Holidays & Happenings!

Hi hi! Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I actually had a momentary freak out a week or so ago when I couldn’t log in to my blog and there were warnings and a lot of gibberish on the top of the page. After lots and lots of emails and quite a few tears, my internet baby was finally restored mostly unscathed. So although things don’t look quite like they used to, at least it’s up and running, thank goodness. And in order to turn a negative into a positive, I’ve decided to use this opportunity to give my blog a much needed refresh. Hopefully nothing scary like that ever happens again!!

So, as the title suggests, a lot has been happening over the last few weeks! Nothing earth shattering, but lots of littles. We have totally been loving on these summer days. The weather in Indy has been pretty darn great (with the exception of the occasional rainy day) so E & I have logged lots of pool time at the clubhouse. We also had a pool playdate at his friend Callie’s house, which was nothing short of adorable.

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My little shark bite!

Emery and his pal Dominic have spent lots of time together too. Whether it’s at the pool, at lunch, or at the park, they’re always having fun together. A couple of knuckleheads, just like their daddies! ;)

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Popsicle time

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Swingin

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IMG_3543 The days that we do stick around the homestead are usually pretty standard, but full of playtime. Now that someone is a speed demon on all fours, this Mama has {finally} had to start baby proofing. After a very extended trip to Buy Buy Baby a few weeks ago (oh, the joys of being indecisive), we came home with our first baby gate, some rubber bumpers for the fireplace and lots of cabinet locks. The goods were installed during afternoon nap time and E awoke to some much needed boundaries.

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Thankfully I didn’t meet much resistance from my buddy {tantrums don’t start til much later in life, right??}. In fact, E had lots of fun playing with his sissy through the bars!

I’m sure once he transitions from four legs to two, many more gates will be installed. But for now, the minimalist approach is working just fine.

Lately I’ve been a little more productive at getting the house furnished. Nothing like taking 6 and a half months to get motivated, huh? We finally got rid of our old rotted college couch and replaced it with a fantastic navy chaise sectional. I bought an outdoor rug and dining set for our veranda. And our living room and foyer rugs are being delivered tomorrow. I still struggle with decorating our walls. Partly because a lot of what I already have doesn’t go with our new decor, but also because I’m afraid of punching holes in my walls before I have the furniture placed. It’s a work in progress, and there’s still SO much to be done, but at least it’s moving in the right direction.

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Our back porch

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Pictures awaiting their playroom placement

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Breaking it in!

Can you believe the Fourth of July was nearly two weeks ago already?! Slow down summer. Anyway, it was Emery’s first, so I wanted to make it somewhat memorable for him. I started our day by whipping up my best version of a patriotic breakfast, which sadly didn’t get much appreciation from it’s recipient.

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He gobbled every last bit of it up though, don’t kid yourself. That boy is a machine.

After a little morning playtime, it was morning nap time. And wouldn’t you know it, as soon as E fell asleep, down came the neighborhood parade!! Led {loudly} by a local firetruck and an EMT, who weren’t the least bit shy about blaring their horns. Yay, America! So even though nap time was cut quite a bit short, E got to watch his very first parade right outside our front door.

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Mama got in a nice run later in the day,,

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,, & whipped up an American classic during E’s afternoon nap!

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We then headed over to our friend’s house for a BBQ and some {kid-friendly} fireworks. We also spent some time in the bounce house, which Emery LOVED.

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We kept Emery up much later than normal, so needless to say he took a nice coma on the ride home. After he was snug as a bug in his crib, the hubs and I retreated to our fire pit to watch the fireworks with a glass of wine under the big bright moon.

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A great fourth!!

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What else?? I’ve been trying to get myself back on the running train lately, which has been going fairly well so far. I bought myself a new pair of kicks a week ago and am in the process of getting a fall training schedule in place, both of which will hopefully keep me in line. With a couple races on the horizon, it’s time to get serious again. I miss having running as a constant in my life.

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And when I’m not running, you can find me on my bike! The whole family stocked up on bike gear this summer and now there are no excuses not to get out there on those hot summer nights. Plus it’s a great way to get in some cross training. I mean,, just check out E’s new ride,,,

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We spent last week in Michigan yet again! It was my Dad’s annual golf invitational and the hubs was his partner. Some happenings included:

E’s first black eye.

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“SO big!”

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The Wienermobile!

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Date night at the Invitational.

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A little driveway cruising.

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While the men slaved away on the course all week, Mom, E & I spent lots of time together, mostly getting things in order for his first 1st birthday celebration. It was a small(ish) gathering at my parents, which I will recap in more detail later. But here’s a little teaser :)

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I can’t even wrap my head around the fact that a year ago I looked a little like this,,

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& now I have a little nugget who’s on the verge of driving.

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Well, maybe not. But he’s still pretty darn fantastic. And it’s safe to say this has been the best year of my life so far.

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And those are the latest haps! Til next time,,,

xo!

Eleven Months

Dear Emery,

 

Oh my heavens, you’re already ELEVEN!!

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Part of me is excited that your 11 month birthday is also the first day of summer and the longest day of the year. These days, your Mommy is hanging onto every day/ every hour/ every moment, because the next time she writes one of these, you will have been in our lives for ONE YEAR! Time definitely has picked up the pace over these last few months. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet,, we still need to talk about your 11th month! It was a goodie!

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We started off the month with our longest road trip yet: to Traverse City! Mama blogged about it already, but we had an absolute blast. You were a champ during our 7 hour drive. You had lots of QT with Gigi and GPop. You learned how to shake rattles and cowbells and had your first experience as a race cheerleader. You took your first trip to Petoskey, where Mama and Daddy got married. And you went on the swings for the first time!! It was certainly a memorable way to start the month!

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That wasn’t our only trip of the month. We went back up to Michigan less than a week after TC, and this time we hung out for an entire week. Daddy had lots of golf to play with GPop and some of his friends, so we decided to make a long trip out of it. And yet again, we had a blast! Here are some pictures from our trip.

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A thrilling drive

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Visit with Baba! Three generations.

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Celebrating Baby B at his beautiful baby shower!

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Taking Uncle Bean’s wheels out for a spin.

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If you won’t wear it, Mama will!

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Gigi has a baby picture of your Mama with a Cheerio in the exact same place!

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Curls. Swoon.

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Bath time!!

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New hat, new shoes, new baby!

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Swinging with the fam at Mama’s old middle school. Go Broncos!

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Someone found a mud puddle.

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Finally up on all fours, and cruising straight to the dog bowls.

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MORE swinging! Can’t get enough.

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Dinner at Indianwood!

This month we also celebrated your first Father’s Day with all of the important men in your life! Grandpa & GPop (plus Grandma & Gigi) came down to spend the weekend with you. We played outside, BBQ’d, and had a grand ol’ time.

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Grandpa & GPop

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Happy 1st FD, Daddy!

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<3

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Now for the nitty gritty stuff! First, food! I honestly don’t think I need to be charting everything new you try lately because honestly,, there’s not much left you haven’t tried!! You’ve been eating like a crazy man lately, and you have the belly to show for it ;) Seriously, you never stop. So since I wrote it down, here are some of the foods that were new to you this month.

  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Blueberries (your fav)
  • Strawberries (your other fav)
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Hamburger
  • Cheese quesadilla
  • Animal crackers
  • Yogurt (tubes from Trader Joe’s)

Again, that’s definitely not the entire list, but you get the drift! Mommy is very happy that now when we go out together now, it is pretty easy to find somewhere with something you can eat. We’ve dabbled in kid’s menus at Panera, Noodles, Chik-Fil-A and Chuy’s. And you’ve also become a food pouch champion. You can mow one of those down in 45 seconds flat! Plus, no mess! Win! Mama prefers Go-Go Squeeze & Happy Baby brands, but you’ll always take whatever she gives you.

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In addition to solids, you’re still taking a bottle 2-3 times a day and Mama is nursing you at morning at night. But sadly, you’re becoming less and less interested in the nursing part. I think over the next little while, we will start weaning you completely. Though I’m pretty sure you’d be able to stop cold turkey at any point. It’s a Mommy thing, babe. And I’m SO proud to say we’ve gone almost an entire year. Who would’ve thought??!

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Bedtime snuggles

As for sleeping, you had a good routine going this month! Sleeping 10-12 hours a night (don’t hate me), morning nap ~ 2 hours after waking, afternoon nap ~ 4 hours later, then bedtime anywhere from 630-8p. Getting you into a routine was SO nice for Mommy. She would shower during morning nap, and get odds and ends done with BOTH of her hands the rest of the time. But towards the end of month 11, you whipped out your (in)famous nap strike again! Mostly you would fall asleep in my arms and wake immediately after I laid you down in your crib, only to cry and cry and cry until Mommy couldn’t take it anymore and came and got you. There were times when you would cry, then settle yourself down and play quietly, but still no nap. You would do that at all naps and even at bedtime. Mama realized that she probably shouldn’t let you fall completely asleep on her so that you get used to settling yourself on your own. But once again, you didn’t really agree with or like that program. It’s been a bit of a battle, but hopefully this phase is on it’s way out. The good news is no matter how crazy you nap, you’re still an awesome nighttime sleeper. So Mama can’t complain TOO much.

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Oh, speaking of sleep — we finally moved your mattress ALL THE WAY DOWN at the end of May. Mama knew that once you started standing up in your crib (oh yeah, have I mentioned that yet??!), it was something that needed to happen to keep you safe! So down she went. Along with a few tears on my face. But you’ve handled it just fine. Such a big boy.

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So you started the month with your awesome army crawl. As many times as we tried to get you to tuck those knees underneath you, you’d just fuss and sprawl back out. So we let you go. And you got from point A to B just fine that way. But we slowly noticed you doing the “real thing” every now and them. It wasn’t until we got to Michigan for the second time that we finally noticed you truly crawling!

Since then, you haven’t looked back. You’ve turned into a speedster on all fours and can make it across the room in no time at all. You’re also crawling, standing, and climbing on EVERYTHING. Especially your Mama! You’re not a fan of sitting still for very long anymore. It’s tons of fun though, for everyone. Daddy and I love watching you get around. Guess it’s really time to invest in those baby gates, huh??!

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Eleven Month Stats: In clothes, you’re wearing 12-18 month size. Some 18′s are a little big depending on the brand. But throw a cloth diaper on you and you fill those bad boys right up!

Milestones Achieved/ Firsts:

  • Crawling on all fours!
  • FOUR new teeth!! You now have 4 on top and 2 on bottom! They took awhile to start, but now they’re not stopping! And you’re doing GREAT.
  • First playdate at Cool Creek Park with Miss Callie!

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  • Almost mastered the “all done” sign!
  • Gymboree Bubble Bash

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Things You Like:

  • The water! Specifically, the pool. You’ve always loved swim class, but this month we introduced you to the pool at our clubhouse, and I dare say you’re in love. Splashing, swimming, and kid watching is your new favorite! Thankfully there’s a lot of summer left to be had!

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  • Parroting. You’re our little parrot!

  • Bellowing and screeching (see above!)
  • Food, obviously. You’re a bottomless pit like your Daddy!
  • Bottles.

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  • Kicking!

  • Tickles, especially on your feet.
  • Throwing your basket of socks all over your room.
  • Throwing anything. Especially food on the floor.
  • Playing with Allie!

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  • Your playroom!

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  • Grabbing.

  • Mo the monkey!
  • Playing with (and disassembling) doorstoppers.
  • Swinging!! You’re a giggle machine everytime.

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Things You Don’t Like:

  • Being wiped down post-meal. Still such torture.
  • Staying still during diaper changes is a thing of the past. You’ve turned into a squirming ninja, and I’m often having to hold you down with one limb just to get the job done! And I think your changing table days are numbered.
  • Taking off your swim clothes. Suuuuuction!
  • You had a little allergy scare this month. We were out for a long walk and when we got back, your eyes were puffy, red, and watery. You were also really warm (it was a hot day). After stripping you down, feeding you and getting you cleaned up, you were fine. But Mama has a suspicion something in the air didn’t agree with you. No more scares since then.

People We’ve Seen:

  • Grandma & Grandpa
  • Gigi & GPop
  • Uncle Larry & Auntie Paula
  • Baba
  • Auntie S
  • Uncle Bean
  • Dominick & Miss Angie
  • (sorry if we left anyone out!)

Exciting Upcoming Events:

  • Your birthday!!!!!! :D

Things Mommy is Looking Forward To:

  • Another trip to Michigan in July.
  • Celebrating her baby’s 1ST birthday. She can’t even believe it’s already here. Tear!

Last Month:

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This Month: 

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My sweet baby boy,, it’s been an amazing 11 months. Let’s round out your first year with a bang, okay?? We love you!!

 

Love always,

Mommy

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Race Recap: 2014 Bayshore Half Marathon

To preface, I typically try to write my race recaps as quickly as possible so I don’t forget about all the nitty gritty details I so love to retell. As I start this, I’m already 8 days out, so you may be in for a nice quickie ;)

I’ve always wanted to run this race. I love Northern Michigan. I love running. The two together sounded like a match made in heaven. Plus I had heard nothing but great reviews from others who had run it in years past. Based on all of that, it has been known to sell out very quickly. Like, under an hour quickly. So when registration opened just after Thanksgiving, I was online and ready to shell out the money necessary to secure my spot! (Dad’s too).

Fast forward 6 months. I was already 2 half marathons in for the year. And though I was proud of what I had accomplished, I still was in search of a better race. Faster. More confident. Less pain. But, per usual since baby, I completely failed on my training and thus went into race day with very little expectations. Side note: Mama needs to get on the ball for her next race. No joking this time. An actual calendar. On the fridge. With a big red marker next to it that’ll tell me whether or not I’m doing things right. Maybe I’ll get a new pair of shoes first. So write all that down. It’s happening.

E, the hubs and I set out on our trek to Traverse City on Friday morning. It was a not so quick 7 hour drive, with a pit stop at the inlaws to drop off our furbaby. Thankfully it was a gorgeous day, and besides a little traffic hang up in Grand Rapids, we met up with Mom and Dad in the Cherry City at 6p. We rented a condo at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, which was perfect – 2 bed/ 2 bath, kitchen, balcony. Perfect for a long weekend. After hauling in our stuff, we headed over to the high school for packet pickup followed by a delectable gourmet dinner at the one and only, Ruby Tuesday!

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Our sweet backseat driver

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Not my minivan!

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Pre-race sunset over Grand Traverse Bay

Bayshore had a shuttle system set up for race day. First transporting runners from various hotels in the area to the local high school, then from the high school to the starting line. Since the first shift would’ve required us to be ready to ride at 450a, we opted to have the hubs drop us off at the high school instead. It was already an earrrrrrly morning.

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As soon as we were dropped off at the school (around 540a), we literally walked right onto a bus that would drive us the 30 or so minutes north to the starting line (the marathon and 10K courses were out and back, whereas the half mary started north and ran south). This, despite all previous warnings to get to the start line ASAP due to the high number of runners. Guess we were okay after all!

Bus selfie!

Bus selfie!

We arrived at Bowers Harbor Park at 615a, and had the fairly annoying task of standing around for over an hour until the race started. This was inevitable since the last shuttle to the start left at 620 and we were once again warned not to wait until the last shuttle. So around we stood, trying to keep occupied and warm at the same time. The pre-race temps were brisk, high 40′s at most, so there was a lot of huddling up amongst strangers. This was by far the most disappointing part of the race. No one wants to wait around, much less STAND that long before running 13.1 miles. We spent our time trying to pick out people that we think Dad could beat,, settling on a lady with a HANS device on her leg ;)

Course map

Course map

Finally at 730a, we set off. The first mile had an enormous hill, which literally had the entire group silent as we huffed and puffed seemingly straight up in the air for a half mile. I suppose if there’s going to be a hill, I’d rather it be at the beginning than the end. But still! After that torture, we found ourselves in a nice groove, which surprisingly was sub-9 minute miles. Shocked were we! Though I always wear my Garmin, I tend to try to ignore it as much as possible during a race, which I guess completely defeats the purpose. But I really try to not obsess over my pace, because it tends to  jinx me in the long run. I like to listen to my body instead of the numbers on my wrist. Since Dad and I seemed to be cruising along nicely, we just went along with it. About a mile and a half in, we finally found our way out of the vineyards and came upon the bay. It was sunny, hazy, and the water was perfectly crystal clear. I literally gasped and said to Dad,, “Oh my gosh, it looks like heaven!!” It was incredible. Something about it even made me teary. What a gorgeous day for a run.

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This race was unlike any of the other five Dad and I have ran together. We both had our headphones in, we were much less chatty and much more in the zone than ever before. Chalk it up to recent life events or the beautiful scenery, there was just a different vibe in the air. Having said that, Dad and I continued to pace each other perfectly. When one would pull ahead, the other would follow suit and sometimes move a little farther ahead. We continually found ourselves running behind a guy with ‘Jeffries’ on his shirt back and it was our task to stay out in front of him. A little under halfway in, we started seeing the uber fast marathoners, who were on their way north as we ran south. It was so inspiring to see faces in search of 26.2 during our search for 13.1. We had a good rhythm going on, and for a long time I though we would achieve our long-term goal of finishing under 2 hours.

In front of Jeffries

Have I mentioned how beautiful the course was yet?

PS,, the course was BEA-UTIFUL!!! ;) Just gorgeous the entire time. And even though there was no way for spectators to drive up there during the race, there were still TONS out there! Lots of vacationing families enjoying their morning cups of coffee while working their signs and cowbells. There were also plenty of mimosas and even some beers out there too. In fact, at mile 7.5, I spotted a little table with Dixie cups of beer out for the taking. So I bopped over, grabbed me one, and took a big swig before handing the rest to Dadyo. In hindsight,,, not the best idea as that cheap brew sloshed around my belly until the next water stop. It was fun while it lasted!

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Pic courtesy of Running Fit

As Dad and I walked through the next aid station (which we had been doing fairly regularly just to regroup after those speedy miles), we looked at each other, high-fived and sighed. This tends to be the point in the race where you’re close to being done, but honestly still pretty far away. He looked at me and said, “You got another 5 miles in ya??” to which I replied, “Absolutely.” Though the thought sounded a little rough at the time, I was still confident in us. I still hadn’t really done the math on how fast we needed to run to break 2 hours. Didn’t want to either. So we just ran.

Meanwhile,, back at the condo,,,

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My sweet boys having a rough morning.

The last miles were pretty painful. A little bit physical and a lot mental. Our splits had slowed a bit, but we were still close to 9:30 min/miles. We were pushing probably harder than we ever had before. At one point with a couple miles to go, I finally decided to figure out what we needed to run to reach our goal. When I realized we had 17 minutes to run over 2 miles, I became a little dejected. Come to find out after the race, Dad had felt the same way. It was going to be so close, yet still so far away. But we pressed on. We high fived the little kids on the side of the road. I thanked everyone who wished us luck down the final stretch. And before we knew it, we were back at the high school running our final steps down the track. We grabbed hands and across the finish line we flew.

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Final time: 2:03:11. Pace of 9:20 min/mi.

Earlier while we were running, we had seen an older man approaching us in the opposite direction running the marathon. And he was moving slowwww. But he was moving! Dad had made a comment about how he was going to have a tough finish. And I said, “Hey, at least he’s out there trying.” And he replied, “He’s just happy to be alive.” Yes, yes, and YES. This summed up our race. It was our most emotional run to date, and like that older man, we both left a lot on the course before we even had medals around our necks.

We eventually hobbled our way to the post-race area where we found our cheerleaders.

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A fantastic race. Beautiful. Strong. Inspiring. & emotional,, all packed in those 13.1 miles. Brums and Did half mary number six in the books. We’re coming for you, sub-2. Catch ya in the fall.

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 ******

Also! We spent the entire holiday weekend in TC, here are some pics from our wonderful trip!

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Gorgeous dinner outside at LockenHeath

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Naked baby photo shoot

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Day trip to Petoskey!

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Bayfront Park

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E’s first time on the swing!! Loved it.

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My cool dude.

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Hanging with GPop

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Sign of a solid weekend :)

Sign of a solid weekend :)

Ten Months

Dear Emery,

I’m back again, and this time baby,, you’re TEN!!

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I mean, really? We’re at double digits already? Crazy, buddy. It’s absolutely crazy how fast time flies. I’m already working on organizing your FIRST birthday party for pete’s sake! Though there are definitely moments where I miss that teeny tiny baby you once were, I’m absolutely loving life with you now more than ever. And month nine was a biiiiiiig one!

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The day you turned nine months, you started crawling. Sure it wasn’t pretty. And to be honest, it still isn’t. It’s what I like to call a peg-leg army crawl. You lie flat on your belly, and using your right leg only, you push forward. There’s no grace to it whatsoever. But you’re able to get from point A to B just fine! And your speed is actually impressive. So like they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! You’ll get those knees up underneath you one of these days.

So far you’re not a total terror despite your newfound mobility. Mommy hasn’t even baby-proofed the house yet! But she has a feeling her grace period is quickly coming to an end.

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Just over a week ago, I put you down for your morning nap. And to my surprise, when I heard your sweet voice on the baby monitor telling me nap time was over, I turned on the screen to find you sitting up all by yourself! Until then you hadn’t been able to switch from lying to sitting all by yourself. But, tada! And now,, you’re even able to pull yourself up from sitting to standing! Your little chubby legs sure are strong, buddy. You’ll be walking in no time.

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In other mobility news, you’ve found a new love for dancing. It’s no two-step, but it’s a sweet little bounce that Mommy can’t get enough of. Hopefully you grow up with better rhythm than Mommy and Daddy!

Mommy took you to the Monon on a warm Saturday morning in April where we met up with her running friends, the Perfect Strangers. It was nice and early (730a), and you’d already had a nice breakfast, so I figured you would ride along peacefully in the BOB while we ran, and take a nice nap on the drive home. Well, you did well for the first third of our six miler. But a short while later you became a little mad man. Crying. Incosolable. It could’ve been noise overload from girly PS chatter. Or maybe you were just over it and wanted your crib. Either way, it wasn’t a pleasant 3 mile run back to the car. When we finally got back home, you still weren’t happy. Sassy, in fact. Well, long story short, we soon figured out the reason behind your anger,,,,

TEETH!!!

After battling with you all morning, you finally fell asleep. I snuggled you during this nap.

After battling with you all morning, you finally fell asleep. Mama snuggled you hard during this nap.

Yes, sir! On April 26th, we [finally] saw two little razors break through the skin of your bottom gums. And besides that one day of madness, you never once showed any more signs of discomfort. They just popped right on up! And they’re pretty sweet if you ask me. I thought I’d miss your toothless grin terribly. But I’m pretty smitten with this new smile you’re flashing :)

Why is it impossible to look in a baby's mouth?? Gotta zoom in close to see those pearly whites :)

Why is it impossible to look inside a baby’s mouth?! Gotta zoom in real close to see those pearly whites :)

And as of last week, you’re already starting to sprout your two front teeth! Four in one month,, that’s impressive! Mommy noticed a little blister on one of your gums one night (apparently called a “teething blister”), and next thing we knew, there was a little white thing popping through! And thankfully, there were no sassy days with these two teeth. Just a lot of drool. I’m still thanking those amber beads.

One and done with the maple teething biscuit!

One and done with the maple teething biscuit!

You’re eating mostly finger foods this month, which has been pretty fun. It’s been nice to be a little more creative with your meals. I’ve also been trying to let you take the reigns at meal times. But it’s funny,, when I actually do try to feed you with a spoon, most of the time you either bat the spoon away or take the food directly off of it and feed yourself. Or my favorite,, spraying it clear across the room. Hey, I guess you only learn independence one way!

Here’s a list of some new foods this month:

  • Spinach
  • White potatoes
  • Parsnips
  • Pancakes
  • Watermelon
  • Mac & cheese (Annie’s)
  • Waffles (with bananas and/or apples)
  • Red beans
  • Ice cream!
  • Chicken
  • Black bean burger

So far, no bad reactions to food! Hooray! Except,,, last month we tried some cinnamon on your applesauce and you got a little redness on your face. Well, Mom decided to retry it to see what would happen, and unfortunately the same thing occurred. After speaking with the nurse at Dr. Christy’s office, we decided to tentatively list it as an allergy and avoid it as much as possible. No snickerdoodles for you, bummer :(

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Another big thing in the food department this month was that we finally started supplementing you with formula. This broke your Mama’s heart, babe. She’s so proud she was able to exclusively BF you for 10 whole months. But she knew how important it was that you were getting enough milk and unfortunately she wasn’t able to keep up with you as easily as she used to. So now our schedule is nursing twice a day, morning and night, with two 6oz bottles of formula during the day. This seems to be a great plan. You have had absolutely NO problem adjusting to the formula. In fact, you get pretty darn excited when you see me getting a bottle ready for you. I’m grateful for the time I can still spend nursing you. It’s quite special and I’m not quite ready to give it up.

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Our normal day-to-day isn’t usually full of big milestones (though they’re much more frequent lately). It’s the little things that make my heart swell. Your constant babbling and high-pitched squeals (I call it your sweet voice). Your laugh. Your ticklish feet. Your obsession with Cheerios in bed. The huge smile you get when you see Mo the Monkey. Your constant flirting when we’re out and about. Even seeing you pee-pee in the bathtub makes me giggle. You’re just the best little buddy I’ve ever had, and I’m grateful for you every.single.day!

 

 

Ten Month Stats: No clue! But a nice lady at lunch last week called me a strong Mama because you are “a little chunk” (said in the nicest possible way). She must’ve seen that potbelly! Wearing some 9 month clothes, but you fit most comfortably in 12-18′s.

Milestones Achieved/ Firsts:

    • Crawling!
    • Teeth (two on the bottom with two on top on the way)
    • Lying to sitting.
    • Sitting to standing.
    • Standing, supported.

  • Climbing on everything!
  • First Mother’s Day! We spent the day at the zoo with your family and you bought your Mama some beautiful flowers and a ruby ring!

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  • Playing in the grass. Yay springtime!

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Things You Like:

  • Toys: Mo the Monkey, FP farmhouse, stuffed frog, giraffe on a stick, doctor set, and Gymboree beach ball.

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  • Books: Little Blue Truck, Sophie books, Dr. Seuss ABC, Peek A Boo, Caps for Sale, Llama Llama books.

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    • Eating. Nonstop. Til the cows come home.

  • Making a big mess in your highchair!

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  • Flirting!!
  • Cartoons (Daniel Tiger, Cat in the Hat, Curious George)
  • Babbling/ singing/ lots of noise :)

  • Lunching with Mommy.

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  • Cheerios in bed.

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Things You Don’t Like:

  • Getting your face/ hands wiped down after meals.
  • Not getting fed fast enough.

Places We’ve Been This Month

  • Fort Wayne Zoo

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  • Downtown Zionsville
  • Broad Ripple Art Fair & post-fair ice cream at BRICS!

