Monthly Archives: August 2012

Baby K: 36 Weeks

It’s hard to believe that I only have a few more of these updates to write! I was originally expecting to be pregnant for at least 4 more weeks and most likely more than that, but after today’s doctors appointment I’m not so sure. Most about that later!

What’s Happening With Baby?

This week baby is the size of a crenshaw melon!

It seems like every week the baby is the size of a different melon. I didn’t even know what a crenshaw melon was but my grocery store had one! Anyway, according to The Bump, most of baby’s systems are in working order and would be able to breathe without any support if he or she were to be born today. BabyCenter says that the baby is gaining about an ounce a day (wow!) and weighs about six pounds at this point.

How I’m Feeling

I’m feeling pretty good! I officially went back to school earlier this week so I have been keeping busy. I was at school some days before that working in my classroom but this past Monday teacher “work week” began so I’m back to working full-time. The kids don’t start until next Tuesday, so I’ve been in meetings and getting plans ready for the year and for maternity leave. It’s all coming together and I’m feeling better about starting my 5th year of teaching. It’s just crazy not knowing how long I’ll be in the classroom with my students before baby comes!

Other than being busy with school, we’ve been busy getting lots of other things ready. My dad and sister visited last weekend to see the house and help us with some baby prep stuff. We also got both car seat bases installed and checked by firefighters, and we packed our hospital bags. I packed one bag with things that I want during labor and another that Kevin will go back to the car and get later that has what baby and I will need afterwards. It felt very strange to pack these bags but I’m glad that they are ready to go!

We finished up things at our old apartment and officially said goodbye to it. It was a little sad for me even though I am so, so, SO happy to be out of there and into our own house. I get attached to things very easily, and we have had a lot of memories there over the last two years. This apartment is the first place we moved into together, it’s where we lived when we planned our wedding and got married, and it’s where we conceived our baby and experienced most of my first pregnancy (haha, TMI). So I was a little sad to see it empty and to close and lock the door, knowing I wouldn’t see it again. I’m dramatic, I know.

How I’m Changing

The biggest and most obvious change is the drop in my belly. I suspected that it was starting last week, and this week it is much more noticeable. I’ve even had others comment on how it looks lower. I’m able to see a little more of my ribs now and I feel lots of pressure down below.


At my doctor’s appointment today the doctor confirmed that the baby has definitely dropped. She was trying to feel what position baby was in and couldn’t find the head. She got the ultrasound machine to make sure he/she wasn’t breech now and she found the head very low in my pelvis. She said that the baby’s dropped position combined with the fact that I am very active and still running leads her to predict that baby will come on or before my due date, but she said obviously there is no way to be sure. She said that in her experience and in the research she has read, moms that are active and especially runners tend to go into labor slightly earlier and have quicker labors… but I hope I didn’t just jinx myself by saying that! She recommended that I start taking evening primrose oil to soften my cervix, so we picked some up on the way home. I’ll start taking the pills tomorrow. I’m all about natural methods to get my body prepared for labor!

Just for fun – here’s week 4 compared to week 36. I’m wearing the same shirt!


What I’m Eating / Not Eating

Since the baby has dropped I am able to eat a little more than before and I have noticed that I am hungrier, which really helps with my energy levels. Since I’m eating more I feel like I am more productive and not as lethargic. Also since the baby has dropped I don’t have horrible heartburn anymore! Woo hoo!

One of baby’s new onesies 🙂 Love it!

How I’m Staying Active

The most exciting part of this week was running the Gender Defender 5K this past weekend. It was so much fun even though I had to pee the entire time! Since I ended the running streak I have been walking and running a little less, and taking more rest days. I can tell that this is what my body needs right now. It makes me feel good on my runs when I let my body rest in between. I’m still going to try to run at least 10 miles a week for as long as I can, but we’ll see!

  • Run: 10.1 miles
  • Walk: 1.5 miles
  • Strength-Training: 2 Body Pump classes


Week 36 Summary:

  • Weight gained this week: +0.0. My weight still hasn’t changed since 34 weeks when I gained 4 pounds of what I thought was partly water weight.
  • Total weight gained: 24.6 pounds
  • # of days until school starts: 6! Ahhhh!
  • # of days until mommy & daddy’s next race: 10 – another local 5K 🙂
  • Best part of the week: Taking maternity photos! More about this once I get all the pictures back 🙂

For more pregnancy posts, visit the Baby K page!

