Archives for category: family

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My sister-in-law gave me the sign pictured here for my birthday this year. Today, I found myself thinking about the quote, and how much I feel pulled to it today. I may not be able to single-handedly write the world into saving itself, but I will share my stories, and try my hardest to affect change when and where I can.

Yesterday my son was involved in a bomb threat. My six year old son was at his school, ready to participate in his after school club when some maniac called in a bomb threat. Right now, his school educates children pre-k through eighth grade. Someone wanted to harm, scare, evoke terror, and cause chaos for children that young. Let that sink in. The targets of this terror were small children just trying to learn and play.

I walk to pick him up every day. Yesterday, I took my time walking there with my two year old. I was working on teaching him how to stop at every parking garage and intersection. I turned it into a game. We were having fun. Completely unaware what was going on. As we walked down the stairs to the park near the school, I noticed fire trucks and commotion. I truly thought it had something to do with the construction site nearby. We started to walk by it, to get to the school. Two firefighters stopped me and told me I had to go around through the park. As we turned around, I overheard two other adults say the name of my son’s school and that it had been evacuated. This stopped me in my tracks. Things slowed down a little for me. I scooped up my little one and approached a fireman. He did not have a lot of info to give me. I asked him to please ask if there was someone who could come speak with me. I needed to get to my child.

It felt as if I stood there forever. I am sure less time passed than I think. I did my best to one hand text my husband and mom. He called me to get more details and let me know he was on his way. Another fireman came and spoke with me. I again explained my child had been in that building and I needed to know what was going on and where I could find him. He said they had been talking to the head of the school, and that the kids were sent to two different locations. He would try to see if he could get any information on what kids went where. I stopped him one more time and asked him to tell me what was going on. Why this was all happening. He turned and looked at me, he was silent for a second, then quietly said “There was a bomb threat.” I can tell you, even typing that right now brings a lump to my throat. I know my heart sank. I remember I exhaled a large amount of air as my body sank a little. I rolled my head to one side. That feeling of exasperation. I was still holding my youngest son. I did not ask any more questions at that moment. He probably should not have told me what he did, and in my brain, even in the chaos, I knew that. I think he looked at me and saw a scared mom holding another child, then he did the human thing and told me. He walked off to go investigate further. Then a lieutenant walked up and asked the parents gathered there “who is missing a child?” I raised my hand. There is that lump again. I was missing my child. He then asked each parent who raised a hand how many children they were missing. He rushed off to speak to other officials. When he came back he gave me the best information he could. The children were in two locations, but he had no way of knowing which location each child was sent to. He gave me the two spots. One was across the park, it was the closest and I started there. My son had on a bright orange shirt. It is Spirit Week and it was Athletic Clothing Day. As I began to walk across the park I saw a bright orange spot. I knew it was him! Then I saw his after school club instructor. I did not run or act scared. I continued to calmly walk up to him and said hi with a smile on my face. I was not sure how much information anyone had, especially the kids. I saw some other parents. I shared with them what the fireman had shared with me.

My son had nothing with him, of course. They left everything and just evacuated the building. The school completely evacuated in under three minutes. This was during after school activities, meaning staff and students were all over the place and not in normal situations, they were still able to get every human out incredibly quick. After we stood around for a while and I spoke to some other parents and faculty, I decided we were not going to stand around and wait for an all clear to retrieve his bag. Meanwhile, my husband had immediately jumped in a cab to get to us as fast as he could. As we walked away he arrived. We then ran into two other families we know. We took all the kids for ice cream and really had a nice time. Some calm after the storm.

When I got home and called my mom to update her I started telling her the story and I broke down. The panic had remained at bay, allowing me to function and keep my children safe. As we chatted, it suddenly came to the surface. The tears came flowing and I choked up as I tried to tell her all the details.

After the phone call, I sat down on the couch but I could not stop shaking. We started to talk to our son about what happened, the truth behind the sudden emergency. We did not want him to go to school today and overhear the word bomb, not knowing what he had really been involved with. He explained to us what happened when the alarms went off. How they did not take the elevator, they took the stairs. The stairs they took were “different and we left the building in a secret exit.” He said all the children were screaming, including him, on the way down the stairs. An hour later at the dinner table he brought it up again, telling us how he was feeling. He said he could not stop thinking about it. We answered his questions and reassured him again he was brave and we were so proud that he listened to his teachers. Everyone did an amazing job staying safe. He was safe and the school, police, and fire departments were making sure everything was ok.

I ordered him new shoes recently. The packages arrived yesterday afternoon. As I unpacked the new shoes last night, I paused for a moment. I looked at the shoes and thought about how if this had not been a threat, had it been real, and ended in pure tragedy, that I would have opened those boxes of shoes for a child that I may have lost. We do not always think about those small details in life. A new pair of shoes is just something that is needed or something that is fun. Not every threat ends with an all clear. There are parents who had new things for their child, and that child never came home. It makes me sick. It breaks my heart.

I am so angry today. I am angry that my child and all the other children had to experience this. I am angry that someone caused terror and chaos for families. I am angry that this is the world we live in. I am angry that my panic after getting home was not misplaced, because every day you see headlines about threats being followed through and people losing children and loved ones.

The other side of that anger is pure gratitude. I am thankful that it was a threat and my child got to sleep in his bed last night. I am thankful for the teachers, staff, and administrators who care for our children and do their best to keep them safe. I am thankful to all the firemen I spoke to. I am thankful to the fireman who told me what was really going on. I am thankful to the fireman who took the time to ask how many children each parent was missing. I am thankful to the police department who searched the building, are investigating this, and have been there today to keep an eye on the area. I am thankful to my mom who told me it was one hundred percent ok to breakdown once I got us home safely. I am thankful for the friends we grabbed ice cream with, helping us all return to a bit normalcy so quickly.

I sent him to school today. I even chaperoned a field study. The day progressed as usual. I overheard some children buzzing a bit about what happened yesterday. This did not stop us though. The kids are learning and laughing today. We are not being oppressed by the fear this horrible person tried to create. To say this is not in the back of my mind would be a lie. It is still there. I did overthink while in the shower this morning, wishing I could keep him home. I know that would not help him get over what he went through, it is just my maternal instinct to keep my children as safely close to me as I can. While this story may not save civilization from destroying itself, it is our story. It happened. It happens every day around the world, too often on a much more tragic scale. There is a human side to these events. There are new pairs of shoes waiting to be worn when a child arrives home safely from school.

Over the last almost 6 years (quietly sobs), I have often been asked the question “how do you keep your workout routine with kids?” This post does not have a one size fits all answer. Because life is not one size fits all. Hell, even my little world isn’t always the same size. Some days work better than others.

A normal day consists of me waking up at 5am on the dot, coffee, then a workout. My workouts vary between Pilates, running, swimming, strength/weight training. On Saturdays I do karate, outside of the house. It gives me an hour guaranteed to myself. By waking up at 5 on weekdays, I ensure that I am up way before my boys (I have late sleepers, I know I am lucky with that) and I am able to usually get an uninterrupted workout in. This wasn’t always the case when they were shiny newborn humans, but as they age, their sleep normalizes.

There are mornings where littles wake up earlier than usual and I have a workout buddy. At this point, Jackson, the 5 year old, can pretty much fend for himself. Sometimes he joins me, sometimes he wanders around the house entertaining himself. Alex, well he is 2 so I keep him with me if he is up. In general, that is how I balance it. They have learned that mommy works out. It is just a simple fact of life here. They have to respect that time for me. I am happy to include them, but I am going to workout. There is no parent guilt in that either. We need to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others. You are important too. I am a firm believer in that!

I have been sick for over 2 weeks now. A cold that turned into a nasty sinus infection. I am on the mend. Due to some amazing herbal tea and a black walnut nasal rinse. When I woke up at 5 today I decided I wanted to run. I haven’t ran in over 2 weeks. I couldn’t bring myself to hop on the treadmill. I have a love/(mostly) hate relationship with the treadmill. I decided I would get Jackson off to school and then go running in the forest preserve with Alex. I had EVERYTHING situated to operate smoothly. I spent the time I would usually be working out getting everything together. I even filled the tires on my BoB while Jackson ate his breakfast. I was ready to do this.

Then we were in the drop off line at school. I asked Jackson where his backpack was. It was still at home by the backdoor. He forgot to grab it. School on a good day is 10-15 minutes away. The main road we take is currently under construction. It can now take 20-30. This morning was on the longer end. Meaning now my run was going to be pushed back significantly, maybe canceled all together. I had to drop him off. Then drive home, grab bag, drive back, then hike it back to the forest preserve. That is how today’s workout started. See, not even my days are always one size fits all.

I did all of that. In a little less time than I had predicted. There was less traffic on my second drive to school because it was a bit later in the morning. Some of the work rush was gone. When I realized this I thought “Ok, you can do this. This is working out fine.”

The run started off ok. Not great, but manageable. He complained for the first 5 minutes that he wanted to walk, but eventually I was able to persuade him to stay seated. He had his ipad, snacks, milk, and box (it is a small house he carries everywhere that is filled with his favorite toys. He even sleeps with it). Around the 1.8 mile mark again he asked to walk. We were nearing the park, so I lamented that he stay seated for just a little while longer, we would be at the park soon!

I am a momma of my word, so freedom he had! He enjoyed himself for a bit. Then said he wanted to walk. Refusing to get back into the stroller. No matter how many times I said the word iPad. Which, I suppose is a good thing. But I digress.

There is no running when you are walking with a wandering two year old. I had about 2 miles of actual running under my belt. And about 2 miles to get back to the car. The real adventure began. He had me wander up this cool tree house pavilion area we had never walked up before. I followed his lead.

He is my wild child. My wanderer. My very free spirit. My mischievous little dude. Jackson is a free spirit in many ways. He also has his moments as a 5 year old seeking independence yet still utterly reliant on our constant attention. He has that internal battle going on right now. Such is life at 5, nearly 6. When Jackson was 2, he was not quite so independent. We went on runs all of the time. I cannot recall any specific times he ended up walking. I remember once when he was an infant and I ended up carrying a crying baby home. For the most part, he always stayed put, very content. Alex is a whole different person. He seeks adventure and his curiosity is overwhelming. He has no fear. (unless it is Halloween decorations or the movie Ghostbusters) He didn’t want to stay with me. I tried the trick, “ok mommy is leaving, bye bye!” And I started to stroll away. HE LAUGHED AND THEN STARTED TO WALK INTO THE WOODS! He cares not for my silly bluffs. He knows I am not leaving him alone in a forest. Sigh, he won.

