Sunday, July 31, 2011


Just like my last post said, I took a week off from running and all cardio really (minus my spin class on Monday).  Instead I dug out my stability ball and I worked on core and some upper and lower body exercises. Nothing strenuous at all but it was nice to focus on my core for once. One thing you notice when you have a new baby is that a lot of photographs get taken ... consequently you notice how terrible your posture is when you see yourself in 103 photos. The hunched over look is really not appealing at.all. I am definitely guilty of having terrible posture and I have made a mental note to really work on that.

My week was fairly uneventful minus a dental appointment that had me so numb and sore I was happy I didn't have to do any cardio.

Thursday however was an exciting day. Vans got called into work and wasn't home (he is usually off every other Thursday while I am home on leave) so I was left with both the Peanut and Squeaker for the entire day. The last time this happened I made plans with Mrs. REI at their local splash park so the kids could play. This time, I tried to entertain on my own.

The first order of business was to visit Gold Bug Park up in Placerville. I had never been but I had done some research and figured it would be a neat place to bring the Peanut and it wasn't too far from home that Squeaker would have a fit in the car. The temps were also supposed to be 99 that day so what better activity than to go inside a really cold gold mine?

Where are we going mommy?


Yes they made adults wear hard hats so we don't bump our heads on the low rocky ceilings in the cave. They also give the adults an audio tour stick where you can listen to "a ghost" tell you all about the mine. I have to admit, the whole "ghost" thing didn't sit well with the Peanut ... at first.

but she had me to protect her

and of course Squeaker

The inside of the mine was quite cold which was great for us but not so much for Squeaker although she didn't seem to mind one bit. She didn't sleep one bit either though.

Can't go this way

The Peanut had a blast walking through the cave with its muddy wet floors but she had to hold my hand because she wasn't loving it THAT much.

touching the wet rocky walls

finally enjoying "the ghost" stick as it told us about the mine

The whole experience is not very long, especially at 3 year old speed (she didn't like listening to all of the audio tour, only parts). So we really did a speed tour of the gold mine.

run away baby!

The Peanut was also very disappointed that we did not find any gold however all was forgotten when she realized there was a resident puppy on the property AND that they sell "rock candy" in the gift shop. All was right with the world again.

After the Gold Mine the volunteer suggested we take a "short walk" up the "little hill" to the Stamp Mill to see what was going on there. Um, yeah short walk maybe but "little hill" it was not. I put Squeaker in the carrier and carried her on my chest while pushing the Peanut (all 30+ pounds of her) in the jogging stroller (aka BOB) up this enormous hill. So much for taking it easy this week huh?

Yet, the Stamp Mill was cool. We met Carter the resident Blacksmith and he gave us a little intro into what he was working on using horse shoes. The Peanut was a little shocked to find out that horses wear shoes!

look at the pretty rocks Mommy!

A chair just my size!

Look at me Mommy!

The Stamp Mill was small and another quick visit. The Peanut enjoyed walking around the shop though and looking at the strange little things. 

She also enjoyed this wheel that was placed randomly out front. She asked if she could check it out and who am I to say no. She was having fun.

However that was about it for Gold Bug Mine. Not much else to do or see. They have a nice picnic ground area and you can pan for gold but I could tell I was about the lose the interest of the Peanut and Squeaker was already squeaking away at me. It was time for stop number 2 on my planned agenda for the day.

We loaded into the car and drove up the freeway to The Fudge Factory Farm! Surprise! I was so excited to take the Peanut to the Fudge Factory Farm that I think I was more disappointed than she was to arrive there only to find out it was closed! Their ad had said they were open but alas they were not.

I also had two very hungry kids on my hands so I sort of disobeyed the rules and just plopped ourselves down for a picnic on the closed grounds of High Hill Ranch in Placerville.

just sitting and enjoying . . .

our own private pond.

We have been working with the Peanut on introducing new foods. She is the world's pickiest eater (as was I when I was a kid) so today's new food was cream cheese and jelly sandwiches!

not loving it but at least trying it

The kid doesn't even like peanut butter and jelly so doing any sort of picnic with her is a hard task in terms of what to pack. I figured she likes cream cheese and she kind of likes jelly so why not together? Apparently, not a big hit.

