Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Up-Hill Mile

This morning I met some of my favorite people at the pool with the intent of sending off 2008 right. We worked ourselves until our arms were filled with cement and now I might have to spend all of 2009 recovering.

Perfect way to end the year!

I've been trying to figure out how to incorporate more quality running into my routine. It's hard when you're running with a baby jogger a lot, so I take the opportunity for faster stuff whenever I can get it. Lately I've been using my run home from the pool to get a little speed in. It's only a mile, but it's mostly up hill so sometimes after a really hard swim it presents a challenge.

I started timing myself on this Up Hill Mile a few weeks ago. 8:25. Next week? 8:00. Then 7:37. Then 7:36. I figured I'd hit a little plateau where I'd stay for a while, hovering around 7:30...

But this morning, to finish out 2008...

In 2009, I will get that into the 6's...
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

No Passing (?)

Yesterday, Matt Fitzgerald wrote a blog about how when he runs, nobody out on the road passes him. And if they try, he plays little games with them but in the end, they don't pass him.

I couldn't relate.

Ok, maybe in the pool I can sort-of kind-of relate. At a masters practice there will always be someone faster than me... but if I just go over to the pool to swim on my own, I generally don't encounter too many people who can beat me up too bad. And if someone tries, I generally do what I can to give 'em a good workout.

But running? Plenty of people are faster than me. Since I typically surround myself with some very high quality athletes, sometimes it seems that everyone is faster than me.

So this morning I was out running and saw a guy up ahead... and to my surprise, I was catching him. And in short order, I passed him. And he wasn't even wearing tube socks.

Then later into the run, I saw 2 more people running. Passed them too. What's going on?? I don't pass people when I'm running. They pass me.

Maybe there are more people out on the road running because it's a New Year's Resolution or something and they're all just trying to get into shape... or maybe I'm getting faster?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lightening Crashes

Friday night we were out having dinner with some friends at Lucy's Restaurant in Kailua when all of a sudden the whole place went dark. Our table immediately erupted in song... Happy Birthday for our friend we were celebrating... and the whole restaurant joined it. FUN!

But then we realized that this wasn't just a little power out on the block... heard it was the whole island... and immediately wondered if we were being attacked by terrorists who were out to get our President Elect who was staying right down the road from the restaurant... Stop saying that! I actually felt better knowing that it was a bolt of lightening that struck one of Hawaiian Electric's transformers that caused all the electric on the island to go out.

Regardless, I had to drive my precious daughter home on the streets with no lights... all traffic lights were supposed to be 4 way stops but since people apparently forget all rules and cease to have any dignity when the lights are out, it was a stressful drive for me. Moana clearly picked up on my nervousness because she screamed bloody murder the whole way home (that didn't help).

Good thing my husband is so prepared for a power outage. Last time this happened (2006) and I was alone I'm not even sure I had a candle to light. But thanks to him, we had emergency lights, an emergency radio, and a camping stove to heat up our water for coffee on Saturday morning. Yes, the power was out until after noon on Saturday...

It can actually be fun to camp in your own house with your new little family. Good thing Santa brought that cool new tent for Moana!

So that's what Moana got for her 2 month birthday... her first power outage! She survived no problem. So did the cats, who seemed unfazed by the whole ordeal.

Today, Mike and I were riding back from the north shore* when we saw 3 police cars, followed by a long black limo, followed by 2 more police cars, followed by a small passeger bus, followed by 3 more police cars. I was ready to turn around and follow Obama back to the north shore, but considering we had 45 miles already in the legs and no more food/money, I'm sure I would have bonked before getting to shake his hand. Note to self: Put a $20 bill in your flat kit.

*Before anyone on the mainland and currently dealing with snowstorms gets all jealous of the fact that I can ride 56 miles outside in a sleeveless jersey in December, keep in mind that for the first half of the ride I was being pelted so hard by huge raindrops that it felt like I was being beaten by hail. Talk about hardening up...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Moana's First Christmas

She looked so peaceful and serene before she woke up this Christmas morning...

Though she listened intently,

Our best efforts at explaining Christmas and Santa to her were in vain... but she sat and waited for her presents with more patience than she'll have again for the next 17 years.

In fact, her extreme patience came off as disinterest at times.

You might notice that she's not wearing her Christmas onesie. Let's just say that a massive explosion this morning sent Scott to the shower, had me cleaning the walls, and left her My First Christmas outfit unfit to wear.

Despite the messy start to the day, Santa was good to Moana this year... She's all set to go to the beach now with her new rash guard and little swimmer diapers.

We didn't actually make it to the beach today though because the weather didn't really cooperate. Maybe we'll try this weekend. If it is sunny, at least she'll have her own shade in this oh so cool shade tent Santa left for her.

The KidCo tent was actually a huge hit with her. She hung out in there as happy as a clam and entertained herself for like an hour this evening.

She's not quite big enough yet to get use out of her new Activity Walker... but this thing is cool. I think she's really gonna like it in another month or two when she is able to start using it to move herself about the house!

So even though Christmas was lost on Moana this year, it was the best for Scott and me. We can't wait for next year! :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It Won't Be Like This For Long...

It's Christmas Eve... 10:30 PM... we all went to bed about an hour ago but Moana apparently decided that she's slept enough already today so she's up now (all WIDE EYES) and I'm trying to get her to go back to sleep in her swing (where she seems most content)...

