Pure Barre Las Vegas

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Lately I’ve become kind of obsessed with barre workouts. So when I had the opportunity to visit the Las Vegas Pure Barre studio, I was ALL OVER THAT!

The first Friday of each month is “Bring a Friend For Free” – so it’s a way for newbies to the studio to check out a class for free. Just contact the studio to book your class!

I entered the lobby and met the studio’s owner, Lauren, who was very welcoming and explained the ropes to me of getting setup for class.

They have a whole “store” area in the lobby too! You can buy various apparel for the workouts or to just support the Pure Barre brand.

She got me squared away with a pair of grippy socks, everybody must wear socks in the studio. They also request that participants wear long or capri-length pants and tops that cover the midriff. This is to keep some of the heat you build up during the workout.

She took me into the studio, it’s got a barre all around the room and one wall is covered in mirrors.

She also instructed me on the equipment used during the workout. Yes, 2lb dumbbells look pretty weak… but after a while those tiny little weights can really start to inflict a burn when you’re doing small movements repeatedly!

We had movements where we kept that ball gripped in our knee-pit (technical term there!) and had to do tiny little leg lifts with it held there. Or we put the bands around our legs just above the knees to make moves harder and add resistance.

Our time was split between the center of the classroom and work at the barre. There wasn’t talk of ballet positions during class and I never felt like you had to be a ballerina (or even super coordinated) to do it! There were times that I felt kind of clumsy, wondering if I was in the right position, but I was never too far off!

I LOVE LOVE LOVED the workout and left feeling so invigorated! My class was taught by Noelle, she told us that we’d hate her during class and maybe the few days after but then grow to love her. Sorry Noelle, I liked you the whole time… even if you made my muscles burn and then ache for a few days after!

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Noelle and me – she’s got amazing definition in her arms, huh?

Noelle spotted little things where I could correct my form and get better results. She was great at being able to correct people in a way that made sense without making you feel like you were a moron! I can’t wait to take another class from her, but I also can’t wait to check out other instructors’ styles too! No two workouts are exactly the same either, it’s not like it’s a prescribed routine that you learn and get bored with over time.

The only real downsides to Pure Barre for me are:

  1. Location: It’s a little bit of a drive so it’s hard to go there on my lunch break, but at least it’s still on my side of town. But I think I would like to try to make that happen a couple times a month. I start working early enough and do enough outside of typical work hours that I should be able to swing that! I might be able to plan for a weekend class every now and then too once it is no longer my CPA husband’s busy season. (Countdown is on – couple more weeks!)
  2. Price: Pure Barre is not a cheap class. And I’m a cheapskate! But this was so awesome and wonderful, again… I’m going to allow myself to do this!

Barre is a great complement to running. It fatigues every muscle in the body (seriously, I think I found a few new muscles), it illustrated to me that my glutes on the left weren’t quite firing with the same efficiency as my right (which could affect my running) and it incorporates stretches to loosen up tight runner legs.  While there are online opportunities to do these workouts, and I use some of these, getting into the studio with a trained instructor has huge benefits.

Pure Barre Las Vegas
3330 S. Hualapai Way Suite 140
Las Vegas, NV 89117
702-525-3454

Oh…. and the bathrooms made me smile.

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Kiss Me Organics Matcha

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Kiss Me Organics provided me with a bag of matcha for this review.

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The past several weeks have started with a green tea latte… made with organic matcha from Kiss Me Organics and almond milk. I used to get a green tea latte on occasion from Starbucks, but I haven’t done that in a long time. This is nice to be able to do something similar at home, but I can use almond milk instead of soy like I would get at SBUX.

Most green tea baked goods are made using matcha, which is different from loose-leaf green tea. Matcha is a green tea that is grown in the shade; then it’s picked, deveined and pulverized into a powder. So it’s a different color, flavor, texture from what you’d get from a loose-leaf or bagged tea.

I shared this picture of it on instagram/facebook/twitter a few weeks ago:

A gal I used to coach asked about it and said she had a recipe that she had wanted to make using matcha – Green Tea Fudge Protein Bars. Those bars intrigue me, and other than the chocolate… I have all the ingredients. But the cool thing about the Kiss Me Organics brand is when you buy it you get a whole recipe e-book full of cool recipes, so I now own a whole cookbook that I could use with it.

The 4 oz. bag retails on Amazon (PRIME!) for $25, which is a really good price for a nice culinary-grade matcha. I have seen some that are just 1 oz. for more than that price. Using just 1/2 tsp. per cup, you’ll get about 48 servings from the bag. (About 52 cents per cup, even factoring the cost of buying your own milk, that’s way cheaper than the chain place!)

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Green tea has a whole array of supposed benefits: brain function, oral health, energy, bone health, performance boost, etc. A simple Google search will bring up all of these things, so pick and choose the benefits that strike close to your heart. Or just drink it because it’s kind of a nice calming ritual to start the day (which is what I’ve found!)

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

Year of No Sugar [Book Review]

Year of No Sugar by Eve Schaub

Year of No Sugar by Eve Schaub I was asked if I wanted to be part of the virtual book tour for the new book “Year of No Sugar” by Eve Schaub. The book is about the author and her family’s quest to remove all added sugar from their diets for an entire year. This means sugar in all forms: brown sugar, powdered sugar, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, agave, molasses, fruit juice, or artificial sweeteners… and they learned that this stuff lurks nearly EVERYWHERE!

I think it’s highly commendable that the author did a project of this magnitude with not only the support of her husband and children, but with their participation as well. She has two daughters (11 and 6 at the time) and they played the game too… even if it was hard for them!

The older daughter kept a journal throughout the year and some of the snippets included in the book from that journal made it clear it wasn’t all fun and games and was a rather difficult undertaking. It also seemed a little sad that it was almost like missing out on some aspects of childhood because sugar is so ingrained in everything.

Eve Schaub photo credit Stephen Schaub

Eve Schaub photo credit Stephen Schaub

They did find that they got sick far less when their consumption of added sugars was reduced. The children’s absences from school during that year was dramatically lowered. Their palates changed as they became more sensitive to the levels of sugar in foods.

But it didn’t sound like any fun. It seemed kind of sad at times! And I felt bad for the kids, especially since the entries from the daughter’s journal that were sprinkled throughout the book made it clear she was not enjoying it! But the fact that the kids stuck to it out of their own volition is admirable.

They made a family dessert each month, coming to a consensus about how they would “splurge” and savored that treat. They ate a lot of “banana ice cream” (frozen bananas in the food processor) in their early days and treasured family recipes were adapted as the author started to use dextrose in place of traditional sugars. There are several recipes in the book that use those. However, since I don’t have dextrose and I didn’t feel the need to order some just for the purpose of testing, I didn’t make any of those! They learned they had to make their own breads for the most part, since purchased breads didn’t meet the standards of their project, and store-bought tomato sauce nearly always contains sugar so they made that themselves.

Eve Schaub's Favorite Tomato Sauce

I admit, the whole time I was waiting for the moment where they proclaimed how it was an amazing/awesome/worthwhile/recommended experience. But it seemed like the conclusion was that it was something they did, it changed some aspects of their life forever, but overall… they succeeded and then the challenge ended. They do carry on with things they learned, some of their staples are now always homemade instead of purchased.

And I’m scared to look up the YouTube video that triggered her whole journey because I like sweets and I don’t want to eliminate them completely! It’s just too extreme for me. (My eating disorder flew into full gear when I started eliminating entire groups of food… this seems disordered to me.)

Friday Fête

Cooked Eggs

Whew… it’s Friday. I feel like I missed my weekend a little bit last week. Which is weird because I got to skip out on normal chores like laundry/groceries/etc. and leave town. I got a long night of sleep on Saturday… but just the effort of taking a toddler out-of-town by myself leaves me physically/mentally/emotionally exhausted! So I’m kind of looking forward to a normal, boring weekend!

Pepper Eggs or Egg Peppers

Have you ever seen the Pinterest pin (or floating around other places) of cooking an egg inside a bell pepper ring? I had also seen people attempt it online where it ended in a mess. I kind of assumed it would be a wreck, but I got some peppers in my produce box so I decided to give it a try.

Eggs in pepper cooking

Cooked Eggs

I cooked mine over-medium. Cause that’s how I prefer them!

It worked for me! Not as beautiful as some pics, but good enough and it was a good lunch. I’m pretty sure the kiddo wouldn’t eat eggs like this yet though. I usually just make scrambled eggs because they’re harder to screw up then trying to flip an egg over! The pepper was like training wheels for flipping an egg.

Baby Foot

I hate dry, scaly feet. I’m pretty particular about that and I tend to keep my feet in pretty good shape. But running, hanging out barefoot most of the time, living in a dry climate… there’s bound to be some roughness. Recently I heard about a product called Baby Foot. Basically you soak your feet in some fruit acid gel for an hour and all the dead skin on your feet is supposed to come off in a few days. So I bought it. The gel comes in these plastic booties that you put on your foot and then slip socks over, so it’s not like you have to sit in one spot with your feet in a bucket, but I wouldn’t recommend walking around a ton in the booties because it is slippery. Anyway, 7 days later… my feet look horrible – all peely and scratchy – essentially they’re molting. Right now I really want to take a foot file to them, even though the directions say don’t do that. But if my feet are still looking this horrible in another 7 days, I’m buying a power sander!

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Hatfield Strap

I was sent a Hatfield Strap a bit ago. It’s a “one-size-fits-all” strap that is supposed to help people get a good stretch in their feet/calves.

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However I don’t feel like I look like that when I try to use it… it’s seriously a LOOOOONG strap and I feel like I’m constantly pushing/pulling/twisting/unwrapping/unbunching some section of it! Yes, it can provide a good stretch once in position, but I think it’s a bit overkill, especially for me since I don’t have plantar fasciitis issues and this is supposed to help target stretching for that problem. When you add on the optional shoulder strap, it really starts to feel like you’re playing a game of Twister with the thing.

Other Things

  • 2XU is having a big giveaway for $1400 worth of gear from a variety of manufacturers (2XU, Newton, Skratch Labs, Mio, SKLZ)
  • My TomTom Runner GPS watch that I love so much? Well I programmed it for 800m repeats earlier this week. Programming was super simple, it worked flawlessly during the workout. But after? There was no way to get data for my interval splits! Serious flaw in the device!
  • I joined Strava. They released a new version of their app and I finally took the plunge… I didn’t want to get sucked into a community, but the segment tracking is pretty cool. You can import data from several different GPS devices or use the app to track. You can also export a .gpx file from the Strava website if you tracked a run using the app and want to get that data somewhere else.
  • Science can’t prove the runner’s high exists. But never having had what might be a “traditional” high, I know the euphoria I’ve felt from a good run makes me think it exists!
  • Cancer or not, When did making fun of each other become OK?

Ever tried making something from Pinterest and had it bomb? Pinterest fails are fun to Google if you ever get bored! Are you on Strava?

No Foolin’

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You gotta be careful posting anything on April 1. I didn’t want to put up any kind of review for folks who have kindly sent me things… lest someone interpret the review as a joke. But I can’t do anything really “heavy” and “personal” on this ridiculous day where everything is questioned. I’m not a big prankster… I don’t pull April Fools jokes. I do appreciate seeing what Google is doing each year, but that’s about the extent of this day for me. Once at work we changed the entire website for the day… it was quite the undertaking that required working in the middle of the night to accomplish the surprise, and some people still didn’t realize it was a joke and got angry.

I have another blog, I don’t really post on it these days. I still love that blog… even if it’s mostly a ghost town now, I should print all the stuff I wrote on there. It would be a massive book. On that site I had a big list of “Things to do Before I Turn 30″ and I chronicled all the tasks as I checked them off. After I finished my list I decided I should start a list of things to do before I turn 40. I recently rediscovered that post…  I’ve wasted nearly 6 years of the time I could have been working on this crap, fortunately I never really fleshed that plan out so there’s no failure here. Let’s take a look at the ones I came up with back then, shall we?

  • Dye my hair a dramatically different color.
    I meant dark on this one. That’s a terrifying thought to me! I’m contemplating dying my hair a lighter shade of blonde now, I have the hair dye in my house and its mere presence scares me! I’m just worried that if I do something radically different, then I’m stuck dying it forever because who wants skunky roots as it grows out? And I have no grays yet (knock on wood) so why not just embrace my natural color?
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  • Complete an ultramarathon
    HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!! Honestly, I can’t even think about how that would be possible at this time or until Alex is a lot more self-sufficient. All you ladies who can do marathons/ultras with tiny tots, I salute you. It’s not possible for me.

    Cedar Canyon Trailhead

    I ran at elevation over the weekend, that’s almost an ultra… or not.

  • Visit New York City
    I’ve never been here, it’s supposedly awesome. Maybe I would see a Broadway play… or go see The Tonight Show since it moved back to the city. I could be a total tourist. I guess I just wanted to experience the city.
  • Leave the continent
    I went to France & England in 2001 and enjoyed that a lot, I think it would be fun to explore somewhere new. (I’ve always wanted to visit Greece.) Although, now that I have a kid I really don’t want to take her abroad at such a young age (I’m really not a good mommy-traveler) and I don’t want to leave her behind for a couple of weeks.
  • Find my feel-good weight
    Hey, I think I did this one… I’ve figured out where my body needs to be operate properly and I’m not terribly dissatisfied with that number either. CHECK!

So maybe I should come up with some new ‘before 40′ things. I’m thinking: buy some article of clothing that is really outside my comfort zone and actually wear it! (Leather pants! Bustier! Stiletto heels! Not all together… or maybe no way to a couple of those.) Or try eating bugs. Or bungee jump.

What’s the next big “age milestone” for you and do you have any things you’d like to do before that?

SportRx – Prescription or Not!

SportRx - the best prescription eyewear

SportRx - the best prescription eyewearSportRx… whether or not you need prescription lenses, they’re a pretty awesome company. It’s run by optician athletes. Or athlete opticians. However they prefer it… According to their About page they are:

SportRx is a Southern California based company created by opticians who ride their bikes, run their races, push their jogging strollers and bomb down slopes. We love glasses and enjoying life and want to help you see better while doing the things you love.

I was given the opportunity to receive a pair of shades from the company for use during running. And even though I don’t wear prescription lenses anymore (PRK baby! One of the best decisions of my life. Elective surgery FTW!) but when I did always wore my contacts while I ran. I disliked/hated/loathed/despised wearing my regular spectacles while running. Plus they didn’t provide any sun protection and it’s bright out here in the desert! But also during this time my contacts were increasingly causes my problems and my eyes were constantly irritated. And getting salty sweat in the eyes with contacts is a big annoyance cause you can’t even rub your eyes as vigorously to try relieving the pain. But I wore the contacts and cheapo sport sunglasses for each run.

So when I chatted with on the phone with them, in addition to the casual banter about our kids, I learned some tips about shades and a pair of Oakleys was recommended for me. I knew that you wanted to make sure your sunglasses provided UV protection, but it was good to be reminded that you want the glasses to be dark enough to shield you but not so dark you lose the nuances of the world around you.

So once we narrowed down the frame, it was time to choose the color. My first inclination was to do like I always do… go as neutral, not funky as possible. But then I had a change of heart, I’m realizing more and more that life is too short to not have fun, even with your shades. So I chose a white frame with purple lenses!

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And I LOVE LOVE LOVE them. They are so lightweight and feel great, but I’m also not really aware of them while I run. I guess I did have a moment of being aware about them when I first ran in them, simply because I kept noticing how much lighter they seemed on my face, how much more visible the world seemed and how they didn’t bounce around or slide off. They’re just great shades.

This recommendation all came by them chatting with me about where I live, what my primary sport is, when I’ll use the shades and in what conditions. They know their stuff, I was impressed!

If I still had to wear prescription lenses, knowing what I know now… I would probably not have suffered through the years of contact wearing and just bought a good pair of prescription shades. My mom bought a pair of prescription sport sunglasses from her eye doctor a few years ago and I think she was a little sticker-shocked at first, but now thinks they’re 100% worth it. Plus if you have money in flex accounts or something like that, it may be a good way to use that cash. Yes, SportRx works with that.

The website is easy to use, with ways to narrow down frames by sport/brand/gender/category. They have an analyzer tool that you can answer some questions and they will help you pick the right frame. And they have live chat on their site, if you need help. If you’re in San Diego, you can visit their showroom for help. I’m really impressed with the company and was glad to be introduced to them.

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

Friday Fête

Woohoo, it's Friday! Oh wait... I'm a mother.

Happy Friday! Another week down… not that I’m counting down to anything. And honestly weekends don’t mean that much to me these days.

Woohoo, it's Friday! Oh wait... I'm a mother.

On February 17, Alex and I both came down with a nasty cold. And we’re just NOW getting over it. Ridiculous! For how mild this winter has been (sorry rest of the country) the cold/flu season has been brutal in my household.

Apple Cider Vinegar - Miracle Health SystemApple Cider Vinegar = best acne remedy evah!
Seriously, I got a zit on my jawline, dabbed a little bit of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother!) and it vanished overnight. I might be on my way to becoming a ACV zealot! ;-)

Virtual Races:

Vacation Races recently launched a series of virtual races, they sent out a questionnaire to past participants of their races about thoughts on the virtual series before they announced them. I think I was pretty harsh in my responses, but going through it made me realize that I’m NOT a fan of virtual races. I don’t do races for the medal. Medals are fun, but I’m not going to pay $$ to run the same routes I always run to get a medal. For me, races are more about the community and the atmosphere. And if I’m shooting for a PR, I feel it’s more legit if it’s at an official race with a timer as opposed to my GPS watch running around my neighborhood. So I’m just curious, what is your take on virtual races?

Interesting Things to Read:

  • The Problem With Little White Girls (and Boys) – A piece about voluntourism and if it’s truly helpful. I think if I had $3000 to go on a trip to help build a developing village, maybe I’d be better off to just give them that $3000.
  • 5 Regrets of the Dying – Okay, so the title is a little morose, but there are some good points. The first one is a big reason why I developed an eating disorder.
  • Running a marathon nearly killed me – I know, this isn’t a commonplace incident, but you gotta appreciate that the guy took heart and realized there was so much more than his race times.
  • The Reverse Bucket List – I love the concept of creating a list of the accomplishments in your life that make you proud. The post recommends making a list of 50. I think I will start with however many I think of in the next couple minutes…

My Reverse Bucket List (a start, in no particular order)

BTW – It’s kind of hard to write about things you’ve done in the past in a “bucket list” voice! If I put some of these on a list of things I hoped to accomplish, they would seem very odd. But having actually done them, they are things I’m proud of.

  • Graduate with my bachelor’s degree at age 20 with no debt
  • Complete 2 marathons and DNF a 3rd
  • Look at a DNF as an accomplishment
  • Call and check into eating disorder treatment at age 30
  • Work at a television station
  • Perform the piccolo part in Stars and Stripes Forever
  • Get vision correction surgery (PRK)
  • Eat escargot
  • Feel beautiful in my own skin

Notice I didn’t include my daughter in there? I just can’t call her one of my “accomplishments” because she is so much more magical than that. I do my best to not screw things up, but she’s also her own little person with her own ideas/traits/personality and I’m not responsible for that. The best I can hope is that I don’t squash that individuality with my own inadequacies.

Alex with a green drink

YogaOutlet.com – Cute new workout clothes!

YogaOutlet.com

Have you ever heard of YogaOutlet.com? Honestly, I wasn’t that familiar with the site before they reached out to me, I had heard of their sister site, SwimOutlet.com, but since I don’t swim I had never thought much about the site. But yoga… that I can get behind! I love yoga and I really should do more of it. I used to do it several times a week… my arms were super cut from that! These days I’m lucky to get in once a week, but I’m trying. It’s better than a couple of months ago when I was still doing it… never!

YogaOutlet.com

Anyway, they reached out to me and offered me a $50 gift card to the site to help celebrate the launch of their new web site design. Being the frugal shopper that I am, I wanted to maximize that gift certificate! I searched high and low on the site, found several items I thought I would want but learned that many pieces were only available in size L or up. But I kept scouring and managed to buy two things and went .90 over my $50 gift card! Pretty good shopping, I’d say!

I got a New Balance Women’s Hybrid Running Tank and Cozy Orange Libra Shorts. Even though the tank says it is a running tank, I really bought it with yoga/barre in mind. If I were to wear it running, I would want to wear a sports bra with it despite the built-in shelf bra. The shorts are also something I bought for yoga/barre practice at home. And I’m really happy with what I got!

YogaOutlet.com outfit

The tank has nice details, cute seaming and ruching on the sides that is flattering!

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YogaOutlet.com offers:

  • Free shipping on orders $49+
  • Free 1-2 day shipping on orders $99+
  • Easy returns
  • Low price guarantee
  • Gift cards
  • Mobile shopping

It’s a pretty slick site and I’m thinking I might order some grippy socks from them. (For Barre classes in a studio… I am loving barre, I need to try all the barre studios here in Vegas! I’ll write more about this new love some other time!) And this tank is cute. And I’m digging these leggings. And these leggings are awesome. But I would never wear these pants.

Follow YogaOutlet on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest.

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

Parenting Check-in at 19-Months-Old

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My kid is 19-months-old today. It wasn’t that long ago that Alex was this tiny little lump that gave me the opportunity to sit in a chair and nurse her for hours. And to think I was annoyed sometimes that I didn’t get things done then! That was an amazing time… she’d fall asleep on me and I’d get to read books… made for adults… that don’t reinforce what color everything is or how many of each item is on the page!

Really, I’m kind of surprised at the books she wants to read. We read this book EVERY DAY! She brings it to me and says “book… book.”

The First Marathon

And I’m not going to lie, there is a part of me that feels really weird telling a 1.5-year-old kid that the Athenians may die in battle because the Spartans can’t help them come fight the Persians. Or when she points at the page and says “What’s that?” and I reply, “Well, that’s a dead soldier.”

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But we do read the books about colors, numbers, etc. too!

She loves being outside, we spent 90 minutes playing at the park the other day and I kept thinking she’d tire of it but eventually I was roasting and thirsty and ready to go. (I was also the only adult crawling through tunnels and climbing up all the toys, what up with that? The majority of those parents were younger than me, I’m sure of it!) The second we get home after I pick her up from school she says, “Go go go!” The basic translation of that is, “Put me in the stroller and let’s go!” I’m a little concerned for the summer, because I don’t really want to push the stroller around in 110+ heat, nor do I want to just wander around the backyard saying “YUCK!” at every mess Jade the Boxer has left behind when it’s hot out.

She’s very organized, likes to sort small things into larger things. Oh… she makes messes for sure, what kind of toddler doesn’t? But she also cleans things up too. She loves having a napkin at meals to wipe her hands on and when we go out she takes a napkin and places it on her lap. I love it when she does things like that, little things that you don’t even think she may have noticed.

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She can repeat almost any word you say to her, not crystal clear but enough to know that she’s parroting you. She says “yellow” in the cutest voice almost like “yolo”, monkey and muffins are both “momo”.  She likes to write, she would much rather have a good pen and a piece of paper than crayons… but sometimes those will have to suffice. We have these color wonder markers that are great in that they don’t put color on anything other than the color wonder paper, but they suck in terms of instant gratification. You color on the special paper with them and then it takes several seconds for the color to appear. She is far more intense and focused with her pen art.

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From my perspective, I love not being tethered to her in terms of breastfeeding, but there are times I feel like I may as well still be attached to her. At least when she was smaller I could strap her into the Ergo and carry her around with my hands free. Now she wants to be in my arms nearly all the time when she’s at home with me, fortunately she’s small and not too heavy, but it’s still awkward to carry 21 lbs of kid around all the time! And when I put her down, she’s figured out a new sentence, “Up me!” It’s so damn cute… but mommy can’t hold a kid all the time!

The questions are coming more and more rapidly these days about when we’ll have another one. It absolutely blows my mind that when I was Alex’s age, my mom had a 2-month-old. I honestly do not think I could handle that. And at this point, I’m 99.1% sure I don’t want to have any more kids. See, there is that 0.9% that thinks I should, just so Alex isn’t an only kid. But is that a good reason to have a kid? Not because I want one, but because I think I should provide a sibling?

My husband works way too much and I do a vast majority of the parenting myself. I do not understand how someone could want a kid so much that they would purposely become a single parent. To each their own, right? And even though Alex is the best thing to happen to me that I didn’t know I wanted, that still doesn’t turn on a “biological clock” that is ticking away before my uterus implodes. (That’s what happens right… or it turns to dust. I don’t know, something like that. The warnings from people seem so dire, I figure it’s gotta be pretty bad!)

Any moments that I feel like I have this parenting balance figured out are the moments when something bad happens. I guess it’s good that I feel like I’m walking a thin tightrope with it pretty much all the time then, right? I do wish I knew how people took their kids on all kinds of trips or even just seem to run errands or go out to dinner with ease. That all feels so hard, like I’m orchestrating a symphony with a bunch of people who don’t know how to play musical instruments. I’m supposed to go on vacation with my family this June and I’m terrified of the whole experience. I’m looking forward to it being OVER… not forward to the actual experience just because I feel so much apprehension when it comes to going places. I just never know when she’ll switch from Alex-the-Sweet to Alex-the-Angry. Her initials are AOW… which is also known as Act of War in military-speak and she can live up to that when she wants to!

I get frustrated that I can’t keep coaching Team Challenge since having a kid, I get annoyed when I see other women on social media doing all kinds of “fun” classes/events that I can’t fit in between my job and taking care of the kid. I can’t participate in obstacle course races or trail runs that I get invited to because you can’t push a stroller on those. I am part of a few different groups on Facebook for local running groups and it annoys the hell out of me when they’re making all their plans to go on long weekend runs or they can meet in the middle of the day to go run. I want to be able to go have friends and play too! But I feel immense guilt for wanting that to, like I’m supposed to be “Alex’s mom” now and not Jill. I don’t remember my parents ever going out to “play” when I was growing up… so maybe that’s part of the reason that I feel that way?

But truthfully, I had my doubts that I could make it this far when I found out as I was pregnant. So I’m pleasantly surprised with myself at doing pretty well with this mom gig so far AND being able to see glimmers of being able to do even more with… and without… her!

First Apple

Friday Fête

beat-the-blerch-logo

I shared the link to the marathon/half marathon/10K in Washington that is hosted by The Oatmeal on Facebook/Twitter/G+, but I’m sharing it here again. Because it sounds awesome and I want to do it! Beat the Blerch – Odds of me actually getting to it? Slim to none…. but it sounds great! Oh, and you can preorder the running book by The Oatmeal. His stuff cracks me up, I even have a poster from one of his comics on the wall of my office: How a web design goes straight to hell (Web development is my full-time job, this rings so true to me!)

beat-the-blerch-logo

I had the opportunity to attend a blogging-related function this week and I couldn’t go. In my RSVP I mentioned that it sounded great, I’d love to attend but I couldn’t due to the fact that I had no childcare as it’s my husband’s busy time of year. The response I got was “Time management is a great skill to learn.” WHAT?! Yes, it is…. but how will time management skills MAKE MY HUSBAND NOT BE AT WORK ALL THE TIME so I can go to a party, talk blog-shop and watch others get drunk? I can manage the crap out of my time, it doesn’t give me any control over my spouse’s time. It just kind of irked me and rubbed me the wrong way.

I saw the post “The Myth of Happiness – and How to be Truly Happy” on Greatist yesterday and was excited to read it, because I haven’t been feeling all that happy lately. I have moments of happy, but overall I’m frustrated with life. There are a lot of good things, don’t get me wrong. But I just feel like I have no control over my life. And I like control. I guess that’s obvious because I ended up with an ED due to that need for control. Life isn’t a tidy little thing that can always be tied up with a bow, but it would sure be nice to feel like you have some kind of idea how to plan for things in life. Anyway… the article basically told me to choose to be happy. But it’s hard to just “choose” happiness when you feel stuck. So it was unfulfilling… but it’s a nice post.

I choose happiness...

Image via Greatist.com

Of course, this interactive chart on The Huffington Post can induce smiles: This Chart Will Take You From Grumpy to Happy in Just a Few Minutes

Happiness Chart

Speaking of attempting to have some control over my life… I decided to follow the Run The Edge 10K training plan. It’s super fun to have a training plan that looks like a game board! And I’ve never actually trained for a 5K or 10K, they’ve just always happened in the course of training for longer events! The only problem is the 10K I thought I would train for is now going to be off the table due to a vacation in June. So the only other 10K I can find anywhere in the vicinity of that is two weeks earlier and it’s a trail race, so it’s not quite the same as trying to PR in a race because I never try to PR on trails… they’re all so different! But I’m still following the training plan, I need/want/crave a training plan in my life again.

Run the Edge

The 2nd annual Zion Half Marathon is this weekend. I really wish I was running it. Last year’s Zion Half was the last half marathon that I ran! (I swore I wasn’t doing another half until I had weaned Alex after that race. Well, she’s been weaned for 6+ months, and I haven’t done a half!) I hate that I used to be able to knock out 13-15 miles on any given weekend and now the thought of running more than 6 miles sounds hard. I gotta build back up! I do have a half I’m registered for in September so I know it will happen, it’s just weird how much life can change.

2013 Zion Half Marathon - Alex and Mommy

Throwback pick to the 2013 Zion Half marathon, one of my favorite race related photos EVER! Alex is 7-months-old here.

I bought a Nutri Bullet last weekend and have made a green “juice” each day this week. (Great deal on it at Costco right now if you’re a member!) I use the word “juice” loosely here because the Nutri Bullet doesn’t extract juice and leave the pulp behind, it just pulverizes everything so it makes a thick juice. (You can add more water to thin it down.) I like it, it’s way easier than our big juicer and I like that I’m consuming more fruits and veggies with it. But whenever I see things online from people that say they’ve started juicing and they feel “AMAZING” I always assume that’s exaggerated. So I just want to say… I DO NOT feel amazing. In fact, I don’t feel any different, except with the slight sense of satisfaction that I am consuming more produce. :-)

I think I want to wear more skirts or dresses this summer to beat the heat and look more pulled together. But most don’t have pockets. Why? I need pockets to hold my phone! (Although, I will admit, sticking a phone in a back pocket on jeans is a really unflattering look, yet so many women seem to do it.) This dress says it has pockets… but I can’t see myself wearing a dress with a hot dog print.

Got any fun weekend plans? Tell me about them, let me live vicariously through you!