Friday, July 31, 2015

One month in

I've been doing Weight Watchers for a month and I'm already down 13 pounds! I call that successful!  The first 4-5 days were the hardest.  I was hungry!  Once I got the hang of the points system and learned how many points were in things, it got easier.  I also learned what filled me up or held me over until mealtimes for little to no points.  My daily fruit intake is finally where it should be and my veggie intake is getting there.  

One thing I'm struggling with a bit is eating "real food."  To make some recipes lower in points, you need to use low fat/nonfat, reduced sugar foods.  All things I avoid because they have been highly processed to get that way. They have weird ingredients added back to make them taste better.  No thanks.  I do admit that occasionally I'll have a frozen Weight Watchers or Lean Cuisine meal when I'm short on time/real food.  Not ideal but sometimes a necessity.  Especially given that I have to prep special meals for Megatron due to his food allergies. But overall I've been trying to eat real food, even if that means more points.  I've usually been earning plenty of activity points up balance it out.

Overall though, it's going well and it's been fairly easy to stick with.  It's time consuming to enter in recipes but it's obviously been worth it now that I'm seeing results.  Over the weekend I realize I fit into a pair of shorts I wore when Megatron was 3 months old.  After I lost the pregnancy weight but before I gained the transplant stress weight.  And now, just a couple days later, I can pull the shorts right off without unbuttoning or unzipping. While convenient for bathroom breaks, not so flattering.  Hopefully I can make due until the weather turns cooler and I can just wait to buy new shorts next year.  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

2015 Cap City Half Marathon recap....and a plan!

Better late than never for this race recap!

Cap City Half Marathon
May 2, 2015

So this race was to be my "Big Time PR." Training went better than in the fall (Megatron's health has drastically improved!).  I was getting my miles in though my pace wasn't real consistent.  Between alternating back and forth from outdoors pushing the run stroller and being on the treadmill, it was very difficult to gauge my actual pace and progress.  But I felt I was really within striking distance of beating my PR of 2:49:44.  And then the breathing issues kicked my a$$ race week.  Even though each day leading up to the race I was feeling better and better, my confidence was shaken. 

In order to focus on resting up before the race and then the race itself, I shipped Megatron off to stay with his grandparents.  The Pilot ended up being home so we had a date night/pasta party together before an early bedtime.  It was like a mini stay-cation without the kiddo around!

On race morning, I was awake freakishly early but I was glad to be up and getting ready to race. There is always a buzz on race morning so it makes it easier to get up.  I was more calm than I've been before most races.  I had already made peace that the day might not be my day to PR.  Between the breathing issues I had had and the fact that the weather was expected to be one of the warmest days of the season so far (no time to acclimate!), I knew even if I had a smart race, I couldn't control those things and their effect on me during the race. With that in mind, I was going to give it my all, but I also knew I was going out there to finish and enjoy the time with my friends.

With The Pilot acting as my sherpa and photographer, we met up with friends, including Katy, who would be running with me, before the race.  The Pilot watched our gear as we hit the porta-potties (have I mentioned how wonderful he always is on race day??).  Before we knew it, it was time to get in our corrals.

Love these ladies!  They have all been so supportive of all my running adventures as well as our liver drama.

I love the corrals.  Normally I hate crowds but something about lining up for a race, music blasting and the anticipation of the start is so much fun.  If felt like it took forever for our corral to be called up to the start line and naturally by the time it was our turn, I was convinced I had to go to the bathroom again.  Luckily, since this was half marathon #11, I also knew it was most likely nerves trying to trick me.  I told myself I would wait a mile before stopping.  And like I figured, one mile in, I didn't have to go.  Nerves lie!

Hanging in our corral, waiting to walk to the start line.

I told Katy in advance that I was going to just focus on my breathing for the first couple of miles to make sure that I found a good rhythm and that I wasn't having any breathing issues.  Not much talking going on!  Luckily it was still pretty crowded at that point so we just cruised along, finding our groove. I always know that it takes me a good 4 miles before I really start to feel good.  I was to remind myself of that anytime I'm running.  Seriously.  Even after all these years!  This day was no different exept that around mile 3, I was still feeling way more stiff than normal. 