My 4 mile run today turned into a 2 mile run. With a lot of toddler walking. And a nice maybe half mile sprint at the end when I finally got him back in the stroller. Then we headed home. It was after 11am. I had wanted to be home around 10ish. But all of my plans fell apart one by one. I adapted. I didn’t forget to stretch, despite the late time. We headed up to my Pilates Room. I am getting too old to not get a post run stretch in. That shit is for 20 year olds, not women who have had two kids and turned 31 almost 6 months ago. We better stretch our muscles and cool down, lest we want to regret it later.

Which really made my entire chaotic morning worth it. That photo on the right. I can’t! My timing just worked out perfectly. The milk swan. I will be incorporating it into all of my future mat classes! Ha!

The takeaway here? The insightful lesson I wish to impart on all parents looking for a way to stay fit and have tiny humans running around your feet (literally)?

FLEXIBILITY! I don’t mean in the backbend sense. I mean in the life sense. You have to be flexible with yourself and your schedule. You have to be flexible with your children. You have to adapt to your surroundings. If that means that you only run 2 miles, but get a nice 2 mile walk/cool down in, then shit, at least you were moving! You moved 4 miles on your own two legs. Your kid was moving on his legs too! I even threw in a few walking lunges while pushing the empty stroller. Alex stopped in his tracks and laughed, but hey, you are the reason I am doing these buddy. 😉 Get back in the stroller and I won’t look so silly!

But seriously, sometimes you have to workout with your kids around. Squats in the living room. Pull-ups on the play ground. Pilates at 5:45 am and saying “hey sweetheart, sure join me,” when a tiny human waltzes in at 6:15. Sometimes your run gets pushed back by a good 30-45 minutes because of a forgotten backpack. I was annoyed, but hey, I survived and I ran! Shower was later, lunch was later, but I got that milk swan photo, so life works out sometimes.

For more Pilates and Fitmommaboom inspiration, follow me on Instagram Colev25 You can find frequent Pilates videos, my often self deprecating humor, adventures with two male tiny humans, and any other random things that inspire me to hit share.

Halloween is my favorite holiday. Hands down. I normally go all out with decorating. Inside and outside. Unfortunately this year I gave birth during the window of time where I start decorating. I did not get to go all out. I supposed I could have mustered up some energy to decorate from top to bottom, inside and out, but, well I didn’t. A couple weeks after giving birth, I did muster up some energy to decorate a little bit with Jackson.

IMG_9567So at least our home was a touch festive. Next year though, I will be back. With a 4 & 1/2 year old and a 1 year old to help me go all out. Last year we had a big Halloween party. Hopefully next year we can throw another.

Then came the big day. The most wonderful day of the year. Halloween! I always dress up too. I have so much fun getting all dressed up and carefully selecting that costume.

I will let our photos from this year do some talking.

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Our daytime attire. Jackson went to school for half of the day. I picked him up early.

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Alexander doing the monster mash!

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Alexander was The Very Hungry (angry) Caterpillar

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Jacky was Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates

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My boys with their cousin Zoe. She was an Owl!

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Rosie the Riveter with her boys! 🙂

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Hey Jake!

It was very very very cold for Trick or Treating. There were also massively strong gusts of wind. So we had to bundle up for our Trick or Treating adventure. We also did not stay out as long as I would have liked. We were all ready to get back inside after about an hour. I hope next year is a little warmer. I would be happy to take my boys door to door until it got too dark out.

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So many houses, so little time for Jake!

I hope everyone else had a spooky and frightful Halloween!

One worry I had even before getting pregnant with Alexander was “How could I ever love another baby as much as I love Jackson?” It was one reason I was hesitant to even try for another baby. I just wasn’t sure how it was possible. Even after finding out I was having another baby, I was slightly worried. Jackson has been my whole world for 3 & 1/2 years. How is there room in my heart for more love like that? I know other moms who have had the same concern, so I know I am not alone in that thinking.

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I am here to say that it is entirely possible. I have discovered that your heart just doubles its love storage. It simply opens up more space without even trying to. That baby left my body and in the space that was left over my heart took the opportunity to expand. I easily feel the same way about Alexander that I did about Jackson the moment I saw him. Pure, simple, astounding, overwhelming love. I would move mountains for both of these boys. At the same exact time if I had to.

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Reading a book to my sweethearts

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I also have more love for Jackson. I swoon every time I see him melt over Alexander. Let me just tell you what he decided to call Alex all on his own: Sunshine Face. That is what he calls his baby brother. I sometimes call Jackson that and on his own he just decided that would be his nickname for his baby brother. I about died of love when I heard him say it for the first time. A 3 & 1/2 year old using a nickname like that for his little brother. I thought to myself “I am doing something right here.” He wants to help me with everything. If I need the binky, he is there to find it. If I need a diaper, he will get one. Or any other number of small things I need help with, he is there to lend a hand.

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Watching my husband be a parent to two children has also made me love him more. He is my partner in crime. We work together and we divide and conquer. It has only been a week! Somehow, we effortlessly slipped into this rhythm. There was no laid out plan of who does what when. We just flow together and handle all that has been laid before us over this week. One night Jackson helped me cook dinner while Jason hung out with Alex. Last night I snuggled with Alex while Jason and Jackson made caramel apples together. Earlier in the day all four of us hung out in bed watching Jackson’s shows. Jason even drove to two different stores in the middle of the night and in the middle of a storm to find gas drops for Alex. He had awful gas on night and was so upset and in so much pain, we had to do something right then.

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When you look at all of this, it is safe to say maybe my heart more than doubled. It also squeezed out some more space in the Jason and Jackson spots. Everybody got some more room.

