A Day in the Life, part 1

A while ago I wrote about a typical day for me and Dylan. I thought I'd do that again since he's changed so much since then.

We usually wake up between 6:00 and 6:30. It takes me a couple minutes to accept that he is in fact awake for good (every morning I pray that he'll go back to sleep for an hour but he never does). After a quick diaper change we go downstairs and I prepare a cup of milk for him. Dylan looooves his milk in the morning, we'll go into the living room and watch some Disney cartoons, Handy Manny is his current favorite, while he drinks his milk in his own personal chair. Sometimes though he'll cuddle up with me on the couch while he drinks his milk. After he finishes his milk he'll play with his toys and crawl around for a little while. Usually around 7:30 his about ready for breakfast which typically consists of yogurt and a banana or banana bread or Kix. From time to time I switch it up by making pancakes, and sometimes Dylan will have a couple bits of my cereal, but for the most part he really just wants yogurt, so I stick with that. After breakfast he plays some more until it's time for diaper change #2, at this point we both get dressed for the day. Lately right after we're dressed and our teeth are brushed (which he also loves), we head out for morning errands and our daily trip to the park.

Dylan loves the park. On rainy days when we have to stay inside he gets unbelievably cranky... to the point where I sometimes end up putting him down for a nap an hour earlier than normal. But if we go outside, he is completely content. We usually spend about an hour at the park, with a snack break about half way through. I hold his hand to help him with his walking, because I have a "no carry" rule once we enter the park. I mean the whole point of going is for him to get his energy out, and that wouldn't happen if I carried him everywhere. His current favorite park activities: going down slides of all sizes, playing with the mulch (he often walks around carrying fistfuls of it and offering pieces to random children), walking in the grass, and swinging with me. He also loves pointing at all the dogs who walk by and saying "dog" a million times for each one. Dog, by the way, was his first real word. Once he starts winding down, we head back home. Which is literally a mile and a half away, about a 5 minute car ride, but he always falls asleep on the way home, which is fine because once we're home it's nap time anyway and I'm able to put him down in his crib with no problems.

Dylan will nap about 2 or 3 hours (if I'm lucky) most days. He's only doing one nap a day now, which I thought I would hate, but I actually love. This schedule lets us go out in the morning, hang out and rest in the middle of the day, and go out in the afternoon if we want. The only tough part about it is that most of our other baby friends are still doing 2 naps, which puts them on opposite schedules as us, so we haven't been participating in as many playgroups, etc. But we try to go to them when we can. While he naps I try to get a few things done around the house, laundry, dishes, showering, etc. I also try to rest for a little while as well, though some days that just doesn't happen.

Once Dylan wakes up it's lunch time. His favorite lunch currently consists of chicken nuggets, a piece of bread, and lots of fruit. For a while he wasn't eating very well at lunch time. Some days he'd only have a bite or two of fruit and that was it. But fortunately he's gotten better lately. I think finding a good brand of chicken nuggets helped. But he'll also eat PBJ sandwiches, some dinner leftovers, and mac and cheese so we've come a long way. Fruit is still by far his favorite thing to eat though, he definitely takes after me on that.

More of our afternoon activities to come.


Chicken with Artichokes

I recipe I altered from another one... it's REALLY good. I sent this to my sister Sarah yesterday so she could cook it and she liked it too. She made a few changes, which I've noted.

For the Chicken:
Chicken cutlets (matt and I each ate 3 of the thin slices)
flour for dredging the chicken, I added salt and pepper to the flour
olive oil to cook the chicken in

-about 1/2 cup of white wine
-juice from 1/2 lemon
-chicken stock (as much as it takes to make enough sauce)
- 2 or 3 cloves of garlic
-2 cans of (drained) artichokes, not marinated (I used 2 of the small jars of artichokes and we had a few leftover)

1. Dredge chicken in flour
2. Cook chicken in olive oil over high heat, about 2-3 minutes on each side (or until done, I never really time things). They should get nice and golden brown
3. Remove chicken from pan, reduce heat to medium
4. Add garlic
5. Deglaze pan with wine, add chicken stock, lemon juice (Sarah let the sauce reduce a little and added some cornstarch to make it thicker)
6. Add artichokes, cook until artichokes are warm
7. Return chicken to pan to coat everything with sauce

I served it with orzo, but it's probably good with other pasta too.

Running Fever

Last post a I talked a little bit about how I started running. Well, this weekend I completed the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure and I did waaay better than my initial goal! I trained for a little less than a month (after not running since high school), the first 2 1/2 weeks was slow going. But about halfway through my training things started to click and I went from running 15 minutes nonstop one day, to 30 minutes the next, to 54 minutes less than a week later! And I think I could have kept running that day, but I knew that if I didn't hit the hour mark that run, I'd be more motivated it to it again and run for a full hour. In the past week I think I ran about 14 miles total, which is something I NEVER thought I'd do. After all, I'm certainly no runner.

The race was good though. Fortunately it wasn't too hot or sunny out (which really helped), and I think running with 10,000 other people helped me push myself a little harder than I would have otherwise. My main goal going into the run was simply to not walk, and I knew I could do at least that much. I ended up finishing in 40 minutes 13 seconds, which isn't too shabby for a first attempt. I definitely exceeded my expectations, which made me proud of myself.

A few days before the race I got a little concerned that I wouldn't continue running with such motivation after the race, so I went ahead and signed myself up for another one. The next one is a 4 mile run in Ashburn (much closer to home) on June 27th. I'm taking today off, but starting back up on Wednesday. I think now that I know I can make it 4 miles without stopping I should probably start some speed training so my time is a little better. Before I do anything more though I need to get some new shoes. My ankles are killing me, and I think it's because my shoes are old and technically "walking" shoes.

Still trying to figure out a realistic goal for the Ashburn race. According to my results from Saturday I was running 12 min 50 sec miles, so 4 of those would put me at: 52 minutes. But since I'm trying to do better maybe I'll set my goal for under 50 minutes. Hopefully that's realistic, but at the same time still pushes me to do better. It only shaves about 1/2 minute of my mile time, but I'm also going to be running a little further, so I'll have to work on both speed and endurance. We'll see how I do.