Thanksgiving 2016 and the Killington FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup

As with most years, we spent Thanksgiving in Vermont with lots of family. I honestly didn’t take many pictures as I was trying to be present and enjoy the time with each other. Although we did eat multiple Thanksgiving meals…

Thanksgiving 2016

On Tuesday before Thanksgiving Vinnie and I hosted my family and our apartment because it was the only day all of us would be together. Julia flew out on Wednesday to go ski in Europe.

Ford Family Photo Thanksgiving 2016

On Wednesday we drove to Vermont.

On Thursday we ate Thanksgiving with Vinnie’s family and then walk down the hill to my aunts house and had another Thanksgiving with my side of the family.

On Friday we vegged and ate leftovers.

On Saturday and Sunday we went to Killington and watch the F I S World Cup for alpine women’s ski racing. This was a huge moment in Vermont and New England ski racing. So many people showed up to cheer on the best in the world and it was incredibly exciting to be there and a part of the historic event.  Over the two days of the event, there were over 30,000 spectators in attendance.  That’s incredible!

There were mobs of people walking up the access rode to watch the race.

Killington World Cup 2016

The spectators piled in. No one cared about the cold, rain, fog or snow. They were all there to cheer on the ski racers and take in the moment.Killington World Cup 2016

We brought Emerson along for all the fun. She was such a trooper. She brave the crowds, the noise, and the weather like a champ.

My brother hooked us up with VIP tickets so I was able to bring Emerson out of the crowds and into the warmth much easier. I still had to nurse her in public because there was no privacy to be found. Emerson was very distracted by all the commotion!

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Killington World Cup 2016

It was a great weekend with so much family time. It made it really hard to go back to work but it’s also nice to get back into a routine. This holiday season is going to be busy with lots of holiday parties and celebrations. This weekend definitely a great kick off!

How was your Thanksgiving weekend?

Halloween 2016 👻

Halloween 2016.

Emerson’s first Halloween. It was a great one.

During the day, Daycare did a parade through our office so all employees could see the cute kids in their costumes. The infants were strapped into this awesome wagon-like thing that had seats. It was so cute! Emerson loved seeing all the people in the office and was super smiley.

Emerson was a pumpkin! I went back and forth about whether or not I should buy her a “real” costume. I opted not to spend the $$ and put her in a onsie we already had with a hat my aunt made and it was perfect!

After work, I headed to Charlestown for more Halloween shenanigans. I am part of the Charlestown Mother’s Association and during maternity leave would go for walks with all the moms that had babies around Emerson’s age. There are so many moms!! We made sure to take a picture all of the babies in their costume. It was adorable!

Babys in Halloween costumes

Family photo with our little pumpkin!

Halloween 2016

Halloween 2016

Lots of family came down to celebrate Emerson’s first Halloween. It was a beautiful night! I am already looking forward to next year when Emerson will actually be able to walk around and trick or treat.

This is my favorite photo and I just had to share!

How was your Halloween!?

Body Burn by Ray

This weekend I went to Body Burn by Ray. It was my first real group fitness class I have attended since having Emerson. I left feeling energized, excited and reminded of why I love to work out. Since having Emerson my life has changed, for the better, but it’s been hard to balance all the things that I used to love to do. For instance, fitness and working out have fallen to the wayside due to taking care of Emerson, working (you got to pay the bills) and quite frankly, simply being exhausted leaves me less motivated. But at BodyBurn I was reminded of why I love working out and why I have made it a priority in my life for so long. It’s refreshing and exciting! I hope I can take this feeling and use it to motivate me to prioritize working out either by waking up a little earlier or to squeeze in something for 20 minutes at the end of the day instead of sitting on the couch.

