Posted by: Ingrid | April 12, 2014

Orthopaedic Rehab 5K

Okay, I am not going to lie.  Racing is much more fun when I am pregnant.  The excuses are just so much better!

6 months ago I ran my last 5K.  I was 37.5 weeks pregnant.  I think it took me something like 25-ish minutes.  Today I ran the Orthopaedic Rehab 5K as a fitness test, which is so counter intuitive to my normal running. (Normal running MO: train, selectively register for very few races, usually PR.)  So this was good for me, going to a race that would help dictate training for the next few months as opposed to a race that I hoped would be faster than 20:20, which is my time to beat.  Though I will admit that sometimes I hope I will just show up and run an 18 minute 5K out of the blue.  I’m not holding my breath on that one!

The race was listed as “fun and challenging” which in my experience usually means the latter.  And it usually means hills because it’s just hard to avoid some amount of hilliness in Michigan.

Since we have three children, they all stayed at home while I drove our minivan into town with enough time to do a lengthy (for me) warm up.  I missed having my family there but it was nice to be early and to not have to think about anyone else.  At 8:00 the 8K runners took off.  At 8:15 the 5K pack was off.

The course was new and ran through downtown Jackson.  The morning was beautiful!  Not windy at all, with a lovely sun rise, and 45 degrees.  Couldn’t have asked for better weather or a prettier day!  Since normally I would not run downtown, it was fun to be some place new.  The course was well marked by volunteers and cones and people were very kind about letting us know when potholes were coming up.

We took off and immediately there was a woman in front of me.  This was not surprising, only disappointing.  It is no fun to be chasing someone who is making running look effortless and does NOT have 10 pounds of baby weight still to lose.  (As an aside, if there is anyone out there who knows how it is possible to train well and lose 10 pounds, I am all ears.  I have never had this problem and I have not lost a thing since 6 weeks postpartum.  That would be 4.5 months ago.)

Two steps into the race and I got a wedgie.  Seriously?  Are we in junior high or something?  This detail was augmented by the fact that my running felt very chaotic and unfocused.  Like I could have been waving my hands and spinning around and felt more pulled together than I did.  It was very weird.  Hit the mile mark at 6:35.  Mile 2 was wrong on several levels.  First, it was a mostly on an incline and second, the entire mile you could smell donuts because we ran near this bakery that makes the best donuts in Michigan.  Truly.  They just won an award so I am not making this up.  Mile 2 was done in 6:59.  I have no idea what mile 3 was, only that it was my fastest mile.  I picked up the pace, passed the woman in front of me (who ended up finishing just seconds behind me and, oh yes, turned out to be 50) and finished in 20:35, a 6:38 pace.  I had hoped to be under 21 minutes, so that felt good.  I also felt like I was going to throw up, which either means I am pregnant or I’ve run hard.  I am not pregnant, so it was good knowing that I had run as hard as I could.

There were no donuts at the finish line.  That was sad.  Though I suppose it would have also been counterproductive.  There was coffee though, which I very much appreciated!

or 5k

My time was good for first woman, which was fun.   I ended up with a long sleeve shirt, gloves, and a coffee mug.  Great race on a beautiful morning!  I would run this one again.



Posted by: Ingrid | March 28, 2014

Five Months: The Lost Month

Dear Liliana,


Month five always seems to get lost in there somewhere.  It’s just not particularly notable.  But then I find myself wiggling you into jeans size 3-6 months and realize that you are on the upper limit of that size.  Really?  That close to half a year old?  So aside from blazing through your wardrobe (Although let’s be real here, it’s been winter for pretty much forever, so you are just going from one set of pjs to another.  It’s not like you’re leaving the house to party or anything.).  So many cute clothes that you will never wear.  Such a travesty!

Speaking of clothes, you have a total of three shirts that do not involve pink.  When I dressed you in the light blue outfit which your wore to our free tax appointment, take two (4 hours to do taxes and you rocked that last 2 hour segment) three people thought you were male.  You were wearing pink socks!  Give me a break!  Another wardrobe note: almost all your pants are pink and yet I had to put all of them aside the other day because none of the nine pairs of pink pants matched the pink in your shirt.  This is life with girls.


But the other day I found out that you have inherited a red turtleneck so we got to be all match-y for one day.  We will never match while you are predominantly in pink pants because I own zero pairs in that color.


You are such a chunky breastfed baby.  You are sporting those big baby thighs and I walk around the house uttering things like “You are such a chubba-wubba!” and “Look at the chubby-wubby-bubby!”  I don’t even know what that means (neither does your daddy) and you would think that I, and not your brothers. was learning to rhyme words, but there you are.  Three children ago people who talked about babies and wanting to “eat them up” or talked about cheeks/thighs/fingers/insert random pudgy body part here in terms I had only used for food, kind of freaked me out.  And now I get it.  I am one of those people and you are one of those babies and I just want to eat you up because you are so delicious.


In rational words, you are flirting with 17 pounds.

You are not rolling over, yet, but you are flirting with that as well.  You are like a beached whale when I have you swaddled and you whap your “tail” up and down.  A few times I have put you to bed and then found you turned 180 degrees when I come and get you up.


You are trying to move.  It will come soon enough and then I can completely freak out because there are legos everywhere.

You have embraced your voice this month and enjoy a variety of screaming, talking, babbling, and vocal exercises that remind me of high school choir.  When you are talk you are loud (yay) just like most of our family.  Having found your voice, you usually are happy to talk yourself to sleep or talk for a while upon waking.  So cute to hear you from the other room sounding so happy.  You have also discovered your hands, which is so stinking cute!  We catch you staring at them, cross eyed, as you hold them in front of your face.  Stretch them away, pull them in, it’s like a crazy self-imposed vision test.


Along with your hands, you are also enjoying holding onto toys and other soft baby things that your brothers (not me) keep pulling out to play with.  You have a soft book with different textures and little tags and whenever I put it on your tummy you look like you’re trying to make out with it.  I would like to think this indicates a deep interest in early literacy.


The time change was good for you.  Suddenly we sprang forward and voila!  Sleep regularly occurred in 5-8 hour chunks.  Hallelujah!  I still shuttle you back and forth between the pack n play in the living room and the one in our bedroom and I still sleep with ear plugs.  Sleeping arrangements are weird but at least more sleep is being had and that is good enough for me.


And your brothers.  Oh, your crazy brothers.  They fight around you.  They fight over you.  They fight over your toys.  They adore making you laugh.


We are trying to get them to call you by your name and not just “the baby”.  When I bring you out in the morning it is not uncommon now for Jonathan to say, “Good morning, Lee-nana.”  So cute.  Isaac is happy to stick up for you in public, whether you need it or not.  They seem to be doing pretty well with you, all things being equal.


So there you are, my sweet chubby-wubby baby!  On to month 6!





Posted by: Ingrid | March 25, 2014

Lent for a forgetful person

I am a visual learner.  Also a list maker, at least since the 5th grade when suddenly I started writing down everything I did and crossing it off.  A little weird at that age, but definitely necessary now that I can’t even keep my kids’ names straight.  If I had to keep everything; grocery lists, cleaning projects, medicines that must be applied to or gotten into small children… well, nothing would happen since I am, also, a forgetful person.

Needless to say, I did not give up list making for lent. My entire family can thank me for that, their world will continue to rotate on its axis.  But thinking about that part of me, the forgetful visual list maker, has helped me do something this lent that has helped me tremendously.

Use visuals.

Earth shattering, right?  It’s taken me 34 years to figure out that as a visual learner I learn better through visuals.  Perhaps better put, I knew that already, I just didn’t know how to help that part of me.  If you are a part of a liturgical church, the color of the vestments change, the crosses are covered over with purple cloth, and that color and shrouding just become an automatic tie in to lent that someone else is in charge of.  When you are on your own, nothing happens that you aren’t intentional about (Yes, I am really being Captain Obvious here.)

But I have been happy and perhaps a little startled to find some things that work for me.  Things that, even almost three weeks into lent, have helped to keep it forefront in my mind, even in the middle of every day life.

First I commandeered a bookshelf and pulled out every book that I may want to read during lent; devotionals, my Bible, Herbert, T.S. Eliot, L’Engle.  I may only ready parts of three of them, but I see the shelf every time I walk into the living room and if I get the spare time the books are there and waiting for me.  I don’t need to waste time searching for something.


