Stoppin’ By

To say hi!!

Mama is sporting some new self-cut bangs

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Baby is sporting not 1 but TWO new pearly whites

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And somehow he’s still a sweetheart. I won the baby lottery.

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Hope y’all are having a terrific Thursday!! It’s our Friday over here since Bry works this weekend. Hallelujah for a Friday with BOTH my boys 🙂

In case you’re wondering, Jax and I are indeed twinies.

Weekend Wrap-up

This weekend flew by!  Saturday we celebrated my mommy’s birthday at Outback Steakhouse then came home to continue celebrating with dessert and board games.  We had a pretty low-key day otherwise, filled with cleaning the house, Redbox movies (“End of Watch” <— REALLY good movie. I definitely recommend it and “Seven Psychopaths” <— I fell asleep within the first 5 minutes because it was 9 pm and thus 2 hours past my bedtime) and reading in bed.

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The upside to teething is that I’ve gotten lots of extra snuggles with my little cuddle-bear 🙂

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Sunday we ran 6.25 miles.  I wasn’t feeling it at all but about a mile in I got into auto pilot and sailed along. Bry’s starting to feel his lack of training in the runs so we’ve been taking them at his pace.

Jax showed off his new favorite chew toy

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We did some more chores around the house, ate ate and ate some more then called it an early night.
Today involved errands, some work related injuries

IMG_20130225_124408(1)I guess it’s finally time to install the new carseat…

and snuggle time

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Time to start dinner! And shower some pureed green beans and baby puke out of my hair…

My Superwoman

Today is my mommy’s birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMY!!  I felt it was time to make a blog post about one of the most important people in my life, my mommy. Maybe it’s because of our story that makes us so close, but whatever it is, I wouldn’t change the bond I have with my mother for anything in the world. It’s unbreakable.

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When I was two, I was put up for adoption. My biological mother was addicted to drugs and alcohol and didn’t understand how nor have the capability to raise children. Yet, she had eight of us. I have five brothers and two sisters. At the age of two I was put into foster care. Susan, my mommy, was a foster mother for over a year but had never had a foster child in her home. One day she received a phone call about a two year old girl who needed placement. She immediately jumped at the idea. That evening, I arrived at her doorstep with nothing but a bag of diapers, the clothes on my body, and a lovely mix of an ear infection and mono.

The first week we lived together, we sat in this big rocking chair in our living room and read together. I looked at her with such seriousness and pointed to myself “my?” then to her “mommy?”. From then on, we were inseparable.

She spent the next five years fighting for custody of me. It took hours of visits with psychologists, my biological parents (until my bio mom stopped showing up), doctors, lawyers, etc. It took thousands of dollars in legal fees. She sacrificed the idea of marriage to fight for the chance of legally becoming my mother. And in the end, she won. We both did. She legally gained custody of me and I got the most incredible mommy in the world. She says the night I was born, though we didn’t know of each other, she wished upon a star that I’d come into her life. It’s why she always calls me Twinkle, cause I’m her lucky star.

Every weekend when I was growing up, my mom and I would go on adventures together. We’d go see plays or concerts, we’d draw in the park or bike ride in the woods. We’d go to the book signing of my favorite author or play with bubbles on our back deck. Weekends were times we’d spend together, we’d bond and we’d enjoy the simple things in life…namely, each other’s company. This was a tradition that I hope to pass on to my children one day.

Throughout my life, I’ve constantly fought with feelings of abandonment and wonder at what my biological parents put my siblings and I through. While I am the only one of my siblings with the same mother and father, they are all scarred with the same constant questioning. I, however, was the only one lucky enough to escape and to be blessed with a woman, a mother, who truly deserves the title in every way possible.

Of my eight siblings, I was the only one to graduate from high school. Not only that, I did so at the top of my class, with honors and with acceptances into every University I applied to (some with scholarships!). I graduated having been Captain of the Varsity Tennis Team for all four years of my HS career, a member of Varsity Swimming, Varsity Hockey, President of SADD, Vice President of the Art Club and a member of the Psychology Club, a Smithsonian Institution International Young Delegate (1 of only 35 students in the United States chosen), Editor of the school newspaper, member of the Animation Club and an active volunteer in the community. I was proud of my accomplishments and I worked my butt off to achieve them.

