Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pumpkin Patch Visit

As soon as the calendar flipped to October I was itching to get our little family out to a pumpkin patch. I might have gone a tad bit overboard with researching various locations in the area and trying to determine the best place to go. We could go apple picking, get cider donuts, go on a hayride, look at farm animals, and of course get a pumpkin or three. 

My husband so kindly pointed out that we had a two-month old baby who couldn't go on a hayride, I would freak out if he got any type of animal poop/drool on him, and who was going to carry the apples and baby all over an orchard. 

Oh yeah, he's the practical one of the group.

In typical fashion I wanted to make a big deal out of our first trip to a pumpkin patch and my husband was so kind to remind me that there is an actual farm a mile from our house. A legit small farm that we go to for fresh corn in the summer time, where we purchase our pumpkins every year, and has been run by the same family for four generations. Basically the kind of business I love to support. Why go somewhere else? 

So we ran Sterling over first thing in the morning when the daylight was at its weakest point and we were there for less than 10 minutes. It wasn't crowded yet because hayrides didn't start until later in the morning and we almost had the place to ourselves. Which is really, really, really nice with a 2 month old. Although it was so quiet that we didn't see anyone else taking pictures and therefore there wasn't anyone to ask to get a photo of all three of us. 

We just didn't have room for mums in the car with the stroller taking up most of the trunk. 

But it was perfect. We got our pumpkins and our little guy slept the entire time. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sterling Robert's Birth Story

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference."

The Serenity Prayer became my personal mantra as soon as the hubs and I found out that our son wasn't growing properly in my womb. It became even more important when I was admitted into the hospital. I used to love reading birth stories because they provided a real face to the scientific jargon and processes outlined in birthing books. Even if the stories were deemed "anecdotal" by most medical practitioners, the stories of a women dilating from 1 to 9 cms in 2 hours or less were worth their weight in gold while I was in labor because I kept thinking, "I could go fast any second now."

I didn't.

Here's how our little, 5lbs and 5oz, Sterling Robert came into this world on August 2nd at 12:05pm.

On July 30th another growth test was performed to see how Sterling was growing. The good news - he had continued to grow since his prior growth test three weeks earlier. The bad news - he wasn't growing as scheduled and it was estimated that he weighed a mere 4lbs and 14 ounces. He was officially declared an Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) baby and with that there were additional issues regarding his entrance into this world and long-term health. There were significant concerns that my placenta was failing early and the decision was made to induce labor sooner rather than later.

I was scared out of my mind. Most importantly for Sterling's health, which was the absolute highest priority. Second, I had hoped to have a non-medicated labor and was actually hoping to get through the process without even receiving an IV. That was deemed no longer a realistic possibility.

At 6pm on July 31st I was admitted into the hospital and by 7pm I had received an exam (zero dilated, zero effaced), blood work drawn, vitals taken, and Cervidil was administered to get me ready to be induced.

Since the hubs and I knew that the Cervidil would take 12 hours to get me ready to be induced we decided that he would spend that night at home with our dogs. It meant a decent night of sleep for him and that he would be rested to help me get through labor the next day (ha!). He stayed at the hospital with me until 9pm and then he headed home.

At 6am on Saturday, August 1st the hubs came back to the hospital and brought me breakfast. Looking back I would have eaten three bagels instead of one egg and cheese bagel. I didn't realize that would be the last bite of food I would eat for 50 hours. I was able to shower and eat at 7am.  By 8am I had received another exam, vitals re-taken, and then Pitocin was started at 8am.

My contractions started immediately and for a few hours the hubs and I finished the rest of our baby shower thank you notes (hey, we figured we had some down time to work on them), played cards, and tried to rest up.

At 12pm I asked if I could get out of bed and switch to a medicine ball. Within minutes of getting out of bed an entire team of doctors and nurses rushed into the room because Sterling's heart rate had dropped significantly. I was ordered back into bed and told to lay on my side. At 12:30pm my water broke and I had been told ahead of time that I had a lot of amniotic fluid, but I swear it felt like I was constantly peeing myself with every contraction.

Sterling's heart rate continued to drop after most of my contractions and they were coming steady at 3-5 minute intervals. Sometimes his heart rate would pick up immediately, but sometimes it wouldn't pick up fast enough for the doctor's liking. My Pitocin levels were raised and decreased constantly in rhythm with Sterling's heart rate.  Even when the Pitocin was dropped my contractions stayed consistent.

Somewhere in the mid-afternoon I was dilated to 4 centimeters and it seemed like things were progressing. However, I had to rotate laying on different sides every 45 minutes to keep Sterling's heart rate under control.  Around 5pm I was put on an oxygen mask and the next few hours became a monotonous routine of rotating sides, peeing (I swear I said I needed to pee just to have an excuse to walk the 10 feet to the bathroom), having my blood pressure (every 30 minutes) and blood sugar checked (thank goodness that one was only every 4 hours).

Around 8pm the doctor had a heart-to-heart talk with the hubs and me and stressed that given Sterling's heart rate drops there was a significant chance he was going to come into this world via c-section.  At this point I did not have an epidural and the doctor was outlining what would happen if we needed to have an emergency c-section.  She wasn't trying to scare me into having an epidural, but outlining that if I needed to be put under because I didn't have a line in already it would affect Sterling. That's all I needed to hear. I didn't care about being in pain or not, but I didn't want Sterling to be affected by anything nor did I want to be unconscious for his birth.

Reluctantly I agreed to have an epidural.  I cried a bit because I really had wanted to stay unmediated during the labor process, but I think I cried even more because I was really scared to have a c-section. The epidural was the strangest experience I had ever had up until that point. The team was so helpful and was patient with me as my contractions continued during the process. I'll never forget that icy cold feeling as the epidural traveled down my back. I was able to feel the contractions afterwards, but they just felt like pressure and there was no longer any pain.

About 2 hours after receiving the epidural I was still laying on my side with an oxygen mask on when the doctor came running into the room. She told me Sterling's heart rate had dropped significantly and she was giving him 20 minutes to stabilize and if he didn't she was going to advocate for an immediate c-section. I don't even remember what happened in the next 20 minutes because I was so focused on my breathing and trying to stay as calm as possible in order to somehow affect Sterling's heart rate. Miraculously Sterling's heart rate stabilized and we were allowed to continue with the labor process.

The overnight hours were an absolute blur of rotating sides, struggling to keep my oxygen mask on (I swear it made me feel claustrophobic), and trying to rest as best as I could. My hubs had called my brother, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law when it looked like we were heading to a c-section and they assembled at the hospital like my own Avengers team. They took shifts sleeping and talking to me to keep me calm and engaged. My brother especially was amazing at comedic relief and I think all the nurses fell in love with him. I remember looking over at one point and my sister-in-law had thrown a blanket over my brother-in-law during one of my exams. He was wearing a camo blanket and I said, "Tom looks like he's in a duck blind!"

Apparently the epidural couldn't block my sense of humor.

It was a really long night and I don't remember my stats throughout the night, but at 5am I was 8 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced. Sterling had dropped to plus 1 and the nurse told me that was fantastic and when it came time to push it would hopefully be a short pushing period. I don't think I had ever been so happy. We were ready to hit the transition phase and I jokingly started placing my breakfast order with my siblings.

By 7am I had not progressed any farther. My contractions were still in the 3 minute range and coming strong. I could feel pressure, but not that "crazy pressure like the baby is going to fall out."

By 9am I had progressed to "maybe 8.5cm dilated." My contractions were slowing down to every 5 minutes and we couldn't increase my Pitocin level because every time it was increased Sterling's heart rate plummeted.

The nurses were fantastic and helped moved me into different positions to try to get my labor back on track. One nurse even joked, "are you sure you had an epidural because you shouldn't be able to move like that?" At this point I hadn't even "pushed the little button" to get more relief from my epidural because honestly I was hoping the thing was wearing off.

At 10am my contractions had slowed to every 8 minutes and they were getting weaker. I could barely feel them. After 27 hours of labor my body was just done. I broke down into hysterical tears when the doctor came in and explained we couldn't increase my Pitocin intake because Sterling's heart rate couldn't take it anymore. If my contractions didn't pick up in an hour we had to move to a c-section. I don't think I ever felt so lost in the world as I did in that moment.

At 11am there was no change and my contractions were now barely registering on the monitor. The doctor explained the c-section process again and I didn't even attempt to contain my tears. I felt like I was going to vomit due to sheer nervousness and asked for a bucket. The hubs was informed of his role during the c-section and I was wheeled down to the operating room.

The surgical team was absolutely fantastic. The anesthesiologist told me he had to take my bucket and asked if I was okay. I told him, "this is 100% mental and 0% physical." He laughed and asked if he could use that line on future patients.  One nurse took on the role of joking with me to keep me calm.  After what seemed like an eternity someone exclaimed, "we're bringing in your husband now." I yelled, "WHO HAS THE SMELLING SALTS? HE'S GOING TO PASS OUT!!!!'

The put an immediate stop to things :)  The anesthesiologist placed a low stool next to my shoulder and the hubs was instructed to sit down and "DO NOT LOOK OVER THE CURTAIN."  His immediate response, "buddy, that wasn't even within the realm of possibilities."

I felt an immediate and tremendous amount of pressure and it felt like my body was being pushed and shoved in different directions.  I can't say how long the process took because it felt like forever, but I know it could only have been a few minutes before I heard a baby cry. I'll fully admit that it took me a quick second to make the connection between that sound and realizing that Sterling was here. I was screaming in my head over and over again, "Is he okay? Is he healthy? Is anything wrong?"

He was raised over the curtain for the hubs and I to see him.  Then he was whisked away by the NICU team to check him out. Minutes later the hubs was waved over to be with Sterling and he actually refused to get out of the chair at first because he was terrified of seeing past the curtain.  It didn't help that the hubs was recently told by another husband who looked past the curtain, "whatever you do, do NOT look past the curtain. I still can't look at my wife the same." After some prodding by a nurse he was guided over to be with our son.  I was closed up while Sterling was weighed, measured, and his health assessed.  Our little guy registered a 9 on both his Apgar scores and was released by the NICU staff.

I don't think I'll ever forget that feeling when he was laid on my chest for the first time and he immediately nuzzled me.  I was absolutely freezing cold from surgery and yet there was this glowing warm radiating from Sterling. The hubs and I were taken to a smaller transition room and I don't remember how long we were there, but I know it was just the three of us with a nurse for a decent bit of time. Just us with our little dude.

The pathology report on my placenta clearly showed that we made the right decision to get him out early because my placenta was failing and had massive blood clots. Since having Sterling quite a few people have expressed their sympathies to me that I didn't get to have the birth I imagined. I'm at peace with that because his health was the highest priority. Plus, in the end I got an amazing kid far beyond what I could have ever dreamed.

Friday, July 31, 2015

What I'll Miss About Being Pregnant

I sit here at 37 weeks pregnant and I'm considered full-term by my medical team. I know other doctors now consider 39 weeks full term, but I don't know if I have another 2 weeks left in me so it's only fitting to that I'm going to believe I'm full-term right now.

This pregnancy has been the hardest thing I've done in my life. I apologize to all the women out there who want to get pregnant or maintain a pregnancy so badly. This post isn't meant to be an insult to you in any way, shape, or form. But even through the ups and downs of this pregnancy looking back these were a truly amazing 37 weeks. I joked with the hubs that I might be the only pregnant woman in the history of the world who was trying to stay as pregnant as possible during August's summer heat and humidity because I'm not quite mentally ready to stop being pregnant just yet.

Without further ado and in no ranked order here are some of the things I'll miss about being pregnant:

- The ease of getting dressed. Sure there were a few days where I'd go to put something on and realized it didn't fit and there was still that one time somewhere around 27 weeks where I mistakenly put a pair of non-maternity jeans in my maternity clothes pile. I nearly passed out when I tried to pull my pants up. However, the longer I got into this pregnancy the easier it became to get dressed because I rotated between 6 dresses, a few shirts, and four pairs of pants. All I can say is thank goodness for cardigans, blazers, and statement necklaces to mix things up a bit.

- The complete and total lack of stranger judgement when eating ice cream in public. Camden Yards, the park, you name it, I probably had ice cream there. I remember standing in a line of kids at Camden Yards to get ice cream on a HOT July day and one kid even let me go in front of him in line.

- Also got to cut the line a few times at public restrooms. I swear I didn't waddle in on purpose, but more than once kind women ushered me to the front of the line.  There's a shared connection it seems between women who understand the need to pee and the need to pee instantly.

- My fuller face meant less wrinkles! I have a thinner face and not a ton of wrinkles unless I'm smiling, but with a few extra pounds of pregnancy weight that settled into my face I looked so much younger. I thought my skin was going to be absolutely terrible during this pregnancy, but it held up surprisingly well. I have a few more blemishes at this very second than I would prefer, but I think those are all stress related. Knowing I could go into labor at any moment has caused a tiny bit of stress.

- I've never felt more feminine in my life. I was always a tomboy growing up and I don't consider myself a "girly girl" by any stretch of the imagination. But while pregnant I finally felt feminine and it was as if my body was doing what it was designed to do. I didn't feel that way during the first trimester when my body felt like it was at war with itself, but during the second and third trimesters I feel like I finally came into my womanhood.

- The absolute joy brought around by strangers and non-strangers when talking about babies. I can't explain it, but it's as if babies hold the key to world peace. They're so full of hope, promise, and a clean slate that just talking about them makes people kinder.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 35 Weeks

(Makeup free photos! Because I'm officially over mascara at this moment in time.) 

Just over a couple weeks ago at a routine pre-natal visit Chalupa Batman measured small. As in smaller than he did at his previous pre-natal visit. It was enough of a concern that I was sent over to the maternal fetal medicine specialists and a 3rd trimester growth ultrasound was conducted. The hubs and I were told that Chalupa Batman was in the 3rd percentile for weight according to his due date. There are a whole host of reasons that could explain his tiny size and my arms showed some impressive bruises as I underwent a whole host of blood tests to try to get some answers.

Every single test came back negative. I haven't been ordered to go on bed rest, yet, but I was told to limit my physical activity. We're still not 100% sure what is going on, but I'm at the doctor's office every 72 hours for Chalupa Batman to undergo a nonstress test. It's where they hook me up to a machine for 20+ minutes and track his heartbeat and my contractions. He has to show strong heartbeats and some variations in order to prove he's an active baby. I also have an ultrasound once a week to check the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding him. 

If any of these terms make zero sense to you, welcome to the club! The first day we found out felt like a tidal wave of information and it took me a few days just to feel like I had my head above water. I'm still not sure I feel in control most days. Our primary goal is to get him to 37 weeks, reassess his size, and then make a determination on when to induce early. We've been told there's almost no situation in which I go to a full 40 weeks. My goal of giving birth without even getting an IV has gone straight out the window. 

Baby's Size: Up for discussion! Supposedly about the size of a honeydew melon. 

I'm Feeling: I'm supposed to keep my stress levels down. Ha! Basically I'm trying to keep myself as mellow as possible so I don't disrupt Chalupa Batman. I consider it a monumental victory in terms of self-control that I haven't been on WebMD in over two weeks. 

I'm incredibly fortunate to have amazing friends, family, co-workers, and a partner through this journey. As soon as I told my leadership team at work their first question was, "what do you need?" My office has gone above and beyond what they're legally required to do and I know that's an odd way to put it, but it's amazing. I'm able to work from home most days and just the lack of a 2 hour daily commute has made my life much less stressful. 

I can't even go into how supportive everyone else is in my life because there isn't enough space on the internet. 

Physically: I'm a slow moving person these days and I sit down as much as possible. Even when the hubs and I are folding cute baby clothes in the nursery I'm sitting down or taking breaks every few minutes to rock in the glider.  The few times I've gone into work I even take the elevator up and down rather than the stairs. That's never happened.  I haven't gone for a walk since we heard the news about Chalupa Batman and I miss those moments with the dogs.  The weather has turned to full on summer mode and I basically try to avoid the outside temperatures now that it's 90+ degrees and humid. 

My Wardrobe:  Working from home has its perks! One of them is I'm able to wear quite a few of the hubs technical shirts to keep cool and comfortable and I've borrowed a few pairs of his shorts as well. Anytime I venture outside I'm either in a dress or a gifted pair of maternity cropped khakis. I'm officially done buying maternity clothes!  High heels also seem to be a thing of the past at the moment, but on most days I still have ankles and that's a win. 

I'm Sleeping: Some nights I sleep amazing and other nights I barely sleep. I can control my emotions and stress levels while I'm awake, but at night it's a different story. I woke up last night at 3:38am and couldn't fall back asleep because I was going through every possible induction outcome scenario.

Food Aversions & Cravings: Negative. Look when a team of doctor's tells you you're baby is small I think it's a normal reaction to go into full on buffet mode. I've been a strong snacker throughout this pregnancy, but now that I'm home my mid-morning snack consists of scrambled eggs rather than cut up fruit. No one believes me when I tell them I've already put on 25lbs during this pregnancy, but I think they're just being kind. Zero specific cravings, but I just want all the healthy foods all the time.  I'm eating walnuts by the handful if that says anything. 

What I'm Excited For this Next Month: Getting Chalupa Batman chubby! Whether that be while he's still baking, at NICU, or at home with us. Also getting everything ready to possibly have a baby next weekend. Really hoping we can keep him past 37 weeks, but I'm just trying to mentally prep to have him early. So many people have swore to me that first time moms go past their due date that I was just mentally ready to give birth right before September. Now the goal is to make it to August! 

The Hubs: This is another spot where I can't write too much without getting overly emotional. He's been absolutely amazing throughout this entire pregnancy and I didn't think it was humanly possible for him to get even more amazing, but somehow he has over these past few weeks. There were a couple of individuals in our lives who lashed out at me and told me that it was my own physical activity levels and my selfish ways of working out while pregnant that were preventing Chalupa Batman from growing properly. I can't even describe how horrible that felt to hear. Those people didn't know that I stopped running a month before Chalupa Batman measured small and that my running routine the last few weeks that I still ran was almost non-existent. The hubs took those people aside and shut them down. 

He's kept me from falling absolutely apart these past few weeks and I couldn't have done it without him. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 31 Weeks

Well Chalupa Batman decided to give us quite the scare at my last doctor's appointment.  Our little family of three had the first appointment of the day and apparently the doppler machine didn't like us. There's no greater panic in the world than hearing your doctor mutter, "where is the heartbeat." I think the doctor saw the look of absolute panic on my face and she immediately proclaimed that the machine was broken and she'd be back in momentarily with a sonogram machine. We weren't expecting to see Chalupa Batman again, but it was rather reassuring to see him moving around on the low-resolution sonogram machine. Needless to say my blood pressure was most likely elevated. That kid isn't even born yet and he's already causing me a few premature gray hairs! I don't know how to properly convey how happy I was the doctor instinctively went for a sonogram machine to calm my nerves rather than just getting another doppler machine.

31 Weeks

Baby's Size: Chalupa Batman is about 3lbs and the size of a coconut.  Based on family history I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for a giant baby and it hasn't been fun.

I'm Feeling: Pretty good. I'm hopefully less than 2 months away from meeting Chalupa and that's got me extremely excited. I just want to met this kid already! But I don't want to meet him yet because I know he's got some growing to do and it would be scary if he came too soon. I'm just trying to keep myself mentally calm during the rest of June and July. August will be a different story and I'm sure I'll be an absolute basket case waiting for this kid to make a move already.

Physically: I am Jekyl and Hyde it seems. If it's less than 80 degrees I have all the energy in the world (not really, but it feels like it) and I'm ready to tackle anything that comes my way. I even thought about mixing in a few minutes of running when I was walking laps at the park last week, but I had to pee so bad after 2 seconds and the bathrooms were inexplicably locked. I haven't ran in a few weeks and I'm at peace with it. I had hoped to run well into my third trimester, but the weather is just not cooperating. Maybe if I get blessed with a fluke 70 degree day I'll try to get in a bit of jogging, but right now I'm really enjoying my evening walks with the hubs around the neighborhood.

I am not looking forward to the weather getting even hotter. We've had a few days where the thermometer has tipped 90 degrees and I've been absolutely miserable. This past weekend was pretty hot and the hubs and I spent a few hours roaming around a local casino just to soak up their arctic air conditioning. I honestly think that might be a new way to get out of the heat - the hubs can gamble a bit and I can walk laps around the casino floor.

My Wardrobe: My outfits are getting even more "streamlined." I need to find a maternity maxi skirt or something quick because the idea of wearing pants is getting even more unbearable by the day. I'm still able to wear a few non-maternity shirts, but I actually made the mistake of grabbing a pair of non-maternity trousers one more and almost passed out when I pulled them over my belly. Sorry for that button indentation Chalupa Batman.

I'm Sleeping: Not as well as I have been. I have to get up more often than not most nights and 4:30am seems to be my new wakeup call. I felt so bad one night because I was tossing and turning so much that I felt I should have moved to another bed just so the hubs could get a decent night of sleep.  Naps are still my jam. I can't figure out how I can get comfortable enough to nap, but not sleep a full night.

Food Aversions & Cravings: I really can't even recall the last time I had a food aversion. Based on my blood glucose screening I have to give up my morning bagel habit. I still want a bagel, but apparently my body can't readily handle that level of complex carbohydrate first thing in the morning. Bagels are now banned! But my body can handle donuts mid-morning because that makes sense. The human body continues to fascinate me.

In addition to trying to eat more fruit I'm also trying to eat more walnuts during the third trimester. All about those omega-3 fatty acids. Oh, and ice cream because it's freaking hot out!  Mint chocolate Klondike bars are my new best friend. I personally have always had a problem with portion control when it comes to ice cream therefore bars are perfect for me. I eat one and I'm done. But if I had a spoon and a half gallon of ice cream I could go to town on that thing. Always could and it'd probably be a lot easier to mentally justify the splurge as "but it's hot and I'm pregnant."

Oddly enough, I gained a whopping pound last month! Apparently just surviving in this heat is a calorie burner.

What I'm excited for this next month: Chalupa Batman's crib should finally be delivered! That's really going to make the nursery feel more done. This upcoming weekend is our non-baby shower, baby shower up in NJ and I'm really excited to see my family. Especially now that my sister has moved to Texas because it is freaking me out that she's not a manageable car ride away anymore. The hubs and I have plans every weekend from here until August and it seems like a lot, but we're trying to get as much done now and get out as much as possible before I get to be full term and potentially completely unable to handle the heat or have the energy to do anything.

The Hubs: I swear he's part machine, but an incredibly kind and patient machine. He is just cranking through house projects like there is no tomorrow. But at the same time he's incredibly attentive to how I'm feeling and if I need help with anything around the house.  We spent Father's Day organizing Chalupa Batman's closet and the hubs folded every single piece of the seven loads of baby clothes we have and put each and every one of them away. I had initially hung up the 0-3 month clothes, but we decided that the onesies needed to be folded instead. I was busy doing the world's worst closet purge and cleaning out the seasonal decor items stored in the nursery closet. And the hubs just folded clothes. And laughed about outfits. And made comments like, "well he needs a different shirt to go with these pants." It might not seem like much, but those moments where we're working together in the nursery have been some of my favorite moments of this pregnancy. We're a team, we're partners, and we're in this together.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Nursery Inspiration

When the hubs and I bought our home in June 2011 we never really decorated the second guest room. We both hoped it would one day be a nursery, but we never called it the future nursery. We threw a purplish-gray paint on the walls from Sherwin Williams and called it a day. The room really became a hodgepodge of random items and my overflow of clothes quickly spread to the room's two closets. A big part of getting the nursery ready meant cleaning the room out and re-homing most of its stuff.

When we found out that we were expecting in December 2014 the very first thing I started to think of was what to do with the nursery.  Initially, we had no desire to find out the sex of our little Chalupa Batman, but after two months of not knowing we were ready to know.  Since we started out thinking of not knowing we leaned towards a gender neutral nursery.  The purple-gray paint color on the nursery's walls is my favorite paint color in the house and I really didn't want to repaint the room. Even before we found out that Chalupa Batman was a boy the hubs was adamant that we didn't have to repaint because "what's wrong with a boy having a purple room?"

Have I mentioned lately that I love that man?

That's when we settled on a black, white, gray color scheme.  The wall color would compliment the color scheme nicely and once we found out Chalupa Batman's sex we would add in an additional accent color.  Full disclosure, there would most likely be a bit more purple in the room if we were having a girl. However, as soon as we found out we were having a boy the hubs immediately thought a few orange touches would be perfect in the nursery.

Also need to point out that the hubs is incredibly involved in the design and implementation of the nursery. Although he has to keep me in check from time to time with practical logic because I may or may not have tried to buy an orange play teepee to put in the nursery.  The hubs was kind enough to point out that Chalupa Batman didn't need a play teepee yet and we could hold off on that item.  Same with the small reading chair. Okay fine and a lot of other things.

The room is going to be the combination of our favorite tastes: modern and rustic. Lots of cool gray tones to bring a bit of modern updates to the room. My favorite black and white tuxedo lamp will be over by the gray glider. But then we're incorporating more rustic and natural elements where we can. The hubs is almost finished with the shelves above the dresser and they're gray stained pine shelves with cast iron piping.

However, the most important touches in the nursery (besides Chalupa Batman!) are the handcrafted family heirlooms. My late grandfather used to make wooden toys and trains and I asked my dad if I could have a train to put in the nursery. The train engine is already up on a shelf and my dad is putting together an assortment of train cars and trucks for me. I can't really sum up my feelings on how happy I am that pieces of my grandfather will be in the nursery. In addition, my dad is making Chalupa Batman a wooden rocking horse. It won't be ready in time for August because that type of wood working project is a "winter activity" for my dad, but I'll be thrilled when Chalupa is finally old enough to play with it. My dad made my nephew a rocking horse and I'm excited that Chalupa will be able to share that with my nephew. I'm going to pay my nephew a finder's fee if he can track down my old Lincoln Logs while he's up at my parents house for a few more weeks.

I know when we first started thinking through the nursery I told the hubs we needed a "theme." He objected to an actual theme, although for a week I was totally running with a "Where the Wild Things Are Theme" because it's one of our favorite childhood books. We settled on a color scheme and that's theme enough for us. Putting together an inspiration board was really helpful because there just seems to be an overwhelming number of options out there for baby stuff. Like I might have run around like a crazed kid in a candy store the first time we went into a baby store.  I needed a picture of the room in my head that was finite in order to focus my attention and harness my crazy energy. :)  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Warrior Dash Maryland

What better way to celebrate National Running Day by sharing a race recap for a race I didn't run! Okay, I could wax on poetically about what running means to me and how important it is for my sanity, but this year while running has still be extremely important to me my greatest joys have been watching the hubs tackle his newest addiction.

Yes, I've helped create an addict - a running addict.

Sure enough, I got pregnant and the hubs became addicted to running. The love/hate affair began last summer when he casually mentioned he'd like to run a half marathon and now he's at the point where he's trying to run a race a month. It's fantastic! He's not overly competitive with his times, but rather signing up for a 10k here and there "keeps him honest."

His May race was a bit different and he "ran" Warrior Dash with his brother and a friend. They guys stayed together the entire time, which meant walking up any part of the course that included an incline because my brother-in-law is not a fan of running and especially not a fan of running up hills.

Overall they had a really fun experience, but if you wanted to actually "run" this race you'd be sorely disappointed. It took them almost two hours to complete the 5k distance because there were such long lines at each of the obstacles. They were in the 11:30am wave and from what I heard the wait times got even longer as the day progressed.  We had a friend run in the 9:30am wave and it took him 50 minutes to complete the course, so if you wanted to run more and wait less I'd highly recommend signing up for one of the earliest waves available.

The hubs was also annoyed by the number of selfie-sticks and group photos out on the course. He got the feeling that so many of the participants were "running for Facebook photos" and that caused even more backups along the way. I say that with a massive grain of salt because it is a struggle to get the hubs to stop for a photo even pre- or post-race! The man is just not a fan of being in photos.

The way this particular course was laid out wasn't very spectator friendly. While the dudes ran, us ladies were able to see the start of the race and then the last 3 obstacles. We sat around for 90 minutes and had no idea where the guys were or even what anyone else was doing because the course was closed to spectators. That was a tad bit annoying because I would have liked to have seen more of the course.

The post race beer line moved quickly and the rinse off shower line wasn't terrible. I'm happy the guys were able to rinse off at least before making their way back to our car! We brought chairs, a cooler filled with beer, and snacks to tailgate afterwards and so many people walked by our tailgate and proclaimed, "why didn't we do this?!?!?"  Definitely tailgate, but just make sure you have a designated driver.

Also, bring sunscreen!

Any other obstacle racers out there? What has been your take on these things? I've yet to do one, but I'm thinking a post-baby fun run sounds like a good time.