Monthly Archives: June 2013

OBX Marathon Training: Week 1

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I am so excited to have started training for the Outer Banks Marathon this week! I was able to complete most of my runs as planned (I needed to adjust one due to summer heat), and successfully filled in my blank strength training and cross-training/4th run boxes.

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Here is the weekly breakdown:

Monday: Rest. Nothing like kicking off marathon training with a rest day! I had done an 8 miler the day before though so I needed to give my legs a break. It worked out well because we had thunderstorms pretty much all day.

Tuesday: 5 miles in 46:30 (9:18 pace) + 2.75 mile walk. I don’t know if I was excited about marathon training or what but I felt amazing on this run.  I ran in the morning before Kevin and the baby got up and it was so nice to get it done at that time. Put me in a great mood and I was super energized the rest of the day. Later on the baby and I went on a walk to Starbucks to get coffee and then to the playground.

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Wednesday: 8 minute abs video. It’s really short but super effective. I’ve been doing it twice a week for a little while now and it almost always makes me sore! It’s also hilarious because it is from 1994. Haha! You can find it here.

Thursday: 4 miles in 37:39 (9:25 pace). This was supposed to be a 6 mile run with the middle 4 miles at tempo pace (8:20ish/mile). As soon as I got outside I knew that wasn’t going to happen. It was close to 80 degrees and literally 100% humidity at 6 a.m. and maintaining even a 9 minute pace was a struggle. I cut it down to 4 miles and did the middle two at 8:48 and 8:53- not tempo at all. It reminded me that I need to be patient as I get my body used to summer running. I think I’ll do my next speedwork run on the treadmill!

Friday: 4 miles in 37:20 (9:20 pace). Today was a cross training or run day and I chose to run an easy 4 miles. What is crazy is that without even trying I ran it faster than the 4 miles the day before, which was supposed to be a tempo run! WTF. It was cooler and less humid this morning though, and I ran a new way which was exciting. This was the 3rd time this week that I got up early to run and I really enjoyed it.

Saturday: Body Pump!!! I finally went again last week for the first time since 3 days before Kevin was born- 9 months ago!!! Yes, I know that is pathetic. Anyway, I went again yesterday and it was great and made me feel like complete jello. It wasn’t the full hour though because an 80 year old woman collapsed and they had to call an ambulance. She ended up being okay but it was super scary. Apparently she comes every week and was in really good shape too!

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Hello old friends!

Sunday: 10 miles in 1:33:51 (9:23 pace). The odds were against me with this run. It was super humid again and I ran out of water halfway through. I had to have Kevin come bring me more. I ended up taking 3 untimed walking breaks: at halfway when I asked Kevin to come find me, at 6 miles when he showed up with more water, and at mile 9 when I got a HORRIBLE cramp. I am proud of myself for sticking it out though. Long runs in the summer are just about surviving for me- I have to remember to let go of any goal paces and just stay hydrated and safe.

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Week 1 Total:

  • Run: 23 miles
  • X-Train: 2.75 mile walk
  • Strength Training: 8 minute abs, 1 Body Pump class

I’m thinking of making some changes in my training plan. When I made my plan I was pretty conservative, because I didn’t know how difficult it would be to get out for runs and if my body would respond well to higher mileage and “speed work” again. After one week I have already realized that I may have been selling myself a little short. It was easy to get out 4 times last week and felt good on my body. The speed work was tough, but it always is in the summer, and I know it will be easier to hit those paces once the weather cools down from September to November. I recently read the book Train Like a Mother, and I really like the marathon training plans they have in there. It’s a little ambitious yet realistic at the same time. I want to give it one more week until I decide for sure, but if I do I will share the new plan!

Looking forward to week 2!

Day in the Life with a 9 Month Old: SUMMER BREAK!

Here is a 24 hour snapshot of what life is like for us at 9 months old, now that I am off for the summer and home with Kevin all day. I took these pictures on Wednesday, June 26th. We have settled into a pretty good routine when it comes to eating, playing, and sleeping. Here is what our day was like from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. the next day!

