Grant and Theresa's Life Prep

Making Plans and Achieving Goals

Category: Family (page 1 of 2)

New Year’s Resolution Update

We are now half way through the year so it is time for another New Year’s Resolution Update.  My original goals are here and my first quarter progress is here.  As always there have been some wins and loses but I’m learning and still pushing the ball forward.  Without further introduction let us begin.

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Embrace Pain For a Better Life

Your life will be filled with all kinds of pain.  The difference is in the intensity.  Since we can’t avoid pain we must embrace pain.

“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.  The difference is discipline weighs ounces and regret weighs tons”  – Jim Rohn Continue reading

9 Successful Habits of a Working Mom with NO TIME

(Heading out the door…no time!)

Life with a baby sure can be overwhelming. There’s just not enough TIME for everything!  I have the same 24 hours I always had before, but it feels so much more precious and stretched thin, now.

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Spectating The Boston Marathon With A Baby

Boston Marathon Expo is a great place for a nap

The Boston Marathon is unlike any race I have ever been to.  It isn’t just that there are a lot of runners (30,000) but, it is the amount of spectators and town support that make this race unique.  Most other cities feel inconvenienced by a marathon coming to town because of the crowds and street closures but every Boston local we talked to acted like it was one of their favorite events of the year.  All of this love for the Boston Marathon does, however, make it challenging on the spectator.  There are countless articles about how to train and prepare to run the Boston Marathon but what about how to watch it?  Specifically,  how can you see mom run while you are dealing with a baby?  We just got back from the 2017 Boston Marathon and it was quite the adventure for the whole family so I thought I would share my perspective from the bleachers.

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What Does it Take to Feel Rich???

I read a great an article from a financial blogger than I really like, Financial Samurai, about feeling rich.  This is a really interesting concept as it is so different for everyone.  Some people feel rich so long as they can get some food that day while other people don’t feel rich while flying on their private jet.  So what does it take to feel rich?

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Thoughts From The First Two Months of Being a Dad

Well that little lady above is now two months old and pretty much runs the house and everyone inside of it.  It has been quite the experience so far and I realize this is just the beginning.  A lot of the cliches are true some of them not so much.   Continue reading

Top 10 Toughest Things About the Final Weeks of Pregnancy

tough
(Feeling exhausted at work)

1.) Sleeping: I could not find a comfortable position and I woke up every few minutes to turn over from the left to the right and back again. (And rolling over was no easy feat.) I used a pillow between my knees to keep my hips in alignment but they would still start aching and wake me up. I would also wake up to use the bathroom at least once during the night. Basically, sleeping became my least favorite part of the day.

2.) Sitting at my desk for too long. If I sat still for over 30 min, I was going to pay for it. My hips would ache when I would stand back up and it took a bit of walking to loosen everything back up.

3.) Getting dressed: I continued to outgrow my pregnancy wardrobe week after week and it was frustrating. I got tired of buying more giant clothes, not to mention it was hard to find anything that fit or looked right, anyways. My goal was to always have at least 5 dresses that fit so I could make it to work Mon-Fri.

4.) Waiting: I felt like time was crawling by. It’s not that I was in so much pain or anything, I just wanted to be done with pregnancy and have my sweet baby with me. Each trimester felt like an eternity to me. I think a more reasonable gestation period would be 13-20 weeks. Forget this 40 week thing.

5.) The heat: I am normally cold rather than hot but things definitely started heating up throughout the last 10 weeks of pregnancy. Granted, it was the summer, but I was getting pretty intolerant of being hot. I would get kind of nauseous and light headed if I was outside for too long. But who wants to be cooped up inside all summer?

6.) Watching my body continue to change so drastically and trying to wrap my head around it. Throughout the whole pregnancy, but more so towards the end, it was hard to accept my changing shape. It felt like I had lost control and I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror. It helped to remind myself that this was only temporary and to not dwell on thinking about what I looked like. There are plenty of other things to think about, anyways.

7.) Missing my pre-pregnancy life. I miss sleeping in whatever position I want. I miss cuddling up close to my husband. I miss going on long runs and pushing hard in the gym. I miss eating normal things and enjoying it. I miss having a refreshing beer now and then. Of course, growing a baby is totally worth it, but I’m just saying it’s been a while and I could really go for some of those things about now.

8.) Answering the same questions all the time. Everyone has been extremely nice to me throughout my whole pregnancy, but after a while, even the well-meaning comments and questions feel so painfully redundant. I remember one day telling my husband I wish I could wear Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak out in public so no one would comment on my huge belly for once.

9.) Feeling like I don’t have everything ready. It seems like every day I think of something or read about something that I didn’t accomplish yet but should have. The list just keeps growing. Why haven’t I made any freezer meals? Do I know which breast pump I’m going to order as soon as the baby is born? Do I need to have a belly wrap ready for postpartum recovery? Am I mentally prepared for a possible c-section? Ugh, there are endless things to think about.

10.) Watching my due date come and go. I read that it is more common for first time mothers to deliver late but I still unintentionally expected my baby to come early. Sitting at home the weekend before my due date, just waiting for something to happen, was really agonizing. Then, going to work every day after that was more and more discouraging. Where is my baby? Is she even thinking about being born?? It’s starting to feel like the big moment will never come, regardless of how illogical that is, that’s how it feels.

Maternity Workout Clothes – The struggle is real!

blue-top purple-top

As if it wasn’t challenging enough to continue working out while pregnant, the fitness apparel industry has not yet, as of 2016, acknowledged that there is a demand for maternity fitness wear. I tried to use what I had for as long as I possibly could, mostly because I just didn’t want to spend the money on new clothes or spend the time and effort shopping. I outgrew my sports bras pretty much immediately but continued to squeeze into them creating an uncomfortable and unattractive look. I also tried to wear my running shorts as long as the elastic would stretch. I started weeding out my dri-fit tops as they got too short to cover my belly until I was finally down to one remaining top that I could still tuck into my shorts to keep it from riding up. At that point, I broke down and started the hunt for some new clothes. This was around week 24 for me, but also, my bump was bigger than the average person (according to my own observations).

In comparison to other clothing items, sports bras aren’t too hard to find. You really just need to go up a size or two in the same brand or style you already wear but you might also consider choosing a more supportive style. I really liked this zip-front bra from Under Armour because it is easy to put on and take off which is a rare quality in clothing during pregnancy.

UA Armour Bra® Protegée
https://www.underarmour.com/en-us/armour-bra-protege-c-cup/pid1236590-001

Shorts…. I bought a pair of gym shorts from Old Navy with the extra fabric to go over the belly but I really didn’t like the way that felt. I like the band to go below the belly. I ended up buying a $7 pair of running shorts from Walmart that weren’t a perfect fit at first but were very roomy and the waistband was pretty comfortable. I wore those pretty exclusively during the third trimester. I think I must have cut out the liner so I could hike them up higher (cool, I know) but I can’t remember now.

Old Navy Maternity Fold-Over Waistband Yoga Shorts (5″)
http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1039278&vid=1&pid=373241002

Walmart Danskin Now Women’s Woven Running Shorts With Built-In Liner
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Danskin-Now-Women-s-Woven-Running-Shorts-With-Built-In-Liner/50359809

Tops…forget about it. There are basically no dri-fit maternity tops out there. No legit sports brands make them as far as my research showed. Here’s what I found:

Old Navy: about 5 maternity items (yoga focused)
Gap: about 5 maternity items (yoga focused)
Target: about 5 maternity items (yoga focused)
FitForTwo: some random gear that has the logo on the belly

I ended up buying one maternity top from Gap online with a 40% off promo code and one from Nordstrom online with a gift card. (Crucial, because most maternity clothes are unnecessarily expensive and you don’t even know if you’ll like them or wear them for long.) I bought the same size I wore before pregnancy and they both seemed to fit fine, but neither was as comfortable to sweat in as my old workout tops.

GapFit Breathe V-neck tee
http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=213663&tid=goaff3852549&ap=2&siteID=goafcid10420954&cvosrc=affiliate.cj.3852549

Nordstrom Ingrid & Isabel® Active Ruched Maternity Top
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/ingrid-isabel-active-ruched-maternity-top/4333159?cm_mmc=email_tran-_-062016-_-order_confirm-_-productimg1

Ultimately, I was never very thrilled with my maternity wardrobe but I bought just enough to keep me clothed while working out and that was good enough for me. Hopefully, the fitness apparel industry will one day provide more options as the demand grows, but until then, I’ll be hiding out in my garage gym re-wearing the same outfits over and over again. Nobody judge me.

39 Weeks Pregnant – Thoughts from Dad

dsc00292

This post is just going to be some random thoughts, feelings and experiences from my perspective of being a soon-to-be father.  Not much in the way of practical information or advice, here.  Enjoy.

It is so funny how once you start getting closer to that due date, you start feeling like, “What the hell? Is that baby ever coming out”?  I can only imagine how Theresa feels, who is actually caring her around.  I will hear her stomach growl and I’m like, “Do you think that was a contraction?  Should we go to the hospital?”  I think that, as a guy, you just start to have this “when will it happen” feeling because you are so excited and there is just this whole unknown thing about when it will happen.  Some people go early, some go late.  So there is really like a one month window where it could happen at anytime.  I’ve been told by some guys that their wife was just driving them crazy complaining all the time so that might be another reason for others. 🙂

The number one question people keep asking me is “are you getting nervous”?  The funny thing is, I’m not really nervous at all.  I am extremely excited and I certainly hope everything goes as perfectly as it can but I’m not really nervous.  I mean, everyone tells you that having kids is the greatest thing that will ever happen to you so why would I be nervous about that?  I know my life is getting ready to change in ways I can’t imagine but that doesn’t mean that stressing about it will help.

One of the questions/thoughts I have had is, will I love her like a crazy person like all other parents love their kids?  I always hear people talk about loving their kids so much more than anything else in the world and that it is just this whole other level of love.  I already love her, but I’m also pretty crazy about Theresa.  It seems hard to imagine loving someone else the way I hear parents talk about their kids.  Do people get these crazy feelings of love for their child the instant they are born, as they grow up, does it get stronger over time, is it the greatest when they are infants, etc?  I know this is an unimportant question to have but one can’t help the thoughts that pop into one’s brain.

One of the really fun things that has been happening lately is that I’m starting to feel super motivated to become a better person.  I want to be the best possible father that I can be and in order to do that I need to do some growing.  And I’m not interested in growing at the typical snail’s pace that I’ve been moving at, either.  This baby is going to be changing and developing everyday so I feel like I better be too.  I want Brooke (baby’s name in case that hasn’t been said) to know that she can do anything with hard work, discipline and a vision.  I believe that the more I can improve as a person, the higher it will help set her ceiling for personal development.  Ever notice how when both parents are doctors, the kids don’t typically end up flipping burgers?  Anyway, some fun and aggressive goals will be getting posted about soon.

I suppose one piece of advice that I would give to all the first time dad’s-to-be out there is to attend a birthing class.  I know, I know it sounds super lame but Theresa signed us up for one and I ended up enjoying it.  I read The Mayo Clinic book on pregnancy and it was great but I thought it was really nice doing the in-person class.  Our class was hosted at the hospital that we are going to deliver at so we got to tour around the hospital, figure out where to park, what the rooms are like, etc.  It was also nice to be able to ask a person who has been involved with delivering babies for 30 years some direct questions and not only get some science but some anecdotal advice too.  I just feel like we are significantly better prepared and will be less stressed when the day comes.  I might still be freaking out, but I feel like I will be less freaked out.

There is just so much to think about and to plan for and I acknowledge that I don’t even know the half of it.  Normally, I like to have as detailed of a plan as possible for how things are going to go, but for this occasion, I’m going into it being very flexible.  I don’t want to set any expectations for labor or the first few weeks of having her.  I simply want to be present and in the moment.

 

-Grant

Pregnancy Fitness Advice from the Pelvic Health Clinic

posture aligned
(Posture check!)

