Friday, April 30, 2010

Oy veh, my back!

It's no secret that I am not an athlete.

Jim loves to tease me about this, too. I grew up with an artist dad and a secretary mama. Every single remotely athletic gene was piled on to my oldest brother, Matt. He loves (and excels at) all kinds of outdoor sports. Biking, rock climbing, kayaking, you name it. Even extreme unicycling. So cool, right??

Needless to say, I didn't get any of those genes. I love playing a casual game of volleyball or frisbee. I enjoy hiking and that kind of thing, but physical intelligence eludes me. And don't get me started on the trend of running marathons and all that... eesh! Running for fun makes about as much sense to me as screamo music. (I know, I know, there are lots of people who really enjoy this and that's great!) Jim will toss me my keys, I miss horribly and, "Craft family athletics!" he snickers.

Anyway! All that to say, I've done a very sub-par job of caring for my back lately. I lift James incorrectly. I don't exercise. We do walk around the neighborhood every day, but that's about it. I am absolutely ravaging my lower back. And I'm only 25! This week was the end of it.

On Monday, I started a gentle back strengthening and posture-improving work out. I basically searched on the internet and stuck a bunch of exercises together. The first 3 days I was pretty sore, of course, but today I can honestly say that my back feels AMAZING. I've been consciously lifting with my legs and James and I have been taking longer and more brisk walks.

Watch. I'll be all excited about a 5K that I'm running this time next year... riiiiight.

Here's what I've been doing: (Ok, don't make fun. Especially you P90Xers. I know these are old people exercises.)
Hamstring stretches
I call these "butt stretches"
Pelvic tilts
Alternate bird dog stretch (I stretch out the opposite arm, though, too)
  • my version of a Sun Salutation (whattup, Sun??)
  • pushups
  • these posture exercise (this seems to be really effective)
It takes me about 20 minutes and afterward I feel like I've taken some kind of upper. Seriously, it feels great. Maybe that's why all these people run 800 miles for the fun of it...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

James, at 10 months:

  • is a crawling MACHINE. I love hearing the "slap, slap, slap!" of his hands on our hardwood.
  • climbs up my legs, if I'm standing, or up me, if I'm sitting, so I'll pick him up.
  • loves when we crawl-chase him. He squeeeeeeals and giggles and crawls away as fast as he can when we say, "IIIII'm a-gonna getchu!" He gets all silly and out of breath and it makes me fall in love with him all over again.
  • is getting really good at pulling up, but not quite sure yet about cruising along the edges of furniture.
  • is starting to squat down slowly instead of just plopping onto his hynie. Or, thankfully, instead of falling onto his head.
  • loves cheese. But after a few - ahem - difficult diapers, we had to drastically cut back on the cheddar intake.
  • has other food favorites: yogurt, ANY fruit, graham crackers, rice cakes (which are hilarious to watch him eat - looks like he's eating a hub cap), veggie sticks (highly recommend), and carrots.
  • has some favorite toys: drums sticks (to his dad's delight), the kitchen broom, and his tricycle that he probably won't be able to ride for a few years. He just pushes it around the dining room for now.
  • is saying every consonant-a sound possible EXCEPT ma-ma. It doesn't bother me. No really... I promise. Only when I look at him and say, "James. Ma-ma-ma." And he looks at me, smiles and says, "Da-da-da-da-da-da!" Ha. Yes, very funny.
  • gets a kick out of seeing himself in the mirror.
  • gets really upset when Jim leaves for work in the morning. He crawls as fast as he can to Jim's office, comes back out, looks at me, and cries. So pitiful.
  • will be a year old in less than 2 months.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's another one of those things...

...that has changed as the years pass and research enlightens.

James isn't crazy about riding in his car seat, but he's become pretty chill about it as he can entertain himself with his toys and mirror and sippy cups. I'm excited for him to be forward-facing, but I don't want to compromise his safety for a little less fussiness. He's still rear-facing and it looks like we're going to stay that way for a while.

In April 2009, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP - you know, they're the "They" in "They say...") declared that rear-facing car seats are safer for infants and toddlers. They say that toddlers ages 12-23 months are 75% less likely to experience serious injury or die than forward facing peers. Um, that's a big percentage. And it makes sense. Rear-facing seats are designed to absorb the impact of a crash and distribute it to the strongest parts of a small person's body.

Some say, "Well, I don't want their little legs to be crushed."

Actually, that's unlikely to happen. And, as horrible as it sounds, if I had to choose between broken legs or massive neck and/or head injury, well...... ok, then.

Or, "He'd be so much happier if he could see where he's going forward-facing."

Again. I'd trade a little fussiness any day for a safer ride.

Here's a great ABC News article about it, too.

But, I'll just let the crash test dummies do the talking:

**Update: Just to be clear, the rear-facing seat in this video is in the front seat for a comparison shot only. Also, the video stops before you see the inevitable whiplash of the dummy in the rear-facing seat (an unfortunate editing choice). Of course whiplash can happen in rear-facing, but it's secondary to the impact and not nearly as forceful as forward-facing whiplash**

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I had caffeine after 4 pm, it's now 11:30 pm and sleep will not come, so I...

  • thought through my plans for the week.
  • thought about how cute and funny James is. (*Side note: Jim and I agree that 10 months is the most fun age so far)
  • thought about how amazing/sad/bizarre/happy it is that he's going to celebrate a birthday soon.
  • then thought about how fleeting this entire life is and suddenly felt panicky.
  • remembered that eternity is a long time and felt a lot better.
  • thought about Jim's sermon from this morning that he preached at his dad's church in Columbia.
  • realized that my eyes were wide open.
  • got out of bed.
  • plucked my long-neglected eyebrows.
  • gave myself a manicure. Well... trimmed and filed my nails. I'm not much on polish.
  • read Goodnight Moon again, this time really studying the illustrations. James likes to turn pages prematurely.
  • checked Facebook.
  • read some blogs.
  • wrote this ridiculous thing.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Some of my favorite 9-month-old things...

Crawling is pretty much the primary mode of transportation. I love watching his chubby legs working hard with his soft marshmallowy arms, going into and out of every room in the house. He had a blast exploring the Ft. Lauderdale airport.

His little hands, gripping, picking up things, touching delicately with a pointed index finger, waving, clapping, clawing and pinching (not such a favorite), and more recently, stroking faces.

And OH, the smiles! The giggles and squeals and loud-squeaky-throat-sucking-in-thing that he thinks is hilarious (it is). When we dance and sing, his legs start kicking and he claps and smiles. Outside is the place to be for this little man.

I could go on, but he's awake now from his hour and 20 minute nap... another one of my favorite 9-month-old things...

Friday, April 2, 2010

As the days pass, I notice that... body is getting more sore and tired and strained - rescuing him from sharp corners and electrical outlets.

But my heart is getting younger - renewed each morning with the washing of the Word and almost bursting when either of those boys look at me with love.

The heating pad is employed just about every evening - lifting him when it's time for meals or naps or comfort.

But it seems my heart is always warm - He was dead and then alive again. And I know that it's through His breath and life that I can lift anything at all.

...body is aging and heart is becoming new.