A Day in the Life: End of Summer Vacation

So, I went back to work this past Monday. Cue the tears :( Before I did, I wanted to capture another day in the life since things have changed a bit since my last one when Kyler was only 3 1/2 weeks old. What better time to do this than one of our last days of summer? This was purposefully a very laid-back day. I really wanted a relaxing weekend at home where we didn’t really do much or go anywhere, after a few exhausting travel weekends and before life got crazy with work again. Here is what our day was like Saturday, August 22nd to Sunday, August 23rd, when Kevin was almost 3 years old and Kyler was 3 months old.

5:00 a.m. My alarm goes off. So early for a Saturday but I’m meeting friends for a long run. I quickly make myself some coffee and toast with peanut butter and honey (that got a little burnt because I was half asleep and forgot it was in the toaster). After eating it I get dressed in my running clothes and finish getting ready to go.

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5:36 a.m. I pump and leave a bottle on my husband’s nightstand for when Kyler wakes up. I’m so thankful he takes a bottle so easily, giving me the freedom to meet my friends for runs and things like that!

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5:50 a.m. I leave my house to make the drive south to Fredericksburg. I don’t always drive somewhere to do my long run, but this week my running buddies and I decided to since it had been a while and we love running in this town. I check the weather before I leave and it looks GLORIOUS! I love that fall is coming!

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6:10 a.m. I arrive at the park where we are beginning our run. I’m meeting up with some ladies from my local Moms Run This Town group. I know some of them, but some of them I have never met. It’s such a cool way to get to know other people that have motherhood and running in common!

6:30 a.m. After waiting for everyone to arrive and chatting for a few minutes we begin our run!

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6:50 a.m. Meanwhile at home… Kyler wakes up and my husband gives him his 4 ounce bottle I pumped earlier. Kevin wakes up a few minutes after that and they have breakfast.

7:50 a.m. And we’re finished! I was only planning on running 6 miles, but I was feeling great and got caught up in conversation so I ended at a little over 8 miles.

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8:15 a.m. I arrive back home and am so happy to see my boys! I’m also happy to see that my amazing hubby has a yummy smoothie waiting on me [this recipe, plus almond butter]. He’s the best.

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8:30 a.m.  Kyler falls asleep. I keep drinking my smoothie and play with Kev. He’s really into this LeapPad that his grandma gave him lately.

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9:00 a.m. I (finally) head upstairs to take a much needed shower!

9:20 a.m. Kyler is ready to eat again. He’s been eating every 2.5 – 3.5 hours lately, about 7 times a day. I feed him in my bedroom and Kevin folds laundry. Well, he folds up his diaper inserts for me. I have trained him well! :) Diaper changes for both kids as well.

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10:00 a.m. We have a mini photo shoot. Since Kyler is 3 months exactly today we dress him up in his onesie with his monthly sticker on it. Then I decide to put him in the outfit we received from our friends in Germany – his very own lederhosen! I practically pass out from how cute he looks.

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10:45 a.m.  Kyler’s asleep again. This kid LOVES his sleep! I guess the excitement of the photo shoot tired him out.

11:00 a.m. I make my way downstairs and work on cleaning up the main floor. I also hard boil some eggs for the upcoming week.

11:45 a.m. I start feeling hungry for lunch earlier than usual, thanks to my long run. I am not in the mood for anything warm, so I decide to make a sort of “tasting plate” of random veggies to dip in hummus with pretzels and hard boiled eggs. It hit the spot!

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11:55 a.m. While I’m eating Kyler wakes up and is hungry. It’s pretty rare that I eat without a baby on me lately so I’m used to it. While I’m feeding him my hubby makes Kevin some lunch.

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12:45 p.m. Oops, I fell asleep feeding Kyler thanks to my run that morning – with my boob out and all! LOL. I’ll spare you the pic of that (my husband did take one though, haha!). We do some tummy time, which he has gotten really good at recently. My husband puts Kevin down for his nap around this time as well. Diaper changes for both kids again!

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1:00 p.m. Kyler’s still happy on his activity mat, so I clean up the living room and start a load of laundry.

1:45 p.m. Time to relax a bit! I edit the photos I took that morning, and then catch up on some DVRed shows while snuggling with my littlest boy as he sleeps again. It feels so good to sit and zone out for a little bit!

2:20 p.m. Sadly my relaxation time is over because I have some work to do. With school starting on Monday I have to prepare to leave some training sessions on the first day. While working on that I eat a raspberry fig bar for a little snack.

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2:45 p.m. Kyler’s awake and hungry again! And also needs a diaper change from a BIG poop!

3:30 p.m. Kevin’s up from his nap. He slept for over 2 hours, which is awesome! His naps have been hit or miss these days. After a diaper change [can this kid be potty trained already?] he wants to play with his brother while he does more tummy time. We are really pushing the tummy time because he prefers to sleep on one side of his head, and his beautiful 6-8 hour stretches of sleep are making that side a little flat. While the boys play my husband goes to pick up our car from where it’s getting serviced near our house, and I clean up some more.

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4:40 p.m. Feed Kyler again!

5:06 p.m. And he’s out again! We start making dinner, which is easy because we’re using one of the very last freezer meals that I made when I was pregnant: Tortilla Soup! Yum. I bake up some corn tortilla strips and cut up avocado to put on top. It’s so good, and Kevin likes it too!

5:35 p.m. We eat! Kyler’s awake again and he joins us in the kitchen in his bouncy seat.

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6:10 p.m. A little more playtime before the boys go to bed. I hang out with a drooly baby while the toddler works on his new obsession with puzzles.

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Check out the drool on that shirt!

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6:45 p.m. It’s bath time for the boys [all 3 of them!] LOL. They love it! Kyler isn’t a huge fan of the bath but he loves taking a shower.

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6:55 p.m. Pajamas and book reading.

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7:10 p.m. I leave with Kyler to feed him again while my husband finishes getting Kevin ready for bed.

7:30 p.m. Kevin reads in his bed for a little while before falling asleep. I love that he does this because I used to do it too when I was young.

7:40 p.m. Kyler is finished eating and very sleepy, so I put him down in his crib earlier than usual. He has been going down around 8:30 but I try to look for and follow his cues. I have to put a burp cloth on the side of his head to make him lay on the side that isn’t flat.

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7:50 p.m. After getting Kyler down I come downstairs and notice that my husband’s car keys are gone. When he gets back home he has ice cream! He wanted to surprise me with it. It hit the spot!

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8:10 p.m. After eating my ice cream I spend some time working on the puzzle I started the day I went into labor. It has been a LONG and slow process but I’m making progress. I really love working on it because it relaxes me and helps me wind down for bed.

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10:15 p.m. I start to get really tired, so I pump (I’ve been doing this before I go to sleep since I dropped his dream feed because otherwise I wake up WAY too full), and then get ready for bed.

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10:30 p.m. SLEEP!

2:23 a.m. Baby wakes up to eat. He had a good sleep stretch of about 6 hours 45 minutes… I’ll take it! After feeding him I change his diaper and put him back in his crib.

3:20 a.m. Back to sleep for both of us.

6:30 a.m. I wake up to hungry baby noises after another 3+ hour sleep stretch and we’re up for the day!

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And that was a 24 hour snapshot in our lives with an almost 3 year old and a 3 month old. That’s about as relaxing as it gets around here these days, but I love it! The next time I do a DITL post I’ll be working full-time (wahhh!). It will be interesting to see what changes between now and then!

Previous “Day in the Life” posts:

Hartwood 10 Miler [2015]

Last Sunday I ran one of my favorite local races for the 3rd year in a row: the Hartwood 10 Miler. This is a small race run around the scenic back roads near where I live. Although I ran the Heritage 5 Miler last month, this was my first longer distance race since having Kyler. I was so excited and a little nervous too. I have had great races here the last two years, surprising myself by setting a new 10 mile PR each time. Last year I finished with an 8:04 average pace right before we got pregnant. I knew that wouldn’t happen this time since I’m still getting back into running after baby, but I was just thankful to be able to run at all. I wasn’t sure if I would be ready to run this distance only 3 months post partum, but after having a great 8 mile run I decided to go for it.11889602_945085308863445_408927172519529166_n

There’s just something I love about the morning before a race! Getting up early, having coffee and breakfast in a quiet house, getting dressed in clothes that make you feel strong, giving yourself mental pep talks. It’s pretty awesome. I have missed this feeling the last few months! Like the 5 miler in July, my plan for this race was to run without a watch and focus on my effort instead. I did want to give it a good shot rather than just run leisurely, so I decided to try for a comfortably hard pace and see what happened.

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My neighborhood running buddy Laura picked me up around 6:15 and we drove down to the race together. One reason why I really enjoy this race is because it’s back along country roads, surrounded by farms and trees and beauty. Very different from where I run every day closer to the highway. I also love it because it’s SMALL! We easily parked, went to the bathroom, and found our friends in the Moms Run This Town running group with time to spare before the start.

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It was a truly beautiful morning and the weather felt really nice. Temperatures were in the mid 60s and the humidity was not as bad as it usually is here in August, but you could tell there was still some lingering around. I even felt a little chilly at times in my tank top and shorts, but I knew that would change as soon as I got started and the sun came out.

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Right on time at 7:15 the gun went off and we began our race! My friends and I split off from each other pretty quickly since we all had different goals for this race. The first mile is always exciting and I knew I was running a bit too fast even though I didn’t have a watch to look at. Another MRTT mom came up to run next to me and we talked for a few minutes. Her watch beeped for mile 1 and she told me we had done an 8:24 pace. Eek! Too fast for sure. I knew I wouldn’t be able to maintain that for 9 more miles. I said goodbye and watched her go ahead as I slowed myself down a little bit.

Unfortunately right after the first mile split I got a text from one of my friends who was running telling me she was sick and needed to stop. Before the race she was shivering a lot and saying how cold she was, and while I was a bit chilly it definitely wasn’t that extreme. Once she started running other flu-like symptoms hit her and she turned around to get help. I was proud of her for listening to her body and not pushing it too far, but I couldn’t stop thinking about her and if she was okay for the rest of the race.

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I tried to settle in and get into my groove but I had a few stomach cramps in the early miles. They weren’t debilitating but definitely noticeable, so I tried to focus on the gorgeous course and what a beautiful day it was and eventually they subsided.

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It started to warm up pretty quickly like I knew it would, and the sun came out from behind the clouds. The miles seemed to be passing really quickly and I didn’t miss wearing my watch at all. I did catch myself automatically glancing down at my wrist every once in a while though out of habit. It’s hard to break!

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I texted my husband at the halfway point to let him know where I was since he was coming to meet me at the finish, and I noticed the time was exactly 8:00. This meant I ran the first 5 miles in 45 minutes, which is a 9 minute/mile pace. I know I said I didn’t care about my time, but I couldn’t help doing the math! I was feeling okay since my stomach cramps had passed, but I knew from experience that the second half of the race was harder than the first half because of lots of rolling hills. I knew I’d most likely not be able to maintain that pace, but I was fine with that. The photo below is the last one I took during the race because once the hills started, I didn’t have any extra energy to expend!

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The last few miles of the race were tough. I got a pain in my shoulder around mile 7 that took a while to go away. I don’t know if anyone else gets these while running but I do every once in a while. I’m not sure if it’s the way I swing my arm or the water bottle I’m holding, but it hurts. I had to try to stretch it out while running but it didn’t work. Eventually I just tried to ignore it and it went away, plus I got to see my husband drive by with the kids on his way to the finish line. Their cheering gave me a little boost :)

Around mile 9 I pretty much lost focus completely when I texted my husband again to ask how my friend was doing. He was going to meet up with her at the finish area and give her some coconut water that he had brought, since she had ridden down with a friend and didn’t have her car. He told me she had to go to the hospital in an ambulance to get checked out because she wasn’t getting better. Hearing that news combined with the hills and rising temperatures caused me to take a walking break… and then another one… and another one. All in the last mile. I was a little disappointed in myself for giving in to walk when I hadn’t yet for 9 miles, but my body was feeling the need to and I accepted it.

We finally made the final turn into the park and I was thankful to see both flat ground, the beautiful finish line, my family and friends, and a better time than I expected on the clock!

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Hartwood 10 Miler

  • Finish Time – 1:32:35 / 9:15 pace

And then Kevin followed me across the finish line! He wins the award for cutest little runner!

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Once I finished my friends and I grabbed some food and drinks and recapped our races. Everyone agreed that the hills seemed harder this year for some reason! Then later after we got home I heard back from my friend who had to go to the hospital. She was starting to feel better and going home. Whew! I was so happy to hear she was okay.

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I was so beat after this race! I took a 2 hour nap with this cutie and was pretty sore in the following days. But I’m super proud of myself for accomplishing my longest race post baby #2.

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All in all, a pretty good ‘comeback’ race after baby. It definitely gives me a good starting point moving forward as I get ready for my two half marathons this fall. I have a lot of room for improvement and I’m excited to see what I can do!

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And to end this post on a funny note, here are some of my race photos that are less than flattering, to say the least! Ugh! Apparently I run cross-eyed and make some very interesting facial expressions :)

Hartwood 10 Miler

Hartwood 10 Miler

Previous Hartwood 10 Miler recaps:

Mom & Baby #2: Week 12

Week 12. It has been almost 3 months since I gave birth to this sweet baby boy. My sweet summer at home with my boys is over and I can’t believe it. Time truly does fly. I honestly did have a really good week despite having to work for half of it. Here are all the details about us in week 12.

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Baby

Kyler had a huge week last week and starting doing all kinds of new things. This week he hasn’t really done anything new, but he’s continuing to work on this skills he learned: holding his head up high, rolling over, blowing bubbles and laughing it up.

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We’re continuing to follow the routine of putting him in his crib to sleep around 7:30 or 8, dream feeding him around 10, and then he tends to sleep until around 4 or 5 AM when he wakes up for his next feeding. I’m curious to see what happens if I don’t dream feed him and let him continue sleeping, but I’m a little afraid to try! I plan to soon though, because it doesn’t really seem like he needs that extra feeding. He’s getting so big!!

Happy waking up, until he realizes that he is hungry! :)

Happy waking up, until he realizes that he is hungry! :)

This week I had to work Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. It’s been an interesting transition to having Kyler in daycare. He went once last week and he did fine, but this week he resisted a couple of his bottles on the first day. Luckily, it’s getting better and I think he will do just fine once he gets used to the new routine a little more.

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He’s starting to sleep less during the day at this point too. He generally takes about 3 naps a day, but will also take little catnaps sometimes, especially if we’re driving somewhere. The car usually puts him right to sleep. When he is awake he definitely is starting to want to be entertained. He loves looking at toys his brother brings to him, or sitting in my lap and talking back and forth with me. He’s becoming more and more interactive and curious about the world around him and I love it.

His brother is his best source of entertainment!

His brother is his best source of entertainment!

He really likes tummy time these days now that he can lift his head up high and look around. He also loves to roll himself over to look at the toys that are above him. He’s starting to try to hit them with his arms and legs, but he doesn’t have enough coordination and control to do it quite yet.

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I’ve been really paranoid about him getting sick this week, since there was something going around daycare that Kevin caught- he has cough, runny nose and an ear infection :( Oh, and did I mention he also has a black eye from falling into a table? Poor kid! So far Kyler seems to be healthy as can be, and I really hope it stays that way. I’ve been trying to keep them separate and load him up with breastmilk to help his immune system. My husband stayed home with the boys on Friday since Kevin was sick. It was the first time he was with them all day by himself and he did awesome. I love my hubby!

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Body

Last week I wrote about how I fell off the healthy eating wagon due to stress of going back to work, travel, and other things. I’m happy to say I got back on track this week and am feeling good again thanks to having lots of healthy snacks on hand, saying NO to the Oreos, and doing lots of meal planning/prep. I didn’t take any body pictures this week because they really look exactly the same as they have the last few weeks. However, I am slowly starting to lose a little more weight, and am down to 137 (7 pounds above pre-pregnancy weight). I’m also feeling good physically thanks to a few really nice runs I had this week. Last weekend we went to my hometown in Pennsylvania to visit my family and friends. It’s my happy place and I LOVE running around there too. I ran 6 miles and was hoping for a couple more but my body told me no, and I’m trying to practice what I preach and actually listen to it! I remembered once I felt my heavy legs that this was my 4th consecutive day of running, which is too much for me right now. I’ve just been feeling great and excited about running (not following any type of training plan right now) so I didn’t realize it until my body told me otherwise. Lesson learned! I felt good after a day of rest so I know it was the right decision.

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On Monday evening I joined a few of the fabulous women from my local Moms Run This Town group for an interval workout. After warming up for 10 minutes, I did 4x800m repeats with 400m recovery after each. I ran all of my repeats between 3:45 – 4:00. I didn’t really try for any specific pace, I just wanted to see what I could do and was pretty happy with the results. It has been almost a year since I did a workout like this at the track and it felt really good! I’m nowhere near my pre-pregnancy paces but I know I’ll get back there some day!

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Since I had to work a few days this week I got a little glimpse of what my schedule will be like now as a working mom of two little ones. Going back to work means I am back to very early morning runs! Since I have to allow plenty of time to get myself and two kids ready, nurse the baby, and drive them to daycare, this means starting my weekday runs around 5 AM. Ahh! Thankfully I have a neighborhood running buddy who doesn’t mind getting up that early with me. I also have the option of running in the evenings sometimes, but I know myself and I know it’s very unlikely to happen when I’m tired after a long day. We’ll have to see how it goes once I’m back at work full-time.

Mind

We started week 12 with a trip back home to PA, which made me so happy. This was the first time visiting my hometown since having baby #2 which felt really special. We did travel up to Pennsylvania when Kyler was 5 weeks old for my cousin’s wedding, but we were in a different part of the state. It was really nice to see everyone and spent some quality time together.

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While we were in Pennsylvania many people commented to us that we seem a lot more relaxed as parents now.  The more I thought about it the more I realized this really is true. I think after not knowing what we were doing while raising Kevin and seeing that he turned out okay makes us a lot more confident this time around. We also threw ourselves into a lot of travel and busyness right after Kyler was born, which kind of forced us to relax and let a lot of things go that were out of our control. This summer was an amazing learning experience for us, but I’m definitely glad we have a while until we have to travel again, that’s for sure! I’m ready for some relaxing weekends at home!

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Just relaxing at the pool... :)

Just relaxing at the pool… :)

And then I went back to work! I was dreading this week of training that I had before school officially begins, and I really started to question why I agreed to do this class on top of my regular teaching responsibilities. But it actually ended up being fine. I enjoyed what we were learning and the days flew by. It took some time to get my brain back into working mode since I’ve been off for 3 months, and pumping was a little stressful since I was not at my own school and had to figure out when/where to pump. It all turned out okay though, which made me optimistic that I’ll have a good school year and transition back to work. I have training again on Monday and Tuesday, then I have the rest of the week off before starting back up full-time on Monday, August 24th. If I can’t stay at home with my kids, at least I get to do something I enjoy (most of the time). I’m definitely going to miss these two like crazy though!

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I am so glad that I wrote weekly updates for Kyler’s first 12 weeks of life. It was not only a good way to document how he’s changing and growing, but it was also a nice way to remember what we did all summer as a family of 4. My next update on us will be when he is 4 months old. It will be interesting to see what changes between now and then!

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Previous Mom & Baby posts:

Mom & Baby #2: Week 11

Week 11 was HUGE! So many things happened and changed in my little baby boy’s world. Here are all the details!

Holding that head up high!

Holding that head up high!

Baby

Kyler has had a big week. I feel like he woke up one day and a switch flipped. He started doing all kinds of new things and he just seems so much bigger, full of amazing rolls and chubby cheeks! One of his newest skills that has just popped up is that he’s blowing bubbles now. I will look over to him and his mouth will be covered in them. It’s so funny!

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Along with the bubbles comes lots of drool! I think this is something that starts around the second month for babies because I remember it happening with Kevin too. His hand is always in his mouth as well. I think it’s one of the ways he has learned to soothe himself, because he will often fall asleep after sucking on his hand or fingers. He does still take a pacifier occasionally but isn’t a huge fan of it.

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He is still a super happy, smiley baby. He really reacts to us now which feels great. His huge, gummy smile seriously melts me into a puddle.

This smile is the best :)

This smile is the best :)

But this week along with the smiles have come little mini-laughs! It’s not quite a full blown giggle yet, but it’s a start! It was actually his brother who got him to laugh for the first time, which makes me really happy. Watch the video below to see!

Another first this week: Kyler’s first time attending daycare. I had to go back to work for one day to attend a conference. It was definitely harder on me than it was on Kyler. He had a blast with Nanny (which is what we call our daycare provider), his older brother, his cousin Austin and the other kids there. He napped and took his bottles like a champ. I was so proud of him :)

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Like I said earlier, Kyler has started holding his head up so high all of a sudden. He’s able to hold it up for a couple minutes at a time. Once he started doing this, he also started rolling over like crazy! As soon as I put him on his belly he tries to roll. Sometimes he gets stuck on his side but he’s getting there! I got a good video of one of the first times he rolled from belly to back that you can see below.

And yet another first – I told you there were a lot of them this week! Kyler slept the whole night in his crib. I really wanted to get him in there before I started back to work. Our new routine is that I nurse him and put him down between 7:30 and 8:00. Before I would just keep him downstairs with us while we hung out. Then before I go to bed, I go into his room and dream feed him around 10. He usually wakes up lightly while I feed him and change his diaper, then falls back asleep. This has been working amazingly so far. Since starting this his long sleep stretches after the dream feed have ranged from 6.5 hours all the way to 8 hours! Woo hoo! This is how I found him in the morning after his first night in the crib- turned upside down and breaking out of his swaddle. I think he liked the extra space. What do you think?

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In other news, Kyler continues to be the object of his brother’s affection, and he loves it (most of the time!). But really, Kevin gets some of the biggest smiles out of him and it’s so sweet to watch.

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As if Kyler weren’t already a really laid-back, flexible baby, I think all of our recent travel is making him even more able to adapt to new situations. So far in his 2.5 months of life we’ve traveled to Pennsylvania for a wedding, then to Myrtle Beach, and to Raleigh last weekend (more about that later!). Finally, on Friday we went back to Pennsylvania to visit family and friends. Whew! What a busy baby!

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And of course, just like his big brother, he’s turning into his daddy’s mini-me more and more with each day.

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Body

After taking a few steps forward physically with eating well and feeling good about my progress, I took a step back this week. The stress of a busy week, lots of travel, and having to go back to work got to me and I didn’t eat as well. Hence the photo below. Late night pumping session while snacking on Oreos. Nice. Emotional eating at it’s finest, and you can see it on my body this week unfortunately.

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On top of not eating the best I did a lot of running which left me with a very tired body. The running itself felt pretty good but I know that I need to work on fueling myself better, especially since I’m also nursing. Lesson learned, I will work harder on this next week!

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Mind

Wow… so much on my mind this week! It started on a high note when we got Kevin back after he stayed a few extra days at the beach with my in-laws. I missed him so much. It felt amazing to have him back in my arms! We decided to pick him up in Raleigh, North Carolina and spend the weekend there since it was about halfway between Myrtle Beach where my in-laws live and Northern Virginia where we live.

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Our weekend in Raleigh was awesome. It is a great smallish city with a ton to do, good food, a great craft beer scene and running community. We had a blast exploring and eating/drinking our way through the city.

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One of the best parts was finally meeting Tracie, who writes over at another blog called Run Inspired! That’s actually how we first “met” online a few years ago. We have kept in touch through many races, new PRs, DNFs, and pregnancies. She is pretty amazing – she has qualified for Boston a few times (her fastest marathon is 3:26 I believe!), is running again after fracturing her hip and having surgery last year, and just had a beautiful baby girl a few weeks before I had Kyler. I was really excited to meet her in person! We had lunch with our babies and husbands on Saturday, and then on Sunday we ran with a group starting at Runologie – the running store where she works. She slowed WAY down for me (Thanks Tracie!) and we ran 3 hot miles around the city while talking about all things motherhood, running, and Raleigh. The run went by way too quickly. I wish we had more time, but we definitely made the most of our weekend away.

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After our trip came the day that I was dreading – my first day back to work. It was a little bit of a different scenario because I was attending a conference that wasn’t at my school and only had one scheduled break for lunch. I wasn’t sure how or when I would pump, but to my surprise the building we were in had a special room just for nursing mothers. I was so excited!

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It was tough and I missed Kyler so much since this was the first time we had been apart for more than a couple hours. However, now that I have the first day behind me I feel a lot more comfortable with the idea of going back to work. What helped a lot was going over to our daycare provider’s house the night before and talking to her about everything: his routine, what he likes and doesn’t like, my worries, etc. Once I got it all out I felt much better. It’s a different situation this time around because for Kevin’s first year we had a babysitter come to our house. This time he will still be in a home setting, but with a lot more kids. I know he will do great though, and I really like that he’ll be with not only his big brother and cousin, but a woman that we love and who loves our kids so much!

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Kyler meeting his “Nanny” for the first time!

Finally, we ended week 11 with yet another trip – this time to Pennsylvania to see my family and friends. These boys sure are becoming great at traveling! More about our trip next week, since Kyler technically turned 11 weeks on Friday and that’s the day we headed up north.

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My little travelers!

I have a feeling week 12 is going to be another roller coaster ride, since I have to go back to work Wednesday through Friday, and the following Monday and Tuesday as well. Then I’ll be off for 3 more days before starting back up full time on Monday, August 24th. I cannot believe how fast this summer went. It makes me really sad to think my time at home with my boys is almost over. Since I’m going back to work, next week will also be my last weekly update before I switch over to monthly. I think that’s probably a good thing since I have been posting these later and later each week! For now I’m going to soak up these last few days with my boys.

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Previous Mom & Baby posts:

Mom & Baby #2: Week 10

Another week has come and gone. We spent most of it still on vacation at the beach, which was so nice and much needed! Here are all the details about us in week 10.

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Baby

Kyler loved his time at the beach this week! He’s still a little unsure about the water, but I think by this time next year he will love it just like his brother.

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One thing he’s gotten down is sleep. This kid can truly sleep anywhere. We had a nice tent that my friend let us borrow and it was great on the beach. We just laid him down in there with our little fan blowing on him and he was good to go! I have noticed that he is started to take less short catnaps, and he now takes about 3 longer naps per day, which is nice. At night his long stretch is still 4.5 – 6 hours.

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Nursing is (clearly) going well… check out the cheeks on this kid! He just keeps growing! His 0-3 size clothes are starting to get snug. It’s so different having a big baby. Kevin basically fell off his growth chart by this age due to his reflux and then my supply issues, and I felt so much guilt over that. This boy is the complete opposite. He eats on average 8-9 times a day and always eats on both sides. In addition to nursing I pump about 5-6 extra ounces per day that I freeze. I now have 210+ ounces frozen! I just hope that my supply stays this way when I go back to work in a few weeks and start having to rely on my pump more.

Look at those cheeks!

Look at those cheeks!

The issue we had last week with his bad gas and not pooping has gotten better. It took a few days, but eventually the super smelly gas stopped and he started pooping regularly again. I’m still not sure what triggered it (if anything) but I’m keeping my eye on it. In the meantime my happy baby is back!

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Here are some more of my favorite pictures from the week:

Sink bath with Mamaw

Sink bath with Mamaw

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Beach bumming!

Thumbs up for vacation!

Thumbs up for vacation

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I love this face

My boys

My boys

Body

I was pretty proud of myself this week. I went to the beach at 10 weeks postpartum and wore a bikini. I won’t lie and said I felt amazing and super confident, but I did it and didn’t obsess about it. That is a big deal to me, especially with the past body issues I have had. I’m 10 pounds above pre-pregnancy weight, have a jiggly belly and my linea negra is still there. My boobs are big and have lots of blue veins all over them. I don’t have a lot of muscle tone anymore and my arms and legs have keratosis pilaris bumps from postpartum hormones. But you know what? I wasn’t even thinking about those things when I was on the beach playing with my boys. All that mattered was making memories with my family and seeing how happy they were, which made me really happy too.

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I am continuing to add miles onto my long run.  I actually did two long runs during this week, a 7 miler on Sunday at the beach and an 8 miler on Friday (since we’re going out of town today for the weekend- more on that later). Both of them felt really good. I really don’t feel very different from my pre-baby self, except for a slower pace, but I’m slowly getting back to where I was.

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Yesterday’s 8 mile run was amazing. About halfway through the run I was in a really good groove and realized that I was running negative splits. I felt great so I decided to try to keep it up. My splits were 9:41, 9:28, 9:25, 9:16, 9:12, 9:02, 8:51 and 8:38. It was a hilly route too! I’m really liking progression runs because they are re-teaching my legs how to run faster without doing intense intervals or tempo runs, which I’m not quite ready for yet.

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Aside from my long runs I had some other really great runs this week. I’m just feeling stronger over and I love it. Now I really need to start adding strength training back in, and I know it will help me even more. I’m really looking forward to the Hartwood 10 Miler in two weeks, which is one of my favorite local races. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it but since I hit 8 miles today I’m going for it. So exciting!

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Mind

This week I felt relaxed and stress-free for the most part since we were on vacation. I just love being near the ocean, and I have so many memories starting from childhood until now with family and friends and my husband that have taken place at different beaches. To be there now with my own little family just felt really special. We spent some time at the beach, relaxing at my in-laws house, at the splash pad and the kids amusement park. It was so much fun.

A lazy morning on vacation with my family :)

A lazy morning on vacation with my family :)

My mom & me on the left, Kevin & me on the right.

My mom & me on the left, Kevin & me on the right.

While we were there I was able to have some one-on-one time with my hubby. We went on a sunrise run together and a date night while my in-laws stayed with the boys. It was so nice, since we haven’t had any alone time since Kyler was born. We definitely need to try to have more date nights now that Kyler is getting a little older and takes a bottle well. It is so important!

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My hubby and I did take a BIG step though, when we went back home and left Kevin at the beach for a few more days with his grandparents. This was really difficult for me, to say the least. I was very emotional about it because the only time we’d been away from him was the night Kyler was born – and that was only about 12 hours. This was going to be 4 days, and he was going to be 6 hours away from us. I’m an anxious person and a worrier by nature, so I got pretty stressed out about it at first not knowing how he would do with it. However, it turned out to be much harder on us than it was on him. He had a blast and didn’t seem to miss us at all, haha. We were able to FaceTime him a couple times each day and my mother-in-law sent us lots of pictures and videos as well.

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Even though we really missed Kevin, it was nice to have a couple relaxing days with Kyler. It’s amazing how easy a newborn is in comparison to a newborn + toddler! I even got to go to my husband’s trivia night that he hosts. I have never been able to go before because it’s past Kevin’s bedtime.

Double duty: trivia host & daddy!

Double duty: trivia host & daddy!

We have another busy and fun week ahead, including a weekend trip to Raleigh, North Carolina and I have to go back to work for one day for a conference! Eek! Wish me luck as I sent Kyler to daycare for the first time :( See you in week 11!

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My family <3

The boys and their grandparents

The boys and their grandparents

Previous Mom & Baby posts:

Mom & Baby #2: Week 9

What a week! Kyler has officially passed the 2 month mark and we are currently on our first real family vacation! So much to share. Here are all the details about us in week 9.

Amazing how much 2 boys can change in only 2 months!

Amazing how much 2 boys can change in only 2 months!

Baby

This week Kyler officially hit the 2 month mark! I cannot believe how fast my baby boy is growing!

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I took him to the pediatrician for his 2 month visit and he weighed in at 11 pounds 9 ounces, and is 23.5 inches long. That is two pounds and an inch more than Kevin was at his age. So crazy! I think he may outgrow his brother someday.

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The appointment went well and Kyler is one healthy baby boy. The pediatrician did point out that he is a little flatter on the right side of his head, due to him preferring that side when he sleeps. We just need to keep an eye on it and encourage him to not always go to that side, do tummy time and baby wear and other activities that keep his head up. He also got 3 shots and 1 oral vaccine and was not a happy boy for the rest of the day. We had lots of snuggle time.

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Speaking of sleep, it’s getting better again now that we’re totally out of his Wonder Week. He is back to a 5-6 hour long stretch before a couple smaller stretches of 2-3 hours. It feels great to get a little more sleep now! I’m hoping it continues to get more and more consistent as I prepare to go back to work next month. While he still likes to sleep during the day, I noticed he’s not taking as many little catnaps as he was. The naps he takes are getting a little longer and he’s super alert in between them. Hopefully this will start to turn into more of a predictable “schedule” like Kevin fell into on his own when he was around this age.

Attempting to take a nap with Kyler but he wanted to play instead :)

Attempting to take a nap with Kyler but he wanted to play instead :)

One new development has been Kyler’s bad gas. The pediatrician even commented on it when we were there for his appointment. I have no idea why it smells horrible all of a sudden, but I do think it has something to do with the fact that he is pooping less often. I haven’t suddenly changed anything in my diet so I am not sure why this is happening. It doesn’t really seem to bother him though – he’s still a happy boy and doesn’t cry or struggle to relieve the gas. It may just be that his digestion is changing as he gets older, but I’m going to keep an eye on it and see.

Even though he has bad gas he sure is cute!

Even though he has bad gas he sure is cute!

This week Kyler had two big firsts when it came to water – first time in a pool and first time at the beach! We went to the pool last weekend and while he wasn’t sure about the water at first (check out that face below!), he warmed up to it pretty quickly.

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Then later on in the week we headed south to Myrtle Beach, where my in-laws live. We went to the beach on our first full day there and both boys had a blast. Kyler really is such an easy-going, flexible baby. He passed right out on a blanket in our tent and just went with the flow of everything we were doing. I love it!

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Another water milestone this week was that he has really started to like taking showers, just like Kevin did. We even recreated a photo we took when Kevin was around 8/9 weeks old. Check out the similarities! Kyler just has darker hair and is a couple pounds heavier :)

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One of Kyler’s new favorite things to do is stick out his tongue. He is starting to do this all the time and it’s so cute! He’s also continuing to love his hands. He will stare at them, practice moving them in different ways, and they are constantly in his mouth… which leads to lots and lots of baby drool!

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He also has starting to bat at his toys on his playmat, which is a new skill that is supposed to emerge after the Wonder Week he just completed. It blows my mind how accurate they are!

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Body

I’m actually feeling pretty good about my body this week. Thanks to bumping up my running a bit, doing some T25 workouts with my hubby, and making an effort to eat better I feel like I’m starting to make some good progress. I am noticing a difference in photos as well as how my clothes are fitting. Yeah!

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Last weekend I ran my longest post-baby distance to date (6 miles) with a group of ladies from some local Moms Run This Town chapters. I wasn’t sure how this new distance would feel, but thanks to a new route and good company I felt great! It (almost) doesn’t feel like I had a baby recently except for my slower pace, which makes me excited for the future!

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I did have an issue with my new Brooks Adrenalines though. Last week I wrote about how I discovered that the new 15 model was cut differently than previous models, so I exchanged my normal size for another half size up. It worked great at first, but then I started noticing that since they are larger my socks would fall down in the back a little bit which was giving me a little blister. Ugh. I decided to experiment with different lacing techniques based on this chart to see if it would help. I tried #2 and it worked perfectly! No slippage or blisters whatsoever since then. Yay!

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Mind

The week started off a bit rocky with some ups and downs. I was able to get together with two of my close friends who had babies within a few months of me, which was so nice. It was great to see all of the babies together and think about how 10 years ago we were about to start our sophomore year of college and move into an apartment together. Right after our get-together I had to leave Kyler for the first time to go to a meeting at work. I left him at the friend’s house that I was visiting, since she lives right down the road from the school I work at and she really wanted to be the one to watch him for me. I was only gone for two hours but it was tough. I thought about him the entire time, and it made me really nervous to go back to work in a few weeks.

Kyler "playing" with his friend Ava while I was at work

Kyler “playing” with his friend Ava while I was at work

In the days that followed I had some drama with Kevin, who has decided he is not going to wait until his birthday in September to become a “three-nager.” In the span of 2 days he got upset because I ate the leftover quinoa that he apparently wanted (LOL). Then at bedtime he had an epic meltdown because we had to take his shark nightlight away since it was just recalled for being a fire hazard. This morning he cried because a piece of his sidewalk chalk broke and I couldn’t fix it. Then we went to the library to return his Thomas movie before our trip and he threw a huge fit. Sigh… and I used to think taking care of an infant was hard!

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“Fix the chalk mama!” :(

Then we were off to the beach! Roadtripping with two kids was… interesting. We left around 5:30, and the drive takes about 6 hours from where I live. We had to make a few stops for stretching, bathroom, and nursing breaks, and Kevin decided he didn’t want to stop talking or sleep until we were almost there, but we made it!

Before we left

Before we left

Making a pit-stop

Making a pit-stop

Now that we’re actually here I’m feeling great. It’s so nice to have family time, and it’s awesome to have grandparents who want to do lots of baby holding and babysitting. My husband and I have welcomed the break with open arms! It is also really special to be down here in Myrtle Beach with our kids, because we have a lot of memories down here. The first time we came down here was about 8 months into our relationship back in 2010. Now it’s 5 years later and we’re married with two kids. Crazy! Our hands are definitely fuller now but so are our hearts.

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And that’s a wrap on week 9. Life has been so busy lately, which is why my only posts have been these updates. I have a list of posts I want to write but can’t seem to find the time to do them right now. We are actually already a few days into week 10 since I’m late writing this post, so I’ll have more vacation pictures and stories to share next week!

Previous Mom & Baby posts:

Mom & Baby #2: Week 8

Kyler is now 8 weeks old, which is when I had to go back to work after having Kevin. I am SO thankful to still have another month at home with my boys. Trying for a spring baby really paid off for us. If I can’t stay at home full-time then I really believe that being a teacher is the next best thing. Here are all the details about all of us in week 8.

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Baby

It’s pretty amazing how much easier everything is this time – both because Kyler is an easier baby and because it’s my second time around. One of the biggest ways baby #2 has been easier than baby #1 is breastfeeding. Kyler is a great eater, he doesn’t have any reflux or issues with dairy like Kevin did, and is gaining weight like a champ. My supply is doing amazing and I have over 150 ounces in the freezer as of now. I’m also a lot more open and less shy about breastfeeding this time. I still wear a cover if I am in public most of the time, but I’m starting to nurse without it in certain places. I went grocery shopping with Kyler this week while Kevin was at daycare and needed to feed him, so I went to the upstairs seating area and fed him without a cover. I’m still pretty modest, but between my shirt and the nursing tank I was wearing underneath, nobody could see anything anyway. With Kevin I would always wear a cover, find the most secluded place possible or go to my car.  This felt so freeing and I was proud of myself.

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Speaking of gaining weight, this babe is getting chunky and I LOVE it. He’s also sooooo long! Check him out here next to his brother. He looks huge to me! I am not used to having a big baby. Kevin didn’t hit 12 pounds until he was over 4 months old due to his reflux and other weight gain issues. Kyler’s already creeping up there. He was 11.5 pounds when I weighed him at home the other day! I can’t wait to see his official weight and height at his 2 month appointment next week.

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Sleep was both good and bad this week. The good part was that we got our longest stretch to date – 6 hours! I think he would have slept longer but I woke him up to feed him because I thought my boobs were going to actually explode. It’s only happened once so far, but we put the sound machine in our room and I think that has really helped him sleep more soundly. During the day he can really sleep anywhere, and lately he’s been falling asleep without his pacifier or any help from us in places like his bouncy chair, swing, or the newborn lounger. I’m happy that he’s able to put himself to sleep sometimes and I hope that means we’ll have an easier time with sleep in the future!

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However, we’re still working through Kyler’s second wonder week, so his sleep hasn’t been ALL good lately. He’s been a little more fussy than usual and wanting to be held a lot. Just look at that face. Breaks my heart.

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Kyler is finally starting to like getting a bath. He smiled through the whole thing the other night, which was nice. We had been rushing through them because he was so unhappy. He better like the water… he was born in it after all! :)

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We’ve noticed that Kyler is starting to react to toys and external stimuli more. He stares at the toys above him in his swing and activity mat, and kicks his legs and swings his arms around like he wants to touch them but can’t yet. He also has been loving Sophie the giraffe, and gives us big smiles when we squeeze her and she squeaks at him.

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Here are some more of my favorite photos from this week.

Our super tall boy!

Our super tall boy!

The stages of waking up with Kyler

The stages of waking up with Kyler

Big brother checking little brother's heartbeat

Big brother checking little brother’s heartbeat

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Smiles :)

Body

Let’s get real for a minute. Most days I feel pretty good about my body and the progress I’ve made since giving birth 8 weeks ago. It hasn’t been so easy lately though. We are getting ready to go on vacation to the beach so I have been going through my clothes and bathing suits from last summer to start packing. I’m 10-13 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight (depending on the day), and not much fits except a few dresses and looser fitting shirts. I have two pairs of shorts and one pair of jeans that fit, two of which are maternity. My hips are still too wide for most of my regular jeans. My bathing suits are not flattering at all due to being larger on top and the bottom right now, and of course I still have some baby belly leftover. Trying to pack for a beach vacation was a little discouraging, to say the least. I started feeling frumpy and uncomfortable in my skin.

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I put packing on hold for a couple days and today I was scrolling through the pictures on my phone. I came across my last belly photo from the day I gave birth, which you can see below. On the right is today at 8 weeks postpartum. Seeing these photos next to each other gave me a reality check. I need to remember that less than 2 months ago I looked like this, and that my body has carried and given birth to two little humans. That is amazing! Not only that, but my body is able to run, lift, breastfeed my baby, take care of my family and more. My body has been good to me and it deserves to be treated with love and respect in return. So I decided that I will pack my clothes, maybe pick up a few new things that make me feel more comfortable, and rock them proudly on vacation… including that bikini!

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In other body news, I decided to change my hair! I have been wanting to go back to my natural color for a while to make it easier to maintain, but was scared because it’s a lot darker than what I’m used to. I finally took the plunge this past week and also cut off all of my nasty dead ends, and I LOVE it! It’s definitely helping me feel a lot less frumpy and more fabulous :)

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All is going well in the fitness world. I’ve been running like usual, but this week I started running on a few consecutive days rather than every other day like before. I felt like my body was ready for it and it has responded well so far. I had a good 5 mile run over the weekend despite the fact that it was midday and HOT! Kevin and I have also started doing T25 workouts together. It’s been fun to work out again at the same time since we usually take turns these days. He really wants to get back in shape so I am happy to jump in with him on his workouts when I feel up for it!

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I finally was able to meet with my doctor this week and discuss my thyroid bloodwork results. Over the last 3 months my TSH level went from a 2.9 to .89. My doctor likes to keep me between 0.30-3.00, so this is still within normal limits, however it’s more on the hyper side (overactive) than the hypo side (underactive). I had a feeling this might be the case because of how hungry I have been, even with breastfeeding and running. I have come to learn my body well and know when my levels are changing. Since I don’t have any negative side effects to this level besides increased hunger, he wanted to keep my dosage the same. He didn’t want to decrease it because he said that being on the higher end of the range (having a more underactive thyroid) can lead to milk supply issues, which I definitely don’t want since things are going so well right now. He did a few other thyroid related tests and all came back fine as well, so I’m just going to keep an eye on my symptoms and get my blood retested in a few months to see when my meds might need to be adjusted to a lower dose again.

When the baby wakes up crying before your workout is over!

When the baby wakes up crying before your workout is over!

Below is a comparison between week 1, week 4, and week 8. I see some change since last month but not a ton. Bumping up my running mileage and mixing it up with some T25 should help next month I think.

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Mind

Mama was under quite a bit of stress this week. Kevin needed to have surgery to repair a hydrocele/hernia where fluid was going back and forth from his abdomen to his testicle. It was originally scheduled for August, but then they had a cancellation so we went ahead and did it this week since it was causing him some discomfort. We talked to him a lot about it beforehand and he was fine, but I was so nervous – mostly because he had to go under anesthesia and because surgery always comes with some risks.

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So cute in his hospital gown

My hubby took off work and we all drove down to Richmond early on Wednesday morning. Kevin was prepped for surgery and we spoke to the doctor and the anesthesiologist. When it was time my husband walked him back to the OR doors, and then they took him back from there. I wasn’t sure how he would do without us there with him, but apparently he was fine. They put the mask on him and he was asleep within a minute or two. The surgery took about an hour and all went well. They had to make an incision near his hipbone and also in his scrotum to close and tack down everything, and then stitched him back up. When he was done they kept him in recovery until he came out of anesthesia. They warned us that kids fight it HARD when they come out of it, but it still broke my heart to hear him coughing, crying, and screaming behind the curtain. Eventually they brought him back to us and I was able to hold him and comfort him as he continued to come out of it. That was by far the worst part. He was confused and his voice was raspy (from the breathing tube). He wasn’t allowed to walk for 8 hours because they put a caudal block that numbed him from the waist down. It was rough, but his medical team was amazing and I was really happy when it was all said and done. Recovery was a little challenging, since he was in some pain and on meds, and he needed to take it easy which isn’t easy to explain to a 2 year old. But I think the whole thing was harder on me than it was on him. I cried more than he did, that’s for sure! He’s a tough little guy!

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Overall though, I’m still surprised by how happy I feel every day. I did not feel this way after Kevin was born. I was overwhelmed, stressed, and cried almost every day at least once. I definitely had some baby blues for a while. This time I just feel happy and thankful for how good life is, and how lucky I am to have my family.

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We had some good quality family time this week too. Some lazy, relaxing days at home and some fun days out with friends and family. I like that balance :)

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Whew! That’s a wrap on week 8. It was definitely a busy one! My plan is to continue with these weekly updates while I am home for the summer until Kyler is 12 weeks old, then I’ll switch over to monthly updates. Week 9, here we come!

Previous Mom & Baby posts: