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August 26, 2009


So today is my due date. It's been a long 40 weeks and I'm sure we'll add one more to the count. I've been having irregular contractions on and off for days but of course they haven't amounted to much or I'd be announcing a baby not counting the weeks I've endured this pregnancy.

Today started off with Chuck going to see his doctor to make sure he didn't have the flu. He is suffering from allergies and managed to catch a cold virus too. It sucks to be sick anytime but that's bad timing. I went to visit my midwife midmorning. I declined an exam. I don't even want to know if I'm making any progress. I could go from nothing to baby or, like my friend, I could sit at 5cm for a week. I really just don't want to know. I made an appointment for next week when (if I make it that long) I will have a non-stress test and an ultrasound to check the amniotic fluid. I also managed to snatch up a canceled massage appointment for later that afternoon. That was fabulous. I do feel more refreshed after that. I did catch a little snooze during my massage too so that's a bonus.

The afternoon was a little crazy around here. As soon as I walked in the door from my massage Rachel began yelling and whining at me. With the exception of TV time (It's a Big, Big World), this did not stop until Chuck came upstairs from his day at work. She actually told me today that she wanted Dad to come up because I was boring. I hate not having the energy to play with her the way I am used to but it's nice that she's depending more on her daddy. He'll be spending a lot of time with her in the next month.

I hope I have something to report before this time next week. That being said, I did have a dream that I had the baby and the calendar read September 2. We'll see.

Posted by sla5150 at 6:07 PM | Comments (1)

August 25, 2009

my baby

On the eve of my due date I'm reflecting on how far my first baby has come.
Little Lamb
Rachel, our little lamb, never really was much of a lamb. She's always had the personality of a lion. She has a huge appetite, she's loud, and she's quite precocious.
my little Linus
She is still very much in love with her "Bobby". She carries it around like Linus, sleeps with it every night, and can be very stingy with her silky.
Tea Set from Aunt Melisa
She's really into pretend play and loves to cook in her kitchen, play with her babies, and tell stories. She sings all the time. Did I mention that she's loud?
Rachel enjoying her steamed milk
Rachel loves adventures. We go out for coffee nearly every Sunday morning and she calls that a coffe adventure. The baristas at Starbucks know her and her usual order. They're even happy to give her a sticker when she uses the bathroom there. Lucky girl. She likes to go to Barnes & Noble, the park, and loves going for walks and collecting sticks, pinecones, and rocks.
classy dresser
Rachel likes to pick out her own clothes. I usually try to give her two choices but sometimes she insists on doing it all by herself. We are definitely living in the time of "I can do it myself!" This can be a good thing with a new baby on the way.
water fun
She would spend all day outside. She loves water and sand play and would choose to do either over just about anything. We've spent much of this summer at the park playing in the sand or in the yard with the sprinkler on. Rachel has also been very interested in my garden this year and helps me harvest our veggies. Sometimes without permission.
This is one of the last documented naps in Rachel's history. She'll maybe accidentally take a nap once every month or two. We had a very hard time getting her to settle down for naptime, quiet reading time, or resting time. Whatever we called it, whenever or wherever we tried it, she was not interested and protested intensely. The only upside of her not napping is that she goes to sleep between 5:30 and 6 at night.
tub crayons
We've been trying out little incentives for using the potty but training doesn't seem to be going any better or worse because of it. I think we just need to wait it out and maybe it will just happen after the baby is born. It's getting a little old but I don't imagine I'll be changing the diaper on a 10 year old. This won't last forever and I can keep it in perspective.
little helper
Rachel is very excited for Sister to come and talks to her a lot. She wants to see Baby's room, test out the silky on Baby's blanket, and she is happy to set aside clothes that don't fit anymore for Baby. The last few times I've gone to the gym I've found her in the Ywatch baby room when I come to pick her up. She is very interested in babies. I have a feeling the novelty will wear off soon after Baby comes home with us.
lounging with my girl
My baby isn't a baby anymore. She's big, vocal, and opinionated. She is going to be a big sister. I love my girl.

Posted by sla5150 at 5:45 PM | Comments (0)

my new mothering mantra

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal:
it is the courage to continue that counts."
Winston Churchill

Posted by sla5150 at 3:38 PM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2009

39 weeks and 1 day

I'm achy, crabby, and tired. :(

Posted by sla5150 at 9:01 PM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2009

These Four Things

These four things have been rolling around in my head lately:

  • Dave Egger’s TED Talk from Once Upon A School from last year.
  • A Story on the Huffington Post about a JROTC program in San Francisco taking responsibility for the PE of several schools.
  • CrossFit Kids
  • I was at the YMCA doing my CrossFit workout* and there was a father about my age, maybe younger, and his son (about 10 years old) there “working out”.  They had been there from before I arrived (I saw them when I came in) and were still there when I left. I give awesome kudos to dad for getting them both there, but neither one had broken a sweat by the time I left, and both were drinking a 4 serving size bottle of Gatorade.  They were both considerably overweight (I know I’m not the poster child of fitness, but it also puts me in a state to know where others are) and dad was obviously trying to do the right thing.  What was missing was education.  I heard the son asking questions about machines and how to use them, and I thought “What ever happened to playing as fitness?  Why aren’t you running around outside chasing a football and playing catch?”

Schools cut funding in PE and the Arts first; these activities and structures that give our children outlets of expression and energy (both creative and physical).  Sports, on the other hand, gets booster money and proclaim the schools success through wins and losses, and therefore get better funding, but that’s not the root of the problem.

When you cut PE (as an actor and improviser, I have another rant on arts altogether, but I’ll save that for another post), you are killing the opportunity for kids to get the natural, hormonal goodness of sunlight, endorphines and the calm that comes after really being active.

So, how about this:  Instead of a store front with a back room that teaches writing skills, how about a place called the “Jungle Gym” that sells all sorts of Safari based paraphenalia, and the secret path leads out back to a Crossfit Kids gym?  Or steal the Super Hero idea from 826NYC store ouright and have the ‘Super Hero Training Ground’ out back and we let passionate people who are stupidly, insanely passionate about health, fitness and kids do what they love, and help kids rediscover play.

Not XBox Play, or Wii Fit bullshit play, but real, actual, ‘Let’s GO Ride our Bikes!’ ‘Keep Away’ ‘Dodge Ball’ ‘Swing on a rope, run on a log, do cartwheels until we fall over’ play that we all seem to have forgotten.

 First things first, however. Friday, on my lunch hour, Rachel and Daddy are going to go outside and play.


*WOD: (posted time 26:05)
Run 200m
Box Jumps

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 7:46 PM

August 10, 2009

Me, CrossFit and a big Change

I made a life style change recently.  I didn’t go on a diet, or start a weight-loss plan.  I started living differently.

I’m trying to live by the CrossFit tennants (World-Class Fitness in 100 Words [1]):

  • Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.
  • Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast.
  • Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense.
  • Regularly learn and play new sports.

Based on lectures on nutrition and performance from coaches in the CrossFit system, I’m focusing on:

  • Rest
  • Food
  • Exercise

In that order of importance for my lifestyle, given my known weaknesses and patterns.  This is also why I twitter my workout and take pictures and use Wolfram|Alpha to log my food to FaceBook.  Being open and honest about this info are steps to transparency (meaning I’m hiding nothing from others or myself).

My starting weight at the end of June was 230 lbs (26.9% Body Fat and 31.2 BMI).  I weighed today at 218lbs (24.3 % Body Fat, 29.6 BMI), which means that since 06/29 I’ve lost 11.5 lbs (which translates to 2.4% Body Fat and 1.4 pts of my BMI). I should mention that I was at 238lbs in December, but didn’t log or track anything in between, so it’s just an errant data point.

More importantly, I’m more fit.  I ran 2 miles today, I also rowed 1200m, did 50 jumping pull ups, 60 squats, 25 push presses, 40 Wall Ball throws, 30 Burpees, 30 body weight dips, 12 hanging leg lifts and I’m sure I’m missing something, but I was a little winded there at the end. I have the sheet and will log it accurately with my time after work.

My time?  Oh, took 40:29. That’s not a great time (there are a couple of people who did harder exercises during this Workout and did it in close to half my time – but they are what we like to call “After Pictures”), but let’s be clear:  Six weeks ago, I would not have been able to finish even half of that.  I couldn’t even run a mile or row 400m without rest.

I’m getting fitter.  And I’m not using my weight loss as an indicator, or my muscle size.  I’m using Time and Performance.  Weight Loss and Muscle Size are by products of fitness.  This is what I’ve always thought, which is also why I get bored at the gym doing rep after rep of the same thing.

My one concern is that when I’m done here this week and I start to work from home and take paternity leave over the next month, that I can maintain the rigor and give myself the time to continue this hard work.  Right now, as I write this, the answer is “Yes, of course I will.”  I have a passion to do it.  I like being pushed and how I feel when I work with intensity.  I like the results so far as well, so I’ll see you at the gym.

And if you want to be this motivated, go and check out your local CrossFit Affiliate.  I promise you, if you do it, it will change your life.

Special thanks to all the folks at CrossFitMN, especially Damian, Christine and Kat whose motivation has kept me focused.

[1] – What is Fitness and Who is Fit

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 5:42 PM

August 6, 2009

My girl has grown up

first Halloween at Yates
Rachel at 2 weeks old

big girl - little seat
Rachel at 2 3/4 years old

Posted by sla5150 at 3:09 PM | Comments (0)

August 3, 2009

Some recent pictures of the girl

The Joker

messy face
Mud pies with Megan

water play on the deck
Water play on the deck

Miss Messy
Miss Messy eating her snack

Posted by sla5150 at 6:47 PM | Comments (0)

Ready, Set, Baby

My body and emotions say I'm so ready to have this baby, but my house and my schedule do not. I'm so worn out from this pregnancy and from Rachel not napping. It's taking its toll. My abs hurt most of the time. One day I feel like they are getting better and the next they are very inflamed. The same could be said about my mood. I feel fine one day and the next (or sometimes even the next minute) I fly off the handle about something. Argh. I'm ready.

Oh wait...Chuck will not be working from home until August 14, I don't have anyone to watch Rachel if I happen to have this baby this weekend or next, and the baby's room is not done. The baby will stay in our room for quite awhile, but it's much less hassle to have her room done before she gets here. We're so not ready.

Posted by sla5150 at 6:33 PM | Comments (0)