The Most Valuable Advice

Before any big life event, people tend to give loads of advice. Whether you are going off to college, starting your first job, or getting married, words of wisdom come at you from all directions. Pregnancy is no different. You have a million tidbits of advice and it is nearly impossible to really know what to pay attention to. The only way to really know is one thing – your baby’s birthday. Here are pieces of advice I really learned to take to heart once Grant was born.

Sleep when the baby sleeps

I am pretty sure everyone told me this and I pretty much just smiled and nodded. Like Nike says, just do it. Who cares if your laundry is piled up, the kitchen is a mess, and you haven’t showered for 48 solid hours. Even 20 minutes of shut eye make a world of difference when you are caring for a newborn. Follow this one for sure!

Grant 3 weeks

Time flies

Wow – this one is way more real no, for sure. You will wake up one day and your baby will be 6 months old. How on Earth does that happen! The milestones are coming like crazy and I still can’t believe it. Grant will be crawling in no time and then we really won’t be able to stop him! My friend Callie told me a little phrase that I really take to heart – the days are long but the years are short. How true this is truly becoming!

Babies don’t need much

Stores make you think otherwise, but in those first few months, you really only need diapers, some onesies, milk (or formula)and a place for your baby to sleep (which ends up being right on you a lot!). There are so many crazy gadgets and items out there retail shops convince you that you have to have. Don’t fall for it. I know babies are pricy, but they don’t have to be THAT expensive. Our parents got a long just fine without wipe warmers, bottle warmers, and 4 different swings.

Grant Marcus newborn

There is poop

Oh.My.Gosh. – so much more than I ever thought possible! How does a little person produce this much!? And why does it make its way up his back so frequently? One of the many unknown wonders of the world. I was very surprised to find out that breastfed baby poop doesn’t smell. I know plenty of people know this, but I had no idea. I can say it was a very pleasant surprise!

Don’t go crazy buying clothes

This is definitely a big one. I am pretty sure Grant cycles through about 10 outfits. He wears them, they get washed, and then put on the top of the pile in his drawer. Then, the cycle continues. I put away all of his 3 month clothes last weekend, and there were so many outfits he had worn just once or not at all. If you have the urge to buy your little one clothes before he or she arrives, just wait! Generous friends will take care of that for you. People just can’t help buying adorable things for babies. It’s like a reflex for women ;)

Marcus and Grant 5 months

Being a mom is tough

I think you hear people say this, but it really doesn’t sink in until you have that little baby in your arms. Not only do you need to spend time with your baby, but you go to work, cook dinner, clean, spend time with your husband, play with the dog – and the list goes on and on and on. There will be about a million times when you wonder if you are doing this so called mom thing right. The beauty of it is that there are so many different ways to raise a child. As long as you raising them in a loving, caring home, you can’t ask for anything else.

Go easy on the visitors

Ok, so this one I didn’t hear from anyone, but it is something I definitely will take into account for #2. Everyone is so excited to meet your new addition and you feel like you have to let everyone come as soon as they can get there. Give yourself some time in between guests. If some people don’t make it until the baby is a month old – that’s ok. With the lack of sleep and the stimulation overload, visitor after visitor can be pretty exhausting. When they do come and visit, don’t be afraid to ask for some help from them. Get them to take your dog on a quick walk or have them put your clothes from the washer to the dryer. They’ll be happy to help you – really.

Grant grocery cart

Don’t Compare

This is the easiest trap to fall into, and the greatest advice to receive. Every baby hits each milestone at a different time and pace. Don’t worry if your little one isn’t crawling at the same time as your niece did or didn’t get teeth when your Facebook friend’s kid did. It doesn’t matter. Your baby will reach each and every milestone when he or she is ready. If you really are worried about it, call your pediatrician and ask them about it – stay off all the crazy message boards out there.

What other valuable advice did you receive before your baby came along that you can look back on and appreciate now?

Low Key Weekend

Sometimes you just need to step back and have a relaxing, no plan kind of weekend. This past weekend, that is just what we had! I got up early Saturday morning to knock out my long run. It was definitely a toughie, but I felt so good once I finished up. I had 13 miles on the docket and was pounding the pavement by 5:15am. It is always hard to wake up so early on the weekend, but being done by 7:15am is the best. Grant woke up as I was getting home, so I didn’t miss any time with him. Plus, I caught a pretty great sunrise. Sounds like a win-win to me! Davis Island Sunrise The rest of the weekend was spend doing the things we love most. We went and checked out a completely rehabbed park in Tampa. Water Works part is part of the mayor’s initiative to spruce up the Tampa Heights neighborhood. The new park has a dog park, splash park for kids, playground, and an amphitheater to have events. I have a feeling we will be spending a lot of time here once Grant gets a little bigger. It seems like a little boy’s dream! Water Works Park Winnie even got some park time too! Her most favorite thing in the world is to chase a tennis ball (add a swimming pool to chase it into and she is really in heaven), so we went up to the park to let her stretch her legs out a bit. Winnie park The park used to have a sign that said “Dogs Not Allowed on Field”. Whelp, looks like the city realized that was just not going to happen, and there was a new sign in its place this time around. Dog Field Sign Tampa, Winnie B thanks you! I definitely feel like it is pretty easy to constantly have activities scheduled on the weekend. One of the (many) great things about having a baby is learning to slow down a bit and really enjoy the little things. This past weekend had a lot of little things that added up to a great, relaxing couple of days!

Do you like low-key weekends or would you prefer to be busy all the time?

How to Survive Running on a Treadmill

I mentioned on Wednesday 5 great benefits of running on a treadmill and seemed to get a pretty consistent reaction from people.

Treadmill running is so boring!

I definitely used to think the exact same thing until I realized what an asset it could be. Here are a few ways to get over the monotony of running on the self propelled belt we love to hate.

Treadmill Running Survival

Find one with a tv (or near one)

We got rid of cable about a year and a half ago, so treadmill running is one of my only fixes for some mindless tv. I tend to schedule the times I run so I can catch a show or movie right when it starts. Depending on the length of the program I am watching, the run usually flies by. My latest obsession has been HGTV and all of the fun house remodeling shows. We are currently house hunting, so tuning into these shows is my favorite!

Cover the screen

If you are able to, cover the screen so you can’t see how far you have gone. If you have access to a treadmill with a tv on the screen, a lot of times you can choose an option to hide all of the information pertinent to the run, and only have the show visible. If you have a standard display, throw a towel over the front so your mileage, time, and pace isn’t staring back at you.

Turn it into a workout

Instead of running an easy 5 miles in a stationary spot, come up with a workout to do. For example, warm up for a mile, and then complete 6x400m repeats (equivalent to a 1/2 mile) with 400m recovery, then cool down for one more mile. You will end up focusing on each 400, rather than the over all 5 miles. Both workouts are the same distance, however you will view them significantly different once you are finished.

Look outside

If you have the option of running on a treadmill that faces a mirror or one that faces a window to the outside, choose the one with the window. Even the littlest of distractions can make a huge difference when you are forced to look at the same thing for an extended period of time.

Know its making you mentally tough

You know that race you want to run this fall? Do you think you are going to get to a place you want to stop? Think of the treadmill as practice for that feeling. In so many races, you hit the wall or get to that inevitable place you just want to call it quits. Go just a little bit further, and then a little further after that. Before you know it, you will have finished the race (or your treadmill run).

Learn your pace

One thing many runners struggle with is knowing what a certain pace feels like. When you use a treadmill, you are able to choose that pace and stick with it (or get thrown off the back ;). Get your legs used to your target pace, and then use that knowledge when you get outside. See if you can hit the same pace in both places. The translation should be pretty seamless. It may take a little longer once you get outside, but you will get the hang of it pretty quick.

Do you have any tips to share on making through a treadmill run without going crazy (or throwing in the towel)?

5 Benefits of Running on a Treadmill

Until recently, I was the worst at running on a treadmill. No, not like I couldn’t physically do it. Mentally, I would just throw in the towel. I would sift through every excuse in the book

It’s too boring

I can’t go as far

I’ll have to drive to a gym

It’s not as effective as running outside

Blah, blah, blah

Until recently (aka Grant’s arrival), I really didn’t understand the amazing benefits of a treadmill until I was forced to do one of my long runs on one. We were on a quick trip to Detroit last month, and I was not comfortable running outside. I hopped on a treadmill and hammered out 9 miles, my longest treadmill distance to date! Here are a few reasons why treadmills really are a great tool for your training schedule.

Treadmill Benefits

You can run anytime

Sometimes, it doesn’t work for me to get out and run in the wee hours of the morning anymore. Whether Grant had a rough night of sleep, I need to sleep in for some extra energy, or Marcus is traveling so I can’t leave – the treadmill is a great option. I have access to a gym at work, so I can hop on a treadmill at lunch and knock out a 5 mile run.

The weather isn’t a factor

The heat and humidity this time of year is really rough in Tampa. No matter when you wake up, you are looking at 80+ degrees and very high humidity. Running on the treadmill can make a big difference in your recovery time, as you don’t lose as much sweat so your body recovers quicker, making for better workouts in the near future. I’ve even been splitting my long runs on the treadmill some, by running half inside and half outside to help with this recovery.

New terrain awaits

Another little tidbit about Florida – we have very limited hills, especially here in Tampa! The only way we really can get a hill workout is if we plan our runs around bridges. Raising the incline on a treadmill helps to get your legs prepped for hills. I don’t have access to a machine with the downhill factor, but there are some that simulate a downhill as well.

Treadmills

Water is easily accessible

This is minor, but can make a big difference as well. I have a carry along water bottle that works really well for my outdoor runs, but not having to physically carry it is great. Not only is water right there for you, but so is a restroom! Anyone that has been running for a decent amount of time has wished there was a bathroom near on some runs, so this makes it possible.

It is a more forgiving surface

Unless you are running trails, a treadmill is your next best option. It is significantly softer than running on pavement and way more forgiving. If trails are the only option where you live, it’s nice to run on a soft surface and not have to worry about rocks, roots, etc.

Any other benefits you can think of?

Friday Finds

Hello Friday! It was about time you got here! Here are a few things from around the web I’ve enjoyed this week :)

11 Steps to a better you

Specifically, #1 & #9

Winnie the Pooh Exercises

6 Healthy foods that really aren’t

I love this blog and think this is just an interesting post. Be sure to check it out!

Who doesn’t love a dancing dog??

I can’t stop watching (and laughing) at this video.

7 Ways to Get Fit in Half the Time

There are some awesome tips in this article! Time is always a major factor in workouts, so learn how to be as efficient (and effective!) as possible!

9 Nutrition Rules for Athletes

I feel like #2 & #5 are the most overlooked by far too many athletes. For you body to perform, you have to fuel it properly!

What would a post of randomness be without this guy?!

Grant 5 months tummy time