State of the Momma: August 2013

This weekend, I ran the America’s Finest City 5k and set a personal record. On four hours of sleep. On a course with The Hill That Never Ends. By myself.

I'm kind of a big deal.

I’m kind of a big deal. (Photo credit: kind stranger)

In the wee hours of the morning of this year’s race, Suzianne simply would not sleep. Around 3:30 a.m., I was laying on the rug next to her crib plotting my Ninja escape from her nursery when my mind drifted and started processing the new and improved, Margie, The Momma, Aug. 2013 Edition.

What a difference a year makes.

In August 2012, Dave and I moved to from D.C. to San Diego to start a public relations firm. Suzianne was five months old. Krissi and Reese helped me finish packing up:

My expert logistics team.

My expert logistics team.

(Dave left on August 10 to drive West with his soulmate)

Just a man, his poodle, and the open road.

Just a man, his poodle, and the open road.

On August 11, Suzianne and I made our move across the country. On an airplane. No way I’m driving cross-country with an infant.

Ubering to the airport.

Ubering to the airport, while Suzianne makes a weird air-nursing face.

This picture sums up my life for the first few weeks of SoCal living; I could barely function:

A type-A momma's worst nightmare.

A Type-A momma’s worst nightmare.

Mom’s place flooded the night we arrived (water heater), so we were hotel-hopping for awhile. During this time, a dear friend in Nashville passed away, and one of my father figures in Knoxville was given weeks to live. But I was too fogged up by pregnancy hormones, financial strains and moving logistics to travel home to Tennessee. Writing that sentence is a nausea-inducing. WTF? Where were my priorities? Guest question. Honestly, I have no idea how to explain the way my brain processed things at that time.

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How to start your postpartum exercise routine

Folks often are surprised when I tell them I ran my first 5k about the time Suzianne turned five months old. Let’s be clear: before my husband peer-pressured me into running, the only thing I’d ever run for was beer.

What got truly got me motivated was simply a desire (and desperate need) to get out of the house alone. Soon, I was able to run pushing the stroller. Today, my body actually craves a “long” run, which for me is around five miles. I’m not fast, but I’m proud of my consistency and distance.

Last run as a family living in Washington, D.C.

Besides my persistent husband, I have the Internet to thank for getting me off the couch, and eventually, across a finish line. I’m not alone.

Once your doctor clears you for exercise–usually around 4 to 6 weeks postpartum–give these tips a try. NOTE: during the first run, it will feel like your insides are going to fall out of your vagina, but they won’t.

Get a coach–On my own, I do not possess the willpower to keep running once I get tired, bored, or out of breath. But, if I’m being coached by an iPhone app like Bluefin’s Ease into 5k, I will keep going.

A reliable buddy also can serve as your coach. This morning, I saw two women fast-walking while pushing their teeny infants in strollers. When they got to the stairs, one woman stayed behind with the strollers while the other ran up and back. Her buddy was coaching her as she ran. When she was finished, the other woman took her turn.

Declare a goal–my goal in the couple of weeks before I started the Ease into 5k training was simply to walk like a normal person for 30 minutes. When you consider that Suzianne’s head circumference is in the 75th percentile, you understand this was an ambitious goal.

Once I started using the app, completing each day’s routine–without taking my own breaks–was the goal. A few weeks into the training, I signed up for a 5k; not backing out of that become my goal. Today, I’m pushing toward my goal of running a 10k, with the help of the Ease into 10k app.

Go public–once you tell the Internet you are going to do something, there is no going back. You may not have a blog, but I know you have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, or at the very least, an email address. Share your goals with your network; they will encourage you, keep you honest and cheer the heck out of your accomplishments.

Bottom line: if I can do this, you can! Go get’em, lady.

Crystal City Twilighter 5k, July 21, 2012

My first 5k! The Crystal City Twilighter, July 21, 2012


Five Months!

Happy five months on Earth, baby-o-mine!

Whew! So much has happened in month five. I PROMISE I’ll blog all about it later, but the gist of it is:

  • We’re moving to San Diego;
  • Suzianne is into size two diapers and eating solid foods;
  • I’m no longer breastfeeding (sad face; but, happy to have my body back); and
  • I RAN my first 5k!

More to come. I swear. I’ve been delinquent. But, that’s a good thing, remember? In the meantime….watch her grow! Take a scroll through the Month-by-Month archives.


Week 14: victory is mine.

This week, I was kind of a big deal.


I wore a belt nearly every day this week–and that belt does not belong to my husband: On Mother’s Day, I walked out of the bedroom and made Dave watch as I was about to put a belt around my waist for the first time in nearly a year. “Watch this!” I squealed. And then…um, Dave watched as my belt came no where near buckling.

Sweet Dave then handed me HIS belt to wear. Although it was a sweet gesture, it was quite a bruise for my ego. BUT! This week, my hips must have come back in a bit because I was able to wear my old belt again! It’s the little things in life that make a difference, ya know?

I wore an infant to a public place–and we are both still alive: frequent readers of this blog know I’ve not had the best luck in the baby wearing department. BUT thanks to Rakelle and her K’Tan suggestion, we’ve found an infant carrier that Suzianne doesn’t hate with a fiery, vocal passion. See. Not angry:

I even wore her to an evening barefoot running seminar at REI that Dave signed us up for. Yes. A seminar where everyone is supposed to be quite and attentive. Suzianne rocked that, yo:

I completed Week 3/Day 3 of my Ease into 5k training–while pushing a stroller…with a wide-wake infant inside it: I was more than a little ecstatic about this one:

So thrilled was I that I made a random man take my picture right after I completed the run. As he was taking it, I asked, “Do I look athletic?!” He handed me back my phone and said, “Not when you do that leg kick thing, so I cut that out of the picture”:

We somehow reversed this week’s trend of no sleep with a Friday night, no-wake, no-nightfeeding, 8 hour stretch of awesomeness! I had a partial breakdown this week because Suzianne sort of decided to quit sleeping at night and napping in the day. As a result, she was cranky all week. You know, because she’s EXHAUSTED MOMMA. WHY MUST YOU KEEP ME AWAKE ALL THE TIME? WAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH. Of course, the more public the location, the more vocal she got. Take Rock Bottom Brewery, for example:

The problem seemed to be that no matter how much breast milk I fed her, she was still hungry. Then, when she’d try to sleep, she suddenly HATED the swaddle and would fight it all night. And when I say “fight it,” I mean she’d flop over on her stomach and nurse the mattress. There’s no milk in there, by the way. When the mattress refused to feed her, she’d be all: WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! WHY ARE YOU KEEPING THE MATTRESS FROM FEEDING ME MOMMA!?

It sucked.

I took my desperation to Facebook. Friends advised we give her more formula than we had been and swaddle her with one arm out.

AND IT WORKED! On Friday night, my girl slept from 9:40 p.m. to 6 a.m..


{virtual high five}

Yes, friend. That DOES mean no night feeding for the first time since Suzianne shot out into the world on March 5. Miracles do happen!


Week 14 also marks my last full week at home with Suzianne. Starting Tuesday, we’ll take Suzianne to an awesome nanny-share family down the street from Dave’s work. We are so excited about this; I’m hoping a routine and playing with another infant will help her sleep better at night. We’ll start her part time until I go back to work at the end of this month. More on that later!

Week 12: Llama Llama Mad at Momma

Week 12! It was a doozy! And awesome. Here are three new experiences I just have to share:

1. Suzianne slept through the night every night for seven days, with progressively earlier bedtimes each evening. O M G. {Squeal!} Regardless of the time we put her down, (which ranged from 7–10 p.m.) she would not wake for 7 hours. IT WAS AWESOME. And scary. Is she breathing? Yes, Margie, she’s breathing. Good thing you kept poking at her so you could wake her up to prove she’s alive while she’s sleeping. Brilliant. 

2. Holy cow, our girl has a temper! And it only seems to rear its inconsolable red head when I’m around. Because I smell like breakfast all day long. I’m like a walking Sonic– with birthing hips.

