Today marks 6 weeks since Elliot was born! 6 Weeks is a big deal in the post-partum world. Whether you have a C-Section, or a vaginal birth - they say 6 weeks is the time it takes for your body to recover. It is when you have the go-ahead for exercise, sex, and IUD's. And for babies - it's a good time to start sleeping through the night. I think because we found out Elliot was a boy at 20 weeks pregnant, it feels like we've known him so much longer than just 6 weeks. It may also be the lack of sleep that makes it feel like it's longer, but I'm not complaining. It feels so good that he is here, and part of our now family of four. Penelope is warmer to him, and knows to be careful when near him. She even gently plays close to him on the tummy time mat! And she started to put his blanket on him, rather than steal it. It's really sweet!
We had an awesome and whirlwind time in Calgary. I managed to do a spin class (Thanks Neil!), get a pedicure with my bestie (Thanks Brie!), have a party for Elliot (Thanks fam!), and buy some must-have ingredients for my morning coffee. Even though it was a blast - it was a bit exhausting. Late nights, middle of the night feeds, and early mornings will do that regardless of how much we do in the day. A mixture of the lack of sleep, exercise, routine and time together threw Mark and I off. My fuse felt so short, and he was the closest person to feel the impact of it. On top of that, I weighed myself and noticed I gained weight since 2 weeks PP. I don't think weight is a great measurement for health and wellness, but it bummed me out and made me realize I want to switch something up. Breastfeeding alone won't get me back in shape I guess! When we talked about how we want to make physical activity a priority, I was frustrated and honestly couldn't see a solution. The pie of cares was full, and it wasn't working for us. I was too tired and upset to see our days folding any differently than they already were.
We got home Monday night and we agreed we have to make health and fitness a priority. Move it above long dinners, cleaning up, TV or movies, and just make it happen. Tuesday came along and I defrosted one of the meals I made before Elliot was born with a simple salad. I fed the kids right before Mark came home. We ate, then hit the road in our bikes. Having gorgeous summer nights makes it a lot easier to get out. It's inspiring and amazing to smell the evening Fernie air. The positive affects were immediate. Kids were happy in the chariot behind Mark's bike, we were doing something active, outside, together as a family. What a boost! We got home, put the kids to bed, I had my second dinner and snacks (breastfeeding be like), and we rolled out our yoga mats to get some stretching in while catching up on the Bachelorette (win!). We did it. Night one was a success. Nothing like instant gratification to a working plan. Day 2 we did the same thing, but with a hike instead of a bike. Same thing - quick dinner, and out as a family doing something healthy right after. Followed by an episode of Bach obvi ;)
The positive effects of being active rippled everywhere. Mark and I felt happier, less stressed and closer. Our bodies felt stronger, and it might be unrelated, but Elliot had his best night of sleep yet. All signs point to: keep on keeping on. It's easy to fall out of a healthy pattern, but once I'm back in a good one, I'm amazed at how good it feels. I hope this serves as a reminder to me if I fall off the wagon, to get back on it. I know how much better I will feel because of it.
With our new plan for evening activity, I still want to acknowledge of the pace of life, and how I can't cram it all in. And the awareness of slow and fast - and it's effects. If you haven't watched Carl Honoré's "In Praise of Slowness" on Ted, it's an amazing one! Today we woke up later with a little rain and overcast, which made taking time to enjoy my coffee and new journal (yes I got a journal!! I love it!!) feel right, and it reminded me to practice taking it slow. Breathe a little deeper, drink a little slower, pause the rushing for now, light a candle and listen to relaxing music. It's a fascinating and ever-relevant talk about slowing life down to live a healthier, more present and enjoyable life. I know I don't always get mornings like this to slow down and enjoy, but when the kids are twin napping, and I can make and enjoy my coffee - I love slowing it down to savour the fleeting moment of peace. Thanks kids for giving me a break this morning!!!
My phone usage is something I've been contemplating a lot lately. Inspired by a podcast by Rock Your Bliss (episode 3 - click here if you want to listen), I've been reconsidering how much I want to be on it. The guest talks about realizing she doesn't actually need to be on it dozens of times in the day to be more productive, successful, connected or happy. She sets goals of how many times she wants to be on it - 3 times, once in the morning, once in the middle of the day, and once at night). On top of that, rather than book-ending her days with social media or being on her phone, she reads her kindle. It satisfies the need for picking up and reading a device, but doesn't give that same busy/comparative/agitative feeling. I don't have a kindle but I like the idea of limiting phone usage, using airplane mode more in the day (I have airplane mode for sleeping already), and reading more. Starting the day with breathing and gratitude is so simple in theory, but amazing how easy it is to forgo it without knowing. I got a fitbit over the weekend, and there is a 2 minute breathing exercise in it. So short, so simple. I've done it once and it was lovely. I have reflected and laughed at how short 2 minutes of deep breathing is, yet most days I don't do that. Why is that? I used to start out my spin classes with a few deep breaths. Encouraging my bikergang to have their deepest breath of the day, week, month or even year in that moment. To exhale deeper than ever, so we can breathe in more new air into every corner of our lungs.
Right after I wrote that, I did the 2 minute relax breathing. The kids started waking up, but it felt good.
I will end this post with some GRATITUDE:
- I am so thankful to be in Fernie right now. What felt like a long winter, doesn't feel that bad anymore now that the sun and flowers have settled in. I forgot how incredible it is in the summer, and the patios and bike rides have been incredible. Love this tiny mountain town.
- Sweating. I missed it. My body needs it, and I look forward to being active and outside more.
- My journal. I always start the first page with a list of positive affirmations. It's been so long since I last started a journal, so to revisit my affirmations, and add a few new ones felt so good. Thank you Brie for the forrest journal <3
- Sleeping. Holy shit I slept! 4 hour chunks feel a lot better than 2 or 3 three chunks. Go Elliot! Sleep training starts tonight!! I'll let you know how it goes! I have a good feeling about it.
- Island Lake Lodge. We went for lunch there yesterday for their dry run (They open Friday!) and it was so spectacular. The views are unreal and the food was top notch. Looking forward to hikes up in the old growth forrest that end with a beer and some good food up there!
- BACH. I love it. I had low expectations for this season but it's so good. U FEEL ME? WHABOOM
- Elliot's Welcome BBQ! It was so fun! Seeing Elliot showered in love and meeting family and friends made me so happy. He loved all the extra cuddles for sure. A big hug and thank you to everyone who helped with the party and gave gifts to E <3
- WHAT DO YOU MEME? (The game). Seeing my sister is always the best. I'm so thankful she came to Calgary for the weekend. She also gave us the 'What do you meme?' game from "FuckJerry". It's so perfectly millenial and hilarious. Props to my mom for playing and slaying it. The game is way funnier than I expected.
Sending love from the mountains,