While searching the internet for pregnancy fitness advice and reading about other runner’s experiences with pregnancy, I came across a common topic; pelvic health. Specifically, postpartum incontinence (aka peeing yourself) and diastasis recti (separated abs). These seem to be issues that many women deal with after baby and it sounds like most people just try to manage it on their own and accept it as a normal part of being a mom. Uh no. That’s not cool to me. I have some fitness goals I’m trying to accomplish in the future and I don’t want these issues to derail my plans. I’m also totally unsure that what I have been doing during this pregnancy has been safe and beneficial vs. potentially dangerous to my lose ligaments and abdomen. Through my research, I found that there are lots of educational resources out there but Women’s Health is not a topic discussed as thoroughly in the US as other countries. I found an Instagram page (@everydaybattles_scw) that is dedicated to getting the word out and listed a link to find a local pelvic health clinic in my area. http://www.womenshealthapta.org/pt-locator/ This is what lead me to set up an initial evaluation at Carolina Pelvic Health Center in Raleigh, NC.

The professional I met with has a doctorate in physical therapy and specializes in pelvic health. I believe a lot of her patients come from referrals from general practitioners and she probably only rarely gets someone like me in there who wants to be proactive before having any issues.

The first thing we did was go over my current pregnancy fitness routine. I told her that my goal was to train for the Boston Marathon which is 6 months after my due date. She immediately connected with me on this because she said she is planning to go to Boston, too, and this will be her 5th time. I was so relieved to know she could understand my goals and felt like this made a big difference in how she will help me as a patient.

She then had me perform various exercises to evaluate my form and recorded it all on my iphone which was so incredibly useful. She pointed out things with my posture that could be corrected and gave me advice on new exercises I should start incorporating into my routine.

After these exercises, she did a strength test on me to see how well I could resist pressure on my muscles or joints. This test revealed how weak my hips are (which was no surprise to me). My hips have been sore throughout this pregnancy and especially recently. She taught me an exercise to safely strengthen my hips while avoiding any strain elsewhere. She also taught me how to get out of bed safely and a technique to relax my pelvic muscles. Here are the notes she wrote down for me:

  1. Walking: Take slightly faster steps – Focus on “heel to toe”, pushing off the toe. Do this for a few minutes intermittently while walking longer distances or to/from somewhere nearby.
  2. Getting out of bed: Roll over, pressing through heel to engage glutes – makes it easier 🙂
  3. Squat: See video. Weight in heels, keep tailbone lifted – don’t squat quite as deeply, able to use glutes a little bit more efficiently. Keep bar in front vs behind neck/head.
  4. Lunges: Form looks great. Keep bar in front vs. behind neck/head.
  5. Wall pushups – Wider hands and more upright on the wall (see video). Focus on keeping neck/ribs/pelvis in alignment.
  6. Continue upper body work as previously.
  7. Shoulder rotation: Stand holding therapy band in both hands, thumbs up. Shoulders in neutral. Rotate one arm out to side against band. Repeat 8-10x, 1-3 sets each side as warmup.
  8. Arm lift/ arm extension: Stand holding band, arms in front. Exhale, bring band back with R arm. Return to start, Repeat with L. 8-10 reps, 1-3 sets.
  9. Hip lift: Stand tall (think: engage outer hip muscles). Maintain lift in standing leg, then bring knee up on other side. Hold on for balance as needed. 10x, 1-2 sets each side as warmup.
  10. Tailor pose (butterfly): Reclined on pillows OR seated modification for comfort. 5-10 minutes/day.

I thought all of her advice was so helpful and seemed to make a lot of sense. We scheduled a follow up visit in a month to see how these exercises are working out for me and to check how I’m feeling before the baby is here. I will also go back after my 6 week postpartum check-up with my regular doctor so she can give me a thorough fitness exam and clear me for training. I might also go see her periodically leading up to the Boston Marathon to make sure everything is recovering properly. I feel relieved to know I have someone to call if I have any sort of pain along the way.

I’m trying to be as smart about my fitness as possible and set myself up for success, if I can. I know once the baby is here, she will be my top priority and I will have many challenges to face when trying to get my workouts in. I don’t want pelvic and abdominal issues to add to the list and slow me down. I can’t wait until this baby is here but I also can’t wait to start working out hard, again!

-Theresa

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