On traveling with a baby (part two)

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I have written a post before about traveling with a baby, when we went to Arizona.  That was when Zach was a few months younger, so I thought I’d do an updated post now that we are back from our latest trip with Zach and he is nine months plus.  The trip overall was wonderful; we went to Fort Lauderdale to see my Grandma (Zach’s Gigi), with the trip down on the plane being MUCH more successful than the way back.  So here is a quick recap:

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THE WAY TO PACK

Here is how I pack for Zachary: Zip locks, Zip Locks and more Zip Locks.  I load these ones up in my carry on:

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Diaper supplies: wipes, diapers, diaper creme, lotion, mini shampoo, mini body wash (to consolidate liquids for TSA), disposable diaper changing mats

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Food supplies: Mum mums, puffs, water sippy, food pouches, spoons, disposable bibs, table topper

A quick note on the sippy and puff holder.  I have been using both from the Bonn brand and I LOVE them. I received the Boon sippy from my beloved Stork Stack and Zach LOVES it.  He gnaws on it and the water comes out at the perfect rate ($7.49).

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The holder for puffs that I use is also by boon and I got it from Diapers.com (only $7.49 as well).  I LOVE it, as it acts like a ball for him (which he loves) and securely holds the puffs.

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I also slip a little Zip Lock with an extra outfit in it into my carry-on for emergencies (for myself too; I’ve been pilled on, peed on, etc.).  Also in the carry on goes a few of his favorite books and toys and snacks for me 😉  I always make a list of what I need well ahead of time and keep lists from past trips to remind myself of what I usually take.  Essentials:  sleep sacks, sound machine, monitor, sun hat, sunscreen, etc.  

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As for clothing, I always pack one sleep outfit (a onesie) for each night plus an extra.  As for outfits, I usually pack one for every day we are there times 1.5 😉  meaning if we are there four days, I will pack 6 outfits (at least).  Plus I always have the extra I threw in the carry on.

HOW TO TRAVEL: 

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For me, the Bjorn is THE BEST way to get through security and around the airport.  The TSA has been super nice to me with baby lately, letting me cut to the front of the line, not making me take him out of the Bjorn (just swabbing my hands) and letting me get through with water and food for him beyond the allowed 3 ounces.  I also bring his car seat and get him his own seat on the plane. It is TOTALLY worth the money.  HE NEEDS to sleep on a 2+ hour trip.  Speaking of that, I try to schedule the flight, if possible, during one of his naps.  The two flights for Florida were both during his pm nap (on the way there it was a bit later at 3, and on the way back a bit earlier at 2).  The car seat also gives him a place to chill and eat a mum mum or play by himself for a few minutes if he is into it 😉  The plane seats seem like they are getting closer and closer so having him on my lap the whole time can be a bit uncomfortable.  

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He also likes doing this:

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So, I always hear to nurse during take off and landing so to help with baby’s ears.  It hasn’t seemed to work like that the last few flights, but luckily my child is ALWAYS sucking on his fingers so that takes care of that!

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ONCE YOU GET THERE

So, it is really important for Zach to have his own area in which to sleep.  Heck, in Arizona, the kid slept in the shower and was as happy as a clam.  This time, I really wanted to get a suite for the same reason and for the fact that I seriously go to bed at an insanely early time.  We snagged a GREAT deal and ended up getting a suite with a kitchenette.  SUPER convenient.  The hotel had a GREAT gym (I know, off topic for a baby post, but it was so nice to have for working out during his naps)

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with a roof top pool and jacuzzi in which I soothes my sore muscles after speed and hill work 😉 The view was incredible, as was the weather (80s the whole time!).

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ANYWAY, my advice is this:  KEEP BABY AS CLOSE TO HIS NORMAL SCHEDULE AS POSSIBLE so to keep him happy 

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Try to make your meal times collaborate to give baby something to do while you are dining as well 

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Most of all, HAVE FUN!

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Geeking out

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I’m sorry a lot of my posts lately have been about running. If you’re not interested, I apologize, I just signed up for my first half post-baby and am super obsessed psyched.  Anyway, I spent a good portion of Zach’s morning nap, when I SHOULD have been cleaning the house, researching how to simulate hill training on the treadmill.  As you know, I train on the ‘mill and will continue to do so for the rest of my training.  Anyway, I first tried to look up the course map for the More Fitness Half, but it is not posted yet. So I did some research on last year’s course and saw that it loops around Central Park twice (the loop is a bit over 6 miles).  I then found the elevation map for this loop. 

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In researching, I saw that you basically need to do rise/run and multiply by 100 to get the percent gradient for the treadmill.  This means, if you are “rising” say 120 feet, similar to the Girard Bridge in Philly during the Philly Half (I looked up this course map too so I could compare the Central Park elevation to something I was familiar with) over .25 of a mile (which equals 2,600 feet), you do 120/2,600 then multiply by 100.  This equals about a 4.6 % incline on the treadmill. Interesting huh?!  Now do you see why I named this post so aptly, “geeking out?!?” LOL.  Anyway, here is what my hill training run looked like for today.

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Sweaty. Haha just kidding.  Excuse the running mascara and gross-ness. Here is what it looked like in mileage/gradient:

2.75 mile warm up (0 incline, 6.0 speed)

.5 mile (3% incline, 5.8 speed)

.25 mile cool down (0 incline, 6.0 speed)

.25 (4% incline, 5.8 speed)

.25 mile cool down (0 incline, 6.0 speed)

.25 mile (3% incline, 5.8 speed)

.25 mile cool down (0 incline, 6.0 speed)

.25 mile (4% incline, 5.8 speed)

.25 mile cool down (0 incline, 6.0 speed)

5 miles total.

I am now icing (with peas) so to combat any shin pain that might pop up, and eating pb & j while waiting for Zachy to get up:) 

Tell me: How do you hill train?!

Fuel.

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You know, it’s funny.  Before having Zach, I never gave much thought to how I fueled my runs and I, quite frankly, didn’t need to.  But, as a breastfeeding active mom, I am ALWAYS hungry and the concept of fueling for my runs has become SUPER important to me.  At first, I would use Trop 50 apple juice (the full-cal stuff is just too sweet for me and I like the watered down version more) to give myself a little pick-me-up as I was noticing a “bonk” during even short runs (aka 3-4 miles).  I’ve talked about this before:  I am DEFINITELY WAY more hungry as a breastfeeding mom than I was as a pregnant lady.  And my runs often fall during times when I have not just eaten, as they happen when Zach naps.  This also tends to be when I eat, which obviously needs to happen after my run.  So often, I am entering a run hungry.  Never a plan for success. So, suffice to say, for long runs, trop 50 apple juice just doesn’t cut it. So here is what I have been doing.  About an hour before my run, I will jam a granola bar of some sort into my mouth; something around 150 calories.  Today it was two mini Snickers 😉  Then, if it is a long run, I use Clif Shot Blocks.

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(source)

Anyway, I will usually have 100 calories worth (3 shot blocks) but I wish I could have 500. I LOVE them SOOOO much. I love everything about them; taste, texture, EVERYTHING! I wish I could eat them all day.  Really.  I used to think these things would be gross.  But when I received a pack in my Rothman 8K goodie bag, I decided to try them; eh they were free right?!  The verdict?! LOVE them. So far I have tried cran-ras, and cherry. I have some strawberries and I am SURE I will love these as well.  The one thing is they make me REALLY thirsty; which most runner’s fuel products do, but I see this as a great thing; I NEED to drink more water.  So tell me; how do you fuel for a run?  

The not-so scientific way of training

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So, I signed up for my first half marathon post-baby.  It is the More Fitness Women’s half marathon on my birthday; April 14!  It is thru Central Park in New York!  What a way to spend a birthday!  A birthday weekend; a race expo, overnight in New YOrk able to carb-load in a NYC restaurant and an amazing race through the city that never sleeps 😉  I am super stoked but nervous because I hear the course is quite hilly.  As you know, I have done ALL of my training thus far (and since I started running again post baby (save fora handful of runs outside when it was nice out) on a treadmill.  So I decided to start trying to hill train on the treadmill.  I asked this girl to do a post on how to best do this.  She knows her treadmill stuff big time.  I also am going to start integrating speed training.  Up until now I have only been doing same-pace runs not matter what the distance pretty much.  I truly have been ENJOYING my runs and loving this “me time.”  So I generally try to enjoy it as much as possible, so I do a “nice” pace for me.  I would say I average around a 10 minute mile.  I also have not really being sticking to any type of training plan involving a long run and distances with a purpose.  Basically I’d alternate between different distances.  Sometimes based on what I did the day before, but sometimes not.  A lot of it depended on the baby’s nap length or even how I felt that day.  So I’ve been taking it easy and just doing what works.  I have decided to start a “training plan” and by putting it in quotations, I mean it will be a quasi one.  I will know each week what needs to get accomplished.  So for instance in 7 days, I know I need to do:

1.  Long run

2.  Rest Day

3.  Swim Day

4.  30 % race distance (4)- “easy day”

5.  40% Race distance (5)- speed train

6.  6 miles

7. Hill Train

Then, I will look at my next week and decide what might work when and consider options to swap (like a 4 for a 5, etc),  I have been taking my rest day (or swim) prior to the long run.  So For last week my training was (I’ll refer to the numbers above):

Monday- 6

Tuesday- 2

Wednesday- 3

Thursday – 1 

Friday- 4

Saturday- 7 

Sunday- 5

Anyway, that is how I am going to continue training. My long run this week is a 7. Then I am going to have two weeks each of 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.  Then rest week.  Then HALFIEEEE!  The only thing I might change since I have a lot of time to train (12 weeks I think) is to do 12 only once …dunno.  Anyway, what are your thoughts on training?

Smart and Cross Training

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Hi everyone!  So today I want to talk about two things surrounding training:  being smart about it and effective cross work.  I am signing up for my first half marathon post-baby.  It is on my birthday!  April 14, 2013!  It is the women’s More Fitness Half through central park (never been) and I am SUPER stoked!  How fun to run in the “city that never sleeps!”  I have run two halfs previously; the Disney Princess half and the Philly Half.  Smart training is NOT Run-a-Day-cember, which resulted in a sore shin.  But, hey, it was a one time challenge (that resulted in 130 miles in 31 days wooot!).  Smart training DOES include REST days, which tend to be super hard on me mentally as I derive a great deal of happiness and stress relief from running.  But in order to train smartly for this half marathon I NEED to take a rest day weekly and have vowed to do so.  I have 14+ training weeks and want to use them wisely. So smart training also requires cross-training. I want to ask you:  What type of cross training do you feel works best for running?  I used to do a lot of Elliptical as it took pressure off of my bum/troubled shin, but now I am beginning to resort to swimming for several reasons:

a.  It reminds me of being pregnant with Zach as I spent much time in the water with him in my belly. I LOVED it.

b.  I feel like it REALLY increases my cardiovascular endurance through controlled breathing which definitely helps with running

c.  I feel in another world under the water and need to escape sometimes. It is truly “me time.”  NO ONE is going to come get me!

d.  I feel like I am getting strength training as well as cardio (or at least my arms/shoulders bark like I am)

d.  I got a waterproof iPod and it is bomb.com

So tell me:  How do you train “smartly?”  What do you feel is the best cross-training for running?

Daily Zach cuteness:

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Type A Personalities and Babies: Like Oil and Water

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I am Type A.  What’s the point of denying it?  If it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, then, people, most likely it is is duck.  I have always been type A.  Having a baby has not changed my Type A personality but has certainly challenged it.  It is hard to have a baby and maintain the Type a-ness that existed pre-baby.  Here are the facts:  babies are unpredictable.  They change, they are almost never the same month to month or even week to week, and they do NOT care if you are type a.  Yup, read it and weep.  This is probably this hardest thing that I have dealt with psychologically since becoming a Mommy.  I find great comfort in solid predictable cause and effect relationships.  Like eat too much candy, you will get a stomach ache.  Study hard for a test, you will do well.  So, if “sleep begets sleep” and baby has great naps one day, he should sleep amazingly at night, right?  Not so much.  And if you coo and smile and play the BEST game of peekaboo in. your. life, baby will be in a good mood, right?  Nope. If you feed him a crap-ton during the day he won’t need to eat in the middle of the night, right?  Ha.  Not really. Waaaaaaiiitt…if you sing the most amazing rendition of old Mac Donald had a Farm, the baby will stop crying.  Right?  I mean it worked yesterday!  Ha!  There it is! “It worked yesterday” just doesn’t work with babies.  It just doesn’t. And THAT, my friends, MESSES with my type A!  So, if you are a control-freak like me (the pinnacle of a type a personality), you might have a REALLY hard time with the uncontrollable nature of a baby.  After all, they are babies!  There is a reason there are a million bajillion (that’s a word, right?) books out there on all things from baby sleep to baby development.  Because ALL BABIES, like all humans ARE DIFFERENT.  And if you try to control them, or make them adjust to your type a personality (ahem, I am talking to myself here) it just wont work.  So what do you do?  What have I done?  Well, first an foremost, I remind myself that Zach is just a baby.  And I look at a lot of cute pictures of him, or his adorbs self if he is awake.  And I use the love I have for him to calm my inner type a.  Really. But FOR REAL!  Well I have attempted to harness this negative energy into something positive, something I CAN control, like running.  I also try to engage in “self talk.”  Sounds like crazy town, eh?  But no, self talk is a way to talk yourself through situations in order to “get a grip” lol.  It can be something like a mantra such as “let go…” or just reasoning with yourself, like “this is just a phase.  He can’t possibly get up four times a night for his whole life.”  Really.  Anyway, tell me: are you type a?  How does it interfere with your life?  How do you deal with it?  And if you aren’t type a (lucky person hehe), what challenges does your personality pose?  Oh and here is your daily Zach cuteness for the day.

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Zach’s New Trick and Blog/Run-a-Day-Cember

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Hi there!  So Zach is doing this new HILARIOUS thing where he laughs (at himself mostly) in a snorty chuckle.  TOO FUNNY. Take a look:

OK, so I also wanted to update you on how my Blog/Run-a-Day-cember went.  I will admit.  Blog-a-Day did NOT pan out exactly as I had planned, aka I did not blog every day.  Eh. Sorry!  BUT, I DID run EVERY day of December!  Woot!  The worst one I can remember was on Christmas.  I did NOT feel like running, it was hella cold and hilly.  So I banged one out.  One counts!  So, my total for the month of December was 31 days= 130 miles!  WOW!  That equals 5 marathons!  wooohooo!  I was excited about this.  I took a day off today.  Honestly for me rest days are SO much harder than working out.  It is definitely a mental thing. I gain so much mentally from working out that I just don’t like giving that up, but physically I recognize how important it is.  Especially since I am going to have to start doing a long run a week.  Up until now since the baby has been born, the longest I have run is 6.  I am signing up for a half marathon through Central Park on my birthday in April, so I am going to have to get longer runs in…soon!  Point is, in order to stay healthy (and keep my shin in tact which unfortunately has been acting up a bit lately) I needed to take a rest day today and will have to start implementing a weekly one.  Anyway, do tell me:  How often do you take a rest day from working out?