Thursday, August 29, 2013

Good Night's Sleep

This morning I woke up a few minutes before my 5:30 am alarm and realized it was the first time I had woken up.  Carter SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!!!!!!!  I decided to turn off my alarm and go back to sleep because I figured Carter would probably wake up while I was out running starving since he'd skipped his middle of the night feeding.  Did he?  Nope, he slept until 6:45.  Last night he slept almost 11 hours straight from 8:00 pm to 6:45 am.  Not gonna expect it to repeat, but man would that be nice!
Very proud of my little man sleeping so well last night!

I had gone to bed early at 10:00 since I was planning to get up early (or I guess I should say earlier) to run.  So I got to sleep from 10 until 6.  That's the longest stretch of uninterrupted sleep I've have since I'm guessing the 1st trimester of pregnancy and it was glorious!  I seriously felt like a different woman today.  I'm interested to see how tonight goes.  I'd love it if he makes this a habit and has weaned himself off the middle of the night feeding.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Our Laid Back Baby

Yesterday when I went to pick Carter up his class was in the motor room.  The room has lots of toys and some equipment to play on.  As I was walking up I spotted him sitting on the floor playing.  Pretty much right as I spotted him one of the older kids threw a ball and it bounced off his head.  I couldn't help but chuckle.  Carter's eyes didn't move from the toys he was playing with.  Baby boy was serious about what he was doing!  He didn't cry, he didn't fuss, nothing.  The ball was one of those really light ones that obviously wouldn't hurt.  So don't think I'm a mean mom for giggling.
What's that?!!?
Today I told his main teacher (who was gone for the day when the ball incident happened) about it.  She then told me they were playing outside and she was spraying the children with a water bottle to cool them.  Some children cry because they don't like it, so she doesn't do it again.  Some children laugh and think it's hilarious.  She wasn't sure what Carter would think.  She sprayed him and he didn't even react.  He just kept playing like nothing had happened.  Man, I love my easy going boy!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday Randomness

Wearing new socks from his Uncle Thomas
Today when I arrived at lunchtime Carter was asleep.  While he was sleeping, his teacher reported on his newest trick.  Apparently he learned from the older kids to throw his food and was throwing his puffs at lunchtime.  I laughed while she was relaying the story and Carter woke up.  I swear he heard me laugh and woke up to say hello.  Love my little buddy!
No way would I be ornery like that!
We had Back to School Night at school from 6-6:45 so Ty came straight home from work to watch Carter.  Half-way to school I realized I forgot to leave Carter's car seat at home.  Whoops!  I was worried there would be an emergency and Ty wouldn't be able to take Carter anywhere.  My co-teacher said then he'll call 911.  Okay, why didn't I think of that!  It went well, but man I missed that time with Carter.  I feel like we had such a short amount of time together today.  Thank goodness for no school on Monday!  I might even hold Carter during a nap this weekend.  Why?  Because momma needs snuggles!
Ready for one-on-one time with daddy.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Glow Run

All decked out in our glow gear.
We ran the Glow Run 5k on Saturday evening.  The race started at 8:30 pm so Ty stayed home with Carter so I could run.  My mom, dad, brother Thomas, and I all ran.  I was expecting it to be similar to the Color Run we ran last summer.  At the Color Run we had to wait in the start corral for over an hour.  When we finally got started we had to weave through mostly walkers and it was slow going.  It wasn't very much fun because I just wanted to run.  I was pleasantly surprised that it only took us 15 minutes to get to the start line and there were WAY fewer walkers to weave through.  I was actually able to run 8:30 pace at the start and then 8:00 pace once I got past the big groups of people who were ahead of us in our start wave.
Ty ready for his evening with Carter.

There were sections on the course with black lights and even a tunnel full of black lights close to the finish.  The shirts we got in our race packets were black light responsive and they looked so cool as we ran through the black light sections.  We all got 4 glow bracelets, a glow necklace, and glow glasses.  Everyone got a finisher's medal which was also black light responsive.  There was an area with black lights set up for taking pictures, but none of us had our phones or cameras.

