Lately – May 2020

I think it’s been 2.5 years since I did a ‘lately’ post. December 2017. I was pregnant. Tomorrow, my son will be two!

I’m sitting in my living room with the windows open. It’s Memorial Day. Our celebrations (grilling on the roof and margaritas my dad made) wrapped up around toddler bedtime, but others’ are just getting started. The neighbors across the street are listening to early 90s jams. Right now it’s Closing Time by Semisonic. I’ve also heard Waterfalls by TLC and I Do it For You by Brian Adams. I still know all the lyrics. Crazy.

Also crazy: Covid-19 and the world these days. I am one of the very lucky ones who 1) is still employed; 2) has a spouse that is still employed; 3) has full-time childcare (provided by my parents who have been unexpectedly living with us for 2.5 months now). Our house is full, but we are happy and healthy. My sister had to graduate from her masters program virtually, thousands (millions?) of seniors had to miss their senior proms, and definitely millions of people have lost their jobs. 100,000 people in the US have died. I first became aware of coronavirus on our annual ski trip in late mid-late January. We were in Tahoe, and I believe the death count in China reached 800 while we were there. That feels like forever ago. I can’t imagine the world ever being like it was then.

And yet, this is life. It’s not on hold. I’m still living it, and it’s going by. In the past 2.5 months, Gabriel has learned to ride a balance bike, recognizes all the letters of the alphabet, and counts to four (though he usually skips ‘2’). I can’t speak of as such accomplishments for myself. Let’s see. Dan and I ran a 10K in April since the Sole of the City was cancelled. (We were also supposed to run the Bolder Boulder 10K today.) I hired and onboarded someone at work. I not only survived living under the same roof as my parents for 2.5 months (and who knows how much longer) but rather enjoyed it. So did my husband.

And I’ve continued most of the other things I usually do. Here’s a summary.

Things I’ve been reading:

  • The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish. Dan’s aunts gave me this for Hannukah (they always give us books). I’m enjoying this a lot, but I had to stop 100 pages in to read….
  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. This is our book club book for tomorrow night. I finished it Saturday. I couldn’t remember who had recommended it or how we had settled on it for a book when I started reading it, and I was VERY confused. It’s written about the early 1900s in England. It was enjoyable, but I couldn’t imagine who had suggested we read it. I didn’t know anything about it, and so for all I know it was written last year. I found out after I finished that it was written in 1948, and the author also wrote 101 Dalmations. Both of those facts totally change how I view the book. I’m much more… forgiving now.
  • The Baltimore Sun. I finally got a subscription to my local paper. Elections are around the corner, and I wanted that coverage on that and also local coverage on coronavirus.

Things I’ve Been Watching:

  • Frankly, I’ve been annoyed hearing about all the people out there who are alone and bored and tapped out on Netflix. I mean, I get it. I really do. I think being alone during this time and not able to socialize as normal would be really hard. My experience has been the opposite though. I am daily, constantly, interacting with more people that normal. I am never alone in my house. I am never alone, period. I’m busier than ever. And I’m certainly not binging Netflix. That said….
  • I did find time to watch The Morning Show on Apple TV.
  • And Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu.
  • And 10-20 minutes of Sesame Street with Gabriel some mornings.
  • And I’ve watched a few episodes of Season 4 of Workin’ Moms in the past couple weeks.
  • So okay. I’ve made some time.

Fitness I’ve been doing:

  • CrossFit. My gym has been awesome and has lent out equipment and continues to program daily workouts. Most of the workouts are with kettlebells or dumbbells, but they also let me borrow a barbell, and I’ve been using that. It’s nice, but not the same. I do it in the driveway, in nearby park, or behind Under Armour on the water. I don’t take as much time to warm up or cool down and really just try to fit it into the shortest amount of time possible.
  • Murph. The annual CrossFit (and military) Memorial Day workout. I’d never actually done it before. I did a modified version this morning. We have a pull-up bar in our nearby park that is really rickety so kipping pull-ups aren’t an option, so I did sorta-strict pull-ups for over half of the pull-ups and leg raises for the others. (Sorta strict means that I was doing a lot of singles and using my knees kicking up to give me momentum over the bar.) I also did pushups from my knees for most of the pushups. Anyway, it was fun.
  • Running 1-2 days a week. Slowly. Somewhat painfully (both my feet hurt in different ways). But still getting out there.

Hikes I’ve been on:

  • A month or so ago, Dan, Gabriel, and I did the Ridge Trail in Patapsco State Park.
  • We’ve met Dan’s parents at Patuxent Wildlife Refuge (both the north and south tracts) a few times to pick up Gabriel from them.
  • This morning, we met up with friends near Lake Roland and did a walk in the woods with our kiddos.

Things I’ve been listening to:

  • These 90s jams are killing it. Gettin Jiggy With It right now. 3am by Matchbox 20 was also in there. Oh, man, wouldn’t be complete without Dave Matthews Band.
  • This is Joy and Claire with Joy and Claire, formally of the Girls Gone WOD podcast.
  • Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly podcast.
  • The Daily podcast… I’ve finally listed to a few episodes, after what feels like years of being advised to.

And yes, I’ve been making sourdough along with everyone else. My bread, as it has for years, turns out tasty, but doesn’t rise as much as I would like. Everyone else is perfecting their sourdough method, and I’ve tried a few different thinks, but mostly just doing what I’ve been doing for over a decade. Nothing new to see here. Oh, and I made this cauliflower tabbouleh (added feta cheese) for our Memorial Day dinner this evening.

Cheers.

Lately – December 2017

There’s been a lot going on lately, which partially explains the lack of posts. The main things are:

  • It’s budget season again. I talked about this briefly in this post. Budget season typically starts in September when we (OMB) receive budget submissions from agencies. And it ends in February with the release of the President’s Budget. Last year the timeline was different because the Administration changed in January, so budget season shifted to the spring. Anyway, all of budget season is crazy, but October and January are the craziest. So that’s happening. I’ve been working more than usual.
  • We’re buying a new house! New to us and new new. It’s a few miles away from our current house (which we rent and where we’ve lived for almost five years). It’s new construction and will likely be complete in March or April. I’m expecting we’ll move in April. It’s been a lot of fun to pick stuff out (first floor floorplan, cabinets, tile, hardwood, carpet, countertops, sinks, etc.), but it’s also taken up a lot of time. And there have been a lot of meetings, both during work and outside of work hours. Plus all the general house-buying and mortgage paperwork.
  • I’m pregnant! 16.5 weeks. It’s going great, but I was more exhausted than I could ever imagine feeling in the first trimester, so sleeping cut into my free time more than even normal. My 9pm bedtime became 7:30 sometimes. With two naps every Saturday and Sunday. It was the worst weeks 5-10 (so, late September through the beginning of November). Plus, there’s been prenatal appointments and ultrasounds and lots and lots of reading, so it’s been keeping me busy.

Needless to say, I’ve been a little lazy in the kitchen. I went through a period of relying heavily on Sweetgreen and Taylor Gourmet salads for lunch, but I’ve mostly resolved that. Then I started picking up the pumpkin spice yogurt pots from Pret in the mornings as I made my way from the Metro to my office in DC. I’ve also been voting for pizza delivery somewhat frequently – not quite once a week, but not too far from that either. Often on Sunday nights when we’ve had a busy weekend or been out of town.

My diet in general in my first trimester kind of went downhill. Not terribly. I still ate mostly really well. But I was definitely more lenient with the Halloween candy that was around the office and the frequent pastries people brought in. I also was testing out my recently-resurrected sourdough starter and making/eating much more bread than normal. I got it together for several weeks before Thanksgiving though, and since Thanksgiving it’s been so so. Better than before, but not awesome. Starting to sort of slide downhill again. This week has been a week of holiday parties and socializing (and treats – so many treats!). I’m thinking of doing a Whole30 again in January, as I’ve done the last two years, but maybe including grass-fed (usually Greek) yogurt which I just can’t get enough of. We’ll see.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

Things I’ve been reading:

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. This was for bookclub (I hosted this month!). I really enjoyed it, but it took me a long time to read.
  • Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan. This was our last book club book – my recommendation. I loved A Visit from the Goon Squad, and Jennifer Egan happens to be Dan’s best friend’s cousin, so we’ve anticipating this one for a while. LOVED it.
  • Exercising Through Your Pregnancy by James Clapp and Catherine Cram. Made me feel better (and optimistic) about continuing to CrossFit through pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn by Penny Simkin and others. It took me a while to get into this because it launches pretty quickly into making decisions about birth itself, and I was still in a what-should-I-expect and whats-okay during pregnancy stage. But I’ve started to transition, and now find this really useful. It has a clear but fairly subtle bias toward unmedicated childbirth (which I am interested in), but I feel it presents other options objectively and fairly without speaking negatively/judgmentally about them. Mostly, it just explains the processes of labor and giving birth and post-birth in detail, which is really helpful. Because I’ve never done it before!
  • The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer. I’m not really into this one yet. It’s much more biased about preferring midwifery (which I’m using) and unmedicated childbirth (which I’m interested in), but at this point, I’d prefer the information being presented to me without judgement and with facts about all options. I can’t even remember where I got the recommendation for this. We’ll see if I get through it.

Things I’ve been watching:

  • Fine, I admit it. I’ve been watching the entire series of Gilmore Girls. Again. Really, for like the millionth time (more honestly probably the tenth or so). I start it every Fall and watch the whole series. I don’t actually watch most of it, it’s just on in the background as I cook, fold laundry, etc.
  • Stranger Things Season 2. Dan and I are trying to watch this together. I think we’ve made it to episode… 4? Maybe 5?

Fitness I’ve been doing:

  • CrossFit 3x/week. So far so good. I maybe missed one or two workouts during the first trimester to prioritize sleeping, but as usual, my energy is highest in the morning and it’s later in the day that I start to flag. So workouts were mostly fine. My gym offers three sets of suggested weights/programming for each WOD – ‘fitness,’ Rx, and Open. I worked up to being very comfortable with the fitness weights through my first year of CrossFit, and before becoming pregnant had started to work towards Rx. But since becoming pregnant, I’ve mostly stuck to fitness. I was still doing strength maxes, though. Starting around week 10 or 11, I started to scale back on those as well (opting to do more like 70% of my 1 or 2RM), and also to pay closer attention to whether I would be able to converse during WODs. Now that I’m in the second trimester, I’ve decided to stop kipping pull-ups and any sit up things and will instead do things like strict pull-ups, ring rows, and planks.
  • Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon. This was when I was about 9 weeks pregnant. My pace was 8:50 (total time: 1:55:51), which is slower than my half marathons from the past 3 or so years, but still respectable. Training runs were tough leading up to it due to how tired I was. I’m also just less into running lately, and don’t think I’ll keep doing half marathons twice a year. But, got ‘er done and was pleased with it. The weather was amazing (high 60s, low 70s, sunny – actually felt hot at points).
  • Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5K in Grand Rapids, MI. My sister, her boyfriend, Dan, and I all ran this. This was my 6th or 7th year doing a 5K on Thanksgiving Day. Pace: 8:34, Time: 26:35.
  • Upcoming – I’ll be running the Celtic Solstice 5-mile run in Druid Hill Park this Saturday. It’ll be my third year in a row.

Hikes I’ve Been On:

  • A friend couple came up from Houston for a weekend in early November. We went camping in Catoctin Mountain Park at Owens Creek Campground. Before heading to the campsite, we did the 8-Mile Loop Trail. Dan and I had done this once before with his mom (or maybe just a part of it.) The leaves were beautiful, and there were a couple of nice overlooks. The weather was slightly on the chilly side, but it was really nice to hike in. As we drove from the end of the hike to the campground, it started raining. And it continued to pour through the next morning. We attempted a fire for a while, but finally gave in and gathered together in one tent to eat trail mix and play cards.

Things I’ve Been Listening To:

  • Holiday music!
  • The Modern Mamas Podcast. Trying to binge-listen to get up to current, but they keep just putting more out! I’m only up to number… 13 I think. I’ve most enjoyed hearing about Laura’s birth story and being introduced to Aware Parenting concepts.
  • Occasional Girls Gone WOD podcasts, but I’ve definitely fallen behind.

