WIML Monday

I woke up to sunshine tickling my eyelids. Then I rolled over into a big wet spot. Apparently, Monkey’s pull-up sprang a leak. I groaned and pulled a pillow over my head.

Five seconds later, I heard, “Mommy, time to get up. The sun is up.” Then Monkey yanked the pillow off my head and leaned over me with a big grin -the kind of grin that makes me forgive her instantly for not sleeping in her own bed.

After a deep sigh, I got up, immediately stripped the bed and cleaned the mattress. When that was finished, I continued with my normal morning routine of making breakfast and tidying up the kitchen. As I was washing dishes, I heard Monkey say, “Oh, Dowo peed again.”

Again? I didn’t know he had peed before. Maybe she was playing? Nope. Not that lucky this morning; my thirteen year-old black cocker spaniel had peed in the living room in front of the couch -could have been once or twice. At that point, what did it matter?

In less than 30 minutes after waking up, I had cleaned up two pee spills. The absolute limit was one. Surely the day could only get better!

Thankfully, it did. The weather was beautiful –warm and sunny in the low 70s with no humidity. Monkey and I got in a decent run. I was slower than usual due to some pain in both knees -nothing too serious, just uncomfortable.

The multi-colored leaves snapped, crackled and crunched under my running shoes. We visited all of the groundhog’s houses; picked dandelions; looked for monsters and threw rocks in the water. Monkey ran one lap around the track with me and then sat in her stroller playing with her princess figurines (she brought 14 of them along today).

As she sat in her stroller, Monkey held a Belle figurine in her right hand and a tinier Belle figure in her left. She held up her right hand and said, “Oh, honey. I missed you.”

She lowered her right hand, raised her left hand and said, “Oh, I missed you too.”

She brought her hands together and the two Belles hugged while murmuring, “awww” and “I love you.”

This post inspired by Week in My Life hosted by Melissa @ Adventuroo.

My Jogging Stroller Safety Tips

When I first ran with the jogging stroller, I was nervous. I worried it was too big and cumbersome to control or maneuver easily around cars and pedestrians, but after just a couple of runs, the stroller started feeling like a natural extension of my body and even helped to improve my form by keeping me standing straight and looking ahead.

Despite feeling comfortable, I still feel a little nervous when I run with the stroller because it’s carrying precious cargo, so I do everything I can to make my runs with Monkey enjoyable and safe.

Ten Tips to Protect Your Little Running Partner:

  1. Don’t run with your infant unless he or she is able to sit up on their own, usually around 6 months old. Before I began running with Monkey in the jogging stroller, I checked with her pediatrician to make sure it was safe to do so.
  2. Run during daylight hours. Although I don’t take the jogging stroller at night or early morning, my jogging stroller has a reflective light on the wheels, as most jogging strollers do. My husband added additional strips of reflective tape on both sides of the stroller to make sure it was visible in the dark. It’s a precaution that comes in handy when it’s cloudy or foggy.
  3. Avoid running on narrow streets and busy roads. I’ll run along a main road if there are sidewalks; otherwise, I run through residential developments with wide streets and low traffic or on the campus of a nearby school.
  4. Avoid running in extreme temperatures. Now that she’s a toddler, Monkey lets me know when it’s too cold or hot to accompany me on a run, but when she was an infant, it was harder to know when the temperature was uncomfortable for her. At the time, I asked my doctor and he told me that she could handle temperatures as well as I could if she was dressed appropriately. I was comfortable taking infant Monkey in the jogging stroller in temperatures as low as 30 degrees as long as there was no wind chill, the run was short and she was bundled up. I’ve since read that it’s best to take infants running in temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees.
  5. Dress appropriately. I always remember that running generates heat in my body, but not in Monkey’s. If I step outside and feel chilly, I dress Monkey warmly with a hat and coat, even if I’m wearing shorts. I use sun block year round and apply it to Monkey’s skin too.
  6. Use the wrist strap. I keep a death grip on the handlebar of my jogging stroller, but just in case something unforeseen happened, I attach the wrist strap too.
  7. Buckle your child in the stroller.
  8. Have a first aid kit on board, including Neosporin, alcohol swabs, band-aids, Tylenol, and teething gel for babies.
  9. Keep a stroller bag, including wipes, diapers/spare underwear, a towel, a blanket, and a change of clothes.
  10. Take along snacks, juice/bottle, and a toy or two. When Monkey was an infant, the scenery was enough of a distraction, but now that she’s older, I allow her to bring along a toy. I try and limit it to one or two, but some days I end up pushing a stroller filled with baby dolls, books and Scooby-Doo figurines just to get out the door!

Run. Rejoice. Be safe.

 

How Running Makes Me A Better Mother

The strength I develop through running has benefits that go beyond physical. For me, running is like meditation, a way to connect to nature, grow closer to God, find inspiration and stimulate creativity. Anne Audain credits movement.

By moving the body itself, you are moving not just air, food , and blood but even thought through the body. If you let things sit still, you’ll get cobwebs. Movement gives you so much more energy (Anne Audain, cofounder of the Idaho Women’s Fitness Celebration, as told to Dagny Scott in The Complete Book of Women’s Running, p. 155).

This energy carries over to other aspects of my life, especially being a mother to a three-year-old who is constantly on the move herself. Some days even after a good-night’s sleep I’m still tired, and when a cheerful little voice says, “Sun is up, Mommy! You play with me now,” I just want to roll over and pull a pillow over my head. But after a run, I’m revived and energized with plenty of pep to play hide and seek, build a castle with blocks, read a few stories, make worms out of Play-Doh and run races in the yard.

Besides this wonderful energy, running also releases feelings of accomplishment, affirmation and confidence that make me a happier, more positive mother.  It also gives me the opportunity to plan out our daily schedule and stay organized. Keeping on top of everything makes me feel more secure about my parenting skills and makes it easier to accomplish goals while still having time for fun.

It’s important to me that my daughter associate running and having fun so when I take her in the jogging stroller, we go off road and into the woods where we stop for a break and throw stones or sticks into the water, which is something she loves to do. I also use this quality time together as an opportunity to point out and count the different animals and the many beauties of God’s creation. This past Tuesday on our run we saw squirrels, groundhogs, geese, a deer and a blue heron. Sitting on a rock with our feet dangling over the water, we both looked up and admired the way the sunlight filtered through the canopy of trees. I’m so grateful for that special moment with my daughter surrounded by God’s presence.

My goal is to set a positive example for my daughter through running by encouraging her to follow an active lifestyle. So far, so good. Just the other day when I was eavesdropping on her as she played with her Disney Princess figurines, I heard her say, “We’ll go to the track and we’ll go to the water, then we’ll come home and play outside okay, baby?” Since running is such an important part of my daily life, it’s become a daily routine to my daughter. To her, it’s something done every day, like taking a bath and brushing her teeth.

She’s already learning lessons from running that took me years to learn. While we were on vacation she started racing her father and I. When she finished, she yelled, “I won!” And as we finished behind her, she congratulated each of us on winning too. Finishing is winning; it doesn’t matter whether you finish first or last.

Monkey’s First Story

During one of our runs last week, Monkey composed the following story:

Once upon a time, the sun turned me into a groundhog.

I went down the hole and was a mommy groundhog.

Then I came out of the hole and I was Monkey again.

The end.

Translated, but not embellished or edited in anyway by Monkey’s mommy.

Running often stimulates my creativity. If I had a brain recorder, I’d have multiple novels written by now! It’s good to see that the apple doesn’t fall from the tree and that running inspires Monkey’s creativity too!