Friday, July 08, 2011

Catching Up

Because someone to me to stop neglecting my blog.

Unfortunately, given the choice to neglect my child, my business, myself, my husband, my house or the 1000 fruit flies and ants that have recently taken up residence – I’ve had no choice but to neglect the blog. If only there were another 3 hours in every day.

Put that on the list of things to request when I finally get time to write the letter to god.


Catching up...

Eventually I emerged from recovery week.

Like two weeks ago.

Since then I’ve had some epic moments in both parenting and training.

According to the most recent polls, I am still in the running for Parent of the Year. Not an easy award to win. It requires a fair amount of negligence (we showed up at the family Fourth of July party with no shoes, no food and no extra outfit for Max – we couldn’t find his shoes before we left, but we found them when we came home, in the street at the end of our driveway), a fair amount of recklessness (his favorite toy is the dishwasher, and when I found him with an old onion in his mouth I thought…that’s awesome) and a fair amount of “if he needs me, I’ll hear him” (we don’t use a baby monitor, honestly if they need you, you’ll hear them – through the door).

Our approach to parenting is not exactly conventional. Nor careful. Nor approved by the grandparents. We don’t walk around armed with a baby wipe to keep him clean. We don’t always put shoes on him (mostly because we can never find them) and sometimes we highly encourage nudity (though this is never advised around carpet, it only takes one time to learn this lesson).

The other day, someone was asking me what you really need to register for when you have a baby. Ah, the baby registry. Horrific, nightmarish memories of walking circles around BuyBuyBaby with one of those scanners that always seemed to freeze after three items. How do you choose amongst 20 different types of baby bottles? Are they really all that different? I registered for all sorts of stuff, most of it which you don’t really need. In fact, I’ve boiled it down to three items that you must have with a baby:

1 – Diapers. We go through $80 worth of diapers a month. There’s this urban myth out there that the cost of diapers will eat into your savings fund and leave you broke on the side of the street. I’m not sure what these people are feeding their kids. Some people spend 80 bucks a month on coffee. Diapers are really not that expensive.

2 – Boobs. Because they are the best and most convenient source of food for your baby. And, they are free! Unless you factor in the aftermath of what’s left of your boobs after nursing. In that case, the cost is about 4 to 8 grand for a new set. Yes, I’ve done research.

3 – Old towels. About 100 of them. Forget registering for all those cute blankets and washcloths. You need old ratty towels to clean up anything – the highchair (I have literally spent 30 minutes a day cleaning that thing), the water from the dog bowl that just got dumped for the 100th time (you’d think I learn already), dirt from plants and other “things” (see a few paragraphs below).

You also need a cooperative spouse. And when I say cooperative, I really mean a spouse who will say ‘yes’ to anything. A cooperative spouse walks in the door and takes over. No questions asked! In that regard, I have the world’s most cooperative spouse. Soon to be parents, if you are reading this, go to the nearest mirror and repeat this over and over again “Ok”. Can you take out the dog? Ok. Can you cook dinner? Ok. Can you pick up more bananas? Ok.

Though Chris might need some gentle reminders (Chris are you watching him – yes – as Max climbs into the kiddie pool, Chris are you watching him – yes – as Max grabs a fork), we mostly agree on parenting. And so when he had the idea to let Max “air out” on the deck the other night – meaning, crawl around with no clothes on – I had to agree (in my free time, I stand in front of the mirror and say “ok” – I have freetime for approximately 32 minutes a week). In theory, it was a good idea because Max has a raging case of diaper rash.

And so Max crawled around, naked, free, happy. There is nothing more happy than a naked baby. Also, nothing more loaded and dangerous.

What’s on his leg?

There are few times in life when I have almost shit myself. This was one of them. If there was any doubt in the polls as to whether we should win Parent of the Year, this definitely pulls us ahead. Our naked and happy son just took a massive crap in the corner of the deck.

How you go about cleaning this requires a lot of…you got it – old towels.

(how you convince the dog to stay away while you’re cleaning it is an entirely different story)

I’d like to say my training has gone better but some interrupted sleep has left me feeling a little like that pile of poo on my deck for a few days. Three weeks ago, Max started getting two new teeth. Why on earth we painfully cut a whole mouth full of teeth only to lose them is beyond me. I’ve been meaning to write a letter to god about it. But I just haven’t had time. There were a few nights in a row where he kept waking up. Which meant I kept waking up. And thus my body adopted a new circadian rhythm; middle of the night, WAKE UP!