Body Burn by Ray

So let me tell you a little bit about Body Burn. It’s a cardio, strength workout in a Tabata type format in a club-like setting. The lights are dimmed (ie: the sub-par photos) and the music is loud which really helps allow you to focus on your workout and not compare yourself to anyone else in the class. The workout format is comparable to Orange Theory or Barry’s Boot Camp except the cardio machines are all different and the group aspect is during the strength. The class is a total of 48 minutes, there are 12 cardio machines and you use each one for twice before moving on to the next machine. In between each cardio you do a 40 second strength exercise. Every day they focus on a different body part for the strength segment. So, on Monday they might focus on abs, on Tuesday arms/upper body, Wednesday legs/lower body, etc. The workouts are planned out months in advance and are strategically designed to maximize muscle building and fat burning.

Body Burn by Ray strength

As a newbie to the class everyone was incredibly helpful and supportive they took the time to explain some of the cardio equipment before I got on it even if it meant cutting into one of their own 40 second cardio blocks. All the cardio equipment is motorless so you have to propel them forward, making the workout as hard (or as easy) as you want it to be. By far the hardest, and coolest, machine was the treadwall. Its a moving rock wall you climb! It was awkward at first but once I got the hang of it really fun!

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Body Burn by Ray cardio machines

Ray, the owner and creator, taught the class. You can tell by his energy and attitude that he is extremely passionate and dedicated to bringing health and fitness to every body that walks through the doors. I really enjoyed the entire workout and experience and plan on going back as much as I can. They are located in Belmont which is a little tough for me to get to all the time, but the workout is worth the effort of getting there. I hope to go back soon!

Body Burn by Ray

 

Tufts 10k 2016

For the second year in a row I ran the Tufts 10k road race for woman. My mom, my aunt and a group of our girl friends from Vermont are making it a tradition. It’s so fun, we make it into a little girls trip, if you will. They all get a hotel room and after the race explore restaurants and around Boston. I always run, but have called it quits before the drinking and eating really gets going.

This year the weather was perfect! It actually felt a little cold and windy but once we started running it was plenty warm. Tufts 10 K 2016

The race starts at noon which is so nice ’cause you can have a relaxing morning and slowly make your way to the start.

My goal for the race was to finish. I thought if I could run around a 8:30 minute mile, and walk if it got too hard, I’d be happy.  I know that seems kind of silly but since having Emerson I really have not been able to run like I used to. I fit in some quick 3-4 mile runs, here and there, but I am not nearly in the kind of shape I typically am.

Tufts 10 K 2016

I ended up running exactly an 8 minute mile and finishing without having to walk at all. I felt good but it was super hard. I had to practice positive self talk! At mile 3, I was like, “okay, you’re half way, you can do 3 more miles!” By the end my butt and hamstrings were on fire. I pushed myself the last mile and when I crossed the finished I felt almost as fatigued as when I ran a marathon. My legs were weak and my body was exhausted.

Tufts 10 K 2016 results

Knowing I would see these two once I crossed the finish line motivated me to keep going! I mean, seriously, does it get any better than that. {maybe next year I will run with Emerson in the stroller…}

Tufts 10k

On a similar note, I was so proud of my mom today. She ran the race and finished in 1:04 averaging a 10:20 minute mile. Up until the last minute she was debating whether she should run or walk. Earlier in the summer she set out to run the race and started on a make-shift training program but then I asked her to help watch Emerson when I went back to work and totally cut into any free time she may have had to train (and she hurt her hammy too). Feeling unprepared to run, she was going to walk with my aunt. Luckily we convinced her just to try and run… see how far you can go, and then walk. Well, she ran the whole thing and finished with an amazing time!

Tufts 10k
Mom and me at the finish with our #1 cheerleader, Emerson!

Another woman in our group finished 2nd in her age group! She makes me want to train for the race next year!

And everyone else had a great time, including me. It was my first race back and it felt great to be back out pounding the pavement with so many others.

Tufts 10k - the Vermont crew

This race is so inspiring! There are so many incredible women out on the course sweating together, sharing memories together and working hard together. I look forward to doing it again next year!

 

 

Hockey, Lacrosse, and Family

This weekend was filled with sporting events and family time; my two favorite ways to spend Fall days.

My cousin, Mia, had a hockey tournament at Harvard so she stayed with us for the weekend. We shuttled her to and from her games, watched her play and on Saturday we even took advantage of having a babysitter around and went for a mommy/daddy run for the first time.

