Friday, December 18, 2009

Off Target

After every race we run my sister asks, "Isn't running addictive?" I am usually so high from running and out of breath that I just shake my head and stretch, but lately I have been thinking more and more about the addictive powers of running.

Now keep in mind I haven't gone for a run since Saturday's 8 plus mile trail and path run at the Blackwater Creek and I haven't even once experienced the shakes, with the exception of Tuesday afternoon when I hadn't been able to keep anything in my stomach for hours. But I am beginning to go a little stir crazy that I can't seem to find the time to run. Boy, I never thought I would say-or type-that.

I think about running several times a day. I think about how best to train. I contemplate my goals, both short term and long term, and constantly restructure where I want to see myself next spring, next summer, the summer after that. I worry about preventing Vitamin D deficiencies and ankle pains. If addicted I am not, obsessed I most certainly am.

Last week, that's right, as early as the 8th I was already compiling my 2010 resolutions. I have several this year, most of which are focused on my running and my training. I want to be faster. I want to run further. I want to run more often. My actual goals are far more outlined than that, but I'm still thinking them over, I'll let you know in two weeks the actual resolutions for the upcoming year.

The cold weather has finally settled in and has me already rather annoyed. The Jingle Bell Fun Run, a 5 mile run through downtown Lynchburg, has been cancelled due to impending snow. Our training for Sunday at the Blackwater Creek Trails has been cancelled due to freezing temperatures, small children and the fear of ice.

One thing I have been considering, ever since my first race this past September, is running a half marathon next year. I know I should say full marathon but I believe in taking smaller steps. There are several next fall that look promising and we would have the whole spring and summer to prepare. One in particular, at a beach not too overly far from here, is really playing my tune. I think I may have Todd convinced that we should participate.

So addicted to running? Maybe.

Addicted to the thought of it? Most definitely.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It'e been 7 months and 15 days...or something like that.

Most of the world has surely forgotten by now the chaos that overcame my life earlier this year when a good friend of mine and my mother came across my blog in the same week. Who are we kidding, only a handful of people have ever even read my blog, but I assure you that most of them have probably forgotten and didn't even care to begin with.

Who can't get over it? Me. Almost daily and sometimes several times a day I rethink my bad judgement. How could I have been so, so, know, the way that I was, so carefree and dumb. Telling the internets anything and everything that came to my mind was a great source of post ideas but it was also a lot more trouble than I ever imagined.

I have been very careful about my writing ever since with the exception of my last post. I let loose because I felt frustrated. I pour over details and make sure that I don't divulge too many charaterizing details or information and mostly stick to topics that revolve safely around my own life. It's so interesting, I know, I apologize. I liked it better when I could tell you about my crazy childhood and the mother I've never understood or really known. But I am trying to grow up, act my age, set a good example and not receive any hate mail. So here we are.

Today when I logged on to tell you about first tantrums and full bags of popcorn thrown away while still hot from Target's heating lamps I noticed my blog had two comments that needed to be moderated. Now I have no reason why these comments needed to be moderated other than the posts themselves were written over 20 months ago. I read the comments, they were delightful, but my heartbeat increased and a wave of nausea overcame me as I hit 'read' on them because folks- I live in fear.

I live in fear that I will hurt someone else's feelings by the simplest phrase or topic. I worry that my fear is really trapping me from writing about the sort of things I wanted to write about when I first began my blog two years ago.

Do I just scream from the rooftops that this is who I am and make no amends for it? Do I keep silent? Do I just get over myself already?

I wanted to post about the audacity of putting melatonin in sippy cups but I'm worried about the flaming I would recieve from workers at the Covenant Apostolic Church. I mean, I'm sure they had their reasons, right?

I ask myself, who is really suffering here?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December? Seriously? Already? Are you sure?

Sometimes I think I am surely the worst blogger ever. Very often I have clever and witty things to say, or at least I think I do but I very seldom have the time to share my witty and clever things.

To be honest I have never felt so busy and overwhelmed in my entire life. You see I have been busy before, in college or when we were building our house, perhaps on a project or when I had a job. But there was always a foreseeable ending to that episode of busyness (spell check recognizes busyness, is it a word? I don't have the time to check?) The thing is now that I don't even have the time to finish a blog post in one setting, or make a phone call to my favorite sister-in-law or soak in the tub without falling asleep within five minutes and I really don't see us slowing down. Not for 18 years or so.

In fact we seem to just be making our lives more and more hectic all the time. Taking up running, throwing more holiday parties than we have friends. But I feel great. Sure there are days I feel like I could tear all of my hair out or could slap the fifteenth person in a row to give me the 'you sure have your hands full' line but then there are days where I truly feel like a very lucky woman.

Thanksgiving was a blast. The day itself was busy, we had a run which was a tad bit disappointing but my entire family was there and we all had breakfast together afterwards so that was nice. Then I went home and worked on dinner for seven all afternoon, but it too was rewarding. Afterwards we boxed up what was left and took a care package to my brother and his girlfriend who were camped out at Best Buy.

Friday I got up early and went shopping with my family and then my brother, his girlfriend and my sister came over and helped me prepare our annual day after thanksgiving feast. This was the 8th year we have done it and this was by far the least stressful year yet. I even snuck a few things in, like Carrot Souffle, when I noticed we were ahead of schedule. The dinner had a huge turnout and it was as always, a lot of fun.

The rest of the weekend was busy with family and training and the four day weekend ended as soon as it began. This week I have been trying to squeeze in more training for our last race of the year without much luck. On Thanksgiving I ran the Genesis House Turkey Trot, but I didn't come in with any of my goals, it was a rougher course than I had expected but it was the first time I had really been disappointed with my results. Tomorrows race is also a bit hilly which I know I am not prepared as I should be for but there is also going to be freezing temperatures and perhaps snow or rain. I am going to try and go back to my goal of just finishing the best that I can and hope that works for the other side of my brain that likes to put down the rest of my body when I don't meet the goals I have set of myself.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Today was a good day. We began the day running Lynchburg's Genesis House Turkey Trot. It was a family affair. Besides Todd and I, my sister, brother and his girlfriend ran the race while my brother-in-law watched the wee ones. The race was a tad bit discouraging. Last week I ran the Run for Their Lives 5k at Peaks View Park which was the flatest course I've run to date. I finished that course, which was mostly Elementary School students, in 25:15. I was hoping to come in close to that this morning. However, the run through Rainbow Forest was more than I had anticipated when the sign up sheet read 'rolling hills'.

After the race we stopped by to see my mother-in-law at work and get a newspaper to scan the Black Friday Ads, however, I still haven't found a moment to look them over. We then went to Cracker Barrel with my family for breakfast as it was about the only thing in our little town open.

We came home and I set right in to making dinner. I cooked and baked all day and we finally ate at a little after 5. The spread was beautiful and I had to fight the urge to take pictures, we stuffed ourselves so much that most of us have gone to bed without pie and the tablecloth is headed for the wash after only an hour's use.

After our dinner Todd packed up a care package for my brother and his girlfriend who are camped out at Best Buy to buy gifts for us to give to people. We took that by Best Buy and saw their camp set up complete with Todd's younger brother's tent from cub scouts from some year's back.

Now we are home, most everyone has gone to bed and the kitchen is a mess. I however, am to tired to clean it or do just about anything other than look throught the ads and set my alarm clock for 4 am.

Happy Thanksgiving all.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Because Shirley, I'm sure you want to hear about something other than running.

In case you have somehow failed to notice, Thanksgiving is creeping up on us, it will be here, whether we're ready for her or not, a week from tomorrow. I love Thanksgiving, but for reasons other than Turkey, for which I obviously won't be having any. I love Thanksgiving because for me, it marks the beginning of the holiday season (I don't care when you put your Christmas stuff out Target, so there).

The day itself, the last Thursday in November, is really not my favorite holiday, it in fact, seldom even feels like one. I have gone to my grandparents house that has since become my aunt's house, since I was a baby. When I was a kid it was possibly my favorite holiday of the year, four whole days with my four male cousins, the longest visit we had from them all year. But as I grew up and drifted from my cousins Thanksgiving has slowly lost that zing it used to posess.

This year, I'm taking a stand. Not to hurt anyone's feelings but I am breaking the tradition. I finally decided that what good is a tradition if all the meaning is gone and you no longer enjoy it. I decided some few weeks ago to take Thanksgiving back for my family this year. Now that we have three children I want to begin anew with our own traditions and routines. I want Thanksgiving to be about giving thanks, appreciating all that we have to be thankful for, to appreciate that freedom of want, to bask in the love of the company we hold dearest. I want less boxed and frozen foods, I want homemade pies and fresh cranberry sauce. I want, no matter how small the feast, to make it feel for the first time in a long time, like a holiday.

I don't mean to sound as though I do not love or appreciate my extended family, they will, I hope, come around our house on Friday for our annual Black Friday Feast, it's just that the meal at my grandparents house has lost something, maybe it's my grandfather's presence, maybe it's me. I don't know exactly, I just know I'm not as happy there as I once was, and I want that spirit alive in me again. I don't want to be the Scrooge of Thanksgiving (of course I will be when it comes to scrubbing and peeling potatoes), I just want to try something new this year and hope it feels more alive and real to me.

I feel like a little kid in essence already, pouring over cookbooks and sample Thanksgiving menus. Searching for the perfect Pecan Pie Recipe (which I have never even tried) and the accompanying perfect Pumpkin Pie recipe (which astonishingly I have never tried either). I have bought the wine and choosen the tablecloth. I have been searching myself as to the perfect way to send the message to my family that above all is more important than the food; that I love them, that I am thankful for them and that without them pecan pie is just a lot of sugar and Thanksgiving is just another Thursday.

Here's hoping it feels like this (sans the Turkey of course)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Trying to be faster...

I know that I am not the first person to say this, nor will I undoubtably be the last, but we have been very busy. Some days I don't know where the hours even run off to and the weeks are flying by. Our most recent race this past weekend snuck up on me before I even had a chance to really get any training in. This 5k was my third but my first 'trail race' in which we did a double loop through an Orchard in Bedford at the bottom of the Peaks of Otter. It was a beautiful trail complete with four hay bale jumps and apple tree branches to weave around. I was nervous about my time as I had been fair warned that trail races are much different than road races. With that warning however, I was still only able to make time to train twice. Jordan and Erin also did the race and my wonderful brother was on hand to watch the wee ones and to take snapshots. This is my favorite, coming in for the finish.

The Peaks are beautiful, I recommend that anyone whom hasn't done so already make every effort to make it to Bedford, Virginia sometime in their life to take in the beautiful mountains as well as the hike up Sharp Top Mountain.
Jordan won the top door prize valued at $65 and Todd came in 5th in his age division.
My time suffered a tad, but less than I was expecting. I came in 11 seconds slower than my last race, but that race had no real hills to speak of and no hay, so I think it was a wash.
We have signed up for three more 5ks in the next month and I am taking my training more seriously. Yesterday we ran four miles outside which the treadmill just cannot beat and today I went walking with a friend four miles pushing the over 100 pound stroller and kids. It too, was quite the workout. I have started seeing how fast I can run a mile and my first time was 8:01, I plan on using that to work down from and to help me increase my overall 5k time as well as longer distance running at a slower pace.
My 'goals' for this past race were to come in under 30 minutes and to come in under 100 out of the more than 180 runners. I am proud to say that though the goals may sound easy I did meet both of my goals, but just barely. I came in at 29:59 and 97th.
Our next race is Girls on the Run. It's a local organization at the schools around here that promotes healthy living to young girls and trains them to run a 5k. The 5k event is open to the whole community and we have signed up to run it. Todd, my wonderful coach, plans on running with me that race to try and push my time to under 28 minutes. We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

bad news

I'm sorry if you are unaware of this story. I'm sorry that I am bringing it to your attention, I'm sorry it was brought to my attention, I am sorrier that it ever happened and sorriest for the poor girl to which it happened.

I am outraged. Sickened. I don't know why or even how people do the horrid things they do. I don't know how the victims of such tragedies survive. I am disgusted that there are people out there who would do such a thing, or watch such a thing transpire without doing something, anything, to end it.

I don't know how I would rationally handle such an occurance should it happen to my own daughter. Would there be any reason to deal rationally? Could there be any way to react rationally? I have been thinking, almost nonstop since I read and heard about this story, how do I keep my daughter safe?

I know there really isn't any fail safe way to see that she always remains unharmed. The very thought is enough to cause unremitting sleeplessness.

So much for decent sleep tonight.

Feeling Pretty Good Right About Now

Ten weeks ago today, I had Sean. Before I got pregnant, as I might have mentioned, I was carrying around a little extra weight, enough weight to put my BMI in the 'overweight' category actually. Being more concerned that I maintain a healthy pregnancy I did nothing to my diet while pregnant other than alternating the type of bread I ate and how much of it I ate. I started walking more in the seventh month and picked it up to 2 miles every few days in the last few weeks, more than anything, to try and bring his arrival on naturally.

Throughout the nine months however, I decided that after the pregnancy I really wanted to do a complete overhaul of my eating habits and exercise output. Immediately following Sean's birth I began eating more whole grains and fresh vegetables. I cut back on butter and oil and started reading more labels. I have been very diligent without being too obsessed. I have walked, jogged, ran or biked every other day for the past seven weeks. I am feeling good and my hard work is paying off.

In the past ten weeks I have lost 44 lbs. My original goals have far been exceeded at this point and I am actually quite surprised at the results. I am proud to announce that I am smaller than I have been since around the time that Todd and I got married 8 years ago.

I wanted to put off buying clothes but all of my jeans were literally falling off of me so I actually broke down after the race Saturday and went out and bought a pair of 'skinny' jeans. I don't know that I feel 'skinny' but I do feel good. I am not looking to lose any more weight, but just maintain at this point, maybe build a little more muscel. Oh, and finally have legs like these:

I have always loved Meg Ryan's legs. Just ask my sister, for some strange reason she thinks my obsession is weird.

My BMI, which before I got pregnant was around 27, is now 21.3 (based solely on my height and weight which probably aren't 100% accurate in determining BMI), which no longer puts me in the overweight category, but the 'normal weight' category.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Playing with food

Ever since I had Sean I have been cooking and baking a lot more. Before Sean I ate maybe one meal a day at home and maybe 14 meals a week out. Now we eat out about 3 meals a week and I make very few things from a box. I have been spending time on all recipes daily and have subscribed to two food magazines. My TiVo has more Food Network shows than episodes of Snapped and I have started my own cookbook in Word to save all of my attempts at cooking and baking.

Today's experiment: Chocolate Zucchini Bread.

This morning I took the three kids and met a few other mothers for a walk in a nearby subdivision. After our walk we had a muffin at a local coffee shop. The chocolate chips mixed with banana bread were surprisingly yummy so I decided during nap time that I would like to whip up something with cocoa in it.

I found this recipe at

I turned the ingredient list from this:

2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate

to this:

6 tablespoons Nestle Cocoa
2 tablespoons Crisco Oil
3 eggs
3/4 cups white sugar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

The recipe made two 9x5 loaves that cooked in about 60 minutes. The bread is pretty good. It is far more healthy than the original recipe but not exceptionally sweet. The chocolate chips added all the chocolate flavor I would have needed. I think perhaps next time I will skip the cocoa and just put in more chips. And maybe a tad bit more sugar. I am not an expert by any means at baking and I certainly don't watch enough Alton Brown, but I am having a great time experimenting with many recipes.

In my search through the pantry this afternoon I came across some "Special Dark" cocoa. I am already thinking about what I can bake using that.

I am also on the lookout for a good Cherry Coffee Cake recipe to make this weekend for my dad and grandmother so if you know of one, please send me a link or recipe and I promise not to alter it...too much anyways.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

If Not a Time Machine, an Alternate Energy Source?

I am tired. Exhausted to the core. And to top being exhausted I can't sleep through the night anymore. It's not that Sean wakes me up (which he does) but I can't seem to fall back asleep. I hate to complain, but I just miss the days of feeling rested, whenever that time was.

I have been taking all three kids out on my own a lot more recently and it wears me out as much or more than it wears them out. But it's fall and the leaves are amazing and I just have a desire to be outdoors as much as possible. We have been to Morris Orchard three times in the last five days and yet Bailey squeeled today at the goats like she did the first time she saw them, so I know the trip was worth it.

Our weekends are never restful. Ever. I can't find time to buy our families groceries yet alone read twenty pages of a good book or take a soak in the tub. If we aren't racing, we are training for races or attending festivals or corn mazes. And we want to do these things, at least I want to do these things. But I also want to feel like standing up from a sitting position and not just falling asleep when squatting to tie Bailey's shoes.

And while I'm unloading, I will express my newest concern. Before every race I get extremely nervous, I feel sick to my stomach and it doesn't end until the race begins and I'm on my way. Our next race, in twelve days or less, already has me nervous. I am worried my time will go in the opposite direction, that I'm not really good enough to be out running 5ks. I wonder if I will ever feel confident about my ability to run. Will I ever reach my ultimate goals? Do I even know what those are?

A few minutes ago I was rereading old posts from last year when I thought about taking up running and how I gave it up so quickly. I want to think that this time is different, that I'm already proving to myself that I can do this, but I worry that I will slack off. That the cold winter weather and lack of races will result in my motivation teetering and I will be led astray of my goals and aspirations. I want someone to tell me this won't happen but I know that I'm the one in control. I'm the one who has to make training a top priority.

I know I'm tired now, but if I could only run longer, harder and faster.

But first I need a decent nights' sleep. Here's hoping tonights the night.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Official Results

Todd : 24:15
Overall : 36th/439
Age group 0-99 Male : 30 out of 140 to finish
7:49 mile average
6th male in 30-39 to finish

Jordan : 29:48
Overall : 122/439
Age group 0-99 Female : 58 out of 299 to finish
9:37 mile average

Alexis : 29:48
Overall: 123/439
Age group 0-99 Female : 59/299
9:37 mile average

Erin : 32:41
Overall : 189/439
Age group 0-99 female : 105/299
10:33 mile average

Next race: 12 days Apple Valley 5k through Gross' Orchard in Bedford, VA. I hear it is a most scenic race.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

More Stuff About Run For Their Lives

Photos of the race far better than mine. I'm actually in the second to last one, off to the right in a black tank top. You can play where's Alexis and try to find me. Or not. Still looking for official race results.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Race Results

This morning I ran my second 5k. Todd, my sister, my brother's girlfriend and 800 other runners particpated in the first Annual Run For Their Lives 5k. It was a big event and I realize I like it better that way. It is more motivating I think, at least for me. Our race dues went to 'free' Thai women from sexual slavery which is about the best cause I have found yet for our races.

As in the previous races I had two goals set for myself. No walking and to complete the race in under 31 minutes. I did not walk at all and I even felt like I did better than just a jog the entire time. Also, with thanks to my wonderful and motivating husband who met me at the last few hundred meters, I made it in under 30 minutes. I think my time was 29:43 but the exact race results haven't been posted. Todd did the race in 24:16.

My brother's girlfriend beat me but she says I pushed her. I'm not sure whether she's being literal though because I literally ran into her across the finish line because my husband coaxed me into sprinting the last 100 meters and I ran right into about three people crossing the finish line. They didn't seem to notice. My sister also did awesome, completeing her first ever race in under 33 minutes.

The race was more flat than the other races we have done and our next race is a trail 5k in two weeks, I hope that my time doesn't go in the opposite direction but we shall see. The weather was supposed to be yucky today, as it has been at all three races this year. But the rain wasn't too heavy and was actually nice at times.

left to right; Jordan (brother's girlfriend), Todd, me and Erin (my sister)
Notice the writing on our arms? Those are the names of the women we were running for. Jordan doesn't seem to want to get too close to Todd.

Oh, maybe that's why.

Bailey really, really wanted to run. After the race she was running everywhere. Swinging her arms and everything. I thought it was adorbale, but hey I'm her mom.
Thanks to Ed who watched the kids for us while we ran and for taking pictures of us during and after the race. Unfortunately, the sight of me in a tank top is not really blog worthy. OK, maybe it is but not in a build my self esteem sort of way.

Be Back Soon

I'm going to run out and free some Thai Prostitutes this morning.

At least that's what is says here.

We'll let you know how we did. I'm shooting for under 31 minutes, and I'm running with my sister and someday sister-in-law to be (hopefully) so that should be motivating. I hope.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wanted: Time Machine

Lately I have been struggling with balance. I haven't fallen over the dog or tripped down the stairs, but I am finding I just don't have time for everything I want to do and I can't decide whether to just try harder, go faster or re-prioritize.

Since having Sean I have read no more than two books a month and I am in two book groups, so that doesn't leave me a lot or room. I take pictures but never seem to download them or open up my computer software to play with them. I am baking and cooking more but I am mopping my floor in sections just to get it clean. I want to run, but I want to have a nice hot bath afterwards, there just isn't time for it all. No matter how I plan my day there a tons of surprises and often things take longer than I ever thought they would.

I wish I had more hours in my day. I wish I didn't have to sleep. I wish I had a time machine. Or even better a time turner like Hermione Granger, an extra hour here or there is truly all I ask. I know that as a mom of three, especially three this little, that I should be happy that I get to do anything for myself, but I want to believe that I can do it all; that I can be a great mom and be good to myself.

I am spending time every day considering how to manage all my interests with my responsibilities. I will admit that I would rather do the things I enjoy (baking) over the things that have to get done (cleaning). The other night I decided I would bake my Zucchini Bread and while it was baking I would mop the floors. Then Sean had a bout of Colic or Gas or just all around fussiness and I ended up sitting on the bed with him until we both fell asleep. No bread for breakfast, no clean floors. But then he won't be this little for long and his smiles are far more enjoyable than clean rooms or fresh baked goods, so what's the problem?

The problem is, I still want to read a good book, try out a new recipe, run at the park, and capture the leaves turning. And I feel guilty whenever I choose these things and let the ring around my tub remain.

So I want to know, how do you do it all? What if anything do you sacrifice? What do you wish you had more time to do? If I find a time machine on e-bay, do you want to go 50-50?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

On Today's Agenda

Shortly after Sean was born my mother-in-law's significant other had a heart attack. Feeling ever so grateful for all the help and meals I had during my first few weeks postpartum I took this opportunity to start paying it forward. When I called my mother-in-law however, I was surprised at how much of his diet had been restricted. As she went over all the things he could no longer have or had to cut back on significantly I began to realize just how lacking our own diets have become.

Many of the things she told me I was aware of, I just hadn't taken into account when it came to meal preparation. The most startling to me however, was how much sodium I am eating when it comes to canned foods, especially broth. Being a vegetarian we use vegetable stock and broth, but there isn't a wide selection to be found, Walmart for example carries no vegetable broth. The vegetable broth in my pantry, bought at the local Kroger, has 890mg of sodium or 37% of your daily allowance in one cup of broth. I decided right there on the phone I was going to make my own broth.

After a little researching on the web, I found that you can pretty much put anything and everything in broth. Also, I found that the sodium is a fraction of that found in the can and you can even leave salt out completely if you dare and that it is also a fraction of the cost, especially if you save vegetable trimmings from other meals to use in future broths. Yesterday afternoon I did my first batch of broth, having really no idea what I was doing as there isn't really a recipe for broth that I could find. The house smelt wonderful as it was cooking.
It made about 7 plus cups of broth. I saved out 1 1/2 cups for our delicious mashed potatoes, put two cups in a freezer bag and froze the rest in ice cube trays which I later transferred to a big freezer bag.

The mashed potatoes were as good as always though I do think I will add more vegetables in the future to my broth as the flavor was there but not strong.

Later in the day I steamed and pureed carrots for a recipe from Jessica Seinfeld's 'Deceptively Delicious' cookbook. This morning I woke up early and made the Applesauce Muffins that called for applesauce and carrots along with other wholesome things like old fashioned Oats. They look very pretty, but they are less than yummy. Bailey ate one, Coop said no thanks. I myself found them to be fine, but nothing I look forward to making again because of all the preparation work involved. I am after my first recipe from her cookbook, not convinced about being deceptive with vegetables or about it being delicious.

Monday, October 12, 2009

First time for everything.

This weekend we ran our first 5k race. I had found it on a local running website and decided that two weeks between my first ever 4 miler and my first ever 5k sounded like a great plan, even though I doubt it really was. A 5k is roughly 3.1 miles, so I figured if I could do a 4 mile race I could do a 5k. We registered for the race even though our knees and calves were still sore from the 4 and 10 mile races.

This race was so different, and not in a great way. At the big race two weeks ago there were people from other states and countries. There were 1900 runners and 500 volunteers. There were friends and family out in record numbers to support their friends and family. My point, it was easy to get lost in the crowd. I liked that.

This weekend Todd and I were two of less than 80 people running the first annual Hundreds of Feet 5k in Bedford, Va in support of the Bedford Hospice House. It was obvious upon arrival that we were amongst real runners at this race. I was more than nervous as my competitive nature can be unrivaled at times, even when I don't have much in competitive ability.

I tried for the first few minutes to keep Todd's pace which was not a good idea. I just can't match his long strides and running too fast at the beginning of a race can make you expend too much energy too soon. As more and more runners past me by I began to get a little discouraged so I focused inwards to my own goals. I had two this time, no secret goals. To not walk at all and to finish in 36 minutes.

The course was through some 'winding Bedford neighborhoods with moderate rolling hills' which meant two big hills. It's hard to find flat ground around here on which to race. I did my best to keep a good pace but halfway through all I wanted was to walk. I finally succumbed and began to walk at a brisk pace at about the two mile point. This is when I took a moment to take in my surroundings. There were runners in front of my with a distance of about 50 yards and runners behind me at about 100 yards. I felt that it was pretty obvious that I was the last of the true runners. I decided that whether or not I finished in the time I had allotted myself, that I needed to run. So I picked up my feet and did the best I could. At the end though, all I wanted was to walk and as I passed the finish line I again felt dry heaves, but I had alas finished the race with only about 1 minute of walking. However, I was overall very pleased with my time. I finished my first 5k in 32:23. This will be my baseline on which I plan to improve for further 5ks, which there is another one Saturday after next.

Todd finished the race in 25:05, he came in third in his age division. He will tell you it wasn't hard with so few runners (about half were runners, half were walkers) but he really did very well.

The winner of the race, a 20 year old Jordan Whitlock who came in 21st at the 10 miler two weeks ago, finished the race in 17 minutes and then ran the course again just for fun.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Can you screw up pumpkin bread?


When I was pregnant with Sean I was large and hot (it was summer time there at the end) and I did very little cooking. Very little. We ate out quite often. But as soon as I had Sean I wanted to be in the kitchen cleaning and cooking. The cleaning thrill has left but I am still really into cooking, now that I can reach the sink and lean over to get pots out. Yesterday, I decided that I was going to do some cooking and baking while the kids napped.

I did a little recipe researching and then decided to make my own pumpkin bread recipe. With a little whole wheat flour, a little white. A little sugar, a little applesauce. A lot of pumpkin. A lot of spices. It made a lot of batter, enough for two loaves and 24 mini muffins. I topped one load with a struesel topping. I baked it all up and then indulged.

All afternoon.

I have decided that perhaps you just can't screw up pumpkin bread. I just love this time of year. Apple muffins, banana bread, pumpkin bread. There are just so many possibilities.

A few things I would like to know

How does one successfully peel a hard boiled egg? I have never been much for making Deviled Eggs because they look hideous. But as part of a healthier lifestyle I thought I would eat a hard boiled egg as a snack occasionally. I am finding that it is some sort of workout just to get them peeled. Am I cooking them wrong? Is there some sort of trick?

What does one usually use a Mortar and Pestle for? Does the average cook need one?

What size/type vehicle do the Duggars have? Do they just drive a school bus? Apparently if we have more children a suburban may not work for us according to the highly educated and well informed. I thought Suburbans were for big families with loads and loads of kids and cargo.

To be a morning person do you have to be born that way? Is there something I can do to make me a more likable morning person? I would really like to get up before the kids and get a few things done...

Should I skip the egg, grind my own coffee beans and make espressos at 5 a.m.?

Of course, then I will need to know how to make espresso...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I've got to admit it's getting better, a little better all the time.

Before I had Sean I had some extra weight I was carrying around that I really didn't need anymore that I was looking to get rid of. Just as I got serious about the idea though, I learned I was pregnant and pregnancy is no time to be trying to unload extra weight. So I happily packed on more weight where there was already plenty.

But as soon as Sean was born I was determined to lose the 35 lbs I had gained since having the twins, both pregnancy weight and cherry-coke-with-a-side-of-frozen-burrito weight. With six weeks of being very diligent I have at long last lost those 35 lbs. They must make me look quite a bit different because at every turn I have people asking me what am I doing to lose 'all that weigh'.

Well the first thing I am doing? Not drinking 1200 calories of Cherry Coke a day. Seriously folks, I am an addict and I was drinking more than half the calories a person should consume a day in sugary soda. I would love to tell you that I have given up soda completely...but I'm an addict. I have switched to diet soda and because it doesn't taste quite as good I am naturally drinking less soda overall.

Secondly, I am running. I am really, really, really, trying harder than ever before to be a runner. Yesterday I jogged and ran for 35 minutes without stopping. That is a personal record for me. I am slowly but surely overcoming the "I can't run" mentality. I don't run very fast, but one thing at a time please.

Thirdly, I am watching what I eat. I am trying to choose whole wheat bread over white bread. Low sodium over higher sodium. Sticking to portion sizes. I am eating BMLT's (Fake bacon, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato) at lunch, (yes, mayonnaise is bad but a girl has to have a little taste in her food) or a cheese sandwich. I am trying to choose healthy snacks like apples and hard boiled eggs over cheese sticks and cookies. But it's hard. Hard. Especially for me. I love food, good food, bad for you food. I think healthy food is often a waste of my time and that I would rather just not eat. But I have to consume enough calories to not harm my milk production and I need to set a good example for my three kids, especially in a world where our waistlines are increasing on average all the time. So I am trying to eat healthy just as hard as trying to become a runner.

However, it isn't easy and I feel as though what I am eating is consuming too many of my thoughts because it isn't natural for me to eat such health consciously. And sometimes, I will admit, I fall of the wagon so to speak. Last night, after a fairly healthy course of meals I had fried french fries. Yes, Erin, the Deep Fryer was not yet put away and we feel drawn to it like magnets on a fridge. And then afterwards, a Ghiradelli brownie which is the epitome of my sinful indulgences.

So I was feeling a little guilty this morning. I didn't even sit in for my weekly weigh in, I might not even be down 35 lbs anymore. That's why at 6 a.m. I emptied the deep fryer, soaked it, scrubbed it and put it away in the back of a cabinet. I should have put it with the Goodwill stuff but alas I'm not Jillian Michaels, I'm me and I like fried foods occasionally, so shoot me.

But I have to think I'm moving in the right direction. And when people ask me what I'm doing differently, I tell them 'everything'. It seems to be the only way.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Today by the numbers

Cups of coffee: 1

Miles run: 2.7

Photos taken: 0

New cars thinking about buying: 1

Cars thinking about selling: 2

Slices of tomato on sandwich at lunch: 4

Strollers that don't fit in Sequoia: 1

Loads of laundry folded: 4

Loads left: 4

Children napping: 3

I think it's pretty obvious what I need to do.

Take pictures of the laundry.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I get a little carried away and never come back sometimes.

I have come to realize, as you may or may not have, that I get very carried away with a thing or two and focus much of my energy on that thing or two. For example, this time last year, as you may remember, it was my photography. This year, it is running.

The thing is, that I still really want to explore my photographic abilities, it just got even harder when I got pregnant. Now I realize that is just an excuse and not even a very good one so I will have to prioritize better. I have to decide which things I really want to make time for in our busy lives and which things are just going to have to be passed up for the time being.

Once upon a time, for example, I was a bass player and I liked to write songs. Then I just stopped. Or at least it feels that way. Every now and again I would visit my old jazz bass and play around a bit, but I wasn't getting any better because I wasn't really devoting any of my time to it. Then I stopped visiting my bass completely, I packed it far into the corner of the junk room and then moved into the basement, where it may rest eternally.

I really don't want that to be the case with my photography. I just got sidetracked a bit. My computer with my photo software up and died on me a few months back and my artistic life hasn't been the same since. I must find time, scratch that, I must take time and find a place for that endeavor.

In other news, I called the company about the stroller, they didn't grovel at my feet or beg me to keep my massive stroller, but they did send me a new frame (which SHOULD be here tomorrow), this time a triplette frame, without yet receiving the duette frame back, in addition they are also sending me a postage paid tag for the item that needs to be returned. With my plan of running everywhere, I should find the time to take a few pictures, right?

A girl can at least hope.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Getting up is hard to do.

I successfully ran the 4 miler this past weekend and have a packet of race entry forms for upcoming races hanging on my refrigerator as I type but with the stroller mix-up and days growing shorter, I have already been slacking off. I did force myself to run last night for a half hour on the treadmill, but the treadmill has just never felt the same as running outside. I want to be able to see my progress and pace myself with the distance I am covering which just doesn't feel the same on a treadmill. I want to feel the breeze on my skin and the pavement under my cheap running shoes.

But alas, it has begun to get dark at a little after seven and one of us does have a job that keeps us away until after 5 most days. Soon the days will seem even shorter and the air a little too cool to take three small tots out into. But I must force myself to continue to train.

The days are short and our lives busy but that isn't the only thing standing in my way. I am an anti-runner by nature, I want to give up as soon as I am out of breathe or when my side begins to ache. These are the bigger things I am having to overcome. Everyone runner I have spoken with says that perseverance is key and that eventually I will be able to run long distances. I just have to want it bad enough. Fortunately, the high from completing the 4 miler is still pulsing through me and at the present I really do feel I want it bad enough.

The first 5k we are considering running is only next weekend and I haven't decided if I should get a few more weeks of training under my belt or just jump right in next weekend and see how well I do.

Of course we haven't figured out our babysitting situation for our upcoming races. My brother and his girlfriend were ever so kind to come out Saturday to the race and watch our three kids, but how often can I really ask them to follow us to different races and watch our children. On the plus side, a 5k should take less time, but I still feel it's asking a lot to have others watch our children. Also, I am extremely picky when it comes to who I will let watch our children. There are only a handful of family and even fewer friends who I feel comfortable enough with to have them care for our children.

But I can't let these little dilemmas stand in the way. I must keep focused on my goals. But getting up from the computer and putting on my workout gear (which includes an Under Armor bra I can't even put on by myself) can be just so hard to do.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Because I left this song on repeat for over an hour yesterday.

Mad as a hatter.

I am not really sure if that title works, but then I am not really sure how to convey just how mad I am.

You see I have three children under 20 months. That's a lot of rug rats any way you look at it, especially in this day, but it seems like more than three any time I attempt to leave the house. You see you have to make sure they are all properly full so you don't have to feed them while you're out and you have to give them cups, so they don't get thirsty. You have to change their diapers so you don't have to attempt the four of you going into the tiny handy cap stall at Target. You have to stock the diaper bag with snacks, because even with full bellies they'll want something, and have diapers, because with the cups they're sure to still need a change. Then if you're breastfeeding you may have to pump if you aren't comfortable about nursing in public. Then you have to put shoes on...everyone. By this point you'll be needing a nap, but you haven't even made it to the car yet. Getting all three into the car will involve something near acrobatics, but you will eventually manage and be on your way. But once you get to where you're going, you'll wonder how you alone will manage getting all three safely in and out of your target destination.

Eventually you will come to realize that a triple stroller is in order even though you really shouldn't spend that much money, but you will start to think about Andrea Yeats and Susan Smith and decide it really is just money and you would really like to keep your sanity. So with losing only a few hours sleep on the subject you will hit confirm order on the world's most expensive Italian stroller, hoping those wheels really do stay on.

Or at least that's what I did. But trying to be thrifty I bought it at a site offering 10% off, which was without giving the price of my purchase away, over $100 in savings. I should have known something was up when the confirmation page said something along the lines of we'll be in touch. When after four days I hadn't gotten a following email about shipping dates I emailed the company. They emailed me within 24 hours to let me know the item had been shipped. It was to arrive yesterday.

We live in the sticks and I waited all day anxiously for the UPS guy because I really wanted my stroller. Finally, at 6:45 p.m., the stroller arrived in two boxes. Todd commented that one of the boxes, the one with the stroller frame or chassis, wasn't long enough to be already put together. I argued that you didn't spend that much money to have to assemble your own stroller. We were both right. It wasn't long enough but it was already assembled. Upon removing the stroller and assembling the wheels we realized, all too late, that we had indeed received a 'duette' chassis, not a 'triplette' chassis. I was so disappointed and upset that I immediately went to call the company to find that there is not a single number on their website, you have to file all complaints via email. I cannot sufficiently raise hell in an email, without resorting to ALL CAPS.

I was so mad I felt almost sick to my stomach. Because my credit card has been charged, I have an opened stroller that I have to package back up, take to UPS (see above on how much fun this will certainly be) and wait for them to receive the item before I can get a refund (which their site says could take 2-3 weeks) before ordering a new one someplace else for more than $100 more.

And all this time I am thinking why didn't we take a child spacing class or something. We will ultimately be rewarded for having our children so close together right?


Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Little Engine that Could

Today I ran a red light in front of four police officers.

Fortunately for me, the road I was on was closed, I was on foot and the police officers were volunteering for the Virginia 4 and 10 miler races. That's right, I successfully accomplished my goal, I ran, walked and jogged the 4 miler earlier today. It was no easy task, Lynchburg's nickname is Seven Hills and I think I ran on every one of those hills this morning, but it was extremely invigorating and ultimately rewarding. Running amidst 1900 other runners was amazing. There is something about being involved in this sort of event that is even further motivating, just as I'd hoped.

I had set out two goals for myself for today's race. I am very happy to inform you that I accomplished both goals. The first was a tad bit silly, I will admit. I was very concerned about finishing last. I don't know why but coming in last was just not going to do for me. I ran three miles the other night in 36 minutes and decided that I wouldn't indeed finish last. So I set a new goal of completeing the four miles in under 50 minutes.

Where we have been training is relatively flat and the course, which included four of the most hilly miles in Lynchburg, was anything but flat. I figured this would slow me down as I don't take on hills very well and sure enough a mile and a half in a very intimidating hill slowed me to a walking pace. Of course, I only allowed myself the luxury of walking because so many other people were. You see, I am extremely competitive, even when I am not really as fit as everyone else. I didn't want to let other runners see me walking and this, I'm sure, helped me reach my second goal.

The last half mile though, what a trek it seemed. I really didn't know whether or not I would make it. Here's where I should tell you, I suppose, about my third 'secret' goal of doing the 4 miles in under 47 minutes. I hadn't told anyone but I had decided that 47 minutes or under was really where I wanted to come in at. So at the end of the race when I thought I wasn't going to come in under that time, and with the big time clock in view, I sprinted the last 300 feet, which resulted in my almost losing my breakfast. Luckily for the people taking the time chips and handing out finishing medals, I didn't eat any breakfast. Otherwise, it may not have been so pretty.

But I am happy to announce, that I did indeed reach all of my goals today. I came in at 45:45 for my first ever race. Sure a lot of people came in ahead of me and I ranked almost bottom for my age group, but I am ecstatic and ready to begin training for my first 5k in a few short weeks.

Todd also did well. He completed the 10 miler in 95 minutes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wish us luck.

Often times I have big dreams and aspirations but life gets in the way and days flash by into weeks and months and those plans are passed by. I know I have mentioned my interest in running before, but I haven't been motivated by enough to stick with it. When I got pregnant I gave up any exercise for the most part until I was ready to go into labor. A month before Sean was born we began walking 3-5 miles a few times a week at the Black Water Creek trail here in Lynchburg. I decided that after the baby was born, I really needed to take it up a notch.

Fortunately, I had a good easy delivery and my doctor gave me the green light to begin exercise whenever I felt up to it, which was at about two weeks. We've headed to Black Water Creek at least three times a week since then. Todd had decided to run Lynchburg's annual 10 miler race and wanted to get some training in, I had just had a baby and wanted to lose 35 lbs.

Now three weeks later and 31 lbs. lighter I have a secret to share with you. I have registered to run this weekend's 36th annual 4 miler race (the same day and time Todd runs the 10 miler). Why is it a secret? Well, to be honest, because I have no real faith in my self or my ability to do very well in the race. Why have I decided to come out? Because I realize I am a little nutty and I could use some added motivation for the race that begins in 19 hours exactly.

I don't think I will set any records, but I don't foresee myself finishing dead last either, but that really isn't the point to why I am racing. I have decided that the need to exercise for health and well being isn't enough to motivate me. I need something to be training towards, I need something competitive in nature to make me put on those two sports bras and get moving. I have decided, in addition to this weekends race, that I also want to run a 5k at the end of October, and possibly another one in November. I am hoping that signing up and paying the dues for these races will keep me motivated and goal oriented.

Small goals. That's currently my focus. Tomorrow for instance I want to finish the race. Sure I would love to do it in a timely fashion, but I did just have a baby five weeks ago, and have only been training for a few short weeks. I will worry with time goals later. Tiny baby steps.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's Been a Bad Day

OK, so I know it's only 11 a.m. but I already feel the world is against me on this fine second day of Fall. I am falling behind on sleep as I am failing to illustrate the benefits of sleeping at night with Sean as I probably let him sleep too much during the day so that I may survive life with our toddlers underfoot. It's a vicious cycle that I am don't know how to fix. So when I woke up at 6 a.m. this morning I wanted nothing more than to go back to sleep after feeding Sean. Only problem was I knew the kitchen was a mess because nowadays it's always a mess in the morning because I can't seem to stay up at night after the children are all finally asleep to clean it.

So my plan was to wake up, clean the kitchen and make homemade waffles (which I'd never done) for the family on my new Waffle maker, as my old one went kaput a week or so ago. Well, they were a lot of work, I mean who knew it could be so difficult to whip egg whites to stiff peaks and gently fold them into a not so fluid batter? I feel I should have taken home-ec, no? So all this work, flour on the flour, buttermilk in my hair, and a less than wow result. And the kids? They rewarded me by crying that the waffles weren't the frozen Strawberry variety.

The playroom is a mess. I let the kids play in their unaware of a box of crayons hidden on a top shelf. Apparently, they can reach the top shelf so now there is blue crayon on everything so the playroom is off limits until I can turn it right side up and confiscate any more crayons, chalk, etc. that I may have forgotten were in there. All I can say is thank you Crayola, your crayons are apparently delicious and fortunately, for me, also washable. So with the playroom off limits until after nap the kids were hanging out with me. I let them play with dirty laundry, am I just not the best mom ever? I went to the bathroom and in a few short minutes the dirty laundry became very boring and the DVDs irresistible. I came back in five minutes or less later and there was dirty laundry and DVDs strewn everywhere. I picked my toddlers up, toted them upstairs, changed their diapers (I am not completely awful) and put them down for a nap. At 10:30 a.m.

Just in case you start judging my every move I realize this is all my fault. I should never have allowed crayons to be left in the playroom. I should never let them play with laundry, clean or dirty. I should not have gone to the bathroom, that was just silly. I'm the one who needs a nap.

On a good note, they didn't resist or cry and I would have known because I forgot to close their door on my way out. So they needed a nap possibly as much as I feel I do. It's just that I'm having one of those days where try as I might to be the 'good' mom I come off feeling like the worst mom ever before noon.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Four weeks

Two days before Sean was born I was asked by another mother if I was ready for my cesarean, and I felt I was with one major exception, I wasn't sure if I was ready for the change in myself. I knew that overnight I would be going from who I'd been, a pregnant, mother of two, to a newer self' a no longer pregnant, mother of three and all that this new life would bring. It was far more difficult adjusting from being pregnant to being a new mother of twins just 20 months ago, I fell into a funk, not necessarily postpartum depression, but definitely a postpartum funk, and it lasted for quite sometime, about eleven weeks I believe. So I was, four short weeks ago, a little worried about my ability to cope with my new self and my new responsibilities.

I am happy to report that I am well. Sure, I wish I had more patience, spoke a little softer when Bailey shoves Cooper, and of course a third arm would be wonderful. But all in all, I am happy, I am well, I am adjusted. I have had a lot of help these past four weeks, help in many ways and I feel that with the departure of my sister-in-law yesterday, is for the most part gone. I am weary that the world that has emerged may start to shake now that I am all alone from 7-5, but in some form or another, we will survive, mostly (I hope) unscathed, as a happy and functioning family of 5.

It's good to not miss being pregnant, to not feel the level of exhaustion that accompanied newborn twins, to really know that this too will pass, so I'd better damn well enjoy those ten tiny precious fingers now before they are used to perhaps shove an older sister or smack an older brother. Being a second time around mom is like having already been to Disneyland and knowing which rides are worth going to first thing and which things should be skipped entirely. If only trips to Disneyland didn't seem to fly by so fast.

And like I've said before, as long as there is nap time, I know I will survive.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Baby Sean's first week.

I forgot that Blogger loads pictures backwards so these are in the opposite order in which they were taken. This is Sean as of yesterday afternoon.

Big brother Cooper and Big sister Bailey, who mostly think that Sean is pretty cool. First thing in the morning they want to know where exactly he is.
Bailey and Daddy with Sean.
First time holding Sean after he was cleaned up. Todd isn't in the picture because he is too nice to ask someone to take a picture of all three of us.
First photo.
This first week has gone so amazingly well, I couldn't have hoped for a better first week. Not having to recover from surgery has made the transition almost a breeze. There are times when three kids are all wanting something from me and other than breaking my heart a little, we survive. Mainly at meal times this is a problem. Sean is nursing well with one major exception. In order to get him to latch on I have to use a frustrating nipple shield, but don't worry the La Leche League understands that someone in my situation may have to, and their book says that some babies need them for weeks or several months. I am hoping that I can wean him from it sooner, but at least he's nuring exclusively and that means more to me than having to use the silly little device. He loves to sleep...during the day. However, I am getting about 5 hours of sleep a night and that seems to be sufficing for now.

We have been above and beyone fortunate in the amount of help we have recevied this past week. My brother, his girlfriend, my mother-in-law and countless friends have helped out by babysitting, cleaning, cooking and coming to just visit and entertain Bailey and Cooper. We have had every dinner prepared for us since Sunday and will continue to have meals brought for almost another week with a few days fit in for leftovers, thanks to the moms at Romp 'N Roll who decided that they would get together a group to feed us for two weeks. It has been awesome, awesome, awesome. They have made this week go by fast and guaranteed that my sanity remain, for the most part, completely in tact. In a few short days Todd's sister is coming for two weeks. My only fear is that we will become so used to her help, that after two weeks, we won't be willing to let her leave.

So all in all, life as a family of 5 has been pretty blissful.

Belly Shots

I meant to get these posted earlier but they were taken at 10p.m the night I went into labor, so you'll have to excuse their tardiness. These are less than 24 hours before Sean was born. Can't believe that was only a week ago.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Post Partum Fun

Today I should I put it. Maybe with a picture?

Yep, that about sums it up.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Introducing number three...

Thursday was our planned c-section. We were to arrive at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. and be in surgery by 7:30. Wednesday I had gone to my final appointment where my doctor checked me one more time because I had been having more episodes of rhythmic contractions and said that it would be at least my due date (Aug 27th) or later before this baby came and he was already big. She suggested we stick with the c-section and I agreed. Well, that afternoon and evening I began to have frequent painful contractions. At 1 am I awoke to very painful cramps and a backache accompanied by more rhythmic contractions. I began timing them at 1:57 and they were 3-4 minutes apart. Thinking it was just false labor, I tried to struggle through. By 3:30 however, I was exhausted and worried, thinking I would be going into a c-section without any sleep. Todd woke up and told me we should go to the hospital, but I being irrational, told him no, I was in false labor because my doctor told me it would be at least another week or two before my body would go into labor.

However, by 4:30 I couldn't breathe, walk or talk through any of the contractions, they were lasting over sixty seconds and coming almost one right after another. I couldn't take a bath or drink any water because of the c-section so I decided, having never gone into labor naturally, that maybe this was the real deal. We headed to the hospital. Several times on the way over I just clutched the car door handle and struggled throught the contractions, having to ask Todd to remind me what we'd just been saying a minute earlier when they passed.

We arrived at the hospital at 5 am and checked in. I told the lady at the registration desk I thought I might be in labor. She had a wonderful story that this had just happened to someone recently and they were able to VBAC. I told her that I was not overly optimistic that this would be my fate. However as soon as I arrived in the pre-op room my nurse asked me if I wanted her to 'check' me. I said sure, but again I was not very optimistic that I was in labor. Really, I must have been in denial. She checked me and checked my chart and told me that I had made a major change since my appointment the previous morning. She thought I should try for a VBAC. Following this she got excited, went and talked to the doctor on call and tried to call my doctor who was in route to do the c-section. She came back telling me that the doctor on call thought I should go for a VBAC and that she thought I should too. I told her I would wait and get the advice of my doctor. My doctor arrived at 7:15 and came in telling me that she would love the morning off and that I was getting what I wanted. I wasn't sure if I should be thrilled or hesitant. I agreed to be moved to a Labor and Delivery room, but I wouldn't let the idea of a c-section ultimately happening leave my mind.

My doctor broke my water to move things along and I got an epidural at 9:15. Unfortunately, it didn't feel right going in and though it worked at first it began to wear off immediately despite their giving me more and more. By 11:30 my back was hurting at the epidural site and I was honestly frightened that I had made a serious mistake in getting the epidural. It was at this point that my brother and his girlfriend brought by the children. I felt really bad when my own children were frightened to come near me. I finally convinced my nurse that I could easily move my legs and that my back was growing more and more painful. A second anesthiologist came in and a second epidural was administered. Within twenty minutes I was feeling NOTHING. I know some people aren't for epidurals, I will just say that the second one was lovely. At 1:15 p.m. I was checked again and only 6 cm. The nurse said it could be an hour or several hours, Todd was beginning to doubt my choice of opting for the VBAC. I was itching and given Benedryl that did little but make me drowsy.

I finally decided that laying flat with the epidural was doing very little to move labor along and asked if I could be moved to as upright a position as possible at 2 p.m. The nurse said that was fine. Within minutes my contractions were becoming more intense so that I could just barely feel them. At 3 my nurse came in and told me they were switching nurses. She said she wished she could have helped deliver the baby, I told her I wish she had too. She told me that she was confident that I would successfully VBAC and wished us luck. Our new nurse happened to be the very same nurse that was there when Cooper was born. She went about checking my vitals and I told her that I was feeling a lot of pressure, knowing that I'd read about this type of pressure before and that it often means you're fully dialated. She asked me if I wanted to be checked even though I wasn't due to be checked for a little while longer. She looked at me and said 'you're complete'. At this point two things happened. Our nurse set about getting the proper tables and tools set up and my mother-in-law showed up. I told her it was great timing, now leave. OK, it went something like that, I was however on drugs. At 3:40 the pushing began. I won't go into all the gorey details but 25 minutes later, at 4:05, Sean was born, weighing 8 LBS 12 OZ. They had warned me he was going to be big, but he turned out to be bigger than even the doctors and nurses had guessed. He was only 20 and a half inches long.

I had a wonderful doctor, not my own doctor, but from what I've been told, the best in the practice and a wonderful set of nurses who allowed me to keep Sean in my room so that I could nurse him. He didn't leave my side at all and was given his eye treatment and Vitamin K shot in my arms and his first bath with us close by. It meant alot that he never had to leave me and Todd wheeled him to our room in Mother Baby.

The experience thus far has been so completely different that before I cannot even begin to explain all the differences. I cannot say much about Bailey and Cooper's deliveries except that they were far worse than that which I had imagined. Sean's delivery however, came as another surprise, but this time the surprise was in our favor. I have been able to move around since one hour after delivery with thanks to my nurse and my mother-in-law and my persistence to get up as soon as possible. I have taken nothing more than a motrin. I can do stairs and sleep on my side. I had to have a c-section and almost had to have another and I will never make any judgement on those who have to have a c-section, but I am so truly thankful that Sean's labor began in the middle of the night. I'm ready for our fourth any time, maybe we'll even have a fifth.

Things have gone easier this time around even though now there are three, and we haven't had a night at home, but I feel more rested and content going into these first few postpartem weeks. Nursing hasn't been perfect, but I am optimistic that it will be successful and I know that even if it isn't that we have good, sound options to offer Sean.

Sean sleeps nonstop and I am always trying to wake him to feed him, often times unsuccessfully. Bailey and Cooper seem excited about the baby but seem to be harboring a grudge at our absence even if the lady in charge gave them unlimited juice, doubtfully watered down.

The only thing were not sure about is the child's name. He is currently Sean August Orion. August is my paternal grandfather's middle name. Cooper's middle name is also a grandfather's name. However, everyone seems to think that August is because of the month. I am not sure that I want to explain this for the rest of our lives. We are contemplating a name change already, but I don't know how easily that will be. I want to change it to Sean Michael Scott but my husband is resistent, something about some television character with the same name.

I will try and post a picture here in the next day or so.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

8 Years

Happy Anniversary Todd.

I love you, too.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Any minute now.

Yesterday was my final ultrasound. When the baby is as big as this baby, there really isn't much to make out because things like his face are hidden and his profile is too large to be depicted on the ultrasound screen. But is was still nice to see his beating heart and to have it confirmed, yet once more, that he is definitely a he. According to the ultrasound, which the tech said could be off as much as a half pound either way, puts him at 7 lbs 15 oz. My doctor said that is smaller than she thought he was but that I have more amniotic fluid than normal and that may be why I am measuring as big as I am. Almost 8 lbs sounds HUGE to me, Bailey and Cooper were both 6 lbs 6 oz. The fact that they weighed almost 13 lbs together doesn't really make me feel any better about this ONE being almost 8 lbs. Everything looked good, his heartbeat seemed low to me but the tech said they only worry if there heartbeats go under 100, apparently 118-120 isn't too low.

The baby has dropped but that's about it for news reporting on going into labor and now I literally feel as though I have to go to the bathroom every ten minutes no matter how much or little I drink. I know that with a second baby the labor can go faster but I just don't really feel labor approaching any time soon. I have been blessed with Braxton Hicks contractions for months now and have only experienced, if anything, more intense ones lately. Not anything to get excited about.

I have, however, entered the cannot sleep stage. I consider myself very fortunate. With Bailey and Cooper I entered this stage at about 24 weeks. It was a long and difficult 3 rd trimester. If sleep deprivation doesn't show up until 38 weeks can you really complain about it? I figure, probably not. I did take advantage of nap time this afternoon which was nice, but almost assures that I will be up all night tonight. Can you take Tylenol PM when you are pregnant? Due to the lack of sleep I am reading a book every other day. This week, since Snow Flower and the Secret Fan I have read The Bean Trees, Speak and am due to finish Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets when sleep doesn't come tonight. I find this to be a great consolation that I can read this much now, when the new baby comes I won't be able to sleep well or read much for at least a few weeks.

I have two friends, whom I've only gotten to know this year, who are being quite wonderful about the new baby's arrival. They have offered to watch Bailey and Cooper if I go into labor and are willing and wanting to bring dinner to this vegetarian's home at least three times after we have the baby and have even offered to pick the twins up and take them to Romp and Roll for classes. Even if they don't do any of it their sentiments are very moving to me. I have a few other friends who have offered to help as well. The only problem is I cannot seem to ask for help. Even when I know I need it and really really want it. I keep thinking I need to get over this little idiotic hump of mine, that people wouldn't offer if they didn't want to help, but I just have a hard time accepting help and reaching out for more of it when I need it.

Several people have asked lately if I'm ready for this baby. This question seems harder for me to answer than explaining the quadratic equation. I mean it's so complicated and I think the easiest answer and possibly most accurate, is I really don't know. On the one hand I am ready to meet this little guy and have my stomach back, or at least one that barely resembles mine, so that I can reach down for the children and have them sit in my lap again. I'm ready to move forward as a family of 5. On the other hand, the concept of no longer being pregnant is actually a little depressing to me. I was overwhelmed with this feeling last time at least, which I didn't expect. I am hoping it doesn't hit me too hard this time, but babies are so much easier to care for in the womb.

Also, I cannot begin to explain how I feel like I am taking something away from Bailey and Cooper by having a new baby when they are only 19 months old, instead of the thought of giving them a new brother, I worry about their jealousies and their complicated minds taking in the new situation. I worry, I worry, I worry. Just another one of my beautiful character flaws.

So for now, I sit and wonder and worry and wait. It's driving me a little batty, I could use a little distraction. My mother-in-law is bringing dinner, I am sure she will do the trick and for this I will be grateful.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Goodbye John Hughes

Earlier in the weekend I began working on a John Hughes post, then the phone rang or the dogs barked, or something, and that post got abandoned but I couldn't let Hughes death go by completely unacknowledged on my blog. So from one of his best...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Full Term

I am officially full term whether you go with our original due date of the 20th or our second due date of the 27th. I haven't taken pictures of the belly since 20 weeks because I have been lazy and uninspired, but I really do plan on attempting some full term shots within the next few days. We didn't go for a walk yesterday because it is August here and every evening we seem to have severe thunderstorms that keep us indoors. So needless to say, here I am, still pregnant. Fortunately, I am not all that miserable.

This morning Bailey woke up with an awful fever. I have never had either of our children feel so hot to the touch. She just cried and cried, unless of course I put her down for a moment, then she screamed. I gave her Motrin and called Romp and Roll to cancel our morning class. She finally perked up, ate more breakfast than she has in a while and is gleaming as I let her walk around the house with her blanket. I'm just glad she's OK.

The spider from a day ago, he didn't go away. He just climbed into a jet in the tub and I got out and drained the water. Last night I got into the tub to begin reading Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees, when what do I see out of the corner of my eye? The SAME spider. This time I got out and he again ended up in the water. I am mean and with child so I didn't let the inch or so of water out of the tub. This morning he was still in there floating. Did I technically kill him? Or did he drown of his own accord? I mean I didn't put him in the water, I just left the water in the tub. Either way I am hoping to have a nice calm and refreshing bath this evening.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

While I should be cleaning, I will tell you...

Bailey and Cooper are 19 months old today, oh where does the time go? They are becoming more and more independent, which is good for our upcoming arrival but sad to see just how quickly they grow.

Yesterday, we did two miles because we ran out of time to do anymore. I felt a lot better than the day before and only had three contractions the whole time. Then we went to our favorite Thai restaurant (OK, the ONLY Thai restaurant in our little city) and I ordered HOT Pineapple Rice. It was possibly the hottest thing I have ever eaten. I usually ask for mild or medium. It was delicious.

Yesterday, Todd called and asked if I was packing a bag. Surprised that he was aware of my actions, I answered yes and began searching the premises for a hidden camera. He told me I should be because it was 'lightning' outside. He had apparently misunderstood when I told him about 'lightening'.

I cleaned out my closet yesterday. I have done this three times since I got pregnant. I realize more and more how much I hate all of my clothes and I have realized, from wearing maternity clothes for six months, just how little clothes one can get by on. I have two more bags of clothes and a bag of flip flops. My closet still seems overfull.

Last night I tried to take a bath at 11:30. Then I looked up when there was about three inches of water in the tub and right beside my naked body was a lovely wolf spider. I tried to coax him away from the tub, because I can't kill him (remember that old superstition I told you about, the one my mom shared about killing spiders and killing people you love?). So what did he do? Jumped into the tub with me. I kept cool, no screaming. But tub time was over.

I woke, I think 5 times to go the bathroom, probably from all the water that followed the hot Thai food. I took another bath, this one spider free at 4 a.m. My love of being pregnant is dwindling.

I am really enjoying Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I never really knew anything about foot binding. It seems far worse than I could ever imagined.
I'm having a hard time seeing how this was ever seen as beautiful.

Todd finally finished the driveway expansion and made enough room for our cars to fit. Even with the expansion I am having to get used to parking the Sequoia, I have only pulled in perfectly one time. However, loading the kids up feels a lot less stressful because they just walk around the garage and don't disappear among all the cars and trailers in the driveway, driving me crazy with worry, like they did before.

Tonight there is a full moon. Apparently, some people find/believe that full moons result in a spike in births. I don't know if it does make a difference. However, I am thinking three miles might be a goal for tonight. Of course, I know that if I go into labor I will only regret this decision. I will spend the next three weeks wishing I had just left well enough alone. But I'm stubborn and ever hopeful for a VBAC.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Homestretch

The children are finally napping so I thought, what the heck, I will give a shot at blogging. This inevitably means that my phone will now begin to ring, the dogs will bark at the UPS man and the children will be up and ready for me to make them something yummy, healthy and fulfilling for lunch and this post, like so many before it, will be forever abandoned.

Since I fear I don't have much time to chat with you, I will update on the imporatant things in life first.

So I didn't give anymore time to last month's book group selection and I went there hoping not to offend anyone with my opinions about the 80 pages I had read. Turns out, every other person also found it shallow and boring and only two people actually finished. Turns out my copy was an 'uncorrected proof' and everyone else had official copies, so no one else was quite so annoyed with typos. We have gone ahead and selected the next four months book selections and things are looking much better. This month's selection, Lisa See's Snow Flower and The Secret Fan, started off slowly but is really beginning to pick up. Then we will read a book I've been meaning to read (A Thousand Splendid Suns) and an old favorite of mine (The Things They Carried). The fourth selection is a book I've never even heard of, but after last months selection I am ready for just about anything. I have decided however, that historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, and chic lit is one of my least favorites.

What else? Well, there is that constant popping in my ears that is somewhat like the change in pressure you feel on an airplane, except that is happens several times a day for no reason. I am beginning to go crazy, as it is a most annoying infliction. If it hasn't resolved itself after the baby arrives I may need to see an ENT doctor. Holding my nose and blowing, chewing and swallowing, drops, none of these things have made any real difference and I can see no real pattern as to why this is happening. Just another thing to slowly drive me insane.

I am one day short of full term and the doctor continues to tell me that the baby is big. Really, really big. I have been scheduled for a c-section but ever since I was scheduled I have been regretting it. I have shared my thoughts and feelings with my doctor, who is very good and came highly recommended by an old friend of mine. She checked me at 35 weeks and I was only a cm dilated, but the baby is head down and she said I have plenty of 'pelvic room' which I think I understand her meaning. She just continues to worry that the baby is too big. How can the baby be that big, I wonder, I have only gained 10 lbs. Next week I am scheduled for a final ultrasound to determine, a little more accurately, but still not definite, how big the baby is currently (I will be 38 weeks). I am still holding on to my dreams of a VBAC, mainly because I am stubborn, stubborn, stubborn. And if I have a c-section this time it's a c-section from here on out. I have started walking as of yesterday to try and bring on labor naturally. We walked for 2 and a half miles. It took us about 45 minutes and I had contractions every 4-5 minutes. Painful and wave like. We loaded up the car to leave and within minutes the contractions were gone. But I'm stubborn, so we're going back tonight for more.

I have also not packed a bag, because I am crazy and I am hoping that will help me in my dreams of going into labor on my own. You know, if I'm not ready, surely he'll come early. This will almost definitely backfire on me as I've put too much thought into it already. My doctor is on vacation this week and my entire family (and everyone whom I would ask to watch Bailey and Cooper) are on vacation next week. I think there could be a chance I will go into labor on, say, Sunday, when everyone is gone.

I have one more story to tell you, but as I predicted, the phone rang and now someone is upstairs stirring around, so it will have to wait until later.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sometimes the ratings on Goodreads are just not that accurate.

I feel awful, just terrible, really downright pathetic. Why? Because for the first time since the induction of our book group in October I have failed to read the current month's selection before the bookgroup meeting.

Now I could tell you it's because I'm so big and pregnant, but that would be a lie. Because being so big and pregnant allows me to read more often because I can't do other stuff I normally would be doing. I could tell you it's because I've been too busy, but that too, I'm afraid would be a lie. I have actually read a book and a half this weekend (The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Sorcerer's Stone).

I haven't read this month's book because I just couldn't. I mean I tried to, I really did. I spent over a week on it and only got 75 pages in, that to me is not a good sign. Even most books I find laborous go faster than that for me. But everything about the book was irritating me, I just had to stop. First off I had an uncorrected proof purchased from a seller on Amazon, and it was full of errors, which for some reason I find really annoying even though this post alone is probably full of grammatical errors and bad spelling.

So now in a few short hours I have to go to book group and tell a group of other women that not only could I not finish a book (the first time for me at book group), I have to tell someone who loves this book and has read it twice, why I didn't read this book.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I MUST be nesting

I never had the nesting instinct with Bailey and Cooper. I was perfectly content to be as lazy as possible for 39 weeks. I actually let so many things fall into demise that it was pretty shameful. This morning I have been cleaning (for three hours now) a room that hasn't been cleaned in 2.5 years or before I became pregnant with the twins. No, it isn't the bathroom, that's just gross. It's the office actually. Maybe I will actually get some work done in there now. I guess this is what they mean by nesting?