I’m happy to be back in my routine! Christmas already feels like it was months ago. It’s nice to be home, unpacked, laundry-ed, settled, and back into a groove of sorts.
Brian was traveling for the first part of this week — with the car — so Annie, Ellie, and I were mostly house-bound, which is just fine since despite aiming for a low-key holiday season, Annie came home with a whole host of new toys to play with! (I am grateful for them and for our very generous loved ones!)
Her current favorite toy is this puzzle (she sees it and screams “PUZZLE!”), these stacking cups (though any would work), and all of her stuffed animals. I have been a stuffed animal lover my entire life — I don’t care if it’s childish! I love them! — so it makes me super happy to see Annie snuggling with her stuffed friends and giving them hugs and kisses. There’s just something very sweet about it. She likes to point at them and say their names. (“Gonga! Baby! Elmo! Cuddles! Neigh!” Neigh is what she calls giraffes. We have no idea why. This started a few months ago. Every time she sees a giraffe, she points and says “neigh.”)
As for the rest of the week!
ON THE RUN: I ran 6.2 miles on Monday and felt great! This was my longest run in a while, and my first outdoor run of the year. I think 6.2 miles is my happy spot. Long enough that it feels worthwhile, but not so long that I’m beat up afterward. I was hoping for another nice run on Tuesday, but instead I got 1.4 miles in and took a tumble. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen on the run! It was no big deal — I tripped over myself or over a piece of sidewalk, and just sort of bit it. I ripped my shirt because I caught my fall with my hands, and the shirt has thumbholes, so it just ripped a bit. And my knee got a teeny tiny bruise. It was more scary than painful! And it’s going to be 60 degrees in New Jersey this weekend, so hopefully I’ll get an outdoor run in at some point!
AT ORANGETHEORY: Wednesday’s workout was fun because I hadn’t been in a few days and was excited to be back with my 5:15 crew! Thursday’s workout just about killed me. It was a run/row, and the first block was to run a full mile before heading to the rowers for 800 meters. Our coach suggested using it as a sort of time trial for the mile benchmark workout, which is coming up next Friday. (!!!) At first I was like, “Nah! I will just jog today!” But of course. There I was, bumping up my pace. I came nowhere near my goal time. I want to run sub-6:00, and I ran around 6:41. But it took so much out of me! So I am still going to go for my sub-6:00 goal next week, because why not try?! But it may not happen! It’s going to be really hard! And that’s OK!
ON THE PODCAST: Rachel Gersten. She’s a therapist, so there’s lots of therapy talk in this one, plus some really tactical, practical, affirming tips and advice for dealing with anxiety, burnout, and “I don’t know what I’m doing with my life.” We talk about her lifelong battle with chronic pain, and how running has actually helped.
LISTENING TO: Ty Haney, founder and CEO of Outdoor Voices, on How I Built This. A while ago, I listened to this podcast episode, which got me to really drill down my Google Calendar. Honestly, a lot of these tips aren’t really attainable if you have children. I would love to time block and have a gloriously indulgent two-hour morning routine to ease into the day, for example, but that’s just…LOL. But it did encourage me to get more specific with my calendar, and so far it’s working really well. And this morning I listened to this episode with Ed Mylett, and it was so good. I love pretty much anything he says, and so much in this episode resonated with me, especially the tips about being a better listener.
WATCHING: Jeopardy, Greatest of All Time! I love that those three guys are buddies. It’s so fun to watch! Also Flirty Dancing. It’s so so so cheesy, but I love cheese and love and dancing. And Schitt’s Creek! The final season! I am devastated. I never want it to end. It’s the perfect show. I’m so happy it’s back for now, though.
ANNIE: Is a delight. This is a really fun age. (She’ll be 15 months next week!) She’s certainly developing some toddler-like tendencies and has strong opinions, and I kind of love that about her! She’s happy, and that’s all I want for her, today and for the rest of her life.
WORRYING: Did I make a mistake by not enrolling Annie in daycare sooner? Should she be starting a twos program in the fall? Oh wait, she can’t, I missed all the deadlines for them. I love and am obsessed with our part-time nanny. I ask her to be my sister wife at least once per week. But last weekend, a dad at Orangetheory made a comment about how “kids who don’t start daycare right away struggle with the transition later.” I can make most Annie-related decisions in a snap by going with my leaky gut. But the bigger ones, like about school and who she’ll spend her time with…those ones are tough for me. I definitely wasn’t thinking ahead to fall, and then did some Googling and realized everything around here is already full for fall anyway. And also quick question, how do people afford these things?! (If Annie does part-time daycare or twos or something similar, it’ll only be for like three hours. I’ll still need and want Stef, our nanny! So Stef picks Annie up and watches her for a few hours while I work. So…we pay for school and a nanny! I know, veteran parents are like “uhhh, yup, that’s how it works!” It’s just wowowowow $$$$$$$.) I have more thoughts on this, but I’ll spare you. Just…take it with a grain of salt. I’m not freaking out. But I am thinking.
OK UPDATE: I just had a great call with my BFF who has three kids and feel better about everything. I’m good. Decision made. All set!
EXCITED ABOUT: A LONG WEEKEND AWAY! I need a vacation. A break. I’ve never been away from Annie for a night. I love being there when she goes to sleep and when she wakes up. But I’m ready for some me-time. So my BFF Michael and I booked a weekend trip and we’re going somewhere warm and it’s going to be so good for everyone! Annie will get some really great quality one-on-one time with Brian, and I’ll get to sleep without a baby monitor next to me, and will take care of no one but myself for 72 glorious hours! I’ll miss her. But we’ll all be just fine!
THIS WEEKEND: No plans! Crazy! But hey, local friends, if you’re around next Saturday, January 18, come to lululemon Garden State Plaza at 11 AM! As an ambassador (more on what that means on next week’s episode of the Ali on the Run Show, by the way), I had a photo shoot over the summer and now they’re blowing that photo up larger than it probably needs to be, and they hang it up in the store! (If you’ve been to a lululemon, you probably know what I’m talking about.) And next Saturday at 11 AM, they’re “unveiling” the photo! So Brian and Annie and Ellie and I will be there, and they were like “invite your family!” and I was like “my family lives so far away!” So if you want to come be my family for a day, I’d love to see you there!
Have a great weekend!
OH AND! I put this out on Instagram Stories last week, but now that I’m blogging more regularly again, I’d love to know what you love reading about most! I’m not planning to change anything here. It’ll still be very stream-of-my-consciousness, writing about whatever I need to get off my sad, downward-pointing, postpartum chest. But if you especially love or crave certain types or types of posts, let me know!
My son didn’t go to childcare/school until he was 4! 🙂 We were lucky enough to have his grandma watch him for us, and having him be with someone we love and trust was more important than getting him into childcare earlier (and saved us so much money!) He didn’t have a difficult transition and he LOVES school.
OMG, Annie is adorable! That is a fun age, but yes, they sure do keep you busy! Oof, we paid a ton for daycare. But, when it’s a place that you love and trust your kids to be there, it’s so worth it. My kids have made many friends from those early years that they still see and hang out with in high school . Glad to see you blogging again!
Schitt’s Creek…my absolute favourite! I’m from Canada and have been fortunate to watch it since the beginning. I’m already crying as I count down each episode. Kim’s Convenience is another gem you should check out.
Glad you’re back to blogging and love your podcast!
If you’re happy with your child care situation, you’re doing great! My son has been in day care since he was a baby, and I did notice that the kids who started at age two generally had some trouble adjusting – but we’re talking about a handful of clingy dropoffs, not anything serious. Yes, you may have this issue, and it may be unpleasant, but it will be over quickly. And it may not be a problem at all. I wouldn’t disrupt the good thing you have now to avoid a possible inconvenience down the road.
In general parenthood seems to be full of moments where there is supposedly a “best” decision to make and a lot of ways to do it wrong. And yet, we all had different childhoods and survived…
I fall a couple of times a year while running … I think I must be a shuffler. I’m excited that you’re blogging again! I discovered your blog a few years ago after finding your podcast and have read some of your old posts. My daughter is 2.5 and about to start a full-time daycare after being in a nanny share. If you love your nanny and it works for your schedule, I would feel good about sticking with that. We are switching because we have very non-flexible DC jobs and the nanny + classes + a morning program a couple days a week was just too much to juggle logistically (and still $$$).
I don’t usually comment but I have Gonga and Baby Gonga!! Wonder what they were from. Take care
OMGGGGGG this makes me so happy!!!
I love this style of update post! I think it’s how I would like to journal….if I ever start journaling again. What, it’s only been 11 years?
Really just coming here to validate that NO you don’t need to have school all figured out! I’m glad your BFF had some wisdom to share, and that you reached out/brought it up with her 🙂 My 4yo did an in-home daycare until 3.5 (so only 3-4 other kids), and we only moved to a preschool because she was super shy, and we wanted to work on socializing/being comfortable with bigger groups before starting kindergarten. My 1.5yo is an extreme extrovert, so she might leave the in-home and go to preschool earlier since she’ll thrive there. Annie seems to be doing great with you and Stef!
So glad your BFF offered reassurance. I’m also a mom of 3 and I was ready to write a big old paragraph to essentially say, you’re good! Haha. 🙂
I enrolled my daughter in a church-based Mother’s Morning Out program two days a week (we’re not religious), and it’s been wonderful. My daughter started at 18 months and it was great for her to be with other kids and get used to 2 new adults. That might be something worth looking into in your area.
OMG YOU HAVE A GONGA?!
I thought I was the only person on the planet who knew Gonga. I had two growing up – a big one (who lived at my grandparents) and a little one (whose arm started to rip and I “fixed” with scotch tape haha). It really warms my heart to see a new generation loving Gonga 🙂
OMG YES! My Gonga’s hat ripped and I sewed it back up! Gongas unite! (Also, when I told Brian about Gonga, his immediate response was, “Ganja?!” But also Annie can say “Gonga” and it’s just the cutest thing. This makes me so happy!
You used to say every runner has a poop story ( so true!), but I’m pretty sure every runner has a fall story too. I can think of like four just off the cuff right now. Easily my favorite: Final 16 miler before my first NYC marathon. Woke up super early to run before work, was about 4 miles in and down in the seaport when I wiped out. Scratched a nice check of skin off the heel of my hand (yes, I just googled to make sure heel was the right word). So now I am 4 miles from home, 12 miles to go, and bleeding, what is a girl to do? Rinse it off in a water fountain, beg the smoothie cart man for napkins and keep on running. Took about 2 miles with pressure on my hand for the bleeding to stop but I kept the rest of the napkins in my bra just to be safe :).
In other news LOVE the aftershokz, thanks for introducing all of us to them!
Oh my gosh, OUCH, but also that feels like the most quintessential “marathon training in NYC” story ever! The seaport! Water fountain! Smoothie cart man! Keep running! Haha. And YAY, so glad you’re loving your AfterShokz! I’m so happy to hear that.
Glad to see you back!! She does NOT need to be in preschool at 2 years old! I think a year or 2 before K is great for a preschool! My oldest went for 2 years and it was perfect. My 2nd will go when she turns 3 and since she has an October birthday she will be there for 3 years which hurts my bank account greatly. Jealous of your girls trip. I haven’t done that since becoming a mom 6 years ago! Wow, thanks for reminding me to get on that! Enjoy your weekend!
This makes me feel better! Thank you!
Annie is adorable to the 10’s.
My thoughts on daycare wait. Our son went to a home daycare until he was 3. Transition was fine and truly enjoyed going to “school”. They are only little for so long.
This is what I’m thinking! Our nanny is perfect and they have so many play dates and go to classes and she loves it. Thank you!
I love that you’re blogging again – I have always enjoyed reading. And, Annie is ADORABLE!