Squeaker didn't seem impressed either

Finally after our picnic lunch, I had one final stop in mind. Actually, this final stop came into play once I found out that the Fudge Factor Farm was closed.

Whistle Stop Yogurt, Placerville

The Peanut is always down for some frozen yogurt so I figured why not break up the drive home with a quick stop (they also had a restroom large enough to fit all three of us, aaaah).

Overall I would say the day was fun. It was some great bonding time with the girls and the Peanut enjoyed our little adventure. She is pretty easy going (minus the picky eating thing). I was definitely exhausted by the time we got home ... but I wasn't the only one ...

Mission accomplished

Sunday, July 24, 2011


After my run on Wednesday, I basically took Thursday and Friday off from running. I would not say I was being lazy because I do have two kids to look after and I even managed some upper body work. However, on Thursday I was feeling extra tired. I think running combined with the heat and very little sleep and rest is starting to catch up to me as I wasn't feeling very well. Reality is setting in.

I told myself, I was saving myself for a run on Saturday morning. I wanted to try that five mile trail loop by my house again. However, when I woke up Saturday morning I could tell it was going to be a challenge. My stomach has not been feeling well lately and Saturday morning was no exception. I figured I would give it a shot anyways hoping things would work itself out while on my run. In short, they didn't and my five mile run turned into mostly a five mile walk. I decided (while on this long unexpected walk) that maybe I will take a week off from running. Even though my legs and lungs feel fine to run, something still not quite right since Squeaker arrived (who is 6 weeks today!). It might also just be a lack of quality sleep making my runs rough on my body too. I remember going through the same thing with the Peanut after she was born. Either way, this week long break will be tough because mentally, I need to run sometimes, even just for a moment to myself. It also throws a loop into my CIM training plan which technically starts next weekend. With the Peanut I had three to four months before I started training for the marathon, this time I am less than two months after delivery. I have no goals for CIM other than to finish it healthy and without hindering my milk supply. I need to just relax and let the training happen naturally. If I can manage the long runs down the road then I think I will be okay.

Like I said, I had a lot to think about on that forced five mile walk. Later in the day the four of us went to the State Fair. It is tradition for us and we generally go with the REI Family. This year was no exception other than we were crazy to go on a Saturday evening (we normally go on a week night evening). The fair was packed and it was hot (for the first few hours). Still, the Peanut and Little REI had a blast together and I got an additional work out in unexpectedly.

that is 30+ lbs on my back

The fair parking lot was full so we had to park really far away and walk (maybe 3/4 of a mile) to the fair ... carrying all of our things.

Squeaker came too!

The Peanut and Little REI had a blast running around and eating really terrible fried foods but that is what you do at the State Fair ... and of course ride some rides. This year, the girls were finally tall enough to ride the kiddie rides!

Driving the boat

Having a blast

They got to stay up really late too and watch the fireworks at the end. Overall, an exhausting day all around. Squeaker was awake most of the time at the fair as well and stayed awake when we got home...until after midnight! I was up with her most of the night which made waking up today, extremely painful.

Also today I was invited to attend Diane Cressey's Breakout Fitness TRX intro class. I've been researching and looking into the TRX workout system for a long time but could not figure out how to install it in our house. When presented with a chance to see how this system works, I was all over it ... even if it meant attending the class on little to no sleep AND six weeks post baby.

I basically stumbled out of bed this morning feeling awful and made my way to Breakout Fitness. The class was an hour long and not a full workout but a basic intro into how the system works and all the different moves we could do. Let me tell you, for not being a "real" workout ... I can barely sit here and type this my arms are screaming. We did some bicep and tricep moves that are really tough and I won't even go into how incredibly weak my core is right now and how difficult it was to do a suspended plank move. Ouch.

we did most of these moves or a variation

It was killer and of course made me come home and tell Vans "I want it!" ha ha He is used to my coming home and telling him I want this treadmill or this strange contraption ... he just usually rolls his eyes at me although this time, I think he would actually benefit and enjoy the TRX system ... if we could only figure out how to suspend it securely in our garage. . . hmmmmm.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Tonight I ran my first official trail run post-baby! For days Vans has been encouraging me to run this trail near our house. I think mostly he is tired of hearing me moan and groan about how hard running three miles is in and around our neighborhood. They don't call it El Dorado Hills for nothing ... there are some brutal hills here. Vans said this trail is rather flat and that he didn't think it was that long. It is also within running distance of our home which is rare in these parts.

Instead of doing my 5:30 am spin class that I normally do on Monday mornings, I decided to do this run. Mostly, being up four to five times in the middle of the night (the last being about 3:30 am) I was too exhausted to go to spin and decided to listen to the doctor and not ride a bike for at least one more week.

Vans agreed this morning that I could go for a run tonight when he got home from work since I missed out on my morning exercise. All day long I have been looking forward to this run. I am not exactly sure why since I have been running every other day or so but there is something about finding a new route that is exciting.

The first mile from our house is on roads and bike trail but soon you hit the trail head.

I look rather pained at just a mile into the run huh?

I am wearing head phones but I don't normally run with music (especially when running on trails or a place with traffic). However, earlier today I had an email exchange with Coach Nikon wherein he admitted his adoration for one of my all time favorite bands/singers ... Bon Jovi (Coach Nikon - this is for you). So I had the itch to listen to a little Bon Jovi but once I hit the trails, I took out my ear buds. I am glad that I did too because this was no ordinary trail.

New York? I felt right at home when I saw this!

It started off with an open dirt road...but things did change

Just like my old running adventures, this one did not disappoint. Here I thought Vans was sending me on an easy trail run that was basically like a fire road ... but once I got past a certain point ... the adventure started.

First I encountered a stream crossing! My first post-baby stream crossing!

Okay, more like puddle jumping ...

Mountain Lion Warnings!

I also passed quite a few men walking their dogs and some teenagers making out on a nearby bench but my all time favorite was the family out shooting their bee bee guns!

I tried to take a photo as I walked by. Not very discreet.

The trail kept going and going. Vans said it would spit me out at a school and sure enough I came across the foot bridge leading to the school.

Of course I made the wrong turn (I was intrigued by some beautiful homes that I had to see up close) and I ended up a little farther down the road than I wanted to be.

I won't lie, even though the trail was mostly flat, I didn't run the entire thing. I needed to walk at times. The longest my runs have been lately is three miles and even then, I am walking up the major hills. Tonight's adventure however, ended up being five miles! Five! I had to scold Vans a little as he told me he thought it was only 3 or so. Oops. Still, it was fun and I enjoyed having a different route to take. I had toyed with running out at Beal's this coming Saturday but after dying on this run, I think I might hold off before tackling something like Beal's. Maybe I will try this run again instead.

With the weather being so mild these past few weeks I could run with Squeaker in the BOB jogger but having done that once ... it is brutal when I hit the hills and I really need to focus on my form since my core is still rather weak.

I am working on strengthening my core and upper body during the day when I am not giggling over the gummy smiles Squeaker is giving me lately. She is truly smiling at me and had another major milestone this week ... she rolled over from back to belly! She's just a joy to be around and is such a sweet and mild baby.

Hello Smiley!

Sorry about the sideways photos ... darn iPhone pics won't rotate.

Friday, July 15, 2011


It has been an exciting and busy week. Jersey Dad and Jersey Step-Mom are out visiting (they leave tomorrow). It has been a week full of doing this and that and going here and there. Most importantly, it has been a week of spoiling for the Peanut and her mommy! I have been able to shower without two sets of eyes crying outside my shower for me to hurry up. I have been able to eat with two hands instead of one handed holding Squeaker and twice this week Vans and I have been able to get out of the house SANS kids! We saw one movie (Horrible Bosses, which is the funniest movie I have seen in a very long time) and the another night we went out for dinner that did not involve high chairs and bribery to finish your plate! Just what I needed.

We have also had fun outings together too. The Peanut especially being spoiled and treated to all sorts of fun!
Games with "Poppy" during lunch

Hot Dogs for lunch

Special laps to sit on whenever you want

The Peanut is really enjoying her time with Poppy and Gramie and I think they are really enjoying their time with her. Two weeks a year is just not enough sometimes but 3,000 miles is a long distance to cover.


getting better!

Of course we haven't gone out to eat every night but it has been nice to have family time together these past few days. Whether playing, swimming, eating or going for walks, everyone I think is a little exhausted come the end of the day.

quite flexible at this age

Squeaker has been spoiled lately too although not quite the same way. A few more arms to hold her and of course being dragged to all the restaurants, zoos, parks and stores will tire a newborn out.

sometimes she is tired

Overall I am sad to see this visit come to an end tomorrow. I know the Peanut will be sad too especially when she realizes she'll have to go back to summer school on Monday.

Other news this week includes my four week post-partum check up. I was given the "OK" to start running again although I have secretly been running a few miles here and there. I was given the official "OK" to swim too even though once again, I've been swimming a few times already.

As I eluded in my last post, I had a surprise Monday activity. When I was about 7 months pregnant I decided to sign up for a spin class through our local community service. It was special deal I could not pass up. Five one hour spin classes (once a week at 5:30 am) for only $35 total. Vans thought I was nuts knowing I'd only be four to six weeks post-baby depending on my delivery date. I, on the other hand, was being optimistic. I knew I would need a kick in the pants to really up my exercise and was truly hoping that I would be close to six weeks versus four weeks post baby. Well, I was four weeks and one day when Monday morning arrived. The class was pretty cool but also very difficult. I haven't been on a spin bike in a very long time. I sweat a lot though which is what I wanted but I also forgot that a spin bike SEAT is not very comfortable (um, especially after having a baby). Still, I survived the class and the extra ab workout they had afterwards. No one at home missed me (well, maybe Vans who actually had to be semi-awake and on alert for any waking kids).

However, the one activity my doctor did put the "red light" on was biking ... for at least two more weeks which is all that I have left in terms of my spin classes. I still plan on attending my spin classes but modifying it a bit so that I am not seated for very long. We'll see how that goes.

Tonight we are heading out to the concert in the park with the whole gang. Tomorrow we will have to say goodbye to Gramie and Poppy when they head back to New Jersey. That'll be a sad morning.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Today I woke up with the glorious idea that maybe I could go for a 3 mile run. Actually, I assumed I would be walking some if not most of the three miles but in my heart I really hoped that I would run more than I would walk.

After getting up at 4:30 a.m. with Squeaker I was up again at 6:30 with her briefly and decided there was no real point in going back to bed. I could not get the idea of running out of my head.

First post baby run pic

I was so optimistic that I was going to succeed in running that I took a typical blog self portrait!\

Even charged my Garmin!

The fact that my heart rate was 97 before I even started running should have been an indication of what my run would be like. I am definitely out of shape. I ran probably about a mile before my stomach started objecting big time. I remember I went through the same thing after the Peanut was born. I think my body needs to remember what to do and until it does, any future runs create havoc on my digestive system.

Part of my run is on dirt so it was nice to pretend that I was trail running even though I really wasn't. My three mile route goes through some very nice neighborhoods but it is mostly pavement. It is also fairly hilly.

Going down hill

this was a secret "hip shot" of one of the houses I run by

I pretty much walk/ran/walked the entire three miles (mostly walking). I even ran a little hill in one of the gated communities I run through.

gated community

I am not disappointed in my run because I know it has only been 3 weeks and 5 days since I gave birth to Squeaker. Next week is my post-partum doctor appointment. I am curious to see if I get the green light to do more activity or if my doctor will put the red light on what I am doing thus far.

I don't see how walking or running a little here and there is any different than taking care of an infant and a three year old all day. Neither activity has me "taking it easy" at all so I might as well run.