One of our cheerleaders, Kim, took this picture.  Katy and I are in the neon green a couple rows back with a zillion people chasing us!

I tried to shake the negative thoughts. But then mile 4 hit.  Mile 4-5 was awful.  Like, I want to quit, this was a stupid idea, I'm never running again kind of awful.  I don't know what the problem was.  Everything was stiff, my right hip was hurting (even though its my LEFT hip that's been tight all season), it was suddenly VERY hot and we were facing the sun for a short portion.  I put my head down, tucked in behind Katy and willed myself to follow her. 

Luckily the course turned and was a gradual downhill for a couple miles.  There was some shade and I tried to regroup.  Our pace wasn't great but it wasn't so far off that we couldn't recover.  We finally started chatting since I realized my breathing was fine.  It was just the rest of me that didn't feel so great.

The miles ticked by.  We saw some familiar faces along the way.  Just past mile 8, I was ready to take a walk break and I told Katy that once we got up a slight incline and around a corner, I was going to walk.  As soon as we came around the corner though,  we saw our fan club, which included The Pilot.  I'm pretty sure I said something to the effect of "shit, now I have to keep running so they don't see me walking and start yelling at me."  So we kept running.  The Pilot snapped some pictures but then jumped out and ran next to me for a minute.  I told him that I wasn't feeling great but that I was still trying for "Big Time PR."  He just said to keep going and so we did.

This is when it REALLY started to warm up.  It was probably around 70 but it was a long, cold winter and we hadn't run in that warm of weather yet this year.  Katy and I were both feeling it.  We trudged a long.  The 2:40 pacer passed us awhile back but then the 2:50 pacer snuck up on us.  For about a half a block, I tried to stick with her but I knew I didn't have it in me.  I backed off and told Katy that I couldn't keep up.  She was relieved.  She was about to tell me to go on when she noticed my trying to stay with the pacer.  So we had a laugh that we were both in the same boat.  We had already talked before the race and agreed to let the other one go if one of us wasn't feeling it.  Yet there we were, neither of us had enough left to hang with that pacer.  And so that's when I knew Big Time PR wouldn't be happening that day.  Like I said earlier though, I had already made peace with the fact that the day might not be my day for a PR, so we were fine. 

The rest of the race was still realy tough even though we slowed down.  Everything ached.  I was dying for an aid station that had BioFreeze to rub on my hip but there wasn't anything towards the end.  Somewhere around mile 11 (??), two of our friends who ran TO the race, then ran the race must faster than us, came back out for us.  They were doing 20 some miles as a training day for a full marathon so it was no big deal to them to pop back out for a few more with us.  It was so nice to have them there to distract us from our misery.  Haha.  It was much more jovial than some of my other races at that point, even though I was in a lot of pain.  There was a lot of walking!

We finally made it to that last, evil tenth of a mile.  And I cried.  What??  I saw some friends from the local Moms Run This Town group cheering on the sidelines and I started to cry.  I think it was the pain, the relief that I could see the finish line, the thankfulness that I feel that I'm able to train and race still, and a million other things that just caused the tears to spill over a bit.  I pulled it together once I stepped over the finish line and got my medal...with a quick stop for some BioFreeze.  A race finish line might be the only place I feel comfortable enough to stick my hand down my pants...which I totally did as I rubbed BioFreeze on my burning hip. 

Finishers!  With the lovely Sarah and Meg who came back for us... no man left behind!
My finish time was 3:02:09.  Not a personal worst and it was faster than the half I did in October with very little training (and just 2 days after we returned home from Megatron's last surgery) and faster than the half I did when I was pregnant!  Haha...probably not good comparisons but faster is faster.

Even at the time I wasn't concerned with the fast first 2 miles.  It wasn't too fast and didn't feel like it then either so I don't really consider that to be a contributing factor to the lack of PR.  Can you tell when we realized we didn't have enough gas to keep going for that PR though?  Haha.

So, it wasn't my day to PR.  But not long after the race, I found another half marathon to sign up for (registration was only $12!!) so in October, I will make attempt #2 at Big Time PR. 

I've already made some changes that I think will help my performance.  I didn't cross training for Cap City.  I meant to, but I was struggling to balance life and my commitment to the 2,015 in 2015 Challenge.  Running that many miles isn't easy for me.  It takes effort and planning given my schedule.  Not an excuse, just my reality that I'm ok with. I know I'm running enough miles to be successful at finishing a half marathon (finishing faster is obviously yet to be proven).  But I made a commitment and I am going to run those miles!  I think the lack of cross/strength training really ended up wearing me down a lot faster than if my entire body would have been stronger though.  So I am making a much more concerted effort into working cross/strength training into my schedule.

Something else I'm taking an additional step towards is losing weight.  It's no secret that I've gained back all of the pregnancy weight I lost while on maternity leave.  Liver disease is an ugly thing.  Stress and stress eating are ugly.  And while I have lost weight since we came home after Megatron's transplant (which is when the weight piled on), I just haven't been able to keep it going.  Even though I'm working out regularly, it's not enough (nor would it ever be).   I know what I SHOULD do, I just lack the consistent willpower/motivation to stick with it.  I'm a stay at home mom and the kitchen is always open.  I don't necessarily eat junk all day, but I certainly eat too much of what I do eat. 

You know how I said I had already made peace if my PR at Cap City wasn't meant to be?  Another reason for that is in my head I knew I was the fittest I have ever been when I got my current PR.  I was the thinnest I had been in years.  This year at Cap City, while I knew I was well trained, I was carrying 30 pounds of weight that I wasn't carrying when I got that PR.  That's pretty significant.  So now I'm making more of an effort in that area as well.  I recently joined Weight Watchers.  I've never done anything like this and I've never been one to "diet."  Lifestyle changes have much more impact!  So far it's helping make me more aware of what I eat (instead of mindlessly eating) and how much I eat.  I've already seen progress in a short amount of time so that's good to see! I'll be sure to keep blogging about that progress.

So the goals are: lose weight, cross/strength train, run, and get that BIG TIME PR in October!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What Do You Mean It's Not Asthma?

Last month I had what I thought was an asthma flare up.  It's not uncommon for me to have a flare up in the spring when I also have trouble with my seasonal allergies.  But I just couldn't shake it.  My doctor called in prednisone, which usually helps pretty quickly.  Except it didn't.  And my rescue inhaler wasn't working.  So for the first time since being diagnosed with asthma 25 years ago, I went to the emergency department.  They gave me a breathing treatment and a heavy duty dose of steroids in my arm.  I felt much better. 

I wish that was the end of the story.  In reality, I've had multiple flare ups in the last couple years.  I went from well controlled asthma to having horrible flare ups.  They often happened around Megatron's surgeries and other challenges so the doctor thought it was being induced by stress and we agreed that it would calm down now that our life is a little more calm.  But the thing is, our life will always have some amount of stress when it comes to Megatron. 

And here's where one of Megatron's doctors stepped in.  I had texted her when I was having the asthma attack and couldn't decide if I should go to the ED.  She ultimately told me to go, which I did.  But then she texted me that she set up an appointment for me in a couple days.  She is "friendly" with a pulmonologist, who basically had me diagnosed before I even showed up in his office.    It was a good thing too because the morning after the ED visit, I was right back to having trouble breathing.

At the appointment my pulmonary function test showed completely normal lung function.  Someone having trouble breathing and has a normal pulmonary function test is NOT having an asthma attack.  I have vocal chord dysfunction.  So I guess when I really stress out, my vocal chords try to close up, making it very difficult to breathe.  Say what?  All these years thinking it was just asthma?  That threw me for a loop.  I probably do have asthma, but it's most likely not as bad as I've always though (or even as bad as my primary doctor thought).  VCD is triggered by acid reflux and stress.  Two things I have had buckets of since Megatron was born.  So the goal is to try to lessen those triggers but I have also met with a speech therapist.  The speech therapist will help me with vocal cord exercises and help me learn the difference between asthma issues and vocal cord issues.  That is going to be really important because if it's my vocal cords, the rescue inhaler isn't going to help at all.

So luckily it isn't serious and it's already starting to get better.  One downside was that the ED visit came 5 days before and the pulmanologist visit and diagnosis came 3 days before my "big time PR" attempt at the half marathon distance...