This week, we had several major scream-fests, where I was just sure someone would call Child Protective Services on me. I mean, these screams were violent, never-ending torture screams. If you were in the next room–or parking space– you’d swear I was chopping off Suzianne’s pinky toe. But no, she’s just hungry.

It does’t matter that she just ate 1.5 hours ago–or that you are trying to find a parking spot at Tyson’s Corner and can’t really do anything about it right now–she’s STARVING MOMMA WAAAAAAAAAAAAH! 

And she must tell everyone within a 5-mile radius that her momma NEVER feeds her. But her daddy? Oh, he’s cool, ya’ll. You can trust him. Just don’t turn your back on that milk lady.

A quick Google (thanks Dave) told us this is a 3-month growth spurt. But since Suzianne is sleeping through the night now: scream, child! Momma don’t care because she will feed you AND get some sleep all in the same day. Bring. It.

3. Team Newman has found a routine! Sorta. We don’t stick to a hard and fast timeline, but we do have a routine of feedings, playtime, naps; repeat. We’ve also gone from primarily breast feeding to expressed breast milk from the bottle feeding. When we did this, Suzianne started sleeping through the night. I have no clue if it is her age or the bottle-feeding that is making the difference, but it seems to be a better solution for her. We are having to supplement with formula. This makes me sad, but Suzianne wakes up beaming with glee and ready for the world these days…so we’re gonna stick with this plan:

In other awesome news, Suzianne met my best friend in the whole wide world this week. A woman whose friendship means more to me than she will ever know. We love you, Pavis:

And finally, I got back to my 5k training this week! I am re-doing “Week 2,” since I’ve not run in three weeks. I am feeling good, thanks to the fabulous stretching techniques Michelle and Rebecca sent me. Thanks, ladies! Hopefully, I can stay on track this time.

Week 8 was (relatively) great!

Week eight was full of firsts, most of them good! Thanks to my co-worker and friend Krissi, Dave and I enjoyed our first night out. Here’s Dave and me, in the only outfit I could manage to fit over my “birthing hips”:

And here is Krissi, loving on Suzianne: 

Also, week eight saw the reunion of my diet, deli meat and brie! Oh, brie, how I’ve missed you. Especially on this turkey sandwich from Au Bon Pain:

I’m still sort of in shock at how I managed to finish my first week of 5k training. I ran three times during week eight, using the Ease into 5k app. I’m really enjoying this, oddly enough. I think it’s due to my newly purchased headphones and the RockMyRun playlist I bought (h/t Becca). I’m finding I prefer to run outside (while Dave watches the baby). But if Suzianne is having an unpredictable nap and Dave is at work, she chills with me upstairs to our fancy pants gym:

I believe it’s Suzianne’s new tendency fight sleep that led to her first actual meltdown. Parents of colic-y babies will want to smack me for saying her first meltdown came at week eight. But it’s true.

Before this week, she’d cry if she was hungry or sleepy, but she’s never wailed for no particular reason like she has this week. I think she’s overtired; pictured below. What do you think?

BUT! This week ended on a high note with a two day visit from Granny Sue Sue! As you would expect, there were manicures and cocktails:

And since mom’s MO is to take Suzianne out for hours at a time, Dave and I got some much needed alone/sleeping/running/Internet time! Everybody wins! Thanks, Granny Sue Sue!

Coming up for week nine: our two-month doctor’s check up, lots of visits from friends and co-workers, more running and our first playdates! Stay tuned…all of these logistics in one week could lead to a post about how awesome a mother I am, or how I’m a complete disaster.

I am going to run a 5k

I believe that if you publicly declare a goal, you’re more likely to achieve it. So, Internet, listen up: I will RUN a 5k this Summer. 

{crickets, crickets}

No, really, I swear.

I, Margie Newman, will RUN a 5K.

Dave used one of the Couch to 5k apps for his training and it worked for him. Also, my friend Ashley used a similar app to train early on and she recently RAN a half marathon!

I’m excited and a little nervous; I’m not a runner! But tonight, I’m proud to say, I completed Day 1 of the Ease into 5K eight week program:

Bonus: this new project is a great excuse to purchase cute gear, new ear buds and better shoes. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice. If you’ve got favorite gear, feel free to share it in the comments.