And me? I am feel very confident as a mom. I am feeling that even with the challenges that we have faced this week (there have been a few concerning Alex’s health. Jackson has had a couple of jealously moments, which is totally normal!) that I can and will do whatever it takes for all of my boys. Last night after getting Jackson in bed Alexander was hungry. Jason was holding him as I moved around the house trying to get things in order. I had to pee, I wanted to change into a nursing tank, I had to gather my boppy, water, etc. Jason was whispering to Alex, “Mommy will be ready soon. She is very busy. Lots to do here. She is almost ready. She is a busy lady.” It was true. Getting two kids situated for the night while healing from delivery is a busy time! It was nice to hear him appreciate that.

My first photo with both boys!

My first photo with both boys!

My belly is much smaller these days but my heart is much bigger. I will take that trade off any day!

I am on day 4 of being a mom to two boys! On Sunday, September 28th, at 4:38pm Alexander was born. 7lbs 2oz and 20 inches. He is pure sweet shiny new perfection. 19-DSC_6613

I was not planning on having a baby on Sunday. I had a long to do list of things. I definitely wanted to go grocery shopping. I was going to call a spa around 10am to see if they could fit me in for a prenatal massage. My shopping list was ready to go before 8am. I decided to not workout that morning. I was feeling pretty tired and realized I could use a rest day.

The day before I walked 2 miles on the treadmill. I even threw in a couple jogs. Very short and slow jogs. Nothing crazy. I did a touch of arm work after the run and a lot of stretching. We all went to Apple Fest with my mom, sister in law, and niece. We walked around a ton there. I started having contractions. Not just tightening but enough to stop me in my tracks a few times. They got down to about 7 minutes apart. We decided to head home and see where this took us. In the car I had one last one and then they stopped. Later in the evening I had a few more, but again they stopped. I figured just more false labor. I went to sleep, not knowing in less than 12 hours I would be in active labor!

Around 8:30am I hopped in the shower and I was having even more painful contractions than the day before. They were closer this time. I ate some breakfast and got ready for the day. I was still not convinced. Around 9:30 they got even worse than they had been and were coming 2-3 minutes apart. I walked the staircase in our backyard over and over until I reached 10:30 and they had been happening for an hour. Jackson spent some time walking with me! I called my OB. She told me to head on over to the hospital. So much for that massage.

My labor walking partner

My labor walking partner

By the time I arrived to the hospital I was 5cm dilated. 6 days before I had only been 1cm! I said “I am not going home today, am I?” The answer was no. It was time. I wanted a natural birth. That was my plan. I declined the epidural and fluids. I agreed to a port during my blood draw just because it is easier to do it then instead of during an emergency. I also agreed to letting my Dr. break my water because she explained it progresses things faster and she hates to see people in pain longer than they need to be. That is when the party got started. My husband took some photos during my labor. I was initially pretty mad because I had no idea. Now, as I write this, I am a touch thankful.

This was before things got exciting. And before my parents arrived to help out with Jackson. See, I am still smiling. That changes fast.

This was before things got exciting. And before my parents arrived to help out with Jackson. See, I am still smiling. That changes fast.

As contractions are wont to do, mine progressively got worse and worse. The pain was incredible. The downtime was heaven. But then, my downtime started to disappear.

They had me on my side because his heart rate dipped. If I was gripping, things hurt.

They had me on my side because his heart rate dipped. If I was gripping, things hurt.

The contractions kept getting closer and closer together. Totally normal. Then, the downtime started to vanish. I would be on my way down from a painful contraction, never quite hitting 0, and another contraction would start. It would spike off the charts again and have to work its way down. Sometimes I was having 3 minute long contractions. The break in between those would be a minute or a minute and a half. IMG_8931

My Dr came in and asked for me to consider agreeing to a fluid IV to try to hydrate me. She thought I was dehydrated and that could be why these contractions were overlapping. She wanted to get me a break of 2-3 minutes in between each one. I agreed to the fluids. They ended up not helping much. She came back later and said I still wasn’t always getting a break and when I was that they were only maybe a minute and a half. She mentioned I still had the option for an epidural. She hated sitting out there at the desk watching the monitor knowing what I was going through. I hadn’t dilated past 7 at this point. I was frustrated but I held off.

The contractions started to exhaust me. I just wanted to sleep after each one. I felt like I was at the end of a long hard day after every single contraction. But I never got the rest time. It was boom boom boom. The pain was in my back, uterus, and would shoot down my quads into my knees. I tried all kinds of labor positions. Kneeling almost made the leg pain worse. I found nothing that worked in helping me work through it. There were contractions where I couldn’t even breathe through them. I was trying but even breathing hurt. My mom was trying to remind me to breathe. Jason was having a very hard time seeing me in such pain.  I started to get worried that I wouldn’t be able to push. I was so tired. So so so tired.

At my next check I was 8cm. At the check after that I was still 8cm. The epidural was mentioned again. I asked how long I had to decide on that. The nurse told me as long as I liked. I could get it whenever. She left the room. I had another long contraction. I told Jason to go tell her to get the anesthesiologist. I felt as if I were caving. This wasn’t my plan. I am a strong person, I should have been able to do this. I was just so tired. I know I am a great pusher. I know I have the core strength to push him out, but my energy had been depleted. I was really worried that when it came down to it, during those long contractions, I wouldn’t have the energy to push. Which could result in a C-section. I knew that was number one on my ‘I don’t want it” birth list. So my decision had been made. I weighed my options and went with the one that I thought would still result in the birth I would be most satisfied with.