Weekend Run

Mommy Daddy Run

I thought for sure we would have a crying baby when we got home, but Mia and Emerson were happy and playing on the couch. Mia didn’t even have to use the bottle I left…granted we were only gone for a 30 minutes but it felt like forever to me!

Cousin babysitter

After our run, we brought Mia to her game and stayed to watch. Emerson loved watching the Zamboni clean the ice and she totally followed the hockey players as they skated up and down the ice during the game. Emerson has quickly started to become more aware of her toys, people and objects. I feel like it happened overnight but now she is much more aware of what is going on around her and follows things that she is interested in.

Harvard Hockey Rink

On Sunday, my sister, Lily, had a Lacrosse tournament at Harvard. It was a total coincidence that both Lily and Mia had games at Harvard but it made it very convenient to watch both of them play. The weather was absolutely perfect too. The air was crisp but the sun was shining. Emerson was bundled up warm in my dad’s arms wearing her Patagonia vest and ski hat.

Fall sporting events Emerson is going to be the #1 fan for the UNH Lacrosse team this year! Lily’s teammate and roommates taking the first of many group shots with E. UNH Lacrosse

In very exciting news, Emerson surprised us all and rolled over! I was showing my dad how strong her neck was getting and how she was starting to like tummy time and she literally just rolled right over to her back. It was incredible! We all looked at each other in shock 😳. She’s since rolled over a few more times. Always from her stomach to her back, never back to stomach. She’s starting to hit some of the bigger milestones. I can’t believe how fast it’s all happening. 

Emerson rolled over

 To top off the weekend, we celebrated my moms birthday with some crock pit pulled pork and homemade funfetti. It was delicious. 

Lofo's Birthday

One of these days I’m going to start eating well so I lose this darn baby weight!

Sleep Like A Champion

Sleep is a big topic of conversation these days. It’s usually the first question I get when someone meets Emerson. “Is she sleeping through the night? Are you getting any sleep?” The short answer is yes, she is a good sleeper and I am doing ok with getting up once (maybe twice) a night to feed her. I feel pretty rested – with the exception of the afternoon slump, but, I am not doing a whole lot else these days. The amount of time and energy I spend working out and training has significantly decreased.

Right now, it’s too much for me to get up at 5am to squeeze in a workout and when I get home at night I want to hang out with Emerson, not workout. However, that needs to change, I need exercise in my life for my own happiness and well being. I have been an athlete my whole life and not getting those endorphins is going to catch up to me…

The first step in gaining more energy to workout is getting enough sleep, which I know is hard with a baby, but it is important. Letting your body rest and recovery not only helps to give you more energy throughout the day, but it will also helps your body heal from pregnancy and delivery (and lord knows I am still working on getting my pre-baby body back!)

The nice people over at Casper sent me this cool Sleep Like A Champion graphic. It shows the benefits of getting enough sleep, and provides tips for making sure you get enough rest.  While my days of being a Division 1 athlete are gone, I feel sleep is still so important for me. If I am well rested, I am a much better mom, employee and quite frankly a happier person.

Casper Athlete Sleep

I found the impact of a lack of sleep to the athletes performance staggering. We are not all shooting hoops or football players, but if reaction time can be reduced by 300%, due to lack of sleep, that is something to look into and try to fix. Think about how that would affect you while driving a car or playing with your kid. It is worth trying to finagle a good 8-10 hours of sleep. Get a good mattress, turn off your electronic devices 30 minutes before bed, start to get ready for bed 30 minutes earlier than normal, nap when you can and take time to relax and decompress so your mind doesn’t race while laying in bed. Casper has created a sleep cool mattress that allows you to get a comfortable night’s rest while staying a cool and comfortable temperature that can also optimize your sleep quality!

I am going to try to go to bed earlier, not bring my phone to bed and maybe even read a little so I can relax. Sleep is so important as the above graphic shows, it’s worth taking the time to make it a priority.

Tell me, are you getting enough sleep?

