return to running: week 1

My husband knows me well.  We had our “January Thaw” this weekend in St. Louis and I of course decided to take advantage of it and took MacKenna out in the jogging stroller (I’m still searching for a good/cheaper double jogger) on Friday afternoon when Matt got home from work.  Of course, what does he ask me when we got home?  “Did you run?”

Yes.  Yes, I did.

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I know, I know.  I’m only 4 weeks postpartum today and my doctor said low impact only.  And I know, running is not low impact.  But, I feel good.  Like, really good.  To the point where I am feeling a lot like myself again.  So, I decided to try to run.  And guess what?  It. Felt. Amazing.  I am definitely not running fast or far right now because my body is not ready for that.  But, the little bit that I am running feels good.  And I am listening to my body and watching for any signs that I might be pushing too much, but I feel good!

Right now, I am doing a 5 minute walk to warmup and a 5 minute cool down.  In the middle, I am running for 2 minutes, followed by 3 minutes of walking.  I repeat that for 20 minutes total.  The 2 minutes of running feel easy, but that’s how I want it to feel.  Do I feel like I could run faster or longer?  Maybe.  But, 2 minutes feels just about right for the time being.  This week, I will add one more interval to build my endurance up a little bit, but if that doesn’t go well, I’ll go back to what I did last week.

Monday:  30 minute treadmill run/walk (2.1 miles @ 14:17/mile)

Tuesday:  PiYo Sweat

Wednesday:  PiYo Upper Body (I amazingly still have some abs!)

Thursday:  PiYo Strength Intervals + 30 minute treadmill run/walk (2.1 miles @ 14:25/mile)

Friday:  PiYo Buns + 30 minute jogging stroller run/walk (2.25 miles @ 13:23/mile)

Saturday:  30 minute jogging stroller run/walk (2.25 miles @ 13:20/mile)

Sunday:  Rest Day

Total:  9.2 miles

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I am 4 weeks postpartum today and I have to admit that I’ve been feeling pretty terrible about my body the last few days. While there are definitely things to be happy about (fitting in to a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans (a size bigger), only having 10 more pounds to lose), I still feel like I have a long way to go and am so ready to feel comfortable in my body again.  It’s amazing how comfortable I felt in my pregnancy body, but how far I feel from getting to a point where I’m happy about my size.

So, I am trying to make a conscious effort to get to that point again.  One of the main things I will be doing in the next month is a “Rock Your Jeans” challenge.  Starting Monday, January 28th, I will be co-hosting a challenge to help you (and myself) drop at least one jean size.  Madeline from Food, Fitness, and Family and Elena from Full Circle Fitness will be co-hosting this challenge along with me and we’d love to have YOU be part of our accountability group.  This is a 3-week challenge group that involves 30-minute workouts, 5 days a week and includes a personalized portion-controlled meal plan and 30 superfood meals.  I am looking for 10 ladies who are committed to changing their lives (and jean size) in just 3 weeks time!  If you are interested in finding out more about our challenge group, shoot me an email (klvanhorn @ gmail . com) or just leave me a comment below.

Drop A Jean Size

I don’t know about you, but I am SO ready to be back in those skinny jeans!

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rug pad corner review

Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Rug Pad Corner.  Rug Pad Corner sent me a rug pad to review in exchange for a blog post.  I was only compensated with the free rug pad.  As always, all opinions are my own.

I’m on a “things that people don’t tell you” kick lately.  You know, like how your older child will stop sleeping great once you bring a new baby into the house?

Here’s another one… even brand new houses become money pits and you will need things you never realized you needed to make your home livable.

In our first house, spending money was expected.  While it was move-in ready when we bought it, there were still a lot of things we needed to do to make it livable.  We finally got to the point where it just wasn’t worth it anymore and decided to move.

We decided to build our next house because we didn’t want to have to sink all that money into fixing up “someone else’s” mistakes.  Ha!  Yeah, if you would take a tour of our brand new, 3-month old house, you’d notice a lot of things that we need to spend money on.  Like light fixtures.  Yeah, a $500 allowance doesn’t get you very much with that – and we went over that budget too.

You would also notice that we have very few decorations in our house currently.  With a mantle to decorate and completely blank walls, I’ve still be deciding exactly what I wanted to do with our new home.  However, there was one thing I decided before even picking out our new home and that was the color scheme.  I loved navy blue in our old house and wanted to carry that over to the new house.  Shortly after signing our contract, zulily had a deal on rugs and I fell in love with this navy blue chevron rug.  So, of course I bought it!

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What I didn’t realize was that it was going to slip all over our brand new laminate floors.  Something I didn’t have to worry about so much at the old house.  Thankfully, the people at Rug Pad Corner reached out to me soon after we had moved in and offered to send me one of their eco-friendly, non-slip rug pads to review.

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Rug Pad Corner sent one of their Super Hold natural rubber pads that perfectly fit our brand new rug.  Of course, with a brand new house, you have to worry about your brand new floors.  We already had a major mishap the first week we moved in with our refrigerator leaking and completely ruining our laminate floors around it (thankfully, it’s in an area of our kitchen where you can’t really tell the floor is ruined – and we have some extra flooring in our basement to replace the water soaked floors).  From previous experience, I knew that the rug pads you can buy at Target and Walmart stick to the floor and can essentially ruin your floors.  However, the pads at Rug Pad Corner are different.  They are completely natural, organic, and made from rubber, instead of plastic like you typically find at stores.  They will not stick to the floor and won’t ruin the floors or carpet.

After 3 months of using our rug pad, I am happy to report that our rug doesn’t slip one bit, nor does the pad stick to the floor!  It has made our kitchen much more functional and livable now that we don’t have to worry about the rug slip-sliding all over the place.  And as a couple who bought the house solely for the kitchen (a nice big open kitchen with an open floor plan where I can stand in the kitchen and see the rest of the house), it just makes life easier.  I plan on getting a few more once we get some more rugs in our house.  But, first I need to buy some light fixtures…

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Want to try rug pads from Rug Pad Corner for yourself?  Simply type in the code REVIEW15 for 15% off your order of your own rug pad.  They have rug pads for any type of flooring, from hardwood to laminate to carpet to concrete.  Plus, they have them in any size or shape that you could ever ask for, making them the perfect addition to your home and making your home a lot more livable.

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toddler sleep issues (revisited)

Sit tight, guys.  This post is a long one…

I sat down tonight to feed Miles, opened up my iPad, and just so happened to look at the time.  8:10 PM.  “Did we actually get her to bed by 8 o’clock?!” I commented to Matt.  Why, yes.  Yes, we did.

You may remember several months ago, after our annual summer trip to Branson, that we spent several nights having to retrain our once great sleeper on how to sleep again.  I researched the Ferber Method for sleep training, used it for maybe 2 or 3 nights, and sure enough, MacKenna was again going to bed easily and sleeping through the night.  Not only that, but she was also taking naps well again, even though they were on the floor until she returned to the babysitter when school started back up.  (Oh, thank God for Stacy!  I wish Kenna would act for us like she does for her!)

We were worried that we might go through another sleep regression once we moved into the new house and put her in a twin bed instead of her toddler bed, but we were fortunate enough that she had absolutely no issues, except for one night when she fell out of bed.

One of the things that made it even easier for us is that MacKenna was still too short and little to open the door to her room.  Until about a month ago when she finally figured it out.  But, I didn’t really think much of it because she was still sleeping so well, even if she was making several requests every night and extending our bedtime routine by several more minutes.

But, all of that changed this past week.  File this under “Things They Don’t Tell You Happen After a Second Child.”  Because of all the things I expected from MacKenna, losing sleep because of HER was not one of them.  (Side Note:  Miles is waking up about twice a night and goes back down fairly easily.  He is sleeping in our room currently, but mostly because of MacKenna and the fact that we don’t want his crying to be fed to wake her up.)