I went on to the University of Maryland College Park where I started as a double major in Art and Criminal Justice, with the aspirations to become an interior designer. I wanted to design model homes. I have a feeling this had a lot to do with the frequent stops my mom and I used to make to model homes, looking for ideas on how to redecorate our own home.

As I progressed in school, I felt rather lost, as if my majors and my dreams didn’t really correspond with one another, and as if becoming an interior designer wasn’t really what I wanted to be when I grew up. I finally realized that my true passion was teaching. I changed my major to early childhood education with the goal to become a preschool or kindergarten teacher upon graduation. I thought when I brought this up to my mom, she’d be upset. After 2.5 years I was re-declaring my major which would set me back a year in school meaning more tuition money from her and more years between me and graduation. Instead, she greeted the idea with excitement, as she has with all my dreams. She never fails to support me, no matter how farfetched my dreams may seem or how badly I’ve let her down. She is constantly there, with open arms and a shoulder to cry on.

My mom is my everything. When I was fourteen and reunited with my siblings after ten years of being apart, I experienced a lot of self doubt and hatred. I lost myself. But she was there, throughout it all, constantly reminding me that I was never alone and that I was loved no matter what. She pulled me through that depression and helped me to succeed, not only in school but in life. She taught me that no matter where I came from, no matter what my past may consist of, I am not limited by it. She taught me to use my past as a stepping stone to a successful future and as a motivator to go above and beyond all the expectations placed on me at birth, to prove to the world and to myself that I can do whatever I set my mind to.

When I finally escaped an abusive marriage, my mother never once lectured me on the mistakes I made or said “I told you so.” Instead, she was the smiling face that greeted me as I got off the plane, with her always open arms and warming embrace. When it took time for me to recover, to get back to my feet, she was unfaltering in her love, support and understanding. She gave me space when I needed to heal and companionship when I felt alone. She made it possible for me to move past everything I’ve endured to come to terms with my experiences. She’s helped guide me to a happier place, where I can pursue my dreams, no matter what they may be.

Words can’t fully describe how incredible my mommy is or how much she means to me. She’s a single woman who I know gave up marriage and years of her life, fighting for me. I try to explain to her how much I love her and how thankful I am, but there aren’t enough hours in a day to grasp the depth of her and how she’s touched my life, how she’s given me life. Someone asked her what she was most proud of in life and she responded “my daughter”. I really didn’t know what to say because in all honesty, I couldn’t have gotten to this point in my life, or accomplished so much, if it weren’t for her.

My mom is my everything: my mommy, my best friend, my confidant, my shoulder to cry on, my rock, my helping hand, my comedian, my hero. She has always been there for me and she’s taught me everything I know. She’s the reason I have grown into the person I am. She’s always given me the support and love I need to grow into my own person and to pursue my dreams, whatever they may be. She is unfaltering in her faith, love and support of me and for that I could never thank her enough.  And as amazing of a mother as she’s been for me, I love her even more for how incredible of a grandma she’s become for Jax.  The greatest moms are promoted to grandmas 🙂

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She’s superwoman, without the cape.

Milestones

Just one day after celebrating his half birthday Jackson hit a semi-major milestone.  No, not crawling yet.  He’s still in this funky place where he drops off his arms, buries his face down and kicks and flails his arms as fast as he can for a few moments then gives up, looks around, realizes he hasn’t gone anywhere and repeats for several minutes until he gets frustrated and cried to mom for help.  Crawling is just around the corner though. He’s VERY determined.

Instead of crawling Jack is officially cutting his first tooth!  I can’t even tell you how much it makes my heart swell and break at the same time.  I’m so excited because it’s such a pivotal event in my book and let’s face it, he’s going to kill me with those big ol’ cheeks and big smile while sporting a single pearly white.  But I’m also not yet ready for him to be growing up so fast.  I say it time and time again but seriously, time I needs to slow dowwwwwwwwn.

I’d show you a pic of his tooth coming in but 1) it’s a bit painful for the little man and I don’t think it’s worth making him hurt more just to show the blog world the tip of his tooth and 2) it’s a slobbery mess in there. 

Instead I’ll show you pictures of his adorable face 🙂

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BOO!

IMG_4818  “Did you see that mom?!”

IMG_4821“Aren’t we funny?!”