Going back to work 

Today was my first day back to work after having Emerson. I still can’t really express or put into words how I feel about going back to work. Yes, I am happy to be back at work, with my colleagues and stimulating my mind. But I’m sad not to be at home with Emerson. 


I tried to not focus on the fact that I was going back to work and really just go with the flow. Which was nice but it made the morning a little hectic.  In hindsight I wish I’d made a list of everything I needed and prepared a little last night so that I could just grab and go in the morning. Instead I had no food for the day, I had to pack up my pump, make sure the milk is ready for my mom who is watching Emerson until she starts daycare, and put the car seat in my moms car. Come to find out I left part of my pump at home so my mom had to come and deliver it. It was kind a like leaving your lunch at home on the first day of school! Although it was a blessing in disguise because I got to see Emerson halfway through my day!


Once I was packed up, I gave Emerson a big hug, thanked my mom and got in the car. I thought I would be more sad but I was pretty stoic. It wasn’t until I walked into my office and I saw familiar faces that I lost it a little bit. Reality hit and tears welled up in my eyes. I cried, took a few deep breaths, and walked to my desk. Once there everything went pretty smooth. It was great to see so many friends and colleagues and it was nice to get back into the groove of work.

 I think I’m going to struggle with the work/life balance. It’s always been something that I have a hard time with but I’m going to have to figure it out now that I have a baby at home. At 5 o’clock I found myself just hanging out at my desk when I should’ve been packing up and walking out the door to go see my daughter. I’m just not used to that lifestyle at work. Previously I always stayed late, lingered around, and made sure all tasks were done before I left. I’m going to have to work hard to stay focused during the day, get done what I can and then leave at 5 so I can spend time with Emerson. Especially because of the commute is brutal. Our office moved while I was out and it’s in a high traffic area. So now my commute is a good hour which is terrible, it’s only 13 miles… the wasted commute time in the car is a real bummer and something I’m going to have to figure out. It will be hard with a baby who has her own schedule but I need to make sure I get as much time with her as I can while still being a good employee and working efficiently.  


Right now, working out is at the bottom of my priority list.  I need to figure out balancing work and time with Emerson and then I can try and incorporate working out. Once I get into a little bit of a grove I might try and do some work outs at home after Emerson goes to bed but I’m typically pretty tired so we will see how that goes. As for training for the half marathon at the end of October I’m just going to have to utilize weekends to get a long run in and hope that’s enough. 

Here’s to Day 2. 

Labor Day Weekend and Family Adventures 

*I have been trying to write this post all morning but Emerson refuses to take a nap. She is getting into a bad habit of only napping, in the morning, if we are out for a walk, which makes it difficult for me to get anything else done on the computer or around the house. The below picture is deceiving, although I wish that’s what she was doing right now. Instead I am voice texting this post in my WordPress App while I nurse her. #momlife

With that, I hope everyone had a Happy Labor Day Weekend and got to enjoy the long weekend.  I sure did! We had a fun weekend seeing lots of family.

My brother, Willie, flew into town for a wedding and Emerson and I picked him up at the airport. It’s so fun having Willie around, he’s so good with Emerson and so helpful and thoughtful in all aspects of our life.

Willie, Emerson and I drove up to New Hampshire on Thursday to see my parents. Vinnie stayed in Boston because he had to work but he met us in NH Friday afternoon. Willie got a full dose of life with a baby. Emerson doesn’t like the car too much so there was a lot of crying and we had some hilariously huge blowouts. I think it took 3 outfits to get from Boston to my parents house in New Hampshire!

It was so nice to spend time with my parents and see Emerson with her grandparents. They love her so much and you know she can feel it too!


While in New Hampshire, my mom, Vinnie and I took Emerson for her first hike. It was a quick and easy hike, and the view is incredible.

 Rattlesnake Mountain View Holderness NH

 Rattlesnake Mountain Holderness NH

The weather was so perfect for a hike. It felt like Fall. The cool weather was a welcome change from the hot summer we had. Although I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer. And the cool weather made me realize that I need to go shopping for Emerson! We have no cold weather clothes for her. Everything we have is for summer. There’s a shopping trip in her future. 😀

 Rattlesnake Mountain Holderness NH

The weather was so nice we stopped by the town beach to go for a quick swim, but the sun is starting to go down and it got a little too cold.

Squam Lake Holderness Nh

It was, however, the perfect evening for a drink at Walters Basin, which is a local restaurant, right on the water where you can watch the boats, drink some cocktails and eat some good food. It was Vinnie’s first time there and he loved it. He wanted to go back for more on Saturday!

Drinks at Walters Basin, Holderness NH

On Saturday we woke up and drove to the local pancake house, Benton’s Sugar Shack. I forgot to take a picture of the food but it was amazing, the portions were huge and it was a true rustic country experience. They Benton Family has been making maple syrup for 5 generations and you can absolutely tell. It is really good!

Maple Syrup at Bentons Sugar Shake

Across the street from the pancake house is a driving range – a total country driving range. There’s no one that works there so it’s an honor system for getting a bucket of balls.The balls are outside of the hut and there is a sign that asks you to put $7 into a locked box when you take a bucket of balls to hit. #honorsystem

Emerson took in the sights while we played!
Hitting a bucket of balls

Saturday afternoon we packed up and headed over to Vermont to see Vinnie’s parents and sister. It was so cold over there I was very unprepared. Emerson pretty much lived in this onesie and luckily I had a pair of mittens in her diaper bag.

Emerson in Vermont

We stayed pretty mellow while in Vermont. I saw my aunt and uncle and Vinnie’s great-grandmother visited and held Emerson which is always exciting.

We went for a few walk and enjoyed the fresh air.Vermont Walks

We Checked out Lake Rescue. And ate a lot of fresh veggies from the local farms.

Lake Rescue, Ludlow Vermont

Overall, the weekend was a success. Emerson, Vinnie and I hiked a mountain, hit a bucket of balls, went to 2 lakes, 3 states, saw 2 (of the 3) great-grandmothers, all of Emerson’s grandparents and made it home in one piece!

Emerson has become quite the travel in her 2.5 months of life. It seems like we go away every weekend. I enjoy watching her get to know her great-grandparents, grandparents and aunts/uncles. At times the travelling seems a bit much, but family is so important to me and I want her to have amazing relationships with our entire family!

car rides with a baby

What was the highlight of our weekend?

Quick Total Body Playmat Workout

I am so sore.

I never believed it would be so hard to find time to workout with a new born. I thought, all they do is sleep and eat, I can workout while they are sleeping. Little did I know, it is not that easy. There are so many things to do once there is a moment of silence… like take a nap yourself, finally make some real food instead of having another handful of chips or another Kind Bar, maybe do laundry, attempt to do the dishes (quietly). And once all that is done, she wakes up!

Needless to say I have been having a hard time fitting any sort of a workout in. (The two running races I have in October are going to be interesting. But I keep telling myself I have some to figure out how to train). I have gone for a few runs while family was around so they could watch Emerson. But they are few and far between.

Emerson On The Playmat

Yesterday I decided it was time to do a real workout. I went for a long walk with my Moms Walking Group and then planned on putting on a Tone It Up workout and following along. Trying to set up the video to follow turned out to be a real challenge between finding the video I wanted to do and keeping Emerson entertained so I bagged it. Instead I just started doing squats while Emerson laughed at me on the playmat. Once I started doing a little something, I kept adding more moves and trying to get my heart rate up. It felt great! I only ended up doing one round before Emerson got too fussy but I intend on doing 2 full rounds of the whole workout.

Quick Total Body Playmat Workout

The workout didn’t last long, but it felt so good and I am SORE today. Doing a little bit is better than doing nothing!

Breastfeeding + Mastitis

Once I found out I was pregnant, I did a lot of reading, listening to Podcasts and talking to Mommy friends. I quickly came to the realization that I wanted to try my hardest to exclusively breastfeed my baby, for as long as I could. But, I have to admit, it was also one of the things I was most nervous about because I had read and heard of so many moms having trouble with breastfeeding. I bought the book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding which helped me mentally prepare for what I should expect.

Luckily, Emerson and I had a quick connection and we really have not had too many issues with nursing. Yes, I was sore for the first few days and had quite a bit of pain when my milk finally came in but that is all very normal and expected.

It wasn’t until this week (10 weeks post-partum) that I had my first real complication. {I am going to be talking about my boobs for the rest of the post so if that makes you uncomfortable, please just skip to the end!}

Emerson

It started on Tuesday night, right before bed, I had some pain in my left breast; it felt like it was a little engorged but I had just fed Emerson so I didn’t think that was possible and I went to bed. At 2am I woke up with intense pain and my boob feeling incredibly full so I got up and pumped to relieve some of the pressure. It didn’t work. My boob continued to ache and felt really hot. I laid in bed googling my symptoms hoping whatever I had would not affect my milk supply so I could continue to exclusively breastfeed Emerson. In the morning, I nursed her and my breast was feeling better but my body ached liked I had done an intense workout (if only!) and I had a wicked headache.

I continued with my plan for the day and went and met up with my Moms Walking Group but felt off the whole time. On my drive home I called the doctor to speak with a Lactation Consultant to get some advice and guidance. Based on my breast pain she thought it might be a clogged milk duct and suggested I do a hot compress and massage the breast to hopefully get the milk flowing. I immediately did that when I got off the phone with the nurse. But about an hour later I came down with chills and nothing was feeling better. I took my temperature and it was at 101.4. So I called the doctor back and they had me come in to get evaluated at suspected I had mastitis. Before going to the doctors I did take 600 mg of Motrin because I was feeling so terrible and that made me feel like a new person. It was amazing.

At the doctors they took my temperature and blood pressure and evaluated my breasts. My left breast had redness but she couldn’t really find a lump or mast caused by a clogged duct. However my fever and the redness on my breast was enough for her to conclude I had mastitis, which is an infection in your breast, and she put me on antibiotics to get rid of the infection.

I was prescribed Dicloxacillin and have to take it for a full 10 days, four times a day. It is not that sweet. It leaves a bad aftertaste in my mouth but I’ll take it if it makes me feel better. I was nervous about taking the medicine while still breastfeeding but the doctor assured me it would be OK and I’m Emerson should not have any reaction.

On my way home from the doctor I picked up Vinnie early from work so he could take care of Emerson and I could rest. I really did not feel great until Friday. It was hard to be home on Thursday all day without any help but my parents came down Thursday evening which was a huge help. I was able to get a nap and rest a little. They were shocked at how hot i was to the touch and how much of a fever still lingered. I was shocked at how crappy I still felt. My boob continued to be incredibly tender even though I had been doing lots of hot compress and massage. Luckily, Emerson was such a good little girl while I was feeling sick. It was almost as if she new mom wasn’t feeling well.

Sleeping With Emerson

I didn’t start feeling better until Friday. I finally had a little bit of energy and my fever was gone it my left breast was still tender. And, I did still have a really bad headache but that didn’t seem like much compared to how I have been feeling. Saturday Vinnie and I were able to go out for a couple short walks. But then Sunday I was down for the count again. I don’t know if I pushed it too hard or if I had a little bit of a relapse but I was exhausted, felt incredibly weak, my head was pounding all day and my boob still ached. I reached out to some friends I knew who had mastitis to see if this was normal and decided if it didn’t get better by today (Monday) call back the doctor.

Luckily I woke up this morning and I’m feeling better. I was able to meet up with the moms in my walking group and I am feeling closer to normal than I have in a while. I cannot believe how much mastitis kicked my butt. But I am happy that I was able to continue to breastfeed  Emerson throughout the whole thing and because I had to nurse or pump every three hours I contributed significantly to buy milk storage due to the late night pump sessions.

Emerson Sleeping

Sorry this is so long, but I am hoping to sharing  my experience I may be able to help another new mom. I know I wished to read more stories of how moms felt, healed and cooped with Mastitis.

Have you ever had Mastitis?

What do you do when you are feeling really really sick?