What We’ve Been Up To Lately

I can’t believe it, but it’s been more than three weeks since our family changed dramatically and LM entered this world. The days go by faster than fast, and weeks have flown by. But we definitely have been busy! And while I’m not cleared to run yet, I’v been trying to stay active as my body heals by walking nearly every day and working to heal my diastasis recti with some simple exercises. Here’s to hoping that in 3 more weeks, I’ll be running (or more like run/walking) again!

Anyway, here are some highlights of the past few weeks.

We took LM downtown and hit up one of the Cleveland signs. We took a similar picture with FW when he was just a few weeks old!

When we’re not walking too far (and it’s not too hot), I love wearing LM for walks. 

We also made B a Father’s Day gift. Nicole came over with her little girl and we did some crafting on the porch!

Trying to entertain FW while also nursing and taking care of LM is no joke, even with B around. So, we’ve been getting creative. Like visiting the fish at the library.

And playing with all the toys there.

And hanging out on our porch!

Heck, FW even enjoyed going to the store with me. Maybe because while we were getting groceries someone gave him a free milk?

When it’s been hot, FW has loved playing with his water table. 

And, of course, goofing around with his old bff Celia. Even though they no longer go to the same daycare, we still try to get them together!

I’ve enjoyed having summery drinks – like this mojito made with mint from my sister-in-law’s garden.

And food that I didn’t really indulge in during pregnancy – like pope!

Some days I’ve had time to bake. Our CSA gave us some strawberries and rhubarb, so I made a crisp with them. 

FW even got in on the fun and helped me make some of his favorite muffins

And we’ve been introducing LM to everyone in the family when we can – she loved meeting all her cousins!

Those are some of the highlights. Hopefully in the weeks to come, I’ll have some more activity-based ones to share. Until then, keep your fingers crossed we get some sleep soon!

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.

Advertisements

LM’s Birth Story

Warning – what follows may be TMI for you. Before having kids, the though of reading anyone else’s birth story was foreign to me. I didn’t understand why people shared them and what the point of documenting them was. But now, I actually get it! So if that sounds like you, just don’t read any more.

I didn’t really capture FW’s birth story (minus introducing him here), and I somewhat wish I had. His was pretty “normal” as far as I can tell (minus the fact that I started sorta having contractions at the Cavs parade … ) – I had some contractions that started out small in the afternoon, but lasted through the night and got stronger until it was clearly time to go to the hospital, where he was born several hours later after less than an hour of pushing.

LM, on the other hand – well, she was almost born in our car. She came out fast and I want to remember the story, so here it is!

The Weeks Leading Up to the Due Date

LM’s due date was 5/24. About 10 weeks prior, I was having some issues and the dr. told me that she thought I may go early. So, as you may know, I had to refrain from any activity for a few weeks while I had some tests done (and repeated).

The Day Before My Due Date

Even after I was cleared to do normal activity (and I participated in the Cleveland Marathon 5k and 10k events), everyone seemed to think I was going to go early – even my dr. So when the night of 5/23 rolled around, I just assumed that I was going to go another few days. FW had been 2 days late, so I assumed LM had waited this long, she’d probably wait until 5/26. Wanting to make the last few nights we ha alone with FW special, we went out for ice cream and a walk before bed. B had a soccer game that night and had decided he wasn’t going to go – but I assured him it was okay, so he went. After the game, he even went out to watch the Cavs game at a nearby bar.

(video for humor … it has nothing to do with LM’s story)

The Due Date

I woke up around 1:45 a.m. having to go to the bathroom (story my life as a pregnant person), and noticed I was having some strongish (what I thought were) Braxton-Hicks contractions. I decided to get out of bed to see if they went away. They didn’t. I realized they may be the real thing, so I decided to time them for 30 minutes before calling the dr. at 2:30. The dr. told me to keep timing them, and call back probably in an hour or two.

B at this point woke up and heard me on the phone with the dr, so he decided to call his mom (she was going to come over and watch FW). I think he called her around 2:45 a.m. and told her to come over. Knowing that it may be likely another hour or two before we headed to the hospital, I texted her, telling her to take her time and that we likely wouldn’t be heading over anytime soon (keeping what the dr. had said in mind).

Luckily, however, B’s mom didn’t see the text and came over right away. She got to our house around 3:15 a.m. and B gave her the lay of the land – what to feed FW for breakfast, his morning routine, etc. We headed out to the hospital around 3:30 a.m. At this point, the contractions had gotten VERY strong. But, they were still not what I was expecting – they were lasting less than a minute but happening about every other minute or so.