I couldn't believe how much fun I had!  I'm always a little bit skeptical of an untimed race.  Isn't that kind of the point, to see what you can do?  Especially after the Color Run, I was hesitant to sign up.  Going into the race with the mindset of just getting a run in makes it much more fun.  I would definitely do it again!
I had a couple of really good runs this past week.  Last Sunday I ran 12 miles while Carter took a nap.  My fastest 12 miles was 9:06 pace with the stroller.  I took off at 9:00 pace and it seemed so slow and sluggish.  I was afraid to go too much faster because I didn't want to wear out and finish poorly.  After I got half-way I decided to pick the pace up to what felt good and see what I finished the next mile in.  I couldn't believe it when I looked down and I had run mile 7 in 8:20.  My last 6 miles I averaged 8:15 pace.  I felt really good afterward and now I have a good idea of where I am running without the stroller.  I don't think I'm far from a half-marathon at 8:00 pace which is my goal.

After such an awesome long run I wasn't sure how I would recover for my tempo run on Tuesday.  I ended up waiting to run until after Carter was asleep for the night.  I missed him so much I didn't want to take up some of our together time by running with him.  I was up to 5 miles for my tempo run.  My goal pace for tempo runs is 8:00.  My average pace was 7:44 and I even ran my last 2 miles the fastest with my last mile in 7:30.  I'm so excited about where I am with my training that I'm even thinking about running a half-marathon in October to see where I'm at before my November half.

I'm linking up with Ashley for Move it Monday.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Letter to Carter at 8 Months

We have had 8 whole months together and I still love you more every day.  Holding you in my arms and feeling you pressed against my chest is the perfect solution to any problem.  You are still my sweet, easy going baby.  I got to stay home with you all month and just went back to work yesterday.  We had so much fun together this summer.  It’s hard to see it end, but I know you love daycare and all the toys there so much.

Last month I was able to sleep better and worry less that you would stop breathing in your sleep.  This month I’ve been even more relaxed.  There have been quite a few mornings where I got up and realized I never turned the baby monitor on and didn’t look at it during the night.  I still go into your room and listen for you breathing before I go to bed.  Just to make sure.  We lowered your mattress in your crib which is a bummer for me because now I can’t lean in to kiss you before I go to bed.  I have to pull myself up and lean way in.  It hurts!

You are such a talkative little boy.  It cracks me up to hear you babble to your toys, yourself, Harper, me, anyone who will listen.  You still say dada and baba quite a bit.  You also say something that sounds like mama when you are upset and crying.

A couple of weeks ago you got your first teeth.  Your bottom 2 teeth came in at the same time.  I felt so bad for you because you were fussy.  All day long you seemed fine until it was time to go down for a nap.  Some days the only way I could get you to take a nap was strapping you into the baby carrier.  You struggled at bedtime too.  You are still having a hard time with your afternoon naps.  It looks like you have a few teeth that will be ready to pop through soon.  We can see the 2 bottom teeth on either side of your middle teeth and the top 2 teeth.  Your top, middle part of your gum is really red and swollen.  Sometimes it looks like you are sucking your thumb and then I realize you are actually chewing on it.

Look at those teeth!
You sit up like a champ now.  One week you were still toppling over after a while.  Then the next week all the sudden you were sitting up for really long periods of time without falling.  You actually never fall anymore.  After a while you will slide forward to your stomach or I pick you up.  It’s amazing how quickly you went from pretty stable to full-on sitting on your own.  You still aren’t crawling, but you are very mobile.  Your preferred method of movement (other than being carried) is to roll.  You will even stick your legs straight out in the direction you want to go in order to roll that way.  You are a wild man!
I’ve seen you pass a toy from one hand to the other.  You’re also getting really close to having the pincher grasp down.  You’ll pick something up between your index finger and thumb, but then you drop it.  You are also close to feeding yourself.  You’ll grab food in your fist, put it up to your mouth, and suck the juice out.  You just haven’t figured out how to open your hand and drop the food in your mouth.

