Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bloglines?!?!

My Bloglines subscriber list has been deleted, now I can't find my old favorites. I've got Siren in the bookmarks from my old days pre-Bloglines, but almost everyone else is gone. Any suggestions?

And, on a happy note, I hope that everyone enjoyed a wonderful Christmas (if that's what you celebrate). Ours was fabulous and when I've got some time I'll update and add pictures. Cutie was Baby Jesus in our Christmas story family service on Christmas Eve. With myself as Mary, SuperDad as Joseph and the boys both making their appearances as angels, it was a family memory I will treasure forever.

Happy New Year to all and best wishes for a great 2008!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Fun with sleet


Here's our Christmas card picture this year.

I only made it to the gym three mornings this week, but I spent over an hour shoveling a lot of heavy sleet in our driveway one evening, so I'm giving myself credit for four workouts. A good week overall. And the good news this morning from the scale was: 167.5. I got off and got back on just to make sure it was correct. Usually when I get off and back on it's because I want it to show a lower number, so that was a pleasant surprise. I've decided to make Sunday weigh-in day for a very stupid reason. Saturday is most likely to be a poor dietary day for me. When I used to weigh in on Saturdays if it was a good week I was tempted to cheat a little. However, weighing myself on Sunday gives me a little extra discipline on Saturday. I'm not as tempted on Sundays because it's practically back to the work week when I'm pretty well-disciplined.

I ran into a friend from my old department at work on Friday. I hadn't seen him since I left that department back in July. We talked for about five minutes and he remarked that I seem happier than he had seen me for a couple years. I thought about it for a minute and realized just how much better my current work situation is. I no longer get the sick-to-my-stomach feeling about 7pm Sunday that sort of lingers through the week until I drive out of the parking lot on Friday. I don't spend 90% of my day obsessed with how much I hate being there. I've got work to do, I work with nice people and on Friday afternoon I leave feeling as though I accomplished something worthwhile. My fondest wish would still be to stay home with the kids, but since that's not ever going to be an option, it's nice to feel that I've got a job I don't hate.


We had a blast outside yesterday. A storm on Thursday had left the yard a sheet of ice. Our yard has a long gentle slope backyard. It wouldn't be enough to sled normally, but when it's a sheet of ice, it's a decent sledding hill. It was fun. In the morning we went over to my parents' house because they have a good sledding hill in the backyard. It was a riot watching the kids try to walk around on the snow, they were slipping all over the place. My dad even took a trip down the hill on a sled. They're just about the best grandparents ever, we're so lucky.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

First Friday success

I work next to the break room from hell. At least if you're trying to clean up your diet, anyway. There is a constant supply of junk foods thanks to the local warehouse store. All of them are fifty cents, even king size peanut butter cups and Snickers- two of my favorites. With the junk food proceeds, in addition to monthly resupply of the junk foods, the first Friday of every month is junk food bonanza with donuts, pastries and muffins. I have yet to buy a peanut butter cup or Snickers, although one day I did eat the orange crackers with peanut butter because I had missed breakfast. One of my biggest weaknesses is breakfast junk food. I love muffins and pastries, donuts are hit or miss with me. Yesterday I was able to completely ignore all junk foods, score one for me.

The unfortunate part is that I was so bummed about returning to work that before I returned I managed to eat myself to a four pound weight GAIN. Since returning, I've managed to lose 2 pounds, only 30 more to go before the wedding.

Thursday morning I ran a whole mile at 10-minute pace, walked a bit and then another half mile. I felt pretty good although my heart rate is still much higher than it used to be. Second week in a row I've gotten in 4 decent workouts and I'm feeling pretty good.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Phbbttt

At some point I know I had motivation. I'm proud of myself for making it to the gym four mornings this week, after sleeping through Monday's alarm, even though I was up with at least one kid every night. Wednesday morning, though, was only a 20 minute workout on the Stairmaster, but that's better than nothing. (I hate the Stairmaster and that was a miserable 154 calories burned.) The part I'm NOT proud of, though, is that I've lost that push myself feeling I think I had at one point. When I tried to repeat my interval running workout from last week, I got to the third five-minute segment and I quit after two minutes. Then yesterday and today I was on the ARC trainer and I just didn't have that incentive to kick up the intensity as much as I should have. They were still 450+ calorie workouts, so I'm not a complete slug, but they should have been better. I'm sure that some day the motivation will return, or I'm at least hopeful if not sure.

December first approaches. While we were in the midst of all the chaos of new baby, new house settling, we put off the saving money and healthy eating plan. We're having one last take-out meal tonight, tasty Chinese, and then we get back to it. Super Dad was thinking the eating might as well wait until New Year's, but if I could avoid putting on a few more pounds just to try to lose them next month, that seems like a good plan to me. We'll see how it all goes.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Alarm?


I had the alarm all set for this morning, 4:32am. (I like to get up on a number that doesn't end in 0 or 5, just a weird thing, I feel like I get two extra minutes of sleep, but 4:35am would be too late.) Well, at 5:50am, Cutie was ready to eat and where was I? Oh, still in bed. At some point I took the watch alarm off my nightstand and shoved it under my pillow. Therefore, no gym. Oh well. I'm still fighting the cold that hit me Friday, I guess my brain somehow decided I needed another morning to sleep in. Besides, it meant I got a Cutie smile to start my day and a hug from the boys, what's better than that?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Holy 'mokes!"


As Superman would have said. This morning was an u-u-u-ugly workout. I did return to work last week and the first few days at the gym I decided I'd hit the elliptical trainer and the ARC trainer. (The ARC is some other kind of elliptical, it seems much harder) This morning I attempted a jog. Here's the workout: 4 min @ 4 mph, 5 min @ 6 mph, 3 min @ 4 mph, 5 min @ 6 mph, 2.5min @ 4 mph, 5 min @ 6 mph, 5.5 min @ 4 mph then the cool down. Yikes, I felt every bit of the 4 months I took off from the gym, and the 8 months or so it's been since I ran a step. On that last run interval the HR monitor flashed 184, I think I was going to pass out, and then the run interval was over. Thank goodness. There's the run down of my first workout related post in ages.



Now, the good stuff. Everyone seems to have made the transition to work pretty well. Cutie is resistant to a bottle but she seems to be coming around. She's a little fussy in the mornings, but SuperDad's well equipped to handle it and she's been napping in her crib these days, rather than bouncy seats and car seats like when I was home, so it's probably a good thing for everyone. Routine is good. The anticipation of returning to work was worse than the return. Two days earlier we were in Lowes, in the hardware aisle, and she looked up at me smiling and babbling and I started to cry. Then when I got up to fed her that morning at 4:15am, I cried a little, but that was the last of the tears. Now it's just back to work, and it seems like my job may have some potential to be a less miserable place than my previous job, so maybe this is all working out.

Tomorrow is truly a day for Thanksgiving at our house full of blessings, happy turkey-day wishes to all.





Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bragging


Look at the family I'm blessed to call my own. That's just the best reason in the world to get up in the morning.

And now, workouts will start this week as I return to work. It might be painful, it will be ugly and you'll hear about all of it.

The next couple days will be tough, I've started dwelling on how happy I've been at home and how my biggest dream right now would be to be home with the kids. However, we've made the possible sacrifices so that SuperDad could be home with the kids. It was a priority for us that one of us be at home, there's no way we could afford for me to be the one. Most days I can focus on the fact that we're doing what's best for the kids and my part of that right now is to go to work and provide for the family financially. Many times I lose sight of that, I pout, I sulk, I resent SuperDad and become grumpy and whiny. That may never go away, but I know that the hours I'm away from the kids aren't what will define their childhoods. My dad worked full time and I don't remember feeling like he wasn't there for us growing up. With my flex schedule I'm home by 4pm most days, not everyone can do that, I've still got hours with the kids before my ridiculously early bedtime, right after theirs. It's just what has to be done and like a good triathlete it's time to suck it up and work through it, transition time.

I'll be back soon.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Operation 7-11

Today was the day I would have returned to work if Cutie arrived on her due date. Thanks to her late arrival I've got another ten days until I return. I anticipate some tears next Thursday when I go back, and the kids might cry, too. I'm trying not to think about it for the next nine days.

My sister called last month to tell me that she's engaged. She's been dating her fiance for about 14 months now and they moved in together in September. I'm thrilled for her, he's a great guy and the boys already love their new uncle. He's about 6'4" (she's 6' tall) and was a football player in college, they think he's a riot and he's great fun for physical games since he can easily bench press both the boys. Anyway, today she's signing a contract for the reception on July 11th. She's warned me that as a member of the large bridal party (I'm one of EIGHT women), I will be wearing a strapless dress. So here's the scene, I am currently 168 pounds with a 35" waist, 40" hips, a 41" chest and 23" thighs- a solid size 10, pushing the 12 side. I know I've got to lose weight. In my mind I'd like to lose 28 pounds, the 10 pregnancy pounds still hanging around and then the 18 pounds I had wanted to lose before getting pregnant, but didn't. I was 140 pounds when I got married, but that was eight years and three kids ago, so I'm not sure it's realistic. That would be 3.5 pounds a month, or one pound a week or so. I know that I tend to hold on to some weight while nursing and Cutie will likely still be nursing in July, so I'm going to work more on feel than numbers.

The only thing (other than the necessary paycheck) I look forward to about going back to work, is the gym. I'll be back to regular workouts and my plan is that 2008 will be the year of the run. I'm planning to do my first ever stand alone 5k in April, the annual work-sponsored triathlon in August and we'll just see what the year brings other than that. I don't plan too much, life doesn't always cooperate around here, but that's part of the fun.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

If...

... you told me eleven years ago that depression could pass and life was worth living...

... you told me eight years ago I would love my husband more than on the day we said "I do"...

... you told me five years ago "I wouldn't want to be home with kids full time, I'd get bored" might just be the most wrong thing I ever said...

... you told me two years ago that some day I would be able to say I'm a (slow) triathlete...

... you told me four months ago I would have a girl and she would wear pink 90% of the time...

... you told me three months ago that we would would move into our perfect home...

... you told me yesterday that I could be happier today...

I wouldn't have believed any of it. It's amazing how wrong I was, and I am so grateful.


A real post soon, life's gotten in the way.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

All the preparation

Moving day is almost here. In a few hours we're picking up a rental truck, dropping the kids off at grandma and grandpa's house and packing like crazy for the rest of the day. Tomorrow the moving company comes to move the large furniture and Friday afternoon we close and move in! It's going to be a crazy couple days, but it will be so worth it once we're settled in the new place. I can hardly believe all that has happened over the course of the past two and a half months. Of course, Cutie's arrival dwarfs all of this in importance, but this has required far more work than Cutie- she's such a dream baby. Yesterday afternoon she sat on the couch or laid on the floor for two hours and was entirely amused by herself and her big brothers. Not that I hope to leave her alone for that long, but I had some stuff that had to get done and she obliged. She's found her hands, she likes to play with them when she can intentionally get them together. She's learned to reach for some things, maybe by accident or luck, but then she holds on for a while to get a feel for the world around her. When she's awake and hanging around she loves to smile at people and has wonderful "conversations" with anyone that wants to sit and talk for a while. She's just so laid back and happy, I'm amazed. Maybe I've already said all of this, but I'm daily reminded of how wonderful she is. Of course her big brothers have been troopers through all of this, too. Superman enjoys "helping" us pack boxes, which often have to be repacked, but he feels helpful. Hot Wheels helped me scrub the bathroom tub and has been doing some cleaning jobs with us.

Last week we went to the zoo and children's museum for the day, the kids liked the animals but weren't as excited as we had anticipated. The museum had a water room, though, and that was a huge hit. Monday afternoon it was in the mid-70s here, in October! We went to the park and the boys played a game of air baseball with SuperDad. The best part about air baseball is that every "hit" is a home run. There was much base running done by all, Cutie and I were enthusiastic spectators. Yesterday we went to the aquarium and had a good time as well. Here are more pictures, enjoy.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hardware scandal and a new career

Yesterday we drove almost an hour for a fun run with Spiderman. Neither SuperDad nor myself participated in the 5k or even 2 mile fitness walk, just the kids run and then home. When we got there, Superman decided that he would run along with Hot Wheels. At not yet three years old, he was youngest in the race by quite a bit, although he's almost as tall as some 4-year olds so I don't think anyone guessed how young he was. We heard that the course was an out and back around some cones so before the start we walked with the boys down to the cones and told them they had to run all the way to that point before they could turn around. They lined up with the other kids and we were very surprised that Superman didn't want either of us to come with him, he was going to do it by himself, just like his big brother. They started out and Superman faded quickly, along with another boy. SuperDad was farther down the course than I was just in case one of the boys fell or needed guidance. Well, we tried to get that race course part correct, but when the first two kids rounded the cones and started coming back, Superman turned around, too. He didn't hear SuperDad trying to tell him to turn around again and run to the cones. He picked up some speed and since I was carrying Cutie in the carrier, I couldn't run out to grab him so when he crossed the finish line it looked like he was in second place. I didn't want to leave Hot Wheels on the course without cheering and getting his picture so I didn't get over to the finish line for a couple minutes and that's when I realized they didn't know that Superman hadn't done the whole course and that he was supposed to get a medal. Apparently, Spiderman runs at a lot of events and he always comes in third so the top three finishers get medals while everyone else gets a ribbon. This part really confused Hot Wheels and he was asking how a super hero could get beaten by some little kids. We told him that Spiderman wants all the kids to do their best so he slows down a little and sometimes lets kids win. We also mentioned that Spiderman was really just someone in a costume, to which he replied "yeah, I knew that". (and yet he still asked how the kids beat a super hero) Anyway, by the time we got over to the finish and realized that Superman's pull tab was ripped because they thought he came in second, the fun run was over and the race director was over at the 5k start. I felt really bad that the kid that came in fourth should have gotten a medal and not Superman but almost all the kids were already gone. I found the race director after the 5k start went off and explained the mistake and apologized that I didn't stop him before the finish. She started laughing and said I should relax because it's a FUN run, and there's no harm done. She gave me Superman's pull tab and told me to go get his medal since we weren't staying for the awards. So, we came home with hardware. At first I told the boys it was a special medal because they were the only brothers in the race but then we realized that wasn't a good idea, so we told them it was a mistake that Superman won the award because he didn't really run the whole way. Apparently they couldn't care less WHY they have the medal, they just like wearing it around. It was a fun morning although Hot Wheels was disappointed that he came in towards the back. I think he crossed the line seventh out of eight and there were two Rosie Ruiz imitators ahead of him, too, since Superman's not the only one that turned around early. He asked quite a few times yesterday whether we were proud of him for running his race and we assured him we were very proud, although I was a little worried about how important it seemed for him to hear that repeatedly.

Two new runners in the family. Registrations could start getting expensive, but at least we'll always have t-shirts to wear. I'm just thrilled they think this is fun.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Back by popular demand


Thanks for asking, Duane, here's Cutie, and her brothers. A real post will follow soon.







































Saturday, October 06, 2007

Who needs practice?

A couple weeks ago Hot Wheels mentioned that it's been a long time since he's had a running race, so he'd like to do another one. As luck would have it there's a race next Sunday, with Spiderman no less, and it's close to my brother-in-law's house, so his cousin will likely come to run as well. He's mentioned a few times that he needs to practice and he'll run laps of the house. Then every now and then we have weeks like this. Wednesday we went apple picking and to a corn maze at a big farm where the kids ran around plenty (although not in the maze, they did follow the no-running rule there), Thursday night we met up with friends at the playground and the boys ran around for almost three hours- sunset was 6:24pm and we left about 6:40pm. Yesterday a bunch of boys from his class all met up at the local park after pre-school, there was two hours of non-stop chasing, running, jumping, etc and last night we were at my friend's house where the boys ran around the yard with her three kids for another two hours. It was so much activity this week and I didn't think they'd be up for running at the boardwalk this morning. Of course they were, and they wanted to play on the beach as well, you guessed it, running. I had Cutie in the baby carrier and for a while I had Superman on my back along the boardwalk, there's a decent workout for walking. On the beach I did some walking lunges, with Cutie still in the carrier, and I was reminded in ungraceful fashion that my quads are quite weak. Something to work on when I get back to the gym. It did remind me that I can get in a bit more exercise than I have been, little opportunities arise all the time and I ignore them. But I'm fine with that for now. On the way home from the boardwalk this morning, Hot Wheels mentioned that he hasn't practiced much for his race next weekend, it made me laugh. He's excited about another race, he really hopes to beat Spiderman, I'm not sure how fast Spiderman is.

On another note, if I could take a picture of their shins it would be embarrassing to show how many bruises the boys both have. At least they were all self-inflicted through activity. Then I look down at my own shins and realize they have likely inherited my complete lack of grace. But if they've got my determination they'll make it through the bruises and be active anyway.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

That's the whole point of the game

Trying to explain the rules of Hide and Seek to a 2-year old can be a challenge. Superman often counts and then yells out "Where are you?" before looking for whomever is hiding. Hot Wheels has tried to explain to him that the point of the game is for him to find the hider without being told where he or she is hiding, we've tried to tell him the same thing. Sometimes he gets it, sometimes he doesn't. The hardest part about playing Hide and Seek in our small ranch house is trying to make it seem like we don't know where the kids are hidden for 45 minutes when they used up all the original hiding spots in the first three rounds. Their current favorite is to hide under the covers of their bed. It's usually pretty obvious since the bed is made before the game starts and then there's a large bump in the middle of it.

We've had a couple decent workouts recently. Last Saturday morning we went to a local boardwalk along the beach that's a very nice 2 mile round trip. Super Dad pushed the boys in the jogging stroller while they ate waffles and I took Cutie in the baby carrier, also known as the "sweat-producing-heat-trapping-baby-sleeping-contraption", I actually was making some pretty decent time over much of the two miles, it almost felt like really working out again, and that felt good. I've been doing some moving-box-heavy lifting, and with Hot Wheels riding his bike more, the walks around the neighborhood while pushing Superman and Cutie in the stroller have gotten faster, too. Real speed and endurance builders? No, but fun.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I thought about the treadmill today,

Does that count as a workout? Actually we went out for a walk today so Hot Wheels could ride his bike and I added some short jog intervals while pushing Superman and Cutie in the stroller. It's not a jogging stroller and I wasn't moving very fast but it reminded me that someday I'll be able to go a little faster and I'm looking forward to that. Next goal - the 5k distance. The first one is in April so I've got plenty of time. Tomorrow we're having a family picture taken for the pictorial church directory and we get a free portrait. Cutie will be a month old tomorrow, too, so that's nice. We're going out for a walk first thing in the morning and the picture's early afternoon, it will be interesting to see how it goes with the kids, if Cutie could just sleep through it that would be perfect.
Now, here are some recent pictures. Take care.

















Sunday, September 16, 2007

Not Heaven, but really close

In the time that I've taken a break from posting, I've also mostly taken a break from the computer in general. Taking more time to be unplugged has been a good thing for me, I was starting to spend too much time partially spectating while the kids were left on their own and I was doing something on-line. I look forward to catching up on everyone's blogs, but I think that for the remainder of my maternity leave I may still be around sporadically. Especially since until I get back to the schedule of work, and the gym, I've got nothing exercise, triathlon or even physically related to write about. Except that Hot Wheels has started riding his bikes on our family walks and he's gotten quite good at it. He's mentioned a couple times that now he could do a running race and a biking race and pretty soon he'll learn to swim and then he can do races "like mom". That's a kick of motivation to get back to it, I'm just waiting until November because I don't feel like trying to juggle regular workouts into our routine. If I can find some time to hit the treadmill in the basement, fine, but I'm not going to stress over it.

In general, my life right now is about as close to perfect as I think can be achieved. We've been having an amazing time together as a family. Whether I'm ever able to convince (bribe) SuperDad that we should have another one, it doesn't really matter. We're a great family of five. The boys are completely in love with their sister, who will now be known as Cutie. It loses something in writing it here, but if you could here Superman talk about his new sister, he loves to kiss her and then tell me "She a cutie", and it's pronounce k-YOU-U-U-U-tee, in the way only a two and a half year old can make a word sound even better. There hasn't been a single instance of jealousy from the boys, even when I've got to stop whatever I'm doing with them so I can feed or change Cutie. Unfortunately, their only negative issue has been an increase in the number of times they're up overnight. We're not sure how that could be related to Cutie's arrival, since she's clearly not the cause of all of these sudden nightmares and scary stuff in their room, but they've been horrible about sleeping. She, on the other hand, is a dream. She's a relatively content baby and she's already started doing a four and a half to five and a half hour stretch of sleep at night. With the boys I never got more than three hours until they were over a year old, so this is wonderful. If only she could teach her big brothers to sleep better, mom would be a little more rested, and maybe slightly happier.

The start of the school year went fine. Hot Wheels is happy to be back at preschool and Superman tried his first "I'm Two" playgroup at the local Park and Rec. He cried for about 15 minutes but then settled down for the rest of the hour and came out proclaiming "Mom, I had fun at school!" So, all is going well.

We've had some aggravations with the whole house buying and selling process, but I guess there always are. We're hoping the closing will be six weeks from now, although the seller of our new home just found a place to move to so if she can close sooner, everyone else can as well. We're enjoying the last gasps of summer since the days still get up into the 70s around here. We've found a beach where the dogs can swim, but it's a bit rocky for people, Hot Wheels went swimming with the dogs last weekend. There's a local boardwalk along the water and we've been walking a couple miles there a few times recently. We've been spending time with some friends and generally enjoying ourselves. The next nine weeks will undoubtedly fly by too fast, but since last time I had to go back after six weeks, it will still be great.

I look forward to catching up with everyone as race seasons come to a close. I'm also looking forward to hitting next season with everyone, I've just got a little more work to do in the off-season getting myself back in shape. The only real negative to this post-pregnancy body is the adjustment to nursing. Trying to run with these bad boys is painful, but it's worth it. I saw a t-shirt recently that read "I make milk, what's your Superpower?", I thought that was pretty funny. The sad part is that the best food I'll ever make is something none of the kids will even remember eating. Too bad I can't cook meals that good. I do have a hate-hate relationship with the breastpump, but again, it's for a good reason. The boys were both exclusively breastfed and then nursed or got bottles of breastmilk until they were a year old. Not that formula would hurt them, but I was proud to do that for them and I intend to do the same for Cutie. I've always heard it helps with weightloss but I've never really found that for myself. I am back in my non-maternity clothes, those that I didn't already pack up, so I guess I'm on the right track.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Coming down

I'm sure this feeling will be familiar to anyone reading this, similar to a race let-down period, I'm hitting a wall. The past month has been completely nuts with Baby Girl's arrival and all the house stuff. I think that I'm a pretty good person to have around in busy and stressful times. I do well with a bit of chaos and can keep my head and organization to the extent that people have often commented they have no idea how I'm doing it- it being whatever needs to be done. Well, she's here, the house inspection is done, and I've got, say, maybe a tad more hormones running around my body than usual, so I can feel a crash coming on. I haven't hit the random crying-for-no-reason post-partum point yet. For me that's been about 5 days after, so by the beginning of next week that's where I'll probably be at. I'm trying to just enjoy the absolute blessings I've got in my life but there's something about my personality that leads me to dwell on small trivialities to keep my brain occupied when there isn't enough external stress. So, I'll cry "because" this is our last baby, because we're leaving this house, even though I can't wait- because this is where Superman was born, because I don't really like pink and we've already gotten about a dozen pink outfits for her. I'll cry because I'm not quite sure what to do with a girl, and I don't think girl toys are nearly as cool as boy toys, but also because I'm a little scared about the whole mom-daughter relationship thing and how I know that there will likely be times when I'll push her away by trying to do what I think is the best thing for her. Or, I'll just cry, no reason.

I think I'll be taking a blogging break for a little while to get myself together again. Right now I don't have a lot of interest in, well, anything. I'll get through it, I've been here before, it's just not the fun part and I'm not sure I'll be up to sharing. Thanks again for all the well-wishes, I'm sure I'll be back soon and I'll be keeping tabs on everyone else until then.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Pictures and info


Thanks for all the congratulatory responses! Just to let you know, we do have a name in-real-life, but I don't have a blog name for her yet, to go with Hot Wheels and Superman. I realize that anyone could probably find out who we are relatively easily, but SuperDad prefers that we not use names, especially for the kids. You never know these days, it's sad but true.

She was 8lbs 4 oz and 20" long. I'm told that's long for a girl, but she still seems so tiny. She's asleep right now, the boys are looking forward to her waking up so they can "help" me give her a sponge bath. They've been so great with her, she may be the most-kissed two-day old ever since Superman kisses her just about every time he walks by her.

Here's a picture of all of us at the hospital, and her close-up. Thanks again for all the well-wishes.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

"Race Report"

Well, we're home and Critter has arrived. Or, I guess I should say Critterette. Yes, it's a girl. She's not quite old enough for me to have figured out a suitable name for her, I guess we'll just go with Baby Girl for now.

The whole induction thing was much less invasive than I had expected. The dr. broke my water about 11am and she shot into the world a little after 2pm. You don't need all the details, things were steady from 11am until about 1:15pm. Then at 1:15pm the nurse said we could walk around the maternity ward if we'd like, I was going stir crazy in the room so I said yes. After three laps I was feeling really uncomfortable, we got back to the room and she was on her way. There were about 25 minutes of some intense pain and a little nervousness due to a compressed cord and the fact that they couldn't find her heartbeat. Finally they got the monitoring back and the dr. barely had his gloves and gown on before he reached up and caught her. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about being in labor for only four hours, but that last part was quite overwhelming.

She's doing well, her brothers are thrilled to meet her and they've both shown much more interest and concern for her well-being than I had anticipated. I'm pretty exhausted because we probably got a total of three hours of sleep at the hospital, I don't know who can rest at a hospital- it's impossible. Glad to be home, our family of five.

Thanks for the many well-wishes throughout this pregnancy. I'm looking forward to getting back into shape after the next couple weeks of recovery, another journey I'll be sharing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The end of the tunnel

Tomorrow's induction day. I was really hoping I'd go into labor before then, and I still could, but at 10 days over I guess tomorrow's the day. I'm a bit nervous about the whole induction thing and I'd rather have it progress naturally, but this is the best option available. The doctors think it shouldn't actually take much to get things going, but then again they didn't think I'd even make it to my due date.

I'll be back Thursday or Friday with the update, depending on when this one arrives I might have to be there more than 24 hours. Thanks for all the well wishes.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Nothing.

Still here waiting. Up to six extra days of maternity leave now, but I'm ready to get things going.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Almost the happiest place on Earth

No, not Disneyworld, my favorite local spot is the used bookstore down the street where all paperbacks are $1 and most hardcovers at $4. The bookstore is a converted residence with a main house, a barn and four other small outbuildings all crammed full of books, the owners live in the residence next door. I now have 11 new books to last me the next few weeks, it's always good to have a book handy for those late night feedings or baby sessions when I'm up, but don't want to noise of the TV to distract the baby. I also stock up on kids books there. My kids have 1 full sized bookcase almost full and four 4-shelf bookcases full of books. I'm so glad that they enjoy reading almost as much as I do, and it's been so much fun rediscovering some favorite books of mine from when I was a kid. They're big into the Berenstain Bears, Franklin, Clifford and some other random story favorites.

I was up again from midnight until about 5am with annoyingly irregular yet stronger, contractions. Then a little after 5am I was able to get back to sleep until Superman woke up at 5:40am or so. Not the most rested feeling today. We went for an hour walk this morning, then I came home and vacuumed the house, cleaned the bathroom and helped SuperDad move more bins of clothing and packed items out to the POD sitting in the driveway. I keep hoping that Critter will get the subliminal, and verbal, eviction notices that have been given, but no luck so far. My sister arrived at my parents a little while ago, she's been planning this trip for months to come and meet her new niece or nephew, now there's no niece or nephew to meet yet. She's here until midday Monday so there's still a chance.

A happy anniversary. This weekend last year was my first triathlon at the Timberman Sprint, and 17 years ago today was my first date with SuperDad. Time just flies.

Pregnancy status: 6 days overdue, hoping for Critter's arrival soon.

Friday, August 17, 2007

One Down

Only seven days on the market and we got an offer on our house! It wasn't quite full price, but it's close enough that for the peace of knowing this whole thing will be done, and the fact that we won't have to worry about showings or open houses with a newborn, it's worth it. I'm just thrilled because now our offer on the new house becomes a done deal, we should close and move mid-October. Enough time for me to recover and be more helpful, and before I have to return to work. I guess that this was all meant to be, I can't believe how lucky we are.

All is quiet on the baby front. My sister will be here tomorrow to meet the baby which will most likely still be in utero. Oh well, we're ready whenever he or she decides to make an entrance. At least I've now got a full extra week of maternity leave- woohoo!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Status

Uterus status: occupied and quiet- except for the occasional random contraction, annoying and useless.
Medical status: if Critter doesn't appear by next Wed, we go to the hospital at 6:45am for the induction process to begin.
House status: waiting for feedback, hopefully an offer
Mood status: tired, low energy, getting anxious
Grandma status: calling quite frequently for updates
Grandpa status: proclaims Critter is a girl because of the "grand entrance" she is commanding
Kids status: bored more often than usual, especially since I'm not as energetic and active as a couple weeks ago
Fitness status: I walked for an hour and a half on Tuesday, almost an hour yesterday, not sure what I'll do today. Really disappointed lately that the pool closed for the summer because I had been planning to swim throughout this maternity leave time.
Weather status: storms should come through later today, I've heard that sometimes barometric pressure changes can trigger labor, I kind of hope so.
Weight status: I've lost 4 pounds over the past two weeks, because Critter's squishing my stomach which makes me feel full more easily, which is nice. Overall weight gain, 30 pounds, two more than I gained with Hot Wheels and Superman.
Overall status: Happy to be home, trying to be patient, knowing that things will happen as they should for whatever reason.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

False alarm

This time yesterday we were over at Labor and Delivery and I was being monitored for contractions that were pretty consistently 3-5 minutes apart. Then they checked and I was only 2cm, the same at last Tuesday at the dr. office. So, I walked. I walked for over an hour and a half, I'm pretty sure it was actually a decent pace, which people kept commenting on. The contractions felt stronger, and we had walked enough that my legs were actually tired, I was really hoping it would get things going. Unfortunately, that resulted in nothing, so we were sent home, with my apparently cranky uterus left to randomly contract throughout the rest of the day. I had been up all night because the contractions started at midnight after I had crawled into bed at approximately 11:40pm, so by 8:30pm last night I was completely exhausted. Nothing happened overnight, so here we are again, waiting. It's only three days past my due date and I haven't really been all that anxious to get things going, but after getting to the hospital and really thinking Critter was arriving I'm very disappointed that we're still waiting to meet him or her. I was also very embarrassed that this is my third time around, I should know what I'm doing, and I woke up everyone early for a false alarm. I called my mom at 5:45am for her to come watch the kids, I woke Super Dad at 5:30am to tell him we were going, I just feel silly. Oh well, not that motherhood hasn't made me do plenty of silly things. I'll just try to enjoy these last days at the mother-of-two, it's inevitable that critter will arrive at some point, he or she just has a mind of his or her own, already.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Not Monday...

Unless things move quickly, today will also pass without critter's arrival.

We've got a second showing on our house Wednesday morning at 10am. An offer in less than a week would be amazing!

Until then I'm pretty much waddling along, keeping the kids busy going to friends' houses, they can't make as many messes in the house if we're not here.

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

I also have to mention that lately it feels like I should always be nine months pregnant for all the compliments I've been getting! People have been telling me how great I look and they can't believe that I'm due to have this baby already. It's a nice little boost, especially when I'm feeling especially large and cumbersome.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Yawn

Well, it looks like my due date will come and go without a critter arrival. When I think over the events of the last three days I can't believe the amount of stuff we got done around here while I was this close to being done with pregnancy. We got a call yesterday that our offer on the new house was accepted! It could still fall through if another buyer that doesn't need a contract contingent on sale outbids us, but we're hoping that our full -price offer will hold up. I'm so excited, but still trying to stay in reality because it could all come to an end without the house. Today we had an open house, our realtor told us 7 couples came through and at least one seemed very interested so she's hoping we might get something going soon. I know it's unrealistic to think it will sell in a week or so, but you never know, there were three offers on the house we got a contract on and it was only on the market 8 days. All off the moving, packing, mopping, vacuuming and cleaning over the past couple days has felt like to some major workouts to this body, all leading up to the impending big event. I remarked to Super Dad that I really appreciate all the work he did over the past few days because I was able to help with far less of the heavy stuff than normal, his response was that he'll rest while I'm having a baby.

Now on top of pregnancy related insomnia, we've got home sale/buying insomnia. Last night we're both awake at 3am talking about where we'll put the fish tank, will the piano fit in the new house, what do we need to get done first and how long is the list of projects we'll have? We're pretty sure it's a few years long. But, it will all be worth it.

Looking forward to things moving along, I certainly hope it's some time this week because my sister's coming next weekend to meet him or her. On the other hand, it's all extra maternity leave time from here on out, so a few extra days wouldn't bother me at all.

Pregnancy status: Due date today!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Still here

The past 24 hours have been completely crazy. We put an offer on the new house yesterday afternoon and listed our house. We spent the day running around like nuts trying to get the house ready and we already had a showing this morning. We were told that the people liked the house but they're still trying to decide where they'd like to relocate so they'll be seeing some other properties over the next few days.

Critter's still comfortable, I'd welcome any guesses on delivery time, size, gender, etc. There wouldn't be any real prizes, but the satisfaction of being the best guesser for one person.

Happy weekend, all.

Pregnancy status: 2 days to go.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

What time is it?

It would be 3am right now and this is the fourth night out of five that I am awake at this time, and have been for over 3 hours. I thought for sure we were headed to the hospital overnight Sunday, contractions consistently 10 minutes apart for over 3 hours then they mysteriously dwindled to 15 minutes, 20 minutes and finally random, lasting throughout most of the day. At my dr appt on Tuesday the dr said he figured it would be any day (didn't need to be a rocket scientist for that pronunciation- third pregnancy within a week of due date, duh), tonight I was up at midnight again with contractions, but they've not gotten closer than 15 minutes or so. Just frequent enough that I won't be sleeping, again. This is just getting tiring.

To add some more excitement to life, we're planning to put an offer in on a house tomorrow and list our house for sale. What could be more reasonable three days before expecting a baby but to try to sell the house? At least the arrival of babies in our house has always been accompanied by drama. When Hot Wheels was 4 weeks old we were both laid off and 2 weeks before Superman was born we found out Super Dad had diabetes. The new house is definitely dated, original 1960 kitchen, bath, carpet, etc. but it's been kept in great condition. The yard, though, is killer! It's got over an acre and a half and as the kids get bigger it's going to be an awesome place to play. Wish us luck, please, this might add some chaos to life but it would all be worth it if it works out. I'll finally have a garage to park my bike!

That's about all from here. It's been a quieter week this week, I don't have the energy or desire to be on the go as much. It's not always easy keeping the boys occupied at home, but they're surviving just fine. Luckily we've got nice neighbors with a pool that we've been invited to swim in a couple times. Makes the heat and humidity more bearable.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Weren't we bored?

Today the boys are over playing with grandma and grandpa for the day. I dropped them off after church this morning, around noon, and grandma said they'll drop them off here after dinner. We spent some time cleaning out what has been, for the last 8 months, the receptacle room for every item we didn't want at the time and didn't know exactly where to put. Now, it's ready to be the baby's room. The crib is put together, the changing table is set up- the only item I bought new for Critter was a changing table pad because after the two boys the vinyl cover was cracked and scratchy, even through the terry cloth covers. After Critter arrives, I will also buy one gender appropriate bedding set, Hot Wheels got a generic, but cute, set at my shower, Superman had a cute sports set and I think that this one deserves to have at least something for his or her very own. Since Critter will be in the bassinet in our room for at least a few weeks, I'll get around to buying one not too long after his or her arrival, right now it's got just a generic sheet, but at least if people come over to visit we can show them a space that feels like it's just for Critter.

That actually didn't take too long to get finished, so Super Dad and I found ourselves with a whole afternoon on our hands. We went out for a nice lunch and then came back home, after driving by a local house for sale we're going to try to make an appointment to look at. (Because really, what could be more fun right now than adding trying to sell our house to what's going on, but if it's a good deal it might be worth it) Now he's playing a video game, I'm hanging on the couch, a little sad that it's a completely gorgeous day to be outside, but my back can't handle much walking these days. I was reading a book in the hammock chair for a while, but even that got uncomfortable. We were talking about how we used to think our life was busy before we had the kids and now we just have no idea what to do with free time when we get some. Not that I'm saying people without kids aren't busy, I think you fill your life with whatever you've got going, it's just weird to have this down time that never seems to exist during daylight hours with a 4- and 2-year old around. I miss them.

Yesterday afternoon we went to a friend's house for an annual pig roast party- they really do get a whole roasted pig- but I haven't ever tried it. They had a pool put in last summer and it's about the nicest home pool I have every seen. Hot Wheels spent 3 solid hours going from the slide to the diving board, until we dragged him out to eat and drink something. Superman was in about two and a half hours and he's decided that he loves to float on his back. I'm amazed at how comfortable he is being reclined backwards, even to the point where both ears are submerged, as long as he's got his flotation suit, Hot Wheels gets way to nervous to lean his head all the way back like that. From what I've seen, many kids do. Here's a picture of the boys in their flotation suits at the beach, they're Spiderman and Superman. They always get a ton of compliments when they wear them, I think it's been a nice little self-esteem boost to not only be comfortable in the water but to get some cute attention for it.


Plans for this week are pretty open, we're planning to get together with friends tomorrow, I go back to the dr. on Tuesday and then I've got lunch plans on Wed. Super Dad's going to take the boys to play with their cousins that day, too, so I'll even have some time to myself in the house. In the almost four years we've been here, I've only been alone in the house once, back in April when I was really sick and he took the kids to play with their cousins one afternoon and stayed until almost bedtime. It's kind of creepy in the house when it's quiet, but nice at the same time. I think I'll just curl up with a book and chill. Other than that, I guess we're just sort of at the daily waiting game. Grandma's a bit anxious, keeps checking in with me to see how I'm feeling. I've tried to reassure her that it won't be any secret when this baby's arriving because she's the one coming over to watch the boys when we go to the hospital! Superman is especially excited about this one arriving, he asks daily whether the baby's going to come live with us today and he tells me all about the baby in his belly that's going to come and live with us, too. I think that's been the coolest part about being pregnant this time around is that the kids really get it. So, I may or may not be around much, I'll check in and update whenever there's anything to tell.

Pregnancy status: 7 days to go, or whenever Critter's done cooking.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Ten...

Minutes until I get my stuff packed up to volunteer at our work sponsored triathlon this afternoon.

Months until the event I anticipate will be my first sprint triathlon of the 2008 season.

Days until I become a new mommy again, for the third (and last) time.


The triathlon this afternoon was supposed to be my first ever triathlon last summer but was then rescheduled due to the extreme heat index and violent storm lines rolling through. It turned out to be my second triathlon ever and it's a fun little one that I think will be an annual event of mine for as long as I remain employed at my current company (many years, I hope) and as long as the fitness center company runs the event. There are approximately 55 individuals and 10 teams that will hit the water at 5:45pm and 5:55pm, respectively, this afternoon. It's a fun little event, although the six-lap bike course it a bit tedious. They cite manpower, or lack thereof, as the reason they can't have a longer out and back course and the six loop course is actually convenient for spectators. I'll be sitting in a lawn chair directing cars to not drive onto the course while bikers are on the course. After the race there's a little dinner with the awards and I'll see a few people from work that I like, so it will be a fun afternoon of volunteering and feeling a little like a person that's somehow involved with sports at a time when I get out of breath walking to the mail box.

This morning we went to a local aquarium with grandma and grandpa and then we all had lunch together. It was a lot of fun, but after walking around for 2+ hours my back was quite tired and I was ready to sit. Probably the last family picture we'll have of just 4 of us, so I'll share.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

All the pain, no gain

Yesterday morning I woke up sure that I must have run a long or hard route on Sunday at some point. However, it was just the aftermath of massive leg cramps that woke me up a few times overnight. My calves and the soles of my feet kept cramping up overnight, I know it's likely a potassium deficiency, I've been told to eat more bananas. Like I really need to eat just about the only fruit around that can be binding. Not happening. This morning I've got to get weighed and I'm pretty sure I gained about 3 pounds last week, just because nothing seems to want to leave my body once it goes in. I've been eating smaller, more frequent meals because I'm back to a low-level lingering nausea similar to that of the first trimester. I was hoping that would also help with moving things along throughout the digestive tract, but alas, no luck there.

Our neighbor across the street invited us over to her pool yesterday afternoon and it was wonderful. The boys have these great "floatie suits" with enough flotation that I don't have to worry about them in the pool and I know they're never far enough from me that I couldn't reach them within a couple seconds. With only one of me, I stay near one of them but they switch off swimming around on their own. Hot Wheels decided he loves the diving board and spent probably 30 minutes constantly jumping off and going around to do it again. We're still in the 80s with 90%+ humidity. Last night we went for a 30-minute walk with the kids and the dogs. When we got back I took another shower because I was completely drenched. Today we're headed to the beach with another friend and her two kids so that will be fun. They're predicting the third "heat wave" of the summer starts this afternoon or tomorrow- that's at least three days in a row with temperatures in the 90s. I foresee my butt becoming one with the couch for much of the next few days, unless we're going to the beach. Superman woke me up at 3:50am this morning and I've been up ever since, I also hope there's a nap in my future this afternoon when we return from the beach.

Guess I should get ready for my doctor's appt. What fun, getting weighed and measured again. I'm planning to decline the internal exam if they want to do one- I'm of the theory that nothing should be going in until we're pretty sure someone's getting ready to come out. Third time around, it's not like I'm worried labor will start and I'll miss it. I still don't have my bag packed for the hospital, we've got plans for at least the next week so a trip to the hospital if not an option right now. I hope Critter agrees.

Pregnancy status: 12 days to go.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Bringing wimpiness to new heights

I can't imagine anyone living through pregnancy in the southern US. I suppose if you live in the south you might have more of a heat tolerance than us northern states dwellers, but still, it's got to stink. Yesterday was only in the 80s but with the weather reports all showing 100% humidity it's just gross. I'm really trying to ignore all the complaints and enjoy this precious time at home but I have some really lazy, whiny moments. Fortunately this humidity is supposed to break at some point tomorrow, today will likely not involve a lot of movement on my part.

I found a copy of Ironfit at a local used bookstore recently and while cleaning my room last week I found it again and looked through it a bit. Kind of funny to me that I was too lazy to move off the couch but I wanted to read about what I think of as one of the ultimate fitness tests. I was surprised to see that there's an ironman training schedule that maxes out at 10 hours per week of training. Of course that's for the "finish and remain conscious" plan, I'd like to wait until I've got enough time to devote to at least the intermediate plan. I mentioned it to SuperDad the other day and he's completely NOT on board with me attempting anything of that magnitude until the kids are much older- like all teenagers. Which is fine. I think I'm going to make 2008 the "year of the run" with 1 or 2 sprint tris thrown in. I want to get a good heart rate monitor- that's my main gear investment to myself this Christmas. I'm not sure whether to go for the Polar S625 or Garmin 305 Forerunner. I know I might not need some of the features, but being a science geek, I greatly enjoy graphs and I think that motivation I could get from being able to track and graph my own progress is worth the investment and then I can grow into the other "serious athlete" features. I've been saving my extra money for a while so I should be able to cover the cost of either one, I just want to get the best product for that kind of money.

I've been told I should pack my hospital bag today. For the past week almost everyone has had to tell me their story or that or someone else that delivered the baby two weeks early. I'm not worried and really, it's not in my plan to go early, so I'm just assuming it won't happen. I realize, however, that this has no actual bearing on when critter will arrive, so I guess I'll pack.

I'm a winner!! I checked out Mallie's blog (http://saddlesoretosebring.blogspot.com/) this morning and found that my guess was closest to her actual mileage for the 24 Hours of Booty. I feel badly because it's obvious she could have smoked right past my guess (247 miles) if the weather had cooperated. Either way she's awesome for all the work she put into training and fundraising, quite an accomplishment.

Off to church, maybe I'll get to sit near a fan. Pregnancy status: 14 days to go. Hoping the humidity clears out.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hoping it never ends

Here's a recap of the first three days of my official maternity leave. Monday morning we all went shopping at the local wholesale club store, since I'll be eating all my meals at home for the next few months we need more food around the house! That's not the only reason, but it's part. Then in the afternoon, because it was a great rainy day, the boys put on their raincoats and boots, we grabbed some umbrellas and hit all the neighborhood puddles.

Yesterday we went to Monster Mini Golf, which we thought was a bit lame, but did scare Hot Wheels enough that he was a bit nervous at bedtime about the monster we had seen. After trying to convince him that all of the monsters were just machines, he ended up sleeping just fine but has told us we don't have to go back there any time soon.

Today we hit the local children's museum for a couple hours. Then after dinner, the boys and I hit the beach for about an hour and a half. They've got these great flotation bathing suits and with Superman recently deciding that he enjoys the water, we're having a blast at the beach.

I'm really trying to get all the "play time" in that I can before Critter decides to arrive. Life is really so easy, I've got two free hands all the time, we're mobile without diaper bags and massive amounts of stuff, we don't have to cater to the schedule of an infant and while I'm a bit uncomfortable it's just easy right now. Although, I can't quite keep up for a whole day. We've had some down time every day, this afternoon I took a nap for about half an hour while Superman was sleeping and Hot Wheels was playing with Super Dad. The funny thing is I used to be the queen of the afternoon nap. A 30-minute nap would work wonders for me, not give me insomnia which is seems to have done today since it's nearly 11pm and my normally- ready- for- bed- at- 9pm body just isn't sleepy. I guess that's just one of the many ways that things have changed for me over the years.

Another fun little twist I added yesterday was walking into the baseboard molding in the hallway and, I'm pretty sure, breaking my pinky toe. I've broken quite a few toes, and a pinky toe is no big deal, just a pain, especially when walking on the sand at the beach. Oh well.

Guess that's about it from here. Just the really fun to live, but really mundane to post stuff I'm living now. Pregnancy status: 18 days to go (and hoping it's not one day sooner!) Although I do have to add that I will completely be thrilled to meet Critter once he or she arrives, I just like to plan things and coming early doesn't really fit with those plans.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

All cooked, checking things off

As of today Critter will be considered a full-term baby any time he or she decides to arrive. I've been so fortunate to have carried all three kids to full term as I know so many parents that have dealt with the difficulties of premature newborns and the NICU. As a former 3 lb 2 oz premie born at 30 weeks myself, I can attest to the fact that many of us turn out just fine, but the stress of starting off with a newborn that potentially has severe issues must be so difficult for parents.

Even though I haven't yet had a work day at home on this maternity leave, we're already ahead of schedule on a few things I wanted to get done. I cleaned out my car today and we moved the boys' car seats to the "big-boy-backseat" of the van. We've also got the baby's car seat base in the middle seat of the van. We didn't want the boys to feel the baby was displacing them, so we decided to move them before the baby arrived, and to make sure that everything would work out logistically with the new arrangement. The boys think it's cool that they're in the cool new seat, all the way in the back. We even put in a toy carrier someone gave us a couple years ago since we won't just be able to reach back and hand them stuff, so they'll be quite self-sufficient, I'm sure. Hot Wheels could technically be in a booster seat now anyway because he's old enough and heavy enough, but the dr. said there's no harm in using the 5-point seat as long as we want. We'll leave him there until we need the convertible seat Superman's in for Critter, then everyone will move up.

I've got a lot more on my to-do list, some jobs small, some bigger. I've talked it over with Critter quite often, as long as he or she wait until the appropriate time to arrive (three weeks from today or more) we'll get off to a fine start. I've just got too much to do until then.

We had a great day yesterday, Super Dad's family reunion party at a country club about an hour from us. They had a great pool, almost like a beach with a gradual walk-in that doesn't get more than 4 feet deep- we were in there over 2 hours. There was a small pond with paddle boats- that was quite a good workout. The section the family had was in a pavilion at the top of a hill. That hill provided quite a workout, too, by the time we got home, I was beat. We've got parties the next two Saturdays which should also be fun for all of us. I'm waddling along as best as I can to keep up, and enjoying every minute of it.

I've been checking out IMUSA on line a couple times today. I've told Super Dad if I were ever to do an IM race, that's the one I'd shoot for. Not sure I could ever survive that bike course, the elevation profile looks killer, the run doesn't look like any picnic, either. But if I'm going to go for it, I'll go big. Some day.......

Friday, July 20, 2007

I Love the "Out of Office Assistant"

I'm sitting at my desk trying not to fall asleep as I proofread a paper for a colleague here on my last day at work before maternity leave. I'm not doing very well as insomnia has hit full force this week and despite being quite tired I have found myself wide awake for 2-3 hours each of the last three nights. Those 2-3 hours were during times that I would have preferred sleeping, or at least watching a better selection of TV shows, but there's very little of interest on between 1-4am. I am well informed on the Power 90 weightloss program, the benefits of the Jack LaLanne juicer, some investment program that could make me rich- not the one with Carlton Sheets, though, and I've caught bits and pieces of random B level movies that were interesting enough until the commercial then I'd start flipping again. For some reason I like the movie Deep Blue Sea. About the shark that gets mutated to human levels of intelligence and then manages to destroy a whole underwater sea lab where LL Cool J is the chef. That one wasn't on, but it's in the same genre as the ones that were.

Anyway, I wrote out my e-mail "out of office" reply. Anticipated return: November 5th! That's 15 weeks and 3 days from now. For 108 days I don't have to think about this place, or even drive by. Bliss. I can't turn on the out of office for about 5 hours more, but it's all set to go. My desk is all packed, someone will be moving me to a new office while I'm gone, my gym locker's cleaned out, all done.

It's so cute because the boys have been counting down with me all week. At my morning check-in call to home Hot Wheels got on the phone and said "Mom, today is your vacation day!" I told them we could go and get ice cream when I get home and they were very excited about eating ice cream before dinner. We'll be watching The Incredibles and having a pizza picnic. I've got about a hundred things I'd like to get done before the baby arrives but in reality, I'm big and uncomfortable and the temperatures are likely to be in the 90's next week. That leads to mom-on-the-couch, with a few trips to air conditioned venues. I've got some stuff to be done around the house, thorough room cleaning jobs that have piled up recently, and I'll give a good effort, but with 12 weeks at home after the baby arrives, I'll have time. I think. I know it will fly by and I want to make the most of it. If that means more time with the boys (and critter) and less time cleaning, so be it. Last time around, I'm going to make the most of it.

Maybe I should get back to work. Zzzzz.....

Pregnancy status: 23 days to go!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Credit card fraud

Check your credit card/ bank statement for a charge that looks like:
VIP Tune Limassol
VIP Tune Limassol Cy
VIP Tune 6 Cyp

These are all possible fraudulent charges. Our card was charged $29.99 and we've never done business with VIP Tune, a music download site. So now we get new cards, cut up the old ones, blah, blah. A small hassle, but make sure you check that it doesn't happen to you. We're not the only ones, here's a yahoo thread of people affected:
http://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index.php?qid=20070714103924AAlXXn2

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I-I-I'm n-n-not c-c-c-cold, M-m-m-mom


I heard that this afternoon after Hot Wheels and I had been in the water at the beach for about an hour and a half, coming from between bluish lips with chattering teeth when I suggested we get out of the water to warm up on the beach. I think the boys are on their water to becoming water rats, a wonderful thing to their former childhood water rat mom. Superman has been much more resistant to the water thing this summer, thanks in large part to crabs I think I've mentioned before. Today I just put him in his float-enhanced suit and gave him no option other than coming in the water with us. He was perfectly happy, as long as one of us was holding him well out of the range of the crabs on the sandy bottom. It's been practically a perfect weekend, I even got some physical activity in, not bad for a nine-months pregnant lady!

Yesterday morning we got up and went raspberry picking in the morning. I think the boys probably ate half a pint each, I ate about a pint, and we picked two pints to bring home. Fresh raspberries are awesome, and we're planning to go blueberry picking when I'm maternity leave. The boys are berry and cherry nuts, another thing they inherit from me. The only unfortunate part is that all of them have seasons close to the same time and then in the winter I'm stuck paying $5 for about 8 anemic blueberries or we're eating frozen cherries which, while decent, just aren't the same.

We got home, had some lunch and then headed off to the park to play. We brought the soccer ball with us and our baseball stuff. The boys enjoyed dribbling the soccer ball around and scoring goals and then we all played some baseball. Here's my favorite picture. We have no idea how Hot Wheels knew what position a catcher would take behind the plate, but when Superman got up to bat, he said he'd catch. My favorite picture is above, taken right before Superman hit the ball and ran the bases. They may have a slightly inflated sense of their baseball prowess since whenever they play with us, any hit gets them a home run. Mom and Dad can never seem to catch them! They'll learn eventually. Right now I'm just impressed that our four and two-and-a-half year olds can hit from pitches. They certainly do their fair share of missing, but they hit them with enough frequency that we can actually enjoy it a bit more, too. I even ran a few laps of the bases with Superman, fortunately his run speed is pregnant mom's jog speed, so I could keep up.

After some snacks in the shade, we headed off to the pet store for some fish for our new 5-gallon tank. I brought my betta fish, Frank, home from work about three weeks ago when I was getting ready to move to my new job. I knew I'd be out for a while and didn't have anyone to feed him, so he came home to live in the bathroom. The boys loved him and were much more interested in him than I had anticipated. Unfortunately, he was three and a half years old and passed away this week. Superman seemed sad until I told him he could flush Frank. He thought that was great. But now whenever anyone goes to the bathroom he asks if he can see Frank in the potty. We had the five gallon set up for a few days and yesterday we bought two fish- Pokey and Pouncy and two frogs- Cokey and Bouncy. (Superman has Pokey and Cokey, Hot Wheels liked Pouncy and Bouncy) Each boy picked out rhyming names for their fish and frog, kind of funny. This week I'll pick up a couple catfish and the tank will be complete. What more could you want in a bathroom? We've got fun and entertainment everywhere in our house. Of course the boys found a ton of pets they'd like to have. I see some reptiles in our future. Which I don't mind, but I will not buy any pet that will eat live mice. Crickets might be okay, but not mice.

Topped off the evening with a pizza picnic to watch an animated movie and the boys were out cold before 8pm. Nice. We even watched a non-animated big people movie, which we haven't done in months!

This morning there was enough coverage for childcare at church that I was actually able to attend, and listen to, a service and sermon which was a very nice change. Then we got home, had lunch, headed to the beach and now we're hanging out, reading, playing with Star Wars, NASCAR race cars, Elefun, etc. Just a nice afternoon. I can't wait until I'm done with work Friday afternoon, then I've 15 weeks of every day being Saturday!

Pregnancy status: 28 days to go.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Meet Stormtrooper


Sometimes the spoiling is so worth it.


Wouldn't you love to be fighting with him on your side?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Random Stuff

There are 26 steps up to my new office. This afternoon I was carrying some boxes, not even really heavy ones, and I took the elevator.

This morning my workout burned 247 calories according to the elliptical trainer. That used to be a warm-up. After the gym I showered and then drove the 1/2 mile to my building.

I just realized last night that after the baby arrives I won't be able to go to the beach with the boys right away. Thanks to those pads-the-size-of-my-head that I'll be wearing for a few weeks. How did I forget about that little detail?! No swimming for most of August into September, ugh. (Sorry if that was more information than you needed)

I was supposed to have lunch with friends but they canceled at the last minute. Now I'm sitting in my cubicle and haven't spoken to anyone in over two hours. Then again, sometimes that's good.

When I did speak with someone a little over two hours ago I was informed that I didn't make the promotion cut for this year. I've now been here eight years without a single promotion. Crap.
After that talk I ate a brownie from the break room, and it was good- probably more than 247 calories, though.

Guess we won't be putting the mudroom on the house afterall, as I was hoping the promotion would cover the financing.

I hadn't gained any weight in the past two weeks at my doctor's appt yesterday, which is good.

I get to be the coolest mom in the world this afternoon when I arrive home with a Stormtrooper Fathead to put on the boys' wall. I'll take pictures.

Being the coolest mom in the world, even if only temporarily, really makes all that other stuff completely unimportant.

I've only got 7 more work days until maternity leave starts. Then I've got almost 4 months of just being mom- that's sort of like Heaven.

At least I can end on a cheerful note.

Pregnancy status- 32 days to go.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Pumping Iron

I would imagine that many people in our area were disappointed with the July Fourth weather yesterday. I, however, had the perfect day. We were up at our normal time, somewhere between 5:30 and 6 a.m. We headed off to the beach a little before 9 a.m. and managed to catch the last 30 minutes or so of sunshine before the clouds moved in. We left the beach around 11 a.m. and we were clearly the first people to leave the beach as the attendants parking cars looked at us as if we were crazy. We live near a state park and the beach there at 9 o'clock was pretty much empty. By 11 o'clock it was hard to find a clear path to steer the jogging stroller through to get back to the walkway to the parking lot. We overheard some people talking about how they were in the car over an hour and a half to get there and it reminded me, once again, how lucky we are to live 2.5 miles away. We do have a small beach problem, though, Superman. Last summer, he loved the beach. This summer, not so much. He seems like a fearless kid much of the time but he's got two big fears in life, bugs and crabs. All winter he talked about crabs at the beach and how they were going to pinch him. We assured him that crabs do live in the water at the beach, but they won't pinch him. It took all of five minutes on our first trip to the beach in May for us to be made into liars. We sunblocked the kids and sent them off to the water. As SuperDad and I were setting up the blankets and such we hear Superman in near hysterics about 4 feet from the edge of the water. Sure enough, a blue crab, large enough that it would have been a keeper, had pinched his toe. The woman next to us said she'd been coming to this beach for 50 years and she'd never seen a blue crab on the open water side. And, of course, it had to be right near Superman. Ever since then, he cries when he's in the water and if he's ever touched by a piece of seaweed, or steps on a shell he falls apart. We've tried holding his hand as he walks and cries, because we just can't carry him all the time. Then he gets out of the water, plays in the sand and cries because his hands are sandy. We tell him to wash the sand off and he cries because his hands are wet. And yet, we get in the car and what's the first thing he says "We go beach again another day. Have fun at beach." At least he remembers things in a positive light.

After the beach and showers to get off the sand we had lunch and the kids watched a movie. I put Superman down for a nap and he protested quite loudly. I made a deal with him that if he was still awake in 10 minutes he could get back up and play and not take a nap. He made it to about 4 minutes and then slept for a while. He woke up again crying, so I went and laid down next to him, he curled up with his arms around my neck and fell asleep. I was going to wait a few minutes until he was in a deeper sleep to move his arms and get out of the bed. Next thing I knew it was 45 minutes later and he was still curled up with me, sleeping. There was a nice breeze and soft rain outside, it had been the perfect afternoon for a nap. After our cookout dinner, good thing Dad braved the rain to grill, we all played some games and then the kids did their normal wrestling/running around thing until bedtime. A great day.

Since I mentioned nothing about working out at all, you might wonder where the pumping iron came in to title this post. A few weeks ago my bloodwork showed that my iron levels were quite low. This was the same time I had a few posts complaining about exhaustion. Apparently, the two were directly related. The addition of the iron supplemented multi-vitamin has made a world of difference in my energy level. This weeks workouts were much better than the past few weeks, and I've stayed away from junk food, for the most part, since last week. It's amazing how much the proper nutrition changed everything. I've even lost a little weight, I had gotten a little carried away with the empty calories for about six weeks there and packed on a bit more than I should have. I'm certainly not trying to diet, but eating well compared with what I have been doing might lead to a leveling off the weight gain. The unfortunate part is that I haven't quite added enough fiber to my diet to compensate for the extra iron, so the old digestive system isn't quite so happy. Oh well. Off to my bowl of Special K red berries and a banana. Feels to be back in the swing of things.

Pregnancy status- 38 days to go!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sometimes it's good

As much as I have complained, whined, fantasized etc. about not being an at-home mom, I know that there are really some good points about it. On Thursday morning I took the morning off from work to watch Hot Wheels at soccer and basketball camp. We arrived, Superman in tow, and almost immediately SuperDad was on duty keeping Superman occupied while I watched Hot Wheels take the court for the first of the camp games. It's a program from 3 and 4 year-olds, so the coaches exercise A LOT of patience and spend most of their time corralling all these kids onto the soccer field or basketball court and try to impart listening skills as much as any athletic skills. I looked around and noticed that most of the moms had parked themselves on a small hill off to the side, younger siblings safely secured in strollers, and spent most of the time talking amongst themselves. I spent the hour and a half taking pictures, reminding Hot Wheels to listen to his coaches, encouraging, cheering and being a distraction. I'm sure that for the moms that are home full time, something like this camp is a chance to get out and socialize with other moms. By day 4, they've already seem their kids kick the ball or shoot a basket and I know it's just not all that exciting. I don't fault them at all, but as someone that doesn't get to see these things every day, I couldn't imagine not being glued to the sidelines, watching what's going on. It's probably better for the kids when they're more on their own. Hot Wheels didn't need me standing there distracting him, he needs to learn to do these things on his own, under the direction of his coaches. So, in a way, the fact that I wasn't there every day was a good thing. He told me how happy he was that I came to see him, not many of the working fathers took a morning off to come watch their kids. I readily admit, I'm not completely enthralled with everything they do all the time. As I type this I'm listening to "mom, look at what I made" about 50 times as Hot Wheels and Superman play with Lincoln Logs. I do look and tell them, "that's nice" or an equivalent response, but I admit I'm not giving them my undivided attention, and that's fine. I do really enjoy watching them learn new things, new skills and new ways to interact with the world around them. I loved every minute of watching "Red Light, Green Light" while dribbling a soccer ball, watching the kids all play "What Time is it Mr. Fox?" as they tried to count the biggest steps they could take across the basketball court. Would I love it as much if it was something I saw every morning for a week? Maybe, maybe not. While I will always fantasize about being home with my kids all the time, maybe not being at home makes me appreciate the time I do have a little bit more.

After the whinier start to my week, or maybe it was a mid-week whine, things ended on a great note. I got a couple decent workouts at the gym, the weather broke and became sunny without all the heat and humidity, I finished up my last week at my old job and I'm ready to start my new job on Monday. We've got a great weekend ahead, nothing too exciting, a lot of work around the house and maybe some pool time this afternoon and some beach time tomorrow. Whatever we do, it will be an enjoyable family weekend. They're all pretty precious right now as we'll likely have a big adjustment phase in only about six weeks. A wonderful change, for sure, but still an adjustment.

Pregnancy status: 43 days to go!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I made it to sunset, pass the cheese

Last night sunset was at 8:25pm. I crawled into bed and turned off the light at 8:34pm, I was probably asleep by 8:37p. I was just wiped.

Yes, I'd like to cheese to go with this whine...

I don't really like to whine. I find it to be a waste of time and energy, especially when whining about something I can't do anything about, but here goes anyway. Yesterday I had a dr's appt that takes an hour out of my day between travel and appointment time. The total activity of that appointment is to pee in a cup, get weighed, have my belly measured and hear Critter's heartbeat. If this weren't my third completely normal, average pregnancy or maybe I wasn't being kicked by this kid many many times an hour all day, those things might seem more necessary to me, but they just seem like a waste of time. And, I had to bring the 2 sheets of paper that need a doctor's signature to verify my maternity leave status for work and to have them fill out that paperwork, which will take the doctor less than five minutes of work- I have to give them $25 cash! I didn't ask them to write a novel for me, it's 2 pieces of paper- TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS. Ridiculous. I don't really want to think about the weighing part- I hit 30 pounds. Ugghh, that's five more than I was hoping for the whole pregnancy, and I've still got 6+ weeks to go, I could easily gain another 5. Which brings me to my next whiny subject, I feel huge. With temperatures in the upper 80's with high humidity yesterday and today I just want to wilt outside. We took the kids and dogs for a walk last night, not even a mile, and I was drenched and miserable. I'm tired, hot, fat and lazy. They've closed our pool for the whole summer for roof repairs, so I won't even have that while I'm on maternity leave, which is something I was looking forward to. I truly don't want this baby to come any earlier than it's supposed to- for baby's health and for the fact that I lose maternity leave time if he or she is early. But, it's looking like a long 46 days ahead.

On a happy note I'm taking tomorrow morning off from work to see Hot Wheels at soccer and basketball camp. It's just a one week program, for an hour and a half- god bless the coaches of these 3 and 4 year olds that they're trying to corral together and maybe teach something about soccer and basketball. He has enjoyed telling me all about "red light, green light" and he tells us that dribbling a soccer ball is with your feet and dribbling a basketball is with your hands. I'd call that a successful week. I'm looking forward to watching him tomorrow. Just another reminder of why I'd love to be the at-home parent, but that's life. I'll take pictures, too.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Reminiscing

Last week marked five years since my trip to Alaska for my first marathon. It was through Team In Training and I so clearly remember that sign-up meeting in January where people talked about how they went from complete non-athletes to marathon finishers in the course of one season. I was a little naive in how literally I took those testimonials and thought that I would actually run the marathon. Well, a whole five weeks into the training or so I got shin splints. I was an idiot and tried to run through it for a while, on cement sidewalks, until I could barely walk around through the day without wincing because my shins were killing me. I switched to the walking program, had to take a couple weeks off for the shin splints to heal a little and then proceeded with the training. It was a great experience, although I never want to walk another marathon, it's too long. Some day I will run/walk one, or maybe even run the whole thing, we'll see. Anyway, here's the original race report I wrote five years ago. It's amazing to think of how much in my life has changed since then. I was pregnant a month after the race and now we're plus almost three kids. Wow.

The Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon, Saturday June 21, 2002.
The race: Saturday morning I was up about 5:30am. With the time change that was 9:30am back here, but our bodies adapted pretty quickly, so it sort of felt like 5:30am. I was glad to have gotten any sleep because I kept hearing from people that no one ever sleeps the night before their first marathon, but I got about 6 hours of sleep and I was way too excited to be sleepy. The buses picked us up from the hotel at 6:30am, and we were off to the starting line at a local high school. We got there just about 7am, and the race start was 8am so we hung out in the parking lot. My grandmother had sent me an article about a man from Bayonne, NJ that was going to be there. His name is Ken and he was running in memory of his wife. Well, we get to this parking lot and with the thousands of people walking around, who ends up standing about 15 feet away? Ken!! So I told him who I was, and that I had read about him, we had our picture taken and that was kind of funny. Then I got in the Rent-A-Can line. You've never seen so many people lined up to use toilets! As I was told to do, I got through the line, used the bathroom and then got back at the end of the line. When I reached the front of the line about 20 minutes later, I did have to go again. Nerves and water I guess. The gun went off exactly at 8am. There were over 2000 of us at the start, and being in the walker pack we were a ways back. (Of the 2000+ that started, 1550 of us were with TNT, so there was a big purple blob of movement) I started with Joanne and Linda- 2 women that were from the Detroit area Michigan Chapter. Sally also started out with us but moved ahead quickly. We were pretty packed in for the first mile or so, and then the walkers started to spread out a bit. The first 4 miles were along the highway. That was kind of fun because there were people waving at us and honking their horns as they passed all of us. My first mile was relatively slow because we had such a packed start, about 18 minutes. After that I settled into a pretty comfortable 15 minute mile pace. I was with Joanne and Linda for about 2 miles, and then I went off on my own. There were plenty of people to meet and say hi to, but I stayed by myself for most of the next 7 miles. We had some GORGEOUS scenery and the weather was perfect- mid 60's and sunny with a slight breeze to make it very comfortable. Miles 5-9 were on a couple different roads and trails. We passed a golf course with the most beautiful views of the mountains, and some nice little creeks and streams off to the sides of the course. We had an aid station every 2 miles with water, orange slices, sports drink and sometimes pretzels (salt intake is important). The aid station at mile 6 was a M.A.S.H. station- the people there were dressed in fatigues and there was a whole military theme to it. Once we reached mile 9 it was the Tank Trail- 7 miles of backwoods trails that had some pretty decent size hills on it. I met up with Amy from the Arizona team on the trail and we stuck together for about 6 miles or so. It was nice to have some company and it made those hills a little easier. We hit the peak height of the race at mile 14, after a pretty long hill. There was a nice view of Anchorage from there. The ground was pretty uneven and rocky, lots of people really hated the tank trail. I thought it was pretty nice. Mile 16 brought us back on the road, and there was the "muscle beach" water stop. There were some guys that were dressed in miniskirts and dresses, they actually looked very attractive. I did need to stop at the Rent-A-Can line at mile 18, the line was short, though, so it was less than a 5 minute stop. Then I hit the road again. Miles 18 and 19 were uneventful, and only mildly painful. I knew I had blisters at that point, but I was just trying to hit the 20 mile mark. Then I finally got there! Mile 20 was very exciting because I realized that I was going to finish a marathon. However, at about mile 20 my legs also realized that we had not gone that far before and decided to tell me that this was really a pretty dumb idea I had. The excitement lasted until about mile 22 when I realized that there were still 4.2 miles left- over an hour of walking. I think my blisters had babies somewhere around 22 and my knee joined in with complaints of its own. Miles 22-25 were in some local parks- part on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus, and some were just public parks. So there were more people along the route at this point which did help a little. Fortunately, at about mile 22, along came Brian and Janette from the Las Vegas chapter. We had passed each other back and forth since about 18, and now they caught up and took me with them. If they weren't there, I don't know when I would have made it to the finish, but it was easier with some company. We did get to see a moose and her baby somewhere around mile 22 1/2 which was exciting. And then there was a woman at mile 23- she had a sign that said "thank you from a leukemia survivor". She thanked EVERY TNT person as we went by, and that really was such a lift to keep us going. Let me give you a little hint here, in case you ever have the occasion to be a spectator at a marathon. DO NOT tell people that they are "almost there". You may think you're helping, but your idea of almost there, and the concept of almost there for someone that has already run or walked 20-something miles are completely different. Also, don't say "it's all down hill from here", or the next mile marker is "just around the corner". These are not helpful phrases, they just make us swear about you when we reach the next corner and there's no mile marker there, or we see another hill coming. The hill at mile 25 that we had all heard about wasn't as hard as I had expected. Brian and Janette got a bit ahead of me then, and I saw my coach just before we reached 26. She took the water pack I had been carrying so I could run in the finish. My pack weighed about 12 pounds, so it was really nice to take it off. And when I saw that finish line I felt like I could run forever! (thank goodness it was only about 100 yards, though) I crossed the finish at 6:58:01. My personal time was actually 6:56:31, since they electronically subtract the time that it took us to get to the starting line at the beginning of the race. Crossing that finish line was the most amazing experience I have ever had in my life. In the last 200 yards I thought about Clayton, Michael, Pop-Pop, Nanny, George, and all the other people that had inspired me to do this. I'm sure they were all there in spirit to help me finish, and I couldn't have done it without them, either. Linda and Sarai (pronounced Saree), were both at the finish already and they cheered for me as I came in, which was nice. I thought I might cry for a moment when I reached the end, but I didn't. I think I was too tired. I got my medal and t-shirt and then we stayed to see Joanne finish. After that we walked to the bus stop to get back to the hotel, and I think the 1/2 mile walk took almost half an hour. The pain set in and stayed for the rest of the day, but it was a little better after I popped a few blisters. All in all, the most amazing, wonderful experience of my life. You should give it a try!