The visuals work the other way as well.  I gave up (don’t laugh) artificial sweetener and the scale for lent, so both of them have been moved out of sight, because I am visual and a creature of habit, particularly when it comes to my three cups of coffee a day.  I also gave up yelling at my children, so they have been moved to a box in the basement and I look forward to seeing them on Easter.


But not about the yelling.  The thing is, I knew I would forget about not yelling until after I was mid-yell, so I put Pinterest to good use, printed out one of those “inspirational parenting quotations” I pinned a year ago, and slapped it up all over the house.


Seriously.  All over.  On the kid’s doors, on the door to the garage, in the living room, by the bathroom mirror, by the sink (Perhaps my children are the only ones who, as soon as I start doing the dishes, sound like they are killing each other.  On the other side of the house.)  And it truly has helped tremendously because it’s always there, I see it in every room and it is a constant reminder to me.

Though I did have to wonder, if you give up yelling at your kids during lent do you get to yell on Sunday since it’s always a feast day?

Another thing from Pinterest was a center piece for lent; sand and rocks and a candle with the prayer for the week.  I looked for a purple table cloth but couldn’t find one at the stores I frequent and ended up with blue instead.


The blue cloth and the sand and rocks serve as a sort of mental hyperlink for me.  I see them and my mind immediately goes to the end of T.S. Eliot’s Ash Wednesday:  “Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood/Teach us to care and not to care/Teach us to sit still/Even among these rocks/our peace in His will” which then gets me thinking of the rest of his poem which is something I actually can do as a mother with small children (well, at least sometimes they allow me to think),whereas sitting down and reading poetry for a hour (unless it is Green Eggs and Ham and Yertle the Turtle) doesn’t make the cut.

And then there is The Wall.  I have a little corner shelf that usually holds a few figurines.


Since one of the things I wanted to focus on was gratitude I took the idea other people have done around Thanksgiving and began listing 3 things a day that I am thankful for and taping them onto the wall.  I am guessing you will find hot coffee, fresh bread, and a good run listed many times.  But it helps me to have a visual of the gratitude, that I have so much to be grateful for, and to see something different in the room.  Although the Jesus icon keeps slipping when the door gets shut too hard.  It is not unusual for Isaac to say, “Mom.  Jesus fell down again.”

I guess it surprises me (though it really shouldn’t) that lent feels so much closer to home this year.  It feels like it is actually a part of life rather than something I am trying to replicate from a decade ago that doesn’t quite fit.  It feels like I am actually able to observe this season where I’m at (mostly at home with small, needy, always-on-the-go human beings) but still doing things that matter to me and are part of who I am.

And for that I am truly grateful.



Posted by: Ingrid | March 12, 2014

From Atlas to Zoloft

I am firmly convinced that any of us stuck in the Winter-that-will-not-end of 2014 should be given complimentary antidepressants or an endless supply of chocolate.  At the very least we should receive a t-shirt that denotes we survived the winter (provided that there is, indeed, an end).  Or perhaps we should just put all that money into fixing the absurd number of potholes on every. single. road.

Two days ago I ran outside in the morning (this is not unusual, even during this abysmal winter).  But I ran outside wearing running tights, normal socks, and light gloves as opposed to the heavy duty cold weather wear that I have been pulling on since November.  It was 37 degrees.  You could smell spring in the air.  I almost cried for the sheer joy of the possibility that the seasons might change.

That afternoon we went outside, all four of us, for an hour long walk which ended in an additional load of laundry, thanks to the mud and the massive puddles that my children were drawn to like magnets.


It was 47 degrees.  47!  Sheer bliss.  Even Liliana was able to hang out with us comfortably.


And then along came winter storm Vulcan, hitting us in our sleep when we were dreaming of warm days and clear roads.  Another day of schools closed, cold temperatures, too much snow, and blustery winds.  All the friendly pavement and ridiculous potholes that were exposed have been covered up by who knows how many inches of snow.


And with the wind chill tomorrow it is supposed to be -16.

The schools closed again.  Even though Isaac goes to preschool only three days a week and we have had far too many snow days we survived yet another day, thanks to homemade kettle corn, jumping off furniture into pillow piles, and songs like this from a fabulous cd by Sandra Boyton entitled  Blue Moo.  I have to say that when your children seem bent on annoying one another endlessly and you cannot escape your home it is much more fun to play silly music and dance around rather than to threaten to throw them out in the snow.

Though as an introvert, the “out in the snow” idea has merit.  It is one of those days I don’t get to be alone.  Ever.  Not even during nap time.  Twelve hours is a long time to spend with small always-needing-something humans.

If my children weren’t already alphabet savvy, this would have been the winter to write a witty children’s book entitled “From Atlas to Zoloft”.  Apparently our major storms have been named off a list that a Latin class put together.  And we are on V (V is for Vulcan – god of fire!).  And it is only March 12.  Learn all your ABC’s, Greek mythology, and a smattering of Latin all in one!

I am still of the opinion that naming storms is like feeding stray cats.  If we just ignored them, perhaps they would go away and the snow would melt.

In the meantime, I am thankful we have a working heater and you will find me baking cookies and rocking out to Your Nose as the snow continues to fly.

Spring, come soon!

Posted by: Ingrid | March 3, 2014

Fumbling for Lent

So far the only thing I have set in stone for Lent this year is eating a paczki (pronounced “punch-key”, really and truly) from Hinkley’s Bakery tomorrow.  (Paczki, as far as I can tell, is Polish for “really cool and slightly more expensive doughnut eaten before lent begins”.)


I used to love the Lenten season.  The slowing down and relinquishing.  The taking on and the focusing.  The somber beauty and the solitude and reflection.  I truly loved it, perhaps even more than Easter, since it is just hard to do 40+ days of feasting well.  It always ended up feeling too excessive and decadent and I was always happy to see Lent come around again in the church calendar.

But then we stopped going to the church that taught me about lent and made the season so meaningful.  And then, over the course of seven years, I got married, had three kids and my husband got a job and then lost a job at a church.  I feel like I am always trying to go back to what I had before this became normal life.  Always fumbling with a backward glance for what is now distant past.  But every year it hits me again when Lent rolls around, the longing to participate.

Last year Lent faded away with the reality and nausea of an unexpected pregnancy.  The year before that it coincided with the knowledge that my husband was losing his job and the only thing I wanted to give up was the church in general.  It took a long time, over a year, to even come close to wanting to be in church at all.  Even then, I am generally in attendance on Sunday mornings with my cynicism of church life and politics as a whole in the seat next door.  I look around (as best I can in the semi-dark of the room) at the nameless people around me and wonder why we’re all there.  And the church we attend now (which I would vote as most likely to foster artistic expression and love the community and play Matchbox Twenty or Bruce Springsteen for the offering if you are looking for that combo) is not one that I feel much connection to, nor is it liturgical.  It’s a good place to be right now, it just doesn’t feel like home.  Or what used to feel like home.  Or something like that.

But part of the Lenten season is being a part of the whole of the church.  I would never have guessed, until I experienced it, the holistic sensory experience that lent is when it is practiced as part of the normal church year.  There are sights, sounds, songs, colors, scents, feelings evoked, that are now profoundly a part of who I am because of that short 40 day period of the year.  There is something about the corporate body of the church consciously slowing down and letting go, carrying and supporting one another during the fasting.  I have had enough years of the “do it yourself” Lent experiences (which never end particularly well, it seems), but it’s not supposed to be a time of muscling through on your own (save that for New Year’s resolutions) or the lists of giving up and taking on, which seems to be the general feel of lent in evangelical churches where lent is often copied and pasted in as a more recent trend.

I truly don’t know how to practice Lent anymore.  I miss the sense of being on a journey with other people.  I miss being part of something that is so much bigger and older, deeper and richer, than anything I can come up with at the last minute.  Sporadic and “pick your favorite feast/and or holy day” attendance at the local Episcopal church 25 minutes away wasn’t exactly a success last year either.

I am fumbling to put something together this year, not quite at the last minute.  Reading blogs for insight and ideas, listening to a podcast that a friend was a part of, thinking of ways to practice lent at home.  It is hard to get away from the feeling that it doesn’t really matter, anything we do is just a bunch of threads that aren’t a part of the whole.  I am fumbling to do something meaningful for our family but meaningful to me as well.  Fumbling with the feeling of loneliness in a season that cries for the depth of community.  I know that it is better to practice the season in some small way than to try my hardest to intentionally ignore it and eat paczki for the next 40 days.  I know that and I will act on that, hoping to be reminded somewhere in the meantime how all of this is supposed to fit together.

Dear Liliana,


I am starting this during the twelve hours after both Isaac and I got the stomach flu in the night (Thanks, Jonathan, we love it when you share. :-/)  It was the fast and furious type, fast being relative as I basically was up most of the night, but then it was done.  It was the first time I’d thrown up since, gee, October 27 or 28th, probably, and it made me miss pregnancy even less than I’d missed it before.

Speaking of sleep (which is a much nicer subject than puking), we got our act together, set up an additional pack n play in the living room, and implemented a few sleep strategies and voila, you can sleep, after all.  The first 6 and 7 hour stretches were magical.


And “crying it out” for 10 minute chunks never has gone beyond 1.5 cycles.  Sleeping more is awesome.  I highly recommend it.  You actually went 9 hours without eating (though not without waking) the other night, proving that you have indeed been holding out on me in terms of sleep.  You want to come feed me when I cry every two hours, Mom?  Okay!  Your dad has been great about popping in the pacifier while I sleep with ear plugs and the door shut.  Particularly when I shuffle out and he has his timer going and he sends me straight back to bed.  I cannot recommend the “more sleep” bit any higher.


I was trying to keep notes this month, so that I would actually remember what you were up to.  But apparently I kept them on three different pieces of paper and I can only find one, which also doubled as my shopping list to the Amish store.  So four months: much like three months except with more sleep.  I love it.


Though let it be noted, I clipped your nails for the first time.  Which is once more than I ever clipped the boys’ nails.  And now I see why I didn’t do it with them – it is not a task for the fainthearted!


You are growing out of all sorts of clothing now and I really need to pull things out and put them away in the totes downstairs.  You are filling out nicely, with all the lovely baby chub and I am caught calling you a “chubby bunny” more often than I should.  Though I am guessing you might prefer that to your other nickname, Princess Poopy Pants.  You have also started laughing when I blow raspberries on your round baby tummy.  Very rewarding.


You laugh a lot in general, though fake sneezes seem to amuse you immensely.  You laugh at your brothers (especially Isaac) and whenever you are bounced or we do Patty-Cake.  I get enormous baby chuckles for that.


You are quite chatty as well, usually in the morning, when you wake up very happy, or sometimes in the middle of the night when you should not be up.  You look so sincere as you enunciate your nonsense syllables and you will talk, talk, talk, to a person or to the ceiling.  I called you a “chatty Cathy” the other day and Isaac made sure to remind me, while rolling his eyes, that your name “is not Cathy.”  Talking is also your favorite game if I nurse you before you get hungry.  You start talking and chuckling to me until the milk lets down and douses you.  This is not my favorite game by any means.


You still look like your dad, our little Clintina, with a bald patchy spot on the back of your head.  It’s ok.  We all think you are ridiculously cute anyway.  You also manage to do a nice Chris Farley the-female-version, when you feel like it.


Sometimes I remember to put you in tummy time.  The way you kick your legs up and swing them around when you are on your back, I wouldn’t be surprised if you discovered rolling soon.  You love your little swing (though not as much as your brothers do), which finally has batteries and lights up and plays tinny music and swings on its own.  It is a life saver in the kitchen when I am trying to get dinner together and you are a happy camper.  You are still trying to grow into your exersaucer which is also providing a great deal of amusement to your brothers for now.


You have enjoyed your play mat and have begun reaching for the weird octopus (but he only has 5 arms, so pentapus?) and the mirror that dangles over your head.  The best part to me is when you grab things with both arms and then can’t figure out how to unclench your hands.  You lay there, puzzled, looking a little like a baby Olympic gymnast attempting the rings with your arms spread open.


You are weighing in at 15 pounds.  No longer do you feel like a light additional accessory when you are in your car seat.  Instead, the word “lugging” comes to mind.  Funny how quickly that happens!  Since you still are a constant fount of spit up, I am happy that some of the milk you drink seems to be sticking around.  You truly have an uncanny knack when it comes to the timing and the rapidity of your regurgitation.  The other day I fed you, threw a beach towel over my shirt, and lo and behold, you managed to spit up down my sweat shirt and shirt.  So disgusting.  I don’t even know how you did it.  It must be a gift.


So on we chug, into month five.  Supposedly Winter will end some day and it will be Spring again, although with the wind chill at -24 this morning, I have sincere doubts.  I am hoping Spring comes sooner rather than later, as you have inherited approximately one long sleeved shirt in the 3-9 month size.  And yet somehow you have about fifty pairs of pink leggings.  Maybe we will just all don footie pajamas with you until it warms up.




Posted by: Ingrid | February 5, 2014

Sleep SOS

Please help me brain storm about sleep.  Please.  Please.

new-mom-nosleep-Quotes (1)

For those who want the Reader’s Digest version:I have not gotten chunks of sleep longer than 2.5 hours in weeks.  I am going to fall apart or harm someone if this continues.  Please help me find a solution to get my baby to sleep longer than 2.5 hour stretches.  Thank you.

And now for the stream of consciousness version:

So recently, as in the past two months, I have noticed a few things.  Let’s call them symptoms, shall we?  They include: exhaustion, weight gain  (I am 3 pounds higher than I was one month postpartum), inability to control eating in general, constant irritability with circumstances, life, and children, bursting into tears, never feeling rested, finding almost nothing enjoyable about life

On Monday, after one of those trips to the library that end with zero books checked out, one librarian carrying out a screaming baby, me with a screaming two year old (bootless) slung over my shoulder, followed by a four year old yelling “Dang it!  Shut up!”  I thought I was going to lose it completely.  After shutting the boys in their rooms, sobbing hysterically on the floor, and scrolling through my phone to find someone I could call (Here is the problem with being an emotional introvert – I am no good when I am in the middle of strong emotions and then, when I am able to talk about them I down play like crazy and appear to be overreacting.  “So I had kind of a hard day yesterday.  A little bit difficult.  I’m not sure that I’m going to be able to keep going.”).

But it stuck with me all day, that horrible feeling that my kids deserve better.  That I can’t just fall apart like that.  That I feel like every day holds interminable regrets.  That I look at my daughter these days, as she smiles and coos and interacts and I have to prod myself through the fog of tiredness: Talk to her.  Smile at her.  And most of the time I just want to tell her that I have absolutely nothing left.  All of these symptoms, of course, could be chalked up to postpartum depression, or just regular dear-God-I-live-in-Michigan-in-the-middle-of-winter depression.  But before I self-diagnose with a condition that I would refuse to treat with meds anyway (having taken Pharmacology and read far to many memoirs) I thought perhaps I should look at sleep, one of those very basic needs.

And it doesn’t look good, folks, despite the fact that I am exhausted, have no trouble falling asleep once awakened, and (very intentionally) give myself between 8-10 hours in bed.  Most nights some combination of people is up during the night.  Last night I had the chance to see who is really messing me up though (as Husband, Jonathan, and Isaac stayed quiet and asleep all night), and why I keep waking up exhausted, even after hours in bed.

8:00: put baby to bed

8:30: I go to bed and she immediately hears me and fully wakes up.  Not a problem since I’d planned on dream feeding her.  We both are out a little after 9.

11:40: Baby wakes up and eats.  Back to sleep at midnight.

12-1:45: She tosses and turns and makes snuffly noises and I am woken up constantly (despite ear plugs).  Maybe I tried to feed her – I honestly don’t remember.

1:45: Baby wakes up and eats.  We get to bed a little after 2.

4:30:  Baby wakes up and eats.  Has a hard time settling and I basically lay there with my eyes closed until

5:30: alarm goes off

So this is a typical night.  I allotted myself 9 hours in bed.  I got two 2.5 hour stretches and one 2 hour quasi sleep stretch.  I feel absolutely wasted.  I wake up with a horrible headache and dreading the day that hasn’t even begun.  When it comes to quality sleep and sleep cycles and regenerative sleep I am pretty sure none of that is happening in these small segments of sleep.  And weeks of this piled together are taking their toll.

What to do?  Neither of the boys have been this bad and were at least doing longer stretches far earlier.  Here are the factors that I have to consider that are rattling around in my head like a pin ball machine.

1.  We have three bedrooms but the boys cannot share yet as this would lead to even more sleep deprivation (at least short term).  All bedrooms are next to each other.

2.  Husband gets home from work later than I go to bed multiple days of the week and is often up very early, making it difficult to either put Liliana in the living room in her pack n play (she is very sensitive to light and noise) or for me to sleep on the couch so that I can’t hear Liliana until she is really crying.

3.  Preschool pick up is during nap time, which is the only (usually) kid free quiet time.  After I get Isaac he (and various circumstances) will usually cooperate so that I can get in a short nap maybe 1-2 times per week.  But I really think that the solution is not getting more naps.  I need longer chunks of sleep so that my body can function.

4.  We cannot pay a babysitter to come while I sleep for four hours.  Unfeasible on many levels.

So with this as the typical sleep schedule and the above factors taken into consideration, how do I get sleep in more than 2.5 hour increments?  The best I can come up with is sleeping on the couch with her in the bedroom.  Can anyone else come up with anything better?


Best suggestion wins a sleepover with the world’s most adorable baby!


Posted by: Ingrid | January 28, 2014

Three Months: Please pass the sleep

3 months

Dear Liliana,

So you are a quarter of a year old today.  I am not feeling very creative when it comes to writing you a letter and I have been even less diligent than usual when it comes to documenting your growth in photos.  Ironic that your very existence is what is keeping me from giving visual proof of your existence.  You are sort of an exhausting baby.  Or maybe the spacing of our three children is exhausting.  Either way, I am hard pressed to find a day I am not exhausted, grumpy, in tears, or trying to medicate a headache.

You are cute though.  I will grant you that.


And it is a terrible, horrible, snowy, windy, COLD winter.  Spring cannot come fast enough.  Things are getting just a little crazy indoors!


You are a hardy infant, which is what I like to see, particularly in the cold months.  You obviously know how to eat and you do it well, weighing in at 13.8 pounds.  Yes, you have almost doubled your starting weight.  And I have gained weight this last month, so I am not quite sure what all this magic milk making is doing for me.  I am seriously not impressed.  If I am going to be awakened at all hours and never allowed to sleep longer than (usually) 3 hours at a stretch I want all this weight gone and to fit into my jeans.  You owe me that at least.

You are adorably chubby.  You still have the multiple chins and now you have the cute dimply baby thighs as well.  The chins lend themselves well to the imperious “dowager aunt” look that you sometimes give.  Like you’re looking down on a world that just doesn’t quite meet your standards.  You also do an awesome lip quiver when things don’t go your way and you are very sensitive to noises, lights, and your Daddy’s whiskers.


Everyone comments on the fact that you look like your father.  He still apologizes for that.

You giggled for the first time on January 8th while I was bouncing you up and down.  If I recall, it was after a night of terrible sleep and it was the only thing that kept me from disowning you.  It is so sweet when you giggle and even better now that you are trying to “converse” with us, making all these noises with the most sincere expression on your face.  When you do that I just want to stare at you and talk to you forever.  When you “talk” you also do that “baby marching in place thing”, as if your mouth and legs are connected.


I forget you all the time.  It is not uncommon for me to round the corner and find you, half dressed, next to a clean diaper.  And then I will remember that I left the room to get the wipes, forgot why I left, unloaded the dishwasher, and then found you.


This trend may be due to lack of sleep.  It is a little terrifying to me that, while I would probably be gauged unable to drive after one alcoholic drink, it is perfectly acceptable for me to be driving all manner of small children around after not getting enough sleep for three months.  If you see a white minivan on the road, give it wide berth.


I have already put away all of the newborn clothes and some of the 0-3’s and you have moved up to size 2 diapers.  Folding away those impossibly tiny clothes made me realize how fast this all is going.  You are already past the point where you nap for hours against my chest, which is sad to me.  You have discovered your tongue and your hands (and how they go together) and are stretching all over the place.  You already have impressive neck and head control, despite your hatred of tummy time and soon you will be rolling, sitting, talking, walking.


You are getting so big and I feel like I am missing so much.

You are drooling in ridiculous amounts.  We are guessing you may be in the early stages of teething, but you never know until teeth pop through.  Teething is a very retrospective thing.


You still are a very spitty baby.  Before we go out I almost always just wrap you in a blanket and me in a robe until you are fed and have spit up at least twice.  Otherwise the laundry is impossible to get through because I have to put both our clothes in wash.  You get such a happy expression on your face and then geysers of milk come flowing up from your mouth and you have no clue what is going on.  It would be funny if it weren’t such a mess.  You are more likely than anyone to get a sock (clean or dirty) or a dish towel (again, clean or dirty) put in your face to wipe you up.  We have more darling burp cloths than ever we had before, they just don’t tend to be where we need them, which is wherever I am about two seconds after you have finished eating.  You used to want to be patted when your tummy hurt.  Now you want to be jiggled or, even better, laid on my lap while I push your knees into your chest.


And don’t even get me started on the blow outs, which happen frequently.  I am now a pro at getting baby poop out of almost everything.  I just wish it didn’t get all over your cutest clothing.  Or in your sparkly shoes.  Or on anything of mine, for that matter.  Maybe someday, when I want to tackle even more laundry, I will switch you to cloth diapers.  HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!  That was a good joke.

I am trying to get you more on a schedule, after a few nights ago when you were up every 1.5 hours.  It was awful.  So now I am waking you up from naps to make sure you don’t sleep too long and wearing ear plugs at night so that I don’t “rescue” you too soon.  You are a baby burrito in your double swaddle and you sleep well in it (unless I am trying to sleep too, apparently).  You are no longer much of a pacifier fan, just like the boys.


We all vie for your smiles, which you lavish on everyone now as long as they are willing to engage with you for more than 5 seconds.  You are displaying a mild interest in tickling but bouncing is the best.  You have also begun holding onto whoever is holding you, which is so sweet, your little hands clutching onto my shirt or my skin.


It is so short, this period where you will want to cling to me and be held, where you gaze at me with your penetrating blue eyes while you nurse.  I am trying to fight back the tired fog and appreciate the fleeting-ness of it all and not wish the time away.




Posted by: Ingrid | January 19, 2014

Being a snowman is tough

You would think that Michigan would be a safe place to live if you are a snowman, since it is warm for about two days of the year.  Think again.  Behold the evolution (devolution, perhaps?) of Mr. Snowman, only one month old.

In pristine snowman condition.


Then you drown him in snow.

Next you starve him.


Then you lop off his head.


Finally you drown him with more snow.

IMG_5594And I thought I was having a bad winter!

Posted by: Ingrid | January 17, 2014

2013: Running Review

Well, suffice it to say that 2013′s running was not at ALL what I had planned.  Though I believe my goal at the end of 2012 was injury and pain free running.  I am injury free, so that’s good.  2012 gave me a PB in three distances.  2013 gave me no PB in anything except the number of children I am in charge of.  I am hoping that 2014 will be an “on” year.

Total mileage for 2013: 1,628 miles

Highest month: January (150 miles – the month I started marathon training before finding out I was pregnant).  Oddly enough, the second highest month (140 miles) was December right after having baby #3.

Lowest month: October (109 miles), the month I was hugely pregnant and, oh yeah, had a baby.  Minor details.

Longest run: 18 miles on February 9.  By the following weekend, when I was supposed to hit my first 20 miler, I was taking a pregnancy test and sobbing.  And dropping the 20 miler.

Races:  Despite being pregnant I managed to get in more races than I ran the year before!

Free2Run 5K (15 weeks) – May: 22:47


Hanover Firecracker 5 miler (24 weeks) – July: 38:24


Somerset Stampede Half Marathon (30.5 weeks) – August: 2:01.33

Somerset Stampede

Allegiance Race to Health 5 miler and 5K back to back (33.5 weeks) – September: 40:53 and 25:23


SAU Alumni 5K (37.5 weeks) – October: 24:04


Falling Waters Half Marathon (38.5 weeks) – October: 2:01.10


Goals for 2013:  

PB in one event.

Recapture my motivation and my love for running.  In my defense, this has been the worst winter since we moved to Michigan.  I have this from good sources and no, I am not just being a wimp.  But constant cold, wind chill near or below zero, and combinations of wind/slushy snow/new snow/black ice/ or iced over snow are just not conducive to fast running.  Plus the bit where at almost three months out I’d planned on being faster/thinner/less stressed/better rested, etc., is just not going according to plan.  Strange, I know.

Run a marathon.  Since the only marathon I ran was now 8 years ago (and goodness, nursing prereqs expire in less time!), I feel like that doesn’t even count any more.  So I really need to just run a marathon and get it over with because not doing it is starting to drive me nuts.

Find more effect birth control as marathon training does not seem to be a good method of preventing pregnancy. :-)

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