We had an awesome Christmas Eve evening... celebrating Scott's promotion at work with a bottle of wine... roasted turkey, potatoes, and green bean casserole for dinner (I'm apparently a good wife/mom at Christmas!)... listening to Christmas music and dancing around the house... all good.

Would have been really good if Moana had gone to sleep like we wanted to, but she's 8 weeks old and hasn't quite got it that dark = sleep, so sometimes we're up later than we'd like to be.

Okay, I haven't slept through the night in 6 months, but who's counting?

Anyway, I'm reminded of a song by Darius Rucker called, "It Won't Be Like This For Long". Perfect song for any new parent dealing with a newborn who is up a lot at night. Download it from iTunes, or listen to it here... This song was written for us.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Traditions

This is my first Christmas as a wife. And a mom. Holy cow. I'm a mom. Tonight while I stayed up and finished wrapping the presents that Santa bought for Moana, I really felt like a mom. I thought about what it was probably like for my own mom to stay up late wrapping presents for my brother and me... funny how I never really thought about that... for 34 years... until just now. Thanks, mom.

Scott and I were talking last night about what we want Christmas to be for our family. It still seems weird to me that we are our own family. A little family. A new family. But our own family.

So what will our traditions be? We each shared stories about our Christmas mornings growing up... running in and jumping on mom and dad's bed to let them know that Santa had come... finding the half eaten carrots that had been left out for the reindeer... and whether or not we were allowed to open stockings before breakfast... the waffles for breakfast... or the quiche for brunch...

So this year, even while Moana is still too little to even know what the heck is going on, Scott and I will start our own traditions. I think the beach will be involved. I have a premonition (call it mother's intuition) that Santa might bring Moana something she can use at the beach. Maybe a couple of things.

It's really fun for me to think about what Christmas morning will be like for Moana growing up... and whether she knows it or not, our traditions start this year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Put All Your Stuff On A Boat...

I've been asked a couple times how it is that I ended up living in Hawaii. The short answer is, I got transferred with work. If you want the details, read on...

As a springboard diver in my senior year in high school in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, I had an opportunity to get a scholarship to college. And as my luck would have it, my coach there in Ohio happened to know the coach at University of Hawaii... and apparently the two had a discussion at some point which resulted in a phone conversation between me and this Japanese coach where he offered to pay for my schooling if I agreed to move to Hawaii and dive on the team. Uh, let me think about that. It was February and snowing outside my kitchen window as my arm was not so violently twisted into accepting his offer.

So off to Hawaii I went, without even one of your typical college visits to see if I would like it. Of course I would like it. It's Hawaii. I skipped lots of class and had a really good tan both years I attended college here.

It turned out that the coach who'd offered to pay my way wasn't such a good fit for me as an athlete (his old school traditional Japanese thinking that women should be seen and not heard just didn't fly with me). In my junior year I transferred to Arizona State and finished up my diving career happily as a Sun Devil.

Fast forward about 12 years and I'm living happily in Scottsdale, working for a pharmaceutical company and doing lots of swimming, biking, and running. Out of the blue one day I get a phone call from my boss that says my company is downsizing and my territory no longer needs a rep. After picking myself up off the floor, I listen to my boss tell me my options... take the severence package and find a job with another company, or move to a location where there is a job opening within my current company. My first reaction was to ask if there was a position open in Hawaii. Turns out there was, and it was a promotion from my current position. I had to compete with about 25 other applicants to get the job, and I think a major factor throwing the decision in my favor was that I'd lived here before... so I knew what I was getting myself into. It's not all perfect being a single white girl and moving to a place where you're going to be a minority. The culture here is quite different from the mainland and it's really not for everyone.

Anyway, my company paid to put all my stuff on a boat and get me here. That was great.

My best laid plan was to live here for 3 years and then get myself promoted again and moved back to the mainland. The first 6 months or so living here I was pretty lonely because I didn't know so many people and making new friends as an adult can be a challenge. But once summer hit and I had the opportunity to start participating in the local races, my social life exploded. My goal at each race was to leave with a phone number of another new friend or training partner... My plan worked, because now I've got a great network of awesome friends, most of whom are athletes that I've met through training and racing. (Yes, that's The Bachelor Andy Baldwin... before he was famous...)

I mentioned that my plan was to live here for 3 years and then move back, but after 2 years, the thought of only having one more year here was unbearable for me, and I was in no hurry to leave. Then I met Scott, and the rest is history..

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Cool View

I swear, I wasn't going to write another post about what a great workout I had today... so that's not what this post is about... but I just can't go without mentioning the bike ride that Kristen and I had today... the one where, for the first time in cycling history, we had a tailwind both ways on an out and back ride. Seriously, it's never happened like that before, but I swear we had such a huge tailwind on the way out and I was sure that we were really in for it coming home... and it sucked for maybe 5 miles straight into a really stiff wind... but then suddenly we were flying along without a care in the world! One time after a successful stage in the Tour de France George Hincapie was quoted as saying something about having to look down at his chain to make sure it was still on because he couldn't even feel it... that's how Kristen and I felt today! She actually said, "This is the best day ever!" and I totally agreed. So fast. So easy. Nice and sunny ride along the coast of Oahu. Ok. I'll stop now about the awesome workout.

What this post is really about now... Rachel called today and said she was going down to Kailua Beach to stalk Barack Obama... she wanted to meet Moana... and I thought that Moana should really meet Barack... so off to the beach we went!

We weren't allowed to be too close to the house where they were staying... but this was the scene. Those two guys standing there without their bathing suits on didn't let anyone pass. Barack wasn't even there. But Sasha and Malia were running around and playing. And there were a bunch of people hanging out trying to get a glimpse. I have no shame. I was there too.

I'm really hoping that some of Rachel's running genes were transferred to Moana today.

Moana enjoyed herself at the beach... wide eyed... looking around.

She had a cool view to look at.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Blessed Runner

It's a misty wet Hawaiian morning. People say when it mists on you like this, it's a Hawaiian blessing. I think I've been blessed today.

Running in this weather can be awesome.

There is a run near my house that is absolutely my favorite. It goes through the incredibly beautiful and serene Ho'omaluhia Botanical Gardens. Ho'omaluhia means "peaceful refuge", and it is indeed just that.

I discovered this park when I first moved here 4 years ago... In an effort to find the best routes around my house, I studied maps looking for the roads marked with thin lines that looked like they went through neighborhoods and didn't have lots of intersections. The entrance to the park is just a few miles from my house, so I can start the run right from my door.

What the road map didn't show about this road was that it is full of hills. Like straight up and down hills at the base of the sheer Ko'olau Mountain range. A series of 7 of them over the course of 2.5 miles. And then if you want to get out of the park, 6 more on your way back out.

I spent a lot of time running those hills the first 3 years I lived here. Sometimes I totally struggled and ended up walking all the hills on the way back. Sometimes I felt like a rock star floating along and just enjoying the incredible scenery. If it's been a while since I've been there, I have a fear that it'll be the former. If I've been doing it regularly, the floating rock star is more likely the case...

Checking my log book, last time I did this run was Feb 17. Last time I was even in the park was May 17. It's where Scott and I promised each other forever.

I had it in my head that I wanted this run to be my Christmas present to myself. So today I gave myself my 10 mile gift, and as I floated along through the mist, I knew that I have indeed been blessed.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Moana Gets To Go To Maui

*Warning* Some of you on the mainland who are currently experiencing massive snowstorms may hate me for this post. Sorry!

Neighbor island trips are cool. I used to go all the time for work... literally, get up in the morning, fly to Kauai for work, and fly home that night. Sometimes I did 2-day trips to the Big Island or to Maui... always taking my running shoes and swim stuff. I know where all the good pools are in Hilo, Kona, and Maui. ;) It was such a great break when I did the two-day trips!

Anyway, since I've been laid off, I don't go anymore. And I miss it. Lamenting this to Scott, he suggested we plan a trip. For whatever reason, he doesn't share my fear of flying with Moana. Although it's not really Moana I'm afraid to fly with. She's proven herself capable of being out in public without screaming her head off. It's all her stuff. There's so much stuff that has to go along with just taking her to hang at the park for the afternoon... let alone on a weekend away. The thought of hauling all that through the airport and onto a plane completely overwhelms me. Car seat, stroller, diapers, wipes, Baby Bjorn, clothes, burp cloths, blankets, bottles, pump... it's enough to leave us housebound until she's in college.

Less overwhelming is the thought of taking the Superferry.

We can drive our car onto the Superferry. That's right. Pack all that stuff in the car and then just drive the car onto the boat. That sounds more like it.

Since the Superferry only goes to Maui right now, our decision regarding which island to go to was easy. We're goin' to Maui.

Next, all you runners know what I did... I immediately went searching online for a race or something to do in Maui. A HA! I find that there's a 1/2 Marathon on January 25. The Maui Oceanfront Marathon (and half)

Me (to my unsuspecting husband): How about the weekend of January 25th for Maui?

My easy-going husband: Sure.

Cool. Now I have a goal! I can train for a half marathon in 5 weeks. I'm up to 10 miles already for a long run so I'm sure I'll be able to finish the half. Not that I'd expect a PR or anything close, but you gotta start somewhere, right? So I sent my entry in, we bought the Superferry tickets, and booked a hotel room in Lahaina.

And now I have a real reason to keep up the 10 mile runs. In other good news, I've got a couple of friends who are doing the full marathon over there, so it'll be cool to be at the finish line cheering them on!

Lucky we live Hawaii and we can do cool stuff like this. Winter is whale season around here so hopefully we'll see some whales on our way over. I keep telling Moana how lucky she is...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

We Be Jammin'

So it appears that Moana is back to her cute self. Phew! It's really clear that when she's getting enough sleep, she's in a much better mood. Aren't we all?

She was in such a good mood that she let me ride my bike trainer for a whole hour! I was enjoying the heck out of my little sweatfest while she dozed off happily to the sound of Mr. Bombastic jamming on the stereo.

You'd never know by the look of her that the living room was rocking. Lucky for me she loves loud noise!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Another Growth Spurt

How often do babies go through growth spurts?

I swear Moana goes through one every week. Or maybe she just has a tapeworm? The last couple of weeks, I've spent 2-3 days in a row doing nothing but feeding her. Well, then I have to console her because she seems so uncomfortable- like her little GI system isn't quite capable of handing the amount of milk she's insisting on getting... so there's lots of farting and screaming and general fussiness. And diaper changes. Can't forget all the pooping. She really doesn't sleep much at all during these days. Maybe 30 minutes here and there, and up every few hours again at night.

Then after a few days of that she goes into hibernation mode, where she hardly eats at all and sleeps non-stop. I'm hoping we go back into this mode tomorrow because Mama needs some sleep.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Hit Of The Party

Moana got to go to several Christmas parties this weekend! She was totally the hit of the party both times, even with her eyes closed. ;)

Friday night we took her to my swim team Christmas Party. She was allowed to be in the team picture because we all figure that one of these days she's going to be swimming... probably faster than any of us.

Saturday night we took her to Scott's work party, which was at a nice local restaurant. This made me nervous, because what if she throws a fit in the middle of dinner? Then we'd be that couple who brought their screaming infant and ruined everyone's Christmas Party dinner. Lucky for us though, she was a little angel and just slept the whole time. Scott loved showing her off to his coworkers, who were equally interested in coming over and cooing at her. It seems like whenever we take her out somewhere, she just kind of shuts down... she closes her eyes and just quietly waits for it to be over. Then when we get home (or in the car) she lets us know that she's been starving to death for hours and might actually die on the spot if she doesn't get some food immediately. We have learned to limit her outings to like 2 hours, and make sure she gets fed in a quiet place just before arrival.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Fighting For Free Time

Moana is almost 7 weeks old now, and Scott and I are both ready to regain parts of our old lives back. We can feel a sense of normalcy coming over our lives... in that we are sleeping a little more (she's finally adopted a 4 hour eating schedule at night rather than the 3 hour one she'd been on all along) and our little girl just doesn't seem quite as high maintenance as she was in the first weeks. I'm starting to figure her out and it feels good.

But with that comes an increased desire for me to run and bike and swim. Having taken last year off of racing while I was pregnant, I'm hungry to get back into the swing of things. My workouts feel good. Good enough that I've pushed send on the online race applications for several races next year... and of course with that comes a need for a more structured training program.

Conflict that with Scott's desire to play soccer and surf with his friends. And since he's working all week, the weekends are his only chance to blow off steam.

You all know what I'm going to say now... it's the big question... who gets Saturday morning? I thought we'd resolved it (duh, I do. I'm the one who spent 9 months carrying our child so the next 9 months are mine...) But apparently it wasn't resolved because this week I was informed by my husband that he was going surfing with his friends on Saturday morning. On the North Shore. Which means he'll be gone from 6:00 AM until like 2:00 PM (if I'm lucky and he's nice and decides to come home early).


So I sucked it up and stayed home on baby duty all day today. Being the type A triathlete that I am (and on a mission to regain my fitness), this was eternally frustrating for me. He finally got home at about 2:00 and within minutes we performed the hand-off, and I was out the door for my run. He thought I was going to skip it. "It's really wet out there", he says. Clearly he doesn't know me very well. I don't care about the rain. I'm going. Nevermind the driving wind storm. Or the rain coming at me at a 90 degree angle. Or the flooded roads that soak my shoes (and my shoulders when the bus drives by and sprays me).

I hammered through 10 miles. I was only gonna do 8. Had I gotten to go this morning like I'd planned (and it was sunny) I probably only would have done 8. But by 2:00 I really needed to blow off my own steam. The good thing about running is that 10 soaked miles later, I don't have any more steam. I might even be pleasant tonight.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Smells Like Christmas

It smells like Christmas around here! Scott brought a tree home the other day... and like most men, insists on having the real thing instead of the easy fake tree. It's all about the smell, he says. That's fine with me. Whatever floats his boat. I'll make the sacrifice and sweep up the fallen pine needles every once in a while. It does smell good.

So last night we popped open the bottle of champagne I won at last weekend's swim race...

And searched out our box of lights, ornaments and other holiday decorations... all the while dancing around the house and listening to The Bare Naked Ladies Holiday album where they sing songs that go Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg...

It's always fun to get out the box of ornaments to hang on the tree. I love Christmas tree ornaments. I've got some that are pretty meaningful to me.. some that were given to me by students I used to teach, some I collected from my travels around SE Asia years ago, and some given as gifts from local friends. I think ornaments make awesome gifts and love to find ones that bring back good memories.

A few days ago Moana and I went to the mall and got this special one for this year...

We also got another one that says Baby's First Christmas and there's room for a picture of her on it. How fun is that one going to be in years to come?

We hung the stockings with care... which actually made us laugh because we don't have a third one that matches... last year at this time it never occurred to either of us that we'd be hanging a third stocking for our daughter! But it was really fun.

Too bad Moana slept through the whole thing!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Another Rain Storm

We're under a flash flood watch because of all the heavy rains. It dumped non-stop last night and all morning. Roads are flooded and people are unable to drive around the island. Luckily, we still have power here at the house... also lucky (for me!) is that Scott's office doesn't have power, and it's flooded. Okay, clearly that's not lucky for his company. But when he got the call this morning that said don't come to work, my little brain immediately went into a spin about all the stuff I could get done today while my husband is here to help watch Moana...

So 3 loads of laundry later, the floors are cleaned, the kitchen is clean, the grocery shopping is done (now we have food to last the 40 days/nights in case it's really an epic flood), and my cat went to the vet. Yes, poor Ally Cat. I think she may have diabetes? She's been drinking an excessive amount of water and filling the litter box with massive clumps of urine. She's currently locked in the bathroom with a 'urine collection kit' in her litter box. I hope I don't have to end up giving her a daily shot of insulin or anything. Blood work comes back in a few days so we'll see. And by the way, they totally get you at the vet... touting the benefits of all the information you'll find out from this comprehensive blood test... without telling you that the test is $191 until it's already drawn. From her jugular nonetheless... who knew that a cat would let you stick a needle in her neck?

Anyway, other good news about having this day as an unexpected two-parent holiday is that my new bike trainer has been assembled by my husband! YEA! Now I can put Moana to sleep with the lull of my bike wheels spinning in the living room. And the Christmas tree has been brought in and put up. We'll go about hanging the decorations tonight so I'll post pictures soon. :)

The only negative thing about having Scott home today is that Moana has been a total doll baby all day. Not that I would normally say that her being a doll is a bad thing, but you see, since my husband has come home to a wife in tears two days in a row now, there was a part of me who really wanted him to see Miss Cranky Pants in action. But since today she has decided to sleep all day, now he must think that he just has a crazy wife who is completely incompetent in the mothering department.

One of these days he'll get his.

To end on a positive note, I get to go for a run this afternoon without the baby jogger! All day I've been feeling sorry for myself... like I can't run because of all the wind and rain... then I started thinking about Angela and how she runs at o'dark-thirty when it's 15 degrees and her milk ducts are freezing while she's slipping on black ice. She's got big goals this year and she'll probably achieve them because she is willing to gut through workouts like that. Surely I can get a little wet on my run today? It's not like I'll have to wear gloves or anything.

**UPDATE** Ran 8.6 miles. And I didn't melt.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Afternoon Distress

Moana is a doll in the mornings. Seriously. The sweetest thing.

She wakes up in a good mood after a solid night of sleeping and eating. We hang out and play on the floor where she tries to scoot and crawl around. She hangs out on her back hitting her play gym hanging toys. It really couldn't get any better.

Then, like some sort of Cindarella at Midnight curse, the clock strikes noon. The rest of the afternoon and evening are then filled with a routine that goes something like this: scream, eat, scream, burp, scream, fart, scream, poop. Repeat.

My goal all afternoon is to get her to relax enough to take a nap before the routine starts all over again. It's like she thinks she's so hungry so she gets all frantic trying to eat as much as she can as fast as she can (all the whole hyperventilating) and then she arches her back and tosses her head to the side to stop eating and then you hear a loud fart... then the screaming... followed by more fast paced breathing and a mad dash to start eating again... until she does the arch back thing again, sometimes screaming while she's still sucking. It all usually culminates with her finally pooping.

Poor thing. It'll be nice when her digestive system is a little more developed and works more consistently. I often find myself wishing that I could help her poop. I just think its crazy that it's only the afternoon and early evening feedings that are like this. Usually all night and morning she's happy and content and apparently not in any type of GI distress. What is this all about and how can I fix it?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hey, I Love You!

Wanna know what I do all day long with my 6 week old daughter? Here it is... We dance around the house singing this song. :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

6 weeks

Moana is 6 weeks old today! I can't believe that 6 weeks ago I looked like this. And then our precious little Moana came out. And now 6 weeks later we have the much more animated version! Moana has grown a ton (obviously) and we've learned so much about her. Her needs are still pretty simple. Pretty much still just eat, sleep, and poop. She's on a pretty consistent (like you could set your watch by it) 3 hour eating plan, which is the schedule she comes up with for herself. Personally, I think it would be cool if she adjusted it to the 4 hour (or 8 hour) plan overnight, but she's not so concerned with my preferences at this point! The good news is that I have won at least one battle. She goes down for the night now around 7:00 in her own room. She wakes up to eat at 8:00, 11:00, 2:00, and 5:00, sleeping soundly (if loud grunting counts as soundly?) between each of those feedings. She wakes up for the day around 7:00 or so. So although our sleep is very interrupted, at least we're getting some. Scott takes the 5:00 AM feeding so I get one stretch that's usually pretty close to 4 hours. How do we know when she wants to eat? She tells us. She's much more alert through the day now and spends lots of time checking things out. We've given her some self-explanatory nicknames like Super Squirm, Fussy Pants, Chow Hound, and Wide Eyes. She stares much more intently at me now, usually making lots of funny faces with her eyes and her mouth. She's a huge fan of being outside. We're still waiting for that first real smile...we get little glimpses of it but not quite the real thing yet. I'd think that would come soon? I can't wait! In the meantime though, she has learned some tricks. And since I understand that The Laundry Fairy is going into withdrawal from not being around her little grand baby, here's some video Scott took this morning before he went to work. You'll see her current version of sitting up, then she'll do The Aided Scoot, then The Six Week Stand/Walk. She's tenacious and persistent in her efforts! I wonder where she gets that?
Here's another video for the grandparents. She walks a little more here!
I feel pretty well recovered from childbirth, which I suppose is obvious if you've been reading my blog! I'm not quite back to pre-pregnancy weight yet, but the weight I'm at now is fine and very healthy. I fit into all my clothes so am not worried about it at all. By the time I start racing in the spring I'd think I'll have those extra 5 lbs off which puts me at race weight. No need to be at race weight in December. :) My abs are still softer than I'd like, but I'm working on them and they're getting firmer every week so again, no worries. In good news, all the books would say that since I'm 6 weeks out, I should now be able to start back on a light exercise program. ;) That just makes me laugh.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Looong Swim

This morning, after getting up 3 times to feed Moana last night, my alarm went off at 5:30 and I thought I wasn't going to be able to coax my body into actually getting out of bed. But of course I managed, making a beeline to my espresso machine. I'll spare you the details of the challenge in getting Moana up and fed and changed and packed in time to get out the door in time for a race... suffice to say we went through several diapers and an extra clothes change before finally driving off only ten minutes later than planned. I even ate half my breakfast. Call it a success because we got to the beach in time for the pre-race meeting and instructions.

It was cool being down there because I saw a bunch of swimming friends I haven't seen in a long time... lots of people I used to race against all the time and it was especially fun to show off my beautiful daughter! I know people were shocked that I was actually swimming the 7K this morning, but that was half the fun of completing the event. :)

The race started uneventfully with a guy whistling. Then when none of the swimmers on the beach understood the significance of his signal, he frantically yelled "GO!" which finally lit the fire and everyone ran into the water. There were only maybe 30-40 swimmers in this event, so it was pretty low key.

Our paddling escorts were out in the water already, just past the first turn buoy which was maybe 1/2 mile out. I had a good first half, getting myself in a little pack with friend and long time swimming rival, Jana. I've been racing Jana for the whole 4 years I've lived here. She's a great swimmer. Super friendly. And though I've been close a couple times, I've never been the first one to step foot on the beach when we are racing in the ocean. Last time we raced the Double RoughWater (2 years ago) we were neck and neck most of the way until she pulled it out at the end and got me by 2 minutes. So this morning, to be on her feet, felt like a huge accomplishment. Here's a little video Scott took of us out there. I'm in the yellow cap. Jana in pink. I don't know the guy in the green cap. At one point he stopped to grab a drink from his kayaker and Jana took advantage of the opportunity... surging off to the left in an effort to drop him. It worked. At that point I was thankful that Bob and I had done those long swim surges because I was able to match Jana's surge before we settled back into pace.

Jana and I stayed together around the turn-around buoy, swimming side by side, stroke for stroke. I was psyched to be near her and knew that I was feeling fine. It was a great day for an ocean swim with the conditions being pretty calm. The water was crystal clear and I saw 2 spotted eagle rays at the bottom of the ocean on the way out... and then again on the way back! Scott saw a pod of like 50 spinner dolphins playing in the water nearby and tried to take video, but it didn't turn out. :( The only downside to today's swim were the stingy things that were getting all of the swimmers. I don't think they were jellyfish. Maybe man-o-war? Or some type of stinging sea lice? I lost count of how many times I got stung, but I'm starting to get a bunch of itchy welts all over my body. And possibly a fat lip? The worst sting got me right on my bottom lip. Argh!

Anyway, after the turn around, Jana and I started to split up, following our own escorts rather than each other. I could see her off to my right as I was breathing, and to my shock and awe, I was pulling away from her. Slowly but surely, the gap was created and then it was just me against the ocean... headed for the beach. Scott did a great job leading me right to the final buoy and to a strong finish onto the beach.

I was exhausted at the end. 2:02 was my time, which is exactly what I did it in 2 years ago. I don't feel like you can necessarily compare ocean swimming times from year to year as the conditions and current always dictate final times, but nonetheless, I'm pleased with the 2 hours. I don't know what place I was overall, but I think I might have been the 5th woman?

I'd love to be really proud of my age group win, but considering there were no other gals in my age group competing today, the win loses some of its luster. But I did get the bottle of champagne at the end so that's cool.

Moana was a doll the whole time for Andrea who was watching her while I was in the water. Amazing how I thought about her so much while I was swimming. I just couldn't wait to get to shore so I could see her at the end!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Pampers Are For Moana

You know that training partner you have who is so hard core Type A? The one who accepts no excuses for anything? The one who is all about going out, week after week, and getting the work done?

Yeah, I rode with that training partner this morning. 45 miles on my tri-bike, which hadn't been ridden since February, which was the last time Mike and I rode together.

Truth be told, it felt awesome. Even though the roads were so wet that I was getting shot in the face by the rooster tail of water coming off Mike's back tire. Even though we rode into squalls of wind and dumping rain and I couldn't decide if I should keep my sunglasses on or off? It didn't really matter because I couldn't see either way.

There were times that I knew I was pushing too hard, and that my legs might cramp up if we kept this pace. But we were going to keep that pace. Because Mike didn't care that I had a baby 6 weeks ago. Or that I hadn't ridden this bike in 10 months and my body might take a while to adjust to the position until I could be comfortable. He didn't care that the wet roads made me scared to get down in my aero bars. In fact, I didn't even tell him any of these things because I know what his response would have been. The Pampers are for Moana.

It's awesome having training partners like Mike.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Aloha Friday

Aloha Friday! That's every Friday here in Hawaii. But especially Aloha now on days where I feel like I've had an acceptable amount of sleep (almost 7 hours, interrupted twice for feedings) and got a good workout in before 8 AM. Now I get to hang out with my beautiful daughter for the rest of the day. Life is good.

I met my friends Bob and Nalani at the pool this morning. That's my swimming partner Bob, not to be confused with my running stroller, BOB. ;) Anyway, we had a great workout today. Main set:

4 x 300's @ 5:15 (long course meters)
#1. 250 moderate, 50 fast
#2. 200 moderate, 100 fast
#3. 150 moderate, 150 fast
#4. 100 moderate, 200 fast

Then we did a 600 straight swim where every 3rd 50 was blow-out fast. The 100's in between were very easy. Bob and I did this swim together last week and it was much easier today. But faster. Progress.

I went hard, even though I'm going to do a very Looong swim on Sunday. It's the 27th Possibly Annual Hawaiian Christmas Loong Distance Invitational Roughwater H2O Swim. That's the official name of the event. It's just a small one, because let's be honest, how many people really want to do a 7K ocean swim race in December? Nalani asked me this morning if I was looking forward to it. I hadn't really thought of that, but my answer was yes, I think I am. After being pregnant for what seemed like forever, it's good to finally be able to go out and challenge myself. I don't have doubts that I'll be able to finish it. It'll be interesting to see just how tired I am at the end though? All my swims have only been 3K except once last week I went over 5K. So the last half hour should be interesting. But the weather report is calling for variable winds on Sunday, which typically means really nice ocean swimming conditions. So that's cool.

Each swimmer in this event has to have their own paddler escort as there won't really be any buoys except for one at the beginning and then one at the turn around. Scott's going to paddle for me. And my friend Andrea will be watching Moana down at the beach while we're in the water. Thanks, Andrea! I think it'll be awesome to have Moana down there at the finish waiting for me even though she won't have a clue what's going on. I'm going to have to get one of those little onsies for her that says something about See Mommy Swim... Go Mommy Go! Maybe in time for the next event...

P.S. Ellen, I wish you were here for this!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Where's The Laundry Fairy?

For the first month of Moana's life, it was like magic. I'd run off to the pool to swim at noon, and I'd come home to find all of my previously dirty clothes now smelling fresh and clean and folded on my dresser. How great was that?!!? Clearly The Laundry Fairy was showing me favor by completing this arduous task for me.

Unfortunately, for the last week, this has not been happening. I tried yesterday- went swimming at noon, and came home eagerly checking for the clean neatly folded stack, but instead found the pile of dirty clothes still on the floor of my bedroom.


I tried for the life of me to figure out why The Laundry Fairy would have left this island paradise and this prescious little baby named Moana...

Where in the world is The Laundry Fairy?

Turns out, she actually lives in Ohio... I know, I know... No, I don't know? Why? Maybe this has something to do with it?

Or maybe this?

Ok, so The Laundry Fairy will stay in Ohio and be with her other grandkids for now... but I suspect she'll return here at some point. Until then,I have clothes to put in the dryer...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I've heard from other moms about just how long it takes to get out of the house with a baby, and I believed them, but somehow I didn't really believe them. Maybe somewhere in the back of my mind I had fleeting thoughts that those moms just weren't as organized or efficient as I would be when I was a mom... HA! More like I was just completely naive.

Here's how it went this morning trying to get to my Dr appointment by 11:00:

3:45 AM Finally get to sleep after feeding Moana off and on all night.

3:55 Moana wakes up again. Hand off baby duty to Scott. Stay awake listening to her cry and think that I might as well just get up and take care of her because I can't sleep anyway.

3:56 Fall asleep.

6:45 Scott wakes me to tell me he is leaving for work. Moana is asleep and has eaten plenty. Sweet. Back to sleep.

7:05 Moana wakes up crying. Go get her from her crib and let her sleep next to my chest. Stay in a dazed state between being asleep or alert as Moana grunts and groans and squirms in her sleep.

9:00 Moana lets me know in no uncertain terms that she is awake and hungry. No problem. Feed her. Burp.

9:30 Diaper change. Get out of pajamas into clothes for the day. She seems happy. I wonder if she'll just chill out for a few minutes so I can go get a bowl of cereal?

9:35 Moana has tummy time, scooting around happily on my bed while I eat a bowl of cereal and watch the Comedy Channel. Russell Peters is hilarious. Reason to Beat Your Kids?

9:40 Moana poops. Another diaper change. I feel relived that she did it before we got to the doctor's office.

10:00 Better start thinking about getting out of the house. Replenish the diaper bag. Diapers. Wipes. Disposable change pads. Blanket. Quilt. Hat. Sunscreen. Bottle of milk. Burp cloth.

10:05 Pack my own bag since I'm gonna get to swim after the appointment. Suit. Cap. Goggles. Who knows? Maybe I'll run afterward too with her in the jogger? Continue to pack. Run shoes. Socks. Visor. Sports bra. Shorts. IPod. Water bottle.

10:15 Hoku is following me around in an obvious effort to let me know that she has not A) peed B) pooped or C) eaten today. Ok. Quick. Moana into the Baby Bjorn. Hoku on the leash. She's got 10 minutes to get it all out.

10:25 Back from walk. Feed Hoku. I'm pretty sure the cats don't have any food but they can wait.

10:28 Brush my teeth. I didn't comb my hair today but it's in a ponytail and no one will know. It's gonna get wet anyway when I get in the pool...

10:30 Moana still in Baby Bjorn on my chest. Who ever created this thing is a genius. Backpack with my workout clothes on my back. Diaper bag over left shoulder. Car seat in right hand. Grab a granola bar in case I get hungry. Head to the car. I can't believe we did it!!

Moana was a doll at my appointment. Doc says I'm recovering fine from childbirth. Yeah, I knew that.

Moana had her check-up yesterday. She's 9 lbs 12 oz now! Right in the middle for height and weight and all that. Doing great. Yeah, we knew that.

One nice thing about being in a small town is that everything is close by. My doctor's office is across the street from Scott's office, which is walking distance from a 50 meter community pool. I know I said there would be no more noon swims for me for a while, but never underestimate the creative ability of a triathlete to figure out how to fit the workouts in*! We found another win-win situation... Scott got to hang out at the park with his daughter during lunch, and I got to swim!

*Actually, this was Scott's idea! I know. I'm so lucky.

Monday, December 1, 2008

"Wanna Join Me?"

It's awesome when three little words can transform your workout.

The short question, "Wanna join me?" has the ability to change your workout from a boring aerobic just get the miles in day into a solid threshold effort that leaves you feeling like you actually accomplished something.

This morning I dragged my butt out of bed early to get my swim in before Scott went to work. Now that I'm on my own all day, every day, watching my 5 week old daughter, any workout not involving the baby jogger or the bike trainer has to be pre-arranged with Scott and completed when the sun is not out. Getting up early poses a special challenge when you're up most of the night feeding or otherwise entertaining your baby who decided that being a night owl is cool.

Didn't you know that sleeping is the new interval training? It comes in sets of 2... 2 hours on, 2 hours off...

Anyway, after just 2 cycles of 2 hours of sleep, I managed to find my espresso machine and get myself out the door and to the pool when it opened this morning. I used to really like morning workouts, and I have hopes that one day I'll like them again... maybe in a few months if Moana figures out that nighttime = sleep. Hey, one of these months she's going to be old enough to learn to 'scream it out'* and you know what? I might just let her.

Back to my story.

So I get to the pool this morning and after a lackluster 1000 meter warm-up, I start in on a set of descending 400's. I wasn't feeling especially motivated until I saw a woman 2 lanes down who appeared to be a decent swimmer. Since we were both stopped at the wall after my first 400, I looked over in her direction and said, "Hey, I've got 3 more 400's. Wanna join me?" To my delight, she put down the kickboard she was grabbing for and said "Sure!"


It was great to have someone to work out with this morning. We both had a better workout because of the other. And after it was over, I got her name. I told her I'd be there again on Friday, hopefully with a few other friends in tow...

*I think the politically correct term here is 'self-soothe'. Makes us all feel not so cruel after all.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Best Laid Plans

On a weekend when the surf is up, it's a given that my husband is gonna want to go take advantage of the waves.

But because its the weekend, its a given that I'm gonna want to go ride my bike.*

This poses a little issue when there's a newborn that needs a parent to take care of her. Since I did 100% of the 'taking care of' while she was growing in my uterus, my awesome husband has agreed to give me the priority on the weekend fun stuff, at least for a while. I expect this is his way of providing some sort of repayment for my baby growing services.

I always think that its good to keep both parents happy... my firm belief is that having the opportunity to do the things that make you whole as a person allow you to be a better parent. So I wouldn't want Scott to not be able to surf on a weekend when its big. But I'm not going to give up my ride either. So we came up with a plan.

Since the beach that he likes to surf at is about 35 miles from our house, the plan was for me to ride there while he drives up with the baby. Pack the jogger in the back of the X-Terra along with my running stuff, throw the surfboard on the roof rack, and everybody wins! I get to ride 35 miles, then run a few while my husband gets to surf... Moana is taken care of all day and gets to hang at the beach... we'll have lunch together as a family on the north shore before driving home... a perfect plan for a Saturday.

Except that we live in Hawaii and its winter, which means that at any given moment it can start raining. A lot. Very wet. And cold. And windy. Really windy. I toughed it out and rode my 35 miles, even while leaves were blowing across the road and getting stuck in my spokes. I stopped twice to remove said leaves.

Scott toughed it out and packed up all the gear in/on the X-Terra (sweet- now he knows how much work it is to get the baby out of the house!) and drove up to Haleiwa. It was raining as we each arrived, but we figured the front might pass as quickly as it arrived, so we met at Starbucks to wait it out. I figured that after those wet windy miles I deserved my once yearly $5 and 500 calorie peppermint mocha soy latte. Call it a Holiday Treat.

Too bad the storm was of the 'all day variety'. All that wind made the waves quite unappealing to Scott. They tried to hold the Roxy Pro surf competition at Sunset Beach today, and while the place was packed with folks trying to watch the pro women rip it up, not much surfing was going on since the waves were so blown out. Bummer.

So Scott drove all the way up there with all of that gear and didn't even get to surf. He was a good sport about it though. I was appreciative that he was there with the car to drive me home because riding back today would have been a nightmare.

In return for his sherpa services today, he'll go by himself tomorrow in the early morning since the winds are supposed to calm down and switch direction, which will likely mean perfect waves.

I'll spend tomorrow cleaning my bike.

*Photo credit goes to my friend Kristen who is so good on her bike that she can take a picture over her shoulder while cruising along at 20 mph!