Monthly Archives: October 2015

Mom & Baby: 5 Months

Another whirlwind month! I can’t believe it’s already over and my baby boy is now 5 months old, as of October 22nd. Here are all the details about what happened during this past month for mom & baby!

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Baby

My little baby boy is continuing to become not so little anymore! I don’t know what he weighs but he looks and feels bigger, and he’s wearing 6-9 month clothes already. He is a lot bigger than his brother was at this age, by a few pounds and inches! Because of this, I actually had to buy him some new clothes since Kevin was wearing those sizes during the summer, not the colder months. Despite the size difference, I do think they are starting to look more alike. Check out the comparison below of both Kevin and Kyler at 5 months. Similar yet different!

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During this past month we finally moved past the Wonder Week that felt never ending. We also finally got over a cold that seemed like it just kept going and going. Now that we’re on the other side, Kyler is back to his happy all the time, smiling self! This also means he’s sleeping better! Yay! He’s back to his long 7-9 hour stretches, eats around 3-4:30, and then he goes back down for a few more hours. He also naps twice a day. I am loving his sleep schedule!

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We’re still following the same feeding routine that I talked about last month. He eats 7 times a day: his first morning feeding is usually between 3 and 4:30 AM, and then I feed him again before he goes to daycare, around 6:30 AM. At daycare he gets three bottles (4 oz. each), at around 9:30, 12:30, and 3:30. Once we are home I feed him around 6:00 and 8:00 before he goes to bed. I am also still pumping before I go to bed, around 9:45-10:00. I know I could probably drop this, but it helps me wake up less full and adds to my freezer stash. At this point I have over 600 ounces frozen, which is insane to me. I’m afraid my supply will drop off completely like it did before when my period came back every month, so I’m happy to have a lot frozen. However, if everything ends up being fine with my supply I hope to be able to donate the milk somewhere.

Look how big both of my boys grew in the last 5 months!

Look how big both of my boys grew in the last 5 months!

We haven’t done any solids yet and he doesn’t really seem interested at this point. We started with Kevin at 5 1/2 months because he was grabbing at our food, making chewing motions when we ate, etc. but Kyler hasn’t done of those things. I am not worried about it because I’m not in a rush to introduce solids. It’s just so interesting how different two kids can be!

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He is discovering new things everyday lately too. First he discovered his hands, and he loved to hold them up in front of his face and look at them. Since then he’s gotten really good at picking things up, playing with toys, and putting them in his mouth constantly (and in my mouth too!). After that, he discovered his feet. He is totally infatuated with them. He usually studies them for a while, then slowly grabs one foot and brings it to his mouth. LOL! It’s so fun to watch him explore.

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I am starting to get glimpses of what it’s really going to be like to have two little boys. It’s crazy and so much fun, and Kyler isn’t even mobile yet! Eek! I need to watch out!

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Sitting on me while trying to stretch after a long run

Sitting on me while trying to stretch after a long run

All 3 of my boys

All 3 of my boys

Kyler adores his big brother so much. He’s always studying him and watching his every move. Kevin can make Kyler laugh like nobody else can. They definitely have a brotherly bond.

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Right when he turned 5 months, we started letting Kyler sit in his little seat for short periods of time during the day. At his 4 month well check, my pediatrician said to be cautious about using the seat until he’s stronger up top and not slouching. I noticed he was, so we tried the seat and he absolutely loved it. I like to put the tray on and give him some toys to play with. It’s like he is discovering a whole new world.

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Our daycare provider took some fall photos of the kids and then gave them us. I almost passed out at the cuteness! I didn’t even know they were doing them but I even dressed the boys alike, so it really worked out!

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Lastly, Kyler is SUCH a mama’s boy. He has been super attached and snuggly ever since he was born, but more now for some reason. It is really hard to get up and go to work when you have this face looking back at you!

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Body

I’m currently sitting at 132-133 pounds, so I am a few months away from my pre-pregnancy weight of 130. I don’t really care about my weight though, because I’m having so many other physical victories lately like fitting into my favorite pre-pregnancy jeans, and my running is going AMAZING! I’m feeling more and more like myself each day and it’s actually making me reevaluate my goals a little bit. More on that to come in another post!

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I forgot to take pictures last month, so my last ones were from about 3 months postpartum. I didn’t realize how much my body has changed until I compared my 1 month, 3 month & 5 month photos. Everything is thinning out, including my face, waist and hips.

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I blogged about the Wilson Bridge Half being cancelled and how my Moms Run This Town Running Group made our own race, which ended up being a ton of fun. I still feel cheated from that whole experience though, so I am MORE than ready to test my training at the Richmond Half Marathon in two weeks. This past month I worked hard on my speed, adding in a tempo run to my weekly routine and also adding strength training back in. I’m feeling good and getting stronger. It’s so exciting!

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My skin continues to be good and not-so-good, most likely fluctuating with my hormones. My period still has not returned, which is nice because it was back by now with Kevin. I’m still losing lots of hair. I can’t wait until the initial post-partum period ends. I think it was around 8 or 9 months last time.

Mind

This was another tough month for me mentally and emotionally. It actually had nothing to do with post-partum and having two kids, but more to do with work. The first couple months of school have been insanely stressful as I try to adjust to new responsibilities. Thankfully, I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It should start to get better soon! I don’t know what I would do without my husband. He’s been so amazingly supportive, and takes care of basically everything at home including cooking, cleaning, and more. He packs my lunch for me everyday, and lately he’s been writing me special and inspirational messages on my hard boiled eggs. He’s the sweetest!

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One good part of this month that was super refreshing and nice was getting to go to French Creek for a long weekend with my family and friends. I didn’t know how badly I needed that until we went! It was so nice to be with the people I love and disconnect from everything else for a few days.

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Another good part was that I celebrated my 29th birthday! I bought myself a great gift- signing up for the Myrtle Beach Marathon! Kevin spoiled me too, by getting me my favorite pumpkin beer, making a homemade cookie cake from scratch, and making tortilla soup for dinner. He’s the best!

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We have another exciting month coming up. We’re about to celebrate Halloween, and there are some fun events on the weekends including the Richmond Half Marathon on November 14th. It’s starting to cool down and we’re getting close to the holidays that I love: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, plus our anniversary in November. I love this time of year!

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It is hard to believe that the next update will be when Kyler is 6 months old! Ahhh! Don’t blink 😦

Previous Mom & Baby posts:

French Creekend [2015]

On Columbus Day weekend my family and friends participated in what is probably my favorite tradition of all time: French Creekend! For 17 years, we have all rented out the cabins at French Creek State Park in Pennsylvania and spent the weekend together. It’s a time to relax, eat, drink, and be merry, and I absolutely LOVE it.

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Over the years we’ve added more people to our tradition. Now that I have my own family, we have started to get our own cabin for us and our friends. This is something I look forward to every year but this year I was extra excited. I knew it would be fun and interesting as our first year as a family of 4, and after a stressful start to the school year I was more than ready for a relaxing weekend away in the woods, unplugged from technology!

Making the 3+ hour drive up to PA with my travel buddies!

Making the 3+ hour drive up to PA with my travel buddies!

We arrived on Thursday evening after work. My dad, sister, and friend Christy also came that day. The kids were so excited to see them and surprisingly, little Kevin remembered a lot about our trip there last year (he has an amazing memory!). Since we were tired, my cabin went to bed early to rest up for the weekend ahead when more people would be arriving.

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On Friday morning we took our time getting up and moving. We drank coffee, read some books, played with the kids, and just hung out.

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One of the things I really wanted to do while we were there was go for a run with my hubby. We never get to do that anymore since we have two kids and nobody close by who can really watch them. With lots of willing friends and family around at French Creek we decided to take advantage and headed out.

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I love running in the park during the fall because it’s absolutely beautiful, but MAN. It is hilly! I did 4 miles with Kevin and then he headed back to be with the kids. I continued on for 4 more miles and was super proud when I was done. It felt like an accomplishment!

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After showers and more relaxation, we decided to take some family pictures.

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The rest of the day was spent walking around the park, eating delicious food, and waiting for the next set of friends to arrive that evening- DJ and Laura.

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The next morning we were up and moving pretty early thanks to little ones who don’t sleep in! Thankfully we brought all of our friends earplugs 🙂 Our friends Sandy and Brian came for the day and after hanging out with them for a little while we all headed out for a hike.

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We wanted to hike to the fire tower, but we got a little (or a lot) lost along the way. Oops! Oh well. We still had fun, and little Kev made it pretty much the entire way walking by himself! I was so impressed.

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Aaaand we're lost.

Aaaand we’re lost.

After our hike (almost 3 miles up and then downhill!) we needed a little lunch break and the kids (and big kids) needed naps 🙂 Afterwards we went outside again. The weather was just too nice to not spend the day outdoors. We went for another walk – this time to two more sentimental places.

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The first place was to our special trees that we have been carving in for a long time now. Christy and I started carving in our tree back in 2002!

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Kevin and his guys started carving in their tree a few years ago, and we also started one for little Kevin when he was born. We had to make sure to update all of them for 2015.

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After that was done we met up with my dad and his whole group to walk to the lake.

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There is a special rock that we always go to visit right by the water, and a few years ago we started taking photos there. It started with just Christy and myself, and it’s fun to see how our group grows each year.

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Since my dad was there with his really nice camera, we also made sure to get some other group shots.

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The original French Creek duo

The original French Creek duo

We hung out for a few more minutes in the beautiful autumn weather and then headed back home to start the fire and make dinner.

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After cooking our dinner on the fire (which was actually successful for the first year, yay!) and having s’mores, we all toasted to our last night at French Creek together and had a good old fashioned fun night once the kids went to bed… 🙂

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It was such a great weekend and I’m already looking forward to next time. I feel lucky to have family and friends who love to keep up with traditions. I hope we are still coming here when we’re in our 50s like my dad and his friends! Until next time, French Creek… I will miss you!

Past posts about French Creek

30 Before 30

On October 1st I turned 29 years old. Many people have asked me lately how I feel about getting close to being 30 and assume I’m dreading it. I’m actually not. I’ve really proud and happy about everything I’ve accomplished in my 20s. During this last decade I studied abroad in Australia, graduated college, moved all by myself to Virginia to begin my teaching career, met some amazing people including my husband, got my masters degree, got married, bought a house, had two babies, become a running coach, ran over 70 races, including 9 marathons… Whew! That is a lot!

Kicked off my 20s by skydiving in Australia... setting the bar high for the rest of the decade!

Kicked off my 20s by skydiving in Australia… setting the bar high for the rest of the decade!

I really want to spend the last year of my 20s celebrating the end of this chapter and the beginning of a new one. That’s why I made this list of 30 things I hope to accomplish by the time I turn 30 next year. Some of them are silly, some of them are fun, some of them are bigger goals, but all of them are important to me in some way. Here we go!

30 Before 30

  1. Place in my age group [25-29] in a race before I enter a new one
  2. Do an obstacle race
  3. Add a stamp to my passport [we’re hoping to visit friends in Germany next summer!]
  4. Take a trip with just my hubby
  5. Volunteer at a race
  6. Declutter house
  7. Pay it forward at least 5 times with random acts of kindness
  8. Read 10 books
  9. Get a tattoo for my boys
  10. Brew my own beer
  11. Go wine tasting
  12. Get 3 new PRs
  13. Visit my alma mater, Penn State, for the first time in years
  14. Work on making my loft a special place of my own
  15. Take a girl’s trip
  16. Go geocaching with my family
  17. Explore a new town
  18. Do a long run in DC
  19. Try 2 new recipes each month
  20. Practice turning off technology more
  21. Put more money away into savings
  22. Get a massage
  23. Go on dates with my hubby
  24. Start planning our move away from this area
  25. Blog once a week
  26. Pace someone to a new PR
  27. Stress less, smile more
  28. Send 1 card/letter in the mail each month
  29. Use my real camera and video camera more
  30. Spend more time with family and friends

I have no idea if I will realistically be able to do everything on this list, but if nothing else it’s a fun challenge. Here’s to the last year of the best decade of my life (so far)!

29 looks pretty good to me! Can't wait to see what this year brings :)

29 looks pretty good to me! Can’t wait to see what this year brings 🙂

Our Own Half Marathon

Last year I ran the Wilson Bridge Half Marathon and in my recap I said it was probably my favorite half marathon to date. I was so excited to run it again this year along with many of my friends and running buddies. It was going to be my “comeback” half marathon 4 1/2 months after baby #2 and I couldn’t wait to see what I could do. My goal was to run it faster than I did last year at 8 weeks pregnant (1:56:20). I was motivated and ready!

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And then rumors of another government shutdown started happening, and I got nervous. When the government shutdown in 2013 due to budget issues at the end of the fiscal year (September 30th), the Wilson Bridge Half couldn’t happen because most of the course went through a national park. It was postponed to early November, and I had to defer to the following year since the make-up date conflicted with the OBX Marathon. It was disappointing, but I was thankful that I was able to defer my registration and run it in 2014.

This year the government didn’t end up shutting down since they were able to reach an agreement in time, but I couldn’t really breathe a sigh of relief yet because a bigger problem was heading our way: Hurricane Joaquin. The storm turned into a category 4 hurricane and apparently the WWBH had to make a decision whether to hold their race or not, since the expo was coming up soon. They decided to cancel on Friday due to the forecast of heavy rain and high winds on a course that’s prone to flooding. I understood their decision – even as the forecast started looking better as the hurricane went to sea. I even understood their no refund policy, since most of the funds had already been spent on the race. What upset me the most, however, was that they were not rescheduling to a new date or offering any kind of deferral. They only offered 25% off next year’s registration to people who were supposed to run this year.

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My friends and I were more than a little upset and angry by this. It honestly felt like a slap in the face, especially since I loved this race so much last year. Hey – come register for this $100 race and when it’s cancelled, spend an additional $75 to run it the following year! $175 for a half marathon – no thank you. Oh, and you have to come to us (an hour away) to get your medal, bib and t-shirt. Really?! In order to channel our disappointment we decided to take action and run anyway. My local Moms Run This Town group set up our very own half marathon “race” for all of us that were supposed to run, and some others who wanted to be a part of it. It started as one person’s idea to run a shadow race on Sunday morning, and it took off in a big way! Once we starting talking and planning I got super excited. I was thankful that it gave me something to look forward to after all! On Saturday night I went to my friend Laura’s house and we made our own homemade bibs with construction paper, Sharpies and tape. We were very proud of our work 🙂

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I got my racing gear all ready and laid it out. I felt like I was actually running a real race, and I loved it! I decided I was still going to go for my goal of running faster than I did at last year’s WWBH while 8 weeks pregnant – which was 1:56:20. I didn’t know if it was realistic at 4 1/2 months post-partum, but my running has been going really well so I wanted to try.

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Some other people and running groups from this area also did their own replacement race, but they ran the actual course from Mount Vernon to National Harbor. My group decided to do our race on an out-and-back running path that we were familiar with so that our ladies could easily come out to participate or to support us. We had a big group- some that were running 13.1, some that were running more or less, some that just came out to cheer… it was awesome! Almost everyone also contributed a treat or a drink for our own “finish line” celebration. So exciting!

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Some of our big group… not everyone made it in time for the photo!

Some of the registered WWBH runners

Some of the registered WWBH runners

The weather was chilly and it was raining lightly with a little wind, but it was definitely not the hurricane that was originally predicted.  We all started the run together a little after 7 AM, and quickly settled into our own paces and little groups. I ran with my friend Cynthia who was interested in running a similar pace. Laura went ahead to try to get herself the PR she wanted at the WWBH, and everyone else spread out. It was comforting to know we were all out on the same path running together at the same time, even if we weren’t all physically together.

The first few miles flew by as Cynthia and I chatted. She was not originally going to run the WWBH and was only scheduled to run 12 miles, but decided to run all 13.1 instead. I was very thankful for her company, especially when the rain and wind picked up a bit. We knew there would be some of our ladies around mile 5 who had set up their own water and cheering station for us. It was so nice seeing them and knowing they came out for us on this rainy day! We also started seeing some of the faster runners turning around to head back, including Laura who was killing it! I was so excited for her and ready to turn around myself.

Once we turned around at mile 6.55 I felt a lot better. The rain was no longer falling right into my eyes, the wind was at my back, and the rolling hills were more downhill than uphill. Plus, we got to see our friends again as we passed by the table on our way back!

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My stomach started hurting a little bit between mile 9 and 10. I told Cynthia I may have to slow my pace a little and she didn’t mind. We started running around a 9:08 pace until about mile 12. I saw that we had about 10 minutes left to get in around 1:56, which was my goal and would also be a half marathon PR for Cynthia! I told my stomach to quiet down and we finished strong. I almost fell over when I saw that the ladies in my group had made their own finish line for us to run through. Sweetest thing ever!

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After we crossed we checked in with the other runners who had finished, including Laura who had a HUGE 10 minute PR, running a 1:47! We also watched more runners come through and cheered them on. There was a whole spread set up for us that included coffee, water, bananas, pumpkin muffins (made by me!), cookies, trail mix, mimosas (!!) and more. It was so unbelievably nice!

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Mini mimosas!

Mini mimosas!

Here are our splits:

  • Mile 1 – 9:05
  • Mile 2 – 8:41
  • Mile 3 – 8:41
  • Mile 4 – 8:37
  • Mile 5 – 8:47
  • Mile 6 – 8:52
  • Mile 7 – 8:57
  • Mile 8 -8:49
  • Mile 9 – 8:55
  • Mile 10 – 9:09
  • Mile 11 – 9:08
  • Mile 12 – 9:08
  • Mile 13 – 8:40
  • Last .10 – 7:45 pace

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Finish Time – 1:56:13, 8:52 average pace

I feel so lucky to know and be a part of this amazing and supportive group of women. Many of us met our goals and we really made the best out of the situation. Two of my friends got new PRs, some were running 13.1 for the first time, and I met my goal of running faster than I did last year at 8 weeks pregnant (by 7 seconds, whew!). I’m so proud of all of us! Who needs the Wilson Bridge Half Marathon? Not us 🙂

BAMRs = Bad-Ass Mother Runners!

BAMRs = Bad-Ass Mother Runners!