Life Lately

This week was hectic in our household.  There’s a lot of huge, potentially life-changing things that are up in the air right now.  I’ll fill you in when we’ve come to a conclusion and have a little more focus regarding everything.

In other news, we finally jumped back on the double-digit train.  10miles! I’m feeling a little better about that half Mary in under 4 weeks.  However, my knees are been giving me a ton of trouble lately. I’m going to see a PT about them (again) but am just crossing my fingers they hold out until the race is over. Prettttttttttttttty please.

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Notice what’s in the background? I finally bit the bullet and decided on Jackson’s new big boy carseat.  Our current one, the Graco Snugride 22 only goes up to 22lbs and chubster is quickly approaching that at just over 19lbs.  It took a lot of time and consideration (and guts to press purchase on Amazon) to figure out which carseat to go with but I finally decided on the Diono Radian XT.  It was moderately priced among other convertible carseats (at a jaw dropping $230), is a top pick for safety rating, is rear-facing up to 40lbs and can be used in the forward facing and booster positions afterward for up to 120lbs! I guess it’s finally time to transition to running with Jax in the jogging stroller sans carseat (goodbye extra 25lbs, and goodbye precious baby face that I get to stare into for miles on end 😦 ). 

Jackson’s dangerously close to crawling.  It scares the bonkers out of me. I’m not ready! Though the mobility won’t be much different seeing as he’s a rolling machine and just rolls all over the floor and across rooms now. 

He’s also discovered Lily and seeing them together melts my heart. Lily licks his feet and Jax kicks her in the face with excitement.  Somehow they both find it mutually beneficial. 

We had Lily’s annual this week.  She’s still a little ham and is healthy as a horse.  Jax was worn out from laughing while Lily ran around the vet’s office trying to avoid being shanked by her annual shots.

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He wanted to hold hands 🙂

I’ve done a fantastic job of avoiding almost all exercise this  past week. We got in 2 runs and that’s about it.  It’s amazing what cold weather and stress exhaustion can do to a person.  Time to jump back on the train and get back into it….right after a doctor appointment and a trip to the grocery store. Our fridge is looking mighty bare these days.

Happy Half Birthday Jackson Wyatt!

Half a year. 6 months. 184 days.

I can’t believe how fast time has flown by.  So much has changed in the past 6 months.  I constantly feel like I just brought Jackson home from the hospital and at the same time, as if I’ve known him all my life.  I can’t remember what life was like before him or how I filled my days.  I feel like he’s still that 7lb 6.2 oz baby boy we first gave birth to and at the same time I wonder how in the world he’s almost 19lbs and working out my biceps daily.  I watch him grow every day but it’s not until I see pictures of those first few months that it truly hits me just how much he’s grown and changed.  He’s no longer the lethargic, constantly sleeping and eating little newborn we first brought home but this adorable bright-eyed little boy full of curiosity and a gigantic personality.  I remember how much I loved him in the months he grew inside me, how much my heart swelled as I first held him in my arms but there aren’t words to describe how incredible that love is and how it’s grown exponentially ever since those first lines appeared on a pregnancy test.

Jackson’s still a babbling machine.  He especially likes to talk when you’re not paying attention to him.  At night he likes to hold Geoffrey in front of his face and tell him all about his day.  He has 2 favorite animals that go around with him everywhere (along with Sofie his teether).  Ellie is an elephant head blanket that he finds really fun to place over his head.  Don’t worry, we always make sure he can breathe.  Geoffrey is a stuffed giraffe that he’s had from the beginning and loves to hold hands with.  He often has both arms holding on tightly to both of his friends whenever they’re nearby.

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He’s still consuming both Nutramigen and breastmilk.  I thought I’d stop at 6 months because of all the problems I’ve had with supply but neither the girls or Jax are quite ready yet.  Every time I try to wean my boobs get extremely full and start throbbing. And I just think “Oh NOW you want to start producing milk?!” I especially thought this Sunday night when daddy and I went on a babyless date night to the movies.  Jax still gets comfort from nursing as well and as he grows and gets more crazy and non-stop, I truly value those moments we can just cuddle while he’s nursing.  I am returning our hospital grade breastpump though so I’m sure my supply will decrease just from stopping pumping. I’m OK with that. It was more stressful than it was worth.

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Additionally Jax is eating solids.  He’s had sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash and peas so far.  He loves peas with carrots and sweet potatoes in a close second (especially mixed).  He’s going to try zucchini, green beans and broccoli later this week. Yum!

He’s sleeping in his crib with a sleep sack at night.  During the day he naps in his pack n’ play.  The past week or so he’s been boycotting longer naps and taking 3 half hour naps a day.  At night he sleeps from 6:30/7pm until 7am with 2 wake ups (11pm and 3am) Sometimes he sleeps through one or the other of them (last night, for example he woke up at 11am and slept through the night until 6 this morning). He’s adopted some incredibly awkward sleeping positions as well…

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He is still infatuated with his activity mat. One of the best toys he’s gotten and has definitely got his money’s worth out of.  He enjoys his exersaucer as well.  Grandma got him a toy piano for Christmas he’s really taken to this week.  He’s found new ways to play it by scooting his entire body across the keys.  He’s a genius. He also got a water toy from Grandma that has water in it and some floating moon and stars.  He’s started to actually see the shapes inside and press the water to play with it instead of just trying to eat the thing. His other favorite toys include fabric blocks (both the scrunchy ones with tissue inside and the rattle ones), rings, Sofie the teether and scraping the mattress with his nails (apparently he likes the sound?).  He’s still in love with running with us and passes out within the first 5 minutes.

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I’ve always known I wanted to be a mommy. I’ve always known I’d love being one. But I could never have ever imagine just how much I’d love it and just how all consuming a mother’s love truly is.

Half Marathon Training Thoughts: 4.5 Weeks Out

Prepare for the most random, disorganized, chaotic gathering of my thoughts on half marathon training.

I was thinking a lot about our upcoming half marathon on yesterday’s long(ish) run and with 4.5 weeks left until we line up at the start line of my first half marathon ever I figured I’d write some of them down and share them with you.

Honestly, I’m kind of burned out.  I feel like we started training too soon (we began in October) but at the same time I’m glad we began when we did because we were starting with pretty much zero base having just given birth and we knew that a majority of the training would take place in the winter and that we’d get snowed out or frozen out of a lot of runs (which turned out to be  very true). I’m glad we established a steady base when we did and I’ve held on to a 6 mile easy run for months now.  Yesterday we embarked on a 9 miler after 4 weeks off of long runs and it was surprisingly easy.  Blew my mind but also made me feel more prepared for our race and proud of the time I’ve committed to training, even if I didn’t get in all my runs and even if it wasn’t always in the most ideal circumstances.

Still, 5 months of scheduled runs is a lot.  I love running, don’t get me wrong, but I’m looking forward to being able to go for hikes and bike rides again.  To not feel pressured to run a certain number of days a week and tackle a certain number of miles.  I’m going to be excited to hit the open road again without a plan and just let my legs lead me.  I’m excited to show Jackson the woods and break in our hiking pack.  I’m excited to cross-train again without worry about how it’ll affect my training runs. I’m ready for more freedom when it comes to exercise.

However, I’ve gotten a lot out of half marathon training. I’ve learned that I can exceed my expectations and redefine my impossible.  I never would have thought I could run 11 miles straight or run a sub 30 minute 5K, but I’ve learned that I not only can but I won’t die doing it.  I’ve learned I’m stronger than I thought and that I can defeat the questioning voice in my head and break down my mental walls. It’s been so incredible to learn just how amazing my body is and to push it further than I ever have when it comes to running.

Scheduling a half marathon for early Spring was a great idea! While training during winter was difficult and sometimes impossible with a little one, having that goal in mind kept me active even on the coldest days when all I wanted to do was hibernate in my covers snuggling with Jackson.  Instead, more often than not, I got out there and did it or I busted out some cross training in the living room.  Having a focus in mind kept me active.

Bottom line: I am so glad I finally took the plunge and registered for my first half marathon and I’m incredibly excited to put my training to work and see where my hard work has gotten me.  When I first started training I just wanted to make it to the start line.  My next goal was to make it to the finish and my third was to make it in under 3 hours.  Now I think I can beat that a bit and I have a goal time in mind (but won’t say it in fear of jinxing myself).  I’ll feel proud to complete my first race with my husband by my side and to share the experience with him.  I’m motivated constantly by being a positive role model for Jackson and my desire to embody the things I wish to teach him in life.  But after March 16th expect more cross training and less scheduled runs on the blog.

I’m excited for the next chapter.