Late last week, Miles had been crying in his crib to be fed and ended up waking MacKenna.  I think this was right around 5:45 AM, so we allowed her to come hang out in bed with us while I fed the baby and Matt got a few more minutes of sleep.  The next morning, MacKenna was again up at 5:45.  I wouldn’t typically be upset about this, except that MacKenna usually sleeps until 7 AM, so I knew we were starting to have some problems.  Sure enough, the next several nights, MacKenna was up in the middle of the night or awake super early and ended up in bed with us.

It wasn’t until Monday night into Tuesday did it get really bad.  Miles woke up at 1:30 AM to be fed.  I got him back down at 2, only to be awoken by MacKenna just 20 minutes later at our door wanting to get in bed with us.  It wasn’t until close to 4 AM that we finally got her back to bed for the remainder of the night, only for Miles to wake up 30 minutes later to be fed.  Two tired parents definitely does not equal 2 happy parents, and we were at wits end.  (In addition, she did not take a nap on Monday either, which made it super hard for me.)

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Yes, that’s a giant bruise on her forehead. She hit her head on Matt’s nightstand bending down to pick up her chapstick.  This is why toddlers need sleep…

I spent those waking hours on my phone, searching on Pinterest and Googling how to fix toddler sleep problems for kids who won’t stay in their rooms.  But, with the success we had with the Ferber Method this summer, I knew it was the way to go to get her to sleep again.

I started with her nap time yesterday, hoping and praying to at least get a few minutes of time without a toddler in the afternoon.  Unfortunately, I knew that without being able to lock her in her room and the fact that she figured out how to climb over a gate the night before I was going to have to hold her door closed.  I went in knowing that it was going to be hard and that I would give her 30 minutes to fall asleep and then give up (which is what Ferber suggests at nap times – night time is a whole different story).  To top it off, Miles decided that he no longer wanted to sleep either and would rather be held, so I was holding him in one arm and holding MacKenna’s door shut with my other hand, with my phone resting on Miles’ tummy so that I could watcher Kenna on the monitor as well as keep track of time.  I was really wishing Matt was home to help me, but I know I keep my cool a little better than he does (sorry Babe).

I worked in much shorter cry-it-out intervals than what we did this summer.  Instead of waiting 3 minutes the first time around, I started with 1 minute.  After 1 minute was up, I went into her room, got her back in bed, sang her a song, give her a kiss, and left.  Next was 2 minutes, then 3, then 5, then 10 minutes until my 30 minute time limit was reached.  MacKenna screamed at the top of her lungs, tried to open the door, threw things off her bed, turned off her nightlight and fan, and made a billion requests, all just to get me to come into her room.  Every time I went in, I did the same thing, until the last 10 minute interval, where I thanked her for listening when I asked her to get into her bed (multiple times, she tried to force her way out when I went in to get her) and then repeated my process.

I closed the door that final time, knowing that it most likely would be another day without a nap and would make for a very looooong afternoon for Mama.  But, to my surprise, after 2 minutes of crying, she went into her bed and laid down.  I still stood there, holding her door closed, for those 10 minutes, but to my surprise, she didn’t move and had actually fallen asleep!  Success!  She only slept for an hour for her nap time, but it was just enough time for me to get in a PiYo workout and hang out with Miles for a little while.

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I was anxious putting her to bed last night as well, but not nearly as nervous as I was at her nap, mostly because I wouldn’t be doing it alone since Matt was home.  Amazingly, she made no extra requests when we were leaving her room (something that we have gotten in a bad habit of giving in to recently) and did not even get out of her bed!  Her only request was that we set a timer on the microwave, which is just us pressing buttons so she thinks that she has a time limit (yes, we are probably horrible parents for doing this, but if it keeps her in bed, I don’t care).

I’m praying that as this posts this morning that I got a fairly refreshing night of sleep, only having to wake up with the baby a few times to feed him.  (EVERYONE, KNOCK ON WOOD RIGHT NOW FOR US!)  But, I want all those moms who are as desperate as we are to get a good night’s sleep (bed sharing with MacKenna just isn’t an option for us) that this worked for us and staying strong and consistent will be your best bet!  Hang in there!  It DOES get easier!  And yes, I fully plan to use this to sleep train Miles when he is old enough…

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If only we could all sleep this peacefully…

Posted in baby, Toddler | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments