Month: February 2014 (Page 1 of 2)

Back spasm

Friday after my birthday I woke up to my usual routine.  I fed Sam and then exercised in my room.  As I bent to pick up his pacifier my lower back had a spasm.  This has happened before.  I can remember four other times since I originally injured my lower back in a dance performance in high school.  Last time it spasmed was October, but it only lasted about a day.  This time I’m quite incapacitated. 

Lucky for me, Ben works at home on Fridays.  I had my phone with me and texted him to come upstairs because I couldn’t pick up Sam.  He half worked, half took care of the kids for the day.  The weekend had lots of fun plans that I had to cancel.  Monday he went back to work and I was well enough to carry Sam for short distances.  Heat pads, NSAIDs, and a tens unit have been my friends this week. 

Jack has another cold (runny nose, hacking cough) and Sam is teething ferociously.  We three make a sad scene this week. 

Today we are feeling a bit better.  Jack is in good spirits.  Sam seems content.  My back is improved.  Mornings are the worst for pain and I was able to send Ben to work at a normal time today, rather than keep him around to do all the lifting. 

I’m glad I’m done with dance rehearsals.  Saturday is the big double dress rehearsal day.  If I continue on this course I should be able to go as planned.  I don’t have to dance or demonstrate, but I need to be able to handle Sam for a full day in an uncomfortable high school auditorium.  Then on Sunday we are hosting an Oscars party.  I have a long to do list for that, so I had better get started slowly soon.

Today is my birthday!

Happy birthday to me!


Last weekend my parents and brother and sister in law came to visit, and we partially celebrated then.  It was fun and I was mucho spoiled with presents this year, especially from my husband.  Ben also took today off work – which I think is the best way to celebrate a birthday.  That way I had a low stress day with my family.  Everything I asked for was greeted with a “yes,” from bacon and eggs for breakfast, to rearranging my living room.

Now please enjoy this video of Sam splashing in his bath.  It has nothing to do with my birthday, except that he got a bath tonight.

Sam is Five Months Old!

Sam is Five Months Old

Sam is getting into the fun stage of babyhood.  He is happier more of the time and so curious about the world.  Last month he started solid foods, cut a tooth, and slept 11 hours straight for one night.

His sleep is generally good, but not consistent.  I put him down anytime between 7 and 9 pm dependent on previous nap times, dependent on the day’s activities for me and Jack.  He gets up usually once per night, between 4 and 6 am.  Sometimes he wakes up two times, starting as early as 2 am.  I can usually get him to settle back in bed until 7 am.  He doesn’t always go back to sleep, but he coos and plays by himself if he wrestles out of his swaddle.

He discovered his toes last month.  He loves to hold them when his legs are bare.

Sam is Five Months Old

He is learning to sit up.  He can do it, but not for more than a couple seconds.

Sam is Five Months Old

Sam is Five Months Old

He is a super cuddlebug.  I love it!  He would love to be held all day.  After burping him he rests his head on my shoulder and coos and chews his fingers. 

Sam is Five Months Old

Sam is Five Months Old

He loves fabric toys, his pacifiers, and his rattle.  But best of all is watching his brother.

Sam is Five Months Old

Bonus update

Sam cut his first tooth!  He was going to town on my thumb, drool oozing everywhere, gumming it thoroughly.  After awhile it occurred to me that he had a little, sharp nubbin he was working on.  Poor guy!  That explains why he woke up screaming twice today.  I gave him some tylenol when he was too tuckered out to chew on my finger or the squishy teether I dug out of storage.  He bit me twice during his bedtime feeding.  I’m not thrilled about that.  Even so, yay Sam!  Growing up so fast.

To save you the trouble of searching my archives, I’ll make the comparison.  Jack was born in May and got his first tooth in the first week of January.  Sam was born in September and got his first tooth in the first week of February.  I’m constantly amazed at how similar and how different these two can be!

Little updates

Just a quick note to say what’s going on in our lives.

