A Year of Growth

DJ and I took a walk with Bryce today, and we had a chance to talk and reflect on the last year.  In some respects, it feels like it has been about five years, but in other ways it has really flown!  Bryce of course had many, many milestones.  Last year, he was still a chubby little baby, and now he looks more and more like a little boy every day.  DJ and I both had some major personal and interpersonal growth.  We had to relearn how to be a couple in the midst of navigating parenthood, as well as figuring out our individual new identities and roles.  Ten years ago, DJ and I were waking up late from an amazing Cinderella-like New Year’s Eve at the Kennedy Center.  I had JUST discovered Orff Schulwerk,  I was still scarred from teaching middle school, I was so in love with DJ and we were less than two months away from getting engaged.  I definitely feel much older and wiser at the close of this year, but life is so, so good, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Some major events and memories for me this past year:

I successfully nursed Bryce until he self-weaned at 13 months.

I presented two sessions at the Denver AOSA conference.

I was invited to teach a summer Orff Level 1 course at Winthrop University.

I had a miscarriage.

I joined a playgroup.

I quit a playgroup.

I reached out to a random mom I met at Wegman’s, and we are becoming really good friends!

I met all my neighbors while out walking with Bryce.

I discovered FlyLady.net, decluttered my life, and reclaimed my sanity.

I made it out to Mobtown Ballroom a handful of times, but discovered that I don’t miss dancing as much as I thought I would.

I learned how to grill pizza.

I maintained my health and my weight, in spite of having a baby (and in spite of learning to grill pizza.)

I found my first gray hair.

I got my 25 year waterski club trophy at Woodloch.

Running finally felt good again.

I still really love my husband, not quite the same way as I did at the Kennedy Center on New Year’s Eve ten years ago, but with less flash and more depth.

Some Bryce memories I don’t want to forget:

Nursing him; the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve done.  I was sad when he weaned without me really realizing it, but I got some closure when he signed “Milk” while watching me put my bottles and pumping equipment away.  There were three sad little bags of pumped milk in the freezer.  I defrosted them, and he drank them all up, signing “milk” the whole time.

Bryce’s signing taking off after his first birthday.

Bryce singing “Uh Oh” along with Pink’s “Just Give Me A Reason” and totally getting down to “Blurred Lines,” “Lucky Strike,” and “Light ‘Em Up.”  He would say “Yay!” every time he heard a song he likes on the radio.

Taking his first few steps at the Lilly Reunion.

The gigantic poop explosion on the way home from the Lilly reunion (maybe I’d rather forget that….)

Bryce saying “Grandma!” every time he saw my cell phone.

Bryce saying “Hi!” to everyone we see at the grocery store and out walking.

Many, many miles logged on his pushtrike.

Bryce saying “Ball! Ball!” while picking up big green walnuts at the playground.

Meeting my neighbor, Maureen, and her grandson Owen at the tot lot.

Bryce saying “Uh Oh” and alerting us whenever we forgot to latch a cabinet lock.

One snacktime, I was singing “Bryce likes to eat grapes grapes grapes” to the tune of Wheels on the Bus, and he totally on his own inserted “Bar bar bar!” because I was eating a granola bar.

When he first learned how to give kisses.

He is such a sweet, friendly, playful little guy, and I am really treasuring this time with him.  I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings!



Interval Ladder

I used to take a really long time to work out.  I would go out to run for 45 minutes to an hour, or I would do P90x strength workouts, or hit the elliptical while I watched TV.  Now that I have to squeeze all of my personal care time and productivity into the 1-2 hour window of Bryce’s nap, I have been all about circuit training and interval workouts.  If I want to get the maximum results in the least amount of time, short and intense is the way to go!

Bryce does enjoy the jogging stroller for brief periods of time, so on days that I work, or days when he ditches his nap, I’ll usually take him out for a run.  Here is a nice little interval workout that I  did with the jogging stroller this week.  Bryce seemed to like it too, he yelled “RUNRUNRUNRUNRUN!” every time I started to sprint!

Warm up jog for 5 minutes

10 second sprint, 10 second jog (you can count seconds, I usually just count my steps)

20 second sprint, 20 second jog

30 second spring, 30 second jog

etc,  all the way up to 60 seconds.


60 second sprint, 60 second jog

50 second spring, 50 second jog

etc, back down to 10 seconds

I got a nice little burn, and the whole workout covered about 3 miles (including warm up and cool down.)  I love this workout because it is so easy to modify.  Only go up to 30 if you’re short on time, walk instead of jog for the recovery, do a few more 60s in the middle to extend it.  I’m just happy I found a workout that Bryce and I can do together!

Downward Doggin’

I need to do more yoga.   Every time I practice, I feel like a balled-up piece of paper that has been uncrumpled and smoothed out.

It’s hard to justify the cost and time of taking classes at an actual yoga studio, so I do most of my practicing at home.  I’m fortunate to have a dedicated dance/workout space in my basement, but I always need to convince myself that my time will be better spent stretching instead of burning off the Stress Chocolate I ate after teaching 1st grade.  I’ve been trying to do a better job of tuning in to what my body needs (and moderating the stress chocolate).  Hopefully I will be able to make yoga practice  more regular part of my workout schedule.  I know I’m always glad I made time for it!

YogaDownload.com has been a major part of my at-home yoga practice.  It is basically a giant collection of yoga class podcasts that you can stream or download.  They have lots of different instructors, and most classes have a 20 minute, 45 minute, and 60 minute version available.  Most of the 20 minute classes are FREE, and for $10 a month, you can stream unlimited classes and download four to keep.  When you consider that most yoga classes are $15-$20 EACH, it is an incredible bargain.

Everyone should try to get a little namaste in their life!    I know yoga helps me manage the mental and physical stress of living, teaching, wife-ing, and mothering.  If you don’t think yoga is for you, check out this amazing inspirational video and reconsider your thoughts!