Gender Defender 5K

Yesterday I ran my 8th race while pregnant, the Gender Defender 5K on the Quantico Marine Corps Base!

I hadn’t raced since the 4th of July back when I was 28 weeks, so I was very excited to get back out there! I put on my “Running for Two” race shirt for the first time in 7 weeks and realized just how much I had grown since the last time I wore it!

I was also very excited for this race because my dad and sister were visiting from Pennsylvania and I had a lot of friends running the race too. I started to get a little nervous the day of the race though, because it was an evening race starting at 7 p.m. and it had been raining all day long. I’m no stranger to running in the rain and I actually enjoy it, but I was worried I would slip and fall or something since my balance is already off at 35 weeks pregnant.

Arriving on base… still raining!

Amazingly, it stopped raining once we got parked and started walking to the start area. My dad brought his fancy camera and was the official race photographer for me and all of my friends 🙂

This race was part of the Marine Corps Marathon series, and these races are never disappointing. They are always super organized, draw a lot of people, and  give out a lot of great race swag. I’ve done a bunch of the races in the series, including the Marine Corps Marathon, Crossroads 17.75K, Turkey Trot 5K, and I ran part of the Historic Half Marathon with my friend Amanda this past May. Every race has been awesome and so was this one. Even though it was ‘just’ a 5K, they really went all out to give the runners a great experience. It was a battle of the sexes themed race, and all about the blue vs. pink. They encouraged the women to wear those colors and had awesome finisher areas for the men, which included beer, pizza, bottle openers, men’s shower and shave gel, and more. The women’s finish area had flowers, wine, luna bars, and a ton of other things. We all received technical race shirts that were awesome, and a special challenge coin upon finishing the race instead of a medal (a military tradition).

We ran into my friend Amanda right away. You might remember her from the Hot Chocolate 15K and the Historic Half. She’s no longer a race newbie and is rocking tons of races now!

We picked up our race bibs and shirts and waited around for the rest of our friends to show up. It wasn’t raining anymore and it was cool and breezy outside. Perfect running weather!

Eventually the rest of our crew showed up. I was loving all the pink! The race director told the crowd that 65% of the runners were females. Yay for strong women!

As we waited for the race to start there was a lot of entertainment to keep us occupied. Vendor booths, a DJ, a little pony, and many people asking about my shirt and pumping up my ego a little bit 🙂 I met a ton of pregnant runners too, which was awesome because I haven’t seen too many of them at races.

My dad loves the candid shots!

It was so nice to have my family there. They have only ever been able to come to a handful of my races, so it was really special to have them there. My sister runs too (she is a graduate of the Couch to 5K program!) but has a knee injury right now so she couldn’t run with us. Maybe next time!

Eventually it was time to make our way over the start. It still wasn’t raining even though the skies were looking dark and I was hoping the rain would hold off. I said goodbye to Kevin since he was going towards the front, and Amanda and I headed to our spot.

The Color Guard presented the colors, we sung the National Anthem, and in true Marine Corps fashion the starting gun went off at exactly 7 p.m. Gotta love the military and their punctual race starts!

I stayed with Amanda for the first mile of the race and she told me we were running about a 9:30 pace (I wasn’t wearing my Garmin). I knew I couldn’t maintain that so I told her to go ahead after we passed the first mile marker and started running at a more comfortable pace after that.

I didn’t take too many pictures because the rain started up shortly after Amanda went ahead of me. I slowed down a bit and watched my step to make sure I was being safe.

I made the big mistake of not going to the bathroom right before the race started so I was dealing with an uncomfortably full bladder the entire time. It was causing a lot of pressure down below but that was my only complaint. I felt good otherwise and didn’t even mind the rain!

Meanwhile, my dad was at the finish line waiting for all of us to come through. He got the first place male finisher who ran the 5K in 17 minutes, and in true battle-of-the-sexes form the first place female was only 45 seconds behind him, finishing in 17:45!

Then Kevin came through, finishing in 23:56! This was only his third time running in like two months, I have no idea how he is so fast without training. I think he’s naturally built for speed more than distance.

A few minutes later my friend and favorite Body Pump instructor Gina came through the finish line.

Amanda was next! Sidenote: Isn’t my dad a great race photographer? I told him he should photograph races as a side job on the weekend for one of those companies like Brightroom or Marathon Foto.

Then I came through – finishing in 32:45, which is an average pace of 10:33/mile. Faster than I have been running recently! I was very happy with that, especially since my last 5K was 31:39, 7 weeks ago with a much smaller belly 🙂 I also met my other goal which was to try to run the whole thing without walking. Woo hoo!

Right after me my friend Danielle finished. This was her first race ever and she has just finished the Couch to 5K program. She was so nervous for this race but did an AWESOME job! She is already doing another 5K in a few weeks and the Army Ten Miler in October! Go Danielle!


After the race we went to our finisher’s area for food, flowers, wine (Not for me! Soon though!), and free race swag.

The Gender Defender 5K was a great race for so many reasons. It was fun, had a great theme, and was well organized. But I think the best part was being at the race with so many people that I love. One of the best parts of running for me is the running and racing community, and I love sharing these types of experiences with people.

Another pregnant race in the books! One more to go on September 8th 🙂

Baby K’s Nursery Tour

Welcome to Baby K’s nursery!

The nursery was the first room we worked on as soon as we moved into our new house. I have been collecting things for it for months, and it turned out exactly how I had always pictured in my mind. We wanted something simple, sweet, and gender-neutral since we don’t know Baby K’s sex yet. We fell in love with the Skip Hop Treetop theme I found on Amazon, and built our nursery around it. It’s all about soft colors, light oak wood, nature scenes, trees, birds, and a lot of owls!

First up- the crib area!

We bought this Graco Lauren crib from, and the Skip Hop Treetop mobile, bedding, and decal are all from Amazon. Inside the crib is a mesh bumper from Babies R Us, a Sleep Sheep, and an amazing knitted owl that my little sister made!

Next to the crib is a little storage shelf with two fabric bins inside. On top is a lamp from Target, and two little owl figurines that were used as decoration at our baby shower. Inside the first bin are a bunch of teethers and feeding accessories that we won’t need for a little while. The second bin is full of stuffed animals, toys, and rattles. Next to this shelf is our bouncer, which will move all around the house with me and won’t stay in the nursery.

Next to the crib is our glider, which is by Storkcraft and also purchased on I have my Boppy pillow and another pillow on it right now, but when baby gets here they will probably be stored in the basket under the table along with a blanket. The side table is from Ikea, and the lamp is another one from Target. The curtains and the rug are also from Target!

The changing area is next. The changing table/dresser is from Storkcraft and we also got it from Walmart. It took Kevin a while to put together but it looks beautiful! The two owl pictures were gifts from Kevin’s sister, and I hung up the notes that everyone wrote to Baby K at our baby shower between them. I will take them down later, but I thought it was nice to do for baby’s homecoming 🙂 The changing pad cover, decal, and activity owl are all part of the Skip Hop Treetop line.

Here’s a look inside the drawers.

Diaper changing supplies.

Some clothes.

Blankets and swaddles.

Extra sheets, changing pad covers, waterproof pads, diapers, etc.

Next to the changing table is a closet with a hanging organizer from Target, some clothes that are boy/girl specific that will need to be exchanged after baby is born, our Mamas & Papas seat and activity mat that I haven’t gotten set up yet.

Last but not least, here is the view from the opposite side of the room looking out the doorway.

This shelf was given to Kevin by his work because they didn’t want it anymore. I love it! On the shelf we put a big K that I found for a few dollars at TJ Maxx, books from our baby shower guests, baby’s ultrasound photo, and a hand crocheted blanket made by my friend Cynthia’s grandmother. Next to the shelf is our hamper which is from Babies R Us.

These two painted canvases were made by my friend Ashley. She gave them to us along with an ink pad for after baby is born. The canvas with the pink owl will have my handprint next to the baby’s handprint, and the blue owl will have Kevin and baby’s handprint. So cute and creative!

Last but not least, here is where the baby will sleep when he or she first comes home from the hospital. We wanted to keep the baby in our room next to our bed in the beginning, but we didn’t want to buy a separate bassinet. We are going to use the bassinet that is in our Pack & Play instead. I think it will work just fine. Please excuse our unmade bed!!!

We are ready! Now all we need is a baby 🙂 We are so excited!


Baby K: 35 Weeks

I seriously cannot believe that we are down to 5 weeks left until my due date! The reality that baby is coming in about a month has hit me very hard. I am SO excited!

What’s Happening With Baby?

This week baby is the size of a honeydew melon! Similar to last week’s cantaloupe, but a little larger 🙂

According to BabyCenter, baby is over 18 inches long and weighs more than 5 pounds. He or she is finished with physical development and will work on putting on weight from now until birth. The Bump also says that my uterus has grown to 1,000 times it’s original size. That is crazy to think about! Baby’s hearing is fully developed, and it will respond most to high-pitched noises. I haven’t tried to make any, but I do know that baby will move around when Kevin gets close to my belly and talks to him or her 🙂

How I’m Feeling

Still feeling very tired after another very busy week. We spent the week working on the house and working at school in my new classroom. We also had our Virginia baby shower, which was amazing! I am definitely in nesting mode, and all I can think about is getting everything ready for the baby. I know I still have 5 weeks until my due date, but I am feeling very anxious to get everything done. The nursery is finished (I will post about it tomorrow!), all the clothes we have are washed and folded, and we have the car seat but don’t have it installed yet. I also need to pack my hospital bag and make some freezer meals for after baby is here. Yup, totally nesting!

How I’m Changing

One of the reasons I feel so anxious to get things ready is because I am noticing a lot of things happening to get my body ready for birth. I have been having a lot of cramping. It feels like menstrual cramps and comes and goes, especially after I have been active. My doctor said this is normal and a form of Braxton Hicks contractions that are getting my body ready for labor. I also noticed that my stomach has dropped a little bit this week. I thought it might be too early for this, but I realized that I wasn’t feeling the baby’s feet in my ribs anymore, they are farther down when he/she kicks. I also can breathe easier and I am not dealing with constant heartburn anymore. I feel more pressure in my pelvic area and have to pee all the time, just like the first trimester, so I definitely feel like baby has gotten lower. I know it’s not finished dropping but it’s a start! What do you think? Can you see the slight drop in my belly when I compare last week with this week? I feel like I can see it from both the front and the side view, but that may just be me.

34 weeks vs. 35 weeks



My swelling has gotten better since last week, but I am still holding onto some water despite trying to rest a lot. I think that is just going to be reality for me the next few weeks! I think the last change is that the baby moves nonstop. It is constantly wiggling around, and it’s really noticeable from the outside now. I have had people point out to me that my belly is moving. So weird!

What I’m Eating / Not Eating

Since we were so busy this week it wasn’t easy to stay on track with our eating but we did our best. We did a lot of convenience food grabbing while we were working on the house and had family around visiting. However I did test out two recipes that I plan to make and freeze: bean, veggie, and avocado enchiladas and vegetable lasagna. Both were really good and will be put on the list of freezer meals to make!

How I’m Staying Active

This week I got to explore the new neighborhood we live in while running. I discovered that it is VERY hilly! I thought where we used to live was but there are definitely more hills here. Running has felt okay this week, but the pressure on my pelvis and bladder is worse since the baby is lower. I usually have to walk at least one time per run (usually more), but I’m just so thankful that my body has allowed me to continue doing the activity that I love so much that I don’t mind 🙂

  • Run: 9 miles
  • Walk: 0 miles – been so busy, no time for walks!
  • Strength-Training: 2 Body Pump classes


Week 35 Summary:

  • Weight gained this week: +0.0. Same as last week, which is fine because I gained four pounds last week! Still think some of it is water!
  • Total weight gained: 24.6 pounds
  • # of days until mommy & daddy’s next race: 3 – we’re doing  a local 5K and I can’t wait!
  • # of days until maternity photos: 4! So excited!
  • Best part of the week: Finishing the nursery!!!
  • Cutest onesie received: Running Buddy onesie from my friend Danielle. I love it!!!

For more pregnancy posts, visit the Baby K page!

Our Virginia Baby Shower

Yesterday we had our second baby shower, hosted by my sister-in-law Kara and my two friends from college, Cynthia and Ashley. It included many of our family members and friends that live in Virginia with us and was a perfect way to celebrate baby’s arrival soon! They took our nursery’s forest and owl theme and rolled with it. It was amazing! Here are some pictures from our special day.

