said “Thanks for dinner, babe.” 

4. Toddler not-so-funny: screaming when the baby cries because he doesn’t like it and trying to explain it away that it “helps calm Lily down.”  Yeah, right, not really. It just makes mommy’s head spin.

5. Did you know that Kegels and Mula Bandha can be the wrong choice for some people? Specifically those with tight or hypertonic pelvic floors.

1/22/21

1. I think winter is my favorite season. At least since moving to Vermont. The snow is here and the cold has set in. The snow hangs on the trees for days, weeks, even. It’s just gorgeous being in the woods on a cold winter day with the sun shining through and the evergreen branches hanging low and heavy with snow. 

2. I got a ring sling. What’s the trick? It appears to be easy. I want to like it, really, I do. It would be way more convenient when out and about to take along and to put on and off. (Otherwise I have to wrestle with my Moby wrap and the fabric is just SO long!) I’ve watched countless videos on how to put it on, tighten it, etc. But I can’t seem to get the hang of it. If anyone has any tips or tricks, send them my way.

3. I am writing this while Lily lays on the Boppy pillow on my lap. She’s awake and currently sucking on her thumb. We take naps like this too, but she doesn’t want to be put down at the moment….ok, now she’s crying.

4. What’s for dinner tonight? Looking for inspiration. Drop your menu below.

5. And finally, a sweet capture of a rare moment when Lily was enjoying some “independent time” and let Momma do some yoga with her.

1/15/21

1. Postpartum recovery update: I’m starting to get to the point where I want to be able to do more but my body’s recovery/ability just doesn’t yet match where I’m at mentally. Baddha konasana is completely out of the question (due to adductor pull on the pelvis) as are lunges and anything in single leg stance. Walking a tad faster or longer is also leaving me sore. I am reminded of my limits and when I overdo things as I have soreness when rolling over in bed or standing on one leg to dress. No treadmill walk today for me as a result. (However, Baby has needed these most days lately to calm and nap as she’s entering a bit of a colicky phase).

2. The Condiment Kid aka my son, actually dipped his tomatoes in ketchup the other night. Enough said about that!

3. I’ve been running some FB ads for RunYogaTherapy. I’m not sure how the algorithm works exactly, so I’m curious to know if any of my FB friends have seen any of the ads. Let me know if you have!

4. Pinterest. It’s addicting. Both searching for and creating pins. I’ve been adding quite a few pins lately. Go check it out and follow my pinterest boards here: www.pinterest.com/runyogatherapy/

5. Local friends: can you recommend anyone who does housecleaning? The bigger jobs are falling to the wayside. When Baby naps or I have a few minutes, other things like getting on my yoga mat and showering take precedent. Additionally, too much squatting and bending isn’t great for me right now (reference #1 above). Many thanks in advance.  

1/8/21

1. So, I’ve been napping the Baby with my treadmill walks (she now wakes as soon as I stop, *sigh*), and doing my postpartum rehab exercises. My diastasis has closed to 1.5 fingers’ width and is now only 1-1.5 knuckles’ depth, so it’s definitely improving! However, I feel my lower abs and my SPD discomfort with things like taking a big step or sliding in the snow when I walk in the woods. Yesterday, I wanted to do our whole trail system, but after 30 minutes and sliding on the hillier portions, I decided that it was best I stopped. It can be disheartening in the moment that my body can’t quite do the things I’d like, but then I look back and realize that I am making good progress and that I need time to heal.

2. Training journals: Does anyone still keep one of these? (If so, comment below and let me know what you’re using to track your mileage or exercise.)

A question came up in one of my FB groups this week about which app or tracker people use to count their miles. I responded that I’m still using pen and paper!! I used to track mileage when I was training for events, but now it’s more of a diary or journal where I can look back and see my progress or figure out which exercises might be contributing to any soreness or discomfort I’m having in the following days.

3. I published a gear guide for women’s running apparel this week (here’s the link in case you missed it: https://runyogatherapy.com/general-running-info/womens-ultimate-guide-to-run-gear/) which includes rec’s for pregnancy and postpartum. I certainly have my favorites after trying lots of different brands and styles over the years. What are your go-to’s and absolute musts for running?

4. Our little peanut has been taking afternoon naps in her crib! For those of you who know my kids’ sleep history—this is huge!! Our son didn’t sleep in his crib regularly for naps or bedtime until he was around 19 months old! So hopefully, this little one will be more used to her crib for night time sleep when the time comes. And she sure makes A LOT of noise when she sleeps. We call her our little billy goat because she sounds like one!

5. I’ve come across another awesome woman who helps train women in postpartum rehab and returning to sport: Brianna Battles. Check her out if you haven’t heard of her! 

Baby burrito right here:

1/1/2021

1.The crock pot freezer meals have been working out great…when we actually remember to take them out of the freezer in time to cook for dinner! 

2. We got a vacuum robot about a year ago. It actually does a decent job of picking up dust, pet hair, and even hay that our rabbit kicks out of his cage. It’s noisy so it’s best to run it when we’re not home, which is, well, never, these days. And when we first got it, I set up a schedule for it to run using the remote. Now, I can’t seem to turn the schedule off, and even though I set the clock and timer for it to run in the mornings, it actually now turns on at 4:30 in the evenings! So we have it off most of the time (which also prevents our 2 yo from turning it in whenever he pleases) so that doesn’t help much with allowing it to charge for use. So, great invention, if we could (would?) actually use it regularly. 

3. This week I did my first postpartum treadmill and outdoor walks, both with Baby in the Moby wrap. She was asleep in approximately 2 minutes, so it’s proving to be an effective nap machine with her as it was with our son. 

4. I just discovered Sarah Duvall who is a PT in women’s health, specializing in pelvic floor and diastasis rehab. I’ve been watching her videos and reading her stuff at 2am and 4am and any other odd time of the day that I’m either nursing or napping the Babe. She hss some great free stuff on her site and on YouTube. PT friends, healthcare professionals and all mamas, if you haven’t heard of her, check her out: https://www.coreexercisesolutions.com/

5. Speaking of diastasis, I have it. Both above and below the belly button. Ugh. I had it after my first and it didn’t worsen after my second, but it’s definitely worse now. It’s already closed from 3 to 2 finger’s width since delivery but I’ve got a good 2 knuckle depth that I need to heal. I’ve been doing the Birthlight exercises (https://runyogatherapy.com/postpartum-exercises-for-recovery/) and incorporating some other stuff as per the more recent guidelines for postpartum rehab (https://runyogatherapy.com/product/pelvic-floor-rehab-after-baby-a-12-week-program/)  I’d love to hear from others who have had DR, what your experience was like, and what you did, if anything, to heal it after babies. Comment below or message me about it. 

6. Parent win today: both kids napped this afternoon at the same time!!!

Merry Christmas (I missed last week,  which was unintentional initially but as the week and day progressed, became intentional) and Happy New Year!!

12/18/20

1. We are settling into the newborn haze over here where the days slide into the nights and the nights into the days. Where I see nearly every hour of the night but can’t remember which ones exactly by morning. Where the burp cloths have become permanent but moveable necessities in every room of the house. Where getting in a shower never felt so luxurious and taken for granted before. Where just sitting and being present, soaking in all the snuggles outweighs absolutely everything else. Where every day I’m exhausted but filled with such love, joy and overwhelming emotion for my family.

2. My husband is an amazing Dad and partner.  He has been taking care of the house, our son and me, because, well, sometimes Baby wants to nurse 3 times in an hour!!

3. Our son is doing so well with his Baby Sister. He is sweet and gentle and gives her kisses on her head. He wants to know when she can walk out on the trail and play basketball with him!

4. I want you all to know that dessert is still happening nightly. My husband even made brownies the other day. Good thing we stocked up on ice cream the day before I delivered!

5. Speaking of brownies, the postpartum hunger is real!! Maybe partly because my stomach and intestines actually have room now, but recovery and nursing take a LOT of energy!

12/11/20

  1. Still
  2. here
  3. waiting
  4. for
  5. Baby!!

12/4/20

1. Baby Girl is due on Monday. I can still zip my winter jacket, buuut…I did almost leave for work in my slippers the other day. They’re wool clogs with a rubber sole, so I guess it wouldn’t have been the end of the world. And, I tried to thicken my turkey pot pie with powdered sugar instead of cornstarch the other night. It’s either “pregnancy brain” or I must have other things on my mind (maybe?). My son is super excited to meet his Baby Sister. He was at daycare today, and was watching the garbage truck come (This is very exciting for a 2yo!) with his friend, and said to him: “My baby sister will be her in a couple while!!” (My heart!!)

2. Today was my last day of scheduled work. I made it to the end—again—just like I did with my last. My coworker and most awesome deskmate, Heidi Booth Laramee, suggested accupressure to get labor going. She said it worked for her, so I’m giving it a whirl.

3. I’ve been trying to figure out YouTube, filming on a phone camera, lighting, audio, and getting my whole body in the frame for when I need to sit and stand for a video. It seems like the more I research, the more there is to learn!! (Isn’t this the truth in the Story of Life!) I don’t love seeing myself on the replay, but for some things, I think video is really helpful.

4. My son is the Condiment Kid. Maybe more like the Condiment King? He loves his ketchup, hummus, peanut butter and sour cream. Eats each of these by the spoonful—by themselves!! Sometimes, I can’t even watch!!

5. I’ve already been thinking ahead to Christmas for a while now. (Decorations are up and gifts are wrapped. My first year being ready this early.) We’re keeping it super low key at home, and with travel restrictions and a new baby, we won’t be going anywhere. I’m not sure how many visitors we’ll be having either. I am so okay with this. We are homebodies by nature, and I’m actually really looking forward to just being cozied up at home with my husband and my kids.

11/27/20

1. This is pretty cool! Garmin has finally come out with pregnancy settings for their watches. You can read about it here. The app works through Garmin Connect and will track which week of your pregnancy you’re in and baby’s size (like the size of a strawberry or a papaya, etc. pending how far along you are). Women can also log pregnancy symptoms, blood glucose levels, baby’s movement and even contractions. 

2. Towels. Tell me about good, absorbent, towels-that-dry towels. Maybe it’s my heightened sense of smell due to pregnancy, but I feel like our towels have a smell to them because they never dry all the way. We even switched to microfiber over traditional towels, which seemed to help some, but not completely. I do NOT want to have to buy enough towels for every day of the week. I’d like to be able to reuse it for a couple of days (is this normal?) before washing.

3. My son has started calling my husband and me “guys”!  As in, “Hi, guys.” and “Come on, guys.”  It’s pretty funny. He’s also saying “Hi, honey” and “Hi, sweetheart” to us. We’ll take these sweet moments whenever we can!!

4. We’ve had a bit of snow here (not much, really, comparatively to how much we usually have this time of year), but it reminded me the other day of when Eric and I first traveled up to the Northeast Kingdom. We insanely (or rather, this was our “norm” at the time) went out for a run in January with temps and the windchill in the double digits below zero. Everything was laden with powdery white snow, Lake Willoughby was frozen over, and the roads had a thick white glaze over them. That trip was when we fell in love with the NEK and it sparked our move to VT. We couldn’t be happier with our decision to move up here.

5. Thanksgiving was quiet and relaxing yesterday: Just me, my husband and son. (This is not much different than how it typically is for us.) I stayed in my pj’s until late morning (or maybe it was early afternoon), we sat in the living room by the fire, and my son insisted we read book after book together on the couch. I got a bit of work done on the computer, even crocheted a bit. Together, we made our Thanksgiving meal and had homemade apple pie for dessert. Oh, there were some 2yo tantrums in there, too, but as a parent, you learn to look past that and remember the loving, sweet moments. It’s what makes it all worth it.

11/20/20

1. As we get ready to welcome another little one, my husband and I have been searching for a video we took of our son before we left the hospital when he was less than a day old. I’m usually pretty good at saving everything, but I looked everywhere I could think of and couldn’t find the video. My husband finally found it on Google!! (We have since saved it to multiple places.) It’s the most adorable little sleepy yawn ever.

2. I’m going to continue to brag about my husband here. So, in October, he decided that he was going to set a goal to run every day for the whole month. Well, he met that goal, running 5-6 miles per day, and since the weather was cooperating, just continued right on through to November. Yesterday, he made it to Day 50!! He told me last night that he’s going to break the streak today with a rest day. I’ve been urging him to take a rest day in light of some hamstring and Achilles soreness, and, today, he actually finally took a rest day! (Right back at it tomorrow, though, in usual fashion!)

3. Ok, one more about my husband. Over the last two weekends, I’ve been treated to a pedicure and a prenatal massage. Both were pure heaven! And he took our son to the playground during my appointments to play, where Ryan had an absolute blast testing out his new slide skills.

4. Getting dressed is becoming more difficult. But, I’m happy to report that I can still get my socks on while standing!! My last pregnancy, I had so much pelvic joint pain that I had to sit to get dressed.

5. Maybe my sensitivity has passed, and maybe it’s a pregnancy thing, but I’ve slowly been incorporating eating gluten again into my diet since the summer. I had been gluten free for over 10 years! What I’m enjoying most: fresh Italian bread and French toast. Pizza has been pretty good too. And dinner rolls. Ok, so all the breads!! GF bread comes nowhere close to “regular” bread. Not even close.

11/13/20

Rachel’s Random 5 Friday Thoughts:

  1. Dessert is essential. So essential that my husband and I have it pretty much every single night. It usually involves ice cream.
  2. My husband has just taken over putting our son to bed this week in preparation for Baby. I have spent countless hours in the rocking chair in his room putting him to bed myself over the last 2 years, 4 months and 1 week (but who’s counting?) It’s amazing how much he has grown developmentally, even over the last 6 months or so. I never thought we’d get to the point where we could put him down awake and he’d go to sleep on his own!! It’s true what they say that the days (and nights) are long, especially in the beginning, but the years go by so quickly! Cherish them!
  3. Crock pot freezer meals: I’ve made about 10 so far to make our lives easier once Baby arrives. And it didn’t even really take that long to do! This might be a new way to save time in making meals once we have 2 littles to attend to.  If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it!
  4. I’m officially 37 weeks on Monday! This pregnancy has seemed to go by faster than my last. I guess Baby could arrive any day now. The car seat is in and bags are packed! I’m not sure this one will come on her own though since my first two had to be evicted (by induction). I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
  5. Is anyone reading these? Comment below if you are.

11/6/20

I took up yoga around the same time that I began running in 2006. I started with a once a week community class and I eventually started doing it on my own until I trained to become a yoga teacher 5 years later. My frequency and dedication to yoga has waxed and waned over the years. At some points I was doing yoga daily. Lately, my yoga is just once a week with focus on specific poses or stretches. It has been a great adjunct to my running in many ways. Here are some truths and myths about yoga and running. I have found each of the truths listed to be 100% accurate for myself.

Truth: Yoga can help your running

This is absolutely true! Yoga is a wonderful form of stretching, relaxation and meditation if you let it be. Stretching should be an integral part of your running routine. Staying flexible will help your running stride and form. Utilizing yoga as a form of relaxation and meditation can translate to your running, or vice versa. Employ the mental techniques for long runs. Apply relaxing the neck and shoulders to your running form. This will help you focus your energy to your core and legs and not spend it on body parts you don’t need to.

Myth: I’m not flexible enough to do yoga

Oh my gosh, this is one of the hardest things to hear over my years as a yoga instructor. You don’t have to be flexible to do yoga. You do yoga to become more flexible!  If you fit the typically runner mold and have tight hips, hamstrings, etc., then you should definitely give yoga a try!

Truth: Yoga can help with your recovery

After a long run or a more intense run, working the muscles through a gentle yoga routine can help decrease overall soreness. It doesn’t necessarily have to be done the same day as your run, but even the next day can be beneficial for overall recovery.

Myth: I have to be doing yoga regularly before taking up running

This is totally false. You can start doing yoga at any time.

Truth: Yoga can help prevent injury

Because yoga keeps you flexible, you are less susceptible to developing typical runner injuries like bursitis/ITB tendonitis, Runner’s Knee or Achilles Tendonitis.

Think of yoga as your insurance plan to running stronger, longer.

10/30/20
I was asked these questions by another mama runner:

  1. How long have you been a mom and how old are your kids?
  2. What’s the greatest thing about being a mom?
  3. What have you learned about yourself becoming a mom?
  4. What’s the scariest thing about being a parent?
  5. How do you know you will be a good mom?
  6. What do you do when you can no longer run (or insert your favorite exercise, activity or hobby here)?

So, here are my answers:

How long have you been a mom? How old are your kids?

I’ve been a mom for almost 19 years. I have a soon-to-be 19yo, a 2 yo and a new little one on the way in early December.

What’s the greatest thing about being a mom?

There are so many wonderful things about being a mom. Being loved and needed unconditionally by a little tiny human who I’ve barely just met is just pure bliss. I also love just observing their growth and development. It is SO amazing to watch their physical and verbal skills expand in leaps and bounds. And I just love being a mom in general. Just being there for them, taking care of them every day, kissing away boo-boos and wiping away tears. Don’t get me wrong, it can be hard as hell sometimes, but all the good stuff totally outweighs the challenges and makes it all worth it.

What have you learned about yourself becoming a mom?


I can survive on much less sleep than I ever thought possible!! And, I’m stronger than I ever thought possible. Labor and delivery with both my kids so far has been a challenge comparable, if not harder than, my most challenging physical adventures/events. I’ve also learned that patience is not something you can ask for and are given. You’re given opportunities to practice patience! And boy have I been given plenty of opportunities—I’m still learning this one!


What’s the scariest thing about being a parent?


Letting your kids go. No matter what age they are. Letting them try, and perhaps fail, on their own. My 2yo is reckless at this age. I’m constantly trying to save him from himself. When a situation isn’t dire or entirely unsafe, letting him fall or struggle with something isn’t the end of the world—it’s how he has to learn. As kids get older, there’s letting go at various stages: kindergarten, middle school, high school, overnights, becoming a licensed driver (and taking my car alone for the first time!), going to college, etc. Life is really just a series of letting go and each stage isn’t necessarily harder or easier than the last or next, it just is.


How do you know you will be a good mom?


I guess you don’t really know until you become a mom. But I think what’s been important is to trust my “mom gut” or my instinct when something doesn’t feel right or look right. I’ve done the best I can with the tools and knowledge that I’ve had at different stages of mine and my children’s lives. And when you’re stuck or struggling, reach out for support from family, friends or coworkers. Sometimes, just sharing (ok, commiserating) with other moms going through the same or similar things has helped me “normalize” how I’m feeling or whatever drive-me-crazy stage my kids are at!


What do you do when you can no longer run?


I know about this all too well. My last pregnancy I had such bad symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) or pelvic pain that I could barely get dressed some days, let alone run! It took me more than a year postpartum to be able to run regularly again. I did what I could with what my body would allow. For a while, I could do no physical exercise. I limped around at work for weeks. It was difficult mentally for sure, but I also was able to sleep in later in the mornings because I wasn’t exercising. And the extra rest is what my body needed. I was able to resume light exercise and some slow walking later on in my pregnancy and I was grateful for that. I’m nearly 35 weeks along now, and I think my running days are coming to an end too. I’m only managing a few miles a week at this point, anyway. I haven’t had as severe pain as my last pregnancy, but I may need to switch to just walking fairly soon. I think when running is such a huge part of who you are and what you do, it’s hard to give it up, even if you have to. When “in it” it feels like it’s going to be that way forever! I felt like I would never be able to run like I used to for a long time. Eventually, I got back to running regularly after my last pregnancy and even did a half marathon pushing my son in the stroller! So I think the short answer is: find something that you can do and if you can’t do anything, realize that it’s a temporary phase and running will always still be there for you if/when you’re ready again, no matter the time frame.

10/23/20

*It IS possible to continue to run through pregnancy.

I’m nearly 34 weeks and still able to manage a couple miles at a time. AND, I’ve managed to run much longer into this pregnancy than my last.

* There is a gap in women’s postpartum health from early rehab to return to running.

I’m in a few women’s/mom’s running FB groups and this comes up A LOT.   You can’t just go from basic pelvic floor exercises to running. What’s happening in between there? There needs to be more of a build up for a successful return to run. (I’m hoping to help close the gap with this!)

*Unless speed is a specific goal for your running, it doesn’t really matter how fast you’re going.

As long as you’re putting one foot in front of the other, you’re running (NOT “jogging”–I really don’t like that word!!)

*Even though I’m a certified yoga teacher and used to practice daily for years, I’m learning through my own personal experience that yoga really isn’t the best thing for all pregnant bodies. 

Relaxin is a real thing, and overstretching (even unintentionally) can have negative consequences on the pelvic ring. This includes the pubic symphysis and the sacroiliac joints. More on this to come!

* Charlie horses at night—I’ve had enough!!

Interestingly I’ve only had them with both my girl pregnancies and not with my son. Coincidence? An old wives’ tale correlation??