After the epidural I was able to relax. It wasn’t long before my next check. My Dr said I was just about 10. Asked me to give a little push to try to get a part of my cervix to complete its disappearance. She said “oh you are a good pusher. His head is right there. I was going to have you push one more time but never mind. It is time to deliver. I am going to get ready.”

My mom left the room at 4:26. The doctor and nurses finished getting everything all ready. At 4:30 I started pushing. At 4:38, Alexander John entered this world. He entered with the cord around his neck and he was blue. My husband said that my Dr got that cord off so fast it was amazing. In one swift movement she unwrapped it from him. The cord was also wrapped around his leg, which I got a glimpse of. When they put him on my belly he was blue and not crying. My brain was racing “why isn’t he crying. He should be crying.” It was a blur. A nurse (who happened to help deliver Jackson as well!) started to fuss with him and he started crying. My life was complete in that moment. They put him on my chest and I held that sweet boy for the very first time. They took him away to get him ready for some more snuggles.

My first photo with my sunshine face

My first photo with my sunshine face

We were able to go home the next day, per our request. We wanted to get settled into our home with both of our sweethearts. We hate hospitals. Don’t most people? He is mostly healthy. Very tiny and a little jaundice. So his pediatrician is monitoring that. He has lost 8% of his birthweight. We have a follow up tomorrow to see if we packed some ounces on him. I have been nursing on demand all week. He eats close to every hour over night. If he even whines I offer him a boob! Ha! Time to chunk this little monkey up.

Jackson is over the moon for his baby brother! He is wonderful with helping. Jason and I are doing a great job being partners and making sure Jackson gets some one on one attention too. Family time and one on one time with each boy. We definitely got this. IMG_8785 IMG_8889 IMG_8957 IMG_8990

We are in love and I really do feel like my life is complete. I am so happy to have two children. I am enjoying the balancing the needs of both. I truly feel like I was born to be a mom. I do other things. I love teaching Pilates when I am working. But nothing gives me joy like being a mom first and foremost. I easily throw all of my energies into my family. I feel satisfied and content with that role. My heart is warm and overflowing with joy. Even if I haven’t slept. Even if Jackson was asking for Cheerios while I was trying not to pee my pants and make him a bowl and Alexander started crying at the same moment and I realized my husband put the old almond milk I wanted to toss back in the fridge and now I can’t tell the difference between the new and old. Which was this morning. It lasted 3 minutes and was chaotic, but it was home, it was life, it was uniquely mine and I wouldn’t trade it for a thing!

Welcome to the world sweet boy. Welcome to our family. You were made especially for us and you are perfect. 12-DSC_6563 11-DSC_6558IMG_8966 IMG_8979 IMG_8980

I am lounging on my couch as I start this post. Not necessarily because I want to be lounging around, but because I am supposed to be lounging around more. 

Wednesday I went to my weekly OB appointment and follow up ultrasound. The appointment was at 11. I expected to be home by 11:45 the latest. Instead I was sent to the hospital by my OB and immediately admitted for further tests. The reason I was having a follow up ultrasound was because they have been monitoring my amniotic fluid. Well, the results of this week were 5.8. Which is borderline immediate induction low. Below 5 and they would have induced me being 35 weeks along. 

I was tested for a break in my water bag. That came back negative. Well, all 4 tests for that came back negative. They put my on IV fluids and there I stayed. I wasn’t supposed to get up for much more than to pee. The plan was continuous IV until Thursday morning when they would give me another ultrasound. If my amniotic fluid was 8 or higher I would be released. 

I happened to have fallen the previous Saturday. I was playing soccer in my driveway with my son and husband. Nothing intense as Jackson is 3 & 1/2. Just normal kicking the ball around. I went to get the ball and my foot got stuck in between one of our brick pavers. I fell down. I landed in a lunge (yay Pilates!!) So my left knee took the brunt of the fall. My belly next to my right leg, which didn’t hit the ground. I was fine. I stopped playing and went inside, but there was nothing to worry about. I did mention it, just in case. Turns out, I should have kept my mouth shut. The labeled me a FALL risk because of it. I had awful obnoxious signs on my door and I got a lovely accessory. IMG_7749

Even my husband laughed at me for this. It was so over the top. A non pregnant person would have wiped out too. The tip of my foot was literally stuck in a hole! I probably went down better than most people because I am in such good shape. I made my opinion on this heard. That I thought it was absurd! 

My sweetheart came to visit me after school. I was so happy to see him. He really cheered up my day. I missed him terribly after he left though. I certainly would have preferred to be at home snuggling with him over sitting in a hospital bed pondering the fact that in a few hours I may have a premature baby.

My sweetheart

My sweetheart

Things were a little boring after he left. My husband stayed with me. My mom took Jackson to our home and spent the night with him. I didn’t sleep much more than an hour all night. Labor and delivery beds are NOT comfy for overnight sleep, especially if you are not in active labor about to meet your new baby. Plus, my separated pelvis was highly irritated from sitting and laying on the rock hard surface. I listened to two babies be born. I listened to my unborn baby’s heart beat on the monitor. I listened to different mediation tracks on Spotify. I worried about what the morning would bring. I had a nightmare about a garish blood draw. I finally gave up around 6:30am and got up for the day. 

My breakfast left something to be desired. I was pretty disappointed with my burnt toast. I didn’t order anything else except fruit. I ate the toast. But it tasted like it looks. 

mmm burnt toast

mmm burnt toast

We were supposed to be waiting until 11 for my next ultrasound. I kept counting the hours. How many more I had left. I finally switched to sitting in the rocking chair. Ahhh sweet relief for my pelvis. The nurse came in shortly after. It was just past 10am. My primary OB was in the hospital and changed my ultrasound to right that minute. We were thrilled. Again I was constantly sending mental vibes to my uterus, “please be at 8 or higher. Please” I laid there watching the screen and the face of the tech, trying to determine the results. I saw him type very low centimeter results in all the scans. 1 here 2 there. In the back of my brain rationalizing, they must add that all up. They must! Finally he told us “It is looking like it is 8. Yeah 8.”

I was hopeful on the ride back to my room, but ultimately it was up to my OB to decide what to do. Almost 3 bags of fluids and I was just at an 8. Not 8 point something. Flat 8. We sat in our room waiting. Finally the nurse came in and said “The gods must be with you. You’re being released!” 

That was the fantastic news. The bad news. I am not out of the woods yet. We have a follow up ultrasound and appointment on Monday. It is likely that I will be closely monitored from here on out. Also, I am not allowed to exercise anymore. I am not on bedrest, but I am supposed to take it easy in general. I can do normal every day activities. I have to watch what I lift. I am not supposed to lift Jackson unless it is absolutely necessary. 

Monday will determine what happens next. I will be just over 36 weeks, still not full term. It will help to decide how often I have to see my Dr, how often I need an ultrasound, if I need to be sent back to the hospital for more fluids, or if I need to be induced. It is a big day, that Monday.

I am not good at sitting still. I hate it too much, actually. I am pretty upset that I cannot exercise anymore. I do not know the last time I went this long without working out. 8 years? I don’t know. My husband is treating me like a porcelain doll. Another thing I hate. I am very independent. I don’t like being overly babied. I hated being pushed around in the wheelchair. You have read my feelings on the fall risk situation. I like to do things for myself. It is hard to take a break. I insisted on grocery shopping myself today. It is a normal every day activity. I didn’t lift one grocery bag in or out of my car though. I went to Old Navy for comfy yoga pants to lounge in. If I have to be lounging, I want to be able to wear something comfy. I also got a pedicure. That was the only thing I didn’t have to defend to my husband. He is fine with spa treatments, since you sit around being pampered. As I was leaving for my pedicure my husband said “you have almost used up all your allotted walking time today” He was hoping the Dr would put me on bed rest or at the least very limited activity. I have explained to him being told not to exercise is a prison sentence for me and that since I can do normal every day activity he has to give me some room here. That being said, I have been taking sitting down breaks. Compromise. 

That is where I am this Friday afternoon. Sarcastic, annoyed, and well, frankly, a little worried deep down. I don’t want him born prematurely. It is a hard balance. I want to be my normal exercising active self but I don’t want to cause harm to my little spitfire. Wish us luck on Monday. I am going to take it easy this weekend. Other than Tae Kwon Do for Jacky, we have no plans. I will be trying to not be a cranky lady who hasn’t been allowed to workout. I am trying to adjust to my new normal. 

I am in the middle of week 34. It is crazy to think that this baby boy could be here in 5 & 1/2 weeks. 

34 weeks 1 day. I can't wait to put all of these belly kiss photos together.

34 weeks 1 day. I can’t wait to put all of these belly kiss photos together.

Realistically he will be here sometime in the next 6 weeks. I am hoping for 5 1/2-6 weeks, not sooner. Big brother Jackson was born 4 days after his due date. He thrived. He was alert from the moment he left my body. Born with wide open eyes. This is the first photo of him I shared with people. 

Jackson

Jackson

See, very alert just an hour or so after he was born. I want the same for this sweet boy. Healthy, strong, alert. So I am fine with waiting past October 4th if I have to. But either way, 6 weeks will fly by with a 3 & 1/2 year old to keep me busy. 

We made a lot of progress this past weekend on Alexander’s bedroom. It is practically done. All I am waiting on is my new glider. It was set to arrive at the end of August, so tick tock. But the major things are all completed. 

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Crib, bunting, and garland

This was the first thing I had completed. It was all by its lonesome while we waited for a situation with the dresser we ordered to be fixed. I am so excited about his color and pattern schemes. I have had some fun mixing different patterns and colors. It feels so fresh in there. 

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Hand painted sign and toy basket

I painted that sign for him. It is one of my hobbies. I don’t paint as much as I would like but I do from time to time. My favorite things to paint are things for my boys. Jackson has an assortment of paintings. This sign in particular is special for Alexander. It is from the song that inspired his name. I fell in love with the name Alexander because of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ song Home. I had to incorporate it into his room somehow and I solved the problem of creating my own painting. The basket is a Colonial Mills rope basket. I have a few of those throughout his room. I also have a couple from Target. I went with the woven basket theme for storage. 

Speaking of storage….

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Closet

This is his walk in closet. It was the only bedroom closet on the 2nd floor the previous owners did not have redone at The Container Store. I felt I had to spruce it up a touch. I simply lined all the shelves, 9 total, with chevron shelf paper. It took a bit of time to cut them all down but I am very happy with how it brightens up his closet. Those grey baskets are the woven ones from Target. 

Dresser

Dresser

This dresser was an adventure. It took us over a month to get all the pieces from the company. I won’t go into the long story. It looks really nice though. I am obsessed with that lamp! I had to have it. It is by Zutano. I purchased it off of Amazon. The curtains are from Pottery Barn Kids. They are blackout curtains. Grey chevron. They are lovely and do a great job of blocking out the sun. The blue basket is Colonial Mills and again the grey is from Target. The floating shelves are also from Target. I like Target, ha! The seat turns into a bassinet and we may use it in our bedroom for a little while. We will see. Jackson was in his own crib about one night after we got home. But this chair easily switches from a bassinet to a seat while baby is in it, so it will be perfect for use around the house. 

That is where we are with Alexander’s bedroom. Once my glider arrives and I get my pouf and side table I will share that set up. All of his clothing is washed, folded, and put away in his drawers. He has newborn diapers, wipes, tons of blankets, and swaddlers. We are using Jackson’s infant carseat. I have our new Joovy Sit N Stand stroller. That hangs out in our dining room. 

Carseat, Joovy Sit N Stand stroller, and a carseat cover from Etsy

Carseat, Joovy Sit N Stand stroller, and a carseat cover from Etsy

I am also obsessed with this carseat cover. I love it. Being an October baby in Chicago, I am guessing he will get a lot of use out of it. 

I even have my diaper bag, which I definitely treated myself to. I decided that since my whole world is now men, that I would get a diaper bag that screams me and is truly for me, reflecting my style. IMG_0015I have an obsession with Kate Spade everything. Not just diaper bags. I keep this sweet thing in the plastic wrap in the shipping box. I haven’t taken even one tag off yet. I have considered starting to pack it a bit for the hospital. That will probably happen in the next week or so. A small secret? I definitely got this during their recent flash sale. So not only did I get a perfectly me diaper bag by my favorite designer, but I got it at a steal of a price. Triple score. 

And now, we wait out the next handful of weeks! I cannot wait to cuddle with both of my little boys. 

 

 

I have started and failed to finish several posts this week. It has been difficult for me to get into a good writing flow. They were all very long posts but they just didn’t seem right to me. They all were incomplete as well. I have had a lot on my mind but the words just won’t form correctly. Today, though, I am going to try a bit harder.

Yesterday evening I was thinking to myself that I would really enjoy it if I had a rainy day tomorrow. A day to just slow me down a little bit. A reason to stay inside, cuddled up with my sweetheart. A day where I could use the bad weather as an excuse to not run errands, go somewhere fun, walk to the park, or whatever ever else came up. 

For over a week I haven’t slept through the night. Last night was no exception. As I lay in bed I considered a walk to the park with Jackson today. No workout, take a rest day because I haven’t taken a rest day in over a week either. But a nice 1.5 mile walk and maybe some swimming. My brain was active as I lay in bed considering all the things I could do today. I finally decided to get myself up for the day, having stayed in bed a bit later knowing I didn’t plan on fitting in a workout. Alexander started slowing moving around, then kicking. It was time to start my day. 

Imagine my surprise as I waddled into my kitchen, not greeted by the usual beaming sunlight that radiates through the massive set of windows we have. I was greeted by grey sky, rain, clouds, and utter wetness outside. My heart skipped a beat. My rainy day! I hadn’t even checked the weather forecast yesterday. I had no idea rain was coming. I just wished it would, to force me to slow down a touch. As I sit here and write I am accompanied by the sounds of rain falling on my skylights. Heavy raindrops writing their own song. Jackson is still asleep. He likes to sleep late on rainy mornings. There is no sun radiating around the small space around his blackout blinds. 

I am not sure what we will do today. My dishes could be washed. I was too tired last night to wash the ones from dinner. Legos are already spread across my kitchen table. Except for the small area I am afforded for my meals and well my laptop I am typing on now. We have a ton of books we could read. I have a new big Ninja Turtles coloring/activity book we could make our marks on. Maybe we will do all of them. If he keeps sleeping much longer, there won’t be a nap today. Especially on a day where we don’t wear ourselves out playing outside or going on an adventure. 

As I sipped my coffee earlier, watching the rainy day, I couldn’t help but thank my Gma (that is what I called her a lot). I can’t help but feel like she may have had a hand in providing me with exactly what I needed this week. Forcing me to slow down a little, her girl who is always on the go. Thanks Gma, you did me a solid. 

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View from my kitchen

There’s no easy way for me to open this post. I have nothing clever or witty to say. My heart is heavy and broken. Just before midnight on Tuesday, August 12th, my dear grandma passed away. My parents called me a few minutes to midnight to let me know. Sleep was impossible. I physically felt nauseated. I had to sit up in bed for quite sometime. Crying. My mind and heart simply would not settle down. 

I am going to start off with sharing what I had to get off my chest after 1am that night. I posted it on Facebook. 

“It’s not going to be a good day. splat said. Not a good day at all. Seymore shook his head”
I suppose it’s only fitting that a quote from a book, even one of Jackson’s, is what keeps running through my head tonight. As I try to sort through my utter and profound grief over losing a woman I so deeply love. A woman who had a large part in helping shape the bookworm I still am to this very day. A woman who took me to the library more times than I can remember. Who let me climb her tree with my books in tow and sit up there reading. Who often shared with me stories about the books she was reading. My grandma. And every time I’ve tried to close my eyes to get some rest I just keep hearing that line:
“It’s not going to be a good day. Not a good day at all.”

That quote truly kept running through my mind. Over and over and over. My grandma was all of those things to me, but she was more than that as well. I literally have thousands of memories buried deep within my subconscious. I spent SO much time with her as a child and as an adult. I even lived with her for almost 2 years in late teens early 20’s. I moved in with her and my grandpa a few months before I turned 20 and moved out a few before I turned 22. I had countless sleepovers at their home as a little girl. We were close. 

I can’t even sort through everything that I am feeling or remembering right now. I still feel overwhelmed. I have cried a lot. I have also gone out of my way to stay as busy as I can. Despite my husband’s pleas that I take it easy since I am 8 1/2 months pregnant. I prefer to be busy. The quiet moments are when the tears come. I couldn’t even do my normal routine of quietly relaxing while drinking my coffee this morning. I had to write. 

I am not an overly religious person. I suppose, though, I do believe in forces in the world around us. Meaningful moments. Strange occurrences. Coincidences exactly when you need them. Yesterday on my drive home from my Grandpa’s I put on a Spotify shared/public playlist. It is called Coping with Loss. I simply hit shuffle. The song from Fievel came on first. Somewhere Out There. I had no idea that song was even on the playlist. I saw the first two song titles and thought “eh, sounds like it might be ok.” And decided to give it a shot. My mom and I watched that movie and loved the song when I was little. We sang it for my Grandma. She was so in love with my performance and my enjoyment of that movie she went and bought me the stuffed animal. A large Fievel. I watched that movie A LOT at her home. I have vivid memories of that and that song. So it hit me intensely that it was the first song to come on simply by hitting shuffle. Those quiet moments alone bring some overwhelming emotions. 

I know she is resting now. The last thing I said to her before I left on Tuesday night around 7:30 was “Goodbye Grandma. Get some rest. I will be back tomorrow.” I suppose she listened to me. She peacefully went while sleeping. She went to get her rest. 

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Christmas Eve 2013

October 2012

October 2012

I am a bookworm. I have been since before I learned how to read. I have vivid memories of my mom reading to me when I was a little girl. After learning how to read, I couldn’t put books down. I would spend hours in the library deciding on which books to check out next. It was always torture that I could only take a few at a time. My grandma would take me to the library with her and we would spend hours? there. To me it seemed like hours. I am not sure how long it was in actual time. As a child though, I was in that magical wonderful place for what seemed like an eternity. In college I spent a lot of time studying in the library. If I had time in between classes I would head there to read, study, work on things, or just be there.

I have worked to pass that on to Jackson and soon Alexander. Their book collection is extensive. I even have a book box where I add new books all the time and Jackson gets to pick a new book rather often. Last night I decided to grab two new books that I wanted to read to him. One of them is titled If I Could Keep You Little.

I bought this book a while ago. I read it in the store and cried. The premise is a mom who would love to keep her child little but knows she would then miss out on all the great things they did as they grew. I think this is my number one struggle as a mom. The idea that one day my boys will leave the nest. That one day I will have to let them go play outside in the big world without my hand a few inches away. I try to not be a total helicopter parent. I don’t hover constantly, especially in our home. I let Jackson play on his own. But outside, in the big scary world? He is only 3 & 1/2. I am not ready to let him wander. I don’t have to be ready quite yet, but one day I will.

The tantrums and arguing back can be hard. The bad days where we all don’t seem to sync up can be rough. But that is not the hardest part for me. With those moments I have about a 2 second rebound rate. I never feel defeated or that it drags out to the next day or even the next moment. Sometimes I can reset with just 20 minutes. It is the letting go that I know I will struggle with more and more as my boys grow.

Having a new baby on the way 4 years after we were expecting Jackson has proved that. I have seen now how much I have let go over the past 3 & 1/2 years. Much to my surprise. Things changed a little every single day. I do it, but it doesn’t mean that it was easy. To be honest, I usually still feed Jackson dinner. He can do it. He prefers me to help him. Much to my husband’s eye rolls. But one day he won’t want mommy to scoop his food and feed him. I will probably be trying to convince him to sit down and eat with us! Those are the kinds of things I think about. While I am saying “But Jackson, you are a big boy, you can feed yourself, right? You do it at breakfast and lunch!” In my head I am just perfectly fine with scooping that pasta into his mouth for him.

I made it through the book this time without crying. I didn’t even choke up when I read it to him. I even was able to point out similarities in his life and watched a big smile beam across his sweet soft face. My lap has less room these days. My belly is getting big. Less than 2 months to go until I have two boys squirming for space. But each day we cuddle on Jackson’s old rocking chair and we read books. We adjust every day to that growing belly. I suppose that is what parenting is. Every day you adjust to the changes just a touch. You have to wiggle something over to make room for something new and different. Some new skill, ability, task, thought, need, or want. Sometimes it happens without you even realizing it. When did my belly get so round? When did Jackson have to learn to sit differently on my lap? It wasn’t in one fell swoop. We grew together.

How I long to keep my boys little. Even looking back on infant photos of Jackson, which I have done more and more lately, I wonder, how did he grow into this boy? As we tucked him in and he had to show me one last fancy trick before being snuggled under his blankets I just watched his face. The book fresh in my mind. He used to be this squishy little infant, with a personality, but certainly not this specific personality. When did he grow into this little boy and leave that squishy infant behind? When did I stop using onesies? When did my world revolve around themed tshirts and pajamas? Spiderman adorned my sweetheart from head to toe last night. No more sweet baby blue footie pjs for him. He used to fit into all the clothing I have purchased for Alexander. Now, you couldn’t get a foot in some of those.

But, like that book tells me, if I kept him in those, I would miss out on him calling to me as I left “Mommy one more hug and kiss. Hugs and kisses are my favorite.” They are mine too sweet boy, whether you’re a newborn or a grown man. They will always be my favorite, in every stage you pass through.

Our growing family

Our growing family