Monday, November 5, 2012

October exercise wrap-up

October has come and gone...  I haven't really progressed that much with my running since September. I managed 8 runs (19.2 miles) but only 4 cross training sessions. It was an unusual month though--we had a trip to LI, I had my annual Girls Weekend away, Vader turned 40, Halloween. AND they finally started construction on our new attic room. There have been a couple of days when I had running on the schedule but the electric guy was coming in and out of the house and I didn't want to be on the treadmill with a guy coming in and out of the house--not to mention I didn't know if he would need to turn off power and the last thing I need on the treadmill is for the power to go out! I had one failed attempt at intervals with Lightrunner in the bouncy seat (mistake) and had to stop for A) projectile spit up B) to bring him upstairs for a nap and C) the beverage bar on the treadmill popped off and flew at me. But despite all this I did manage those 19.2 miles. I'm getting there. Slowly. I ran 4.5 miles yesterday--longest so far-- and it was so slow, painfully slow--that I really started to question whether or not I will ever get to where I was before I stopped running.

  I bought the Thin in 10 Book and DVD mid October and the cross training sessions I've done have been from there. I love the idea of doing things 10 minutes at a time. The book has plans for complete beginners as well as more advanced exercisers. I've been following the novice plans--even though I've been running for a while--because sometimes it's hard to even find 10 minutes! I've tweaked it a bit though to accommodate my running instead of doing the 10 minute walking everything is based on. In a few weeks I'll probably move to the intermediate plan. For the first time ever I'm excited about doing something other than running. I heartily recommend it to busy moms. My BFF just bought a copy too. (No, this isn't sponsored. I bought my own copy & truly enjoy it.)

I'm hoping that November is a bit calmer than the last two months, even with Thanksgiving, and I can really focus on getting back to where I once was.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

B-Leve Giveaway winner

Thanks to random.org, Barb is the lucky winner of the B-Leve coupons! I hope you enjoy it!

If you're still interested in winning coupons, hop on over to The Happy Runner who is doing her own giveaway. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Grooves

If it weren't for the lack of pooping, Lightrunner would be the easiest baby I have ever had. He caught on to the Eat, Play, Sleep routine really quickly. He sleeps in his crib (or cosleeper at night). When he has good days I can predict when he will need to sleep pretty easily and I usually have to wake him up to feed him. Yes, I wake him up (during the day).

When he doesn't poop, which is often, the whole thing can get out of whack. 2 hour naps become 45 minutes. He cries. He's gassy and cranky. I gave him brown sugar water a couple of times and it worked but it seems to have stopped. Today is day 4 of no poop, after 2 days of brown sugar water. BUT he is happily sleeping in his crib. I will have to go wake him up in 10 minutes or so. He doesn't seem to be quite as bothered as he used to be. The only change is that I'm cutting down on my dairy. I seem to be able to have milk in my tea and cereal in the morning. But a big glass of milk--or two--before bedtime will result in a night of gassiness. I bought American cheese from Organic Valley and it's SO GOOD and I've had that at lunch time and a few times the following nap was less than stellar... I'm still trying to figure out what our limits are... can I have ice cream before bed? Yogurt seemed okay.  Is it just whole milk? It's possible that all those times he was crying and I thought it was not pooping it was actually just dairy-related gas. He's not constipated--breastfed babies are rarely constipated and the signs are more about what's coming out than how often it comes out. So for now I need to forget about big glasses of milk, double up on my Vitamin D, and hope he gets over this soon!

Other than this little hiccup, everything is going swimmingly. The big kids have adjusted to school (well, I shouldn't say swimmingly, homework with SkyWalker is still a battle. He does his math work without hesitation, but he has to write a paragraph a week and it's THE WORST THING EVER.). The Princess is doing well in kindergarten and it feels like she's been in school forever. Chewie is doing GREAT in preschool. It's just what she needed. She's happy to go and listens well and enjoys it. She loves gymnastics and is often one of the best listeners in the class. When we go out she stays in the stroller with Lightrunner and is helpful and listens. It's insane. But once the big kids are home, she once again becomes the little kid and the screaming/crying starts. If she's going to misbehave at any point during the day it is most likely when they are home. Which gets really annoying. Our mornings together are quite nice though... I can run on the treadmill and shower and she entertains herself with Reading Rainbow on the iPad or her toys. She behaves. Doesn't whine or cry for me. It makes things a lot easier to get done.

We're all fitting into our grooves.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Adding miles

September is usually a busy month for us. We have back to school crazies, SkyWalker's birthday, and this year we have TWO soccer players in the house. Busy. Busy. Busy.

But I managed to run 16.9 miles in September. At one time I would not be proud of that... but I'm coming back from virtually no running during pregnancy and I have 4 children and their schedules to work around. I *could* run while Chewie is in preschool and Lightrunner sleeps, but I don't want to. I've been going to the library and reading (which is as lovely as it sounds) or to Target to get stuff without big kids around.

I'm still not where I want to be, but I ran 9 days in September (not including a failed attempt during Lightrunner's fussiest non-pooping period). For the first time ever I also did 6 days of cross training! Yoga and pilates and core work and all sorts of stuff. I took time off right after school started and then again during a week that Lightrunner was up at night A LOT and really fussy. Normally I don't give a crap about cross training, but I've got a wee bit of tightening to do and I'm determined to be a better runner now than I was before I got pregnant. I don't really *like* other exercise, but I've been doing the 10 minute workouts and I can tolerate those. I found something called Thin in 10 on the On Demand exercise channel which naturally was gone a week later. But I managed to locate a YouTube channel from the same person & I've pre-ordered the DVD with the workouts on it. Hopefully I can strengthen my core, make my pants fit better, and be ready to run a half marathon a year from now. I was toying with the spring, but I'd rather be completely done nursing. It's tough to go run for 2 hours if you're breastfeeding every 3 (not impossible, I know plenty who have done it, but I also know what works for me and my babies.)

I ran my longest post-baby distance yesterday. It was slow--as long runs should be--and rather than remember that my long run before I was pregnant was 9 miles, I just focused on the fact that I was running and not walking. I managed 3.3 miles and probably could have done more had I not known I needed to feed a baby soon (and when I walked in the house I was greeted with the sounds of baby crying). I looked at my garmin at the 5k point and it was roughly 36 minutes, which is roughly what I ran while training for my very first race. I think I'll get up to speed, pun intended, much quicker this time. When I was first starting out running I had no idea what I could do. Now I do.

(Check out my shampoo giveaway here! There's still time to enter! Spread the word!)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

b•leve shampoo giveaway

I've showered every day this week. Which is not unusual for most humans, but for this busy mama of 4.... well... let's just say if the choice is between eating or showering, I tend to eat. But not this week. Why? I was asked to review the  b•leve shampoo and conditioner and body wash. Price Chopper kindly sent me coupons to purchase the products for free but did not otherwise compensate me for this review.

I figured it would be best to use the products for a week before writing my review. My hair is pretty picky (no surprise) and if I don't use the right shampoo/conditioner it gets really hard to comb or oily or just generally icky. I can't use all-in-one products without losing a ton of hair combing through the knots. After a week of using the b•hydrated shampoo and conditioner, I can give it a thumbs up. My hair feels hydrated! It looks healthier and has been easy to comb. If I wash my hair at night it's still in good condition in the morning.

The b•refreshed body wash has been working well too. My skin doesn't feel quite as dry as it normally does. With a 2 month old baby in the house I do A LOT of hand washing and combining that with chilly temps usually means my hands are like sand paper. In fact just a few weeks ago they were heading that way. But today they are softer and all I've done is use the body wash to wash the rest of my body (sometimes I use washcloths or those big poofy sponge-type things but most of the time I just use my hands to lather up my legs & arms).

I've been pleased with the performance of these products and the best part is that they are safer than the rest of my shower supplies. They are made from natural ingredients, paraben free, and hypo-allergenic. Lucky for you Price Chopper was kind enough to send me an extra set of coupons--for free products--that I can give away! They can only be used in Price Chopper.

To enter:

Leave me a comment telling me you would like the coupons.

For additional entries (leave a separate comment for each):

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Running partners

I usually run alone. I've run with groups and friends in the past, but I don't live in a central location so it doesn't happen often. Yesterday I had two very special running partners to begin my 3rd week of my back to running plan.

Ignore my post-pregnant fat butt.
Focus on the cuteness of the running kids.
The Princess is wearing a wicking tee from Target.
We are both wearing matching Wonder Woman bondi bands. We were adorable.


SkyWalker and the Princess finally got a chance to run with me. They have asked for a long time to run  on the road. I've run with them in the driveway and the yard and have taken them to a local track where they did a little play-running. But they always want to go on the road. My road is not child-friendly and there's no way I was going to do that. So we all drove to the local state park, Vader put Lightrunner in the stroller and hoped he stayed asleep and walked with an upset Chewie who really wanted to run with the big kids. And probably would have lasted longer. I took SkyWalker and the Princess with me. We ran from the playground on the long road that enters the park. It's nice and flat and straight. Easy to see, not very busy, and very wide. People often bike and run and there isn't a lot of traffic.

The plan was to do 90 seconds of running followed by 30 seconds walking and repeat that 15 times. SkyWalker started out complaining that we were going too slow and I explained that we weren't going for speed, but to build up endurance and if he went too fast he'd burn out too quickly. 3 minutes later he was starting to lag behind. They made it half way without too many problems, although SkyWalker took more and more walk breaks, but once we turned around even the Princess couldn't do it. They are full of such bravado but they couldn't keep up. And I was running SLOW. The Princess did her best, she really gave it her all, and then said that it was too much for her and she needed to walk more. I stopped the timer and we all walked. I told them it was okay to walk in the middle but when we saw the playground we had to finish strong. SkyWalker didn't even want to walk. He wanted to lay down in the road and wait for someone to pick him up. But the Princess kept going. We started running again when we saw the playground, SkyWalker started when he saw his Daddy, and the Princess & I held our hands high like we were finishing a big race. Chewie came running towards us and ran us in the last 30 seconds or so. And then I had to run some more to finish out my plan.

It was definitely a lesson. I thought their youth and energy would make it through, especially with the walking breaks, but it was too much too soon. We'll go out again and I'll make sure I do my run on my own first and just run slower and less with them. The Princess definitely wants to do it again... SkyWalker is not so sure. I had really wanted to go with the Princess to show her that girls can be athletic and do things too. And to keep her from getting her period when she turns 6. But I think SkyWalker really needs to do it too... he needs to learn discipline (as in keeping going when you don't want to) and build up his endurance. I don't care if he plays sports in school, but I want him to be physically fit. I don't want him to wait until he's in his 30s for one of his friends to start a running group before he takes it seriously.

Monday, September 3, 2012

It's that Kate & Allie episode all over again

You know what I'm talking about. It happens every year the week before school starts.

Remember Kate & Allie?

Photo by CBS/Getty Images


Kate & Allie's daughters were getting ready to go off to college and Kate & Allie were getting ready to not live together anymore because that goofy guy was moving in. They were so sad at the idea of all this change and not seeing each other every day that they got angry and fought with each other. They didn't know why they were fighting until the end of the episode, of course, but it was to prepare themselves, to make it easier to separate. It's easier to leave someone when you're fighting and not happy.

We do this the week before school starts. Every year since we've had to worry about school starting. It's  so predictable and yet unavoidable for us. We truly like being home together. We love the summer. So when school comes knocking we're sad, even though it's needed, and we fight and yell and argue and I start to think I can't wait for school to start, even though I know what I really mean is, I wish school was starting yet.

This summer is no exception. It went by SO FAST. The first half I was moody and uncomfortable and afraid of premature labor and then afraid of no labor. And then Lightrunner came and Vader was home for 3 glorious weeks. We did so much as a family, so many things we hadn't done before, visited places and had fun. We've been trying to do as many playdates as possible with friends we hadn't seen in a long time. Trying to fill every moment. Nana came for a visit. Cousins came up for a visit. It was the perfect summer. But there's still so much we didn't get to do! We didn't get to go to LI, so we didn't get to go to the beach. There were other friends we didn't get to see as much.

And now. It's over. Tomorrow I bring Chewie to preschool. Vader will stay home with the others since he needs to go with the Princess on the bus later in the day for her bus safety day. SkyWalker starts 3rd grade on Wednesday. The Princess starts kindergarten on Thursday. Lightrunner and I will be alone for 5 hours a week... I am looking forward to that time and am truly grateful I have him to share it with... but I will miss my big kids. Even as I get annoyed every time SkyWalker has to come and try to snuggle with Lightrunner--as I'm breastfeeding him. I get annoyed with the bickering and the messes and a million things. Yet, I will miss them. The silence will be nice, but there will be a void.

Today we go to the local state park where I will take the big kids (SkyWalker and the Princess) running with me while Chewie and Lightrunner stay with Vader on the playground. Then we all play and have snacks and have one last day of summer fun before we are consumed with school schedules and responsibilities. And wait to do it all over again next year.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

It's getting hot in here

A little over a week ago the jedi and I were sitting and eating lunch when SkyWalker asked if I "heard that noise." It's hard to hear anything with little girls talking about anything and everything so no, I had not. I didn't know what he was talking about until I got up and took my dishes to the sink. Then I heard a faint, rhythmic buzzing sound. At first I thought we were in for another yellow jacket invasion, but it wasn't constant. I thought maybe it was the fridge or our water filters. Then when I went outside to check on the garden I heard it a lot louder and figured out it was coming from one of these:

Not mine. 
I went over to investigate and it was buzzing but not doing anything else--no fan spinning. I did what I always do and checked the internets (and my brother) and determined it could be a faulty capacitor. 

Capacitor

Vader opened it up so we could get a better idea of what was going on. We weren't entirely sure it was the capacitor so he stuck a big stick in to manually turn the fan blades and sure enough they started like they were supposed to. We got the info we needed off the old capacitor so we could order a new one. Which I did--only I ordered the wrong one. There were two uF numbers and I put the wrong one in. Oh well. It was $5. So we had to order another one and wait a couple more days. It came yesterday morning and Vader managed to get it in after he was done mowing the lawn and I am very happy top say that we have working air conditioning again. All for roughly $30. 

So far, we have fixed the air, the fridge, & the garage door opener because of my google kung-fu. I'm keeping a tab of the money I've saved us. iPhone here I come.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I feel good (so good)

Lightrunner and I went to his 4 week/1 month checkup last week. He had gained 2 pounds in the previous two weeks, which was awesome, and everyone was happy with his progress. He's really strong and moves his head a lot & the doc thinks he'll be on the go sooner rather than later. Greaaaattt.

While we were there a curious thing happened. The resident we saw first asked how I was doing and made sure to stress how I needed to take care of myself & that it was okay to let a baby cry & a bunch of crap I already know. And then my doc came in and asked how I was doing. In the same way that I've noticed other people ask how I'm doing. With an almost apprehensive look on their faces. Like gearing up to hear the worst.

The truth is, I feel bad. Bad that I'm going to disappoint them.

Because I feel GOOD. I'm not laying around in my pajamas all day whining about how hard it is with 4 kids. I'm HAPPY I have 4 kids. I'm happy we are where we want to be. Am I tired? Yes. Who gives a crap? I was more tired pregnant. I have more energy now. I'm up before the kids, between 5 & 6 in the morning. My house is relatively clean. We go to playgrounds & have fun and their good behavior jars are getting full of beads. Sure, there are days when one or all drive me crazy, but it's a crazy I chose and a crazy I love. They all love each other and play with each other and it's everything I want it to be.

And now that I'm not pregnant I like my husband again! It's a lovely thing. We've been so happy and content the past month. When I see Vader holding Lightrunner... It's just the best thing ever. We celebrated our 10 year anniversary last week and we really celebrated it. Our family is whole and complete and it's brought a sense of peace and joy to us. Not that we weren't happy with each other before. But we tend to get bogged down in the little details of raising a family. And in the last month I think we--I--have really focused on the bigger picture. We have the family we want! Two boys, two girls, and lots of love.

So don't be afraid you'll hear about sleepless nights or how overwhelming 4 kids are (it's not)... Just prepare yourself for the gushing. We have love, family and friends. Now if we can have working air conditioning we'll be all set.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

From scratch smoothie--Wha Wha What?

The only smoothies I've ever made have been with my 5 year old daughter following a recipe from her Mommy & Me cookbook. I've never really been a smoothie person, nor much of a cook. When I do make things I need to follow directions and very rarely step outside them.

Until Monday.

But let me back up a bit. I've been looking for something I can drink, something that would be a little more than water, something to help hydrate me quickly. Not for after runs--I'm sticking to my chocolate milk for my post-run beverage--but during the day as I breastfeed every few hours. In case you're unaware breastfeeding is seriously draining. Round the clock nourishing of the young can take a toll on the mama. Particularly a mama of 4. I've felt like water just wasn't cutting it, but I didn't want to drink chocolate milk all the time, and I didn't want to drink gatorade because of all the sugar. And because it tends to cause some gastric distress in me. I searched the ol' internets because that is what I do and came up with a solution. Coconut water! No calories (not that I care), no HFCS, no extra sugar, nothing bad, but a little more than plain water. There was only one problem. It tastes, um, icky. I tried the pineapple flavored one and it tasted a little less icky but still icky. Then I started making my own mix which was basically a lot of pineapple juice and a little coconut water.

At the same time I've been looking for snacky things to eat. One of the best things for breastfeeding moms to eat is oatmeal. I don't like oatmeal. I have serious texture issues and oatmeal violates them all. What to do? I ground up some rolled oats as much as I could using my super duper food processor I bought during my kitchen appliance buying pregnant mania. I've been sprinkling some on my yogurt instead of the wheat germ I usually use.

And then came Monday. I put it all together.

I decided to make a smoothie FROM SCRATCH. Insanity. I had no idea what I was doing, no idea of amounts or what absolutely should be put in it or not. I just decided to wing it. Along the way I kept tasting and adding things and hoping for the best. I think it came out okay, although I will make some changes next time.

In case you're interested:

1 cup of coconut water
1 cup of Langers Apple Orange Pineapple Juice (the store didn't have the plain Pineapple juice I wanted)
3/4 cup Chobani vanilla Greek yogurt
1 banana
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup pineapple chunks
1/4 cup ground oatmeal
1/4 cup chopped/shredded kale (I used one stalk/leaf/whatever and threw that in the food processor)

I blended it the best I could because of the aforementioned texture issues. I didn't taste the icky coconut water. I didn't notice the kale and the oatmeal really didn't bother me. The one thing that did was the stringy pineapple pulp. I think I may leave the pineapple chunks out of it next time. It made enough for me to put in the refrigerator. The girls both tried it and liked it. I'm hoping that this works out and can fulfill both the drink and the snack needs of a very busy breastfeeding mama!

Monday, August 20, 2012

I just ran (ran so far awaaayyy)

Remember that song? I have not run so far away, but I did just run. For the first time since April 3. Lightrunner is 4 weeks old now and I am ready. I have been mentally ready for a while but now I am really ready. I'm not just going out there blind though, it's been a really long time since I have run at all and a REALLY long time since I have done consistent regular running. So, I'm following a plan by Jeff Galloway that Runner's World just happened to tweet about in July. I think 4 days before I gave birth but I could be wrong. I'm not coming back from an injury, but I've taken a lot of time off running so I thought it would be a good idea to follow it.

I decided last night that today was the day. When I fed Lightrunner at 2 am I said today is the day. My plan had been to feed him at 5, get up at 5:30 eat breakfast and go. But he woke up at 4 so I fed him then and went back to bed at 4:30. My alarm went off at 5:30 and it was SO hard to get up. But today was the day. So I got up at 5:50, got my running clothes on before anything else, ate a quick breakfast and headed outside.

The plan called for 15 minutes of running-- 15 repetitions of the same pattern of ... 15 seconds of running and 45 seconds of walking. I am so glad I did this outside and not the treadmill. Not only because I got to be up and outside before the world, but because my treadmill would take 15 seconds to respond to speed changes! The first run I did I said there's no way I can do this. And by this, I mean, there's now way I can just run 15 SECONDS. I just wanted to GO. But I stuck to the plan and by the end of the 15 minutes I realized it was the best thing for me. Instead of going out there and winging it and being hugely disappointed because I couldn't go far or long enough, I had a specific time that I could do and each running interval left me wanting MORE. I didn't feel disappointed in myself or that I'd never get back to running. I felt like I could have gone on longer. The 45 seconds of walking felt like an eternity and I never once felt like I needed a walking break. This plan is geared for preventing injury, but it's also great for boosting confidence if you're a little unsure about starting up again.

It took all of my resolve to not just keep on running. And I think that's a really good thing.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Complete

Throughout this pregnancy I knew I would delivery early and the question was just how early I would be. At one point one of the OB nurses had me a bit freaked out thinking I wouldn't even make it to 36 weeks. I knew once I hit 36 that we would be okay--SkyWalker was born at exactly 36 weeks, Chewie was 36 and a few days. We never needed any NICU time and they were both healthy. The idea of going before 36 weeks was scary. So was the idea of going to 40 weeks. Once we made it past 36 I breathed a sigh of relief. Once we made it past 37 weeks it was even better--but also more nerve wracking thinking that I would go into labor at any minute.

I went to my 37 week checkup and described my symptoms (in the take your blood pressure & weight waiting room) to my former OB who confirmed I was in labor and then saw my current OB who did an internal exam... and discovered I was not even close to being dilated. Told me he'd see me the next week. I was shocked. I thought for sure I was in labor and I was upset that I didn't know my own body as well as I thought. I had even had Vader bring me to the doc just in case we had to be sent to the hospital. It was disappointing.

Then we went home. I laid on the couch while the kids made a giant mess. I felt worse and worse. By 5 pm I finally got the nerve to call my OB who kindly (but with obvious doubt) told me to go to the hospital and get checked out. He happened to be the OB on duty that night anyway. When we got to the hospital I was 2-3 cm dilated. I felt vindicated. I think had I been before 37 weeks they would have admitted me right away, but because I was actually considered "full term" they were more willing to wait. So they put me in a temporary room to see if I progressed. I did not. But because this was my fourth they decided to admit me anyway thinking that there was a very real possibility that I could go home and then not have enough time to get back to the hospital. I got a room and waited. And waited. We decided to get the epidural (back pain) since that always relaxed me enough to get fully dilated and to also break my water. I say we because I suggested it and the docs agreed. So that's what we did. Waited some more. I got to a 4-5 and then that was it. We all, docs included, thought the dilation would go so fast and it didn't. So they had to give me some pitocin. I made it to 7 and then noticed that I was feeling things. Now, the entire time I had the epidural I was able to pee in a bed pain. Which was unusual and should have been a clue that maybe it wasn't as high as I needed it, but I didn't have the back pain anymore so I wasn't complaining. Even as I started to feel the contractions my back remained okay. I was fully dilated pretty damn quick after that point and definitely feeling things I hadn't felt with any of my previous deliveries. But it was too late to get a refill on the epidural and I just wanted to be done. It was roughly 12 hours since we had first arrived at the hospital. It was 7 minutes from the time I was fully dilated to when I delivered. I'm not sure if I pushed all 7 minutes. I remember taking a brief break. My OB had to run in because I had started pushing without him and it was all over really quickly. I had DEFINITELY never felt that before. I was aware of everything. The pain was unbelievable. I didn't curse or cry but there was definite vocalization. I felt everything--his little nose as I pushed him out. The pain really was indescribable and wonderful. Amazing. In the end I'm glad it worked out that way. This was my last pregnancy, my last baby, and I was able to feel him come out.

There was no tearing, no stitches, no major trauma, no big swelling because the delivery had been so quick. The hardest part of the recovery was just from laying in the hospital bed for so long. Once my legs recovered--and my bowels decided to move--everything was okay. There was definite soreness but no major pain like in the past. My OB apologized to me after saying that he should have trusted me right away--always trust the Mama, he said--and that he was just amazed. That was nice.

18.5 inches long, 6 pounds 7 ounces at birth (my 2nd biggest baby). And while it seems the entire world has to keep saying how little he is, he is NOT considered low birth weight, and after having TWO babies in the 5 pound range, he looks pretty damn normal to me. His nickname here will be Lightrunner and those of you who know how to use google and know what his first name is can search for both and you'll know why. No real names or pictures so you'll have to accept my word that he is adorable and looks like his big brother.

We've all adjusted to our new little guy. Haze licks him any chance she gets, but otherwise has been her normal good self. I dreamt that Isaac was here to greet him and it was both incredibly realistic and yet obviously a dream because his skin was in great condition, he wasn't scratching or licking or barking. Waking up was both tremendously sad and not. It was like he was cured of all his ails and he came back to give his approval.

The rest of the jedi are very happy to have him home and if there was ever any doubt as to how many kids we should have it has been totally eradicated. It might be hard, we might not have as much money, my kids might not be perfectly behaved because I'm too busy taking care of a younger sibling, but we are *complete*.

Friday, July 13, 2012

How do you feel?

Of all of the things that people say to pregnant women, I think this one irritates me the most. "How do you feel?" Partly because it seems to be asked on a continual basis, but also because it's such a stupid question. What do you mean, how do I feel? I feel pregnant. I'm larger than normal, hotter than normal, everything is awkward and uncomfortable and guess what? It was the same last week! There is no need to keep asking. Most of the time there's a deeper intent to the question. They say "How do you feel?" but they mean "Are you in labor yet?" In which case, just ask the question you mean.

Specific questions can also be irritating, but I can tolerate them. Are you still vomiting everyday? (no) is much better than a generic how do you feel? Still having Braxton Hicks? (yes) is better than how do you feel? "How are you doing?" is better because it has more of a "what's new?" connotation.

The only exception to this is when a newly pregnant first timer asks a more advanced pregnant lady. It's also usually followed up by more specific questions and its purpose is actually more for the FTM to predict how SHE will feel than how you are really feeling.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The first time, all over again

This is my fourth baby. FOURTH. Yet, it might as well be my first labor. I have never ever had a traditional time your contractions debate going to the hospital labor. Ever.

#1--induced at 36 weeks because of complications discovered at a checkup.
#2--went to 38 wk checkup and doc said I was 4 cm and to go to the hospital.
#3--water broke in the middle of the night at 36 1/2 wks.

I went to my 36 wk checkup today and am not dilated at all (I wasn't when my water broke with #3 either though). I am frustrated and annoyed, not because I want an early early baby (although he's not really early early by this point) but because I have been having contractions and feeling things and I thought for SURE today would be the day. It would have been so much easier to just go to the hospital during the day, get it done while Grama was watching the kids, and not have to worry about any middle of the night shenanigans. It also would have been so much easier to hear Yes, go to the hospital instead of having to wonder and wait. My fear is that I won't know when to go unless I get an obvious sign like my water breaking. I made it to 4 cm and while I felt contractions I never thought I should go to the hospital. I'm afraid with this being the fourth that I'll have less time once I hit that magic 4 cm mark and I'll give birth on the toilet.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Just one more thing

It took a long time to get here:


But the rooms have finally been painted and floored; the crib is put together; everything that needed to be done is done. I hit 36 weeks on Monday, tomorrow is my OB checkup (the second 36 week that I've ever had!). There is only one more thing left to do:



Friday, June 1, 2012

Biological imperatives

I will have no idea what this post is about years from now when I see the title, but that's what labels are for...

We've been talking about redoing our attic for MONTHS. We've been in contact with the contractor and an architect. For MONTHS. Once we found we wouldn't need to use the attic as a baby room there was a little relief from the pressure, but not much. The plan had been that we would get the attic done into a guest room and then since they'd be doing the floor in there why not have them put floors in the kids' rooms too? I finally convinced Vader to get rid of the allergen-producing carpet and do it. We assumed they would do it at the end of the project since that's when they'd be doing the new room floor. With each delay (there have been so many) that pushed back the floors in the kids' rooms. Why does it matter? Because we're not putting the crib together and then having to take it apart to get it out of there to do the floors. It doesn't fit through the door, it has to be taken apart. Likewise, we're not getting SkyWalker a heavy new dresser that will just have to be moved. But SkyWalker will need a new dresser since Baby Boy is taking over his changing table nursery. We have the co-sleeper that attaches to our bed and that's where Quattro will sleep at night in the beginning, but if I'm going to get anything done during the day I need to have him sleeping safely in his crib. And, there is a biological need to have your nursery set up before you have your baby!! 

And then it hit me. 

We don't have to wait until the end. We don't need an architect to draw up a plan to put a floor down. Or a permit or anything. We can do it FIRST. I told Vader and he quasi-agreed. He has no biological imperative. I told him to call the contractor. He didn't. He did get floor samples from Home Depot, but that was it. I was on the edge of going crazy that the biggest obstacle in all this is HIM, when fate intervened and the contractor called US to schedule a final look at the plans. He came last night and can definitely do the floors first AND paint in the boys' room. AND he'll rip up the carpets so we don't have to. It won't take long at all and we can have it done in the next couple of weeks (I have approximately 5 weeks left before I start the countdown). He'll do the boys' room first. We'll move all the furniture across the hall to the girls' room. Then when he's done with the boys' room, we'll move everything into there and he'll do the girls' room. The girls' room will take much less time since it's just the floor and not painting. Vader has to pick out the floors and order them and pick up the paint (SkyWalker and I chose a color and we are not letting him argue with us. For some idiotic reason he thinks you paint once every 30 years. So he can pick out a different color in 30 years.). The boys' room has not been painted since we moved in, nearly 10 years ago. 

The contractor will be able to do everything through our garage so we won't have to worry about them messing up our new floors either. Not that I worry. 

So now I have to get Vader to do his part ASAP so we can set up an actual date for this. And hope that once this is all done I still have enough energy to wash baby clothes and get ready to have this baby! 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Growing things

The birthday party is done and I am 30 weeks pregnant tomorrow with no nursery set up (although we've had an epiphany about that, but that's for another post.) so what am I going to occupy my time with?

My very first garden not including the one when I was a wee child and let my Mother and brother do all the work and then just raked it and said how much work I did. I am not completely insane, so I'm starting small. We bought one (and then two) of those 4x4 raised bed gardens from the Depot:


And decided to put it here, outside of our fenced yard. It might make more sense to put it IN a fenced yard, but I'm pretty sure Haze would help herself and the fence doesn't keep rabbits out anyway and Vader chose this spot and I wasn't going to argue because I have better arguments coming up (painting the boys' room!). 



I bought my plants from Yonder Farms and Hewitts. When I first started planning the garden I had imagined growing all the vegetables we eat and had a huge list. And then remembered my huge abdomen and that if I go too crazy and it all fails I will say screw it and never try again. So, I cut way back and decided to stick with just 4 different types of vegetables: grape tomatoes, red peppers, green beans and cucumbers. I got the bush variety of both the green beans and the cucumbers because I didn't want to have to deal with trellises and things of that nature. The one cup by itself is the tomato plant that SkyWalker brought home from school for mother's day. I wish I knew what kind of tomato plant it is... the rest I have are grape tomatoes because that's what we eat more often, but it would be nice to have a "regular" tomato plant as well. 


Although it was completely unnecessary because of the size of the garden and the limited number of plants I chose, I had the girls decorate some wooden spoons to use as garden markers. Mostly so that they were involved and because they were bugging me about something and I needed to distract them. The Princess drew the pictures, I wrote the words:


While I was food shopping, Vader and the girls set the raised beds up. Yes, the girls, no boy because he was far too sweaty and hot and blah blah complain. Although we originally bought one bed many moons ago, Vader decided to buy another one to stack them. This way the soil is deeper, I may not have to worry as much about weeds coming up, we can hopefully keep those damn bunnies away, and I won't have to bend/kneel as much. Occasionally he does think of my well being. He burned a square patch (he has a propane um, burner thingy to burn up weeds along the fence), then used sand to level everything because our yard is anything but level. 


After I got home we set everything up:


I did all planting with the Princess and Chewie "assisting". The Princess actually did do a fair amount of it. SkyWalker helped put his plant in, but then had Chewie actually place it in the soil. Which was nice of him to share, but also a way for him to get out of actually doing anything. Apples, trees. We found tomato cages in the lean-to in our backyard. I bought little fences to keep the cucumbers separate because that's what I was told to do. We planted marigolds around to keep the bunnies away. After all the planting was done Vader decided to mulch around it as well because he has an obsession with mulch. 



If I manage to not kill anything and get actual vegetables we'll get another set next year and go crazy! Lettuce and kale and carrots oh my! I hope it all works out because I'd like to be able to freeze some of the green beans to use this winter as purees for Quattro. That would be awesome. I would also like to expand to fruits too and grow strawberries and blueberries and other dirty dozens... 


Monday, May 21, 2012

The final result: The Superhero Party!

The Superhero Party is done.

I made the masks, and the capes, and the last part was the city buildings for the Superhero Training Ground Obstacle Course. I gathered all the shoe boxes we save for no reason, Vader and I taped some together, he spray painted them black and I added windows with some oversized thick graph paper I had. 

The kids started the party decorating the capes and then headed to the yard.

The Obstacle Course was relatively simple, but I think it was fun. I had two separate courses, one for the under 4s and one for the over 4s. The littlest kids jumped on the mini trampoline, climbed up the toddler climber, slid down, jumped over tiny buildings and then went in the Tent of Balls to retrieve a special "token" (a laminated Wonder Woman or Superhero logo): 


The older kids started out on the trampoline, jumped over the set of 3 bigger boxes, swung over a box with the rings on our playset, climbed up the climbing wall, slid down the slide, jumped over more boxes: 



Then they had to get around Lex Luthor throwing kryptonite (cut up chunks of a green pool noodle):

Vader's face has been blurred to protect his identity.
Which is a shame because it was the funniest face ever.
After evading Lex Luthor they too went into the Tent of Balls to get the token. When they found one, they brought it to me and were awarded with the Superhero Mask. Then they could do it all over again.

We had cupcakes made by the bestest friend ever: 


They brought home their capes, masks, and either a Wonder Woman or Superman plastic ring (the one bit of plastic junk I couldn't resist). All in all it was pretty damn awesome. 


Now I will rest (until next weekend when we put the raised bed garden together).

Oh yeah, I was in costume for a little while. Catwoman (Target pleather pants from a decade ago, newly purchased Bee Band to cover the unzipped part, and a really snug mask from the internets. It was 80 degrees. I didn't wear this long.)





Friday, May 11, 2012

Superhero Party Part B


(Yes, I know the first part was 1, so this should be 2 and not B. Sadly the person I always make that joke for probably doesn't read this blog anymore!)

The Capes. Capes, capes, capes. Oy. First I let a salesman talk me into buying felt instead of the polyester knit fabric I wanted (because they didn't have enough of the red). So then I had to take it back to a different store and got red knit and blue knit and figured I'd do half and half. I got 7 yards of each.

I cut the fabric into manageable sizes, specifically 24"x 28", a task made immensely easier when I bought a new 24"x 36" mat for my rotary cutter.
This is the best purchase I've made recently, aside from my Ice Tea Maker. 

Then I worked on shaping the fabric into capes and not rectangles. Of course I checked the interwebs first and this website: http://shannonmakesstuff.blogspot.com/2011/07/super-hero-capes-and-eye-masks-for-your.html It was a tremendous help. I did the blue ones first--14 of them--and totally screwed them up. Well, not totally, but I made the neck "holes" way too big so it wound up being more like a shawl than a cape. Ugh. I made the red ones without messing up and attempted to fix the blue ones. I quickly realized that the only way to fix the blue ones was to cut off the necks and start all over--losing 5 inches of length. Eek. BUT I had leftover fabric since I bought 7 yards of it. So I cut up the rest of the red fabric. It wasn't enough for all the kids, but miraculously worked out to be the number of big kids I have (4 & up). I decided that instead of half and half I would have all the big kids in red and the younger, smaller siblings could have the blue capes. Losing 5 inches wouldn't be quite so noticeable on them and 2-3 year olds probably wouldn't care anyway...
The smaller cape

The bigger cape
After finally getting it right, I ironed on my Velcro (that's right, ironed, no sewing involved!). That wasn't difficult, just time consuming. And then, the highlight of the capes, I ironed on the t-shirt transfer images I printed up of names and the Justice League picture I used for the invitations (I did not ask for copyright permission, sorry). My part of the capes is FINALLY done. I will now watch 23 kids put stickers and write all over them and try not to cry inside since that was the point of this whole thing!

The next thing I have to do is prepare city buildings as part of our Superhero Training Ground Obstacle Course and then it's just setting up everything the day of the party (and praying for no rain!!)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A year

It's a year today since that horrible day when Isaac suddenly died.

I am glad that he did not suffer (any more than he already was with his allergies). I'm glad I didn't have to watch him deteriorate and not be able to go out on his own and pee. But I can't help but feel robbed. It's not like he died peacefully in his sleep. He had a heart attack (we assume, no autopsy), in the middle of playing, and we frantically and hopelessly tried to revive him. It sucked.

In many ways life is easier without him. But there is still a sadness. And now, the closer I get to completing our family, the knowledge that this is the first baby I will bring home to just one dog waiting at the door. The first baby who will not get Isaac's sniff of approval. The first baby who will only know of him through pictures and our memories. It is hard to explain to people who do not have pets, do not have dogs, do not understand how they become such a large part of your family, but this knowledge fills me with a deep sadness.
Isaac resting on my pregnant belly, 8 years ago.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Superhero Party Part 1

Although the Princess has always been a girly girl and is in a major Princess mode right now, she's also always been into Wonder Woman and superheroes and Chewie is following in her footsteps. Their birthdays are just two weeks apart and this is the first year Chewie would have a "friend" party, or really a party at all, and I was stressing a bit as to how I was going to pull off two birthday parties two weeks apart, especially when I am pregnant. I didn't say anything to the Princess but she randomly suggested that they have a JOINT birthday party. Which was AWESOME. I was not going to suggest that because I believe each child should be able to have the spotlight alone... but if she was offering I wasn't going to refuse. Particularly since the majority of Chewie's friends are younger siblings of The Princess's preschool friends. It just made sense. The Princess will be 5 and Chewie will be 3 and we typically do at home playdate parties. They usually work out pretty well, but for some reason (insanity) I've decided to step it up a notch this year.

They are having a Superhero party, complete with capes, masks, and a Superhero Training Grounds Obstacle Course in the backyard. I started working on Part 1 today: the masks. I was going to buy masks to give out, but that would've been a bit too expensive to do it right. I'm making the capes so I might as well make the masks too!

First I downloaded a template from Krafty Kid and increased the size because it printed up teeny tiny. Then I glued it to cardboard to make my own template. I used a razor blade-exacto knife thing to cut out the eyes.

Superhero Mask template.

From there I traced the outline onto some black felt with a white pencil I've had in my sewing box for a decade and probably only used once before:


I don't know why this is washed out, but you can see the outline really well.
I used fabric scissors to cut out the felt and a combination of the scissors and my um, rotary knife thingy (is that what it's called?) to cut out the eyes. It was much easier than I thought it would be. In a stroke of genius I used my ice picker I just found yesterday to poke the holes for the string. I already had both the felt and the stretchy string from previous crafts, but I'll need to get more black felt to finish the rest of the masks.


They're not "perfect" but I made 10 of them in a couple of hours so I'm okay with that. 

Secret identity is safe from internet perverts!
It looks so big on her little face... but um, it looks big on my little (pregnant fat) face too. I need to make 14 more and then it's on to the capes and the obstacle course. Did I mention the party is in 2-3 weeks? Yeah.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Stop the insanity!

Today I set up the pack n play, high chair & swing.

I am only 25 weeks. This beats my previous record of 28 weeks, but it's not as bad because I had everything done then & I am nowhere close to having everything done now.

We heard back from the architect and she has proposed a different plan... Which might work as long as Vader is happy with the windows and amount of natural light. We need to contact them now (they sent a written proposal).

I just want my friggin attic done. I want the carpets ripped up in the kids' rooms. I want to rearrange everything that needs rearranging & get everything set.

I suppose it's good that I have to wait or it would be done now. Which is insane. But, it's easier for me to move crap around now than when I am huge & it is summer. So there is a logical component to this.

I have birthday parties to think about and a garden to set up soon but this is what weighs on my mind. This and when I'll be able to run again.

I've pretty much decided I'm done running. I haven't run since April 3... I haven't run more than a mile or 2 in a long time. It's not just physically hard for me, it's mentally impossible. I can't stop being afraid of every twinge and ache. The fear and the stress of trying to run has sucked all the pleasure out of it. If there's one thing I've always tried to do, it's run my own race, and I've tried really hard this last year to keep it fun and run smiley. I don't want to ruin all of that now... So I am done. For now. I am very tempted to sign up for a race for post-baby now, but I need to wait. I do fantasize about going early again and being able to race in August--the last race that I really ran! That would be nice.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Counting down the weeks

In my head I run marathons and ultras. Perfect form. Midfoot landing. Knees high. Slight lean. Short strides. High cadence. Silent and quick, I run towards the sun, always towards the sun.

In reality I sit on the couch. Back hurts. Ankles hurt. Braxton Hicks. Pelvic pressure. Round ligament pain. Random pain just from walking from one room to another.

Counting down the weeks.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Crazy. Plans.

I've been going a little crazy.

I have reorganized kitchen cabinets and my fridge and counters and as many things as I can in the kitchen. I bought all new hand and dish towels so they would "match" the green of the wall. Got rid of the big dish drying rack and got one--or six--of those dry mat towel things. In green of course. Bought an iced tea maker and a new food processor (I do use that iced tea maker every couple of days though). I reorganized closets in the bathrooms and got rid of crap we've had for a decade and don't need.

I need to set up a crib and wash baby laundry and I can't yet.

I have all of these PLANS in my head. My soon to explode head. I have finally FINALLY convinced Vader to rip up the carpet in the kids' bedrooms and put down floors. FINALLY. This will most likely be the last step in our attic-renovation plan, a plan that has yet to get off the ground. We're converting our attic to a guest room (and making the currently unaccessible part of the attic into a storage attic). The attic comes off of the girls' room, which is directly across from the boys' room. So, we'll rip up the carpet (we, ha!) and then have the contractor do ALL of the floors, guest room, girls' room, boys' room. In order to do that though we'll need to get all of the furniture out of those rooms. There is no point in setting up a crib if we have to move it out. SkyWalker needs a new dresser before I can move his clothes out of the baby changing dresser he's still using and then put baby clothes in that. So I'm not washing baby clothes now. Although I will have to get all of the boxes out baby clothes out of the attic. Vader is not very concerned. He seems to just see it as guaranteed that things will not be done in time, and so he's not stressing. He also doesn't have a million hormones in his body screaming to get all of our ducks in a row. RIGHT NOW! Luckily we are one step closer. After months (weeks) of phone tag with the contractor we have finally met with him and an architect. We'll get architect plans next week, meet again, get a price, get a loan, get this ball rolling. My protruding belly was pretty clear and the contractor said to the architect that we want to do this ASAP so I think things will move quicker now. (In reality, Quattro is not going into this new room, so if his arrival comes first it will not be the end of the world. But I want things DONE.)

Plans. Plans. Plans.

I've also been going a little crazy trying to get us to eat healthier, which is quite honestly, exhausting. I wish I could go back in time to when SkyWalker was little and expose him to more then... but I *did* give him vegetables and he did eat them and then he went bad. But, I suppose I could have cut out HFCS and sugar  before he ever got a taste of them. Alas. I have managed to change the things we eat on a regular basis. Our jelly and syrup don't have HFCS anymore. I made my own blueberry syrup the other day. I can't cut ALL sugar out of our diets but I can try to cut it DOWN. I've also been getting some local farm fresh milk. It's not organic, but sometimes the organic at the grocery store is not any better than the non-organic. Short of milking my own damn cow, getting milk from a local farm is the next best thing. It's grass-fed, they don't automatically pump the cows with antibiotics, there's no hormones, etc. I get it from a local foods store, in a glass bottle no less so there's no BPA either. Of course it's more expensive. It's $3 a half-gallon for the 2% reduced fat option. I would have preferred the whole milk, but that only comes in a quart and I'm just not spending that much money. Yet. I've been trying to cut down how much milk we go through because I can't get 6 gallons of this stuff. This week I got 2 half-gallons of the farm fresh and 3 gallons of the regular grocery store milk. I'm definitely not drinking glass after glass of milk like I used to, which makes me sad, but I gotta do whatta I gotta do. Good thing I got that iced tea maker.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Waasup?

There was a time with each of my kids when I realized how utterly in love I was with them and that it was time to have the next one. With SkyWalker and the Princess it was around 18 months old. Not that I don't love them all the time, but there was something about that age with the both of them, that it's just *more*. It was a good signal to me that it was time to start trying for the next, particularly with SkyWalker, because I didn't want that love to start to be smothering. I had been waiting for it to happen with Chewie at the same time and waiting and waiting. And it really didn't. We started trying for the next anyway but I wondered if I had just been split in so many ways already if I wouldn't have that same all encompassing love for Chewie that I did with the other two (this sounds so wrong, like I don't love her or the others all the time. I do, obviously I do, but this is just on a different level.). But the last couple of months it's been there and I realized it had nothing to do with age at all, but with communication. The other two started talking a lot sooner (even SkyWalker) than Chewie. It's taken her a while but she's finally caught up. Sure, you won't understand her and she'll need speech class too, but I understand her and that's what counts. We talk to each other now, and more importantly, she's funny! She's intentionally funny and her personality is just shining now in ways that it couldn't before because she was too busy being angry and screaming. Every single thing she does cracks me up. Everything she says. The way she says "Good job Mommy!" when I flip on a light switch. I am completely and totally in love with her and spend a large part of my day just drinking in her essence. I am glad that it finally happened, and it's good timing since I'm halfway to Quattro's arrival.

The Princess gets older and older. Ready for kindergarten. I was ready for her to go months ago, but I can see it's going to be much harder on me than I thought. She's become so helpful. I could not have survived the early weeks of pregnancy without her. Honestly and truly. Not only did she help take care of Chewie--making her breakfast and lunch and wiping her butt on the potty and brushing her teeth and just caring for her--she helped ME. She cuddled with me and told me that I wouldn't be throwing up forever and that it would be better soon. She supported me, emotionally, in ways that 4 years old usually just don't. She was amazing. Now that I'm feeling better when she's mad at having to clean up or do something she's fond of saying "When this baby comes you're doing everything by yourself!" But, for the most part she's still pretty good. She has tantrums here and there, but nothing like before. She has embraced the big sister role and can't wait for this new baby. Chewie has totally latched on to her and I think it will be hard when she's in school all day. But Chewie will be in preschool twice a week and hopefully she will be distracted by being a big sister herself.

SkyWalker is getting old and moody. He waffles between yelling about having to do "everything" when I ask him to do his laundry and then volunteering to cut the broccoli for dinner (that he won't eat) because he's "ready to help you Mommy." He plays with his sisters but not as much as he used to... demanding his alone time and needing silence to do his homework. He's doing well in school but it's clear he'd rather be home. Can't say I blame him. I like being home too. He's so mature about some things and then still very obviously a little kid about others. When I was wondering out loud how we were going to do 4 showers at bedtime in a few years, I realized that he and the Princess probably wouldn't be going to bed at 8 anymore (sigh) so we'd have the younger two go first and get to bed and then the older two. He replied yeah, the Princess should be able to stay up a little later, like to 8:10. Which was so funny, particularly since I can hear him turning pages until well past 10 pm.

Poor little Haze is still limping and confined to the leash. We've had her crated a lot as well, but it doesn't look like her leg is healing on its own. I am torn. I don't want her to have surgery. I cannot deal with it if something goes wrong. I cannot lose her now. But I don't want her to be limping forever. BUT, she doesn't seem to be in any pain. A large part of me wants to just let her go and run and enjoy her life and if her torn ACL starts to cause her real pain then we can go ahead with the surgery. Isaac's death completely took us by surprise. I hate thinking that we're depriving Haze of a quality life because we're worried about her leg. What if we only have a couple of years left with her? This is the cloud in the sky now. The last time Vader and I discussed it he vehemently disagreed about just letting her run. Aren't there tons of dogs that get by with just 3 legs?

I've run a bit here and there, some good some bad. I wore a one-piece bathing suit under my running clothes when I went out on Sunday and it really helped support my growing belly, which helped the back pain. I plan on trying it on the treadmill today. I fantasize about running a half after this baby is born... but first I need to get back to being able to run a 5K. The entire world is training for either a half or a full marathon right now and I am slowly eeking my way through 2 miles. But in 5 1/2 years I will be able to run whenever I want to between the hours of 7 and 2:45 because all of my children will be in school. Maybe I'll even run a marathon.

Monday, February 6, 2012

5 year olds should not have brain tumors

Each time one of my kids has had surgery I've always had a moment of fear that something would go wrong. More so with the Princess's surgeries because they were longer and more complicated. Things go wrong with anesthesia, surgeons cut things they're not supposed to, any number of things can happen. Naturally as a parent you wonder if it will happen to your child and each time I did have those moments picturing the worst news. But the surgeon would come out with a smile and everything would be okay.

One local family is not so lucky. I'm not very close friends with them, but my daughter has played with this little girl at birthday parties and the mom has always been nice and friendly every time I've seen her. This poor little girl, 5 years old, a wee bit older than my Princess, has a tumor in her brain stem. Inoperable. There is nothing they can do. Nothing these parents can do to save their little girl. I do not know them well, but my heart breaks for them. I cannot imagine the pain, the sorrow, the heartbreak of no hope.

They are raising money to help with her last days. If you can spare anything, anything at all, please consider donating:

http://miracle4maddie.bbnow.org/

If you are local to the Capital District, please take a trip to PolkaDots Consignment Shop today February 6, 9-6 and tomorrow February 7, 9-2. All sales will benefit the Musto family.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's hard to smile when you're swallowing bile

I haven't run since Christmas and that was a dissatisfying painful measly 2 miles. I think. Most of the distances I've been running have been pretty short--from my bed to the bathroom, from the couch to the bathroom, from the kitchen to the bathroom. I have been stretching--mostly my back and neck as I hunch over the toilet. My abs and ribs are getting a good workout from the heaving and retching.

Yeah. It's that time again.

I truly believed that if I willed myself hard enough and stayed strong that I would not vomit this time. I would RUN it away. Well, that only works if you're, you know, running. At first I intentionally took a couple of weeks off to make sure that things were settling within my body and attaching where they were supposed to and things were progressing normally. And then when I was ready to start running again the vomiting started. I managed to run a race in December at 6+ weeks pregnant and not do too shabby (31:45, my first PPR--pregnant personal record--which is better than my first ever race!) but I was nervous the entire time. After that I tried Zofran for a couple of days--one of which was Christmas--and while I didn't throw up I had horrible painful debilitating gas. Cramping gas. Which is not fun while running. I don't know how I managed to survive Christmas. I stopped taking the Zofran and the next day I vomited three times. Awesome. I haven't attempted to run since. I mostly sit on the couch and wish I could speed this process up. I am now back on promethazine--what I took during my last pregnancy--and as long as I time everything right and keep the perfect amount of food in my belly and get enough rest, I won't vomit. I'm hoping that after a few non vomiting days I can start running again.

Morning sickness is so misunderstood. First of all, the name, is ridiculous. I'm sure that when I'm vomiting at 10 pm that it's morning somewhere, but it's so misleading. Like all you have to do is make it through the morning and then you're okay. Maybe for some women it is, but not for all. It's ALL DAY sickness. There's no relief from vomiting, the nausea is just as bad whether you vomit or not. Avoid aromas and strong odors and certain foods and it's all bull. I vomit when I'm hungry, I vomit when I'm full. I vomit when I've been sleeping for hours, I vomit when I'm tired. I vomit whether I'm having a boy or a girl. I just vomit. It is much much harder when it's the 4th time, because you still have to get up and take kids to preschool and make dinner for your family and make sure the children aren't being too bad.

It's been pretty sucky which um, sucks, because I had such high hopes of enjoying every minute of my last pregnancy.

And then.

Today I had my 12 week ultrasound (or 13 week if the measurements are right). I saw an actual baby with a beating heart, rolling and turning and kicking. Everything is normal, everything looks good. And the joy from seeing and hearing that tiny heart beating is worth every single second of nausea and vomiting and sickness and crappy feelings. Every. Single. Second.

I know there are people that don't understand why we're having a 4th child, that don't agree, that think we are being irresponsible. I don't care. We are not complete without a 4th. And I mean "we." My husband has always wanted a large family and I had to talk him down from 5. My children are so excited to have another on the way (I told them today). My son will be nearly 8 by the time this baby is born and if it's a boy he wants him in his room. The Princess can't wait to have a tiny baby to take care of and hold.

So now I just hope the vomiting and nausea go completely away, the running comes back, and this baby has boy parts.