Monday, April 25, 2016

St Jude Hero, Year Four

Wow, what a journey the last three fundraising years has been for me! Over those years, "I" have helped raise over $6000. That is absolutely incredible. I put "I" in quotations intentionally because YOU have been generous and  YOU have supported me to help reach goals for St Jude Children's Hospital. Initially I chose to be a St Jude Hero because I knew I needed something greater to run for, than just me. I have struggled with mommy guilt for the last 7yrs and making time for me wasn't easy to do. Being able to train and run and race, knowing children and families are being helped, well it helps me tie my shoes and get me out the door. 
My first year as a St Jude Hero was for the Inaugural Dopey Challenge in 2014. I reached my fundraising goal about the same time I found out I was pregnant with Isabel.  Unfortunately I got sick the week leading up to the challenge and was only able to complete 3 of the 4 races while 18wks pregnant. While I know this was a smart decision to not complete the last race, I felt like I had unfinished business. I decided to register for a second year as a St Jude Hero, but took it down a notch to the Goofy Challenge in 2015 which is only two races in two days. Little did I know had a stow-a-way on board for those 39.3 miles! With our third child on the way it seemed only fitting to go for a third year of fundraising as a St Jude Hero. Our third daughter, Estella, was born in August leaving minimal time to train, so I kept it really low key "only" running the marathon in 2016.
Since the 2016 Walt Disney World Marathon in January, I knew I had to go for a fourth year. I wanted to run four races in four days to celebrate a fourth year of fundraising, like I said before I still have unfinished business. I love running as a St Jude Hero. It helps me stay thankful for our THREE healthy daughters. It lights a fire inside me on days I don't want to train. It gives me confidence knowing each of you believe in me enough, no matter how crazy, to financially support St Jude Children's Hospital through my fundraising efforts.
Thank you for your support over the years. I'm anxious to see how much we can raise leading up to the 2017 runDisney Dopey Challenge!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Abigail's Kindergarten Year

Abigail was adorable and so excited on her first day of Kindergarten. As a special treat, we visited our local library branch and got her her very own library card. She has enjoyed visiting and selecting new books, and we have enjoyed the variety of reading outside of Pinkalicious and Fancy Nancy which are two of her favorite book series.
Since the school was in our neighborhood, I took advantage of nice weather days and would go for a run before picking up Abigail from school. Isabel would often fall asleep riding in the BOB and I usually got 3mi of training in before the mile walk back home. I would bring Abigail's Razor Scooter and she loved riding it home. How she always had so much energy after 8hrs of school is beyond my comprehension.
Abigail was introduced to Pete the Cat and Splat the Cat books. These selections added a little non-girly variety to our bedtime reading. We were introduced to the joys of The Book Fair this year too. I think I enjoyed it more than Abigail because most books that you can only buy as hardcover were offered as paperback at the book fair for what seemed to be way too highly discounted for a school fundraiser. Let's just say I stocked up in the Fall for Christmas gifts.
Field Trip to a Nature Center to learn about senses in the Fall.
Confidence grew throughout the year and Abs started reading books to Isabel.
In January Abigail was awarded the Certificate of Citizenship.
It seemed like each week had a new topic or theme. On our way home from school I would always ask, "So, what did you learn about today?". I would get a variety of answers from "I don't remember" to overly specific details. Most of the time she couldn't remember everything and it would turn into a guessing game. Some themes were simple and not new or overly fascinating like underwater creatures, plants and planets. In January, she learned about Martin Luther King, Jr ("the man who is dead but can we make him a birthday cake?"). She learned about Washington DC and the presidents. Abigail could never remember the name of any presidents but she remembered"the man with the crazy white hair", "the one with the big black hat" and "the rock obama". She absolutely loved that The White House had different color rooms. She also was very fascinated with some of the details she learned about bugs and had a song about the different body parts of ants.
Field Trip to Legoland
Mother's Day Artwork
Pippi Longstocking was the start of our chapter book reading.  I might be enjoying these books more than Abigail since  we are reading books that are new to me as well.

First Grade Let's Go Song

Kindergarten Awards

Abigigail with her Kindergarten teacher, Mrs Joseph

While there were plenty of painful homework afternoons that seemed to drag on (for both of us!), her Kindergarten year finished just as quick as it started. Abigail had a wonderful year making new friends and learning new things. I know she's anxious to begin First Grade.

For me? I am completely baffled at how much she has seemed to grow and change from August to May. Her personality radiates like her smile. She can be so outgoing and enthusiastic then turn inward and shy. She is independent and helpful and can wear her emotions on her sleeves when her feelings are hurt. I am looking forward to this next year for her. She will be starting at a new school, for a third straight year, and she will become a big sister again around the same time. While sentimental and teary-eyed at the thought of how fast this next year will fly, I am excited to see how this amazing girl will continue blossoming into a smart and beautiful young lady.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Pregnant: Week 33

Weight gain: This topic is scary. Since I got pregnant before losing my baby weight from Isabel, my starting weight was higher. At my 32wk appointment, I was still inching closer to the maximum weight I reached with Abigail and Isabel. While I'll still be growing another 7wks, most of the time I feel much smaller than with previous pregnancies.

Maternity clothes: All the maternity tops and shorts I purchased last year are getting reused. I had a really hard time, mentally, spending money on maternity wear with Isabel because it seemed so expensive for clothes that would only be worn for a couple months. I am thrilled to be getting more use out of the khaki maternity pants I wear for work since they were priced even higher than other maternity items I wore daily. Most of my casual wear is my INKnBURN capris and skirts, they don't get too hot during hotter temperatures and are still comfortable.
Stretch marks: As soon as I got my pregnant "diagnosis", I started applying lotion religiously. I found Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter and have it set up to be delivered monthly through Amazon's Subscribe and Save. So far I haven't noticed any new stretch marks. 
Sleep: I tend to go to bed soon after the girls but get up a good few times a night to pee. If Matt works late, most of the time I'll wake up when he comes to bed since I'm already a light sleeper. I've been working 5x/wk and my alarm goes off at 3:30am so there are plenty of days I try to nap when Isabel takes her afternoon nap.
Best moment of lately: Switching from every 4wk appointments to every 2wks, this started at 30wks. I started posting downward and side view photos on Instagram of my growing bump at 30wks also. This was not something I did with Abigail or Isabel, weekly bump photos. 
Miss anything: I really miss the occasional glass of wine. 
Movement: AugustBaby is quite active. I think he/she is more active during the day than Abigail and Isabel were and just like the big sisters, AugustBaby gets the hiccups quite a lot. 
Food cravings: No cravings. With Abigail I seemed to crave all things garlic. During Isabel's pregnancy, I ate a lot of sweet potato fries and milk/yogurt didn't seem to taste quite right. During my first trimester, in January and February, I did crave soda (Coke, Dr Pepper) which was odd because I'm not a soda drinker. I wouldn't even drink the entire thing, just needed a few sips. This soda kick seemed to mellow out mid-second trimester. Most the time I know it's meal time and I should eat, but nothing sounds good. 
Anything making you queasy or sick: There are food smells that really smell off (bad), like a few breakfast items we serve at Starbucks. I am fully aware it's me and not the sandwiches.
Have you started to show yet: There's no hiding it, I am pregnant.
Gender: Baby's gender will be revealed on his or her BIRTHday. Matt and I really enjoyed the surprise last year with Isabel so we're doing it again. Honestly, there isn't much you need that is gender specific either. And names, we didn't even start that discussion until after Isabel was born so it's likely that's when AugustBaby will be named as well.
Labor signs: I had solid Braxton Hicks contractions starting at 18wks with both Abigail and Isabel's pregnancies. My belly would get as hard as a basketball for 20-30 seconds then relax. With Isabel, the Braxton Hicks seemed to be slightly more intense. Now with AugustBaby, for weeks I thought I could be having Braxton Hicks but they just felt different. With Abigail, my induction led to a c-section. I've heard a medically induced labor doesn't have the same effect. Since my body went into labor on it's own and progressed through delivery with Isabel, I think my body is just reacting differently. Over the last week or so definite Braxton Hicks have really kicked into gear. 
Belly button in or out: Not an innie or an outie.
Wedding rings on or off: My rings are still off. They never really made a regular return. I'm not supposed to wear my engagement band at work and since it became habit to not wear my rings, it hadn't become habit to wear my wedding band again to work before finding out I was pregnant again.
Heartburn: I have occasional heartburn but nothing severe. Tums Smoothies became a new food group when I was pregnant with Abigail (probably due to high consumption of garlic). With Isabel, I seemed to narrow down the heartburn cause to dairy and tea. This time around, I get heartburn if I eat meals too large so I tend to graze more and eat smaller meals. I have also started eating a larger lunch (instead of dinner) and that helps a lot too.
Swelling: So far so good. I remember being so uncomfortable with Abigail in my third trimester, but I don't remember when it started. I didn't have much swelling with Isabel, even being pregnant during the heat of summer. I'm hoping to avoid the swelling again.
Looking forward to: Maternity leave! I was really hoping to take a few extra weeks before AugustBaby arrives but I recently learned I'm supposed to work until 38wks unless medically necessary.
In reading over my pregnancy comparisons, do you have a gender prediction for August Baby?

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Surprise AugustBaby

Daily life looks a little different for us. Isabel was born June 16th, I returned to Starbucks on July 28th and Abigail started Kindergarten on August 6th. A lot of changes for our family in a short time span. My opening shift begins at 4:30am so I would wake up at 2:30 to nurse Isabel, then I would pump and get ready for work. Matt would get the girls up and fed before dropping Abigail to school at 8am. There were hiccups, I would forget to leave the infant carrier, Matt's alarm would go off late or a school lunch/snack had to be delivered after school started. We did our best with our crazy schedule. As soon as we seemed to get use to our current life schedule, Isabel had a rough bout with the four month sleep regression (something Abigail did not experience). Then once Isabel seemed to move beyond that she started sleeping terrible again around the holidays and we knew teeth were on their way. Matt and I weren't getting much sleep due to the teething and with my extra early alarm I always seemed to be exhausted. I started napping during Isabel's nap time before we would pick Abigail up from school (Missed Clue #1 - exhaustion, classic pregnancy symptom for me).

Around the same time as Isabel's sleeping issues started arriving, I can look back and realize  pregnancy symptoms were present and were dismissed. Some mornings I would be starving, at 3am when pumping, and I started stashing granola bars in my breastpump bag so I could have a snack option (Missed Clue #2 - crazy hunger, another classic pregnancy symptom for me). I started to analyze my eating habits, trying to make sure I was eating well enough to continue nursing while also not overdoing it. With my big runDisney challenge at the beginning of January I was trying to be conscious of my food intake and decided to forgo my creamy lattes that also started tasting funny (Missed Clue #3 - this was a pregnancy symptom with Isabel too). Each morning on my way to work I drink an Orgrain Protein Shake. I remember enough mornings when it didn't taste just right and at some point I wasn't making it daily (Missed Clue #4). The shake has 21g protein and would help keep me full until I ate a real breakfast. Instead of my Orgrain Shake, I started drinking a crazy concoction at Starbucks so I could get a little caffeine and still have the filling protein. My morning beverage of choice? Six shots of Espresso, 2/3 Decaf mixed with two scoops of vanilla bean powder and three scoops of protein powder over ice with non-fat milk. This beverage looks very odd and isn't super tasty but it satisfied my need for a little caffeine and protein. It was a pain to make so I refused to be "that customer", not wanting to be a pain for another barista.
Life continued on, we spent Thanksgiving week with our Florida family then celebrated Abigail's 6th birthday and Isabel's first Christmas here with our Georgia family. As usual, the time from Halloween to New Year's Day seems to speed through in FastForward.
One happy 6yo at Snow Mountain.
I ran runDisney's Goofy Challenge in early January as a St Jude Hero, raising over $2000 for St Jude Children's Hospital. From Mile 14-26.2, I seemed to need a potty break ever other mile (Missed Clue #5). It was frustrating and confusing. I chatted up mom friends who run to see if anyone had similar frustrations. Since I didn't start running until 2012, I didn't have a comparison of what to expect of my body after baby. Throughout January after the race I started craving soda, if we were at a restaurant I *had* to order a Coke or a DrPepper (Missed Clue #6). I am normally not a soda drinker. I wasn't even drinking the entire beverage but it was as if I needed to just have a few sips.
With Isabel turning 7mo on January 16th, we decided it was time to stop the 2:30am feeding. Her two bottom teeth arrived at the end of the month and she started sleeping better. I continued pumping before work for her breakfast bottle and very slowly started noticing a decrease (Missed Clue #7). I attributed it to her dropping that early AM feeding and eating more solids but it made me nervous. I nursed Abigail without issue, never supplementing and she never took a bottle. Internally I started to panic about my supply and my internal stress started showing itself very publicly on my face, through my Rosecea. I turned to my mom friends who nursed for advice and support. I increased my calories and water intake to make sure I was giving my body enough fuel so my supply would return. My supply continued to slowly decrease. Internal panic hit an extreme high. Formula and bottles were unchartered territory for me and the thought of it stressed me out even more. My Rosacea was out of control, a massive flare I couldn't control triggered by stress and anxiety (Missed Clue #8 - I also had a massive flare when I was in my first trimester with Isabel).

I was trying to increase my supply with supplements but was having no luck. I was researching online, trying to find a link to Rosacea and breastfeeding issues. I wasn't ready to stop nursing Isabel. The stress of it all wasn't helping either of my problems. I didn't want to discuss it with many because I didn't want to hear the complacent "it's okay to stop nursing". I went for a check with my Dermatologist. I had a few conversations with the specialists at Nortside Lactation. I was driving myself CRAZY. At some point I read about how breastmilk supply can decrease during second trimester and I quickly dismissed that as the cause. 

Finally, as a last ditch effort to rule one more thing out before calling my primary care physician (thinking something had to be really wrong with me) I took a pregnancy test before work on January 12th. That positive line popped up SO FAST. Honestly I was immediately excited knowing there wasn't anything seriously wrong with me, I was *just* pregnant! I remember being in a crazy good mood at work that morning. I called my OB office after work and scheduled an appointment for the same day because we were heading out of town the next day for Abigail's Winter Break. 
I met with the physician's assistant, who I badgered earlier in the week about any crazy correlation between low breastmilk supply and Rosacea. She confirmed I was in fact pregnant. The ultrasound proved I was way more pregnant than either of us guesstimated, at least 13wks! I got lots of August Baby photos to shock Matt with later that evening. I kept my secret until after his important meeting that afternoon. He took the surprise quite well, he had been feeling the affects of my internal stress and knew something was going on with me. 
We drove to visit our Florida family after school on Friday. On Saturday we planned to have dinner with immediate family and decided since I was already out of the first trimester that we would share our news. We have lived out of state our entire married life and were not able to make pregnancy announcements in person, that alone made it extra special. It was Valentine's Day so I made Abigail a fun little card she could read and make the reveal herself.
Abigail read the card with the help of my sister-in-law. I think Abigail immediately knew what the card meant. Hayley was a bit confused, not understanding that the ultrasound photo was another baby (not Isabel). Her confusion turned into astonishment and excitement. I remember my grandfather trying to hold back tears of happiness and Matt having a verbal freak-out moment. Matt's comments made my grandmother laugh so much she was crying too. Both my parents are the youngest of three siblings (my father-in-law is one of four) and no one in our generation has more than two kids, so we're heading into unchartered waters. 

It was such joy sharing with my family and friends face-to-face. Some were confused when Abigail told them she was going to be a big sister. Some even brushed her off thinking she was referring to Isabel, until they saw my face or Matt's. Nope, another baby was on the way! 
After announcing I was pregnant (again!) to my running family before the Gasparilla 5K.

We spent a day of Winter Break at Magic Kingdom and decided to stage a photo with Mickey Ear hats to make our big social media reveal. It turned out perfect!

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)

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