Monthly Archives: May 2013

What’s Next?

Can you tell the school year is winding down? I’m blogging a lot more than usual! Things have definitely gotten a lot more relaxed at work recently, and I’m not having to bring work home anymore. This means I have more time to do things like RUN, and think about running and training, and blog- three things I have been missing a lot this year!

So now that summer break is upon us it’s time to start thinking about my training for marathon #8. I always seem to do best training over the summer for fall races. I’ve been thinking a lot about which races I want to do and for a while I was torn between two that were the same weekend: the Marshall Marathon in West Virginia and the Outer Banks Marathon in North Carolina. Both would be new states for me and not too far for us to travel. As of last night I have made my decision. I will be making my comeback to marathons by running the Outer Banks Marathon on November 10th!

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I am really excited and nervous about this. By the time I run this it will be over two years since my last 26.2 attempt, and I have some goals for myself in this race. I am looking forward to getting back into my training and pushing myself hard again. I know I can get back to where I was before I got pregnant. An added bonus is that it falls on our anniversary weekend, so we’ll get to spend some time at the beach to celebrate. Even better- my friend Amanda is going to run it too as her first marathon! Last year I ran with her in her first half marathon, and she has decided she wants to go for a full now. I could not be more excited to be able to share this experience with her!

I always try to build a half marathon somewhere in my training schedule to test my fitness level. This fall I actually have TWO. The first one is more of a “Just for Fun” race that I’m doing with some friends. It’s the Divas Half Marathon on September 14th in Virginia’s Wine Country. This is a new series and it looks like it will be a lot of fun.

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The second one is the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon, which is super close to where we live.  It is on October 6th, which is 5 weeks before the OBX Marathon- perfect for testing my fitness level and helping me set a realistic goal for the full. It was actually named one of the 27 best half marathons in the country by Runners World too. I can’t wait!

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Although I have missed it, I’m really glad I didn’t rush back into training and try to run another full marathon too soon. I was really upset when my fall last November kept me from training properly and I couldn’t run the Myrtle Beach full- but now looking back it was actually better that I didn’t. At this point at 8 1/2 months post partum I finally feel like I am ready physically and mentally to commit to training again. I’m about to be able to stay home with my little boy for 10 weeks, and I know getting out to run will be good for me and give me some “me time” while I get to be a Stay at Home Mom for the summer. I’m very excited to begin this journey again! It has been way too long!

WIAW: Baby Edition

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Over the weekend I thought it would be fun to do a “What I Ate Wednesday” style post that focused on the baby, so on Saturday I took photos of everything he ate. Now that he is 8 1/2 months old, he’s eating 3 solid meals a day plus a snack or two. That’s in addition to nursing and/or drinking bottles 6x a day. This boy has quite the appetite!

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We do a combination of home-made food and prepared/packaged food. I’m hoping that once I’m off for the summer I can make most of his food, but this is what works for us right now. We also do a combination of purees and baby led weaning style food, where he feeds himself. Here is a typical day of eats for him at this point in his life.

Breakfast: Scrambled egg yolks and a frozen whole wheat waffle. It took him a little while to get used to the texture of eggs, but now he loves them! We are only doing the yolks right now because our pediatrician said to wait until he is a year old to give him egg whites (they are an allergen for many babies). Sometimes I give him a piece of toast instead of a waffle and he likes that too. Other mornings I’ll give him oatmeal with some banana and cinnamon mixed into it. He LOVES it!

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Lunch: Baked sweet potato fries and applesauce with cinnamon. I like to make a big batch of these fries for him to eat all week because he likes them so much. I just peel and cut up a sweet potato into little sticks, spray them with olive oil in the Misto, and then bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes until they are soft. I keep my eye on them and turn them frequently so that they don’t get too crispy or brown. I cut off the ends that are super crunchy. Sometimes I make my own applesauce by baking apples in the oven then pureeing them, but it is a lot easier right now to buy this organic applesauce from the store. There is no sugar or anything else added to it and it tastes really good!

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Other lunches we have done are lentils, banana, avocado, green beans, squash, mango, egg if he didn’t have it for breakfast, etc. Basically anything we have around that we feel like would be a good  lunch. I try to offer him at least 2 foods- a fruit and a vegetable, or a fruit/vegetable with a grain, something along those lines.

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Dinner: Whole wheat pasta with avocado-cilantro sauce and broccoli. I have to say, we are very lucky in that Kevin will try anything that we offer him. We are slowly getting to the point now where we can give him what we make for ourselves for dinner, usually with a few modifications like less spices and salt. This is awesome and so much easier than making him his own little meal, and now that he has two teeth he is able to chew food a lot better too.  On this night, we just gave him a little bit of what we had made and he actually ate a good amount of it! Although a lot went on the floor since he has just discovered how fun it is to throw food. 🙂

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Snacks/Convenience Foods: We love puffs, pouches, and Baby Mum Mums around here! Puffs are great at helping him develop his fine motor skills and keeping him occupied while we prepare his meals. It took him a while to learn to pick them up and get them in his mouth, rather than bury them inside his fist, but he’s a pro now. He even claps for himself when he gets one in his mouth! Baby Mum Mums are nice to take out if I want him to be able to snack on something that will take a while to eat. He loves to gnaw on it.

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These little pouches are a lifesaver for when we are busy or if we’re out or traveling during meal times. Although he is getting to the point where he isn’t satisfied by one and can suck it down in less than a minute! I’m telling you – this boy can eat! I really attribute his crazy appetite for real food as the reason why he’s 19 pounds now! His weight started to spike as soon as we introduced solids at 5 1/2 months. No more weight gain issues for this baby.

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In addition to all of this food, baby nursed or had a bottle at 7:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.

Until next time! I’ve got to go feed the baby 🙂

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Day in the Life with an 8 Month Old: Memorial Day

Here is a 24 hour snapshot of what life is like for us at 8 months old. I took these pictures on Memorial Day (May 27th). We have been focusing on keeping more of a routine on weekends and days that we are off- especially when it comes to making sure he gets two good naps in the crib. We were pretty successful with that on this day, despite being super busy!

5:15 a.m. My alarm goes off super early for my day off. But I have a Memorial Day 5K to go run! I decided to go to the race alone to let my boys sleep, so I get myself ready and pump.

5:55 a.m. I leave the house and head south to Fredericksburg for the race. I also stop at Wawa for (necessary) coffee and eat a Larabar.

6:20 a.m. Arrived at race start, picked up my bib and timing chip, use the bathroom, and run a mile to warm up.

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7:00 a.m. RUN!

7:23 a.m. And I’m done. Recover, catch my breath, eat a banana, drink water, then drive home. Almost get pulled over for speeding but the cop got the person in front of me instead 🙂

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8:05 a.m. I get home and find both of my boys still sleeping. This is super late for the baby who usually gets up between 6:30 and 7:30. I go to wake him up in order to make sure he takes his naps like usual. Kevin (my husband) wakes up too.

8:15 a.m. Hop in the shower. Daddy changes baby’s diaper and plays with him.

8:40 a.m. Feed the baby and he eats forever! Daddy goes downstairs to make breakfast for us.

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9:10 a.m. Time for me to eat a real breakfast. I have oatmeal with banana, blueberries, and peanut butter while baby plays in the exersaucer. Plus more coffee!

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9:40 a.m. I’m finished eating, so I make the baby his oatmeal which I mix with banana and cinnamon. He happily eats it all.

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10:05 a.m. I take the baby upstairs to change his diaper. Afterwards I rock him a little bit to get him to go to sleep. He’s drowsy but still awake.

10:10 a.m. I put him in the crib and he lays there playing with his blanket and talks to himself. Since he slept later this day his first nap was a little later than usual. I am hoping it doesn’t mess with him too much. I go downstairs to start making these smoky sweet potato burgers to grill later while Kevin mows the lawn.

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10:30 a.m. After talking and babbling and whining a bit, baby finally falls asleep.

10:45 a.m. I finish prepping the sweet potato burgers and start chopping up onion, lettuce, and tomato for toppings. Kevin comes in from outside to shower and then puts a load of laundry in.

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11:15 a.m. My BBQ preparations are finished, so I help Kevin take the swing apart 😦 Kevin doesn’t need it now that he naps in his crib and doesn’t enjoy spending time in it anymore, so it is time to pack it away until baby #2 comes along.

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11:25 a.m. I work on doing some of the many dishes that accumulated while I was in the kitchen.

11:37 a.m. I head upstairs to get myself ready for the rest of the day. Afterwards I fold some laundry while I wait for the baby to wake up.

12:05 p.m. The baby wakes up after sleeping for 1 hour and 35 minutes, which is pretty typical for his morning nap. I change his diaper and get him dressed, then I feed him.

12:35 p.m. We head out to Walmart to pick up a few things for our little BBQ.

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1:20 p.m. We arrive back home and make lunch for the baby and us. I have eggs with spinach and snack on some tortilla chips, while Kevin has eggs and waffles, and the baby has some white beans and applesauce.

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1:50 p.m. I changed baby’s clothes because daddy made a mess while feeding him. I also change his diaper. Then we have some playtime on the floor. He is getting a little cranky so I think it’s time for nap #2.

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2:25 p.m. I take the baby upstairs to feed him while Kevin makes the beef burgers for the BBQ.

2:50 p.m. I put the baby down for a nap and once again he is rolling around and talking to himself. He usually takes a nap around 1 or 2 but his late wake up got him off track. I start pre-cooking the sweet potato burgers in a skillet so that they don’t fall apart on the grill. Kevin does some more laundry.

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3:20 p.m. The baby finally falls asleep, much later than I like but at least it’s a nap! I finish the burgers and Kevin puts laundry away.

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3:45 p.m. Happy Hour 🙂

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4:45 p.m. Our friends come over with their little girl Olivia for our little BBQ. The baby wakes up a few minutes later. His afternoon nap was 1.5 hours. I go upstairs to get him and change his diaper while everyone goes outside.

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5:15 p.m. We all hang out in the backyard and give the babies their bottles.

5:45 p.m. The babies play on a blanket in the grass while the guys work on grilling and we all have snacks and drinks. It’s so cute to watch Kevin and Olivia interact with each other now that they are getting older. Kevin is 3 months older than her and very curious about everything she does.

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6:30 p.m. We all eat! Including the babies. Sweet peas for Olivia and a mini sweet potato burger for Kevin, which he likes! The adults eat beef or sweet potato burgers with black bean and corn salad.

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7:45 p.m. Our friends leave, and since it’s getting late we skip Kevin’s bath and get him ready for bed. I change his diaper, put him in PJs, and nurse him to sleep, while Kevin cleans up and does dishes. He also puts the cloth diapers in the wash (never ending laundry on this day!!!)

8:20 p.m. I put the baby in bed and he whined for a few minutes.

8:23 p.m. Baby is asleep.

8:30 p.m. We decide we want something sweet for dessert so Kevin runs out to get us Chipwiches 🙂 I relax, watch the Bachelorette, and start typing my race recap for the blog. Kevin finishes up diaper laundry.

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10:00 p.m. I go upstairs (way too late) and get ready for bed. I pump and go to sleep.

4:10 a.m. I wake up to the baby crying and I am surprised. He hasn’t woken up at this time in a while and sounds very upset about something. I let him cry for a little bit to see if he will fall back asleep.

4:25 a.m. His crying gets more intense so I go in to get him. I change his diaper wondering if it’s bothering him, but it’s not overly wet. I notice him rooting around and realize he is hungry. I mentally count how many feedings he had the day before and felt really guilty when I realized it was only 5 and he usually has 6, so I feed him and he eats for a while.

5:00 a.m. I put him back down in his crib and he falls back asleep. I go back to sleep as well.

6:05 a.m. Time for me to get up and get ready for work, extra sleepy due to his nighttime wake up. Baby is still asleep.

We had a really great Memorial Day. It was super busy, but we got a lot done and still had time to relax and get some quality time with our baby and our friends. I got the baby back on track with his normal nap and feeding schedule today so hopefully he sleeps better tonight. We are taking steps in the right direction!

24 Hour Totals

  • # of feedings: 6 + 3 meals of solids (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • # of diaper changes: 7
  • # of outfit changes: 3 (in and out of PJs + one outfit change after lunch because daddy made a mess)
  • # of hours of sleep for mom: ~7 hours
  • # of hours of sleep for baby: ~15 hours
  • # of hours spent nursing: ~ 2 hours
  • # of hours spent pumping: Only 30 minutes @ 5:30 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. (since I wasn’t at work)
  • # of formula ounces eaten: 12 oz.
  • # of breast milk ounces eaten: whatever he ate directly from me 🙂

Previous “Day in the Life” posts:

Civitans 5K

This morning I ran the Civitans 5K in Downtown Fredericksburg. It was a perfect way to kick off the Memorial Day holiday, since Fredericksburg is a city that is rich in military history. I went to the race alone, which is something I haven’t done since before I met Kevin, because it started at 7 a.m. and I wanted to let my boys sleep in on their day off 🙂

I got to the race at 6:20, picked up my bib and timing chip easily (love small races), used the bathroom, and ran a mile to warm up. While I was warming up I was thinking about how I wasn’t sure what to expect from this race. I have just recently gotten back into running regularly and haven’t done any speed work, except for a few days before when I did a 5 mile progression run. In that run I ran my last two miles at a 7:16 pace. In order to PR I would need to run a 7:26 average pace. I started wondering if it could be a possibility…

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I finished warming up with a few minutes to spare before the race started. I felt good and decided it was time to push myself. I wanted to test my current fitness level and see what I could do as a base line for my upcoming training.

  • Mile 1 – 7:32

During the first part of the this mile I was a little distracted because my watch was acting crazy. I eventually got it working right and tried to settle into a comfortably hard pace- not too fast though since I always make the mistake of going out too fast and burning out. I kept telling myself to be patient and leave something in the tank for later.

  • Mile 2 – 7:31

Mile 2 had some hills as we ran out through some neighborhoods and back. I was feeling strong and passing a lot of people. I focused on the women in front of me and tried to catch them. I tried to speed up my pace but had a hard time dropping it below 7:30. I slowed down a bit to take a cup of water as I passed the second mile marker, a decision that I regretted a bit later…

  • Mile 3 – 7:24

During mile 3 I kicked it into higher gear. I knew I needed to drop my pace in order to PR. As I got closer to the end it started to hurt, and the hills didn’t help. But I felt strong on the uphills and finally passed a woman (and a few men) that I had been chasing for a while. I knew I was going to be super close to my PR as I rounded a corner and saw the finish line far in the distance. I wasn’t quite sure how much time I had left according to the race clock since my watch was messed up in the beginning and it wasn’t showing the total time and distance accurately. As I got closer I saw that the clock said 22 minutes and some seconds. My current PR was 23:07. I thought I would be able to make it under that, so I started to sprint as fast as I could. That last stretch felt SO LONG, and I watched the time tick away on the clock. I finally crossed the finish line and the clock said 23:07. I tied my PR. To the exact second.

My first reaction was disappointment as a bunch of “what ifs” ran though my head. What if I hadn’t slowed down to take water? What if I had just pushed a little more in that last mile? What if I hadn’t been so reserved in my first two miles and sped it up a little more? I was ONE second away from a new PR. I could have made up that one second in many places during the race. But the more I thought about it the more my attitude changed. I decided I wasn’t going to feel disappointed. I am so proud of myself for how I ran this race. For the first time EVER in a 5K I ran negative splits and didn’t go out too fast. Even though I tied my PR, that PR was from almost 2 years ago, way before baby. I ran the same time at 8 1/2 months post partum when I wasn’t really running much at all, and not doing any type of speed work.

I was the 32nd finisher out of 175, the 8th woman out of 99, and 4th in my age group out of 21. Not too shabby 🙂

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So now rather than feeling disappointed, I am feeling excited. Excited about new possibilities and my running potential now that I am beginning my marathon training again soon. Excited to see what I can do when I really start training my body properly again.  I have a good feeling that I will come back better and stronger than ever.

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Marathon training begins in a few weeks. I’M READY!

What I’m Loving Lately

Just popping in to say hi and share some things I’m loving lately.

Nike Training Club App. This is a free app with tons of workouts you can do. I am loving it as a quick way to fit in some strength-training at home. There are a ton of options, and they demonstrate each move you need to do with a short video.

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School’s Almost Out! In 17.5 (school) days I will finally say goodbye to this classroom after the hardest year of my professional career. To say I am excited for summer break is a huge understatement!

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Baby’s Self Portraits. The fact that my 8 month old baby can already work my phone and (accidentally) take a ‘selfie’ is disturbing, yet adorable 🙂

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This Juice… is so delicious! It tastes much better than it looks.

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Playing Peekaboo. We play in the crib, with blankets, behind furniture, and with our hands. It never gets old to him! I love it.

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Instagram. A lot of the pictures I put on here are “Instagrammed.” I admit that I love it and I post a lot on there. Follow me @katiespaulding1.

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Running. I officially love running again, after we went through some tough times over the last couple of months. I have found myself craving runs again and really enjoying myself when I’m out there. My motivation has returned!

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Sleep. For the last week or so baby has gone to bed between 7 and 7:30 and slept straight through the night until 6:15 – 7:00. He has stopped waking up in the early morning (3 – 5 a.m.) to eat. I am LOVING my sleep- it feels amazing and has made me a much happier person!

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Baby’s Clapping. SO CUTE!

Tell me some things you are loving lately!

Mom & Baby: 8 Months

Kevin Troy III is 8 months old! This month was full of exciting things and new developments, so this will be a long one. I feel like he is all of a sudden changing in a lot of ways. It is awesome and scary at the same time! Time is passing so quickly!

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Baby

We weighed him with our baby scale when he turned 8 months about a week ago and he was over 18 pounds. He is really packing on the weight recently! There are no weight issues whatsoever anymore! He is in mostly all 6-9 month clothing but still has a few 3-6 month jackets and onesies that fit him. He has graduated to size 3 disposables at night and when we are traveling, and is still in cloth diapers the rest of the time.

Here are the monthly comparison shots: 1 month to 8 months.

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This boy LOVES to eat! And he has become an expert at feeding himself. He has even developed his pincer grip, using his index finger and thumb to pick up small pieces of food and puffs. He is super independent and doesn’t like to be fed by me. He would rather do it himself.

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He tried a lot more new foods this month, like blueberries, apricot, pumpkin, raspberries, brown rice, pomegranate, white beans, lentils, acorn squash, green beans, egg yolk, toast, and puffs. We have gotten a lot more relaxed about introducing new foods. I have given him bites of my food if we are out to dinner and things like that. The only foods he has reacted badly to was yogurt, which he projectile vomited back up, and cinnamon, which gave him a little contact rash around his mouth. I read that some babies get this because of the grittiness of it rubbing his skin, but he really likes cinnamon and has no other issues with it.

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He’s now eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I offer him snacks throughout the day as well. He has a BIG appetite and is also still nursing and/or drinking bottles 6-7 times a day.

Eating a Baby Mum Mum snack at daddy's baseball game

Eating a Baby Mum Mum snack at daddy’s baseball game

Sometimes he gets lazy and instead of picking the food up, he will put his face right down to his tray and try to pick it up with his mouth! Silly baby! But it’s really funny to watch.

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Kevin has become a master at sitting unassisted. He rarely falls over anymore and I can tell his core and back muscles are getting stronger. If he does fall over it is because he gets himself too excited and bounces all over the place 🙂

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Still no crawling going on over here… I am wondering if and when that will happen, because he seems very content to just roll around the room to get to where he wants to be. It is so funny to watch him. He gets his sight on a toy or something across the room and rolls his way over to it. He will get on his tummy and push up with his arms, but doesn’t know what to do with his legs yet.

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Sleep is going AMAZINGLY well. I wrote about our sleep training journey in more detail (Part 1 & Part 2), but he is doing awesome. This weekend we traveled back to Pennsylvania and he once again slept through the entire night in the crib at my dad’s house. We had a wedding last Saturday night and he fell asleep at my sister’s house, slept straight through getting put into the car seat, the car ride, getting out of the carseat and into his crib. I’m glad that he’s still sleeping so well despite the interruptions in his normal routine.

Happy baby when I went to get him in the morning

Happy baby when I went to get him in the morning

He sleeps so well that now he falls asleep for naps everywhere and in strange positions. This includes bent over like a pretzel on daddy’s legs, in his exersaucer with his head pressing on a button that was playing loud music, and in mommy and daddy’s bed while playing.

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He looks so big in this picture!

He looks so big in this picture!

Probably the biggest development this month is that we now have TWO teeth! He has been “teething” for months now- tons of drool, swollen gums, congestion and a constant runny nose, gnawing on everything, fussiness- and then one day he was nursing and I felt something sharp as he clamped down on me (OUCH). I looked in his mouth and there it was! A little white tooth that had just broken through. A week later another one broke through, so now he has his two bottom teeth! The days and nights before they came through he was super cranky, didn’t have much of an appetite, and slept horribly. So I’m not really looking forward to when he gets the rest of them!

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We have been trying to teach him not to bite, because that is what he wants to do to everything he can get his hands on. And those babies are SHARP!

Brushing my teeth!

Brushing my teeth!

At the beginning of the month we had a little issue when he developed a little bump on his bottom that turned into a staph infection. Our babysitter noticed it got worse and took him to the pediatrician for us. Thankfully it wasn’t MRSA or anything like that, and it cleared up quickly with cream and antibiotics and he wasn’t fazed at all by it. We think it happened because we took a long road trip to West Virginia where he was sleeping in the car seat for awhile and developed a little sore. I felt really guilty, but it ended up being fine.

Road Trip!

Road Trip!

Everyone says that Kevin has such a great temperament, and it’s really true. He is in a good mood most of the time, and always smiling. He has no fear of strangers and will laugh and coo and smile at anyone who gives him attention. Basically he is a little ham 🙂

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Baby boy has been babbling like crazy! He is constantly making noise. His favorite things to say are yayayaya, mamama, and dadadada. Although he doesn’t know what he is saying. Sometimes he says “mmmmm” when he is eating. I don’t know if he is copying us or what, but it’s really cute.

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Another new skill that he started is CLAPPING! It was the cutest thing, we were at my friends rehearsal dinner and I kept putting puffs in front of him for him to pick up and eat. I noticed he was doing this thing with his hands every time he fed himself one. Eventually I realized he was clapping! I figured it out because he wouldn’t do it if he dropped one on the ground, only if he actually made it into his mouth. He was so proud of himself!

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This boy loves his daddy so much, and I love seeing the special bond they have. Kevin does a lot of the nighttime routine, including the baby and baby massage. The baby has learned to expect these things and gets so excited when he sees Kevin get the bottle of lotion. He also squeals and smiles when daddy comes home from work. It is so, so, SO adorable!

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Lastly, one of baby’s favorite things is being outside. He loves the sun and the fresh air. He looks around in wonder at everything and is captivated by people, animals, trees, everything! He still loves the stroller but now he also is loving going in the bucket swings. I can’t believe he is big enough to go in there!

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Kevin and his cousin Austin at a baseball game

Kevin and his cousin Austin at a baseball game

Body

I’m feeling pretty good about myself lately. I’m still right around my pre-pregnancy weight of 130 and wearing pretty much all of my old clothes. I was in one of my best friend’s weddings last weekend and actually felt beautiful for the first time in a long while. It has been a long time since I got all dressed up and did things like get my nails, hair and makeup done. Then I went to go pump every 3 hours on wedding day and was reminded that I am, in fact, a mommy 🙂

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I think once I get back into strength training more consistently I will feel even better. I definitely need to tone and tighten up some areas. I have regained some strength back in my arms, probably from carting around my 18 pound baby!

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Breastfeeding is going well and my supply is still going strong. Kevin gets about one or two bottles of formula a day and the rest is all me. I’m still taking the Domperidone and by now I should be able to wean myself off of it, but I’m scared it will affect my supply so I haven’t yet.

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I am finally in a place where I am excited about running again! After the Nike Women’s Half, I was re-energized and ready to get back into it. And I have! I’ve been running 3 times a week and feeling amazing because of it. I have still been running a race a month (or more) and next up is a 5K on Memorial Day. I’m working on getting my endurance back and my speed is still lacking these days, so I don’t expect anything great time-wise. That’s fine though- I’m just happy to be back out there.

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Mind

I am in a really great place mentally and emotionally. The school year is winding down, and I’m enjoying motherhood SO MUCH lately. I also was able to celebrate my first Mothers Day on the same day that Kevin turned 8 months old!

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The only issue that I have had to deal with this month is watching many of my friends and coworkers make the decision to stay at home with their babies. This is something I wish I could do with all of my heart, but it is not possible for us financially. I had accepted this and moved on from it a couple of months ago, until it seemed like everyone around me was making announcements that they were quitting their jobs and staying home. It’s been tough, but I know  that I am lucky to have summers off and good holiday breaks as a teacher, so I keep reminding myself of that. Plus, my job provides us with good benefits and allows us to save money for Kevin’s future, fun family trips, and lets us live comfortably. I try to look at the positive side.

I love this little face so much!

I love this little face so much!

This month was extra special because we got to see a lot of family that we hadn’t seen in a while. We took a trip to West Virginia to visit Kevin’s grandfather, who hadn’t met the baby yet, and some other family. We also went home to Pennsylvania TWO times, where Kevin got to spend some time with his Poppy (my dad) and his Aunt Lauren.

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With his Papaw

With his cousins Jordan, Jayda, and Jasmine

With his cousins Jordan, Jayda, and Jasmine

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With Aunt Lauren

Remember my aunt Sacha? She’s the one who flew across the country from Oregon when my water broke to try to make it for Kevin’s birth- she missed it by 2 hours! Then she spent a week with us when he was 2 weeks old. She hadn’t seen him since then and came for a visit this month. It was so great to see her and for Kevin to spend some time with his Oma (which is what she wants to be called). She is my mom’s sister, so we have a special relationship and she has been like a mother to me since my mom passed away. It was great to see her and it made me really happy!

Exploring DC with Oma

Exploring DC with Oma

While she was here she babysat Kevin and let us go out on a date. We went to the Arlington Mystery Dinner Theater, which has become an annual tradition since Kevin proposed to me there in 2010. This was our fourth year going, and it is always a lot of fun. Plus we hadn’t been out on a date since Valentine’s Day, so it was really nice to spend some alone time with my hubby. We had another date when we went out the next weekend for my friend’s wedding and my sister babysat. It feels strange to do things just the two of us, but it’s so good for our marriage!

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We love you Kevin! Can’t wait to see what month 9 brings!

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Adventures in Sleep Training, Part 2

It has been a full month since we first started “sleep training.” In my first update we were two weeks in, and while things had improved, they were still pretty inconsistent and messy. I am happy to report that things are SO much better now.

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Here’s a snapshot of last night, which was a pretty typical night for us these days: After our bedtime routine (bath, baby massage, PJs, nurse, put down in dark room with sound machine running), baby gets put down at 7:45 p.m. He doesn’t cry and falls right asleep. He sleeps soundly until 5:30 a.m. I change his diaper, feed him, and put him back down at 5:55. He whined for a few seconds and then fell back asleep until 7:35. YES!

The Good

  • He goes down every night between 7:15 and 8:00 and falls right asleep. If he cries (very rare now) it’s for less than a minute.
  • He hardly ever wakes up in the middle of the night anymore. The only time he was up and crying a few times during the night was the week that both of his two bottom teeth broke through.
  • If he does wake up during a light sleep cycle or something, he will roll around, maybe whine softly, and then falls back asleep (except when he was teething- then he screamed and was inconsolable)
  • He is not as sensitive to wet/dirty diapers. He won’t wake up and cry if he pees or poops and is fine until I change him in the morning.
  • Most nights he does wake up between 4:00-5:30 a.m. and I feed him and put him back down. I really don’t mind doing this because he has been going back down much easier than before. Most of the time he will go back to sleep for another hour or two, waking up for the day between 6:15 and 7:30. There are some nights he sleeps straight through, so I think he will phase this feeding out soon.
  • He is handling traveling better. He slept in a crib at my dad’s house and in my sister’s bed at her house and did fine sleeping through the night.
  • He is waking up HAPPY! It’s the best!
Happy baby when I went to get him in the morning

Happy baby when I went to get him in the morning

The Bad

  • Naps. They aren’t really bad or good, they’re just not consistent. We are becoming more aware of his signals that it’s time for a nap, and paying attention to how much wake time he has had since his last one. He takes 2-3 naps a day but the times vary, and sometimes they are 30 minutes long, other times they are 2 hours long. We’re working on it, but it’s definitely our weakest area right now. Right now we are also getting him used to napping in his crib, rather than the swing, the lounger, or on one of us. I am going to focus on all of this more once I’m home with him this summer and have more control over his daytime sleeping.

The Ugly

  • Teething. Oh my god. That is all. It threw everything off. But luckily once the teeth broke through he was back to his normal sleeping habits. I’m scared for the rest of them!
He loves his taggie blanket, which has become his sleep "lovey"

He loves his taggie blanket, which has become his sleep “lovey”

I can’t really say that we did anything different since my last update. We just stayed consistent with everything we were doing and I think it just finally “clicked” for him. I am really happy with the way we approached sleep training. We wanted a gentler approach and while it did take longer than total extinction CIO methods, we were patient and it all paid off (so far). Let’s hope the rest of his teeth don’t mess this beautiful sleep up!