Thursday, August 25, 2016

Inkwell Press Planner 2017

I've used an Inkwell Press Planner for the past two years and I'm excited for the 2017 planner release next month! They're known for their amazing paper quality, as well as more elegant and understated colors. If you're interested in purchasing, here's a link for $10 off! 

I've transitioned through a couple different styles and will be using their new classic (vertical) layout.

Here's the flex or horizontal layout from 2015:

In 2016, I switched to the A5 inserts, which only came in the flex or horizontal layout. I'm a big fan of carrying extra stuff in my planner, like bills, stamps, coupons, or any important papers, which didn't work too well in the bound planner. The A5 binder has worked really well!

Here's a preview of the A5 classic (vertical) layout for 2017. Visually, the classic flows better in my mind, so this is great! I get the best of both worlds with the A5 inserts and the layout. I'm glad the hours have been left unlabeled- I'll use the bottom portion of each day to track my Etsy shop and the top will be more of the 9-5 hourly schedule for appointments, etc.

Each month comes with a mission board, or a way to break down your goals for the month!

If you like having a paper planner, I highly recommend them! :)

Monday, August 8, 2016

Baby Lincoln: 6 Months

Age: 6 months!
Weight: 19lbs 3oz (80th percentile)
Length: 27" (68th percentile)
Size: 9 month clothes/size 3 diapers (we use disposables at night)

Sleeping: OH MY GOSH. I never thought this day would come, but he is actually sleeping better! We had a rough couple of weeks- he was waking up at least every 2 hours. At first I thought he was hungry, but he goes 3+ hours between feedings during the day. I'd feed him anyway to get him to go back to sleep, but he'd wake up like an hour later. Both my husband and I were starting to have difficulty functioning during the day, so we decided it was time to sleep train him.

Turns out all his fussing was him trying to tell us he wanted to sleep on his tummy. We took him out of her Merlin sleep suit (now dangerous because he can roll from back to tummy) and within just a few minutes, he flips onto his tummy. By day 4 of sleep training and he only whined for 10 mins before he falling asleep. He wakes up around 1:30am, whines for a couple minutes and goes back to seep until 4:30am when I feed him. Then he'll go back to bed until 6:30am when he wakes for the day. Last night he slept for 7 hours straight and didn't even make a peep when we put him down! YAY! 
It still freaks me out that he sleeps on his tummy and I check on him pretty frequently, but I'm slowly getting used to it.

We also implemented a more strict bedtime routine, which is supposed to help them understand it's time for bed. Story time is part of it.

Eating: We started giving him solids a few days ago. We've just been giving him a tablespoon or so of sweet potatoes and he loves it! He still breastfeeds, roughly every 3 hours during the day and once at night.

Milestones: He can sit up unassisted now! He's not completely stable, so we still have to watch him, but he can sit and play with a toy. :) He also graduated to a bigger car seat. He seems a lot more comfortable and can now see out the window better.

Favorite toys/activities: Loves to ride on daddy's shoulders. Still loves chewing on his Sofie the Giraffe. 

Looking forward to: His first trip to Disneyland! It's not until January, but everything is booked and I'm starting to plan out dining reservations and just read as much as possible about doing Disneyland with a little. :D 
Of course I'm also looking forward to the holidays- seeing him enjoy Thanksgiving dinner (my favorite meal of the year) and all the Christmas events. Halloween is also coming up- gotta start working on our costumes!

Are you dressing up for Halloween this year? :)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Baby Lincoln: 5 Months

I can't believe he is already 5 months old! Almost half a year! It's funny to think about life before him- it was just 5 months ago, but it feels like a lifetime! It's all a faded memory. Or maybe that's the sleep deprivation/mommy brain talking! 😉

It's amazing how quickly babies grow and develop. He's turning into quite the little person with his own personality and preferences. Turns out he has quite the temper! Haha. We got him an exersaucer where he sort of sits/stands with toys all around him. Only the issue is that some of the toys are stuck to the exersaucer and he can't get them in his mouth. He tries and grabs at them for a few minutes, but when he realizes he can't get them into his mouth (seriously everything NEEDS to go in his mouth right now), he gets mad, throws his arms up, his body back, and screams. Haha. Poor guy. 

He's very expressive and makes so many funny faces! 

Age: 5 months
Weight: At 4.5 months he was 18 lbs 3 oz- quite the porker!
Length: At 4 months he was 25.5"
Size: 9 month clothes / size 3 diapers (we used disposables at night and cloth during the day)

Eyes: They seem to have settled on hazel. Some days they look more brown, others they are almost a brown/green.

Hair: Turning a lighter shade of brown everyday.

Sleeping: We've made progress this month!!! About 2 weeks ago, we started putting him in the Baby Merlin Sleep Suit. Babies have this reflex where their arms flail in their sleep. Some can sleep through it, but others it wakes them up. That's part of the reason why babies are swaddled. The Merlin Sleep Suit is to help transition them out of the swaddle. It's thick and puffy, which muffles their reflex and helps them sleep. 
He went from waking up every hour (thank you horrible 4 month sleep regression) to sleeping one 4-5 hour stretch, waking to eat, then sleeping 2.5-3 hr stretches after that. This past weekend he slept for 6 hours straight! YAY!  

This is how his crib is set up as a side car to our bed. I lay an extra sheet going sideways so there is no gap for him to fall into between the two beds.

Eating: He eats every 3 hours or so. This past month, I noticed he wasn't eating as much, so I've been training him to stretch out his feeds.

Milestones: He's gotten a lot better at his hand eye coordination. He was able to put his pacifier in his mouth correctly once or twice. He's also so close to being able to roll from back to front.

Memorable outings: We had the first night away from home with him this past weekend when we celebrated 4th of July/a cousin's bday with family. We stayed at a hotel and aside from being overtired (too much stimulation and fun with family), he did really well. I think my husband and I were more nervous!

It was a nice warm holiday weekend!

Favorite toys/activities: He's very social and loves to be around people and for people to talk to him. He also likes to chew on Sophie the Giraffe (though he gets mad when he can't get all the feet in his mouth). 

Words/sounds: He says "geeeee." 

Nick names: Linc, Baby Lincoln (as called by his cousins), Tibby (nickname based off his middle name) although my dad calls him Tubby. ;) 

Funny moments: We attached his crib as a side car to our bed, so the baby sleeps right next to me, but in his own space. One morning I heard him moving around a little, so I opened my eyes to see if he was awake. He was bright eyed and staring at me. As soon as my eyes opened he started wiggling more and smiling as if to say "Good morning, mommy! Let's play!" Great way to start my day. Even if it was at 6am. :) 

Looking forward to: There's so much that's going to happen soon! At 6 months he will start solids! He'll be able to ride in the jogging stroller, too!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Baby Lincoln: 4 Months

My smiley 4 month old!

He is drooling a ton and loves to chew on things, especially dad's fingers. 

We've taken him on a lot of adventures courtesy of our Ergo360. He only enjoys being in the Ergo facing out so he can see things. I had to get a cover for it because he would chew on it the entire time. Haha.

Lincoln likes to go out, whether it be for a walk outside or to the mall or Target, so that's what I spend the majority of the day doing. It's nice because I can get my errands done as well. 
His first trip to the Disney Store and he fell asleep!

Second time was a success! He likes to look at all the colors and listen to the music.

Age: 4 months
Weight: 17lbs 7oz (87th percentile!) 😱
Length: 25.5"
Size: 9 month clothes, size 2 diapers? We use cloth mainly so I'm not entirely sure on size. I am shocked at how big he is. I have some themed onesies, like a Halloween and winter theme that fit him now. #babyfail

Eyes: They don't quite look brown like my eyes. They're more of a hazel.
Hair: Dark brown

Sleeping: He was sleeping 4-5 hour stretches at night, but he's going through the dreaded 4 month sleep regression and has started waking up crying bloody murder. It started as every hour, but we've progressed to every 2-3 hours. Most of the time he's not hungry, he just needs to be rocked back to sleep. Regardless, this mama is tired.

Eating: Every 2.5-3 hours during the day, longer at night.

Milestones: He has master the art of giggling! 😍
Memorable outings: He loves to be outside, so we started taking him to some of the museums/gardens in San Francisco. We took him to the Botanical Gardens as well as the Academy of Sciences. 

Favorite toys/activities: He LOVES to people watch. More like people stare. Any time we're in line, he will just stare at the person next to us. Most people love it and will talk to him, but some are weirded out. :)
He has a Mickey rattle that he likes as well as a Nemo Tsum Tsum. He also enjoys his small crinkly blanket.

Words/sounds: Loves to giggle and babble.
Nick names: Linc, Poop-asaurus-Rex, Grumpy

Funny moments: We were at the Academy of Sciences and it was packed (we accidentally chose free day to visit). Like shoulder to shoulder people everywhere. It was like Disneyland on New Years Eve, which I've vowed never to do again even though I love Disney. Way to crazy. I digress. So we're shuffling around trying to get out and my husband if holding the baby so he is facing forward. All of a sudden, the lady in front of my husband just stops and freezes. Turns out Lincoln had grabbed a chunk of her hair and was yanking on it! My husband apologized profusely and had to pull her hair out of Linc's hand one strand at a time. 😂 At least we know he can grab stuff now. Hahaha. 😜

Looking forward to: when he can sit up! I've resigned to living on minimal sleep, so now I'm just looking forward to him being able to play more. :)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Running a Marathon VS Having a Baby

When I got pregnant, I started hearing that childbirth was comparable to running a marathon, both physically and emotionally. I actually read a lot of articles and blog posts about it and it intrigued me. It also frightened me a bit because despite running numerous half marathons, my one and only marathon experience was not all that great. 

And now having done both (marathon in Jan 2015, Baby in Feb 2016), I thought it'd do a little comparison. 


Let's start from the beginning...

Registering for the Big Event
In both cases, I voluntarily signed up. Not entirely sure what allusions of grandeur were going through my mind when I signed up for the marathon, but I was well aware of what I was getting into when I got pregnant. ;) In both cases, I had the foresight to also sign up some support in the form of my husband. He wasn't totally on board for the marathon, but he was all for the baby. 

Training is a crucial part of preparing for both big events. It's the time to learn and prepare as much as you can, so make the most of the time! Coincidentally, I had about 9 months to prepare for both the marathon and the baby. 

Let's talk marathon training. Ideally, you'd prepare a training program that you follow religiously, ramping up in mileage slowly to prepare you for that 26.2 miles. I said, ideally. That totally did not happen for me. Most plans train up to at least 20 miles with long runs in 2 mile increments on the weeks prior. Let's take a look at how my training went: 

8 miles- 20 weeks prior
9 miles- 11 weeks prior
13 miles- 9 weeks prior (Wine & Dine Half Marathon)
13 miles- 8 weeks prior (Avengers Half Marathon)
11 miles- 5 weeks prior
18 miles- 3 weeks prior

Yup, only one run over a half marathon distance. I got in short runs of just a few miles 2-3 times per week in addition to those longer runs, but this is not good marathon training. This kind of bare bones training may get you through the marathon, but it is by no means a path to making the race great.

Along my 18 mile training run

Jumping to childbirth training- I'm not entirely sure there is any kind of training you can really do to simulate childbirth. There is a ton of literature you can read, friends who will share their experiences, exercises you can do to prepare you, but nothing is going to fully prepare you for it. It's all more mental prep than going through the motions.

Staying fit by running the Disneyland 10k @ 16 weeks pregnant

My prep consisted of trying to stay in shape and being mentally prepared. I ran one race during the pregnancy- the Disneyland 10k. I continued to jog until about 26 weeks and then stayed consistent with prenatal yoga and the elliptical. I didn't gain a ton of weight, about 25 pounds, which also helped.

Through out both "training" experiences, I had similar feelings. At the beginning, I had a sense of excitement and I could eat more food (yay!). I did all that I could to stick to a good health/fitness routine. By the end, I was just ready and counting down the days for the big event. I was nervous in both cases and had a "ready or not here I come" mentality.

Phases of the Marathon/Labor

I like to think of gathering in the corrals at the start of the race as the start of labor. There's excitement in the air, the adrenaline is flowing, and all thoughts lead to "let's get this party started!"

Early labor is like miles 1-17 of the marathon. It lasts a long time, but you're keeping a good pace and going with the flow. There's an "I can totally do this" mentality. Things aren't too difficult yet, but it's getting increasingly harder. You may even decide to stop for a few photo ops. ;) Unfortunately (or fortunately) for me, I sort of skipped this phase. Labor started hard and fast, no leisurely intro for me.

All smiles at the halfway point of the marathon. Things were still fun at this point. It helped that we rode a roller coaster. ;)

Hard contractions are like miles 18-24: this is when sh*t hits the fan. You start to question your sanity and wonder why anyone would willingly put themselves through this. The only thing that carries you on is putting one foot (or breath) in front of the other. You'll probably start to snap at your support person. I had been awake for almost 30 hours at this point and lack of sleep really took its toll. (Sorry hubby. I know you had the unfortunate experience of being my support person through both events.)

I may look like I'm resting, but I was definitely questioning if I could make it through labor.

During the marathon, I remember very distinctly running through what felt like the never ending maze of the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex thinking that this was the end of the marathon for me. Just as in labor, my husband encouraged me to continue and we pressed onward.

Almost there!

The push to the end is very similar in both cases. You're in tons of pain, exhausted, you still have thoughts of giving up, but you also have hope! You know the end is SO close, you can see it! You push through those last moments of pain and cross that finish line... 

and the end result is wonderful. There is this overwhelming feeling of joy. Runners high, if you will.

First photo as a family

There's also a sense of relief and all that pain just melts away. At least for the next 15 minutes or so. Then your body realizes what it just went through and the aches and pain begins. ;) 

In both cases, you'll be famished after and want to eat everything. Sadly, there is no celebratory beer after you have the baby. :(

A tasty "recovery" meal at WDW.

Do we really need to compare the two? Unless you had some horrid injury, recovery from childbirth is definitely harder. With the marathon, you can sleep it off and be back to normal in a matter of days. After labor, there is no sleep, your body it healing, and you've got this tiny human that needs your attention 24/7. Literally. I'm also holding the baby as I type this. ;)

So which would I rather go through?

At this point, I'm not entirely sure. Yes, having a baby was painful (I opted for minimal IV drugs, so I guess it could have been different), but it wasn't that bad. There were moments that I doubted I could do it, but staying focused on the end goal really helped. As for the marathon, I still remember the 7 hours of running torture. In my opinion, the marathon is more mentally difficult, probably because you always have the option of dropping out of the race. Obviously not an option with having a baby. ;)

No medal, but he's pretty cute.

All in all, I expect to go through both again. I'd love to run another marathon (I promise to train better next time) and I hope we're blessed with another baby. But in a few years. The newborn weeks are proving harder than both child birth and the marathon. ;)

What do you think? Is running a marathon harder than having a baby?

Friday, April 8, 2016

Baby Lincoln: 2 Months

Happy 2 Months, Lincoln!

It's crazy to think that he's already 2 months old! Life has gone by both quickly and slowly (especially during those 3 am feedings). He's much more responsive and he actually looks at people instead of a blank stare. He's just starting to take an interest in toys, but he bores easily. He still hates to be put down and will only sleep in someones arms. I'm hoping he'll grow out of that soon. This mama's gotta get stuff done!

My hubby went on a week long business trip when the little guy was 5 weeks old, which really put my new-mama skills to the test. I was super nervous about him being gone, especially during the night. I'm happy to say we survived! I finally gave in to co-sleeping and now both me and baby get a lot more sleep. While the week alone was hard, it really helped me to bond with the baby and understand him a lot more.

Apparently this is comfortable for him

Age: 2 months
Weight: ~13 lbs. Our chunky monkey! My arms are getting a good workout. His 2 month Drs appt is next week, so we'll get an actual number then.
Length: I'm guessing about 21-22 inches.
Size: Mostly 3 month clothing, some 3-6 month onesies. Size 2 diapers.

Passed out in mama's lap

Eyes: His dark gray eyes are turning brown. He missed his daddy's green peepers.
Hair: Turning from black to brown.

He likes to hog the bed

Sleeping: He *hopefully* has one 4-5 hour stretch, then 3 hours, then 2 hours. Some nights he wakes up every 2 hours to eat.
Eating: During the day he eats every 2 hours, sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more. 

Milestones: He smiles at us now! His gummy grin melts my heart.
Memorable outings: A week before his 2 month bday, I went out shopping with just me and him! And we survived!!! I suppose that's more memorable for me. ;) 

We took him to where we used to live (Santa Cruz) to see friends and walk near the beach. He didn't seem all that interested.

His first photo with a Princess! Again, not that interested. Someday!
(Taken at his cousins' bday party)

Favorite toys/activities: He loves to look around. He always wants to be held facing out so that he can see things. He likes to look at the lights and our coat rack. I have no idea why. Haha.

Words/sounds: He is starting to try to talks and laugh, especially when he is happy and smiling. 
Nick names: Linc, Wiggly, Snuffaluffagus

Funny moments: There's been a lot! My husband has too much fun playing with the baby!

I love how he is looking at my husband with such trust!

Looking forward to: Sleeping longer at night! I'd love for him to sleep for one 6 hour chunk. :) I also can't wait for him to start to coo and giggle!

Cheers to another fun month!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Avengers Half Marathon: Race Recap

In honor of early registration for the now re-named Super Heroes Half Marathon, here's my race recap from the inaugural run in 2014. (Apparently I never hit publish!)

The Good, The Bad, and The Windy as Heck: the Avengers Half Marathon

I woke up at 4am the morning of the race feeling very... blah. All I wanted to do was stay in bed and sleep. I had an intense case of the sniffles, a little souvenir from the rainy Wine & Dine. Plus I was running solo, so I knew the motivation for the next 13.1 miles would have to come from me, and me alone. The theme of the race wasn't too exciting for me and the course didn't look that appealing either. Basically, I wasn't amped to run this race.

I threw on my Lilo costume, attached my running buddy, Stitch, and headed to the start.

Ready to run. Stitch doesn't seem too pleased to be up at this hour.

The corral start was different this year. Although there were corrals A-H, corrals A & B went together. C & D did as well. I'm not sure about E-H, as I started in D.

Christmas Carsland!

After the first mile I started to not feel well. I'm not sure if it was the lack of a proper breakfast or the banana I ate too close to the start of the race, but I got really nauseous. Thankfully nothing happened, but it was at this point that I knew I would be taking things slow.

All the mile markers looked the same.

Can't resist the Christmas Decor!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves were on the Carousel

Only the first 3 miles were in the parks, so I jumped in line for Mickey & Minnie.

An important note about the characters: 
Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Captain America were out, but the lines were SOOOO long!!! Even starting in corral D, the lines were at least 50 people long already. I was already taking my time and I wasn't about to risk getting swept.

Once we left the parks, the winds started. This is what most of the mile markers looked like. It was so windy they were falling over- I saw the 10 mile marker attack a poor woman trying to take a selfie with it.

Christ Cathedral. Can you see all those wind swept cups?

Graphics painted along the Santa Ana River Trail

Love the folks that came out to cheer us on! Lots of great costumes!

Through Angels Stadium

Check out these guys! I'm not sure if they're retired military or reenactors, but they were awesome.

Spotted this van just outside Angels Stadium. Definitely not close to the race end.

The winds were so strong and blowing things over, like the tents in the finishers area, so they had folks wait outside of the reunion area. 

An idea of how windy is was- a fountain in Downtown Disney

Final time: 2:54.

He asked if I survived the wind. My response: just barely. 

This was the first half that I had run solo- and it wasn't that bad! I much prefer to run with friends (always have more fun with friends), but running solo is no longer holding me back from signing up for races.

Did you run the Avengers half? Do you run solo or with friends?