Monthly Archives: October 2013

Throwback Thursday: Halloween Edition!

Happy Halloween! I thought since it’s Throwback Thursday and Halloween I would take a trip down memory lane. Here are some of the costumes I have worn throughout the years!


1987. Age 1. I really have no idea what I was supposed to be. A doll?


1988. Age 2. An elephant!


1990. Age 4. Tinkerbell and Peter Pan with my first boyfriend 🙂


1992. Age 6. My grandma made me this bride costume and I absolutely LOVED it.


1997. 11 years old. I was a hippie. My parents lent me an old “special necklace” of theirs to wear. I had no idea what it was until I looked back at these pictures years later and saw that it had a marijuana leaf on it! Haha!


2003. Age 17. A cowgirl with my 2 best friends, Christy and Sandy.


2004 – 2007. Age 18 – 21. The college years. Umm… yeah. I couldn’t include these pictures on a public blog, if you know what I mean. *hangs head in shame*

2009. Age 23. I dressed as Wenda (the female Waldo) and had fun “hiding” all over New York City. It was seriously a BLAST!


2010. Age 24. My friends and I all dressed up as the Harlem Globetrotters and referees. You should have seen people’s faces when we traveled around to all the different bars that night!


2011. Age 25. I brought back Wenda and Kevin dressed up as Waldo. My sister and brother-in-law were Dog the Bounty Hunter and his wife Beth.


2012. Age 26. Our first Halloween as a family of 3! We were a football game, with Kevin as the football player, me as the ref, and the baby as the football. Clearly I like to reuse my costumes. Oh well, it works!


I’m missing a lot of pictures that my dad has that aren’t scanned. Other costumes that I can remember include a bumble bee, a flapper, a ballerina, a school girl (in the Britney Spears era during middle school), a cat, and I’m sure many more. At 27 years old I love Halloween and I can’t wait to put Kevin in his second costume tonight! He is being a train conductor 🙂

Hope you all have a great holiday and get to enjoy some yummy treats!

Why I Love My Chiropractor

In August of 2012 I went to the chiropractor for the first time, after being referred by my Bradley Method teacher. She told me it would help prepare my body for labor by getting my pelvis into proper alignment. Plus, I was having some issues with my leg going numb while running and I wanted to see if he could help me. I was willing to give it a shot, because I am not someone who likes taking medicine and prefers to handle things in a more natural, holistic way. This is part of the reason why I wanted a natural birth and why I rarely take medication. What started as one initial evaluation and adjustment turned into many, many more. I now see my chiropractor every other week and my body has never felt better thanks to him.

The philosophy behind chiropractic care is healing and wellness from the inside out, and the idea that the body is a self-healing mechanism. Many health problems and symptoms that people have can be tracked back to one of the 24 vertebrates in the spine that is misaligned, since they control most of the body’s functions. By fixing those misalignments and “turning the power back on to your nervous system” as one of my chiropractors says, those pains and issues can be healed and symptoms will disappear. In the chart below, you can see how the vertebrates and their nerves are connected to different body parts and the possible symptoms that could be experienced.



“Chiropractic uses a hands-on method called an adjustment. A chiropractic adjustment is the use of a specific amount of force in a precise direction applied to the vertebra in the spine that is causing nerve interference. Adjustments help to return the bone to its normal position, thus relieving tension and pressure from the nerves . Chiropractic adjustments are extremely safe and effective.” [Source]

Beyond just the health of your spine, my chiropractor is really interested in all the aspects of ‘total’ health: physical, emotional, nutrition, home exercises, etc. My chiropractor even sent me a handwritten note last year when he was concerned about how stressed I was after going back to a stressful teaching job after maternity leave, and dealing with a lot of other personal issues. Talk about a doctor who cares about his patients!

Here are some of the ways that I (and baby Kevin too!) have benefitted from chiropractic care.

Running during pregnancy. I originally went to the chiropractor around 32 weeks pregnant, because my right leg would go numb and tingly while I was running. I was worried that my running days were numbered, so I went to the chiropractor for help. We discovered that since the baby was positioned on my right side, I was out of alignment in my lower back (which controls the legs), and the nerve was getting entrapped on my right side. This was made even worse by the support belt I was wearing. He adjusted me and suggested that I stop wearing the belt, to allow my body to move naturally rather than forcing it another way. Once I started doing that and was adjusted a few times the numbness went away. I was able to run until the end of my pregnancy, and even on the day my water broke!

Before a 5K two days before my water broke

Before a 5K @ almost 38 weeks pregnant- two days before my water broke

Getting my body prepared for labor. One of the reasons my Bradley Method teacher and doula recommended a chiropractor was to get my body prepared for birth. Since I really wanted a drug-free birth, it was very important to me to set myself up for success as much as possible. Part of that meant pelvic balance and alignment, to create the most space possible for the baby to come through. Plus it also helped to relieve some of the aches in my back that came along with hauling 25 extra pounds on the front of my body. I actually felt great the last couple of months of my pregnancy and I really attribute that to being able to stay active and getting adjusted weekly. I also went on to have the natural birth that I wanted.


Helping with post-partum recovery. After all my body went through during labor, I couldn’t wait to get back to the chiropractor after delivery. I went in a few days after birth, and I truly feel like he helped put my body back together again. With each adjustment I felt more like my old self, especially after I got back into running at 4 weeks post-partum. He also helped my neck and shoulders, since I was hunched over nursing most of the hours of the day and night.

Baby’s reflux. We struggled a lot with Kevin’s acid reflux in the first couple of months. He would choke, gasp, spit-up and cry and cry and cry. It was clear that he was very uncomfortable. We put him on Zantac and it didn’t help, and I was desperate for a better solution. When he was around 8 weeks old we brought him to the chiropractor. My chiropractor has a lot of experience working with infants and had been able to help babies with reflux through chiropractic adjustments. He evaluated Kevin and found two areas where he was out of alignment, in his neck and his pelvis. The area on his neck is actually the spot that controls the esophagus and the stomach, so it made sense. He gave him two very gentle adjustments by just pressing and massaging these areas, and things were better almost right away. He went back for two more adjustments after that and has not had any reflux symptoms since.

Sad baby in pain from reflux :(

Sad baby in pain from reflux 😦

Knee injury. I have fallen twice in the last year while running. Both times I landed hardest on my left knee. The first time it happened was about a year ago, and thanks to some rest and chiropractic knee adjustments (painful- but effective) my knee pain went away… until I fell again this past August. It came back even worse than before. I had the chiropractor exam it and he told me my kneecap was out of place and not tracking correctly. It was actually causing friction between my patella (kneecap) and my tibia (shinbone)… no wonder it hurt so badly to run! He put it back into place and ordered me to do a lot of exercises at home including strengthening and foam rolling. With that and another adjustment, it is finally feeling good again (knock on wood!).

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Wrist injury. After Kevin was born I started having a weird new symptom in my right wrist. I don’t know if it was from holding and nursing him all the time mostly on that side (my left side never produced much milk), but I started to feel painful snapping and popping in it when I moved it in certain ways. It started to really bother me so I asked the chiropractor about it one day. He adjusted it and told me he thought it was actually stemming from my neck and shoulder so he adjusted those too. I have had to have it adjusted every so often since then, but each time he does it the pain and the popping goes away. He also gave me some strengthening exercises like opening and closing my hand with a rubber band around it, so help restore the full range of motion. It has definitely helped!

I know there are a lot of believers and non-believers of chiropractic care, but based on my own experiences I have become a believer. The only drawback can be the cost, as some insurance plans do not accept it. My chiropractor understands that though and is willing to create a plan that is affordable and works for us. And for me, it is worth the money to invest in my long-term health and wellness.

Have you ever seen a chiropractor? How has chiropractic care helped you? If you have never been, would you be open to it?

OBX Marathon Training: Week 18

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Another great week in the books! I can’t believe I am in week 18. In the past my training plans have been 16-18 weeks long, but I still have 2 weeks to go! I had some serious race envy towards everyone running the Marine Corps Marathon this past weekend and the NYC Marathon next weekend- two amazing races I have been lucky enough to run in 2009 and 2010. I just can’t wait to run my own in 2 weeks!

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Monday: Rest.

Tuesday: 3 miles in 29:52 (9:57 pace). I did not want to get out of bed at all today. I think my body is still tired from racing a 5K and then running 20 miles the next day last weekend. But I knew that it would be good for my legs to get them moving a bit and get some of the lactic acid out. I told myself to just get up, get out there, and run 3 slow miles. So I did and I felt better afterwards, but it was not easy! Funny how 3 miles can feel so hard when I just did 20 a few days before!

Wednesday: Rest. I alternate between running on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Tuesday, Thursday, Friday during the week. This week I chose the second option and switched around my workout and my rest day.

Thursday: 5 miles in 49:16 (9:51 pace). It was 33 degrees when I went out to run… BRRR! I had to break out the running capris, jacket and gloves! It took a while for my body to warm up plus I wasn’t feeling the speed so I kept it slow. I forgot I was supposed to throw some strides in at the end so at the last minute I did a few but didn’t put much effort into them. I can tell it’s taper time because my motivation has really been lacking lately and I am just feeling sort of done with training.

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Friday: 4 miles in 38:06 (9:31). It was 29 degrees when I went out for my run- even colder than the day before. I feel like we skipped fall and went right into winter. Even though it’s hard to drag myself out of my warm bed, I will take cold weather running over summer running any day. The hardest part is just getting my butt up and out the door. I just did an easy 4 miles and then came home to stretch, foam roll and take a nice HOT shower.

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Saturday: Rest. I was going to go for a walk with the baby but it was too cold in the morning and we had to go to a birthday party in the afternoon.

Sunday: 14 miles in 2:05:02 (8:55 pace). I had 14 miles on my plan today because I’m in my first week of taper. I decided to run alone, since I have been mostly running with Amanda at her pace (10:30 – 11:00/mile). It’s been great and I love supporting her, but I thought it was important for us to do our last two long runs solo. We need to prepare ourselves mentally for not having each other to rely on since we aren’t running together at the race.  My plan said to run the 14 miles at marathon pace, but I don’t really have a “marathon pace” since I no longer have a time goal for the OBX Marathon. I just decided to go out and push myself a bit to see what happens. The route I ran was super hilly but I was able to keep a sub-9:00 pace the entire time, and my last 3 miles were my fastest. I felt some very slight twinges of pain in my knee in the beginning but they went away quickly. At the end of the run I felt great and like I could have continued at that pace easily. So happy to have yet another successful long run under my belt. I talked to Amanda and she also had a good 14 miler. Woo hoo!


Week 18 Total:

  • Run: 26 miles
  • X-Train & Strength Training: None… let’s be real. I have sucked at this throughout this training cycle and I’m not about to start now. Haha. Maybe next time! Still stretching and foam rolling like a champ though.

Thought for the week…


Day in the Life with a 13 Month Old

It’s that time again! Another month has passed and that means I have to capture a day in our life. I decided to change things up a bit and began recording what we did as the weekend began- Friday night into Saturday. I love our weekends together as a family so hopefully this will give you a glimpse of what life is like for us with our energetic, fun, sweet 13 month old!

9:00 p.m. I am on the couch watching TV and Kevin’s downstairs in the basement (his “man cave”) playing his X-box. You would think we would spend our Friday night together, but after a busy week we both appreciate a little “me” time. He comes back upstairs after a bit and we both start dozing off on the couch. Exciting, huh? We decide to call it an early night and head up to bed.

9:30 p.m – 7:10 a.m. Sweet, sweet uninterrupted SLEEP! (Almost 10 hours!)

7:10 a.m. I wake up not to an alarm, but to the sound of the baby talking to himself on the monitor. I go in to get him and change his diaper. I cannot even explain what it feels like to “sleep in” until 7 a.m. During the week I wake up at 4:30ish to run, and on days I don’t run I can sleep until 6. Anything after that on the weekends is a gift, since he usually wakes up for the day between 6:15 and 7:00. My husband is already awake and getting ready for his zombie run. He is volunteering all day and then running it at 3 p.m., so it’s going to be a mommy & baby day!


7:15 a.m.  We go downstairs to see daddy before he leaves. He tries on his hat for his Halloween costume. We are trying to get him used to it!


7:20 a.m. Nurse. Kevin is still very interested in nursing in the mornings and before bed, and I am fine with that!


7:35 a.m. Breakfast time! I make us some pancakes. Baby has pancakes with banana and a cup of milk. Mommy has pancakes with peanut butter spread in between and bananas on top. Yum!

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8:20 a.m. We finish eating and go into the living room. Kevin plays while I drink some coffee. He falls over while trying to walk on his own and bumps his head, so we snuggle a bit 😦

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9:25 a.m. We go upstairs for a diaper change and nap. He cries for about a minute when I put him down and then he is out.

9:35 a.m. Kevin’s napping, so I jump in the shower, start getting myself ready and do some much needed self-maintenance (pluck eyebrows, trim nails, floss, etc.). I pack up the diaper bag so we can head out to the store when he wakes up.


10:45 a.m. I wake Kevin up since he’s been sleeping about an hour. We only let him sleep an hour in the morning because we noticed he was sleeping too much during the day and it was affecting his night sleep. I get him dressed and head out to Target.

11:05 a.m. Arrive at Target! Kevin has a snack of cheerios while we shop.


12:05 p.m. We get back home after spending way too much time wandering around like usual. I ended up buying birthday gifts for the party we are going to later, a zucchini (Kevin’s current favorite veggie), avocado, and some baby socks. I change his diaper and start making us both lunch. He has a PB&J with some zucchini on the side, plus another cup of milk. I have 2 hard boiled eggs, with a black bean burger, avocado and spinach on whole wheat bread.

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12:50 p.m. We finish eating and go into the living room to play for a little bit before nap #2. We practice walking and building towers with blocks.

1:20 p.m. I put him down for a nap. He cries for a minute and then starts playing in his crib and crawling around. My babysitter has told me that it sometimes takes a bit for him to fall asleep before his second nap, but I know he will get there eventually. I finish getting ready for the birthday party by straightening my hair and getting dressed into a nicer outfit. Then I clean up the kitchen and do the dishes.


NOT napping!

2:00 p.m. Kevin is FINALLY asleep! I wrap the birthday gifts and relax a little bit.

3:30 p.m. And he’s awake! I change his diaper and get him ready to go. He has a quick snack of Chobani Champions yogurt. One of his favorite foods!


3:50 p.m. We leave for the party. It is a birthday party for our Bradley Method teacher and doula Marisa’s two kids- Will who was turning 3, and Marie who was turning 1. Marisa and her family have become close friends of ours and we love spending time with them!

4:10 p.m. Party time! We hang out, Kevin plays and walks with the “lawnmower”, we eat (Kevin loved the watermelon, guacamole, veggies with hummus, and bread with spinach and artichoke dip), and daddy eventually joins us on the way home from his race. Check out this awesome cake that Marisa’s husband made!



7:05 p.m. We arrive back home and start getting Kevin ready for bed. Since it’s later than usual we skip his bath and get him changed into his PJs, then I nurse him.


7:35 p.m. Baby is asleep. I go downstairs and spend some time with the hubby. We relax and I plan my running route for the next day. I also have a bowl of cereal since I didn’t eat much at the party (the main course was BBQ pork sandwiches so I just had a bunch of sides). I knew I needed more in my belly for my long run the next day.

9:50 p.m. We go to sleep!

24 Hour Totals

  • # of feedings: nursed 2x (AM + PM) + 3 meals of solids & 2 snacks, about 16 oz. of whole milk
  • # of diaper changes: 6
  • # of outfit changes: 2 (just in and out of PJs)
  • # of hours of sleep for mom: ~9.5 hours (!!!)
  • # of hours of sleep for baby: ~14.5 hours (2.5 hours daytime + 12 hours nighttime)
  • # of hours spent nursing: ~ 45 minutes
  • # of hours spent pumping: ZERO. Feels so good!
  • # of formula ounces eaten: ZERO. Mommy’s milk and whole milk only.
  • # of breast milk ounces eaten: Whatever he had directly from me. I don’t think it’s very much anymore even though he spends a long time nursing, mostly for comfort.

Previous “Day in the Life” posts:

Mom & Baby: 13 Months

Wasn’t I just writing my 12 month update? And now I am actually late writing his 13 month one! Time is flying faster than ever lately and Kevin seems to learn new things every day. My little baby is definitely becoming a big boy and a TODDLER!



We weighed Kevin on our home baby scale and he is now 24 pounds and 1 ounce. I know he has gotten taller too, because his 12 month pants are all way too short and he’s now wearing 18 month. He can still fit into 12 month shirts and onesies though.


Here are the monthly comparison shots: 1 month to 13 months. Since Kevin refuses to lie on the ground anymore I switched up the background for his second year of life!

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We are loving using cloth diapers full-time (saving so much money!) and we have now officially opened up all the snaps in the rise, so the diaper is on it’s biggest setting. This is crazy to me, because I remember when even on the smallest setting the diaper was way too big for him! Speaking of diapers… a new trick Kevin has recently discovered is how to take his diaper off. We were hanging out in the living room one night and Kevin was crawling around in one of his velcro cloth diapers. The next thing we knew he was crawling away naked! Smart boy.


Kevin now eats 3 big meals a day, 2 snacks, and has a total of about 2 cups of whole milk with meals. He absolutely loves bananas, goldfish, zucchini, yogurt and cheese, and if he sees any of those, he will squeal and scream until he gets some. He also loves milk, and thankfully the transition has been easy from bottle to sippy cup. I think he would drink milk all day every day if I let him, but we limit him to 2 cups a day since he always has yogurt and/or cheese as well.

He loved this sweet potato and black bean chili!

He loved this sweet potato and black bean chili!

We introduced peanut butter a couple weeks after he turned one. I wanted to do it on a weekend when we didn’t have anything going on in case of a reaction. Thankfully he was fine, and he’s had it many times since then with no problem. The first time I made him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich he didn’t eat much. I think it was the sticky, thick consistency. But now he loves it and can’t get enough.

His first time eating PB&J

His first time eating PB&J

One exciting thing that has happened at mealtime this month was that he started to use some sign language! We have been signing to him since he was about 6 months old, and right after his birthday he started using the sign for “more.” After that came “all done,” and he also knows how to shake his head for no. It is so exciting to see him begin to communicate with us!

Doing the sign for "all done"

Doing the sign for “all done”

Kevin is still nursing twice a day- in the morning and at night. I am not pumping at all anymore (yay!), I never feel full or feel letdown when he nurses. Sometimes I wonder if he is even getting anything or if he’s just dry nursing for comfort, but then today some milk dribbled out of his mouth so I guess he is. He is still very much interested in nursing so I plan to keep going until he’s ready to stop. I know the morning one will be the first to go, since he’s already cut it shorter as time has passed.

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Sleep has been GREAT this month (currently knocking on wood). Whatever regression happened between 10 and 12 months is over, and the only time he wakes up now at night is if a tooth is about to break through or if he’s sick. He did get TWO colds in his 13th month (Yes, two! I blame bringing germs home as a teacher and daycare) and the congestion made it hard for him to breathe at night so he woke up a bit during that time. But when he’s not sick, he’s going to sleep between 7 and 8 and waking up between 6:30 and 7ish. There have been a few mornings recently where he’s slept until 8 or later! As far as naps, he’s taking one in the morning around 9 a.m. for about an hour (no more than that, we wake him up), and one in the afternoon around 1 p.m. for about an hour and a half to two hours. Our plan to limit his daytime sleep a bit has definitely worked and helped him sleep better at night.

He fell asleep like this in the car one time... haha!!

He fell asleep like this in the car one time… haha!!

Kevin got his 7th tooth this month on the bottom left. In my last update I mentioned that he had bit someone at daycare. It has happened one more time, but it wasn’t malicious at all and more of a playful thing. We are reading the “Teeth Are Not For Biting” book and providing him with a lot of teether toys to keep his mouth busy. I really hope it helps! It’s hard to discipline a 13 month old who doesn’t really understand what he’s doing like a 2 or 3 year old would.


Kevin is still not walking, but we are working on it every day. He can walk (actually he can now RUN) while holding onto our ottoman or a push toy. When it comes to walking unassisted he’s still working on his confidence. He was a little late to crawl (army crawling at 9 months but no “real” crawling until 11 months), pull up, and get from lying to sitting up so I am thinking he’ll be a late walker too.

Crazy baby!

Crazy baby!

He is super active- crawling, climbing, cruising, and rolling all over the place. He loves toys and games and has been very interactive with his toys and with us while playing. He loves to throw us balls and any other item he can get his hands on. He also loves stacking his toy cups and blocks, pushing toys around, putting things into containers and taking them back out.


Taking blocks out of the bag and putting them back in… endless entertainment.

One of his favorite games is hide and seek. He will crawl behind the ottoman and wait there until I come find him, or he will peek around the corner to see if I’m there. Then we will hide and he will crawl around to find us- laughing hysterically the whole time. It is super cute.


This boy is FUNNY too. His sense of humor is really coming out lately. He likes to make silly noises to make us laugh and laugh at himself. He also loves to bite the spoon while he’s eating and not let me take it out of his mouth. He thinks it is so funny! He also thinks it’s hilarious to pretend to offer me a piece of food, and when I open my mouth and try to eat it, he takes it back and shoves it in his own mouth! Then he laughs and laughs and laughs.


Current loves: music and dancing, his blankie, baths, all food, giving kisses, milk, being tickled (he now says “ticka ticka ticka” for tickle!), anything having to do with his daddy.

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Current dislikes: brushing his teeth, getting his diaper changed, getting things taken away from him, going into his carseat, socks, getting his nose wiped, being told “no.”


He always puts his foot through the baby gate and then cries… yet he continues to do it over and over again!


My body didn’t have the best month. I dealt with on and off knee pain that I *think* I have finally resolved, but it limited my running and training a lot which left me frustrated and stressed.

My best friend this month, the foam roller

My best friend this month, the foam roller

I also gained a few pounds this month. I am pretty sure it’s from cutting way back on breastfeeding and pumping, and also not eating the best. We’ve been really busy lately and my nutrition has suffered as a result. I am really motivated to get it back on track so I can start feeling better!

At our favorite Mexican restaurant... Mexican food and chips & salsa are my weakness!

At our favorite Mexican restaurant… Mexican food and chips & salsa are my weakness!

I got my period back this month, and it definitely made it’s presence known. I’ve had a few random cycles here and there, but I’m pretty sure now that I’m only nursing a little bit it’s back for good. I haven’t started tracking again using the Fertility Awareness Method like I used to, mainly because I keep forgetting to take my temperature in the morning, but I do keep an eye on my CM to see when I am getting close to ovulation. I need to get better at keeping track more regularly though because we are definitely not ready for another baby yet, despite everyone asking me when we are having another one! 🙂

Currently happy with our family of 3 :)

Currently happy with our family of 3 🙂


I have felt pretty good this month mentally and emotionally. I’m settling into a routine at work and while I’m super busy every day, I actually really like my new position this year. Turns out when you enjoy your work, you don’t dread going to work! I still miss Kevin like crazy and wish I could be home with him, but I’ve moved past those feelings for the most part and am in a place of acceptance now.

Coming home to these two is the best feeling in the WORLD!

Coming home to these two is the best feeling in the WORLD!

One of the things on my mind a lot lately is Kevin’s development. Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but lately I am feeling very eager to provide him with the stimulation and experiences he needs to develop well physically and mentally. He is at such an awesome age where he is soaking up everything and learning so much. I just want to make sure I’m facilitating his development as best I can.

Getting so good at independent play time!

Getting so good at independent play time!

13 amazing months down, many more to go! We love you baby boy!

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