...to be continued.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Side Effects of Big Time

Before Megatron's last surgery in the fall, I was on Mission: Undo What the Baby Did.  That hasn't really stopped, it's just now called Big Time PR.  The goal being to reclaim my pre-baby body but also to reclaim a bit of the person I was before Megatron's health went into the crapper.  I'm running a lot now.  I've been running 13-20 miles a week since the new year.  The 2,015 in 2015 is a huge help keeping me motivated but also training for my Big Time half marathon PR is keeping me in gear.

The downside to focusing on running so much, I'm not mixing it up enough to confuse my body enough.  I don't seem to lose much weight unless I'm doing lots of different types of cardio.  The thinnest I've been since college?  During my triathlon training seasons.  I think the swim is what kicks my metabolism into gear the most.  Even though running is my focus right now, I am still seeing some side effects. 

I lost a good 7-8 pounds a couple months ago due to some very unpleasant food poisoning.  The few times that has happened before, the weight returns as soon as I'm able to eat again.  This time though?  I haven't gained any of it back.  While I would have much preferred to lose that weight it a less traumatic way, I'll take it.  But that was a couple months ago and the scale hasn't moved since. But something else moved.  My belt.  I recently started to cinch my belt one hole smaller.  I think while the scale isn't moving much, my weight is shifting.  I think my legs are getting much stronger from all the running and I'm finally starting to tone up in some areas.  There is still A LOT of work to be done but it is nice to finally see some physical changes after so much hard work.

Another side effects involves a pair of jeans.  Let me share a timeline of my favorite jeans.  I wore them through my first trimester before needing to switch to maternity jeans.  Then, I was able to get back into them when Megatron was about 3 months old.  Then Megatron's transplant happened and I lived in a hospital with crap food way too accessible or at Ronald McDonald House where I really only had access to a microwave and its hard to eat healthy with just a microwave.  The stress also had me making very poor food choices in general.  The jeans haven't fit since I gained the baby weight back during the transplant recovery process.  That is until last week!  I can get back into my favorite jeans!  Yes, losing another pound or two would make them feel even more lovely,  but they button and I don't look like two pigs fighting under a blanket (name that movie!).  I am so happy!  Jeans have been a challenge lately.  I've in between sizes.  The jeans I've been wearing are getting loose and baggy but the next size down is just a bit too tight still and causes a major muffin top.  So when I randomly tried on my old jeans and they pulled right on, I nearly had a party in my closet.  I even made Megatron give me a high five.

So here's to progress!!


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Big Time

Back in September I was mulling over the idea of registering for the Cap city 1/2 marathon in May.  It's pretty expensive (overpriced in my opinion) but it's cheaper than traveling to a big race (Oh" Disney, I miss you!).  Still, it seemed like a big chunk of change just to run around town.  I chatted it over with The Pilot and he gave me the thumbs up to spend the money and register...with one condition.  I had to train for a "big time" PR.  Those were his exact words.  I naturally had to ask what he meant by "big time" and he simply replied BIG TIME!  Uhhh.... What if I get injured the day before?  What if it's 90 degrees on race day (we all know I hate heat!)?  He didn't care as long as I trained for a big time PR.  If we were going to drop big money for me to run around town, it wasn't going to be just for fun.  I would have to earn it!  Challenge accepted.  I registered right then and there.

I didn't officially start training until the first of the year but it's been full on big time ever since!  A huge factor in keeping my mileage up when the weather was awful was the 2,015 in 2015 challenge.  I couldn't let my teammates down by not getting my miles in.  So between the weather and The Pilot's schedule, I spent A LOT of miles on the treadmill after Megatron was asleep.  The trouble with my treadmill was I'm fairly certain it's not very accurate.  The miles and my times just didn't seem right.  I randomly got outside but it was often pushing the run stroller so again, I wasn't getting a very accurate idea of what my pace was looking like.  

Finally the weather started to get a little better and I've had several outdoor runs.  There was even an 8 miler pushing the stroller.  That's nearly 50 pounds of stroller and toddler!  I felt pretty badass...and exhausted.  I was darn near crawling at the end.  But had to go home and chase after said toddler for the rest of the day.  My pace wasn't awful considering how hard it was but it wasn't anywhere near PR pace.  I do think that was good mental training.  Megatron whined for the last 2 miles when I really could have used a pep talk instead.  But with each outdoor run, I started to realize I was pretty consistently averaging just over or right at PR pace.  I also had a couple runs where I realized I still had a little gas in the tank when I finished....meaning I needed to step up my game and push harder.

And I think I did that especially on my last 2 long runs.  I did 8.5 miles last weekend right at my PR pace and then yesterday, my 10 miler average pace was 15 seconds faster than my current PR pace.  I was super excited to see that one!  What was incredibly helpful in making that happen was running the first 6 miles with 2 ladies who run faster than me.  They said I was setting the pace but in reality, I was just hanging on with them.  But that's what I needed to do, because even though my body was trying to tell me to slow down, my brain decided to override and hang on!  I even had a 4 miler recently where my average pace was 11:59!  An 11!!!  For all of those runs, I left it all out there.  I know I have more in me, I just have trouble tapping that extra speed on my own.  I somehow am able to keep up with people for longer than I realize.   I'm starting to think I might line up with a pace team at Cap City and hang on for as long as I can.  Right now I'm thinking a 2:45 half is pretty reasonable.  That would be a 4 minute PR.  Hopefully that's "big time" enough! :)


Friday, March 20, 2015

Rare

Today is a day where my perspective  on parenting, and life in general, makes it hard to relate to other parents with "normal" kids.  Generally I don't feel this way because no one wants to see their kid upset or hurt.  And most days, despite my perspective, I can feel for parents who are stressing over common parent worries or stresses because I feel those things too.    But I would give anything for my kid to be upset or hurt simply because he's getting vaccines or is teething or is cranky because he didn't sleep well. For us though, it's because he's spent 70+ days in the hospital, he's been "poked" for lab work more than 130 times, etc.  Because of that perspective, it is sometimes hard when I see other parents having a hard time watching their kiddos receive vaccines.  A quick shot?!  Seriously?  My baby has been cut open from limb to limb THREE TIMES.

So why am I feeling like this today?

Megatron started vomiting again 2 weeks ago.  We were attempting to reintroduce foods and it appears it has failed.  We eliminated the foods again but the puking has increased.  It's been 5-6 times daily for the last 4 days.  We spent another frustrating 2+ hours at Children's today, no closer to understanding what is wrong.  We have a diagnosis, two actually, but we don't know why.  They can't treat it unless they know why.  It is so rare that there isn't a lot of information out there about it and it has everyone stumped.  No, this isn't just about the puking.  He's had wonky lab work since October.  His liver looks great, it's his white blood cells that are out of whack. And leaving this untreated can cause damage to other organs, the heart especially.  After living through an organ transplant with Megatron, when I hear a doctor telling me there is something wrong that may cause damage to his other organs, I suddenly feel like I can't breathe. There are a couple rare causes that require more invasive testing.  We've tried to avoid it because no one wants to put him through more than he's already been through but it looks like we may have to go that route.

Today, I have no patience for petty problems.  Today I have no sympathy for people going through normal childhood ailments with their kids. Instead I'm frustrated that my child has done "rare" from the day he was born.  Everything that has been wrong with him has been so rare we've had to go out of state for treatment.  It's so rare that we now have FIVE doctors (8 if we count the entire Pittsburgh team).  And none of them quite know what to do.  That's unsettling.  And frustrating.  And has me feeling lots of hatred towards all things liver disease.

I know this will pass.  I feel strongly that we will get this figured it out.  Not today, not tomorrow but someday.  And then I can go back to pretending I'm a normal parent and can commiserate with other parents that our kids are teething or won't eat their dinner.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Day in the Life: 19.5 months

It's been quite awhile since I've done a "day in the life" post....like 6 months ago.  Wow, has a lot changed! I had fun taking pictures all day, though it did slow up the process.  But it was a day we didn't have any plans other than cleaning up after making messes all day the day before (laundry, groceries, paying bills and running 5 miles meant that nothing got cleaned or straightened up all day).

I got up around 6:30 (well, 5:45 when the damn cat started pawing at the door wanting to be fed...45 minutes early).  I fed the cat then  mixed up a batch of Megatron's "milk."  Due to his restricted diet, instead of any type of milk product (dairy or plant based), he drinks "medical food."  Tasty.  Not really.  But after A LOT of work back in December, we got him to drink the strawberry flavor.  Anyways, he could certainly drink a plant based milk that doesn't contain any of his restricted foods but because of his restrictions, its hard to meet all of his nutritional needs through food alone.  So he throws back the hypoallergenic formula. And now that powdered formula is back in our house, our kitchen island always looks like we have some kind of drug habit.  There are usually traces of powder everywhere.  Sigh.

I sat on the couch with a neglected cat while I ate my breakfast and watched the news. Megatron woke up early the day before (by about 35 minutes) so I had no idea when he'd get up.  Eventually, right around his usual time, 7:30 or so, he started babbling.  I got up and got his meds ready. One is refrigerated so I don't get them ready until I know he's awake.

A recent trip to The Container Store and I now have a nice and tidy med organizer!  So much better than our previous basket with plastic cups shoved in it).  My type-A personality hasn't died completely since I stopped working outside the home.
When I opened his bedroom door, he immediately scrambled to stand up and started shouting "Dada! Dada!" and I responded, 'no, it's me, mama."  He's done this every day of The Pilot's current trip.  I try not to take it personal that he always wants The Pilot while I also try not to be sad that Megraton obviously misses him. I tried to pick him up but he said no and decided he needed to give his Mickey Mouse a hug first.  He also calls Mickey Mouse "mama." He then decided he was ready to get up and I laid him down to change his diaper and get him dressed.  He recently found a baby sign language book on the shelf and started carrying it around.  He likes the cover because there is a photo of a baby and he carries the book around saying "bebe."  So he "read" his "bebe" book while I tried to get him changed. Once he had a clean diaper on though, he escaped.  He went back to his crib and tried to reach for his pacifier (which he is only allowed to have while in his crib). He turned around and yelled for me to help but no such luck.  I was trying to catch him to get him dressed.  He then took off in the other direction and plopped down to read a book...upside down. I reached for him again and he took off again.  This time he needed to shake the IV pole that we still have in his bedroom (but aren't using.  I'm afraid I'll jinx it if we take it apart and take to the basement). 
Shake! Shake!
I finally captured him and put his clothes on, then headed downstairs for his breakfast.  We reintroduced wheat into his diet and boy did that open up lots of possibilities for us!  He was able to enjoy mini blueberry waffles with some honey on them as well as his favorite fruit, and cantaloupe. He also took his meds really well.  We have good days and bad days since we had to had back an iron supplement.  It tastes terrible and he doesn't like it so he says no a lot and turns away or won't open his mouth.  Since he did sleep a little later and he took so long to capture to get him dressed, he was still in his high chair when my phone alarm went off indicating it was time for his immunosupressant.  We recently switched from giving it at night to giving it in the morning and so far its working out much better.  It's a different med though and this one tastes bad too so we have to give it carefully so we maximize how much ends up down the hatch.


After hosing all the honey and cantaloupe goo off him, I set him free while I cleaned the kitchen (which was still a disaster from yesterday).  He was a busy bee while I worked (stopping to make sure he wasn't getting into too much trouble and to take pictures).  A couple days ago he stole a hanger from the basement laundry area and has been waving it around at me.  He also recently discovered when he's wearing "slippery" clothes (soft, cotton fabrics), he can lay on the kitchen floor and push himself backwards.  He's easily entertained. He went down his slide a couple times and then wandered to his books and "read" to himself.  I love love love when he does this all on his own.  And sometimes he will grab my hand and have me sit, then he climbs onto my laps and wants me to read to him. 
He decided he needed to be just a little closer to me to do his reading so he brought his book into the kitchen to point and "read" some more.
While he was all over the place, I washed syringes (still my least favorite "chore!"), loaded and unloaded the dishwasher, hand washed some dishes, swept and mopped the floor under Megatron's chair, realized our homemade floor cleaner was almost empty, mixed up another batch (super easy and inexpensive by the way), put a blind cord wind up on one of our living room windows that has a freakishly long cord, realized Megatron was in the pantry trying to open a new bag of veggie straws, shooed him out and into the family room while I cleaned the stove top, took out the trash and finished up in the kitchen. Also during this time I found myself actually saying: "Stop licking the floor!"  "Get your mouth and fingers away from the trashcan!"  "Did you just actually lick the pantry door?"  "Why are you chewing on my pant leg?  Are you part dog?" I wish I was exaggerating.
That's when I realized what else Megatron had been up to while I was busy in the kitchen.  I cleaned one room only for him to basically blow up another room.  THIS is what stay at home moms DO all day.
If you look closely at Megatron, his arms are in the air.  He was "dancing" to the Pandora station I had playing.
I knew he was getting bored based on how frequently he was bouncing from one thing to another so I asked if he wanted to go upstairs.  He RAN to the stairs and started shaking the baby gate. I took that as a yes.  I let him climb the stairs on his own...which takes forever!  He wanders from one side of the stair case to the other, inspecting all of the beat up woodwork, and picking at invisible lint and/or wads of cat hair.  After what felt like an eternity, we made it to the master bedroom where all of the laundry I had done the day before was waiting to be put away.  Megatron "helped" for a little while.  And by help, I mean he kept taking things I had already sorted and put them back into the baskets.  He eventually wandered off, getting yelled at to stay out of the plants before emptying a bag of travel shampoo bottles and scattering the bottles all over the bedroom.  Then he got stuck in a chair and yelled for help....this child!
We were upstairs longer than I realized and while he was content upstairs, as soon as we came into the kitchen, homeboy was HUNGRY!  In that top left picture below, he isn't crying.  He's yelling at me.  Pleasant.  I made him a sunflower seed butter and jelly sandwich and sweet potato fries.  He also had baked beans but I was dolling those out.  If not, it gets EVERYWHERE and he also won't eat anything else.  He loves baked beans. "Ba beeees," (yes, it comes out sounding a lot like babies) he kept demanding. This is also the first time I gave him such large pieces of a sandwich.  After suspecting I might still be treating my toddler, who has a mouth full of teeth, like a baby and after asking a couple other mamas with kiddos his age, I decided to give it a try.  He was confused at first but seemed to figure it out.  But he didn't each much of the sandwich though.  Not when there were "ba beeees" on the table.

After I got the kitchen cleaned up (again),  Megatron was content to drive a Thomas the Train toy around the kitchen so I worked on prepping a lentil and rice casserole for dinner.  I love this casserole!  It takes awhile to bake but other than chopping the onion, you just dump everything in the dish and put it in the over.  Once it was ready for the oven, I tossed it in and took Megatron upstairs for his nap.  I knew he was ready because he randomly started using his word for his pacifier (We call it a paci and when he says it, it comes out baba).  He only gets the paci in his crib and this is the first time he's used the word outside of his bedroom so I figured he was ready to nap.
After Megatron went down (easily as usual) for his nap, I did something I don't think I've done since he was born.  I sat down on the couch, ignored the mess around me, and read.  A wonderful friend mailed this book to me when she was done and it sucked me in immediately!  I stayed up way too late the night before reading and knew that if Megatron slept long enough, I could finish it.  And I was dying to know what happened! 

Love her books and I think this might be my new favorite of hers.
Naturally I got sucked in again and was startled each time the oven timer went off to remind me to stir the casserole.  And with perfect timing, the casserole was done, I had just a couple pages to go and then Megatron started babbling over the monitor.  I was a happy mama!  He slept for a little over 90 minutes, I got dinner done AND I finished the book. 

After I got Megatron up from his nap, we spent some time coloring a thank you note.  We had an appointment coming up with his GI doctor so we are taking a thank you for her and the rest of the clinic staff.  After trying to eat the crayons, it was time for a real snack.  We sat together and munched on a snack while watching a Sesame Street clip on the PBS Roku app.  Then it was back to busy busy.  He played with a current favorite...the baby grooming kit that has the fingernail clippers, nail files and things like that.  I have no idea why but he loves to take everything out and sometimes put it back in.  I had to say multiple times "don't eat the alcohol pads! Stop licking the bulb syringe."  Once that novelty wore off, he moved on to carrying a ball around that is bigger than he is.  It's pretty funny to watch because it often knocks him off balance and he looks like he's been drinking and is randomly carrying around a giant playground ball.  He does decide he wants to play with me and we take turns rolling and bouncing the ball.
We FaceTimed with my mom for a couple minutes but it was time to heat up dinner.  Since I made dinner during nap time, I just needed to reheat it and add some veggies.  Easy and quick!  Though not quick enough for Megatron.  Who started heckling me again as soon as I got into the kitchen.  He also decided it was time to mess the the cat's food bowl for the millionth time to decide if mama STILL yells at him for doing it.  Yup!  I told him to get out of her bowl.  He promptly melted onto the floor and put his face down to "cry."  But as soon as he heard my phone snap a picture, he sat up and looked at me.  Faker.

Dinner was was also a test.  The last time Megatron ate the rice and lentil casserole, he had a pretty significant (to me at least) reaction.  His face got red and his lips puffed up.  A dose of Benadryl and it went away within 20 minutes.  The allergist looked over the recipe and then tested Megatron for allergies to some of the spices used (we already knew he was fine with rice, lentils and tomatoes).  They all came back negative so the allergist gave the ok to try it again.  He was just fine.  Must have been a random incident last time.
Still getting the hang of the spoon and fork deal.  He seems to scoop better with his left hand but when he tries to put it in his mouth, he rotates his wrist and dumps food on himself.  He has trouble scooping with the right hand but has better aim for his mouth.  Practice makes progress!
No one is crying over spilled milk here.  Just lots of pointing.  Neither of us knew what happened.  The sippy cup JUMPED off the table, bounced off his chair and the lid flew off.  Whatever.

After dinner, I cleaned up the kitchen (again) and got the dishwasher going.  I gave the kitchen floors a quick sweep and then a once over with the mop....with Megatron following me, trying to play with the mop.  I could tell Megatron was losing steam.  It's hit or miss around 6 pm.  He's either perked up from dinner or he is still clingy and cranky.  Today he was a little clingy and was content to sit on my lap while I stuffed the inserts into his cloth diapers.  We are still doing cloth, just not full time.  Maybe 50/50?  Some weeks its only disposables at night and then other weeks I'm lucky if he is in a cloth diaper twice.  I just still haven't found my groove but some is better than none.  And I'm fairly certain the cloth diapers have paid for themselves so far.  That means anytime I use them now, it's free! 

Once the diapers were put away, I asked Megatron if he was ready for his bath.  He scrambled for the stairs and started shaking the baby gate.  I guess so!  
Figuring out how to pour water on himself.
He likes to "pinch" the water.
Yum...post bath foot tasting.
After Megatron's bath, I pinned him down to brush his teeth. :(  Ever since the allergist recently pried his mouth open to take a look, Megatron won't let us easily brush his teeth like he had previously.  But teeth brushing is non-negotiable, especially since he takes iron and it turned his teeth grey last time he was on it.  Once he was crying and I was sweating from the teeth brushing, it was time to relax and read bed time stories.  We read two books instead of the usual 3-4 because I'm attempting to get him to sleep a few minutes earlier each night until the time change.  With any luck, he won't be too out of sorts.  He's never had trouble before but previous time changes were when he wasn't on such a consistent schedule so an hour change didn't matter much.  This particular night though, he was quiet by 7:10 pm. Score for mama!

Once I straightened up the family room, I changed my clothes and hit the treadmill.  AGAIN.  The weather lately and The Pilot's schedule has had me tethered to this machine for the last month+.  But, I am getting my miles in and I'm right on track for reaching my 2,015 in 2015 goal. Without the 2015 challenge and working towards a half marathon PR, I highly doubt I'd be spending this much time on the treadmill.

I did 3 miles and then hit the shower.   Once I was cleaned up, I started working on this blog post. I was still working on it when The Pilot came home.  We caught up for a few minutes then went to bed!  And as usual, I was exhausted!