6:00 a.m. I wake up to the sound of the baby making noises on the monitor. He’s up a little earlier than usual today. I go in to get him, change his diaper, and then nurse him.

6:25 a.m. We go downstairs and Kevin is making us breakfast. I sit down to play with the baby. He practices his new favorite thing: climbing over my legs.

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6:45 a.m. We eat while the baby plays independently.

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7:00 a.m.  I go into the kitchen to make Kevin’s lunch (PB & J) and baby’s breakfast (oatmeal with mashed banana mixed in). Baby plays with daddy in the living room and practices his climbing on him. I drink iced coffee.

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7:15 a.m. Daddy feeds the baby his breakfast. He really likes spending time with him in the mornings because he doesn’t get much time with him after work before the baby goes to bed.

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7:35 a.m. Daddy leaves for work, we have more play time.

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7:55 a.m. I notice him rubbing his eyes and yawning – time for a nap! Earlier than usual but he did wake up early so I know that’s why. I take him upstairs for a diaper change, then I nurse him. He nurses for a long time.

8:28 a.m. I put him down in his crib half asleep, and then he suddenly pops his eyes open and is wide awake and babbling. He does this every once in  a while. When he does I leave the room and let him fall asleep eventually.  I go downstairs  and relax for a few minutes. Kevin emails me a few pictures of kittens, since we have been looking to adopt one for a while now.

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8:50 a.m. Baby is finally asleep! I start cleaning up the house. Now that he naps for long periods of time it’s a lot easier to get things done during the day. I have been trying to use one nap to get household things stuff done and the other one for ‘me time.’ It was Kevin’s suggestion and I am loving it!

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10:26 a.m. I hear baby start babbling. He slept for 1 hour and 35 minutes, which is typical for his morning nap. Somehow he has learned to sit up by himself in his crib. I haven’t been able to catch him doing it yet, but it always takes me by surprise when I go in his room and see him sitting up! We just lowered his crib too, since he likes to practice pulling up now. I change his diaper and try to nurse him. He takes the right side but not the left.

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10:40 a.m. We go back downstairs and we both have snacks- a Cashew Cookie Larabar for me and Baby Mum Mum crackers for him. Then we read books and listen to music.

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11:00 a.m. I go into the kitchen to make lunch while the baby is playing. I hear noise and I looked out to see him baby crawling after me. He got himself up the stair and everything! As you can see we have a baby gate leaning against the wall- we need to install it ASAP!

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11:15 a.m. Lunch time! I made the baby an egg yolk with spinach. He also has banana and a piece of bread. He has no problem eating it ALL. This boy loves food. I also have an egg salad sandwich. It wasn’t very attractive to look at so I will spare you the picture.

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11:50 a.m. I clean up the baby and we go play some more in the living room. He practices another new favorite skill of his: pulling up and standing!

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12:30 p.m. I notice he’s starting to get tired again so I take him upstairs, change his diaper, and nurse him.

1:05 p.m. He’s nearly asleep in my arms so I put him down. Again, he is wide awake when I start to leave the room. What is going on? He hasn’t done this in weeks! I let him be and clean up the kitchen.

1:50 p.m. He is finally asleep. I relax, read blogs, and enjoy my “me time.” I also do an ab workout video. My core is so weak post-pregnancy and I’m trying to strengthen it again. I also receive a package, which is some more babyproofing supplies. We are going to completely babyproof this weekend!

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3:15 p.m. Baby is still sleeping so I make myself a smoothie: frozen strawberries, pineapple, mango, and peaches with almond milk, Sun Warrior Vanilla protein powder, and a handful of spinach. The color wasn’t great but it tasted delicious! While I drank it I worked on my OBX Marathon Training Plan. I am adjusting it a little bit since I’ve had an easier time than I thought I would fitting in runs and workouts. More on this later!

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4:20 p.m. And he’s awake! This nap was 2 hours and 30 minutes long! Whoa! His afternoon nap is generally longer and he usually sleeps anywhere from 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours. I go into get him, change his diaper, and try to nurse him. He didn’t really want to eat from me (we are working on getting him used to nursing all day rather than taking bottles like he did while I was working- it’s been an adjustment for him). I know he is hungry so I give him a 4 oz. bottle of formula. We are still supplementing with one small bottle most days.

