Sunday, August 26, 2012

It's getting hot in here

A little over a week ago the jedi and I were sitting and eating lunch when SkyWalker asked if I "heard that noise." It's hard to hear anything with little girls talking about anything and everything so no, I had not. I didn't know what he was talking about until I got up and took my dishes to the sink. Then I heard a faint, rhythmic buzzing sound. At first I thought we were in for another yellow jacket invasion, but it wasn't constant. I thought maybe it was the fridge or our water filters. Then when I went outside to check on the garden I heard it a lot louder and figured out it was coming from one of these:

Not mine. 
I went over to investigate and it was buzzing but not doing anything else--no fan spinning. I did what I always do and checked the internets (and my brother) and determined it could be a faulty capacitor. 


Vader opened it up so we could get a better idea of what was going on. We weren't entirely sure it was the capacitor so he stuck a big stick in to manually turn the fan blades and sure enough they started like they were supposed to. We got the info we needed off the old capacitor so we could order a new one. Which I did--only I ordered the wrong one. There were two uF numbers and I put the wrong one in. Oh well. It was $5. So we had to order another one and wait a couple more days. It came yesterday morning and Vader managed to get it in after he was done mowing the lawn and I am very happy top say that we have working air conditioning again. All for roughly $30. 

So far, we have fixed the air, the fridge, & the garage door opener because of my google kung-fu. I'm keeping a tab of the money I've saved us. iPhone here I come.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I feel good (so good)

Lightrunner and I went to his 4 week/1 month checkup last week. He had gained 2 pounds in the previous two weeks, which was awesome, and everyone was happy with his progress. He's really strong and moves his head a lot & the doc thinks he'll be on the go sooner rather than later. Greaaaattt.

While we were there a curious thing happened. The resident we saw first asked how I was doing and made sure to stress how I needed to take care of myself & that it was okay to let a baby cry & a bunch of crap I already know. And then my doc came in and asked how I was doing. In the same way that I've noticed other people ask how I'm doing. With an almost apprehensive look on their faces. Like gearing up to hear the worst.

The truth is, I feel bad. Bad that I'm going to disappoint them.

Because I feel GOOD. I'm not laying around in my pajamas all day whining about how hard it is with 4 kids. I'm HAPPY I have 4 kids. I'm happy we are where we want to be. Am I tired? Yes. Who gives a crap? I was more tired pregnant. I have more energy now. I'm up before the kids, between 5 & 6 in the morning. My house is relatively clean. We go to playgrounds & have fun and their good behavior jars are getting full of beads. Sure, there are days when one or all drive me crazy, but it's a crazy I chose and a crazy I love. They all love each other and play with each other and it's everything I want it to be.

And now that I'm not pregnant I like my husband again! It's a lovely thing. We've been so happy and content the past month. When I see Vader holding Lightrunner... It's just the best thing ever. We celebrated our 10 year anniversary last week and we really celebrated it. Our family is whole and complete and it's brought a sense of peace and joy to us. Not that we weren't happy with each other before. But we tend to get bogged down in the little details of raising a family. And in the last month I think we--I--have really focused on the bigger picture. We have the family we want! Two boys, two girls, and lots of love.

So don't be afraid you'll hear about sleepless nights or how overwhelming 4 kids are (it's not)... Just prepare yourself for the gushing. We have love, family and friends. Now if we can have working air conditioning we'll be all set.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

From scratch smoothie--Wha Wha What?

The only smoothies I've ever made have been with my 5 year old daughter following a recipe from her Mommy & Me cookbook. I've never really been a smoothie person, nor much of a cook. When I do make things I need to follow directions and very rarely step outside them.

Until Monday.

But let me back up a bit. I've been looking for something I can drink, something that would be a little more than water, something to help hydrate me quickly. Not for after runs--I'm sticking to my chocolate milk for my post-run beverage--but during the day as I breastfeed every few hours. In case you're unaware breastfeeding is seriously draining. Round the clock nourishing of the young can take a toll on the mama. Particularly a mama of 4. I've felt like water just wasn't cutting it, but I didn't want to drink chocolate milk all the time, and I didn't want to drink gatorade because of all the sugar. And because it tends to cause some gastric distress in me. I searched the ol' internets because that is what I do and came up with a solution. Coconut water! No calories (not that I care), no HFCS, no extra sugar, nothing bad, but a little more than plain water. There was only one problem. It tastes, um, icky. I tried the pineapple flavored one and it tasted a little less icky but still icky. Then I started making my own mix which was basically a lot of pineapple juice and a little coconut water.

At the same time I've been looking for snacky things to eat. One of the best things for breastfeeding moms to eat is oatmeal. I don't like oatmeal. I have serious texture issues and oatmeal violates them all. What to do? I ground up some rolled oats as much as I could using my super duper food processor I bought during my kitchen appliance buying pregnant mania. I've been sprinkling some on my yogurt instead of the wheat germ I usually use.

And then came Monday. I put it all together.

I decided to make a smoothie FROM SCRATCH. Insanity. I had no idea what I was doing, no idea of amounts or what absolutely should be put in it or not. I just decided to wing it. Along the way I kept tasting and adding things and hoping for the best. I think it came out okay, although I will make some changes next time.

In case you're interested:

1 cup of coconut water
1 cup of Langers Apple Orange Pineapple Juice (the store didn't have the plain Pineapple juice I wanted)
3/4 cup Chobani vanilla Greek yogurt
1 banana
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup pineapple chunks
1/4 cup ground oatmeal
1/4 cup chopped/shredded kale (I used one stalk/leaf/whatever and threw that in the food processor)

I blended it the best I could because of the aforementioned texture issues. I didn't taste the icky coconut water. I didn't notice the kale and the oatmeal really didn't bother me. The one thing that did was the stringy pineapple pulp. I think I may leave the pineapple chunks out of it next time. It made enough for me to put in the refrigerator. The girls both tried it and liked it. I'm hoping that this works out and can fulfill both the drink and the snack needs of a very busy breastfeeding mama!

Monday, August 20, 2012

I just ran (ran so far awaaayyy)

Remember that song? I have not run so far away, but I did just run. For the first time since April 3. Lightrunner is 4 weeks old now and I am ready. I have been mentally ready for a while but now I am really ready. I'm not just going out there blind though, it's been a really long time since I have run at all and a REALLY long time since I have done consistent regular running. So, I'm following a plan by Jeff Galloway that Runner's World just happened to tweet about in July. I think 4 days before I gave birth but I could be wrong. I'm not coming back from an injury, but I've taken a lot of time off running so I thought it would be a good idea to follow it.

I decided last night that today was the day. When I fed Lightrunner at 2 am I said today is the day. My plan had been to feed him at 5, get up at 5:30 eat breakfast and go. But he woke up at 4 so I fed him then and went back to bed at 4:30. My alarm went off at 5:30 and it was SO hard to get up. But today was the day. So I got up at 5:50, got my running clothes on before anything else, ate a quick breakfast and headed outside.

The plan called for 15 minutes of running-- 15 repetitions of the same pattern of ... 15 seconds of running and 45 seconds of walking. I am so glad I did this outside and not the treadmill. Not only because I got to be up and outside before the world, but because my treadmill would take 15 seconds to respond to speed changes! The first run I did I said there's no way I can do this. And by this, I mean, there's now way I can just run 15 SECONDS. I just wanted to GO. But I stuck to the plan and by the end of the 15 minutes I realized it was the best thing for me. Instead of going out there and winging it and being hugely disappointed because I couldn't go far or long enough, I had a specific time that I could do and each running interval left me wanting MORE. I didn't feel disappointed in myself or that I'd never get back to running. I felt like I could have gone on longer. The 45 seconds of walking felt like an eternity and I never once felt like I needed a walking break. This plan is geared for preventing injury, but it's also great for boosting confidence if you're a little unsure about starting up again.

It took all of my resolve to not just keep on running. And I think that's a really good thing.