Back in February, my friend Jaime and I were commiserating about the awful winter weather and how badly we could both use a warm vacay. Truth be told, we commiserate a lot together. But I digress! She mentioned her uncle had a condo in Destin that might be available. Before I knew it, she was booking the unit for the week AND inviting Emery and I to join her and her boys! Umm, let me think about that for a sec,,,,, YES!!

J planned on driving from Indy to Florida, but recommended that E & I look into flights because 12 hours in a car would likely be a little much for an 8 month old (agreed). She would bring some of my bigger items in her truck (i.e. pack and play/ Emery’s “crate,” diapers, carseat base, etc) so I wouldn’t have to lug as much through the airport alone. Not gonna lie,, I put off booking our flights for a LONG time due to my general anxiety about flying solo with my baby. I’m not a huge fan of flying in the first place, so this was pretty over the top for me. My list of concerns was ridiculous: packing, checking luggage, the actual plane part, layovers, etc. I eventually bit the bullet and booked the flights, and thankfully felt some relief. But every day leading up to our departure was still full of fear. I wished I could just magically transport the two of us down to the beach and avoid the whole travel part! No dice.

We returned home from our trip to Chicago on Monday afternoon, giving us very little time to put the finishing touches on our suitcases and preparations. We were, however, able to enjoy some quality time with the hubs, who would be staying back home because of work. Mamas & babies only on this trip! After putting E to bed and packing up the car, I hopped into bed as it was recommended by many that I get a good pre-flight night’s sleep.

E was still on central time, and unfortunately woke us both up at 530a, well before my alarm clock. Never fails! It worked out fine though because the early wake up gave us time to say our goodbyes to Daddy, have breakfast, and get on the road by 8a.

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Thank goodness Jaime took the PNP and the carseat base, because Mama’s hands were FULL heading into battle!! I decided to bring our stroller (which I gate checked) for when I needed to take E out of the Ergo carrier. And I had bought this sweet backpack carseat carrier from Amazon, which was a lifesaver. Carseat on my back, baby on the front, stroller/ diaper bag in one hand, suitcase in the other. Let’s do this.

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Heading in!

We arrived to the airport plenty early, so I did my best to keep E visually stimulated for the hour and a half pre-board. This included his favorite food group: carbs :)

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We boarded the plane and took our window seat (which ended up being the wrong one, so we switched). I pulled out all his goodies in Ziplock bags and put them in the seat back. When the plane started moving, I gave him his juice bottle, which he anhiliated quickly, leaving me with nothing to give him as we actually took off. This is when the cries began. E’s new thing is to arch his back and throw his head back when he’s mad, and that’s exactly what he did. While trying to refill his bottle with water, the passenger next to me made some odd comment, telling me I should relax because he didn’t know any better. Um, thanks but obviously I’m going to be a bit unnerved with a crying baby on his first flight. He at least offered to help me with the bottle. After 10-15 minutes of tears, E finally passed out on my chest and we enjoyed the rest of the flight snuggled up together with a little playtime post-nap.

Post-nap

Post-nap

We had a quick layover in Houston, where I found us more carbs before boarding flight #2. We were shoved in the last row of a mini plane that bounced around frequently with a window shade that didn’t go up. But we were fuss-free and actually had a bit of fun drinking my Mighty Mango Naked juice together! First flying experience: success!!

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We landed in Fort Walton Beach and were immediately met by Jaime, Luke and Jacob at baggage claim! This little heartthrob took some of my precious cargo off my hands ;)

After a quick 20 minute drive, we arrived in Destin. We stopped at The Crab Trap for a late lunch/ early dinner. Popcorn shrimp and a celebratory Woodchuck Cider for all! && more bread for the little one.

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After lunch, we drove up to Publix to get some grub for the next couple of days (“Turn right, then turn right.” Oh you’re right across the street? Kthx). Once we returned, we made our way down to the beach, which was literally a hop across the road. No words can describe how excited I was to put E’s toes in the sand for the first time. It didn’t hurt that it was the most gorgeous beach I had ever laid eyes on.

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Perfect toes in perfect sand

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Wind? Whitecaps? Pssh.

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Wednesday morning we had some business to tend to right off the bat. Sadly, there was a death in Jaime’s family the day we arrived and she needed to get home by Friday instead of Saturday like we had planned. Thankfully, after a quick call to American Airlines, we were able to switch our exact flight from Saturday to Friday for just $8. Clearly we were both a little bummed to have to leave such a beautiful place a day early, but life happens. There’s too much to be thankful for to be sad over something so small.

Plus, we had this:

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We picked up a few more goodies at Target that morning (pool floatie included!) and headed to the pool upon our return. Well, let me rephrase. The other family went to the pool. This family was stuck inside the condo for TWO AND A HALF HOURS while someonE took a coma! Figures he chooses Florida as the place he’d like to take his longest nap ever ;) The second he awoke, we sunscreened up and headed outside!

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It was still a bit breezy, but we kept warm floating around in the water!

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Like my new Superman sunnies?!

Everyday, the Mamas had to do some coercing to get the boys to go to the beach. For some reason, pool > beach in their kiddo minds. So despite a little sassiness, we eventually made our way down to the water, where we ended up spending well over an hour walking, kite-flying & playing in the water/ sand. It was perfect.

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My little lovey

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L & JLo

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Later we enjoyed a frozen pizza and made a trip to the outlet mall down the street, after which the Mamas drowned their crazy kid sorrows in all of this:

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The perfect accompaniment to ’19 Kids and Counting’ and ‘Cyberstalkers’

If only they weren’t so darn cute.

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I should note that Emery’s sleeping was wayyyy out of whack the entire trip. The condo had one bedroom (which was generously offered to us), so E slept in the pack n play next to my bed. It’s SO hard sleeping SO close to your little one. Every move I made I felt like I was going to wake him up. And wake up he did. At 430a on day 1, 230a on day 2, and 530a on day 3. We survived, but at the time it was a bit brutal. Thankfully he napped almost every time I toted him around in the Ergo.

Day 3 was my favorite day (“What day is today?!”). We woke up and had coffee/ breakfast per usual while E played on the [sandy] floor.

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We headed down to the water bright and early to soak up as much beach time as possible. The day couldn’t have been more gorgeous. The wind was gone, the sun was out, and the water was crystal clear. Can I live here? Please?

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Babywearing = naptime. On the beach. Under the sun. Toes in the sand. Not complaining.

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Once E awoke, we went straight to the ocean!

And we got some of my most favorite pictures ever.

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Including a non-selfie with my girl (thanks Luke!).

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We played in the sand. And ate some of course.

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I think E had fun :)

The afternoon is what we had been looking forward to all week,,, DOLPHIN CRUISE!!

But first. Let me take a selfie.

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;)

We drove down to the marina and snapped a group pic while waiting to board our cruiser, the SeaBlaster!

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Sunnies for everyone!

And the boys played in the cutouts!

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When J had asked if I was interested in going on this boat ride, knowing good and well I may say no because of Emery, I hesitated for about 2 minutes. Sure it’s a boat. Everyone’s at risk of flying off. But we would have a baby lifejacket in tow, and there would be no death defying stunts. So again,,, YES. Sign us up.

Baby's first boat ride!

Baby’s first boat ride!

The ship’s crew were fantastically attentive, and the whole atmosphere of the cruise was so. fun. We were told when we signed up that we would get a free drink, but apparently this meant we could have as many as we wanted! Oh darn :-P No worries, we were responsible. We were given saltines to feed the seagulls, who took them directly out of our hands. And we listened to throwback music, which was hard not to love. All the while, we headed out further into the water in search of dolphins. And holy moly, did we find some!

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J & I decided that running a dolphin cruise would most definitely be the best job in the world. It was so incredible to watch. There were at least 15 dolphins out there, a baby dolphin included! Lots of people commented on how this was the most they’d ever seen. And as if watching them swim wasn’t enough, when the boat sped up, the dolphins followed! WATCH!

(you can watch more videos on my YouTube channel here)

We cruised for a total of 2 hours. The older boys drove the boat. We laughed and enjoyed the warm sunshine. It was glorious.