So, about training…

On Saturday I went out for a moderately long brick. I didn’t realize the challenge of the weather until I got a text from a friend that said something about the wind, like “get out there soon because the wind is already blowing”. Before 8 am. Never a good sign. The temperature was climbing into the 90s, the dewpoint was 78, and I was surrounded by corn that was pointing in the direction of west wind – stiff and dehydrating.

You know you’re being beat by the training on a ridiculously hot day when you find yourself riding by a cemetery and thinking “that would be a great place to take a nap.” I had about a dozen or so moments like this on my Saturday workout. Out there in the middle of nowhere when I just wanted to crawl into the corn for some shade. All 1 inch of shade that you get from the cornstalk. At one point, I noticed a bizarre path that something had made into the corn. Either from a corn bear or a very desperate cyclist.

It was one of those rides where I found myself 20 minutes away from the car and it might as well have been 2 hours. The last few miles where you start to fantasize about water – cold. Where you start to come up with plans of how you will find more water. You see a kid with a garden hose watering flowers and wonder if it would be too awkward to ride up to him, sweaty and sunburnt, begging to fill your bottles. You get to the car 5 miles later and you’re like – were you really on the edge of death there, Fedofsky? You could have ran the 5 miles back to the car wheeling the bike next to you. It was that bad?

But somewhere around 50 miles into the ride I reached that point. The point of negotiations where it’s you pitted against yourself. It’s been a long time since I’ve been there. It’s not like this workout was hard, it’s just that it’s been a long time (uh, 3+ years) since I’ve gone someplace terribly uncomfortable, moderately long and very very hot on my bike. This is one of the reasons I love training for long course triathlons. You go to places in training and racing that you simply cannot replicate in any other area of life. It becomes almost like an animal survival. Water – I need water, NOW. It’s very raw. Sometimes I think endurance athletes are people who have come to feel unchallenged by daily life. They seek something bigger to overcome. The biggest thing you can overcome is yourself.

Near the end of the ride I found myself thinking, wow I’d really like to get off my bike but once I do I’m going to have to run so maybe I’ll just stay on my bike instead. Eventually, by miracle of tailwind, I got back to the car. The only thing waiting there for me was a Garmin and a pair of running shoes. I then began what’s becoming a pattern of slow runs in oppressive heat. At this point I am convinced if only the temperature would drop 40 degrees I would be really, really fast.

But it’s all good training. Good because I’m doing this little race in October which promises 10+ hours of oppressive heat. Speaking of which, at some point in the next 4 weeks I will begin training for Ironman. I’ve seen the plan ahead, I looked once then slowly backed away from it with my hands over my eyes and butterflies in my stomach. I saw something like “52 miles of running” on one week in September and almost shot myself in the foot just to get it over with more quickly and painlessly.

Fear not, come late July I suspect I’ll have many more stories about training. And speaking on late July - we are fast approaching Max’s first birthday. It’s hard to believe a year has gone by! Ok, that’s bullshit. I still remember being up at all hours of the night for months on end, sitting in the rocking chair, wishing people would update their Facebook more often so I had something to read during late night feedings. Each day seemed like forever! I don’t know how I did it. But you quickly adapt and it becomes your new normal. In fact, I think that is the key to making progress after pregnancy. You accept that you have a new normal and you work with it. When you continually lament for what you once had, you get stuck and go in circles. There are parts of me that will never be “normal” again. That is ok. Even if it’s not ok, you just learn to move on and put your focus on something else. It’s is like endurance racing – keep moving forward.

There has been much talk about Max’s first birthday. I put my foot down at moon jump and clowns. Max might enjoy a clown but clowns scare the shit out of me! Someone asked what types of toys Max enjoys, so here’s a list: spoons, large household appliances, cords, the dog’s bone, remote controls, coffee cup lids, magazine pages. Don’t register for baby toys – babies don’t need them. If you’ve got a wooden spoon, you’re set! I’m pretty sure that Max will also enjoy a birthday cake (maybe not, but I will). Cake thick with frosting and I don’t care what it says – happy birthday Max or congrats mom for surviving one year of limited sleep and hips that never stop aching.

So when’s the happy first year of parenting party? The party where we do a shot for every diaper we changed in those first few weeks – I remember 18 in one day. The party where we learn that this was the easiest year – they don’t really move and they don’t talk (yet)!. The party where we get so drunk we risk creating #2 - public service announcement: when going out for drinks on a weekday night, never ever bring a pen…there’s a list they pass around where you sign up for parenting if you’re not careful!

Now that I’ve written a blog, I’ve spent the past 15 minutes neglecting my child. He’s currently in his crib throwing all 6 of the pacifiers I put in there with him (I just gave you Awesome Parenting Tip #107 right there). Where they land is anyone’s guess. I suspect only when we move will we find the other dozens of pacifiers that have gone missing. Just yesterday one completely disappeared while Max was playing in my closet (Awesome Parenting Tip #108 – the contents of your closet are 100 times more entertaining than any toy chest). If I don’t get up there next 5 minutes, he’ll go into full blown YOU’VE LEFT ME IN THIS WILDERNESS mode.

In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1….yup. Wilderness, people. The nonparents reading this are mortified by my (lack of) parenting skills; can you believe she left him awake and alone in the crib for 15 minutes? The parents reading this are thinking she could probably milk that freetime for another 5 minutes before he moves into hysterics.

In 5, 4…waiting….

11 comments:

Mary IronMatron said...

Happy first bday to YOU... and the new normal.
:) I lamented for a few months (okay, maybe a little longer than that).
At least you went and got Max out of the crib eventually. By baby #3 you just put in earplugs and go on your merry way....

Molly said...

Those small handtowels are known as drool towels in our house (that's what happens when you live with a St Bernard) and YES they can be used for anything! I stock my car with them for emergencies.

And this? Sometimes I think endurance athletes are people who have come to feel unchallenged by daily life. They seek something bigger to overcome. The biggest thing you can overcome is yourself. YES.

krystyna47 said...

"This is one of the reasons I love training for long course triathlons. You go to places in training and racing that you simply cannot replicate in any other area of life. It becomes almost like an animal survival. Water – I need water, NOW. It’s very raw. Sometimes I think endurance athletes are people who have come to feel unchallenged by daily life. They seek something bigger to overcome."

Oh lord, YES. I remember one hot training ride maybe 1.5 months before a full iron. I didn't know the area, and realized I'd run out of water with nothing but cows around me. Amazingly, their pasture was being watered by massive sprinklers which, GOD DAMN IT, I could not access because of the electric fencing around the farm. Not from lack of trying.

Kurt P. said...

pretty sure it says "48-52 miles" but let's not split hairs:-)

Glad that you have similar parenting methods to Erika and I. We have pre-baby furniture and stuff and will be buying post baby stuff in the next few years.

stay cool.

-KP

BriGaal said...

You just saved me a lot of time registering at some horrifying baby warehouse. Thanks!

Steve said...

You are funny. Sounds like your kid is in the best hands. :)--I am not kidding about that.

Good luck with everything. My life seems so much easier than yours right now. Where the hell is my beer?? :)

X-Country2 said...

Happy (almost) first birthday, Max! Congrats to you too, mama. My boys turn one tomorrow, and I can't believe it. Can not.

Randomly, I have to thank you for the iPhone suggestion last year. I was pumping at the time, and it was such an AH HA moment. I never thought to bring my Blackberry with me, but it made those 15 minutes fly.

Sugar Knickers said...

I've been loving on your blog for months, for athletic inspiration & the juggling of kiddo and self. Today I laughed out loud at all your parenting input, it is close to 100% the same as the way my husband and I parent our son. I feel a bit like a buzzkill at baby showers when people ohhhh and ahhh over soft cuddly blankets or burp clothes "shaking my head "never gonna use it or just grab a towel instead" is what I'm thinking. I never thought I would parent so 'organically' as my mom calls it (haven't decided if she means it as a compliment yet)...no baby monitor, fancy bells & whistles, lots of kiddo nudity, etc...but it works for us.

Keep on trucking with your training, it is so inspiring. I am a runner, cyclist & swimmer..just recently put them all together for my first sprin tri with an ocean swim and it was a blast. Looking forward to an olympic length in the fall. Amazing what you can do as a mom and woman...I'm loving it.

Alicia Parr said...

Diapers, boobs, old towels and accepting the new normal. Yup, I think you've about got it.

Congrats on almost a full year of parenting. :)

Keith said...

Somehow you snuck this in on me and I missed it!

You did not mention the words "duct tape", therefore you are still in the running for the parent of the year. You realize of course, the trophy is a child's potty seat.

Trigirlpink said...

Max is going to be one? Wow... the year flew by. It seemed like yesterday you were toting him around in your belly.

Tell Max.. er Chris you deserve 1 carat diamond studs to celebrate the year! Ha!

corn bears????