Games and activities, which included bookmarks with messages to Baby K on them, necklaces that everyone wore and were taken away if you said the word ‘baby,’ a baby word scramble game, sex/birthdate/birth time/weight/length prediction cards, and bottles for the beer bottle chugging challenge.

Kara, Ashley, and Cynthia prepared an amazing dessert table filled with cake pops, cookies, owl cupcakes, and candy. The star of the table was this awesome cake. It matches the wall decal in our nursery perfectly and tasted amazing!

We played games- including the word scramble which became pretty intense. We have a competitive family! The boys played a game where they had to see who could drink beer out of a beer bottle the fastest. They said it was harder than it looked!

We cut the cake, just like we did on our wedding day 9 months ago 🙂

Then it was time to open the many generous gifts that we received.

The girls also asked everyone to bring a book for baby’s library instead of a card, with a message inside for Baby K. It was such a sweet idea!!! Everyone also brought an IPA beer for Kevin 🙂 He was happy!

We got so many great things for baby, it would be impossible to post all the pictures and mention them all. The gifts were all practical- like a new parents survival kit and our car seat; or personal- like a PSU sweatshirt (my alma mater); or home-made- like a crocheted blanket and painted canvas for baby’s handprints.

Penn State ladies now relocated to Virginia 🙂

Mommy and Daddy-to-be!

I can’t even explain how fortunate and blessed we feel to have had another amazing shower after our first one in Pennsylvania. I cry every time I think about all the people that support and love this little baby already. I cannot wait for everyone to meet him or her in about 6 weeks!

Breaking the RW Summer Running Streak

After 80 days of running and walking, I broke the streak yesterday. I never posted an 11 week update of my extended summer running streak because we moved and I didn’t have Internet yet, but week 11 was actually great! Kevin ran with me all week, and I stopped wearing my support belt as recommended by my chiropractor and that helped with my leg weakness/numbness because my nerves weren’t as compressed. I was feeling good! It was the start of week 12 when things started to go downhill a little bit for me. My body was really tired from packing, moving to our new house, unpacking, and working in my new classroom and I started to swell pretty badly in my feet and ankles from constantly being on my feet. When I got home last night they were super stiff and painful, and I knew I needed to sit down and put them up rather than go out for my walk. So I did, and the streak was broken.

At the gym before a treadmill walk

Here’s how week 11 and the last few days of the streak went for me:

  • Monday: 2 mile walk
  • Tuesday: 4 mile run
  • Wednesday: 1 mile walk
  • Thursday: 3 mile run
  • Friday: 1 mile walk
  • Saturday: 3 mile run
  • Sunday: 1 mile walk
  • Monday: 3 mile run
  • Tuesday: 2.5 mile walk
  • Wednesday: 3 mile run
  • Total miles ran/walked: 23.5 miles

While I’m sad that I didn’t make my original goal of streaking until Labor Day, I am still proud that I made it 80 days while pregnant during the summer. The end of the streak doesn’t mean the end of running and walking for me, it just means I’ll do it when I feel like it rather than making sure to do it every single day. At 34 weeks pregnant, I think it’s important at this point to listen to my body and rest when I need to.

My final stats for the entire streak since Memorial Day (5/28)-

  • Running Miles: 187.40
  • Walking Miles: 53.75
  • Total Miles Covered: 241.15
  • Days of Running: 47
  • Days of Walking: 33
  • Total Consecutive Days of Streaking: 80

I hope to do another type of running streak again in the future. It really was fun and motivating, and it kept me active during my pregnancy. Thanks Runners World!!!

Previous Recaps:

Baby K: 34 Weeks

Week 34 was a VERY exciting week for us. We were really busy, which is why I haven’t had time to blog at all since last week’s update. I also didn’t have access to Internet until late last night because we finally closed on our house and MOVED!!! It was a long two month process, but we did it! It feels so good to finally be in our house!

What’s Happening With Baby?

This week the baby is the size of a cantaloupe! They didn’t have any at our grocery store, so Kevin got some other type of melon instead. Close enough!

According to BabyCenter, baby is 18 inches long and weighs about 5 pounds. Our baby weighed more than that at our 32 week ultrasound though!  He or she is gaining more and more fat each week which will keep the body warm after birth. The Bump also says that baby is listening to our conversations now, and is getting ready to ‘drop’ farther down into the pelvis soon. I think this is going to happen sooner rather than later because I feel random pressure and pains down there occasionally. I found out at my appointment that baby is still head down (yeah!) and it’s heart rate was 120-130 this time. That was nice to hear after the low heart rate scare that we had two weeks ago. I ate a banana right before the appointment and baby was moving like crazy, so I think that helped.

How I’m Feeling

This week was so exciting and amazing in many ways, but it left me totally exhausted. To prepare for our closing I spent last week packing everything up in our house, then we closed on Friday, cleaned and painted on Saturday, and moved on Sunday with the help of many friends. We didn’t waste any time! I spent all day Monday and Tuesday unpacking, and the last two days I worked at school on setting up my new classroom. So needless to say, I’m feeling tired.

Right after closing with the keys to our house!

But while I’m tired, I’m also feeling the need to NEST and get things ready for baby. One of the first things we did when we moved in was get the nursery ready. Kevin painted and put together the crib and changing table/dresser, and I put up wall decals and washed baby clothes and did other random baby tasks. We also had our hospital tour which really made us realize that this is actually going to happen soon. So exciting!!!

Also, I’m still loving the chiropractor. I’ve gone three times so far and it’s been a great relief for me and has made me feel a lot more comfortable in general. At my second appointment we went over the results of my evaluation and he showed me all the spots on my spine and neck that are stressed or out of alignment. They were ALL on my right side! It makes perfect sense because that is where baby has been the entire time. The left side of my belly is basically empty.  The right side is also the side that I get the leg weakness/numbness while running. Kevin came with me to my appointment tonight and the chiropractor taught him some stretches and things he can do to help me at home. I am loving it!

How I’m Changing

Bigger belly (obviously), but still measured right at 34 weeks at my appointment yesterday so I’m on track! My belly button is so close to popping out and feels sore occasionally. I think it’s going to pop out soon!

The other new change this week is that I have started to have some swelling in my ankles and feet. I think it is a result of being on my feet so much this past week and not resting much. It is very uncomfortable- even painful at times- and my ankles feel really stiff. I think I am also retaining a lot of water because I gained FOUR pounds this week! I haven’t been eating differently or anything and my doctor said it is most likely water and/or a growth spurt. Four pounds is more than I have gained in the last 8 weeks total! I was worried about something else being wrong like preeclampsia since sudden weight gain and swelling are symptoms of that, but my blood pressure was low (104/60) and I didn’t have protein in my urine. I am currently sitting with my feet up and plan to rest at home tomorrow. I’m also going to drink a lot of water and cut back on the salt a bit to see if that helps!


What I’m Eating / Not Eating

With this week being so busy I was happy to stick to our meal plan more or less. The only night we didn’t was Sunday when we were moving and ordered pizza for everyone. The best meal we had this week was Roasted Chickpea Tacos with a spinach salad. We LOVE this meal! I’ve been roasting a bunch of chickpeas and putting them in wraps and salads for Kevin for lunch and he really likes it.

How I’m Staying Active

Still running and walking on alternate days and feeling good. My chiropractor suggested that I try running without my maternity support belt, because he thought that could be contributing to my right leg weakness and numbness when I run. I was hesitant to try it because I thought I would need the support in my belly, but it was actually fine! It has helped so much and I have had very minimal issues with my leg since I stopped wearing it last week. He said that it was probably putting too much pressure where I didn’t need it. I think the key to my pregnant running these days is just to do it every other day, go slowly, and keep my runs short (3-4 miles max). If those are the modifications I have to do to make it work, that is fine with me!

  • Run: 12 miles
  • Walk: 4.5 miles
  • Strength-Training: 1 Body Pump class


Week 34 Summary:

  • Weight gained this week: +4.0 pounds!!! I know some of that is baby especially since I didn’t gain any last week, but I really think it’s partly water retention from my swelling. Oh well.
  • Total weight gained: +24.6 pounds
  • # of days until mommy & daddy’s next race: 9 – we’re doing  a local 5K and I can’t wait! I haven’t raced since July 4th. I miss it!
  • # of days until baby shower #2: 3! I can’t wait!
  • # of nights baby kept me awake by moving all night long: 7
  • Funniest part of the week: Realizing that my belly can now be used as a table 🙂

For more pregnancy posts, visit the Baby K page!