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We followed up our boat ride with lunch at Margaritaville and some trampoline jumping at the marina. We also randomly ran into our friends Mark and Denise, who spend some time in Destin during the cold midwestern months! Such a small world.

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High rise high chair!

It’s safe to say that after all that activity, we were exhausted by time we got back to the condo. We put the boys to bed and finished up the remaining beer & wine in our fridge while packing our things. 530a came early the next morning, and after loading up the truck, we started our trek away from the beach we had absolutely fallen in love with.

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Apparently after flying with a baby once, you pretty much get the hang of it. Either that or my baby is amazing, because our two flights back went absolutely seamlessly. Our flight out of Pensacola was on a little plane, but only half full, so we had a whole row to ourselves (in which E napped). And though our plane out of Dallas was a big/ full one, the lady next to us was wonderfully kind, and E napped again for well over an hour. The drive home from the airport was probably the most stressful part of the day, and that wasn’t even that bad! Just call us a well-oiled machine ;)

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And that’s it! What a week. My emotions have truly come full circle. From flying anxiety which morphed into vacation excitement which morphed into complete gratitude. I truly couldn’t be more grateful for the time spent with one of my best friends and our boys. How special for us to even be able to take a trip like this. I now have memories that will be forever etched into my mind. And E has checked off so many firsts! So stinkin’ fun. I already cannot WAIT to get back to that beautiful beach. Destin 2015,, who’s in??! Maybe we’ll even pack the Daddies next year.

Luke & Jacob ~ thank you so much for inviting us to Florida! We had so much fun with you! Thanks for watching Emery when I needed a little help, and feeding him too! You two are such special boys. We love you!

Jaime/ Aunt Yaya ~ no words, Mama. None. Except,, Alvin’s Island :) I love you and and am so blessed to have you and your family in my life! Can’t wait for our next adventure!

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My first postpartum half mary of 2014 is complete!

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A little backstory on this race:

In April 2012, I planned on running my second marathon. Long story short, I injured myself and pulled out of all my spring races, the marathon and the ChiTown Half included. I debated on whether or not to run a shorter distance in Chicago, but instead decided to play cheerleader for my Dadyo, who ended up setting a PR. Ever since, Dad and I have talked about running it again, together this time. So a few months ago, after some brief emailing/heckling back and forth, he registered the both of us for 13.1! I was extremely skeptical since I hadn’t truly gotten back in the saddle since Emery was born. I even begged him to change our race to the 10K! But since having a race on the calendar always keeps me on track, I decided to take it on.

When discussing logistics, Dad realized that him and my mom had actually planned a trip to Mexico the week before the race, with flights that would bring them back into the USA literally the night before. Though it had the potential to be an absolute disaster, we decided to go on for it and see what happened!

Leading up to race day, my training was pretty darn erratic. I’d blame the weather again, but this time it was my own fault and my continued lack of postpartum motivation. The weather was behaving as best it could for spring in the midwest. I logged a few solid distance runs in the preceding weeks, an 8.25, 9.99, and 6 miler. I  also sprinkled in a few shorter stroller runs during the week, but nothing consistent. And the week before the race I ran only once, a short 3.5 miler on Tuesday. I definitely didn’t feel prepared going into the weekend, but figured at the very least, this race would be a reality check. Letting me know just how capable my body was to run this sort of distance after such a long hiatus.

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Since the hubs was on call all weekend, Emery and I made the trip to Chicago solo on Saturday morning. I timed it so we’d be on the road during his morning nap, which worked out perfectly. He slept for a solid 2 hours early on and during the final leg he played happily in the backseat. Such a good travel buddy! After hitting some tedious downtown traffic, we arrived to my brother’s condo around 130p.

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We chilled inside for a bit after arriving, so this guy could catch a few more z’s ;)

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We had a pretty low key day, taking a nice walk around his new neighborhood and getting take out chicken dinner while immersed in WWE. I hopped into bed around 10p CST in attempts to rest up for the big day ahead!

Even though I should know better by now, I set my alarm for 545a just to ensure that I’d be up and situated on time. But likely because of the time difference, Emery was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed by 5a. I guess it could’ve been worse. At least we were both dressed, fed, and ready to rock by 7a (race start was 815a). Oh, and remember how I said Mom and Dad would be flying in from Mexico the night before? Well turns out, their plane was an hour late, getting them to Detroit by midnight, at which time they jumped in the car and spent the next 4 hours driving to Chicago, getting in just after 4a. Holy smokes. Such dedication. Thank goodness for 5 Hour Energy and a wee bit of adrenaline!

I handed E off to Gigi, then Dad and I took an Uber cab down to the race start at Diversey Harbor where we picked up our custom bibs :)

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It was an absolutely gorgeous morning, blue sky and sunny, though chilly in the high 30′s. Temps would be in the low 40′s by time we’d finish. We snapped a few pre-race pics while hopping around trying to stay warm.

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We chatted briefly about our pacing plans, and casually agreed to hang around the 10 min/mile pacers, knowing good and well we were capable of running faster if we wanted. Or vice versa. We shoved our Gu and Sport Beans into our pockets (junk in the trunk!), Dad turned on his Pandora, and before we knew it, we were off!

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From what I can remember, the course was slightly different than a couple years ago. We started our run heading north around the harbor but quickly turned south onto Lakeshore Drive less than a mile in. I took a quick vid!

After Lakeshore, we looped back north at the edge of the Lincoln Park Zoo around mile 3. This took us back around Diversey Harbor and then up to Belmont Harbor by mile 6. There was quite a bit of bobbing and weaving due to some mud puddles leftover from the previous days of rain. But overall the course was on paved road, which was nice on the legs. Dad and I felt good to start. Breathing was controlled, legs felt loose. No issues early on! We cozied up to the 9:55 min/mi pacers and stayed put, checking in with each other regularly.

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Happy Hap! Don’t fall!

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Our ‘Old’ Friend!

Somewhere around the halfway point, we were definitely starting to feel the burn. My right hip and leg were tight and Dad’s kneecaps were on fire (“Ignite my kneecaps!”). We would frequently pull ahead of the pacers, but each time we’d walk through a water station for a quick break, they’d pass us again. This back and forth kept happening for most of the second half, which didn’t bother me too much, knowing that we still had it in us to pull ahead when we were ready.

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Somewhere by Montrose Harbor, mile 9-ish. Still beautius!

Every race, miles 10-13 are the longest and most painful. Both mentally and physically. This race was no different. During these miles I still had hip tightness that I was trying to ignore. Dad was feeling his sleep deprivation. And it felt like we would never turn back towards that darn finish line. Maybe we should’ve prepared a little better? Nahh. We ran by a couple hospitals towards the end and wondered if they had an express lane for runners. And when an ambulance flew down Lakeshore, we’d tried to flag it over to pick us up ;) At least we kept each other entertained with our ‘Poor Me’ attitudes.

I texted Ricky around mile 10 letting him know where we were. And around mile 12.5, we saw them heading towards the finish area. Mom and Ricky were walking, and Emery was cozied up in the stroller, pushed lovingly by his uncle.

Pre-race selfie

Pre-race selfie. Love.

I decided to record a follow-up video at the tail end of our adventure.

As you can see, not feeling so hot. But determined to finish strong. Ps,, a PW = personal worst. For some reason, our 9:55 pacer went flying past us during the final stretch, to which I said to Dad, “I’m sure as heck not sprinting this one in.” His response: “This IS sprinting!”

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Per usual, we grabbed each other’s hands and crossed that finish line together with them held high in the sky. Our final time was 2:07:53,, not our best yet definitely not our worst. And in all honestly, I am extremely proud of how we did. Sure we struggled at times. Things didn’t always feel great. But we kept moving, even finishing ahead of our projected pace time (average 9:45 min/mi). The race itself was also very well run, with well-organized water/ gatorade stops and lots of volunteers pushing us runners along. And the hoodie is awesome too!

Though our 7 P’s weren’t in order for this race, thankfully we have another attempt at the Bayshore Half in about 6 weeks. And we’ve already determined that that race will be our best. Daddy got his sub-2 hour finish in this race 2 years ago. Now it’s time for us to get one together!

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Finishers & our cheerleaders!

Oh,, we had a great rest of the weekend too :)

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Afternoon snack

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Pick me up!

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Anyone seen my puff?

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Post-race lunch/ cocktails at The Southern

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I have a baby! In a bar!

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Dinner @ Hot Chocolate

 

Til next time, Chi!

Next stop:: FLORIDA!!!! 8-)

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You know what? I’ve realized that the majority of my WW posts are almost always NOT wordless. More like much LESS wordy than usual ;) Either way, here’s what we’ve been up to lately, with shorter captions!

 

E & I visited our friends The Fellers a couple Fridays ago. Pizza, playtime for the boys, and wine time for the mommies. Thankfully I changed E into his jams before we left, because this was the scene upon returning home. Signs of a good time!

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E typically hangs out on the counter while I’m doing stuff at the sink. So lately the window crank has become a new fun object to chew on. Good view at least.

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Our family got together up in Michigan for a [very] belated Christmas dinner a couple weeks ago, so E & I sent the group a pic during his dinner to say hi!

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These are some of my favorite moments of each day. Rocking E to sleep. Kairos.

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Someone has graduated to the front seat of the grocery cart!

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A lazy morning on the lumpy couch with Curious George.

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Another lazy morning, this time in Mom & Dad’s bed, with toys and Cheerios.

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I went into E’s room the other day to retrieve him after nap time, only to find him peering over his bumper. His curious looks turned to smiles as soon as he saw me :)

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Umm, when did you turn into a toddler??

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On our way to our playdate with Angie & Dom! (Gator not included)

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Spent a lovely Sunday morning running solo in our subdivision. Couldn’t help but snap a few pics of the greens, which are now actually green! Spring is [finally] springing!

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Emery sporting yet another hand-me-down,, Osh Kosh overalls! They were so. darn. cute.

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& those toes!!! (note: nails were cut immediately after this pic)

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Emery and I took our first walk together on the Monon the other day! It was a beautiful day, and we enjoyed the Vitamin D!

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Sunny selfie, with sunnies.

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Fresh air = good naps. More kairos.

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Spring means:: open windows, fresh flowers, and fruit smoothies. Yesterday’s deliciousness included blueberry, banana, kale. Now time to invest in a better blender!

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xo!

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Dear Emery,

I knew you were great, but how are we already at EIGHT??!

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Okay seriously, Bud. Slower down. To think that we’re going to be celebrating your first birthday in just under four months is mind boggling!! Having said that, I’m love love loving you more than ever lately. Not that I’ve ever loved you any less! But you are just such a sweet boy, I can’t get enough of you.

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We started the first day of your eighth month with a trip to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. You and your best buddy Dominic took the Playscape by storm and had a blast playing together. There is SO much fun to be had there and we can’t wait to take you back.

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Tunnel crawling

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Blondies

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Such fun

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Solo learning

Your fun with Dominic didn’t stop there. We’ve had lots of playdates, lunches and dinners together. You even participated in your first Fun Run with him and his Mom! Mommy and Daddy are so glad you two are close in age so you can grow up having all kinds of fun together!

Not ALL fun and games ;)

Taking a break from the fun ;)

I’d say that month 8 gave us many more laughs than cries. You continue to be a generally happy boy, which makes everyone around you happy too! Your personality is seriously shining and if this month is any indication of how life with you is going to be, we are a couple of lucky ducks.

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Sleeping has been a bit of a roller coaster this month (what else is new?!). We [finally] transferred you out of your swaddle at the end of February, which was huge (we had only been swaddling the lower half of you for quite a few months, but you liked it). You had a stretch of mid-night wake ups around that time, followed by a transition back to a full night’s sleep about a week later. Then, just last week you gave us yet another stretch of wake ups. We couldn’t help but wonder if teething could be a cause of your irritability, so you received Tylenol a handful of times before bed. We also made sure your amber beads were tucked safely around your ankle at night, and since then, you’ve been sleeping just fine. Who knows what was up with that. Your napping at the beginning of the month was awesome! Typically twice a day, for 2-ish hours each! But per usual, just as we started getting used to that program, you pulled out your famous nap strike. This led to some uber crabby days, which are hopefully on their way out. I really can’t complain though, Buddy. Overall you’re a wonderful sleeper and we are very lucky in that department.

You’re still a snuggly little thing too. It’s the greatest.

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So when we go to Gymboree on Thursdays, you’re in a class with all these little ladies that are pretty much the same age as you. You’re all about the same size too. But the one main difference between you and them is that every one of them is on the move. Scooting, rocking, and crawling all over. And you, my dear, are not there just yet :) I’m not going to lie, I kind of love the fact that you’re still dependent on us to get you from point A to B. I’m not quite ready to let you go just yet. We still try and encourage you to crawl, laying you on your tummy and putting an object just beyond your reach. But your typical response is to roll over instead of push forward. Proof:

We know that you’re on your own growing schedule, so whenever you feel like crawling, we’ll be ready with you. Just feel free to take your time ;)

We talked about your first cold in last month’s letter, but it seemed to drag on into this month as well. Being an NP, Mommy’s mind is always reeling about what could possibly be bothering you. She wondered about an ear infection here and there. But typically if there’s no high fever, antibiotics really aren’t going to do you any good anyway. So we avoided the doctor and rode out the symptoms with a humidifier, saline nasal spray and the occasional NSAID. And you successfully kicked that virus to the curb a few weeks ago. It’s been nice not hearing that snotty snort anymore!

Since the weather has started to improve (thank GOODNESS), we’ve been outside much more this month! Mommy loves taking you on walks with your sister and even on runs now and then. We usually stick around the golf course, going up and down the cart path. That will change soon once the course opens. You’re training her well for her first post-baby half marathon in a couple weeks!

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Eight Month Stats: Who knows?? Ped appt next month. You’re sporting a nice little potbelly, which leads us to believe you’re nothing but well nourished. Still sporting 6, 9, and 12 month clothes.

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Milestones Achieved:

    • Hi 5!!

  • Responding to “more” sign by nodding head yes.
  • Milestones pending: teething and crawling!

 

Things You Like:

  • Eating.
  • Grabbing.
  • Jabbering. I think we almost have a Da Da out of you!

  • Laughing.
  • Headbanging.
  • Bathtime. We sing our swim class songs here!
  • Visitors! We had visits from all of your grandparents, your Uncle Ricky, & Uncle Matt this month.
  • Mirrors.
  • Toys: FP farm, Oball, Sophie, anything that technically isn’t a toy (i.e. contact solution, necklaces, straws, silverware, my glasses). Patches the bear.

  • Mornings with Mommy.

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  • Swim class. You got your first ribbon this month! Doing so well.
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Picture credit: Gigi!

  • Your new house. We finally closed on it this month!
  • Cheering on Mommy’s MSU Spartans! GO Green!

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  • Stroller runs with Mom & Allie.
  • Speaking of Allie, you’re really starting to love her. She makes you smile all the time, and you like to pet her/ pull her hair. You still need reminders to “Be gentle!”

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Things You Don’t Like:

    • When Mom or Dad lays you down for a nap when you’re not fully asleep. You’re slowly learning to self-soothe, which is why we do it!
    • The end of mealtime. Mehhhhhh!
    • Sippy cups. Well, actually I wouldn’t say that you don’t like them, you just don’t know how to use them yet!

 

Foods You’re Eating:

  • Peaches
  • Butternut squash
  • Acorn squash
  • Avocado
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Cauliflower
  • Mixed veggies (green beans, peas, corn, carrots)
  • Puffs, Mum Mums, Cheerios
  • BREAD. Holy cow you love bread.

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&&& you’re still nursing! 8 months and counting!

Places We’ve Been This Month:

  • You and Daddy went to northern Indiana to meet your new cousin Remi!

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  • The Children’s Museum.
  • Houlihans for dinner with Mom & Dad’s friends, The Gregory’s.

 

Exciting Upcoming Events:

  • Chicago in 2 weeks followed by 5 days in Florida just after that! First flight with Mommy,,, dun dun dun.
  • Your first Easter!

 

Things Mommy Is Looking Forward To: See Above!

 

Last Month,,,

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This Month,,,

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Oh, love. Thank you for yet another great month. During our prayers every night, I thank the man upstairs for blessing us with another wonderful day together. And they keep coming! We love you so much and are excited for what’s to come this month!!

 

Love always,

Mommy

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AND Daddy!! ;)

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Howdy and Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Talk about a day that has drastically changed over the years. Instead of bellying up to green beer, I spent most of the day at home in much more subtle green clothing, hanging with my little guy. We did get a little crazy and went to The Container Store and out for shamrock shakes this afternoon ;) Though I have some incredible memories of SPDs past, this year is exactly where I’ve wanted to be for a long time.

Wee!

Wee!

So I thought I’d change things up and give ya’ll a quick update on how running has been going lately. Yep, still a runner. Though not nearly as hardcore as I once was. Things definitely got off to a slow start with the insane winter we’ve had (ps,, three cheers for the spring equinox on Thursday!). My only winter race was the Run4Love 5k about 6 weeks ago. With the snow and polar vortex-y stuff, I haven’t had many opportunities to run outside. And my motivation to go to the gym after the hubs gets home in the evening is pretty nonexistent. I’ve tried to keep myself somewhat active by doing T25 workouts during nap time, which hasn’t kept my attention all that well either. So as you can see, I certainly haven’t been following an actual training schedule. More like a ‘Fly by the Seat of my Pants’ schedule.

Since things have gotten a tad warmer (above freezing anyways), I’ve been able to make my way outside more. By the way, it has been SO NICE to just lace up and start running right outside my door, unlike at our last house where I’d have to drive to the park to find good trails. Game changer. Last weekend while my parents were in town, Dad and I went for a couple great runs together, which I definitely needed. Those times always reenergize and refocus me on the goals ahead. In this case, goal #1 is our first half marathon in Chicago on April 6th.

Another major change in training this time around is that instead of [mostly] running solo, I’ve now got six extra feet along side of me. No, I haven’t had 2 more children. But in addition to Emery, I’ve also got a 4-legged fur baby that is always in desperate need for some fresh air. Stroller running in itself is a challenging technique to master. The pushing, the steering, the one-armed swing. So as you might imagine, adding a dog to the mix has definitely been an experience. A little push/ pull action if you will. Surprisingly it’s been getting easier the more times I do it, so I guess that’s motivation.

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This past weekend, I knew that I NEEDED a long run. The only longish distance I’d ran to date was 5 miles the weekend before. With 3 weeks until race day, I thought 8 miles sounded like a solid distance to strive for. Not too far where I’d risk hurting myself, but long enough to restore some confidence. As soon as I put my little guy down for his nap on Sunday morning, I handed the baby monitor to the hubs and said, “Run time! Adios!” I normally would run outside seeing as how much I hate treadmill running, especially for any sort of distance. But it was in the 20′s and windy as all get out. So instead I bundled up and ran the 3/4 miles down the street to our subdivision clubhouse, which has a few machines for members to use, treadmills included. A nice perk! I was the only one in the gym to start, so I turned on HGTV, covered the monitor and got to work after a quick warmup.

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Pronate much?

About 3 miles in, a few dudes came in, so I graciously changed the channel back to ESPN and zoned out to my tunes. Before I knew it, I was 7 miles in! After a quick stretch, I bundled back up and ran home, making my total mileage 8.25 miles! Woo woo! Besides a few baby blisters, I FELT GOOD.

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Boom! [ps, warm up included]

Despite my erratic training so far, I feel SO much better after yesterday’s run. Even the hubs told me I’m in good shape if I can knock out that kind of mileage on essentially no training.

Plans from here on out: another long run next weekend, which has gotta be a 10+ miler. Maybe I’ll make my way over to the Monon for old times sake. Anyone wanna join me??! Also would like to get in at least 2-3 shorter runs. And with the forecast looking the way it does, I think it’ll be pretty doable. I’m not in any shape for a PR just yet. I’m just happy my body is cooperating with what I’m throwing at it right now. My focus for this first race is to avoid a PW (personal worst), which I think is in the 2:20′s. But if I don’t, and that’s what happens, then it happens! Thankfully I’ve done enough of these races so at least I know what I can and can’t handle. One thing’s for sure: I’m excited for the post-baby chapter of RunBMC to begin :)

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