It has been such a long time since I have posted anything in my blog, and figured I would do so tonight, when the thought was actually on my mind.
Here's little Miss. Makenzie! Is she not the cutest little girl ever? I look at her, and always think about how much trouble Gus and I will be in someday with her. She is BEAUTIFUL! I was finally able to finish breastfeeding sometime mid-June. We made it for nearly 30 months! I'm super proud of myself for making it so long. There are so many people that give up on it so easily, and I'm happy to have been able to give her the best possible for such a long period of time. Don't get me wrong; I'm also so very happy to have my body back! She did SO great with it, too! Here's the story on how I stopped.
Kenzie had been waking up in the night for a couple nights. She had started thinking there were monsters in her room, and the only thing that would calm her was if I nursed her until she fell asleep. I did feel terrible that she thought there were monsters in her room, but it was also getting to be super exhausting. I remember going back to sleep one morning, and Gus was going to bring her to Walmart with him. I thought to myself, "Yes! That means I'll get a solid two or three hours of sleep with no interruptions!" They came home MAYBE an hour later, and supposedly Kenzie was crying and asking for me, and so he let her in the room. I was sooo tired. I had just read the night before about a Mom who took her daughter to pick out a new sippy cup. She got to pick it out herself, and it was a "big girl cup". She wasn't allowed to have the cup until she was a big girl. The mom explained that someday, "Mama's milk" wouldn't taste good, and that'd be the day she was a big girl, and could use her big girl cup. Then, she used vinegar on her nipples, and long story short, the daughter thought the milk was yucky, and she was then a big girl, and over time was weaned and using her big girl cup! I knew since they just got back from town, buying a new cup right then was out of the question, so as soon as Kenzie walked in the room, I walked out and into the kitchen, with her right behind me. I took out the vinegar and poured some into a tiny tuppaware dish. I put just a small amount on my nipples, and let Kenzie watch me do it. She wanted NOTHING to do with me. She never even tried it. She told me it was yucky, and anytime I asked if she wanted milk, she would say no, tell me it's yucky, and even whine a little if I got too close. It was that easy for us! I was amazed. My child, who I thought I'd have to go off to college with to feed, was finally weaned. I gave her milk in a cup for the first few nights, and honestly, she'd only drink a few sips before bed, and never touched it throughout the night. She started sleeping through the night again, and slept better and longer. We now still give her a cup, but we put just water in it. Sometimes she'll drink from it before bedtime, but more often she doesn't. I'm so proud of how well she handled it, as it was a huge worry from me, and such a relief that it was such an easy process. I imagine it may not work as well for everyone, but with a kid this age, the reasoning the other woman did with her daughter seems to be a great idea, and could possibly work good for others. I lucked out with it being so simple!
Anyway, she has been doing really well otherwise, too. Her eating has improved, and as we knew, she is just meant to be small. She has small parents, so I think we knew this all along. There are some meals she still will almost completely skip over, but most of the time she does pretty well. We haven't been to the doctors in quite a while, and normally wouldn't go until she's three, but they have a weight check scheduled for sometime in August. They'll probably be happy to hear of the changes with breastfeeding, and with her eating. She's still such a peanut, but it's adorable. She is happy and healthy, and that's all that matters. She is always on the go! I love that my child would prefer to play ANY DAY over watching TV or movies. I'm not a big TV person at all, and we rarely watch it (drives Gus crazy that I can just sit around and be content without the TV on!), so I guess she gets that from me. Some people's kids watch way too much TV/movies! Kenzie loves Austin & Ally; that is pretty much the only one she will pay attention to. Funny that she prefers that over cartoons, but she definitely does. She talks a ton, and she has the best memory ever, for such a young child. It's crazy! She is very smart.
As for me, I have made a lot of changes in my life. I have always had a high metabolism, and have always been pretty thin. I was blessed with my height, being 5'7". While this is a pretty average height for a girl, it is ideal, because weight is less likely to show as quickly the taller you are. I have never really had to worry about this, but after I had Makenzie, I went back to my usual: eating ANYTHING I wanted, without even thinking. This is pretty much what I have done my whole life, and it's never really affected my body, on the outside anyway. I only gained 20 lbs with Kenzie, and right after having her, my stomach looked like it went back to normal right away, for the most part. It wasn't until I stopped working to stay at home with Kenzie, that I really started to notice how bad the choices I was making were. I had gained a little weight, which with my height, wasn't super noticeable to others, but I noticed it. I had been working a job where I was constantly on my feet, running around and moving at all times. Of course, Kenzie kept me busy at home, but it wasn't enough to work off everything I was allowing myself to eat.
I ended up looking up a lot of info on health and nutrition in general. I remember that I started with nutrition labels, and how to understand them. As simple as they sound, I think most people DON'T understand them. I really began to look at the foods I was eating, and gave up a lot of things, simply because it was NO GOOD for my body. I learned a lot about portions as well, and how I CAN'T sit there and eat a whole bag of chips mindlessly. Did you know that even a small bag of Doritos has several servings? Most people would just assume one small bag is a serving, but I think it's more like three or four, I can't remember off the top of my head. The calories, etc. really add up fast! It is such a big help to read the label, and use the correct portion sizes. I downloaded the app MyFitnessPal on my phone, and have been using it for months now. I track everything I eat. I can either search for foods by typing them in, or I can scan the barcode, and the item will pop right up. It keeps track of calories, carbs, sugars, and so much more. It gives you target amounts, and your goal is to stay under those amounts. It also gives you an allotted number of calories you can eat each day, and this is based on your lifestyle as well as your goals. Of course, when you workout, that takes away calories, and a lot of the time you need to eat those calories back. You're not supposed to feed your body less than 1,200 calories, or it can go into starvation mode, which will pretty much put a halt to all weight loss, if that's what you're going for. I think that mine was originally set to 1,300, by MFP, but I ended up changing it manually, and I set it at 1,500. I run a lot, and 1,300 just doesn't seem like enough! As long as it's good foods, I won't go wrong anyway. I'm definitely far from perfect with my eating, but I am doing better, and it's still a work in progress.
I did one round of Insanity, which I have a love/hate relationship with. It's a workout where when I'm about to do it, I'm dreading it. I don't want to do it. Once I'm done, I'm so happy I did it, but so happy it's over. I started another month around the same time I first started running. Oh, how I hated running. It was so hard for me, and I could never catch my breath. But guess what? I am obsessed now! I seriously get excited at night knowing that I can wake up and run in the morning. I gave up on round two of Insanity, and have devoted the majority of my working out to running. I have gotten a lot better at it, and only hope to get even better than I am now! Since I'm not doing it to train for anything, I mostly do intervals, where I run, then I walk, repeat. I usually just run until I feel like I need to stop, then I walk until I feel like I can run again. My endurance has gotten so much better. I prefer intervals, as it burns a lot more calories, but I also really want to keep pushing myself and eventually be able to (if I choose to) run at least a 5k without stopping. I joined a runners club on Facebook, and heard about virtual runs in there. It is mostly runs set up by people to raise money for a charity of their choice. They set up the event, and everyone pays the fee, which gets them their medal. You run the race wherever you want, by the date given, and I think you usually post proof of completion, then your medal gets sent. It's not the same as running a race with a bunch of people, but it's a neat way to get you motivated to keep running. There also aren't many races/runs local to me, and I'm bummed that I'd have to travel so far for most. This is a fun alternative. We don't really have the money to spend on that kind of thing right now (although, it always goes to a great cause!), so I looked up free ones, and found a few. I signed up for one called Jamboree Free Virtual 5K. It's on July 30th and 31st. You just register, and then you run on one of the two days and submit your proof, and you're done. Since there's no fee, there's no medals, but for this one, you do have a chance at winning prizes. I'll post my stats once I have done it on Tuesday or Wednesday, to share how I did. I'm happy to have found something I love doing when it comes to working out. Most people dread working out in any shape or form, but really, you just need to find what you actually enjoy, and it makes it so much easier. I'm still learning. There are plenty of times where my legs feel like lead, my feet or thighs hurt, or I just can't catch my breath, but I'm amazed at what I can actually can accomplish if I keep pushing myself. I wish all people were more willing to push themselves, because they'd probably be surprised, too. Nothing worse than seeing someone uncomfortable with their body, but not willing to do anything to change it. It does take some sacrificing, but it's worth it.
Oh, and as for the picture: I haven't dyed my hair in God knows how long. I had a coupon for a box of free hair dye, and used it MONTHS ago. I must have been bored the other day, and dyed my hair. Of ALL colors, my hair would turn the ONE color I would NOT want - black. I guess I shouldn't say black, but close enough! A dark, dark, dark brown, that is as close to black as you can get. This is why I don't dye my hair anymore! It really doesn't look AWFUL, but I'm not a fan of black hair in general. Thank goodness it is a wash out dye, and will eventually wash out. It says 28 shampoos I believe, so we will just have to wait it out. Lesson learned, yet again. :)
Anyway, that is life as of lately, in a nutshell. Gus' sister is here from Colorado for a couple weeks, and Kenzie and I will get to meet her for the first time later this week. I have been considering going back to work for a while, but we really need to slowlyyy ease Kenzie into it. She has never been without me, and if I even mention going to work, she gets upset. I know it's likely going to be just as hard for me, but it will be good for all of us. I intend to go part time when I do, as I'm not working full time until my kids are in school. Yes, I said kids. We do plan on having another, but when, you'll have to wait and see. :)