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Back and Ready to Party!

25 Oct

Hi world 🙂

Good to see you again. I’m back. For real this time. So get ready for a little TMI coming your way. I don’t really feel like it’s TMI, but I have heard from a certain friend of Michael’s that the contents of my blog are a tad bit explicit. All the talk about uteri and cervices (I finally learned the plural forms of these words. Horray for literacy!) made him a little squeamish, apparently. But until I’m pregnant again I don’t really see any conversation about either of those organs happening, so feel free to read away. Either way, I’m going to start writing regularly again.

He's been relentless in his attempts to find his way to our shoes...

James has been relentless in his attempts to fight his way to our shoes… Not one of his toys carries the same allure as dirty, sweaty leather shoe against the gums, apparently.

To catch you up on what’s been going on for the past 5 months, here’s what you need to know:

1. James started sleeping and life got a LOT better

2. We moved back to Utah for a few months while Michael took the CPA exam (and PASSED!), but we’re back in the Seattle area now

3. James is fully mobile. Heaven help us all.

That pretty much covers it.

He even tried to go THROUGH my blockade and got high-centered. I let him squirm for a little to make sure the lesson sunk in.

He even tried to go THROUGH my blockade and got high-centered. I let him squirm here for a while to let the lesson sink in.

These days I feel like a sheepdog herding one very determined, slobbery sheep. Usually he confines his play to our living room, but other times he makes a mad break for the toilet. Or, as I like to call it, the Holy Grail. He’s only gotten close one time, and I managed to stop him right before his little tongue started licking the porcelain furiously. Ever since, he lurks outside the bathroom door, pawing at it like a hungry puppy.

I can tell that he’s dangerously close to walking, at which point it is only a matter of time before he’s stacking chairs and looking for knives, finally achieving his goal of drinking from the toilet bowl, and breaking out of our apartment to roam, stark naked, around the parking lot. When I complain to my mom about this, she has the strangest reaction. Instead of concern, she sounds oddly (and alarmingly) amused. I have a theory that grandparents love grandchildren not because they are adorable, but because they are their children’s personal, unrelenting tormentors. Like built-in revenge for the 18 (plus) years of suffering we put them through. They’re sick people, grandparents.

All in a day's work... He clears shelves, escapes diaper changes, and empties laundry baskets like a boss.

All in a day’s work… He clears shelves, escapes diaper changes (okay, I guess this picture could count as explicit. Sorry Seth!), and empties laundry baskets like a boss.

Since it’s usually dark by t he time Michael gets home, James has been my running buddy for the past few months. It’s hard work pushing that jogging stroller when it’s loaded down with 20 lbs. of blubber, but I like to think that it’s getting me in better shape. We have yet to see whether or not this is actually true though…

We're both pretty tired by the time we get done.

We’re both pretty tired by the time we get done.

Also, if you’re in the mood for a really, really good book, check out Mile Markers by Kristin Armstrong. I love to read books about running, but when it comes to the bunch, runners aren’t generally the best writers out there. Entertaining? Yes. Appreciative of well-conceived prose? Not so much. But this book is grrrreat. I’ve been recommending it to everybody I talk to. And I didn’t realize it until I got halfway through, but the author is Lance Armstrong’s ex-wife. Kind of weird, huh? I just love her though. This book made me want to move to Austin and be her best friend.

Anyway, I need to go corral my baby… he’s probably found an interesting-looking electrical socket to explore or something exciting like that.

GO COUGS!!

Still Alive!

9 May

Hey guys 🙂 Prepare yourselves for an unabashed photo-dump of my little cutie!

james 1

Contrary to what everyone must have assumed, I did not die. Though there have been a few nights when I wanted to… tell you what. If you haven’t experienced the desperation and misery of an all-night party with a crying newborn, you haven’t lived.

These two are best pals. I just love watching them play together, it's the sweetest thing ever.

These two are best pals. I just love watching them play together, it’s the sweetest.

I’ve reemerged from my life of momming every moment of the day to report some gooood news:

1. James has started sleeping through the night. [Insert happy tears here] One night he was up pretty much every moment from 11pm to 9am and the next he slept all the way through! Like 11 entire hours. It was magical. I actually couldn’t sleep at all because I was worried there was something wrong with him. But I’ve gotten used to it and am feeling quite well-rested these days.

2. I’ve been running 🙂 Yes, it’s true. Feel free to be as impressed as you’ve ever been. It took me forever to get ready to head out the door (ahem… I may or may not have had trouble finding running clothes that fit my body. And I may or may not have settled on some of Michael’s clothes), but it felt so awesome to lace up my Asics and hit the road, leaving my husband and son to fend for themselves.

Sweat is the best fashion accessory, no?

Looking and feeling a little sweaty and blurry after 2.5 miles.

IT FELT AWESOME. Seriously, if you just had a baby (and by ‘just’ I mean if you’ve ever had a baby period) and are wishing you had your pre-pregnancy body back, go running. I hear it takes awhile to get rid of that wretched pregnancy fat, but at least it will make you feel a better. Well, it made me feel better. And I’m cautiously optimistic that it will make you feel better as well.

We went on a picnic a few weeks ago when it was really cold outside. James guarded the lunch while we packed everything else up.

We went on a picnic a few weeks ago when it was cold outside. James guarded the lunch while we packed everything up.

While I’ve been starting to get into running, Baby James is learning that communication is a thing. Lately he’s been babbling back at us when we talk to him and greeting us with smiles after a nap. And holding conversations with the little stuffed animals in his mobile. Those moments make me really want to keep him.

I mean really. Have you ever seen a cuter member of a wedding party? I haven't either.

I mean really.
Have you ever seen a cuter young man?
I certainly haven’t.

The other day we were in the bathroom and he caught a glimpse of his reflection and was transfixed. He just stared and stared at his cute little self. I brought him up really close and asked if he could smile for the baby in the mirror and when he heard the word smile he flashed a shy little smile to his new friend and made a friendly gurgling sound. It was maybe the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. And it made up for the fact that he had been a little monster all day long. And has been a little monster every day since. Turns out the rumors about babies turning evil when they’re going through growth spurts are very, very true.

We hiked to Twin Falls in North Bend last weekend because it was so nice outside. James slept the entire time. No surprise there.

We hiked to Twin Falls in North Bend last weekend because it was so nice outside and James slept the entire time. No surprise there.

It’s crazy that this little person is the same as the one I posted pictures of last month. I can’t believe how fast he has grown! He’s a bit of a chunk these days, if you really want to know. His multiple chins are a testament of what a generous diet of breast milk can do for a kid. It seems fair to me though. He can have all that fat my body stored during pregnancy. You’re welcome, son. Take it all.

I swear he could sleep anywhere...

I swear he and his two chins could sleep anywhere…

In other news: I’M AN AUNT! MICHAEL’S AN UNCLE! JAMES HAS A COUSIN!! Okay, we’re already an aunt, uncle, and cousin to two seriously adorable cuties living in North Carolina, but there’s a new little person on Michael’s side of the family as of about 17 hours ago. There’s nothing on earth quite as miraculous as a newborn baby, tell you what.

Woman with a Plan

22 Feb

After yesterday’s disappointing news at the doctor’s office I hit the self-tanner pretty hard as a form of self-therapy. Yes, I deal with stress by turning my skin orange. Don’t judge, it certainly isn’t the worst form of stress-management out there. I guess having newly (and artificially)-bronzed skin makes me feel just a tad bit more attractive, which, I firmly believe, is very important during pregnancy.

You gotta do what you gotta do to feel cute, right? After all, a giant belly certainly doesn’t do much for the self-esteem, whether it be from a human baby or a food baby.

I was trying (unsuccessfully) to explain this whole concept to Michael last night while we were out shopping for some last-minute baby-time items… He couldn’t understand why I wanted the cheap neon orange sports bra over the cheap black sports bra to wear under my hospital gown.

Luckily, JCPenney filled that particular void in my life and I walked out of the mall with this fancy little thing (okay, honesty time… pregnancy has affected my body in such a way that the word ‘little’ isn’t super accurate when describing my bras anymore) for only $14:

Cute, no?

A flash of neon under my hospital gown? Don’t mind if I do!
And yes, I’ve already thought about how awesome this
color will look against my (fake) tanned skin.

Sorry, I was just so excited about that cute thing that I couldn’t help but share.

Ps: the reason I’m getting a bra specifically for labor is because my hospital is all about immediate skin-to-skin contact. I’ve read a lot about it and apparently it has all kinds of benefits for the baby. But. Babies are covered in all kinds of nastiness when they are… freshly squeezed… and I don’t want to be wearing a bra that I’ll use ever again. I just don’t want to live in a world where it’s acceptable to wear articles of clothing that have once been covered in blood and slime and baby poop.

Moving on… I have a plan. Forget about my hesitation from yesterday, this little boy is going to be out by midnight tomorrow night. I have all of the necessary protocols in place to make it happen.

Phase 1: These little cuties. No big deal, but I’ve already eaten an entire one. It got kind of brutal toward the end… and my tongue is now covered in tiny little blisters. But hey, if it gets the job done…

Apparently pineapples contain bromelain, an enzyme that can soften the cervix.

Apparently pineapples contain bromelain, an enzyme softens the cervix.

Phase 2: I’ve been walking pretty much all day long. 4 miles, to be exact. And yes, it did take this pregnant chick all day to accomplish this feat because I broke it up into mini sessions. And now my back is killllling me. But it will all be worth it when I’m holding a little baby boy in my arms rather than my uterus at midnight tomorrow.

Phase 3: Evening Primrose Oil. Chalk full of prostaglandins, the stuff that softens the cervix. I’m allll over this stuff.

This 3-phase plan is my Trifecta of Success and will get things going so that my goal is accomplished by midnight. I have never been more determined to make something happen in my entire life, so I know it will happen (do you see how I’m relying on the power of positive thinking to produce a son and heir? If only the European monarchs had as much optimism as I do).

I shall update you when the contractions begin. And they will begin soon.

SDRC 10K Turkey Trot Race Recap

28 Nov

*Sorry all the pictures look so goofy! I left the camera in a weird mode and it stayed in that mode until the next day when I realized the problem. Whoops!

Starting Line

Annie and Ashley looking cute at the start.
Somehow my face got lost in the shuffle, but don’t worry. You can still see my belly poking out of the crowd.

Where to start? This race was so much fun and I’m so glad Ashley and Annie decided to do it too! In the days before, they both said they were nervous because they hadn’t been running a ton, but I was pretty confident that my slow pace would keep things easy (turns out I was right… I’m one slow chick these days).

We got to the South Davis Recreational Center around 8am to pick up our swag bags and race shirts and then hung out for an hour before the start. I guess the race must have been pretty popular because I was the only one of us who had signed up early enough for a shirt. Bummer, huh? They said they would send the rest of the shirts out in the mail though. If only I could squeeze my ever-expanding belly into mine…

Finish

Annie finishing like a champ. Hair billowing behind her and everything. THAT is a good finish.

I decided that for the sake of my pride I needed to wear my Ogden Marathon shirt. I figured that if I didn’t come in dead last it would be somewhere very close to dead last, so I needed to let everyone who was judging me know that even though I was the slow kid who needed occasional walking breaks I had, in fact, run a marathon.

Finish

I’m aware that I look like a complete lunatic in this picture. I think I was laughing at something Michael said… But I kind of like the view of my belly 🙂 Ps… check out that form, Ashley! Landing on your toes and everything. You should run a marathon. Sorry your legs look yellow.

When we got to mile 2 my calves were burning like crazy, so I stopped for a second to stretch them out. Those things are getting a little too high-maintenance for me. Other than the calves, though, the race went really well! It went like this: walking break, calf stretching, water break, walking break, and then we crossed the finish line.

Well… there was some slow jogging on a seriously annoying course (that wound around blocks to get to 6.2 miles) and a white Accura following us around with camera-clad husbands (I should clarify… my husband and Ashley’s husband. Not a car full of random husbands. That would have been funny though), but other than that it was pretty uneventful.

Finish

THE END!!!

3 turkey trotters decked out in race bling.

My official time was 1:20:01, making my pace 12:54 min/mile. I’ll take it!

I think I’m done with running for the rest of this pregnancy. I love it and it’s really helped to keep me feeling good (and sane), but it is just killing my back. I was gimping around for a few days afterward. I don’t want to hurt my back for good because I didn’t know when to call it quits. I’m thinking that there’s a lot of walking in my future…

Color Me Surprised

16 Nov

After yesterday’s painful run, I fully expected to wake up to calves that were more sore than I’ve felt in a really long time. Buuut turns out that somewhere in the middle of the night they just perked right up and woke up ready to run. They weren’t sore at all!

Just to recap from yesterday, I ran a little more than 2 miles and wanted to cry out in pain the entire time. It was pretty pitiful. Cue panic about upcoming 10k…

Turkey Trot

And I would have made such a cute turkey…

But today was great! No achy calves, no arches screaming for mercy… everything was perfect. Except for a few weird cramps in my tummy. Felt like side stitches, but spread out across my tummy. They went away after a few miles though, so I’m not worried.

I’m pretty stoked because I ended up running 4.5 miles! Not bad, no? And the miles were right on (12:00 min/mile…) pace.

And by the time I finished I knew I could go another 2 miles. I’m excited! The race is on! Now I just need to figure out some cute turkey costumes…

 

Running & Cocaine

23 Oct

A few weeks ago Michael’s cousin, Melissa, and her husband, Kimball, invited us over to their house for dinner. They live in a little town called Maple Valley, which is a little ways away from the city, and it was so nice to drive through a canyon, see some open land, and spend time in a neighborhood. I forgot they existed! Can you tell that living in the city is killing me a little?

Anyway, Melissa and I were talking about running during pregnancy and she told me something that just blew my mind. During her first pregnancy, her doctor flatly told her that she absolutely should not be running during pregnancy, so she asked about her friend who ran 5 miles a day while she was pregnant. He said: “Well some women use cocaine when they are pregnant and sometimes their babies turn out fine, but that doesn’t mean you should do it too.”

Is that just crazy or what? Running and cocaine? I mean, they’re both pretty addictive, but I really don’t think they have much in common besides that.

Fortunately, we live in a time when doctors (with the exception of Melissa’s OB…) generally agree that exercise is healthy and completely safe during pregnancy. A lot of things have changed over the last several decades, apparently.

Pregnancy in the 1950's

{source}
Anyone else think that “bump” looks a little lumpy and suspect?

Even though we are a few years past the whole be-careful-not-to-break-a-sweat-when-you’re-pregnant mentality, some of it obviously still lingers.

When I found out I was pregnant, I immediately dialed back my running. In fact, I had registered for the Wahsatch Steeplechase (which I hadn’t trained for…) and just skipped it completely after finding out I was pregnant. See, I’ve wanted to run this trail race for years, but after I crossed the finish line of the Ogden Marathon (in late May), I needed a serious break from running. So I took one.

Unfortunately, I had signed up for this beast several months earlier (it took place in late June):

Wahsatch Steeplechase

This race is seriously hardcore.
It gains 4,500 feet of elevation in the first 7 miles.
Someday I’m going to actually do it, but it will be when I want to do it.

Anyway, the day before the race I freaked out. I knew that a positive pregnancy test was the only plausible out, so I took one out of sheer desperation. I knew there was an option it would come back positive, but I didn’t feel any different and was genuinely expecting a negative result. Obviously the positive result was a complete shock. So much of a shock, in fact, that the only emotion I felt for a few days afterward was relief (at not having to run the Wahsatch Steeplechase).

Looking back to that day, I probably could have run it. I might have hated it (okay, let’s get real. I most definitely would have hated it… And there was a pretty high chance I would have come home with the Bloodiest Runner award at the end–yep, they give that out), but I probably could have run it without any harm to my little guy (who is kicking me quite ferociously at the moment).

Pregnancy Exercise

{source}
Yesss. This is EXACTLY what I need for jogging in Seattle. Who doesn’t love a sexy maternity unitard? Oh wait…

Back in the day (think 80’s and even 90’s), doctors thought it was really unsafe for your heart rate to rise above 130 bpm during pregnancy. These days, we know there isn’t much truth to that. In fact, you don’t need to worry too much unless you start getting close to your maximum heart rate, which you usually can’t accomplish without an impressive amount of effort.

Exercise during pregnancy isn’t just okay to do, it’s healthy for you and your baby! According to WebMD: “Regular exercise during pregnancy can improve your posture and decrease some common discomforts such as backaches and fatigue. There is evidence that physical activity may prevent gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy), relieve stress, and build more stamina needed for labor and delivery.”

Health benefits aside, exercise makes me feel just a little hotter 🙂 Trust me, that goes a long way when the size of your belly is the most noticeable thing about you… It’s pretty emotionally tough to see your waistline quickly expanding and finding that your clothes don’t come anywhere close to fitting. Let’s not even talk about my arch-nemesis, the bathroom scale. But when I get out and sweat, I feel so much more attractive. I never realized how vain I am! Maybe it’s just me (though I suspect it’s not), but how I look is really important to me. And even though pregnancy has definitely forced me to alter my ideas of what is attractive, running gives me a little boost in the mornings. Shallow? Maybe. Worth it? Definitely.

Ps: If you’re pregnant and have never really been into exercising, you can start today! Seriously. I feel like I’ve heard all my life that you can maintain the intensity of your workouts after you get pregnant, but you certainly can’t start exercising if you haven’t already been doing it. FALSE! Unless your doctor gives you the thumbs down, you can start exercising for the first time when you are pregnant if you start out easy. Make sure to read this for more information if you’re thinking about exercising during pregnancy!

And on that note, I’m going to bed. And I have a doctor’s appointment in the morning! Am I the only one out there who absolutely adores these appointments? I’m just hoping this one doesn’t involve… an exam. You know what kind of exam I’m talking about. Eek.