Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sounds of silence

So miracle of miracles, all three of my girls are napping at the same time!! YAY!  This hasn't happened in forever and probably won't happen again for some time, but I had to share.  I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Lauren and I were going rounds with her naps.  She still hasn't really figured out how to fall asleep and stay asleep on her own yet.  Today was a step in the right direction though.  She woke up about 15 minutes after I laid her down and I just let her be.  I went in after about 10 minutes and this is what I found:

My other two had finally managed to fall asleep in their beds during the same timeframe.  As you can see, Karen was much more restless in getting to her sleep state than Megan!

I'm going to go and enjoy the sound of silence in my house!  Happy Tuesday.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Featuring My Sweet Potato 3

I wanted to share the hats that were chosen from my UBP12 giveaway.  I ended up doing two prizes because I didn't realize that 5 Minutes for Mom would be choosing a winner if I submitted a prize form... brain-dead moment on my part, but lucky for another winner! :)  And I don't mind having the chance to direct more people to my friend Christine's Etsy Shop - My Sweet Potato 3 - she makes great hats!

The lucky winner directly from visiting my blog was Wendy from Tales from the Motherhood and the winner picked by 5 Minutes for Mom was Adelina from Homemaid Simple

They picked these two darling hats:

If you are in need of a unique and cute baby gift, or hat for your own little one, go visit My Sweet Potato 3!!  I have two favorites that I need to decide between:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Treadmill View {Wordless Wednesday}

My "view" (or really, lack-thereof) from my treadmill... trying to find the motivation for getting up early to this "view" tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - Take 1

Today I'm linking up with Many Little Blessings - Top Ten Tuesday!!  It's my first time participating... so enjoy!

The top 10 things I'm loving about my online communities...
  1. Dailymile - being able to fill the gap in my workouts from not having a running partner since I live in the middle of nowhere and have three little ones.  I'm loving all the support and encouragement I get from those I've connected with. (Thanks Kortni & Kris!)
  2. Again dailymile - the accountability of knowing that others are tuned in to my workouts and will see if I wimp out on a run or check out for several days (or weeks)...
  3. Facebook - reconnecting with old friends (Hi Mel!) and staying in touch with others that might otherwise have fallen out of touch!
  4. Encouragement in my faith journey - Catholic Mother's Online, Team Whitaker, So in Love...,
  5. Inspiration to "Dream big and goal big.." (thanks Kortni) and still be a good Mom while doing it! - Today is the Day, Run Faster Mommy, Mom Swim Bike Run,
  6. Camaraderie - ok seriously, sometimes misery loves company... well maybe not misery but the realization that I don't have it all under control isn't quite so scary and overwhelming when I log in and read that some of you are having similar days... case in point "Reality vs. Perception" from 3 Pink Cupcakes, or just sharing in others daily journeys that so often parallel mine - Our Motto is Patience, Gracie Rae
  7. Community, so my "misery loves company" could have gone here... :)  But I was thinking of those wonderful blogs that do such a good job of bringing other bloggers together with common themes... Show Us Your Life from Kelly's Korner, Recipe or craft link ups from The Larson Lingo, or this link up from Many Little Blessings,
  8. Recipes! I love trying new recipes, so how could this not be in my top 10!!  Besides Pioneer Woman, I've found more fabulous recipes than I've been able to try - to name just a couple: Savory Sweet Life, The Girl Who Ate Everything
  9. Ideas - so I'm not the craftiest person in the world (as in, not really at all!!) but I enjoy seeing other people's inspiration and ideas and it helps me step outside my comfort zones when I'm doing a house project or thinking of activities to do with my girls.
  10. An audience... not that I need one, but I started this blog not just to record my experiences, but to share them... Sometimes the hardest thing, for me, as a Mom is getting thoughts that are banging around in my head out so that I can let go, or move on, or make an adjustment, or just simply appreciate how beautifully precious and blessed my life is!  So thank you for reading and for letting me know you are there. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Baby is "growing" up!

Time is going toooo fast!  It has felt like that since we first had Karen and with each passing year (and each new kid) it only seems to go faster!

I can hardly believe that over 5 months have passed since Lauren was born and she is growing so fast...

Her first solid food:

She's taken to it much more quickly than either of the other two did.  Karen, quite honestly, didn't have a clue!  She wasn't interested in baby food until closer to a year old.  Her apraxia played a role in that, something we didn't discover until later...  Megan liked her food at first, but within a month started refusing anything that came off a spoon.  She boycotted solids until she was big enough to put them into her own mouth.  Crazy girl. :)  Lauren, so far, has been much more amenable to her meals.  We haven't graduated yet beyond baby oatmeal, but we're taking it slow.

Rolling over... she's mobile!

Actually she's been mobile for several weeks as she has figured out how to push with her feet, but now that she is rolling... uh oh!

 And just for cuteness sake... playing with her feet!

Neither of the other two played with their feet, so I find this just adorable! :)  But I realize I'm her Mom, and I'm biased.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Half Marathon Training Update

I was planning to run my half marathon yesterday.  It is the one I did two years ago after having Megan and my goal for this year after having Lauren... but as you've read, my body didn't cooperate quite as well this time around.  I had some trouble with my knees and hips early on, and solved that by getting new shoes. But... one of the pair of new shoes I bought didn't provide the right kind of support and I've ended up struggling with achilles tendonitis.

So instead of gearing up for my half (including my long 12 miler), I've been laying low and trying to let the foot heal.  One thing that I've gotten better about since I've become a Mom... is recognizing that 1. I'm a Mom first... and if running on an injured foot is going to leave me grumpy, and gimpy, and unwilling or unable to take care of my kids the way I want to, then I should probably find some other activity for a while and 2.  I have to roll with the punches (so to speak) because things rarely go the way you envision them in your mind... #2 is something that I'm handling alot better these days.

In the spirit of rolling with the punches - running the Winderemere half marathon just wasn't in the cards.  Although, I wasn't really ready to accept that until I was standing in the Expo with my registration in hand.  I was getting ready to pull out the checkbook and thought... "what am I doing?..." I knew I wouldn't be able to race it, I didn't even know if I would be able to run it.  My longest run in three weeks had been 4 miles and my heel started hurting about 3 miles in.  So, finally, I accepted the writing on the wall and put the checkbook back in my purse.

Today, Carl ended up having his work day cut short so I was able to get out for a run.  It was a short one - only 4 miles... but finally, the feet felt good.  I didn't have any pain or tugging in the achilles!  yay!  But also realized how thankful I am that I didn't run the half yesterday.  It was a struggle to get in the 4 miles - I felt sluggish and tired... I could tell that it has been a few weeks since I've logged some miles.

So, on to the next goal... picking a different half to do this summer!  There are several around to choose from.  One is in 4 weeks and the others are 7 or 8 weeks out.  I'm hoping the feet stay healthy and I can finish out my training plan.  In addition, I'm really, really tempted to adjust my time goal - my training runs have been coming in faster than my current goal, so I'm struggling with whether I keep my "conservative-getting-my-body-back-after-baby goal"  or one that requires a little more reaching... I don't have enough races under my belt to know if I've got the mental toughness yet for that, but am also feeling like maybe I'm giving myself to easy of a target.  Thoughts?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Two years - a look back

In remembering my first half marathon the other day,  I couldn't help but also remember other events from two years ago.  Megan was only 7 months old and had struggled with bladder infections since she was three months old.  She had a condition that caused urine reflux into her kidneys (VUR) and made her prone to infections.  It seemed that about every 5 or 6 weeks she would have a break-through infection (she was on a daily antibiotic to try and keep her from getting sick).

Two days after my half marathon was a Monday and out of the blue, she spiked a temperature. No other symptoms, just a 101-102 temp... same as always.  I took her in to her pediatrician and a quick look at her urine confirmed it was another UTI.  We changed her antibiotic and went home.

Typically Megan responded pretty well and quickly to a new antibiotic.  On Tuesday, after 24 hours of a different antibiotic, she wasn't much better... in fact, not at all.  Her temp was still up, she was barely eating, and her diaper remained dry.  By bedtime on Tuesday, I was really starting to be concerned at her lethargy and lack of interest in eating.  Fortunately, I have the BEST pediatrician in the world - he gives out his home phone number - so I called and left him a message.  He called me back within 15 minutes.  When he heard the above facts he said the one things I was NOT expecting him too... "I think you need to take her in to the E.R. ..."  I was immediately in tears.  He continued "It sounds like it has gone to her kidneys and if she becomes too dehydrated, the infection could become septic." ... ACK!!!!!!

By 10pm we were at the Pediatric E.R. checking in.  It was close to 2am by the time they got an iv started and us checked in to a room.  Fortunately we got there and got fluids and iv antibiotics to her in time to combat the kidney infection.  It was 5 or 6 days before we left the hospital and she remained on i.v. antibiotics for another week after that.
Sleeping it off with my girl in her hospital bed

Finally starting to feel better...

This was the first of three hospital visits for kidney infections, three picc lines for i.v. meds, and a fourth hospital stay for major surgery to try and repair her ureter tubes so the kidney infections would stop.
Getting the i.v. meds at home after our 2nd hospital visit
3rd hospital stay... just after she turned 1

Sleeping off the anesthesia with Carl after surgery

We were so happy when she wanted to eat!

Fortunately - it worked!! Praise God!  Megan has been off of antibiotics for over a year now and had no break-through infections.  Words cannot express how grateful I am for the care she received and that we live in the time we do where this condition can be diagnosed and successfully treated.  And look at where she's at now... beautiful, healthy, strong 2.5 year old!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

To run or not run? A look back

Two years ago I ran my first half marathon on the 15th of May.  It was the first time I committed to a training program and followed through on it.  I had wanted to run a marathon or half marathon for years leading up to this and just had never been able to get myself to the finish line.  Usually the problem was training too much to fast and aggravating tendonitis in my knees and then never getting myself back into training.  But partially the problem was psyching myself out before I started... Do you ever do that?  I researched what marathon (or half) I wanted to run, then spent a ton of time looking at training programs, I even registered a couple of times... and then NEVER EVEN STARTED!

Anyway - two years ago was different.  I had Megan in October and had many complications post-delivery.  When I was finally cleared for normal activities just after the first of the year, I was SOOOO ready to do something "normal" with and for my body.

I decided to commit to running the half marathon I always wanted to do.  I picked one that was scheduled far enough in the future that training for it was reasonable but not soo far out that I would lose focus before I even started.  I picked a training program I thought I could follow - I only had to run 3 days a week!.  Finally, for the first time, I chose a really conservative pace goal.  I wanted to simply shoot for a 10 - 10:30 minute mile.

For the most part, I succeeded.  The last couple of weeks of training did not quite occur as planned, but I felt ready.  At the last minute, my husband decided to attempt running the half with me (with no training)... It was really good to have a running buddy, although a little hard to stomach that he was managing without "much" effort.  I ended up finishing to race in 2:00:14 ... beating my time goal by 10 minutes and barely missing the hitting 2 hours!!

I always tell Carl that it was his fault that I missed the 2 hour mark.  He ran with me, but started having trouble with IT band pain and so we stopped a few times so he could stretch it.  After the third or fourth time (about the 7 mile mark) he told me to go on ahead so he wouldn't continue to hold me up.  So I did, he finished a few minutes behind me.  I only jokingly "blame" him... my time was so much better than my goal, it is hard to not be really happy with it, and I know that I gained some energy and time by running next to him for half the race.

So the half I was training for is coming up on Saturday and I still haven't decided if I'm running.  I've only gotten in one run in the last three weeks and my longest run to-date is 10 miles (ran well over a month ago).  I definitely know that if I choose to run on Saturday, I will be running it, not racing it.  But even so, it is hard to consider not running it - it has been my goal since I had Lauren in December (and even before).  What to do...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Favorite Quotes...

Some of my favorites from the past couple of weeks...

My sister-in-law ... "You might call it a couch, but I call it a giant clothes basket capable of holding several days worth of clean, unfolded laundry for a family of eight." ... posted on her FB page a couple of weeks ago.  This describes the current (and perpetual) state of my laundry situation (albeit for 5 instead of 8).

Carl to my Mom when she came up to visit... "If Megan weren't my daughter, I don't know if I'd like her very much." ... in regards to how loud she is... (sidenote, I don't think she's all that loud... just a typical, talkative two!)

Megan: "Mommy, where's [x, y, z, ...]"
Me: "It's ..." (where ever "it" is)
Megan: "Oh, that's riggghhhhttt!"
Repeat above sequence about 15 times per day

And completely unrelated... a picture from our Mother's day BBQ and birthday party yesterday...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

My family is not big on cards or gifts for holidays like today, but we are big on sharing how much people mean to us.  My Mom is the absolute BEST I could have asked or hoped for.  No... she's not perfect - but that is the beauty of it.  In her imperfection, God uses her to be the best Mom for me... and so, is actually perfect... and I am so thankful and grateful for it! 

She became one of my best friends in high school when I was struggling with coming to terms with my condition.  She continued to be one of my best friends as I went through college - she listened to, shared in, gave advice about classes, grades, boys, careers, still struggling with self confidence issues because of my fertility, just about every other issue you can imagine...
Mother-Daughter Tea - 1994

 After college she was my rock as I struggled to discern whether to pursue (and eventually take) a job in a city that would move me away from family and friends.  She gave me hope when I began to give up on ever finding "Mr. Right".  She gently found ways to remind me of my faith and commitments to church and prayer. 

Celebrated 40 years this year!
Now as a wife and mother - I cannot even begin to express what she is to me... I see even more-so now how strong, wise, faith-filled, and loving she is (and was) to raise me and my sisters to be the women we are now.  I can only hope and pray to raise my kids as well.
Tea Party for Mom's birthday

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Achilles Update

I ran my first run in two and a half weeks yesterday... it felt soooooo good to be out running again.  I think the time off was a good idea for my feet as my achilles felt great.  My right one started bothering me at about 3 miles, but wasn't too bad.  I can feel it a little today, but am planning to massage it and ice!

The worst part is the inserts I got for my shoes rubbed blisters within the first mile of my run.  I ran the other three miles knowing the blisters were there and getting worse.  Now I have to decide if I take out the inserts and run without them or do I grin and bear it until my feet get used to them?

I was able to keep up an 8:20 average pace... so I'm really, really happy with that.  I know I can't do that for the entire half marathon distance, but it gives me hope that my 2:00 goal may still be reachable.  We'll see - only 7 days until the half?  Better get those blisters healed!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Crying it out...

Which camp do you subscribe to??  The camp that holds that kids at naps and/or night should cry it out until they figure out how to fall asleep on their own or the camp that attempts to prevent most crying? I'm somewhere in the middle... at the moment though, I'm trying the cry-it-out method for naps. 

For the last week, Lauren has gotten increasingly unhappy unless she is being held or is nursing.  It has gotten to the point where she only naps in the car seat when we are on the go or when she is nursing and I continue to hold her after she falls asleep. Consequently, there has been a lot of crying and tears because I cannot hold her all the time and still get things done!  So, since the tears were already making an appearance, I decided to try and make them purposeful... she is currently deposited in her bed and after screaming for 10 minutes, she stopped for a couple... I think either to catch her breath, listen to hear if I was coming, or maybe she almost let herself fall asleep... now she is at it again.  I have my timer set for 15 minutes, so will go in and pat her if she is still crying when it goes off and then I'll give her another 15.

My hope in doing this is to start to get her into a better nap routine, and maybe into a better overall routine.  I think she is tired and doesn't know what to do with herself.  I remember this starting to happen with Megan... once I got her into a good 2 nap a day routine, things improved dramatically.  We'll see!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Training update

So my scheduled half marathon is just under two weeks away, and guess what?  I haven't run for two weeks!!  I was bit by the injury bug.  I had a FABULOUS sprint workout two weeks ago - 6 x 400's that I did outside in the sunshine and they came in incredibly faster than I hoped.  I averaged 1:36 - not something I would have attempted on my treadmill.

When I got done I drove back to my sister's house and could barely walk when I got out of the car.  What?!  The back of my feet, about 1-2cm above my heels were stiff and sore and when I tried to walk up or down stairs, it felt like my achilles were in a vise-grip!

I proceeded to ice them, took ibuprofen every 5 hours for about 5 days, and didn't run... :(  When they weren't really feeling any better late last week, I broke down and got an order to see a physical therapist.  The verdict?  Achilles Tendonitis... resulting from getting new shoes that did not have the support I need.


The shoes are my own fault.  I know what kind of feet I have, but I was interested in the new bare-foot running trend and tried to go into a shoe that moved that direction.  It is not a minimalist shoe by any stretch, but has an 8mm drop instead of a 12mm, and a little less stability than my typical shoe.  They felt great because they are lighter on my feet... but feeling great does not equate to being great in my case.
Source: runningquest.net

The bright side, my PT was VERY knowledgeable about barefoot running and she didn't say that I would never be able to do it... the not so bright side... her prediction is that it will take approximately THREE YEARS for me to build up the appropriate foot and leg strength to do my running barefoot or in minimalist shoes.

So back to the present... her recommendation was to ease back in to running and suspend all speed work until I am pain free. She recommended that I go back to my stability shoes with an orthotic and a heel lift.  The heel lift is temporary until I'm pain free and then it can go.  The orthotic will stay.

My half in two weeks??  Still a question mark.  She didn't say that I would not be able to run, just that I might not be pain free when I did.  I do know that I won't be running it as prepared as I had hoped or shooting for the time goal I wanted.  I'm left with looking into the summer at June and July and wondering what races I can find to reset my goals for.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

My journey - Part 3

Read Part 1 and Part 2 ...

After my “shock” of an ultrasound, we had another sit down with my doctor.  He didn’t really have a whole lot to say by way of explanation other than my uterus and ovaries must have been so under-developed during the laparoscopy that they were just missed.  That has always been a little hard for me to believe… I can understand that explanation for the initial ultrasound, but the laparocopy?!  They had a camera inside of me looking around…

To be honest, I’ve always felt that this was my little miracle and an answer to a question inside of me.  You see, before the first time I went the doctor, but when we were starting to realize that something was wrong with me, I had a conversation with God… I told him that if I found out that I couldn’t have kids then I would assume that he was calling me to become a nun.  After we found out the results of my first laparoscopy, this conversation kept coming back into my mind.  I wondered if God really was calling me to the religious life.  I realized, even at that age, that a calling to a religious vocation was something that God imprinted upon your heart.  I had obviously thought about it and pondered it, but would not have really said that I felt “called”… now I know this is a slippery slope because discerning a vocation takes time, prayer, and a real openness to listening to God’s urging – many people do not give it this attention and so miss their calling… but that is a tangent for another post, another time!

Suffice it to say that I was troubled by this commitment I felt I made – not because there weren’t things very attractive about religious life or because it scared me… it just didn’t feel like a “shoe” that fit me right.  I had not been praying much during this time, because to be honest, I was pretty angry at God.  But as He has a way of doing, He found ways to stay close to me.  So, even through my anger, he brought me around to two things… first, the realization that I very, very much needed Him in my life – that I could not do any of it on my own, and secondly that I also very much wanted to be Catholic (as I was raised) but needed to learn what that meant.

Which brings me back to my “commitment”… it was an ever-present thought in the back of my head and I can remember before my second ultrasound revisiting it.  I remember having another conversation with God that ended with the understanding that there would be more than “just” not having a uterus and ovaries that would let me know I was called to the religious life.  In many ways, the results of the second ultrasound showing that everything “normal” was like a “Yes” from God affirming that I had understood Him correctly.

Back to my journey – my doctor decided that a second laparoscopy was unnecessary as the ultrasound results were pretty clear.  So, the next step was an MRI of my brain to rule out a tumor or mass blocking the hormonal signals.  A week before my high school graduation, I went in for an MRI.  For anyone who has had one done… not the most fun experience!  Luckily I’m not claustrophobic (at least not strongly so) and managed to get through it ok.  We got the news a few days later that my scan came back normal.  Yay!  Having a brain tumor was not something on my list of things to have or do before I graduated high school…

At this point, we were still left wondering what was going on with my body. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Embarassing moments

... we all have them.  Those moments where we wish we could take back the last several seconds, or minutes...  well, I had one of those today.

Carl & I were out with the girls at Lowe's picking things up for our endless house projects.  I was about a third of the aisle behind him and somehow thought that I could toss a little bag of metal brackets into his cart from where I stood. Just as I released them, it registered that not only was I tossing them left-handed (I'm not a lefty) but that I was a lot further from him than I'd initially thought... Unfortunately these two thoughts registered too late to stop me.

They rebounded directly off of his temple just as he turned to ask me something.  He seriously thought things were falling off the shelves.  It broke the skin (just a little) and gave him a nice little bump...

Fortunately, he could laugh about it once he realized what happened.  I'm just now getting to the laughing point.