snapshots of single parenthood

It's hard to believe, but Ryan's already been gone (only) two weeks...but we have less than 3 weeks to go, thankfully! It's been hard doing this solo parenting thing. I'm not going to lie. I love my son more than life itself, but oh my gosh, he can drive me batty. He also seems to have developed an aversion to sleep the past week or so. What do I mean by that? We're talking 5-6 wake-ups a night. The plus side of all of this is that I'm learning that I am capable of doing this much as I don't want to. And, heck, this little boy is a mama's boy through and through now. Sorry, Ryan! 

We've learned that we can go to the park and take selfies together:

We can go to church - on time - and take selfies for Daddy before we go:

We can go swimming in the lake together:

We can watch the storms roll in and enjoy the crazy clouds and wind:

We can watch the kitty and plot our epic takeover of her domain:

We can learn to crawl while Mommy's not looking and spill her coffee all over the floor:

And then, once the bubs goes to sleep, Momma can enjoy the sunset with a little peace and quiet :)

running wrap-up: july

July was a pretty big breakthrough month for me in terms of running. I didn't get as many total miles as I'd hoped for last month - or even as many long runs as I wanted - but my speed work definitely improved a lot. I'm attributing a lot of this improvement to my weight loss, as well. If you remember, I mentioned I started weight watchers 14 weeks ago. I'm super proud to say that I've lost 19.8 lbs to date, and I have about 12 until I reach my goal weight. My body feels better when I run now, and I love it!

I made a goal last month to do nothing less than 3 miles, and I'm super proud to say I stuck to that goal. I've noticed, however, that my hip has been really killing me lately, so I'm trying to balance rest days with run days and a lot of stretching. I think that this pain has also contributed to my hesitance to do longer runs. Well, that and the fact that it got super hot last month.

This was my fastest run for the month. I honestly went out for a light jog - I didn't want to run that day. I ended up feeling really strong, so I just pushed it, and I went my fastest 5k time yet. It's incredible to see what your body can do when you give it the appropriate tools.

Longest run: 7 miles
Shortest run: 3 miles
Fastest pace: 8:48
Slowest pace: 10:16
Total miles: 48.7 

I think this was a big breakthrough month for me, but I'm looking forward to logging more miles in August than before. I have an other half marathon in October, so the longer runs are necessary. Here's hoping my hip decides to cooperate!

family time

Last weekend, our amazing neighbors were, well, amazing, and gave us their cottage for the weekend on Oneida Lake. They knew that we needed a little peace before Ryan went overseas, and they decided that they would give us the keys - and the space - to breathe before he left. We were so grateful and undeserving of this time, but it was wonderful for us to really have a chance to escape - even for a few days.

It was a bit windy and chilly when we got there with stunning storm clouds, and I got to snap this sweet picture of my main men. Seriously. Be still, my heart. These two are the light of my life, and these memories are the things that make life all the more worthwhile.

The second day there was beautiful and sunny, so we slathered both Spencer and Ryan in extraordinary amounts of sunscreen and took advantage of the beautiful water. It was warm - probably close to 73 degrees, and despite what the picture looks like, it's barely a foot deep there. We were kneeling, and Spence could touch the bottom.

We didn't stay out in the sun too long because we didn't want him (or Ryan) to burn...silly gingers...but the sun we did enjoy was just perfection. We ate lunch out by the lake, enjoyed tummy time in the grass and just detached from the world.

On another note, I heard from Ryan this morning, and he safely (and finally) made it to his destination overseas. He's settling in nicely, and though he's crossed the dateline and about 13 hours ahead of us, I'm so grateful he has wifi and will be able to contact us. It's these things - and the beautiful summer memories - that will keep my soul happy while he's away.

8 months of spencer bruce

Cue momma tears. I'm an emotional mess right now anyway since Ryan just left for an overseas trip - read: very little contact and single parenting for a while. It's not a deployment, thankfully, but it's still our first time as a family in which I'm a single parent here, and that's insane. Plus, I miss my best friend, and I think that's the most challenging part by far. Luckily though, Ryan was able to be here yesterday for Spencer's 8-month birthday, and we celebrated having this little guy in style. 

Weight: His weight gain seems to have leveled off a bit this month, and he is a nice 18 lbs 6 oz. He feels huge to me, but I'm watching all his little rolls lean out, and I realize that my baby isn't such a teeny little baby anymore. 

Clothes: We literally just retired his 6-month onesies yesterday. Spencer is firmly in a blend of 6-9 month clothes and 9-month onesies - though the onesies are still a bit too big on him. I've found that I really dislike the onesies lately, too, because with the heat, he gets very swampy. We've been doing a lot of t-shirts and shorts, and he seems to enjoy that more.

Milestones: This guy likes to jump in his jumperoo like a boss. He's also determined to hold himself upright in a standing position, and his new favorite thing is to hold onto the stair railing and pretend he's standing all on his own. He also tries really hard to climb the stairs, but (thankfully) fails miserably. Crawling is on the horizon right now for this guy. He very easily gets up on his knees and rocks back and forth, but he's still working to consistently move those knees and hands forward. He scoots though!

Food is his favorite! He eats like a champ now. We made the difficult decision to start supplementing with formula this past month because of my inability to keep up with the amount he needed while at the sitter. He usually gets two 4 oz bottles a day, and then nurses the rest. He eats solids at night - usually a blend of kale, spinach, pears, greek yogurt, carrots, etc - and suddenly loves them all. He still hates avocado though.

Sleeping has been a mix this month. For the most part, he goes down really well around 7 PM. Then he'll sleep until about 1, when I change and nurse him. Usually he'll sleep again till about 7 AM. There have been a couple bad nights though, including one where I actually had to drive him around until he fell asleep...a first in the 8 months we've had him. 

Spencer's Favorites this Month: He loves love loves Baby Einstein Puppets. I swore up and down we wouldn't be those parents, but if he's happy in his fussy "witching hour" by watching some Baby Einstein, so be it. He also loves to pull Stella's tail, "climb" the stairs and play on the swings. 

Mama's Thoughts this Month: This little guy is really developing a personality, and we're loving it. With the good comes a touch of bad though, and I will admit that he's learned that he can throw tantrums a little bit. He doesn't do it often, but when it's around 5:30 and he wants to eat, he wants it right. now. We're working to ensure he knows that we will be firm but gentle in telling him that it's not allowed or accepted in our home. Yes, 8 months is young, but I believe in raising my son knowing he can't be entitled...even if he's too young to understand.

All that said, I'm loving watching him learn, grow and explore the world around him, and I can't believe how fast time is flying. This baby boy is going to be a year before I know it.