 

Lately – February 2017

Lately:

Things I’ve been reading:

  • The Bone People. About three people – a man, a woman, and a child – all damaged. Set in New Zealand. Really beautiful, really hard to read at points, and really wonderful.
  • Big Little Lies. I read this on a short vacation in Park City last weekend. I was in the middle of reading Underground Railroad, but switched to this so that I could start watching the HBO series. I thought I had read it already, but I hadn’t. (Instead, I’d read The Husband’s Secret by the same author.) Anyway, a quick, fun, suspenseful read!
  • The Underground Railroad. Currently reading. Isn’t everyone? I’m going to a book club for this book on Wednesday (in three days!) and I’m only 30% into it. I should not have deviated last weekend to read Big Little Lies. Sigh. Anyway, I’m into it, it’s not that I’m not into it. I was just feeling a little beaten up after The Sympathizer and The Bone People and not wanting to read something with torture and abuse. Hence the deviation. But I’m back at it, and maybe I’ll be able to read enough by  Wednesday.

Things I’ve been watching:

  • Big Little Lies. I’ve watched the first two episodes. I think it’s good. It’s so hard to watch things based on books I’ve read. So far, it has only minor deviations from the book. I think it’s good. Certainly good enough to have on while I’m cooking dinner!
  • The Putin segment of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. I don’t actually usually watch these types of shows (I group this with The Daily Show, SNL, Colbert, etc.). But I always wish I watched them more, and on the particular evening I watched this, I really wanted some perspective and comic relief on the media.

Things I’ve been eating:

  • Many of the recipes from Cassy Joy Garcia’s Fed & Fit book, including:
    • Cold Cut Roll-ups
    • Basic Pork Tenderloin and Easy Parsnip Mash
    • Roasted Fruit Pops
    • Anti-inflammatory Smoothie (I added spinach.)fullsizeoutput_aa9a
    • Buffalo Ranch Bison Burgers and Braised Greens (Really enjoyed these, and have been eating the leftovers in a salad with roasted sweet potato chunks and leftover homemade paleo ranch dressing, also from the book.)fullsizeoutput_aa99
    • Plantain Protein Pancakes with Salted Raspberry Jam (Yum.)
    • Sausage & Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash with Rosemary Orange Cream Sauce (thought I would love this, but I think I could have cooked my acorn longer, and citrus-y anything is really hit or miss for me. The orange cream sauce was a bit of a miss.) (Photo is from before I cooked it. You couldn’t see any red after I cooked it.)fullsizeoutput_aa98
    • Lemony Kale & Sausage Soup (wasn’t sure I would like this because, again, citrus. But turns out it was delicious and the lemon wasn’t lemon-y tasting, just bright.)
    • Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash Casserole (quite a lot of prep but pretty good).a2e19108-4b8a-401e-ba8e-3a1021aea263
    • Buffalo Chicken Casserole (made for the Super Bowl, and made with spaghetti squash instead of potatoes, which I didn’t have. Very good.)

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  • And… HelloFresh! Dan and I tried it out for two weeks. We meant to only do one week (we had an introductory offer), but I forgot to cancel it in time. I have to say, all the meals were really, really, really good. Easy to prepare, not too time consuming. I’ve always sort of pooh poohed these home delivery dinner things, since I have no trouble prioritizing grocery shopping and making dinner. But. It was convenient and delicious. And I was able to make them all paleo/Fed&Fit compliant. We’re trying Blue Apron with an introductory offer next week 🙂 (but those will be more difficult to make paleo/compliant). Some photos:

Races I’ve registered for:

Fitness I’ve been doing:

  • Still CrossFitting at CrossFit Federal Hill. 3x week, except the past two weeks. I developed some fairly intense low back pain throughout January, and it got so bad a few weeks ago that I totally put the halt on everything. Then I saw a PT and met with the gym owner and gained back some confidence to keep moving but taking it easy. So now I’m back at it, with lower weights.
  • Still running 2x week. Yesterday, I did a 6-mile trail run in Patapsco State Park. I combined the Soapstone Trail with the Grist Mill Trail and road, then the River Trail, and returned on the Grist Mill Trail from the swinging bridge. Clio had a blast (so did I). It was near 70 degrees! I’ll be doing more trail runs to get ready for the half marathon. Fun!
  • Easy C1 yoga at CorePowerYoga in Fed Hill and Canton. This has been amazing for my back. I hadn’t been in a while, but have been 3-4 times over the past two weeks.
  • Skiing at Snowbird and Deer Valley in Utah last weekend.

So that’s that! I’m going to do a cooking class tonight with Baltimore Delta Gamma alumnae at Pier Point Restaurant. Looking forward to it!