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People We’ve Seen:

  • Both sets of Grandparents, your Aunt Heather and cousins.
  • Lisa & Traci, Mommy’s work friends, who came over for pizza and ice cream.
  • Mom’s friend Lesley and her son, Beckett who is 6 weeks younger than you!

Exciting Upcoming Events:

  • Traverse City over Memorial Day weekend.
  • Spending a whole week in Michigan in June!
  • Father’s Day

Things Mommy is Looking Forward To:

  • All of the above.
  • Pool time at the clubhouse!
  • Getting your first birthday party plans in order!

 

Last Month:

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This Month:

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And that’s it for month 9!! Month 10 is already off to an awesome start, and I can’t wait to kick off this summer together! Love you LOTS, E!

 

Love always,

Mommy

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Race Recap: 2014 Indy Mini Marathon

Hi! I’m back with another race recap! My second postpartum half mary is in the books!

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The Mini was the first race I signed up for after Emery came along as it’s close to home and I’ve ran it twice before (read my recaps here and here). Though it’s not necessarily the prettiest race I’ve ever ran, it’s one of the biggest half marathons in the country and it’s always so. much. fun. I tried my best to coerce my Dad to come down and run it with me, but I was unsuccessful (silly work). Thankfully a bunch of Perfect Strangers were registered as well, so at least I had buddies to run with! Long lost ones at that :)

I figured after our decent finish at the ChiTown 1/2 one month ago, I would kick things up a notch and become more consistent with my weekly training runs. Well apparently, excuses have trumped my motivation because I’ve been a super slacker these last three weeks. Anything from, “I’m too tired” to “It’s too windy” or “Sure I’ll have a beer” have taken over my vocabulary. For whatever reason, running just hasn’t been a priority, though I truly wish it were. I managed to eek out one 10 mile weekend, but beyond that, there’s been a whole lot of nuttin’, honey. Even despite my poor mileage, I still had my sights set on running 13.1 Saturday morning come heck or high water.

Emery and I went down to the expo at the Indiana Convention Center on Friday. I loaded him up in the Ergo since it’s usually pretty packed and maneuvering a stroller would’ve been a pain. He was pretty enamored with all the activity around him, which made my expo perusing enjoyable. I ran into Meggie and her husband at packet pickup and we discussed our meet up plans for the following morning. I hit up a few booths to pick up some Feetures, Gu, and a “Crawl Indy” onesie for E before we headed back home for water and carb loading!

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Since Emery only napped once on Friday, he was in bed by 630p, which meant that Mama followed suit, hopping into bed by 730! Sometimes missed naps are a blessing in disguise. My alarm went off at 5a, and after one round of snoozing, I was up and getting myself ready for the morning ahead. For some reason it felt like it had been a long time since I adequately prepared for a race morning, even though it had only been a few weeks. I guess I just missed the ritual. With a coffee in hand, I was on my way downtown by 6a for a race that was scheduled to start at 748!

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I parked and bopped over to the JW (pictured above) where I met up with my PS girlies. This year the race was organized in waves, so with the help of Meggie and a color copy machine, we all “doctored up” our bibs so we could run together. We found ourselves in wave 1, corral E, which I found quite fitting ;)

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The energy at the starting line is electric. It was just as I remembered it two and three years before. It didn’t hurt that the weather was absolutely perfect, 50′s and sunny with just a hint of a cool breeze. We snuggled up in our throwaway shirts for a pre-race pic!

Meggie, Jess, Kelly, Dana, Kristi, moi, Adam

Meggie, Jess, Kelly, Dana, Kristi, moi, Adam (not pictured: Martha)

Our backdrop. <3 Indy.

Our backdrop. <3 Indy.

Wave 1 took off according to schedule and we soon found ourselves cruising past the Indianapolis Zoo. Just like last time, our cute “little” elephant was on the sidelines cheering us on! Meggie, who was two steps behind me, started yelling “Hey elephant! Over here!” while trying to get a pic. Standard antics ;)

Photo cred: MD

Photo cred: MD

We joked pre-race that none of us had truly properly trained and that we were all out to just finish in a respectable amount of time. Kelly said the last time she had ran 13.1 miles was this weekend last year, with about a dozen miles in between ;) After a little discussion, we figured a 10 minute/mile was an appropriate starting pace and we’d take it from there. These kinds of races are the best. Very little expectations with the sole goal of having fun. It didn’t take long for the chatter to ensue, and despite the months away from each other, we instantly fell right back into the groove we have always so comfortably fit.

The first few miles went fairly quickly. As soon as few of us would pull ahead, we would just as quickly fall back to the rest of the group when the gap got too big. As always, the course was crowded, but I really do feel like the wave start helped even things out immensely. We passed a bagpiper, the cloggers, belly dancers, and all kinds of teenage bands who were out bright and early to keep things rocking. We also cruised past a Pancake and Steak House which immediately made my belly rumble. A chocolate Surge gel and Sport Beans sufficed.

It usually isn’t until the second half of the race when things start to get uncomfortable. And that’s exactly what happened. When we ran up the giant hill to enter Indianapolis Motor Speedway, we decided we would jump off course and make a quick potty stop together. We were in and out quickly and continued on our merry way. As we ran, I tried to take a couple over-the-head group selfies. PS, I need botox.

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As we approached the Yard of Bricks, we decided to grab another pic. Kissing the bricks is apparently kind of a cool thing to do and the PS girls did it last year. We did our best to stay to the right as not to get trampled by the throng of runners. We struggled a bit as you can see below ;) Some professional-type guy from IMS took a picture too, but I have no idea where to find it. So photographer man, if you’re reading this (fat chance), send it over!

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Right after these pictures was when we all started slowing down a bit. Legs and hips were tight, tummies were upset, and we were over the track (it’s fun to start, but 2.5 miles is a bit monotonous, plus the slope stinks). We took a few walk breaks, but always pointed out something ahead that once we passed, we would start running again.

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Meggie & I

As soon as we left the track, we found Martha’s Dad who was waiting to cheer on his girl(s). COG award!

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And I snapped my own pic and texted it to my Dad. Check my first Mini recap for a better explanation ;)

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The miles after the track are probably the worst of the entire race. Cramped back roads with absolutely no scenery and very little crowd support. It’s also the point where the reality that there’s still about 5 miles yet to run sets in. Our group started to split apart a bit at this point, Meggie, Jess and Dana out front, Kelly and I in the middle, and Martha and Kristy a few steps behind. Though we were all hell-bent on finishing as strong as we could, we figured we could get in around 2:15 (which we would ALL be happy with).

There was, however, one moment during those boring miles that stuck out. We spotted a man earlier in the race that was wearing a neon yellow shirt that proclaimed this was his 20th Mini Marathon. Incredible, right? Well after the track, he was once again close by. I overheard another man congratulate him on his accomplishments. The man thanked him and said something to the effect of, “I gotta stick around for my kids! It’s all for them!” Heartstrings PULLED. And how true is that? Everything we do is now all for them.

Pairing up with Kelly turned out to be the absolute best thing for the both of us. Every time someone asked how I was feeling, I would reply “Good!” And for the most part, it was the truth. Most of my energy stemmed from the fact that I was honestly just happy to be out there and running. But I was definitely not as boppy as I was during the first half. My hips and quads were incredibly tight and I was just pooping out. Kelly was in the same boat as I was physically (not to mention her emotions were also running high due to my ill-timed questions). Every little while she would say, “Okay, I’m going to walk for a minute.” So we would both walk until the next identified landmark. Even though she kept telling me I didn’t have to stop, I did. Every time. Where did I have to go? I wasn’t going to win the race, or my age group for that matter. So a little walk was welcomed. My hips and quads thanked me for the rest.

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The breaks started becoming a little more frequent in the last two miles. And I found that it was my job to keep us both focused on the finish. Eyes on the prize, like my Mama says. I encouraged us to slow down. I pointed out how close to the finish line we were. Simple things took our minds off the pain. At least for a short while. And before we knew it, we were there! And this happened,,,

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Photo cred: Indy Star

Best picture, right?? Sums our experience up perfectly. We couldn’t have done it without each other.

Final time: 2:15:52

We caught up with the three girls who finished just minutes before us and per usual, grabbed yet another pic.

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Kelly and I said goodbye to the other girls, who all had to jet to various activities right away. We, however, had some time to kill so we headed to the post-race party where we had a celebratory beer in the Blue Mile tent. Nothing beats relishing in a personal victory over laughter and ice cold beer. & I’d say completing 13.1 miles counts as something to celebrate! We also met up with Kristi and Martha who finished just a few minutes after us. The post-race air had a bit of a chill to it, but it was truly the perfect spring day.

As I made the short walk back to my car, I couldn’t help but smile. Being back here. Back with my people. All doing what we love with some of the people we love most. It’s something I’ve missed terribly. And something I never want to stop. Despite my occasional slacking and lack of motivation, there’s something deep inside me that will always have a love for running. And like that man reminded me, I do it for my kids.

My biggest fan

My biggest fan