  • Jack is registered for preschool in the fall.  He will go 4 days a week in the morning for 2.5 hours.  Oh, what am I going to do with that time?  It will be lovely.  If they had openings I would have started him now.  He is SO ready for school.  I had to drag him out of there both days we went for registration.
  • Jack is also sick again.  A mild cold with cough and runny nose.  Poor kid.  I think we made it three weeks without illness?  Four perhaps?  Not bad.  
  • I’m listening to far too much Pitbull for a white girl in the white snow wearing a white cardigan.  Time to get back to zumba.  I need to find a new evening class or wait until Sam is old enough for the gym daycare (6 months).  
  • Rehearsals for Spamalot are going great.  The boys are super excited for their Lancelot dance.  I even heard them wondering if they could give the track to the winter formal dance DJ.  I have just one more number to create and teach.  It’s the biggie: The Knights of the Round Table.  A long dance sequence and perhaps the best known song from the original movie.

A Fresh Start

January meant the start of a serious health turnabout.  For various reasons (postpartum recovery, never-ending family sickness, and holidays) I put off losing the baby weight until the new year.  I have a lot of work to do.  Not only did I start the pregnancy 10 pounds heavier than my first one, I was 25 pounds heavier at Sam’s birth than I was at Jack’s.  So, yeah.  Need to lose the weight.

I’m doing it!  I lost 15 pounds last month.  I have 12 pounds to go to meet my goal.  (My goal is reasonable, and hopefully I can reach it and then lose more.)  I expect it will take a lot longer to lose that last 12.  There was a lot of holiday bloat and pregnancy fluff that comes off fast.

My method is simple:
Eat whole foods.  No processed.  Exercise every day.

Ok, I have more rules than that.  But in general, I wanted to make an easy plan that I can follow long term.  I’ve counted calories and carbs.  It works for a while.  Then I burn out and fall off the wagon.  I also feel restricted and crave junk, often searching for fancy products that meet my limitations in weird ways (Atkins products, for example).

My eating rules:
I can eat as many whole fruits and vegetables I want.
No processed foods.
No refined flour or sugar.
No soda, even diet.
If I eat starches they need to be whole grains (whole wheat, oats, quinoa, etc)
Stevia and xylitol are allowed.
I can eat two chocolate servings a day.
Weekends are rule relaxed. 

In practice what this means is I make most meals from scratch and I can eat as much as I want so long as I follow the rules.  Potatoes in a slow cooker roast are fine.  Cocoa, banana, greek yogurt smoothies with stevia are good.  Steel cut oats for breakfast with cinnamon and maple syrup, or eggs and fruit:
We can eat out, but the restaurant needs to be fairly wholesome.  ModMarket Fresh, Panera Bread, Subway, Boston Market, Jimmy Johns, Chipotle.  These are places where you can look up all the ingredients and judge whether they use too many processed foods, too much salt, and other junk.  It’s nice to have this option on the weekend, so I don’t feel like I’m starving myself indefinitely.

I also let myself have a diet soda, preferably caffeine free, on the weekend.  I have a serious diet coke addiction.  It’s something I really enjoy and I was probably drinking 2-4 cans/fountain refills daily.  I went cold turkey for three weeks and now have a couple on Saturdays.  Much better.

I also don’t eat the chocolate I’m allowed.  But sometimes I do, and I eat more than I should.  Tonight I made pumpkin oat cookies (low sugar, dark chocolate chunks, no fat) and I ate more than I should have.  But I try not to let it ruin the day.  There’s no calorie count, so I don’t feel like I failed my record and I need to make it up the next day.  Flexible and low tracking effort – that was my goal and it seems to be working.  The weekend cheat days sort of reinvigorate me to start afresh each Monday, sticking to the plan better. 

I exercise every day but Sunday.  At least 5 minutes, and I aim for 10-30.  I do this right after Sam wakes up and I feed him.  This is how I get it done:


He’s gotten better at using his saucer.  At first he didn’t like to hold himself up in it and he felt alone.  Now he turns himself and plays with all the toys for the whole time I work-out.  I do sit-ups, squats, lunges, planks, etc in my bedroom.  Or I run on the elliptical that Amanda loaned me.  Or if I have musical rehearsal, that counts for my daily exercise.  I always spend a good amount of time stretching too.  I also have very active boys.  I rarely spend time sitting at home except during nap.  I’m constantly going up and down the stairs, picking up after them, cleaning, cooking, and squatting and lifting Sam.  All of that, plus breastfeeding, is burning off more calories too.

I hope in a couple months I can report that I’m closer to my goal and still living the healthy, active life!

Update: forgot to mention one of my motivators.  For every 5 pounds I lose, verified by three consecutive days of weighing, I get to buy new clothes!  My wardrobe is horribly out of date, too young for me, slubby, and almost nothing fits.  So this is a great reward for myself.

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