The ride to the hospital is about 25 minutes without traffic. To be honest, I was not sure we would make it. I could barely talk through the pain of the contractions. But, part of me also believed that we’d get to the hospital and they would turn us home because of how irregular they seemed to be. B could tell I was in a lot of pain and drove there FAST. (side note-  it’s 45 -55 minutes to get there when it’s rush hour or traffic so thank goodness this was 3:30 AM and not PM!)

We got to the hospital a little before 4 a.m. and I got checked on at 4 a.m. to see if I could be admitted. They told me not to push and told me I was (I think?) 6 cm dilated. I asked for an epidural and they said that they’d admit me and get the process started.

I was in so much pain at this point during the contractions, that I could barely move. I told them that they didn’t need to put me in a hospital gown because I was wearing a sundress and it would be easier 🙂 Nevertheless, they got me in a gown and were about to admit me when my water broke. They checked me again, and I was 8 cm dilated. It was time!

There was no way I was walking, so they wheeled me into a labor/delivery room. By this time, it was 4:08 a.m. and they told me that it looked like I wasn’t getting an epidural – and it was time to push! I was fully dilated. I couldn’t believe it – it was all happening so fast. We had literally just gotten into the hospital less than 10 minutes earlier.

Lucille Marian was born at 4:13 a.m. She was 7 lb. 10 ounces.  Shortly thereafter, B nearly collapsed from the adrenaline rush/fall (I’m sure the cup of coffee he made for himself before we left the house and had on an empty stomach didn’t help either) and I had to put an arm out to catch him (my other arm was holding the new baby). After getting some fluids and resting for a few minutes, he was all better. He was so GREAT in helping me through the birth, even without the epidural.

I’m still in disbelief that we have a baby girl! Keeping the gender a surprise again was definitely worth it. I admit that I was a little in shock after she was born and they put her on me. It all happened so so so fast, that I was a little shaken – it felt a little traumatic. Traumatic may not be the right word – after all, we are all healthy and happy and everyone is fine, but it took me some time to start to realize what had just happened and feel okay again.

So far, we are doing well. LM is an eater and is gaining weight and eating well. Now, if only we could get her to sleep at night! But she’s a newborn and I know that will change in the future – though I’m not wishing time away. I know firsthand how fast it goes.

Here’s to our new family of four! We’re still adjusting to it all, including the lack of sleep, but all are so so so smitten with our newest lovely addition. ❤

We Are Now A Family of Four!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but for a good reason – the newest addition to our family came into our lives just over two weeks ago! We now are a family of four.

Lucille Marian was born on May 24, her due date.

I’ll be sharing her birth story soon –  it did not go as planned at all, unlike FW (LM was almost a car baby!). In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be either nursing, changing diapers or attempting to stop our toddler from accidentally squishing his sister.

We are all so in love ❤

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites

B loves anything cinnamon sugar flavored. Snickerdoodles? Yes. Cinnamon buns? Definitely. Cinnamon French toast? Of course! Cinnamon donuts? Yes. So when searching for a different type of dessert recipe and I stumbled across these, I knew I had to make them. The warm cinnamon sugar doughy bites and sweet dipping sauce? Omg. I swear, I made them for B…not me. Not at all.

Regardless who they were for – they were SO delicious. If you have a potluck to go to and want to impress with a delicious finger-food-friendly dessert, I highly recommend you make these. They’re best eaten the day of, so get baking now!

 Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites
Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites (inspired by Cooking Classy and Cook Craft Love)
Here’s what you need for the pretzels:
  • 2¼ tsp active yeast
  • 1¼ cups warm milk
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 3 cups flour, plus up to 1/4 more for sprinkling/working the dough
  • ¼ cup baking soda

For the coating:

  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
For the Dipping Sauce
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs half & half
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
Here’s what you do:
  1. Combine warm milk, add honey and yeast in a mixing bowl. Whisk together and let rest for about 10 minutes until the mixture starts to get bubbly.
  2. Add flour to mixing bowl and mix with dough hook attachment until combined. Once the dough has combined, continue to knead on low until the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes. Dough should be soft and somewhat sticky.  Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest in a warm or room temperature environment for 1 1/2 hours or until nearly doubled in size.
  3. Fill a 4 qt pot with water and bring to a boil and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Shape dough into a ball. Cut the ball into 4 quarters and roll each quarter into a log about 16-18 inches inches long. Cut each log into about 3/4 in-1 inch bite-sized pieces.
  4. Slowly add baking soda to water about one Tablespoon at a time – don’t add it all at once or you may boil over. Place about 8 dough balls into boiling water at a time and boil for 30 seconds. Remove dough from boiling water and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to dry. Do this until all pretzel bites are boiled
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or other nonstick paper and add bites to cookie sheet, evenly spaced.
  6. Bake at 450 degrees for 9-10 minutes or until brown.
  7. While the dough is cooking, feel free to make the dip. Cream together cream cheese, butter, half and half and powdered sugar until dip reaches your desired thickness.
  8. Remove bites from oven and allow to cool for 8-10 minutes. After cooled somewhat, dip the bites into melted butter and roll in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Enjoy with the dip!
 Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites and cream cheese dipping sauce

Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Race Weekend: Challenge Series Recap

As I mentioned in my weekend recap post, this weekend was the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon race weekend! For the past few years, I have been taking part in the Challenge Series, which involves running an event on Saturday (either a 5k or 8k) and then an event on Sunday (either a 10k or full/half marathon).

This year, being 39 weeks pregnant, I opted to participate in (notice I didn’t say run) the 5k/10k events. And since I was selected as a race ambassador, how could I say no?

Part One: The 5k

This is the first year that B and I haven’t lived downtown since I’ve been running the marathon events, so our morning tradition was a little different from usual. Typically, we’d roll out of bed, spend a few minutes getting ready and then walk to the starting line. This year, we had to figure out parking, traffic, etc. Luckily, the road closures for the 5k are minimal and don’t affect our commute, so we still made it downtown pretty easily.

Since I did the 8k last year, the 5k course was pretty nice – I loved being able to turn off early! We started in Public Square, ran around Brown’s Stadium, up E 9th to E 12th and pretty much then retraced our steps back to Public Square.

There are 2 serious (well for me) hills on the course, but the first mile was all downhill so I knew I could run it without stopping. This is a big deal, since there are only a few occasions recently that I’ve run a full mile without taking some breaks.

The rest of the course I ran/walked until we crossed the finish at just under 40 minutes, which put the pace at around 12:57 min/mile. (My Garmin clocked us at 3.3 miles, thus the change in pace, etc.)

Was it my slowest 5k ever? Actually – it was slightly faster than last weekend’s Sabre Run 5k! Also – B WORE FW! He had FW in a backpack and ran along side of me “just in case” (see comment above about being 39 weeks pregnant). How amazing is that?

RUNNING LIKE THIS

I’m so grateful for his support throughout my pregnancy and crazy running. Especially this time around when running has gotten more painful and I’m sure my attitude hasn’t been as great as it was when I was pregnant with FW. I couldn’t have done it without them!

Part Two: The 10K

Sunday morning, B, FW and I headed downtown even earlier for the 10K. Luckily, I was able to park in my parking garage and get to the are start around 6:30. Unluckily, despite it looking clear on the radar, it was raining/misting the whole walk to the start line, and it didn’t stop. Let’s just say I was nearly soaked before we had even started the race.

The 10K was a lot harder for me than the 5k. I was sore from the race the day earlier – my pelvis area, below my belly and feet were not having it. So, there was a LOT more walking than the day before.

Despite the walking and rain, we still finished in about 1:30, which I was pretty happy with for how I was feeling.  And, being so slow, I noticed much more than I typically notice when I run!

For example, I enjoyed the course entertainment. Even in running only 6.2 miles, we got to enjoy several bands. I also noticed (and appreciated) all the mile markers. And the aid stations. You know, just in case! Oh, and I always LOVE the Challenge Series swag. Especially the 3 medals!

And once again, a BIG thank you to B and FW for keeping me company. This was the longest run/walk/anything I had done in some time, and them being by my side made it so much easier.

AND that’s a wrap! Another Cleveland Marathon weekend in the books. 9.3 miles covered and that was PLENTY for my pregnant self this year.

Some questions for you:

  • Do you do challenge races – or races where you run 2 days in a row?
  • Ever run CLE before? (if not – I recommend it!! if you can’t tell!)

Linking up with My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs!

Disclosure: I’m a Cleveland Marathon race ambassador. I get complimentary admission to run the races in exchange for sharing my experience. As always, views are my own. 

Weekend Recap: Cleveland Marathon Weekend!

Well, Cleveland Marathon weekend has come and gone. It’s always such a great weekend and I love all the events that I get to take part in – thanks to being an ambassador – that I’m a little sad it’s over.

I’ll start by saying that I was having mixed feelings about this year’s events. Why? Being 39 weeks pregnant (due date=THURSDAY), I was unsure of my ability to run/walk. Sure, when I signed on in the fall, in my head I thought, “If anything I can at least walk 6 miles – that’s nothing.” But as I got further and further along, I realize that walking a 10K with extra weight,  a baby in my belly pushing on my bladder, and little sleep (yay third trimester), may not be what I wanted to do at this point in my pregnancy.

BUT I’m so glad that I did. I really do love running and even when it’s not so comfortable (a.k.a. NOW), it’s great to be part of a fun race with fun crowds and a great location –  CLEVELAND!).

In any case, my weekend started early with fun marathon events.

First, the Expo! Cari and I headed to the Expo and had to take our annual race weekend photo. A little different than last year’s photo, huh?