Standing will be one of your next big things.  I’ve been practicing with you by putting you up on your legs by a chair.  You will lean on the chair with your chest, hold on with your arms, and stand up.  You look like such a big boy and it’s adorable, but also makes me tear up a little bit.  I can’t imagine a fully mobile baby.  You are just growing up so fast!

Snuggles are still a daily occurrence and I love it!  You go to sleep so much easier if I sit and snuggle you for a while after your last feeding and before putting you in your crib.  When you first wake up you like to be held while you suck your thumb.  It seems to help you wake up.  As I’m getting ready in the morning I carry you around with me and you reach your arm around and hold onto me.  If I lean forward you will grab on really tightly with your hand.  It’s so precious.  I love that you are such a snuggly little boy.  I know this will probably be a thing of the past once you start walking, so I’m really treasuring these moments while they last.

Bathtime is still so much fun.  You splash and play and laugh.  This month you discovered your special bits and they are a favorite toy at bathtime and during diaper changes.  You also love to play with washcloths.  I’ve started using two washcloths at bathtime.  One to clean you with and one for you to play with, otherwise you grab for my washcloth the whole time.  You love to suck water off your washcloth.  

Speaking of drinking water, you are starting to get drinking out of cups down.  You have a few different kinds of sippy cups.  One has a spout made out of soft material and you prefer to chew on it.  You have another kind with a hard spout with bigger holes.  You can drink out of that one better, but tend to choke a little bit.  When your grandma and grandpa were visiting they gave you some sips out of a cup and you did really well.  You seem to really like water.

There was a lady I work with who was pregnant at the same time I was pregnant with you.  Her baby was due the day before you.  She ended up being born 11 days after you (on Christmas).  You got to meet her briefly at a baby shower back in May.  This month you got to see her for a longer period of time.  You were smitten!  You grabbed her cheeks, poked her in the eye, and pulled her bow off her head.  She seemed a bit overstimulated with all the touching, but I’m sure you will be fast friends next time you see each other!

You are down to only waking up once per night.  Usually it’s around 3 or 4 am.  You’ve even slept until 5 am before!  We are so close to sleeping through the night!  The good thing is that you eat and go right back to sleep.  I thought about trying to wean you from your nighttime feeding, but you eat quite a bit.  I’m going to let you drop the feeding when you are ready.  It will be nice because I’ll be able to pump more in the morning.

I can’t believe how much your nap schedule has changed since I’ve been home!  You are down to 2 naps most days.  When you have a good day you are awake for 2 hours, nap for an hour, are awake for 3-4 hours, and take another hour nap.  Sometimes you only nap for 30 minutes for your afternoon nap and then take another 30 minute nap later in the afternoon.  You’ve had a few days where you totally skip your afternoon nap and that doesn’t go very well.  We still start your bedtime routine between 7 and 7:30 and you are asleep by 8 or 8:30.  

Meals have changed this month.  You are now eating rice cereal or oatmeal cereal in the morning for breakfast after you nurse.  At lunchtime you have 4 ounces of a fruit or vegetable puree which is followed by a bottle at daycare or nursing at home.  At daycare you get a snack with the other kids around 3:00 of rice cereal and puffs.  For dinner we usually start with small chunks of a soft food like avocado or banana with yogurt.  Sometimes you eat a few ounces of puree after your chunks.  The new things you’ve had this month are oatmeal cereal, nectarines, and plums.  I’ve made some mango and apricot puree, but you haven’t tried it yet.  So you’ve had sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, peas, green beans, apples, bananas, avocados, rice cereal, pears, peaches, prunes, zucchini, plums, nectarines, and oatmeal cereal.  

When we go running you are now straight in the stroller without the car seat adapter.  You seem to really enjoy it.  You wave your arms around, kick your legs, squeal, giggle, and sometimes babble.  I’ve stopped taking toys for you because you’d rather play with your straps and other stuff attached to the stroller.  You end up just laying your toy down and it bounces off you and onto the section above the wheel where it remains the rest of the run.

Your next well baby appointment is next month, so your dad and I weighed and measured you.  It’s hard to tell how accurate we are, but I’d say we are pretty close.  You are now 30 ½ inches long!  I can’t believe how much you’ve grown since last month!  You are 18 pounds, 12 ounces.  It’s amazing what a big boy you are!
Wait, how big am I?!!?
I can’t believe some of the clothes you can fit into!  You have some 12 month jammies that fit really well, the foot area is just a little bit big.  You are wearing 9 month along with 6-9 month clothes.  I’ve pulled out a few 12 month items.  Our favorite outfit this month was your plaid overalls with your blue polo.  I’m starting to notice a trend with the overalls.  You are just so adorable in them.  It’s hard to beat you in overalls!  You are still wearing size 3 diapers.  I found a few size 2 diapers in my diaper bag and you were able to wear them, but I don’t think they’d last overnight!  

You are such an amazing baby and a blessing to your daddy and me.  It’s hard to remember what our lives were like before you were in them.  You make everything better, more exciting, and a great deal more fun.  I could spend all day kissing your sweet, chubby cheeks and thighs!  Thank goodness your thighs haven’t thinned out yet.  Thank you so much for being you.  You are more fun than I ever imagined, sweeter than I dreamed, and more adorable than I could ever have pictured.  I love you more than your daddy loves cheese.  I know 9 months is going to bring more firsts, fun, and adventure.  I love you, little man!

Now on to daddy:

My little buddy! I have loved watching you learn more about yourself and your world every day. Always so happy. You reach for us a lot and it warms our hearts. You are sitting up as well as a baby can and you are starting to be able to stand against chairs or other things that you can hang onto.

I cannot get over how tall you are. I cannot wait to see what percentile you are in at your next doctor's appointment. Bath time is still one of your favorite times as you like to splash around and talk and laugh.

I took a picture of you and your Grandpa Cox where he was holding you and letting you drink water out of a cup. He is smiling and you are helping hold it with both hands with such a serious concentrated look on your face. You did really well drinking out of it, such a big boy!

*This post is late because I was waiting on Carter's rash to clear up before taking the pictures*

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fifth Disease

Not totally cleared up, but he's looking MUCH better!
Today when I picked Carter up from daycare there was a note in his cubby about fifth disease.  After reading over the note and looking at some pictures online, I'm fairly certain it's what he has.  Apparently it has been spreading like wildfire at his daycare.  I'm sure it's due to the fact that the contagious period normally has no symptoms.   Looking on the positive side, once you have it you are normally immune to it in the future.  Thankfully this should be Carter's only experience with it!
Carter's class has been really small these past couple weeks.  It's just been him and one or two other kids each day.  His teacher said they've all been sick too, but have had it much worse.  Carter's temp never got above 100.  The other babies have been in the 103-104 range.  She mentioned that Carter has had a much milder version than the other children.  He is also the only breastfed baby.  I couldn't help but think that breastfeeding has led to a better immune system and therefore a less sick and happier baby.  That definitely makes pumping 3 times a day even more worth it.  Pumping at nighttime is the worst.  Sitting around pumping for 30 minutes when all I really want to do is go to bed gets old, but it has to be done.  It sure is nice to see some positive results!
Ty came home early tonight and got to play with us for a while before mowing the lawn.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sick Baby Update

Checkin in on me?  I'm okay!
Monday was hard.  So hard.  Carter's normal teacher switched her hours around so she could drop her kids off at school on the first day.  That meant not only did I have to drop off a sick baby, but I had to drop him off with someone different.  After dropping him off I cried the whole way to work.  When I went to tell my co-teacher what was going on I couldn't help it and started up again.  Poor thing, she felt so bad for me.  
Poor baby still has a rash.
I called to check on Carter during my plan time.  He was still running a low-grade temp and was fussier than usual, but was still eating well.  His rash had seemed to clear up by Sunday evening, but was back in full force.  Since it was the first day of school we ate in the cafeteria with our students so I didn't get to see Carter at lunchtime.  After school the buses were running late.  By the time I got all the kids on the bus and packed up it was 45 minutes later than when I usually leave.  I was a mess of emotions and dying to see little Mr. Carter man.  When I walked in and saw his face (it looked even more broken out) I started crying.  His teacher assured me he did fine and not to worry that he had been well taken care of.  So if you haven't noticed a trend, Monday involved lots of tears.  Somewhat of an embarrassing amount of tears, but it's over and done with.
What?!  Why all the tears, momma?

Yesterday Carter was fever free all day and acting back to normal.  His rash was still pretty awful looking, but didn't seem to bother him.  The bus situation after school went a bit smoother and I left 15 minutes earlier than Monday, hurray!
He's still pretty content, just looks tired constantly.

Today the students ate in the cafeteria by themselves for the first time and I got to see Carter.  It was wonderful and made the afternoon not seem so long.  The buses were on-time and I was able to leave just 5 minutes later than usual.  Carter was very talkative and giggly all day.  He took 3 naps which is pretty much unheard of at daycare.  I'm thinking that's a good sign.  I'm hoping for a rash free baby soon.  I've been holding off on taking his 8 month pictures until his skin's cleared up, so I'm really late with getting that post up.

Still giving out smiles.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Marathon and Me

I've been enjoying my long runs so much these days.  During my first 12 mile run I started contemplating running another marathon.  There's something about running long that makes me want to go even further.  The marathon and I first became acquainted when my older brother decided to run one.  Up until that point I'd always written marathoners off as "crazy insane people" and knew I'd never run one.  After watching my brother I was anxious to run one myself.  There was something about the atmosphere and excitement that went along with the marathon that I just had to be a part of.
Jeremy finishing the marathon.

I graduated college in May of 2008 and had just come off of 4 years of D-II cross country which meant 60 mile weeks.  I jumped head first into marathon training.  I dropped my weekly mileage down to 30 miles a week and was having a blast.  Every weekend after I hit 14 miles I was so excited, telling myself that weekend I would run the longest run of my life.

My goal for the marathon was to finish but I secretly wanted to qualify for Boston.  The race I signed up for, the Route 66 Marathon, was a challenging course.  More mentally than physically.  The first 20 miles of the race were all relatively flat.  Then you hit the 20 mile mark and it got real.  The final 6.2 miles were all up and down hills.  I had seen the elevation chart for the race and knew what I was getting into.  I tried to save up for the hills a little bit and it paid off.  I rocked the hills and passed so many runners.  Some were half marathoners, but it didn't matter, it felt so good to be going by people.  It made me feel even stronger.  I finished in 3:40:05, qualifying for Boston.
Running during my first marathon with my brother, Jeremy.

It was such a great experience.  I walked away feeling pumped.  When I crossed the finish line I couldn't wait to do it all over again.  I was really happy with my time and proud I had finished, but I instantly felt like I could do better.  Like most other runners I wasn't satisfied with a 3:40:05.  I ran over 26 miles and I ended up being only 5 seconds over 3:40.  Now I just had to run another marathon to break 3:40. 

I hadn't thought to take the following day off work so I had a 2 hour drive to my parents' house riding in the car with them and then I had to drive a half hour home from there.  I went to bed immediately when I got home and slept hard.  I definitely struggled to walk the following day and a student slid on wood chips while I was out at recess duty, accidentally kicked me in the shin, and I almost cried.  I started looking at possible spring marathons and decided on the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

Training for my first marathon I ran all my long runs alone.  When I started training for my 2nd marathon I met who I now describe as my "crazy marathon friend".  She's run more marathons than I have half marathons and her PR is 3:07.  Running with her really pushed me and I was in amazing marathon shape.

She talked me into running a marathon relay with her.  The plan was for me to run the first 4 miles alone, we'd run the next 18 miles together, and she would run the final 4 miles by herself.  We'd both get 22 miles in and we'd get to run with other people.  The week before the relay she ended up with a slight injury and decided to skip the long run.  So I ran the first 22 miles alone and she ran the final 4 miles.  I finished the first 22 miles of the relay on pace to run a sub-3:30 marathon.  Part of me wanted to just keep going because I was having an awesome day and I knew I could rock the marathon, but I decided not to because with 2 more weeks and a taper I knew I could run even faster at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.  That's a decision I think I will always regret.

The morning of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon I walked outside and instantly felt nervous.  The wind was strong.  It was a steady 20 mph with gusts of up to 40 mph.  All Oklahomans know that really what you need to look at is the gusts because it basically gusts the entire time.  I should have known when in the race information it said "a flat fast course as long as it's not too windy".  Ouch.  I rocked the first 13.1 miles out (with the wind at my back) under pace for a sub-3:30 marathon.  We turned around and ran miles 13.1-26.2 into the wind.  I ran my only 10 minute mile in a race in my life, other than my half marathon 32 weeks pregnant, during those final miles.  Being the stubborn person I am, I refused to walk, which was most likely a huge mistake. 

Getting my legs up after the OKC Marathon.
I finished in 3:43:04.  I was both exhausted and devastated.  I had trained hard.  I knew I was in great shape.  I new I was capable of running under 3:30.  I had trained for months and put everything I had into that race.  When I looked at the big picture I was proud I had come out with a time just 3 minutes over my PR given the conditions, but I just couldn't get over the disappointment.  I had unfinished business.  I decided to run another marathon in the fall, but my heart just wasn't in it.

I spent months training for the marathon once again.  Then the week of the marathon approached and I was sick.  I felt horrible.  I struggled during my easy, short runs.  I knew it wasn't going to be good.  In denial, I popped Airborne like no one's business and pretended I was feeling better.  At the race Expo the day before the marathon, I knew I should switch to the half-marathon.  I knew it wasn't going to go well, but I had taken the following day off work and didn't want to miss the day after a half-marathon.  Once again my stubbornness came out.

This time I was forced to walk during the race.  I was miserable. My original goal was to finish in under 3:40.  Pretty early on in the race I adjusted my goal to breaking 4 hours.  I never drink Gatorade during races.  During the final aide station I accidentally grabbed Gatorade and felt it slosh around in my stomach during the rest of the race.  I threw up as I crossed the finish line in 3:58:04 and was rushed to the med tent.  The next day I went to the doctor only to find out I had a sinus infection and bronchitis.

I was so done with the marathon.  With two horrible experiences.  Two races thwarted not by lack of training, but by circumstances out of my control.  I decided I was done.  I hated training for so long and working so hard for a race when conditions and health could so easily get in the way and ruin it all.  That's the great thing about shorter races.  If you have a bad race, no big deal just try again in a week or a couple of weeks.

So the marathon and I...  We have a love/hate relationship.  I still hold onto the feelings of love from my first marathon and that 22 mile marathon relay leg.  That feeling of accomplishment, of greatness, that I could go forever.  But the most recent taste in my mouth, not good.  Not good at all.  It's been 4 years since my last marathon and I have yet to forget.  To forget the disappointment, the hard work and training all for naught.  I still feel like I have unfinished business with the race distance.  I know with training and a race day going my way I could run under 3:40.  But I'm just not sure that I'll ever run one again.  Part of me really wants to and the other part of me is so over it.  Only time will tell.