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4:40 p.m. We usually go out for a walk to get some fresh air after his 2nd nap, but today is super hot with storms on and off, so we are stuck inside 😦 This is disappointing because I really like to get out once a day. He plays in his bouncer for a little while until he gets bored- which is happening pretty quickly these days. I think he’s almost over it.

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5:00 p.m. We go in the kitchen so I can start making dinner.We are having Bean, Avocado and Corn Tortilla Lasagna with roasted asparagus. While I prep and cook baby keeps busy with his dinner: beans and corn. He ate these like they were M&Ms, he could not stop stuffing them in his mouth. It was so funny! He also had a ripped up corn tortilla and some asparagus.

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6:05 p.m. Kevin gets home from work and we eat our dinner. The baby plays independently, then plays with daddy once he is finished eating.

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6:45 p.m. Bath time! Kevin brings him up for a bath, which is part of their nightly routine. He really likes having something special that he does with the baby each night, and baby LOVES his baths.

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7:05 p.m. Kevin is lotioned, dressed and ready for bed so I take him into his nursery with the sound machine on to nurse him to sleep.

7:40 p.m. Baby is asleep and goes down without a fight. I go downstairs and eat cookies that Kevin has baked 🙂 We discuss a kitten that Kevin found on Craigslist and he texts back and forth with the owner, who can’t keep the kittens due to the cost of them. We really want this kitten and the owner has 3 kids and says he is great with them. Decisions, decisions…

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8:10 p.m. Kevin decides to leave to look at the cat and see how he acts with him since the owner lives nearby. I clean up the kitchen and pick up toys in the living room, anxiously awaiting his return.

9:15 p.m. Kevin arrives home with the kitten!!! He is the cutest little orange tabby. He is 15 weeks old and super loving and cuddly with us. We are happy with his age because we didn’t want a super tiny young kitten. We decide to name him Koli. He makes himself right at home.

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9:30 p.m. We get everything set up for the cat: food, litter box, etc. and he runs around exploring everything.  When he got tired he jumped up onto the couch, lay down right next to us and purred his heart out. So sweet. We watch Big Brother which we recorded while all the cat craziness was going on.

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10:15 p.m. Time to get ready for bed. I pump quickly (or else I wake up too full). I’m not sure when I will drop this but I’m thinking soon.

10:30 p.m. – 5:30 a.m. We all sleep! I wake up to pump and get myself ready to run.

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6:00 a.m. Kevin wakes up to shower, and I leave for my run. Baby is still asleep (He slept until 7:00 a.m. this day- on days that I run I pump and Kevin gives him a bottle of pumped milk when he wakes up).

So that was a day in my life currently as a Stay at Home Mom. It’s nothing too exciting but I am honestly LOVING every minute, and making sure to remember how lucky I am to have this time at home with him all summer. I count my blessings every day and am so thankful.

24 Hour Totals

  • # of feedings: 6 + 3 meals of solids & 1 snack
  • # of diaper changes: 6
  • # of outfit changes: 1 (into his PJs which in the summer is just a onesie)
  • # of hours of sleep for mom: 7 hours
  • # of hours of sleep for baby: ~15 hours (4 hours daytime, 11 hours nighttime)
  • # of hours spent nursing: ~ 2 hours 10 minutes
  • # of hours spent pumping: Only about 30 minutes total (before bed and before run)
  • # of formula ounces eaten: 4 oz.
  • # of breast milk ounces eaten: whatever he ate directly from me 🙂

Previous “Day in the Life” posts:

Adventures in Sleep Training, Part 3

So we are more than 2 months into our sleep training journey and things are going really well! I figured it was time for yet another update.

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In Part 1 (2 weeks in) things were still pretty messy and inconsistent. Kevin was waking up a few times a night and had a hard time falling back asleep afterwards. He had no nap schedule whatsoever and was still napping in the swing, the lounger, on us- anywhere but the crib pretty much.

In Part 2 (1 month in) nighttime sleep had improved, but he was still sometimes waking up once for an early morning feeding and then going back down for an hour or two without much of a fight. I wasn’t sure how to eliminate this feeding/waking. Naps were still a struggle, and we had a little setback when his bottom teeth broke through.

So where are we now?

The Good

  • Kevin consistently goes to bed between 7:oo and 7:45 every night, and doesn’t cry at all when I put him down.
  • He sleeps all the way through the night and no longer wakes up between 4:00 – 5:30 a.m. to eat. He was gaining weight well and I thought he was ready to drop this feeding, so I stopped responding when he woke up at this time. Within two or three nights he wasn’t waking up anymore 🙂
  • He wakes up for the day usually between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. He happily chatters to himself in his crib until we come into get him, then he gives us big smiles.
  • He is consistently napping twice a day in his crib!  Our babysitter was a huge help with this. She got him on the routine of going down for his first nap 2-3 hours after waking, usually between 8:30 and 10:00 a.m. His second nap is between 1:00 and 2:30. Both naps last anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours. They tend to be about an hour and a half most days.

The Bad

  • With all that being said, within the past week things have changed a bit. He has started waking once a night or so. It’s not every single night- usually every other. I am not sure what is going on- teething, separation anxiety (common at 9 months), restless sleep due to being on the verge of a developmental milestone? I’m not sure, but there have been a few nights where he has been inconsolable, only wants us to hold him, and he ends up back in our bed for a couple hours. I have heard about a 9 month sleep regression as well. I guess I just have to ride it out, but I am afraid to start any new habits while we deal with it so we have to be careful.
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Happy baby after a nap!

So what are our next steps?

Obviously, step one is to deal with the night wakings that are currently happening. But I really think we’ll be over that soon- fingers crossed!

The next step for us is a little more complicated. While I was working there were some days that my babysitter had to take her son somewhere in the morning or afternoon, or times when we were out and about or traveling. This led to him having to sleep in the car or an unfamiliar place. This really affected his nighttime sleep later on that day and he was not a happy camper (and neither were we). Now that I am able to be home with him this summer I’m going to try to get him into a nap schedule (napping at more specific time ranges like between 9:00 – 9:30 and 1:00 – 1:30) and to protect that as best I can, making plans around his naps and bedtime at 7:30. I know that he needs quality sleep in order to develop well physically and mentally, so I don’t mind having to plan our life around that right now. The challenging part is helping friends and family understand the importance of his sleep as well. It can be difficult to explain to a family member why we have to put the baby to bed when they want to spend time with him, or to tell a friend we have to leave early so that he can go to sleep. Sometimes we have to turn down invitations all together if it conflicts with his nap or bedtime. My friends with kids understand, but many do not. My son’s health and well-being comes first though. Hopefully they will be respectful of that until he is older and it’s less of an issue, and he’s taking only 1 or no naps. This is just a really important time for him developmentally and I want to do the best I can to support all that’s going on in his little brain and body.

This does not mean that I will not be able to be flexible when I need to. For example, we are going on vacation to the beach in a few weeks and I know that there will be nights where we’ll be out and having fun, and bedtime will be pushed back. Or we will be at the beach and he’ll have to sleep there. That’s fine, because growing up vacation was always a special time where rules and routine were relaxed. I’m sure there will be other things in life that come up as well, like if we go out and someone else puts him to bed. We’ll deal with all of those challenges when they come!

Mommies- did your 9 month old go through a sleep regression? What did you do about it and how long did it last? How did you deal with planning things around your kids’ sleep schedules? Did you do it religiously or did you just go with the flow? I’d love to hear other people’s perspectives!

Currently

I have seen these “Currently” posts around the Internet lately, and I have been wanting to write my own for a while now. Since I have more time on my hands lately (thank you summer break!) and the baby is napping, I decided to finally go for it!

Current book:

I recently got Train Like a Mother in the mail and have been reading it while the baby naps. I love their practical tips for training for a race with children and their flexible training plans. I’m going to implement some of their ideas when I start my training next week!

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Current music:

I’ve been mainly listening to Pandora and rocking the Rockabye Baby or Baby Einstein station for the little one 🙂

Current guilty pleasure:

Tortilla chips. Wayyyyyyyyy too many of them. But they are so addicting and salty and delicious!

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Current nail color:

Nothing on my fingers (I hardly ever paint them for some reason), and coral on my toes. I need to redo them tonight!

Current drink:

I am loving my iced coffee in the morning (and sometimes afternoon depending on how the day is going). Kevin’s been brewing me my normal coffee in the morning but putting it over a ton of ice and sticking a big straw in it. It’s amazing.

Current food:

I’ve been all about the big salads lately. I always crave them in the summertime. Today’s salad was baby spinach, red onion, bell peppers, avocado, carrot, and roasted chickpeas.

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Current favorite show:

The Bachelorette is my current favorite. I didn’t even watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette until last season with Sean. I am hooked now! It’s so entertaining!

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Current wish list:

Some new summer running clothes! Kevin’s baseball team that he coached gave him a very generous gift certificate to Under Armour and we have an outlet nearby. He is sharing with me and we’re going to pick out some fun stuff this weekend! I’d much rather shop for running clothes than regular clothes.

Current need:

To go to the eye doctor. I haven’t been in years and I’m on my last pair of contacts… I am SO bad at changing out my contacts every two weeks like I am supposed to. The contacts I bought a while ago were supposed to last me a year and it’s definitely been more like two years! I know, gross. Luckily I have an appointment next week 🙂

Current indulgence:

Sweet Frog frozen yogurt. And let me just say I am definitely not putting the healthy toppings on it. We’ve had it twice in the past week. Oops!

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Current blessing: My family, and the fact that I am able to have the summer off to spend with my little boy.

Last day of school!

Last day of school!

Current outfit:

I’ve been wearing the standard summer break uniform of tank top and yoga pants, but I did buy this cute outfit today from TJ Maxx! The shorts and shirt together cost only $25. Can’t wait to wear it!

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Current excitement:

The fact that I get to spend the next 9 1/2 weeks with my baby, starting marathon training on Monday, our upcoming trips to PA and Myrtle Beach – so many things to look forward to!

Your turn! What are some of your current favorites?

Mom & Baby: 9 Months

9 months old! Officially on the outside longer than he was on the inside. For some reason, that seems like a big deal to me!

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Baby

We had Kevin’s 9 month appointment today, which is why I have been waiting to write this update. Here are his official stats: 20 pounds 2 ounces (50th percentile), 30 1/2 inches (97th percentile), 46 centimeter head circumference (70th percentile). Long gone are the days where his weight was so low it was off the chart!

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Our pediatrician said that Kevin is doing really well developmentally when it comes to his cognitive development, language skills, and fine motor skills. However he is lagging behind a bit in his gross motor skills. He said it’s not a big deal that he isn’t crawling yet, but that two skills he should have mastered by 9 months are pulling up to standing, and getting into a sitting position from laying down. He is not able to do either of those things yet. He said that if he doesn’t do them by the time he is 10 months he wants us to go to an occupational therapist. Not what I wanted to hear 😦 Hoping he masters these skills soon!

Doesn't he look huge in this picture?

Doesn’t he look huge in this picture?

He is in all 6-9 month clothing and size 3 disposable diapers at night, cloth the rest of the time. We also had to adjust the rise setting on his BumGenius Freetime diapers. He is now on the second row of snaps. He seems so big to me now!

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He’s so tall for his age that a couple weeks ago we measured him at home to see if it was time for a convertible car seat. His infant car seat is good until he hits the 30 inch mark. We knew he was getting close, so we went ahead and got it. We went with the Britax Boulevard 70-G3 and so far we love it. It took Kevin some time to get used to it though as you can see in the picture below. But now he loves it too!

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Happy boy in the car

Happy boy in the car

Here are the monthly comparison shots: 1 month to 9 months.

