Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sponsor my Goofy Miles!

I am still fundraising for St Jude Children's Hospital. Will you help me reach my goal by sponsoring a mile of my race? I am hoping I have at least 39 friends that will donate $39.30 so I can reach my goal of $2000.

If you choose to sponsor a mile, pick a song and I will add it to my play list too. As miles are selected and songs are chosen, I will edit this post. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING ST JUDE!

Donald's 13.1
Mile 1:
Mile 2:
Mile 3:
Mile 4:
Mile 5:
Mile 6:
Mile 7:
Mile 8: Jennifer Ellison, "The Saints" by Andy Mineo
Mile 9:
Mile 10: Hannah Bishop, "Magic" by B.O.B.
Mile 11:
Mile 12:
Mile 13.1:

Mickey's 26.2
Mile 1:
Mile 2:
Mile 3:
Mile 4:
Mile 5:
Mile 6:
Mile 7:
Mile 8:
Mile 9:
Mile 10:
Mile 11:
Mile 12:
Mile 13:
Mile 14:
Mile 15:
Mile 16:
Mile 17:
Mile 18: Jessica Kobryniec, "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson
Mile 19: Krissy Murphy, "I Live" by OneRepublic
Mile 20: Jeannie Moorjani, "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift
Mile 21:
Mile 22:
Mile 23:
Mile 24:
Mile 25: Jen Clark, "Hall of Fame" by The Script
Mile 26.2:

Monday, June 30, 2014

Abigail's a Hammerhead

Abigail started swim lessons the spring of 2010, around 15mo old. We did basic lessons that summer and the following year. In January 2011, another swim establishment offered a deal too good to pass and Abigail started swimming there after she turned 3. In the beginning there was a lot of "tough love" but we decided swimming was/is a life skill and she needed to learn regardless of the tears occasionally shed. Secretly, I was thrilled not to be the bad guy in the water. After a good few lessons, she started to trust her swim coach more and really enjoy herself. Since Abigail wasn't in pre-school and I wasn't working, we had the luxury of attending more lessons throughout the week. She swam 3-5 times a week for almost two years. Over that time frame, she continued to progress in her swimming and continued to love it.

This year we decided to let Abigail try a summer swim team. We know lots of families who swim with this team or have swam with the team in the past, so we should be in for a good season. Abigail was thrilled she would be swimming again. Between my work schedule, her preschool schedule and this pregnancy it was a bit difficult coordinating activities for Abigail. September 2013 was her last month of lessons. Abigail was so cute at her first swim team practice, so anxious! She eagerly listened to all the high school coaches introduce themselves and listed pool rules like no running on the pool deck, no walking in flippers, no one in the water if a lifeguard isn't present. As you can see in the photo, other kids weren't nearly as interested or anxious! Swim team practice takes place Monday through Friday at 8am.

Abigail's first team suit!

To help volunteers keep track of the kids throughout the meets, we write on our swimmers. Their name and age go on their right shoulder blade. On their arm or leg we write the details of the events they are swimming. The 5-6yo girls events are 11, 23 and 45. Event 11 is individual freestyle, Event 23 is the freestyle relay and Event 45 is the individual backstroke.

Abigail ready to swim her first relay race; she is the second swimmer of the relay.
Abigail and Annabelle
Abigail really enjoyed her first year as a Smyrna Shark. It was fun watching her improve throughout the month and we look forward to her swimming again next year.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Preparing for Bean





Slowly but surely we started preparing for Bean's arrival. I found the cutest book for Abigail that my parents gave to her for her birthday. While we call it "The Bean Book", the book is titled Hello in There!: A Big Sister's Book of Waiting. This book couldn't be a more perfect fit for Abigail as it mentions sharing sharing the big sister's favorites (cupcakes and strawberries) to wondering if baby "will have straight hair like me?". Each page has a growing bump and a flap opening for you to peek in and see how big baby might be on each page.






March started consignment season. I have been on the committee for my MOPS group's consignment sale for the last few years. I thought my time serving was coming to an end as it's more and more difficult to find gently worn items for Abigail, but with Bean on the way my "need" list grew immensely! We acquired an amazing swing ($30), a bouncer seat, a boppy, Go-Pod Activity seat ($20) and some tiny clothes. While we chose to keep Bean's gender a surprise, I didn't want to buy gender neutral clothing…because Bean isn't gender neutral, Bean has a gender. I selected a few gowns and sleepers in newborn and 0-3mo sizes. Not knowing gender has restrained my shopping, which is really good! Abigail was so tiny she couldn't wear many of the gifted clothing our family and friends purchased for her, by the time she could fit into it the items were off season. Not long after I bit the bullet and purchased a couple cases of diapers. Our favorite with Abigail was Pampers Swaddlers, and she was so tiny (6lbs 2oz at birth) she wore the newborn size until she was 3mo old.

The biggest preparation was finding a larger vehicle for our to-be family of four (or five if you count Brewer!). My 2006 Jetta had been having transmission issues over the last year and the repairs would cost more than it was currently worth. It was a good vehicle for 8.5yrs but to fit two car seats AND a 60lb Brewer, our needs were bigger. Matt & I have had our eye on the Ford Flex for quite awhile. After lots and lots of searching we found exactly what we were looking for, at a great price, without having to settle on any features. Our Flex has three rows, seats six, with captain's chairs in the middle (this was a my top "want" feature knowing it would be easier moving around once two car seats were in. It's seems really fancy in comparison to Jetta's features, it SYNC's with my iPhone and has an automatic lift gate (so easy Abigail can do it!). The Flex has been with us since early May and we have really been enjoying it.
New family vehicle meant Bean needed a carseat! 
Over Mother's Day weekend, we decided to get out of dodge. Matt & I wanted to go to Pigeon Forge but the midwife I saw the week before recommended I stay within two hours of my hospital. So instead we opted for a weekend in Chattanooga. We stayed up late and slept in (or tried to, noisy hotel guests). Abigail also enjoyed some time at the indoor pool. Over the weekend we checked out the Tennessee Aquarium and Rock City, we have done both before but Abigail was much younger then. It was really nice to getaway, relax and have some much needed down time - just the three of us. 
Friday, May 23rd was my last day of work until August 18th. While I have really enjoyed working at Starbucks, the last month or so started to get pretty rough. My growing belly wasn't really the most cooperative as we don't have a ton of space to work in, and me working drive-thru was a huge fail every time! I also had lots of guilt as all my energy was expended at work and I was worthless once I got home. Between my lack of energy and minimal stomach space come dinner time, I had no interest in quality meals. Easy sandwiches, cereal, take-out and ramen were usually at the top of our dinner list. The perk, no pun intended, of my maternity leave is that all of our amazing benefits will remain the same! Usually, as a final send off for a partner during their last shift, you end up with whipped cream in the face. I nicely reminded them I was still returning in a few months so instead my belly was given a whipped cream heart.
My parents came to visit over Memorial Day Weeekend, as we usually spend that weekend in Tampa with them. It was great spending time with them and having extra hands to knock out a few items off my extensive To Do List. My mom came with me to Kohl's, and it was obvious she has been having withdrawals not being able to shop for Bean. We selected going home outfits for Bean and I love the light aqua color in comparison to the traditional pinks and blues. The baby girl outfit is feminine and dainty while the boy onsie has tiny foxes, both very sweet. We also found Abigail a couple outfits to compliment for pictures in the same aqua color.
My parents brought up the family bassinet, which will be used bedside like it was for Abigail. We got the pack-n-play all set up as a diaper changing station downstairs. (Glad it was too complicated to sell at a consignment sale since we're finally needing it again 5yrs later.) We even found some extra goodies packed away nice and snug in the attic I thought I had passed along to other family members. It's been quite the challenge trying to figure out if I have everything we'll need for Bean. I have written and re-written lists, crossing off items we didn't use enough with Abigail to warrant having again (i.e.: diaper pail or wipe warmer). I have consulted with family members and friends with younger children, adding items that we didn't have with Abigail (i.e.: sound machine and video monitor). 

After shopping with my mom, I've started looking at more baby clothing. It hasn't helped that I haven't been working for the last two weeks to keep me exhausted and distracted. I'm just waiting, very impatiently, for Bean to arrive. Gymboree and GAP have some very cute baby clothing, I am loving the ocean prints and the color variety (again with the not traditional pink or blue). I may or may not have purchased a few things, and may need to return some things once Bean's gender is revealed…


While we wait, and wait and wait and wait, impatiently, Matt and I have continued to be productive around the house. With all of our travels visiting family, we normally don't get around to knocking out plenty of things that need to be done. Insert pregnancy travel ban…much is getting accomplished. Matt framed out the space for a little vegetable garden attempt. We decided to replace the toilets in our house (encouraged by old, breaking toilets and a rebate from the city). I've been staying more up to date on all Matt's business paperwork. You get the ideaThe house seems to be staying cleaner and getting more organized, which are both good since I'm sure we'll have a steady flow of visitors coming to meet Bean over the summer.

Abigail has been wonderfully loving and I cannot wait to see her in action as a big sister. She loves to give my belly hugs and tell me that hug is for Bean and this hug is for you. Abigail says she'll help with the readings and the feedings. Over time, I think we've convinced her into helping with some of the wet diapers. We shall see how that goes! We have also been practicing her reading skills with some of her "baby books", as she calls them. I think she has been the most fun coming up with possible names for Bean. Recommendations have ranged from Anna (Frozen) to Sha-sha, Helen and Alan, Julie and most recently Austin. Matt and I have really enjoyed her "Oooh! I have a name for Bean!" moments.
Photo comparison of Bean's growth, December 23rd and June 6th.

Tomorrow is Bean's official due date, June 9th, and I think we're as prepared as we're going to be!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

runDisney as a Family

Can I just brag on these two a moment? These two brothers are my cousins, John and Stephen.

When I registered to run 48.6mi as a St Jude Hero last year,  John immediately registered for all 48.6 too. I told him I registered for four races over the span of four days and for him to pick a race, well he sure did! If I remember correctly, John had never run an official race before registering for The Dopey Challenge.

Stephen joined our madness choosing to "only" run the final race, 26.2mi. Stephen has run a couple runDisney 5Ks with me but this was quite the upgrade in mileage for him too.

I was thrilled knowing not only did I have their support in my crazy endeavor but I would have them by my side, especially when I would be 18wks pregnant! Unfortunately, I got sick the week of the races and had to bail before the fourth and final race. I'm still a bit bitter about not getting to run, with John and Stephen for the marathon nor was I able to complete the challenge. I knew running while pregnant was going to be a feat in itself, but running while sick would not have been smart. I made the right decision for me.

John and Stephen trekked out for their 26.2mi without me. I was anxious for them, remembering my own feelings going into my first marathon only a year before. I was undertrained then, just as they were (I guess it runs in the family?). Somehow Matt and I missed them as we looked for friends in front of Cinderella's Castle. I followed their splits throughout the race and occasionally received a "we are still alive" text. We were there at the finish line when they crossed and I could not have been more proud!
I have decided to run again as a St Jude Hero for the 2015 WDW Marathon races. Because the event is only 6mo after Bean is set to arrive, I've chosen to be "conservative" with my mileage and will be running The Goofy Challenge. This challenge is over two days and will total 39.3mi (in comparison to the 48.6mi of The Dopey Challenge).

Today Stephen registered for the 2015 WDW Marathon! John is hoping his work schedule will allow him to register for The Goofy Challenge. These guys continue to amaze me. I look forward to running through the most magical place on earth with them in 2015!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

St Jude Hero for Goofy Challenge

I have decided to run the Goofy Challenge at Walt Disney World in January as a St. Jude Hero! This challenge consists of two races. The first is a half marathon on Saturday then a full marathon on Sunday, running a grand total of 39.3mi in two days.

While the 39.3 mileage may seem crazy to some, there are plenty of runDisney enthusiasts who have been running this race for the last nine years and 2015 will be the 10th Anniversary of the challenge. 

I was thrilled to run as a St Jude Hero for the Inagural Dopey Challenge in 2014. I was humbled by the outpouring of support by family and friends and exceeded my $2000 goal. Knowing I had the support of all of you, helped fuel my training in the months leading up to the races. What I did not expect, was to run The Dopey Challenge while 18wks pregnant! I found out I was pregnant the same week I met my fundraising goal. 

While my fundraising efforts for St Jude was a success, completing the Dopey Challenge was not. I got sick the week before the race and wasn't able to shake it. Many of you may know your medicine options are limited when pregnant. I finished the first three races in the challenge: 5K on Thursday, 10K on Friday and Half-Marathon on Saturday. It was Saturday afternoon I knew it was in my best interest not to attempt the 26.2mi on Sunday. I completely know it was the best decision for me, to not race on the final day (especially while pregnant). As a mom, I know it was a smart call, there is no way I should have run pregnant AND sick. But as a competitor, it hurts knowing I was trained but did not finish (DNF). I have unfinished business with this race.

Bean's due date is June 9th, and I have been looking forward to resuming my training after his/her arrival (and yes, after my recovery). We can only hope Bean will be as healthy and happy as his/her big sister, Abigail. The least I can do, as a mom with a healty child and a healthy baby on the way, is to help fundraise again for such a worthy organization. I love knowing St. Jude provides all the care needed to families with children battling cancer. No child is ever turned away! 

If you would like to donate to my 2015 St Jude Hero fundraising for runDisney's Goofy Challenge, please click HERE.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bean Predictions

Family members and friends have been chiming in on whether they think Bean is a boy or a girl. Let's back up, the disapproval for deciding to keep Bean's gender a surprise until his/her arrival came first! While most are still not too pleased with our decision to keep this a surprise until Bean's BIRTHday, they have now moved on to gender guessing. Many have shared dates with me, which I have started calling "targets". Will Bean want to share his/her birthday or have a date all their own?



I'm anxious to see when Bean might arrive. I guess I am more anxious about the arrival (the when and how) than the reveal of Bean's gender. A healthy Bean is priority #1. Abigail will gain a little brother or little sister, and regardless of gender, Bean is already very loved.


Abigail was induced 3 days before her projected due date so I wonder if I'll go into labor on my own. I definitely felt labor, albeit with it's medical start, but will it happen on it's own this time around? Since Abigail was delivered via emergency c-section, my OB has set a deadline of sorts for Bean. If Bean doesn't arrive before June 16, he/she will be removed surgically that morning at 10am. I am really not pleased with this deadline, as the thoughts of being inside the OR again make me panicky and fearful. So hopefully, it's a worst case scenario and Bean will arrive well before that!

Here are the many targets and dates when Bean could possibly arrive...

Week 37
May 19: Buddy (my uncle) and Sarah (my cousin-in-law)
May 20: Steve (Matt's uncle) and Emily (my college friend)
May 21
May 22: Brandi (my cousin)
May 23: Caleb (my cousin's son)
May 24
May 25

Week 38
May 26: Anita (my mom) and Conni (Sbux co-worker)
May 27
May 28
May 29: Richard (my grandfather)
May 30: Mati (my great-aunt) and Bill (my cousin)
May 31
June 1: Donnie and Sherry's Anniversary and Chad (Matt's cousin)

Week 39
June 2: Melissa (my cousin)
June 3
June 4
June 5
June 6
June 7: Justin (Sbux co-worker)
June 8: Henry (my friend Jolene's almost 1 year old)

Week 40
June 9: DUE DATE, Cheryl (local friend)
June 10: Peter (family friend)
June 11: Katherine (my cousin), Chris (Matt's college friend), Summer (local friend)
June 12
June 13
June 14: Valerie (Matt's sister) and Amanda (local friend)
June 15: Julie (Matt's college friend)

Week 41
June 16: C-Section Date, Ryan (Sbux co-worker) and Frank (family friend)




QUESTIONS:
-Do you have a target to add to my list?
-Any reason you voted the way you did?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Pregnant: Week 27

I had to pull up a chart to figure out exactly what pregnancy week I am on. To be quite honest, after 24 weeks I keep forgetting. Today is the beginning of my third trimester. What? Already? This pregnancy is really going fast. It still feels very surreal at times.
Weight gain: My last appointment was on February 27th; I had gained SIX pounds in the last 4wks. That scares me because I had such a hard time losing the 50+lbs I gained when I was pregnant with Abigail. I think I have gained 30lbs this pregnancy, but it's a guess since I didn't weigh myself regularly before I found out we were pregnant.
Maternity clothes: There practically isn't much option in this department, I feel huge. Depending on my shirts, some are maternity and some are not. Well, the tops that are not are my work shirts and I can get away with them being shorter than I'd like since they are covered by an apron anyway. All my pants and are maternity, except my INKnBURN shorts and capri pants (thanks to the amazing waistband design and fabric!). I really have enjoyed the more fitted option of maternity jeans in comparison to 5yrs ago, I feel way less frumpy. In January, I invested in maternity bras and even though I was sized properly, I outgrew them within a couple weeks. 
Stretch marks: I haven't noticed any new stretch marks. I am putting lotion on my belly at least twice a day, in hopes of no new stretch marks.
Sleep: I am sleeping fairly well, with all things considered. I do have to be asleep early most nights as I am usually scheduled to arrive at work anywhere from 4:45am to 6:30am. I enjoy reviewing my FitBit sleep recap to see how many bathroom visits occurred or how much I may have tossed and turned.
Best moment of lately: 1) At my appointment on February 27th, I had my gestational diabetes screening and they called the next day telling me I passed! I failed my one hour screening with Abigail so I was nervous going into this one. 2) The MOPS Consignment Sale was last week. Bean now has a swing, a bouncer seat and some clothes. 
Miss anything: When I got home from the consignment sale on Friday, I was spent. I really wanted a glass of wine. Honestly, if I wasn't opening an entire bottle just for one glass, I would have but I didn't want to waste the rest.
Movement: Bean is very active. I don't know what this baby is doing, but I'll feel a bump on opposite sides right after each other. O
Food cravings: None. I really haven't craved anything, other than just being very hungry at times. Throughout my second trimester.
Anything making you queasy or sick: None that I can think of. 
Have you started to show yet: So much so that everyone is making gender predictions on the shape of my bump.
Gender: Either a boy or a girl! It's funny, I had three girl dreams before we found out Abigail's gender (at 18wks). I haven't had any dreams for Bean. I have had a very similar pregnancy so that could mean Bean is another girl OR that it's just how my body handles pregnancy. With that said, Matt and I have not discussed names either!
Labor signs: Braxton Hicks contractions started at 18wks, just like they did with Abigail's pregnancy. This time around, my Braxton Hicks are more intense than I remembered. Turns out they get more intense each pregnancy.
Belly button in or out: Neither. It's definitely not ideal, whatever it is. I guess I'm just glad it's not out.
Wedding rings on or off: Most of the time they are off. I do not like to wear my engagement band to work or to run, so that's been my new normal for quite a while. Recently my wedding band has been irritating my skin a bit, I hope this is due to the extended winter and nothing more.
Heartburn: I have occasional heartburn but believe I have narrowed it down to milk products (yogurt) and tea. I have loved the Teavana selection we're serving at Starbucks, but is usually ends very uncomfortably. I feel like I'm consuming way less Tums Smoothies this time around. 
Swelling: So far so good. I remember being so uncomfortable with Abigail in my third trimester, but I don't remember when it started. Hoping for no swelling in my feet and legs this time around!
Looking forward to: My next appointment is March 20th, then I'll start going in every two weeks (CRAZY!). Then at the end of the month we'll be visiting family in Florida during Abigail's Spring Break. This will be our last visit before Bean and we'll be celebrating our nephew's 2nd birthday!
So, do you have any gender predictions?