One Summer, Three Life Changes

austin, blogging, daily life, family, motherhood

I had every intention of consistent blog posting after Henry’s birth and I probably could have managed it. For whatever reason, I have been gifted with the ability of strong habit maintenance whenever life gets stressful. Not that Henry has been too stressful — I have been lucky to have for my first child a chill baby, but you know what I mean. But add on to that a cross-country move and preparing to start a new job, and well — life has been, well, rather full at the moment.

joscoffee

Doing the touristy Jo’s Coffee picture. 

We’ve been in Leander for two and a half weeks. Our mattress is still on the floor. Henry is still sleeping in the pack and play. The bookshelves finally went up this week (priorities!) and about half of our belongings are still in boxes in the garage. We still have not found a CrossFit gym. My runs are still more walks than runs. And mainly I feel like I am starting completely over and things still just do not fit (especially my pants!).

happyhenry

Henry, aggressively happy amidst the detritus of unpacking. 

Still — the kitchen is unpacked. I did my first week of meal prep for dinner and lunch this week, trying to ensure good habits before the school year begins. Henry and I went for our first “run” together yesterday. We managed to make it to mass downtown on Sunday, even if we failed to find parking afterwards to walk the boardwalk on Lady Bird Lake. I am loving the H-E-B’s (not Heb’s!) curbside pick-up for grocery shopping — definitely makes life much easier. I love planning for class. I love not having the pressure to write a dissertation anymore.

I told Bruno I was not sure I wanted to continue with this blog anymore. I was not sure I had the time or will have the time when the school year begins. When it comes to living here, when it comes to life now, I want to start how I plan to continue — whether that is with running, food prep, bedtime routines with Henry. For the past few weeks, I was not sure that blogging had a place in that “continue” part.

Bruno suggested that I try once a week, explaining I did not want to waste all the writing, all the posts I have already put out here on the blog. And so, taking his suggestion, I will try to keep at it, once a week.

I need to remember that I am in a transition period right now. As things start to settle, a routine will develop. Life eventually will develop some normalcy, some rhythm. Living in the Austin-area, full-time teaching, and most importantly, being a mom are still all so new to me. Eventually they will not be so new. Eventually Henry will sleep through the night. Eventually I will be able to run longer than four minutes at a time and will feel confident on my bike again. Eventually this place will be home.

 

 

 

 

May Goals Update & June 2019 Goals : The Year of 1% Better

goals, Harry Potter, motherhood, postpartum fitness, reading, running

If you’re new here, I declared 2019 the Year of 1% Better. Here’s a list of all previous goal posts.

January: Goals | Outcomes

February: Goals | Outcomes

March: Goals | Outcomes

April : Goals | Outcomes

May : Goals 

Henry is taking a nap, so I thought I would try to get in a quick post. Most of my May goals were about wrapping things up. I wanted to work on consistent academic writing/editing and getting my class notes scanned. I was more successful on the former than I was on the latter. By the end of the month, I was so uncomfortable the last thing I wanted to do was stand by a scanner and scan. I suspect that boxes of notes will be traveling with us to Texas.

Nor did I finish re-reading Harry Potter, but I will probably have the seventh book done by the end of this month of early July. I came close, but I think I became distracted by other reading. Plus, it has been nice reading Harry while Henry naps or I pump. As usual, I’ll be kind of sad when I finish the seventh book — having lived in the books again the past couple of months. 

As for June — well, I’m not sure you can blame me for not really having any goals on the to do list. I think being a mother makes me more than 1% better. I think focusing on Henry and figuring out a baby has been goals enough! That said, I did start walking a mile a day this week — which was the big postpartum goal I planned before I start running again. I look forward to having more focused plans and goals come July!

What were your June goals?

 

Introducing Henry

daily life, family, motherhood, pregnancy

I’m back! I’m not five-posts-a-week back, but I think I am ready to go back to regularly updating on here.

So — the big news is — its a BOY! Early in the morning on June 4, Henry made his arrival into our now three person family. He is a beautiful and relaxed baby. People ask us how we are sleeping and seem amazed that between the two of us we’ve been able to get four hours continuously (for now).

Henry

Henry 2.jpg

I do not have the words to express how thrilled I am about Henry. Every cliche seems applicable. I am amazed sometimes that we made such a beautiful boy. Even though he has been with us for less than two weeks, it seems he has always been apart of us. I cannot imagine a life without him.

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Sometimes I imagine Henry thinking as Bruno and I try to determine if he is hungry or gassy, “What a bunch of newbs.” But mostly he just eats and sleeps. I’ve taken him on a few walks, but it will be another couple of weeks until he is big enough for the Bob. I am excited for our first run together and all the good things to come.

Henry 3.jpg

I’m going to try to post three times a week for the rest of this month and see how it goes. Right now, teaching prep is a priority, so I’ve been trying to get as much reading done as I can during naps. I have not worked out yet and will most likely wait until I reach those six weeks, but I have been walking — increasing the walks by five minutes every week. I miss CrossFit and running. Life seems full, in all the best ways, especially as we try to figure things out.

 

 

A Quiet Saturday

daily life, motherhood, pregnancy

Contains Amazon affiliate links. 

I suppose, being 38 weeks pregnant, I do not have many quiet Saturdays left. I have had low-grade impatience for the baby to arrive beginning this month, but this past weekend I had a nice reminder to enjoy this time of waiting.

I think it began with the fact I actually had a good night’s sleep. Thank goodness, for Benadryl. I did not wake up once and woke up at around 6:30ish in the morning — which is late for me. Planning on going to my small group meeting in the morning, I read the Gospel for the week and some Harry Potter (what else, ha!) before eating breakfast, hopping in the shower, and heading to the church for my meeting. After my small group, I sat at the church for Eucharistic adoration for about an hour, reading Francis de Sales’ Introduction to the Devout Life.

I walked to Jilly Beans’ Coffee Shop and bought a coffee and cinnamon roll. I sat by myself and just read for about an hour or so. I’m not the type of person to let little moments pass me by and I’m grateful. While reading, I realized that very soon not every Saturday morning would be able to look as calm or peaceful. Even without a baby, not every Saturday goes according to plan. I think I very easily get sucked down the social media/internet rabbit hole and before you know it, I’ve had three cups of coffee and while I’ve been scrolling like crazy, I feel tired, stressed, and frankly meaningless.

Bruno picked me up and we had a quick lunch at home before going on a two mile walk. I hoped I would go into labor. I did not go into labor. Instead, my feet and what is left of my ankles swelled up like melons. I can barely fit in my shoes. It was hot out, so we joked we were training for living in Texas. The next several hours were spent sitting on our front porch reading. After that — we ate dinner and watched some HBO, before an early bed time of around 9ish.

It really does not seem like much. Dinner was left overs. We watched Chernobyl which was probably not the best choice for right before bed. Most of my reading was for work (though very enjoyable — I highly recommend) — I read Paul Johnson’s A History of the American People. Walking two miles is not an impressive work out and a far cry from my Saturday long runs (how I miss thee!). On the surface, the day does not seem special at all.

But, even though I’m impatient for baby, I’m grateful for these last few quiet Saturdays. I’m grateful for these last few walks with just Bruno and myself. Even as the the weeks until baby’s arrival turn into days, I’m going to take advantage that the quiet time I have: read more, write more, walk more and enjoy the calm, not before the storm, but before the creation of a new normal, with new Saturday routines, and a brand new person in the mix.

Thoughts on Laura Vanderkam’s 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

books, goals, motherhood, pregnancy, running

Contains Amazon affiliate links. 


I re-read Laura Vanderkam’s 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think this week. I read it a few years ago, liked it, and of course, never implemented anything from the book. I never kept a time log, but I did like her approach to time management. Sometimes I just like to read these books for the inspiration and motivation.

This time around I think it was better for me. I’m not keeping a time log because I know life is about to be drastically different in the next few weeks or so, but because it was a good reminder that I can still have personal goals and ambition post-baby. Women do it all the time – she has the time logs (ha!) to prove it.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as I move toward the end of my 36th week of pregnancy. As someone put it, “Baby can come any day now.” Yet – I frequently have people tell me all I can say good-bye to sleep, eating, working-out, reading, any sort of leisure time at all, and lastly my sanity. I’m sure that I am about to achieve a real shock to my system, but are these things true?

I appreciate Vanderkam’s answer to that question: no. I’ll admit, I’m very excited to be a mother, but not at the expense of giving up my entire self. One of my big post-baby goals is to train for a trail 50k. I suspect training for that will not happen until 2020, but I’m thinking about it, planning for it. Is this naive because I have no idea how motherhood will take up my time? Is this a completely selfish goal? Or, with a lot of planning, self-disciplining, and my new Bob stroller is this goal doable? I think the answer is yes to the latter. I hope it is.

Anyway — these are questions I’m thinking about right now. I suspect I will return to Vanderkam’s book again as I recover post-pregnancy and begin the new job. I hope to pick up I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time and have been scanning through her blog archives all week, happy to have hope that having a family and personal goals (or even work) goals do not have to be separate or even contradictory. As Jennifer Fulwiler puts it, it really can be One Beautiful Dream.