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I really think the reason for his big weight gain since 6 months is that he loves solid food. He’s eating 3 pretty hearty meals a day plus a snack or two, and has a bottle/nurses 5-6 times a day.

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Sweet potato fries and white beans

He’s actually been not finishing his bottles lately and is resisting nursing at times. I am wondering if he’s starting to wean himself as he eats more solids (insert sad face here). This makes me a little sad, since nursing has helped us develop such a strong bond. I don’t expect him to nurse forever, but I didn’t think he would start the weaning process at only 9 months old. The pediatrician said that a lot of babies start to favor food over nursing/bottles around this time and that’s okay. It still makes me sad though.

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Now that he is in the big boy car seat it’s been a learning experience when we go out. I can no longer carry him around in the infant seat since the convertible car seats are huge and stay in the car. Luckily, he loves riding around in shopping carts and in the Ergo.

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Like I said, still no crawling around here, but he has figured out how to get from the sitting position to a sort-of crawling position on his hands and knees… but then he immediately collapses onto his belly. As of his 9 month birthday (June 12th) he was still using rolling as his main form of transportation. Since then we’ve had a few new developments (army crawling!), but I’ll save those details for his 10 month update!

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Sleep is going well. I need to write another update on our sleep training now that we are more than 2 months in (Here is Part 1 & Part 2). This month we finally got his naps until control. He is now napping consistently twice a day IN HIS CRIB. Yes! His first nap is usually 2-3 hours after waking in the morning, between 8:30 and 10:00, and his second is any time between 1:00 and 2:30. Both naps last anywhere from 1-2 hours. It is so nice to finally be in a more predictable routine during the day.

Fell asleep mid-snack in the car!

Fell asleep mid-snack in the car!

At night he’s had a few wakings lately. I think it’s because he’s on the verge of a lot of things developmentally like crawling, and I read that sleep can become more restless around those times. It’s not every night, but it’s definitely more than before. It may also be some separation anxiety, since I know that happens around this age too.

He even slept well in a hotel crib when we went to West Virginia!

He even slept well in a hotel crib when we went to West Virginia!

He still has only his two bottom teeth, and this month they moved up more so they are really visible when he smiles. It is SO CUTE! I’m thinking more are on the way though. He’s starting to show some signs of it (drooling a lot more, increased fussiness, chewing/biting, etc.), but I can’t feel any more teeth coming yet.

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He still wants to bite anything and everything, but he’s gotten better at not biting while nursing. He just bites all my other body parts instead.

Those sharp little teeth leave marks!

Those sharp little teeth leave marks!

We’re also making sure to brush his two little teeth every morning. It’s become his little routine with daddy before he leaves for work. Also, now that he has two teeth he has discovered that he can suck air and spit through them to make a funny sound. He does this all the time!

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Another new thing he is doing all the time is that he will scrunch his nose and mouth up and sniff in and out really fast. The first time he did it we thought it was cute and funny, then he kept doing it the more that we laughed, and then he would laugh back. We realized he was doing it to be funny. It’s so crazy how his little mind works already!

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He LOVES the water. We’ve always known that he loves baths, but this month he went into a pool for the first time when we went on our trip to West Virginia. We decided to take him into the hotel’s pool and he was so excited. He was smiling and laughing and splashing the whole time. He’s a natural water baby 🙂

Before going in the pool for the first time!

Before going in the pool for the first time!

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Kevin is babbling and ‘talking’ more than ever. He is extremely vocal and loud most of the time, and this includes throwing little temper tantrums. When he’s happy he shows it by laughing, babbling, and squealing. When he’s mad he shows it by screaming, crying, and thrashing around. Just a preview of what’s to come!

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So happy after bath time, ready for daddy’s massage!

Right now he is at the stage where he wants to interact with us all day every day and is very attached to us.  That is great and so much fun, but we are trying to get him to learn to play independently as well so that he doesn’t always rely on us for entertainment. Some days are better than others, but he’s getting there.

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It’s really fun to watch Kevin develop socially. We’ve always loved to have him around other babies and kids and now that a lot of my friends here in Virginia had babies, it’s easier to make that happen on a regular basis. He’s already learning important lessons, like not to pull girls’ hair and it’s okay if your friend wants to play with your toy.

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Body

I have been feeling great physically this month. I’m at my pre-pregnancy weight of 130 pounds and I pretty much look like my old self (except for a little bit in the belly area). I never had a totally flat belly before pregnancy either, so I’m not too worried about it. I am back in my old jeans and most of my old shorts for summer and that feels great!

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I was able to get back to running consistently (3x a week) to build up a good base, and I ran a couple of great races. I’m really excited to start marathon training next week! Running is feeling amazing lately!

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In other body news, my hair has started to fall out less and the little red bumps on my arms and legs (keratosis pilaris) has started to get better. I guess this means my hormones are finally leveling out. That makes me happy 🙂

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We had a few breastfeeding issues this month. I didn’t realize I was low on my Domperidone until I only had a little bit left, and it takes 10 days to get here in the mail. I went without it for about a week and without the medication my supply cut in half immediately. We had to use a lot more formula until it came in, and once I started taking it again my supply was back to where it was within a few days. Whew!

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Unfortunately,  I think that dip in supply made my period come back, because I got it again after not having it since March. Not fun! But maybe now that I’m back on the medicine it will disappear again for a little while. We’ll see!

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We were super busy this month, but had some more really great family time which always makes me happy. We were able to see both sides of the family by going to Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and we had three weddings in the month of May!

Our friend Josh's wedding, who is a firefighter.

Our friend Josh’s wedding, who is a firefighter.

We went back to West Virginia to see Kevin’s grandpa and attend a fundraiser for his niece who needs iris implants. While we were there we got some awesome family photos.

Four Generations

Four Generations

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Kevin Sr., Kevin II, and Kevin III

My mother-in-law, Kevin, and Kevin III- all born on September 12th!

My mother-in-law, Kevin, and Kevin III- all born on September 12th!

I am definitely looking forward to having a little more down time this month though in terms of traveling and constant plans. We don’t really have much scheduled on the weekends until a trip to PA in July. That feels good! Can’t wait to spend some quality time with these two handsome men.

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We love you Kevin! I can’t believe that next month you will be in the double digits!

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A Very Special Fathers Day

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Happy Fathers Day!

Today we celebrated my husband Kevin, who has become such an amazing father – beyond what I could have ever dreamed. I can’t even explain how much I love seeing the bond that he has with his son. It warms my heart every single day. I knew I had to plan a special day to show him just how much he means to our family, and how much we appreciate him.

His day started with the baby waking him up in bed with his “I Love Dad” onesie on. They played for a few minutes and then I gave him his first gift: framed photos of the baby holding letters that spelled out Dad (Thank you Pinterest!)

What his gift looked like in the triple frame

What his gift looked like in the triple frame

While he continued to spend time with the baby I went downstairs to make him a special breakfast- homemade waffles!

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When I asked Kevin what we wanted to do on Fathers Day he said he really just wanted to hang out and spend time together as a family. So that’s what we did! We watched our son army crawl across the floor (his newest skill), relaxed, and ate a lot of his favorite foods. He had his favorite wings for lunch, and requested his favorite lentil enchiladas for dinner. I was happy to make that happen for him 🙂

I gave him his second gift, which was a gift certificate for 3 massages. He gave me a similar gift last Christmas, and every time I went he would make a comment about how he would love to get a massage someday (he has never had one before!) He works so hard for our family, so I knew I had to get him his own package. He was SO excited!

A trip down memory lane…

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Skin-to-skin minutes after he was born

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This boy sure does love his daddy 🙂

Kevin’s first Father’s Day was perfect. A quiet, relaxing day focusing on the man that does such a great job holding this family together. I am so thankful to have him as the father of my child (and future children). We love you so much!

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Also, Happy Father’s Day to my own daddy and little Kevin’s poppy! We were able to spend some time FaceTiming earlier today. The next best thing to being able to spend the day together in person. We love you!

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Spirit of the Marathon 2

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Over four years ago on May 2, 2009, I was alone in a hotel room near Long Branch, New Jersey. It was the night before my second marathon and I was feeling anxious and lonely, since nobody could make the trip with me. I had heard about the Spirit of the Marathon movie, and decided to buy it to watch the night before the race for some extra motivation. I watched it as I ate spaghetti my dad had made for me in my hotel bed, and it helped me feel excited and to “run inspired” the next day. I was able to take more than 20 minutes off my first marathon time despite the pouring rain. Since that night I have watched the movie a few more times, and Kevin watched it before his first marathon too. It never fails to motivate me as I watch the runners’ stories unfold.

I was so excited to hear that Spirit of the Marathon 2 was coming out, focusing on runners preparing for and running the Rome Marathon. Kevin immediately bought us tickets and we asked our neighbor to babysit so we could attend the showing on June 12th.

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When we arrived at the theater we weren’t sure how many other people would actually show up. There’s a pretty big running community in the DC area but I hadn’t really seen the movie advertised in a lot of places, so we didn’t know how many people would come. About 30 other people ended up being there. Together we watched all kinds of marathon and running trivia questions come onto the screen, which was a great way to pass the time before the movie began. That, and eating a massive tub of popcorn. I can’t go to the movies without eating this delicious, buttery, salty unhealthy stuff!

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I think I was the only runner in the theater eating popcorn, haha!

In my opinion, the movie definitely did not disappoint. I loved each of the runners and how it showed the marathon experience from their very different points of view. Here are the featured people and my thoughts on them.

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I loved this woman for her positive attitude, strength, and because she was a working mom trying to balance it all. My favorite part was when she was finishing the race and her son was at the finish line crying. It made me cry too! It was so sweet.

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I loved this guy’s story about how he just kind of fell into his first marathon when the two runners he was supposed to pace for the race couldn’t make it in time. I also thought it was great how he described what he felt like the next day. He was funny! I was disappointed for him when he didn’t make his country’s Olympic team, but he had an awesome positive attitude. Plus it was super sweet how he got married at the end of the movie 🙂

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I will admit, in the beginning of the movie I wasn’t so sure about this woman and her super bubbli-ness (pretty sure I just made up that word) . Then I heard her story and immediately felt guilty for judging her. Her goal to run a marathon every week for a year to raise money for pancreatic cancer REALLY touched me and hit close to home, since that is what took my mom from me 9 years ago. She is super awesome for raising money and awareness for this cancer that doesn’t get much funding, and I am now her biggest fan!

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LOVED this woman! She had such a genuine, good heart and was so proud to be running for her country. I loved seeing how she trained for the marathon in Rwanda and how she is helping the people who live there. I felt for her when she didn’t finish in the time she wanted to, but she still did awesome overall and came in 13th place!

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I thought “Mimmo” and his cousin Domenico were the cutest Italian men ever. I love how they trained together and the way they interacted with each other. They were hilarious. It was interesting to see how they balanced their work in the Pizzeria with their running, and inspirational that they still run so much at the age that they are. Nothing was slowing Domenico down, who is 73 and has done 18 straight Rome Marathons! I felt really bad when Mimmo had to drop out of the race. I can’t imagine how that must have felt. I hope he comes back and is able to run another marathon soon.

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This man’s story about his son was so sad to me. It was clear that he was running for a bigger reason, to help himself work through some of the feelings he had about his son’s overdose. I was really proud of him for finishing the marathon despite the obvious pain he was in toward the end. I remember that pain and the feeling I had when I crossed the finish line of my first marathon. There is NOTHING like it once you realize what you just accomplished!

Following the journeys of these people as they trained for and completed their marathons really touched me. I left the theater feeling really motivated and excited to start my training in a couple weeks. Regardless of age, speed, or ability level, running is something that unites people, no matter how different they are or where they are from. That’s why I loved this movie. It highlighted the strength and positivity of the running community and what marathon running is all about. I definitely caught the ‘spirit of the marathon.’ I hope they make a part 3!

🙂