Today the Peanut, Squeaker and I went to our local library for a puppet show. Squeaker pretty much slept in the car seat while the Peanut climbed all over me like I was her own personal jungle gym. Later today all four of us went to the free concert in the park our local community puts on. They had a Tom Petty tribute band so I was eager to go even though I was completely exhausted.

My girls

Once again, the human jungle gym

For now I will take it easy. Jersey Dad and my step-mom come out tomorrow for an entire week which means that Vans and I will get a few nights out alone sans kids! Neither of us can barely wait. We already have a few movie ideas in mind and my dad and step-mom are beyond excited to have the girls to themselves. The Peanut is also excited to be spoiled rotten with presents and attention.

I am truly hoping I get the green light to do more activity since I'll have a live in helper during the week allowing me to escape 30 minutes here and there for a run or two. I also have a surprise activity happening on Monday morning ... so stay tuned as Trailmomma struggles to regain her fitness one day at a time.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


As I mentioned in my last post, I came up with a nickname for Trailbaby. It sort of just came to me one day when I was with her.

When I look at her it is like deja vu. I see the Peanut. Visually, she looks exactly like the Peanut at this age (minus a little fullness in the lips). However, Trailbaby's demeanor and behavior is nothing like the Peanut at 3 weeks old.

The Peanut, although an awesome toddler was quite the challenging infant. She had colic from about 2 weeks until almost 10 or 12 weeks. Not just for a few hours either. I remember it starting at 2 pm and lasting close to midnight. Vans and I were beside ourselves with worry thinking something was terribly wrong with her.

She had to be swaddled like a burrito every time she was put down to sleep. She needed her pacifier or else we were left with blood curdling screams that were so loud that even our friends remember how loud her vocal cords were at only 3 weeks old. She came out in the delivery room screaming "put me back in" and continued screaming for probably the first hour. Still, I cannot deny she is probably the best toddler around. She speaks her mind, she says please and thank you and may I often. Other than her less than stellar bedtime routine (which I suppose we're to blame for that) she's truly one special child. I barely remember that whenever she got teeth she got them FOUR.AT.A.TIME and had all of her teeth including molars before she was two.

Trailbaby could not be any different. Swaddling? What is that? The kid hates the swaddle and prefers to sleep free and clear and in her own crib mind you! At three weeks old versus sleeping in mom and dad's room (ahem, like the Peanut did for a long while).

content and smiling

Luckily it took me only the first few nights to realize that she does not like to be bound up. Sure she has that nervous twitch all infants have but it doesn't wake her at all. You know what else doesn't wake her? The vacuum, the blender, the phone, the doorbell and most importantly HER SISTER! Trailbaby can sleep through it all! She also came out in the delivery room with one cry and then that was about it. She's an observer for sure. She just likes to take it all in.

She also eats well and poops well leaving us with very little worry. At three weeks she is already 9.5 pounds and passed her two week checkup with flying colors.

My stepmom said that sisters are like two different flowers from the same garden. I like that because it is so true. I expected the girls to be different just not so different at birth. I figured I'd have one tomboy and one princess. One runner and one mountain biker. I still might I suppose. I know that Trailbaby will grow up watching her sister and want to emulate her at times. Hopefully she'll pick up on all the good behavior the Peanut has and skip the few drama sessions we have when she's overtired or hungry.

One of the biggest differences though between the Peanut and Trailbaby however I already mentioned; her vocal cords. Trailbaby's trachea is not fully formed or "firm" yet. It is a common thing among infants and it generally means she has a raspy breath and sometimes difficulty in swallowing a lot of milk at once. It is nothing to be concerned about. However, before realizing she had this issue, I had started calling her ... Squeaker. I called her Squeaker because her cries are so soft that I can barely even hear her at times. Other times, she'll just look up at me and make this cute little noise, almost like a squeak. Hence the name Squeaker.

The Peanut & Squeaker

I am sure at some point in her life she will no longer "squeak" and will be as vocal as her older sister but forever in my heart, I will always hear that "squeak squeak" noise she makes as an infant.


The girls