This year …

Last year!

Then, it was time for the pre-race reception/dinner. As a race ambassador I get to get dressed up and mingle with all the VIPs (sponsors and elite runners!) in town the night before the race. The event always has good food, live music, a great location – it’s at the beautiful Galleria – AND I get to see my fellow ambassadors!

Saturday morning started early (but not as early as Sunday …) with our alarm going off to get ready for the Cleveland Marathon 5k. This is my third year participating in the race’s Challenge Series, which involves running an event on Saturday (either a 5k or 8k) and then an event on Sunday (either a 10k or full/half marathon).

The race was fun and not as painful as last weekend’s 5k for some reason. Oh, and B wore FW in a backpack and RAN ALONG SIDE OF ME. I still can’t believe he did that.

HE RAN LIKE THIS

After the race, we hung around for a little and checked out some of the event they had going on. The real event is Sunday, but they had some tents and things set up. Including a place that had THESE things – FW ran over to it and immediately started playing. Let’s just say I know what he may need for his birthday!

Then, picked up some bagels from our favorite local bagel shop. They had piping hot apple cinnamon bagels right from the oven, which was a perfect post-race meal.

Then, we hit up La-Z Boy. We had ordered a chair for our nursery back in March, but for some reason it was delayed and we didn’t find out until this past week. So, we had to go back in the store and pick out a new one so it would arrive in time – hopefully it’s delivered this week before Baby #2 arrives!

no chair photo, but here’s FW inspecting his bagel

We played it low key in the afternoon. It involved a walk outside (FW loved splashing in all the puddles), and B made us pasta for dinner (my request – a perfect pre-10k meal!).

 

Sunday morning started even earlier – my alarm got me up around 5 so that we could have enough time to get ready, get FW up, eat something and head downtown before the 6:30 road closures.

Despite the weather forecast looking picture perfect, it rained steadily as we drove downtown, as we walked to the start and as we started the race. Despite being wet, I was happy that it stayed in mild temps and I didn’t overheat (which happens a lot faster at this point in my pregnancy).

I’ll be sharing a full race recap, but all in all the 10k went well. Was it  a lot harder on me than the 5k? Yes. Was I sore before and during and after the race? Yes. But did I feel super proud for having completed a 10k at 39+ weeks pregnant? You bet. And FW and B kept me company throughout the entire route, which made it even better.

After the race, we got some hot coffees. Mine was delicious (or I should say is delicious – I still have some leftover :)) – it had honey and cinnamon in it!

Then, we met up with Dave and Anson for or usual Happy Dog lunch. I got a veggie dog with veggie chili and an egg on top – it was really good!

 And since we were in the neighborhood, we picked up a few groceries as well.

Admittedly, I pretty much crashed after that excursion. I’m not typically a big napper, but when FW took his afternoon nap, I took a short one as well. My body was TIRED from the 10k – I felt like I had run much more!

That night, we finished up the day with dinner at B’s parents house. As always, a good end to a quick weekend. And FW always has a good time playing with his cousins, aunts and uncles.

Some questions for you:

  • Ever run a longish race in the rain? How did you stay dry or warm?
  • Do you like naps?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.

Tuesdays on the Run – 38+ weeks pregnant and RACE WEEK

Wooohoo!! This is a Tuesdays on the Run post to celebrate – for two reasons.

  1. IT’S RACE WEEK OMG. Yes, it’s Cleveland Marathon week. Yikes.
  2. I got in two (semi) runs this week!

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’m (super) pregnant – like almost 39 weeks – and have not been able to run as much this pregnancy as the last one.

BUT, I did get in two sorta runs this week – well, walk/runs, and even though they frankly sucked in terms of how my body felt, emotionally, they felt good.

Saturday morning there was a 5k running through my neighborhood, so B asked me if I wanted to run it. An according to my doctor, since I’m 38+ weeks pregnant and could go into labor at any time so running is okay with her, I said sure!

It was mostly a run/walk. And the running was sloooooow. And didn’t really feel good on my body. But man, it emotionally felt good to be able to run!

And now, we’re just 4 days away from Cleveland Marathon race weekend.

I’ll admit- I’m nervous. The 5k I did over the weekend was HARD. How am I going to do a 5k AND a 10K in one weekend? And at 39 weeks pregnant? How much walking is too much for it not to be considered a race?

But still, I am excited for an ready for the race – it’s such a fun race with so many great events all weekend and I can’t wait to see my fellow ambassadors and cheer on the marathoners. I may not be in as good a shape as I was at last year’s event when I did the half, but I’m still going to try to have fun!

Some questions for you:

  • If you ran while pregnant, how long did you run for? Ever done a 10k at 39 weeks pregnant?
  • Are you well into racing season now that SPRING is here?

Linking up with My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs!