Tag Archives: Baby 2.0

Kyler’s 1st Birthday

As of May 22nd, my baby boy is officially 1! It is definitely very bittersweet to think about. On the one hand, I love watching him grow and develop new skills, and seeing his little personality emerge. But on the other hand, I’m 99% sure he is my last baby, and part of me wants him to stay this little forever.

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As his birthday approached I also felt really sad, because our family situation is not at all how I envisioned it being a year after Kyler’s birth, or ever. When my marriage suddenly fell apart this past January, I had hoped we could keep things civil enough to still do things like birthdays together even after separating/divorcing. However, I quickly realized that was not going to be possible – at least not right now. The last 4 months of Kyler’s first year of life already have a black cloud over them. I feel like they have just been a blur because of everything else that has been going on. I did not want to spend his birthday celebration around people who make me angry and sad. I wanted to spend it with the people who love us unconditionally and who have been supportive no matter what. So Kevin and I had separate birthday parties for Kyler. He actually took them for the first time overnight on Friday, had a party with his friends and family on Saturday, and then I got them back early on Sunday morning. I knew it would be a very hard weekend for me since I hate being away from my kids, especially for an extended time like that. So I invited some of my friends and family down from Pennsylvania (and even all the way from Oregon!) to spend the weekend with me, and we had a nice, small party for Kyler on Sunday – his actual birthday!

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The pre-party crew that arrived on Saturday!

I am so thankful that I had a house full of my closest friends and family to help me celebrate my sweet and happy baby boy’s birthday. It truly made all the difference in helping me stay positive and focus on the people who love and support me rather than the people who don’t. I wanted to share some photos from the party that were taken by my dad. We kept it sweet and simple. I ordered food from Wegmans, my friend Cynthia made cupcakes, and I did a little “Oh the Places You’ll Go” theme, incorporating the bright colors that are in Dr. Seuss books, quotes, and even a copy of the book that everyone signed and wrote wishes in for Kyler. I made his smash cake myself and reused a lot of decorations I already had from little Kevin’s past birthday parties. Simple and easy!

Here are some photos from our special day!

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I cannot thank my family and friends for making the trip down to see us. It was a very special day, and a great way to kick off the second year of my sweet boy’s life! I will be writing a full update on both Kyler and myself at 12 months and what’s going on in our lives now, hopefully over the weekend.

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Happy Birthday Kyler James! I love you!

The Myrtle Beach Marathon: Redemption!

I have never been more excited to write a race recap! The Myrtle Beach Marathon went better than I ever dreamed it would. Every single detail came together and I ran the strongest race of my life, both physically and mentally. I beat all of my goals by a landslide and scored myself a 13 MINUTE PR! Here are all the details.

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Best race photo of my life! At mile 26 too!

This race kind of snuck up on me. I have been super busy with work and home stuff that our trip to Myrtle Beach felt like it came out of nowhere. All of a sudden it was time to pack up and head south, and before I knew it I was at the expo picking up my stuff and then at the starting line the next morning. I think this was a huge blessing in a way, because I didn’t really have time to get myself all worked up and stressed about the huge challenge ahead of me. I also went into it with sort of low expectations, since my #1 goal was just to finish this time after my DNF here two years ago.

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I was very excited about the weather forecast, which looked absolutely perfect. High 30s at the start and low 50s at the finish, with minimal wind for a coastal race. I was so thankful that wind didn’t seem like it was going to be a big issue this year, because it has been really tough the last few years which caused me to expend too much energy. Everything seemed like it was starting to come together.

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Even despite all of these positives, I still woke up on Saturday morning with a very nervous tummy. I focused on doing my pre-race routine – bathroom, coffee, eat, get dressed, bathroom again… but my breakfast made me feel a little nauseous so I couldn’t get much down. I left the house around 5:30 to drive about 20 minutes to the start, and once I got there I pumped (#momlife), used a porta-potty (there were a TON this year with no lines – so much appreciated!), and made my way to the start. I felt like I had a ton of pent-up nervous energy that I needed to get out. I couldn’t wait to start running to release it.

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Luckily, I knew Andrew, who was pacing the 3:45 group, which was my ‘Gold’ goal, and I was able to say hi to him when I lined up in his corral at the start. Seeing a familiar face made me feel a lot more comfortable. I knew he would be running about an 8:30 pace, which I thought was doable based on my training and recent half marathons. However, I still had some fear lingering in the back of my mind from two years ago when I had to suddenly stop at mile 21, so I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to hold that pace the entire time. I decided to go for it and see what happened.

Finally it was 6:30 (super early race start!) and we were off. There was a big wall of people with the 3:45 pace group so I hung a little behind them to give myself some space. Since we started toward the front, the course wasn’t super crowded and it was easy to keep the pace I wanted. As expected, an 8:30 pace felt really easy, and almost too slow. I was SO tempted to pick it up a little bit – but I have made that mistake so many times before. I kept telling myself to be patient and hang out here at this very comfortable pace for a while. We ran out to a shopping area called Market Common, did a loop around there, and then headed back out toward the beach to start running back the other direction.

  • Mile 1 – 8:32
  • Mile 2 – 8:26
  • Mile 3 – 8:34
  • Mile 4 – 8:28
  • Mile 5 – 8:32
  • Mile 6 – 8:29
  • Mile 7 – 8:32

I passed the 10K timing mat at 52:06, but it was a little off from what my watch said. Actually, all the mile markers were about a tenth of a mile short from what mine and the other people around me had on their watches. Not a big deal, and I knew it would eventually even out at the end. I had set my Garmin to show my overall average pace while I was running and it stayed steady at 8:30-8:31/mile the entire time, so I knew I was right on track.

I have run the full (up to mile 21.5) and the half here a couple times, so I know the Myrtle Beach Marathon course very well. I practiced visualizing it on my long runs. I knew every long stretch, every turn, every mile marker, every timing mat. I knew there would be two parts of the course that would be the hardest for me. The first would be the 9 mile stretch along the water from mile 8-17. Not only can this be hard physically because of the wind that comes from off the ocean and between the buildings, but it’s also very tough mentally because you’re running straight for so long without any change in direction. I knew this was my first big test, and if I could get past this part feeling strong I’d be in really good shape.

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  • Mile 8 – 8:28
  • Mile 9 – 8:33
  • Mile 10 – 8:35
  • Mile 11 – 8:24
  • Mile 12 – 8:25
  • Mile 13 – 8:33

I passed the halfway point at 1:51:05, still keeping a very steady 8:30 pace. I have never run a more consistently paced race in my entire life, and I really owe that to our pacer Andrew. I have never run an entire race with a pace group before, but it was very freeing to be able to just run and not expend any extra energy worrying about looking at my watch and crunching numbers. It really helped me enjoy myself and take in my surroundings better. I also loved the pace group for the support and the camaraderie. The miles were just flying by as I spent time talking with the people around me and getting to know them and their stories. It was amazing!

  • Mile 14 – 8:36
  • Mile 15 – 8:34
  • Mile 16 – 8:31
  • Mile 17 – 8:30
  • Mile 18 – 8:33

From miles 15-17 we took a very slight turn bringing us even closer to the water, and the wind really picked up once we did that. I tried to focus on not fighting the wind too much so that I didn’t waste too much energy. I knew it would be over soon and that we would be turning and running inland at mile 17, so I just hung in there. I never let myself feel mentally defeated. Something that really helped me was to think of the saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Yes, I realize that’s kind of funny to say since I am a vegetarian 🙂 But for me, the mental part of running is huge and it’s very easy to get caught up in that and get overwhelmed. I kept reminding myself to eat the elephant one bite at a time. Rather than stress about the 26.2 miles ahead of me, I broke it up into smaller more manageable “bites” – just make it to the 10k timing mat, then the half, then mile 17 when we finally turn away from the beach and the wind, then mile 18.3 where another timing mat is, and so on. This made it seem less scary and more doable!

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I passed the next checkpoint (18.3 miles) at 2:35:32, still right on my 8:30 target. By now my watch and the mile markers were perfectly in sync. I knew my next “bite” was to make it to the spot where I had to stop last time, at mile 21.38. This was the second part of the course that I was nervous about. I was feeling really great at this point, especially since we were now away from pretty much all wind. The pace still felt extremely comfortable and once again I was tempted to pick it up some, but I really didn’t want to push it until I got farther in the race. I think one factor aside from pacing that helped me feel really strong was my hydration and fueling. I actually decided to wear my Camelback just like I did in my last marathon two years ago, and I am so glad I did. I loved having water whenever I needed it, as well as a place to store my Honey Stingers (and my obsession – chapstick) that was out of the way. I never felt thirsty or like I had any sort of dip in energy the entire time. I drank when I felt like it and ate a half pack of Stingers at 1 hour, and then every 35 minutes after that. It was the perfect balance that left me feeling hydrated and fueled.

  • Mile 19 – 8:30
  • Mile 20 – 8:34

I really love hitting mile 20 in a marathon. To me, the two halves of a marathon are not 13.1 and 13.1. I think the first ‘half’ is the first 20 miles, and the other half is the last 6. If you run a smart race, both of those segments should take about the same amount of effort.  The last 6 miles were such an out of body experience. I kept waiting for the wall to come (either mentally or physically) and it never did. I kept telling the pace group that I couldn’t believe how good I still felt, hoping I wasn’t jinxing myself. I got a little worried when the spout to my Camelback fell off at mile 21 and I had to stop to get it, but I was able to pick it up and get right back into it. I also got worried when our pacer Andrew had some IT band pain at mile around the same time and had to slow down. But the best feeling of all was running past the exact point where I had to stop and get medical help two years ago. I remember so clearly how terrible I felt in that moment, and today in this moment I felt so strong and unstoppable.

From miles 22-26.2 I refused to let myself think about how much I had left, and instead just focused on working on the mile I was in at the moment. One bite at a time. It got a little lonely, since our pace team had broken up quite a bit and I was now running alone. We were also in a more isolated part of town that seemed to drag on a bit, and I saw my pace slow a little bit in miles 22 and 23. I gave myself a little pep talk and decided that it was all me now. No pacer to take me the rest of the way, nobody to talk to and distract me. Nothing but me and the road and my own determination. I knew I was going to PR at this point, and it was up to me to decide by how much.

  • Mile 21 – 8:27
  • Mile 22 – 8:39
  • Mile 23 – 8:38
  • Mile 24 – 8:31
  • Mile 25 – 8:35

I kept working on each mile, one at a time, and before I knew it I saw the flag for mile 25. I decided I needed to pick it up and finish strong, just like I had been practicing in my long runs. I gave those last 1.2 miles everything I had. Right after the mile 26 flag we turned right into the finish area, and I looked down at my watch and saw a time of 3:42. I could not believe that I had just run that fast. I started getting teary eyed once I saw all the people watching by the finish line, and when the announcer called out my name. I ran through the finish line and immediately burst into tears. I DID IT!!!!!

  • Mile 26 – 8:21
  • Last . 20 – 8:07 pace
  • Finish Time – 3:43:10 / 8:31 average pace

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I think this is my shocked face 🙂

What went right in this race? Sometimes everything just comes together and conditions are perfect. It happens very rarely, but I think today was one of those days. Everything from the temperature, the wind, how my body felt, the familiarity of the course, my fueling and hydration plan, my mental strategies, my slower than usual pacing, my strong finish. I tried very hard to stick to my power words of patience, discipline, and trust. Patience to not go out to fast. Discipline to stick to the plan and keep going when it starts to hurt. Trust in my training and my body.

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Like I said in my goals post, this was more than just a race to me. This was a chance for me to get my redemption from two years ago and finally cross the finish line of the Myrtle Beach Marathon. This was marathon #10 in state #10 for me, which allows me to officially join the 50 states club and start working toward the other 40 (however long it may take!). And most importantly, this race was an opportunity for me to leave some sad, angry, defeated feelings on the pavement, and remind myself that I am strong and can do hard things. I could not have asked for a better experience for my 10th marathon, and I am so proud and thankful.

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What’s next? Well, first I’m looking forward to a few months off from hard training! I jumped into training pretty soon after baby, and my body and mind are definitely ready to cut back a bit. Then marathon training will resume this summer for an undetermined fall marathon. I plan to keep chipping away at my time in order to hopefully get my BQ sometime in the next couple of years. We’ll see! Running has taught me that anything is possible with time and a lot of hard work!

Mom & Baby: 8 Months

Whenever I sit down to write a new update on one of the boys, I always open up my planner to see what we did over the past month. I also look at the pictures I have taken. I couldn’t believe all that happened in just one month! From the holidays to traveling to South Carolina to a blizzard… whew! We sure did pack a lot of excitement in. It’s actually been so exciting that I’m 2 weeks late writing this update. Here are all the details about Kyler’s 8th month of life.

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Baby

Kyler went to the doctor at 8 months to get his second flu shot dose, so I know that he now weighs 17 pounds 4 ounces! He’s gained a good amount of weight since last month when his sickness took his appetite away for a little bit, so I was relieved to hear that!

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He somehow contracted a viral case of pink-eye this month shortly after his ear infection, but other than that he’s been healthy (knock on wood!). It needs to stay that way! He’s been home with me the majority of the month thanks to winter break, travel, and some snow days, so that helped with the germ factor.

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Kyler has become quite the little eater! We’ve been a lot more relaxed this time about letting his taste different foods, after the initial month or so of experimenting with one at a time. By this point he’s had a ton of different food, and I honestly can say that there hasn’t been one thing he has disliked. From avocado to banana to green beans to broccoli to eggs, he devours it all and he really likes to feed himself. Right now he eats breakfast and dinner with us, but soon we’ll add lunch in there too.

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Since food is just for fun until he turns one, he’s obviously still nursing a lot too. One of the nicest parts of this month was that I was off work for most of it for winter break and then the blizzard, which meant I could put my pump far away and just nurse him. He usually nurses 6 times a day, sometimes more if he’s not feeling well or is extra attached. This month I did have a new challenge when I traveled for a work conference in Myrtle Beach, which meant I had to pump for 48 hours straight. It was weird to not feed him for that long but we got through it. I was very thankful for all the milk in our freezer!

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Nursing after the Charleston Half Marathon

He doesn’t have any new teeth yet, and is still very proudly rocking his bottom two. I can’t even handle this smile of his. Melts me every time.

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Kyler has gotten very good at sitting and only really falls over if his brother knocks into him or pushes him over (yeah… it happens!) Now he is starting to move from the sitting position onto his tummy. He is not really trying to crawl yet but he is working hard on pushing himself up with his arms and scooting a little bit. Kevin started army crawling at 9 months and crawling on all fours at 11 months, so I’m not worried about it. I’m enjoying his lack of mobility for now 🙂

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I think Kyler’s tummy and digestive system is still getting used to eating solid food, because we’ve had our fair share of poop issues this month. Never a dull moment, that’s for sure! He tends to not go for a few days at a time and then has a really bad, explosive diaper. It’s hard to predict when it will happen, which makes going out risky sometimes. Over winter break I took both kids to the grocery store, and Kyler started screaming when I was almost done and wanted to be held. When I picked him up I realized he had a huge blowout and it was all over the car seat, his clothes and me. I rushed through check-out while holding him because he was still upset, and every concerned citizen informed me that my baby had pooped through his clothes. Then Kevin had a meltdown because we had to go home and couldn’t go Christmas shopping for daddy. Sigh… all I could do at that point was laugh!

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About 30 minutes before the grocery store poop incident!

His sleep has been a little disturbed this month, which I think is due to the wonder week he’s working through. He went from 7-9 hour stretches to waking up 2-3 times a night. Now he’s back to the longer stretches but every once in a while he has a rough night. While I was off form work, I tried to get him napping on more of a schedule and in his crib more consistently and it went really well. He tends to take a morning and afternoon nap, and sometimes little catnaps if we’re driving somewhere.  I am also working on moving his bedtime up. He was going to bed at 8:30, but now we have him going to bed at 7:30. Then he usually wakes up between 3 and 4 to nurse.

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Coffee for both of us?

Kyler is VERY vocal and loves exercising his voice. He will screech, babble, make noise with his lips and blow raspberries. He practices different volumes and goes between screaming and whispering. He has started to say “dadada” but I don’t know if he’s associating my husband with that. He also LOVES to laugh, and has learned to wave! Check out the videos below to see my little man in action!

I still can’t get over the personality difference between Kyler and Kevin. Kevin was (and still is) very high maintenance, while Kyler is super laid back. He’s just happy pretty much no matter what is going on, unless he’s hungry or tired. For example, we got him up super early, drove to Charleston and dragged him all around the city and he was super smiley the whole time!

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Kyler’s favorite part of the day continues to be bath/shower time. As soon as he hears the water turn on he starts kicking and squealing in excitement, and he gets upset when it’s time to get out.

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One of the most special parts of this month was that we celebrated Kyler’s first Christmas. With him only being 8 months old, he only had a few presents to open and was mostly interested in trying to eat the wrapping paper, but it was really sweet and something we’ll remember forever!

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We are thinking of transitioning him into a convertible carseat soon. We already have one and he just looks so big in it, even though he hasn’t hit the weight and height limit yet. I might actually shed a tear when we move him out of it and say goodbye to the infant carseat we’ve had since Kevin was born. It’s close to it’s expiration date anyway, but I remember when we first bought it. Seems like yesterday and forever ago at the same time.

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Finally, here’s some brother love!

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The face they make when mommy sings… :/

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Melts my heart

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Pretty sure Kyler lived in his Christmas PJs all month

And some mama love too. This boy usually won’t take his eyes of his mommy lately 🙂

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Body

It was an interesting month for me physically. I don’t have any official body pictures this month so I will use a photo from my snowy run the other week instead. I am officially below my pre-pregnancy weight, which I don’t really want. I have been so hungry lately, and it was hard to tell whether it was due to marathon training, breastfeeding, my thyroid or a combination of those things. It felt like my metabolism was in overdrive. I got my thyroid levels checked and they were definitely on the hyperthyroidism side now (I’ve had Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism since I was 16) due to still being on a higher dose of my meds from pregnancy and the initial post-partum period. They adjusted them back down and I feel so much better. It feels like my body is functioning like it should, and my anxiety has gone down as well, which can be a side effect of thyroid levels on the hyper side. So glad I got that checked out!

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Even though I prefer to weigh around 130 and I’m a little below that right now, I’m pretty happy with my body at 8 months postpartum. My clothes fit really well, I feel strong from running and marathon training, and things are slowly going back to the way they were. I had my annual appointment with the midwives who I delivered Kyler with, and after examining me they said it seems like I never even had a baby (or two). I beg to differ about that, there are definitely some things that aren’t (and will never) be the same, but that is fine. The more I run and the more success I find in that, I’m so much more interested in what my body can do rather than what it looks like.

For example, I ran two races this month that I feel very proud about. I did the Resolution 5K on New Years Day and the Charleston Half in the middle of the month. Even though neither race gave me a PR, I think both showed how my running has improved since having Kyler, and helped me learn a lot about myself.

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Mind

So much went on this month that made me happy mentally and emotionally. First we celebrated the holidays for the first time as a family of 4 and with our extended families. It was really nice, despite strangely warm temperatures this year (I ran in shorts and a tank top on Christmas Eve… it was 70 degrees!). But we baked cookies anyway, sweating the whole time 🙂

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I spent two weeks off from work on Winter Break with my boys, which was so nice. It was definitely a different experience than the last time I was home with both of them for an extended time during the summer. Kyler and Kevin can actually play together a little bit, which is really nice. But it did make me a little nervous for this summer when they’re both mobile!

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A few weeks later we headed to Myrtle Beach for a mini-vacation. Like I said earlier, I went down a few days early for a work conference. I haven’t been alone for an extended amount of time like that since before Kevin was born. It was a little weird to say the least, and I didn’t like having to pump all day since I didn’t have a baby to feed, but it was also relaxing. And I got to sleep through an entire night uninterrupted! However, I was still super happy to see my boys at the end of the week and to spend the rest of the long weekend together.

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Finally, this month was capped off with a glorious blizzard that led to us being off from school for a week and a half. But that went into month 9, so we’ll talk about that more soon!

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I have been so aware of how quickly time is passing, and really trying to focus on enjoying and remembering these special times with a baby that is only going to be this little for a short time. A lot has happened in the last two weeks since he turned 8 months old, but I’ll save that for next month’s post. Hopefully I can get it up in a more timely manner 🙂

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Previous Mom & Baby posts:

Mom & Baby: 7 Months

Kyler is now officially in the other half of his first year of life! My not-so-little baby boy is now 7 months old and is more fun than ever before. Here are the details about both of us at 7 months post-partum.

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Baby

Kyler is officially 16 pounds 13 ounces and 28 inches at 7 months old. I know this  because we had to take him to the doctor a couple days ago (more about that later!). He’s starting to look longer and leaner to me, just like his brother and many of my family members are. I think we’ll have another tall and skinny kid soon!

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Last month I said that it was so nice to have him healthy for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, soon after writing that he got sick again, and this time it was really rough. He started to get a cold when we were home in Pennsylvania visiting family for Thanksgiving. It got worse and worse, and when we took him to the doctor for what was supposed to be his 6 month well visit (a little late), they said he had a pretty bad ear infection. I felt terrible. He was in pain but rarely complains so we didn’t know how bad it was. After that we started him on antibiotics and took turns staying home with him for a few days, since he was so sad and just moaning and wanting to be held. Poor baby 😦

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Thankfully, after a few days he started to return to his happier self. We finished the 10 days of amoxicillin on Saturday, but on Monday after work I took him out of his carseat and I noticed big red hives/welts on his face. I immediately stripped him down and they kept appearing out of nowhere. I panicked and started packing up to go to urgent care, and called his pediatrician at the same time. He was breathing okay and not in distress, so she said to give him some Benadryl and see what happens. Once I did that the welts went away within about 10 minutes. His doctor said it was most likely a side effect from the medicine, and that sometimes it has to reach a certain level in the body to see symptoms- even after you are finished taking it. He had a little breakout of more hives two nights later and they went away with Benadryl again. He’s doing much better now. The pediatrician says his ears are looking good and that his little runny nose and cough should clear out very soon. So thankful for that! We will just need to keep an eye on the hives to see if they continue to happen. She’s pretty sure it was a reaction to the antibiotic but we can’t be 100% sure.

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One of the huge hives!

In happier news, we had some new developments this month! Kyler started to sit up all on his own. We have been practicing but he would just fall over after a few seconds. One morning I sat him up and he stayed up! Such a big boy! He loves his new view 🙂

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We also started solids this month. He had his first bites of food at Thanksgiving. We gave him avocado just like we did with Kevin, and he could not get enough!

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Since then he’s also had banana, sweet potato, apple, and butternut squash and has loved it all. This is a lot less than Kevin had at 7 months because we’re taking it slower this time. He’s also become a big fan of feeding himself. He loves this little self feeder. So independent 🙂

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He only gets solids once a day at dinnertime and nurses the rest of the time (or takes a bottle of pumped milk while I’m at work). Aside from a little decrease in appetite when he was sick, he’s still nursing 6-7 times a day. He tends to nurse around 3:30 or 4 AM, before leaving for daycare at 6:30 AM, then has three 4 ounce bottles at daycare. After we get home I nurse him at 6:00 and 8:00, then put him down for bed. His two bottom teeth are not fully out, but he doesn’t bite me as much anymore – thank God!!! He mostly chews on his own fingers.

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His nighttime sleep has been inconsistent this month, again due to the sickness, but when he’s feeling okay his longest sleep stretch is between 7 and 9 hours. Naps are a different story. He’s not really on a napping schedule yet, and that’s probably our fault. We tend to just let him sleep anytime, anywhere, including on us. I really want to get him in the habit of taking naps in his crib, so that we don’t pay for it later!

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Kyler is not crawling yet or really trying to crawl at all. He will roll and reach for what he wants, which is EVERYTHING right now! This kid is so grabby! If we are holding anything or if something is nearby, he will do whatever it takes to grab for it.

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He has also started watching us closely and copying us. He will mimic us talking by screeching and babbling. He will stick out his tongue in response to us if we stick out ours, and we will blow raspberries back and forth. It’s really fun to see him become more interactive.

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He LOVES to cuddle. I can’t remember if Kevin was as big of a cuddler as he is but I love it too. I know that time passes quickly so I enjoy every minute of snuggles I can get.

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One other new thing he has been loving this month is the stroller. He is now big enough to sit in the main part of the stroller next to Kevin, rather than his carseat attachment. We’ve been having a very mild winter/late fall so far so he has been out on many runs with us, and he smiles from ear to ear the whole time! It has been really fun to go on family runs too.

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Finally, he continues to be infatuated by his big brother. He loves him so much, and Kevin loves him too. He is always taking care of Kyler and making sure he has toys, a blanket, or whatever he needs. Kyler watches him and tries to do what he does. It’s so fun already to see them together, and I know it will only get better as they get older.

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Body

Not much is new physically in terms of my weight or how my body looks. I haven’t weighed myself in a while but the last time I did I was still holding steady around 132 pounds. I’m feeling a bit bloated right now thanks to all the holiday treats from Thanksgiving to now (almost Christmas), but I know that’s just temporary. I don’t know if it’s marathon training, breastfeeding, my thyroid or some combination of those but I have been SO hungry! I’m getting my blood drawn to check my thyroid levels next week, but it feels like my metabolism is in overdrive sometimes.

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Last month I talked about how I thought I was getting my period because I noticed some signs of ovulation and a little bit of decreased milk supply, but I never got it. I’m really curious when it will return, but not missing it at all right now 🙂 I have been feeling pretty good physically and really excited to be getting faster lately. I’ve been seeing my chiropractor regularly for maintenance which I think is helping. I have been having a little bit of pain here and there in my right side, especially in my lower back and my right foot. It’s nothing too bad at all but it’s something I notice on and off. I’m going to keep my eye on it and maybe go to the running store to see if they think I’m overpronating more on one side. I have a feeling that’s what it is.

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Mind

The past month was really awesome for me mentally and emotionally in many ways, but mostly because it’s my absolute favorite time of year. I LOVE the fall and winter, and especially October to December with all of the holidays that they bring. We started the month by celebrating Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania with my family, and because my school gave us off on Wednesday this year, we were able to go away from Tuesday to Sunday. I haven’t been home for that long in years and it was so nice and relaxing. We were able to see a lot of people we love, and Kevin and I even got to go out together with friends on Thanksgiving Eve which was a blast.

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Our Annual Turkey Bowl

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The boys with their Aunt Yaya

The boys with their Aunt Yaya

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Since Thanksgiving we have done a lot of fun things to help get ready for my favorite holiday of all – Christmas! I grew up with very strong traditions around Christmas and it’s something that I think is important to pass on. We got our Christmas tree and decorated it together, saw Santa on a fire truck and sat on his lap, visited the Festival of Lights, and more. It has been so much fun, especially this year now that we have a family of 4. I’m writing this on Christmas Eve, and we still have so much more in store for this upcoming week. I’m so excited!

Picking out our Christmas tree!

Picking out our Christmas tree!

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Pajama Day at school and daycare

Pajama Day at school and daycare

At the Festival of Lights looking just like Daddy

At the Festival of Lights looking just like Daddy

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This month I have tried very hard to leave stress at school and focus on my family at home. I know I’m truly doing the best I can at work and I refuse to let it affect my family or my time at home with them. This has really helped me keep things in perspective and make the most of our evenings and weekends together. I’m really happy to be home with both of my boys right now for 16 days (!!!) over Winter Break. It was so, so needed!

Seeing the boys after daycare makes me so happy!

Seeing the boys after daycare makes me so happy!

Finally, one thing that is keeping me busy in a good way is my new coaching business! I am so excited about it and the progress I have made with it already. I have taken on 4 clients and each one is so important and special to me. It feels good to be doing something for ‘work’ that I’m so passionate about, especially since I haven’t really felt that way about teaching for a while. Maybe someday I will be able to make this a full-time job, but in the meantime I am really enjoying  doing it on the side.

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I can’t wait to see what month 8 has in store for us!

My 3 boys :)

My 3 boys 🙂

Previous Mom & Baby posts:

A Day in the Working Mama Life

The last time I wrote a day in the life post was back in August when Kevin was almost 3 years old and Kyler was 3 months old. I was ending my summer vacation and maternity leave and getting ready to head back to work. Fast forward to 4 months later and it has been quite the whirlwind. Adjusting to working full-time again with two kids, while also juggling pumping, running, my coaching business, and more has been a challenge (to say the least!). We are finally settling into somewhat of a routine, although I wouldn’t say it’s gotten any easier. I think we’ve just gotten used to the craziness. I thought it was a good time to capture another snapshot in our lives. Here is what our day was like on Thursday, December 17th, when Kevin was 3 years and 3 months old, and Kyler was almost 7 months old.

4:52 a.m. Kyler wakes up to eat. His feeding schedule has been a little inconsistent lately because of his teething and sickness. Sometimes he wakes up to eat around 3:00, and sometimes he doesn’t wake up until closer to when I have to get up and start getting ready (like today).

5:30 a.m. He finishes up and we lay down together for a few minutes while my husband showers. Kevin wakes up and comes into our room around this time and gets into bed with me.

5:50 a.m. I shower with this cute little boy as my audience.

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6:02 a.m. I get out of the shower and start getting ready for the day. While I’m doing that my husband is downstairs with Kev making coffee, prepping our smoothies for breakfast and packing our lunches (he’s pretty awesome!). Kyler hangs out upstairs with me, and Kevin comes up and down a few times to bring his brother toys and play with him.

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6:30 a.m. I feed the baby again quickly, even though it hasn’t been very long since he last ate. I like to feed him right before he goes to daycare to “top him off,” especially because his weight was down a bit at his 6 month appointment. I think that was because he was sick that week and didn’t have much of an appetite, so I have been trying to make up for it since then.

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6:45 a.m. I get the boys dressed and ready and make sure the diaper bag is packed for daycare with diapers, extra clothes, milk, etc.

7:02 a.m. My husband leaves with the kids. He’s been on daycare drop-off and pick-up duty most days since I’ve been so busy at work. It’s a cold, rainy day – which is why I skipped my morning run and moved it to the afternoon. I can do rain, but not in the dark and in 40 degree weather! After they leave I finish getting ready and drinking my coffee.

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7:35 a.m. I leave for work with my smoothie in hand!

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8:05 a.m. I arrive at work after sitting in some traffic due to rain (nobody knows how to drive in any type of weather where I live). I drop off my bags and immediately start running around to different classrooms to check in with some teachers about things that we have going on that day. I am a reading specialist so I support both the students and the teachers in my building in grades K-5.

8:45 a.m. I take a break to go pump. While I am pumping I plan out the rest of my day and eat some pumpkin bread my aunt sent us with Christmas gifts 🙂

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9:00 a.m. Back to work! I do some lesson planning, work with a couple students, meet with a couple teachers, and complete some paperwork. Whew!

12:00 p.m. Quick 20 minute break to shove some food in my face (veggies with my favorite cilantro jalapeño hummus and last night’s leftover Baked Pasta with Spinach and Ricotta – so good!) while pumping.

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12:20 p.m. And back at it. I work with two more students, more lesson planning, another meeting with a teacher, and one more student.

3:35 p.m. I end my work day by helping with dismissal outside in the rain for 30 minutes. It was during that time that I decided I wasn’t going to do my run outside today. I just couldn’t take the cold rain!

4:15 p.m. I leave work and drive home. I’ve gotten really good at pumping in my car on the way home. I put my cover and my pumping bra on, set everything up before I start driving and then just let the pump run while I make my way home. Eventually I turn it off but I don’t undo everything until I’m safely parked back at home. I think it’s a great way to save time and multi-task 🙂 I also eat a Larabar on the way home for a snack. My husband gets off workout 4:30 and gets the kids before he heads home too.

4:55 p.m. I get home, unpack my stuff, and quickly get changed to run before I lose my motivation.

5:14 p.m. I hop on the treadmill to begin my 5 mile progression run. Running on the treadmill feels harder to me than outside so I keep my effort easy tonight. The miles feel like they drag on!

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5:55 p.m. My boys all get home. They were stuck in some traffic due to rain.

6:00 p.m. Finally finished with my run! I head into the living room to do some stretching and to see my boys. I really don’t like to run after work because I like to be able to come straight home, make dinner, and have time to play with the kids before bed. I’d much rather wake up super early to get my runs in while everyone is sleeping and this afternoon reminded me of that.

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6:15 p.m. I nurse Kyler while my husband makes dinner (I told you, he does so000 much around the house these days!).

6:45 p.m. We all eat. My hubby and I have homemade paninis, Kevin has ‘deconstructed’ quesadilla at his request (tortilla, beans, corn, cheese and guacamole) since he already had a sandwich for lunch. Kyler has applesauce in his little self-feeder and LOVES it!

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7:05 p.m. My husband leaves for the part-time job he has working at a local brewery on Thursday evenings, while we all finish up dinner and clean up. Afterwards we go upstairs to get into pajamas and ready for bed. We normally do baths most nights, but on nights that my husband goes to work we usually skip it or do it in the morning before daycare. Kevin’s been a little tough to get down lately for some reason (I think he has severe FOMO- Fear of Missing Out!), so I try to compromise with him by letting him read to his brother and staying with him for a little longer than usual.

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8:05 p.m. I finally get Kevin to sleep… whew!

8:15 p.m. I nurse Kyler for the last time and try not to doze off in the process.

8:55 p.m. I get Kyler into his crib, then go downstairs to start getting some school work done. It truly never ends!!

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10:35 p.m. I am finally finished with my work. I go upstairs to get ready for bed. My hubby still isn’t home yet but he should be home soon.

10:50 p.m. Sleep!

While I was at work, Kyler had three 4 ounce bottles, took a morning and afternoon nap, and played on the floor and in his exersaucer. Kevin had breakfast, lunch and a snack, took an afternoon nap of 1.5 hours, played with puzzles and legos, and read some books.

I am currently on a two week winter break (Hallelujah!!) so I’m feeling much better and less stressed already. I needed this break badly and I’m so happy that I’ll be able to spend so much time with my boys. My next day in the life post will be on a weekend, so you can see how we try to make the most of that time that we have together. Being a working mom is tough, and I’m still figuring it all out, but there is nothing like coming home to those sweet faces!

Previous “Day in the Life” posts: