Wednesday, September 29, 2010

24 weeks: Basketball Belly

Well today is the 24 week mark and as I mentioned earlier, my stomach looks like I swallowed a basketball. It seems a little early to be this big but I'm blaming it on the fact that this is my 3rd child since I'm SURE it has nothing to do with the cake-pops, cookies, cannolis and apple crisp I've been eating lately. ; )

Okay, if I'm really being honest I haven't been the best at exercising or watching what I eat for the last 6 weeks or so. I've been having a ton of early contractions with this baby and every time I exercise I have them so I backed off (more like quit cold turkey) and now I fee like I'm turning into a slug. I think I need to try again to do something, maybe just really low key walking. I still have 4 months to go and if I don't get moving all my muscles will have atrophied by the time the baby gets here! So yeah, that's my goal for this coming month, move my body and stop using my mouth as a garbage disposal for junk food : )

There is one thing I DO love about my basketball belly though, now everyone who sees me knows I'm pregnant. I LOVE how people are so much nicer to me at the store, the mall, restaurants, schools, church, wherever! People just see the belly and smile. In fact, today I was pulled over by a cop for not having my state inspection sticker but when he saw my belly he just gave me a knowing smile and said, "I'm not going to give you a ticket this time, just go get that taken care of okay?" Moments like that make carrying around 20 extra pounds totally worth it : )

Monday, September 27, 2010

Applefest Half Marathon 2010

6 months ago a bunch of our friends were signing up for a local half marathon that is famous for it's brutal hills and the delicious apple crisp served at the finish line. Taber decided to join the fun and trained diligently all summer long.

He found a great running partner who had similar goals and pace and every Saturday they would do long runs together, eventually running the full course at least 4 times to practice for race day. Here's the elevation chart for the course. As you can see, the hills are intense and plentiful, but Taber and his running partner Rob were hitting Sub 1:50 finish times on their runs so they were feeling good. The fastest they ran it was 1:46:50.

The night before the race we had a pasta feed for a bunch of people who were running. It was a great time to carb0-load and talk race strategies. My sister Naomi and her best friend Jenny drove in from Chicago to join in the fun. This was Naomi's first half marathon so it was especially exciting to have her here.

On race day we woke up to an unusually hot and humid fall day. The forecast said it would be 86 degrees with abundant sunshine. Taber and Rob had been training at 6am in 50-60 degree weather and were a little nervous about the 10 o'clock start time and the heat. Still, there was a slight cloud cover at the starting line so everyone was trying to be optimistic.

As soon as it was time to line up of course the clouds disappeared and the sun was blazing down. I was having awful flashbacks of the brutal heat during my marathon last year and was happy to be spectating this time around! I cheered everyone across the starting line then headed over to the two mile marker.

I was with a lot of the families who had someone running and we were cheering our hearts out as the runners came by. It was fun when we started seeing all our friends. Here's Taber coming through the mile 2 water station. He was always easy to spot in his bright highlighter yellow shirt : )

Most of our runners swung by for high fives. At this point they were all still smiling but I was worried that the heat would soon take it's toll.


Naomi and Jenny were playing it safe and taking it easy on their pace. They were the last of our runners to come through but probably the most energetic!

Next we headed over to mile 10. By this point the heat, hills and humidity had caught up with everyone and there were no more smiles. We heard that several runners had dropped out and a few were taken to the hospital to be treated for heat exhaustion. When we saw Taber he was hanging in there but he was pretty dehydrated and tired. Even though he had run the course several times it was a totally different animal in the heat and humidity.

We waited for a few more of our runners to come through then headed to catch them at the finish line. One of the race photographers got this shot of Taber at mile 12. Taber said he was dying at that point but I think he looks pretty good : )

Waiting at the finish line I was all ready to take a picture but my camera was on timer so by the time it took the pic all I got was a blurry view of Taber's back. Sorry babe!

Taber's finish time was 2:11:01. He was the first of our friends who ran the full race to finish. It was nowhere near the times he's logged on this course in cool weather but I think he was happy considering the conditions and that nobody out there was setting any records that day.

After crossing the line he was pretty dehydrated even though he had been drinking up at every water stop. He could barely talk but he drank 2 bottles of gatorade, 4 cups of water, and a carton of chocolate milk. When he was feeling a little better we want back to the finish line to watch for Naomi and Jenny. Soon we saw them coming down the home stretch. They had paced themselves wisely and still looked great! They were able to sprint to the finish and had smiles on their faces!

Here are the proud finishers with their well deserved apple crisp. The food tent was awesome and even though it said for runners only I think they took pity on my giant pregnant belly and totally let me have some. Yes!

I was so glad I got to come and support them and especially proud of my little sister for finishing her first half just 7 months after having a baby! I hope I can follow in her footsteps and run the Applefest next year after our baby is born. I don't know though, if next year is as hot as this was I might just skip to the end and eat the apple crisp! : )

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cookie Cravings

In the beginning of my pregnancy I craved fruit and berries. Lately though the sweet tooth has really kicked in and all I want is cookies!! I'm a big believer in listening to your cravings so I made these delightful things the other day. Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Maple Butter frosting. The bun in the oven loved them.

I also got to go to a cookie decorating class for Relief Society last week. Which is perfect because I had eaten all my pumpkin cookies by then and needed some more treats! I made one for Taber, Teya and Brinley, and one each for me and the baby. (Hey, he loves cookies too!) The class was so fun and I thought they came out pretty cute for a rookie cookie decorator.

The crowning moment of my cookie cravings happened yesterday though when I stumbled upon these delightful creatures at the grocery store. I thought you could only get Girl Scout cookies in March! Apparently not!

Keebler has come out with a new cookie called Coconut Dreams that looks and tastes identical to Girl Scout Samoas. I was in cookie bliss.

In un-related news my stomach now looks like I swallowed a basketball. : )

Friday, September 17, 2010

Preschoolers

This week my girls officially started preschool.

Teya is attending 2nd Nature Academy 3 days a week from 8:30-11:30. She has two wonderful teachers who she adores and her classroom is in a beautiful new building they built over the summer.

Brinley is doing something a little more low key. One of my friends is trying out a preschool from her home that is just twice a week for an hour and a half. It's very small with only 4 kids but it's the perfect thing to keep her mind off of missing Teya while she's at school.

Teya was super nervous on her first day. Taber and I went to drop her off and she clung to Taber's leg and told him she wished he could stay with her.

After finding some toys and meeting some friends though she was all smiles. Later her teacher told me that Teya had gotten up in front of the class and taught everyone a new Days of the Week song. The teachers loved it. The next day when I picked her up her teacher said, "I wish they were all like this one, can we clone her?"

It's weird not knowing exactly what she's doing for a 3 hour block each day. When I asked her what she learned her first day she said, "We must always listen to our teachers and never hit people with sticks because sticks kill." Hmmm...Not too sure what that was all about. The next day she told me "we should keep our hands to ourselves and never say Jesus's name in grain" (I think she meant in vain) Don't know where that came from but I would've loved to see how that topic came up.

Having the girls in preschool has been pretty nice and also surprisingly busy with all the picking up and dropping off. I spend a lot more time in the car but it's great because it gets me out the door and moving and forces me to be more productive. Here's a cute pic of Brinley carpooling with her preschool buddies. I was driving this day and laughing my head off at the conversations that 3 two year olds can have.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Run to the Rock Half Marathon

Last weekend Taber decided to do a very last minute half marathon. He's been training for the Apple Fest half marathon that's coming up in a few weeks so he thought this would be a good practice run. Also, the finish line was at Plymouth Rock where the pilgrims landed so we figured it would be a fun sight seeing trip for the family as well.

When we lived in MN we always ordered Penne Rosa from Noodles and Company the night before our races to carbo load. Sadly they don't have a Noodles out here but I was able to find the recipe online and came up with a pretty decent version of it : ) After carbo loading we packed up the family and took the two hour drive down to Plymouth, checked into a little motel and hit the sack.

The next morning we got Taber registered for the race and then hung out with him at the starting line while he warmed up and stretched with the other runners.

The girls stayed entertained picking wildflowers
And helping Daddy stretch

Then it was time for the runners to line up

As soon as the horn blew Teya and Brinley started shouting, "GO DADDY GO! GO DADDY GO!"
We hung around till all the runners were gone then made our way to the finish line. It took us an hour because we're pretty slow, but we finally got there and settled in to wait. Before we knew it we saw Taber turn the corner and head towards the finish. The girls went nuts and were so excited to see him.

Even though this was more of a practice run he still did awesome and beat his last PR by 10 minutes, finishing in 1:49:28. We were all very proud! The girls were especially excited to take turns wearing his medal.

And here they are with the Mayflower in the background. In all the excitement I guess I forgot to take Teya to the bathroom, so shortly after Taber's triumphant finish she scrambled for a bush but didn't quite make it and ended up needing a change of pants, hence the shorts she's sporting in this picture.

After the race we went to look at some of the sights in the harbor. We saw the famous Plymouth Rock (or what is left of it)

We also took a tour of the Mayflower (which is actually just a replica). It was really cool and they even had pilgrims on board who stayed in character and talked about life on the ship and the new continent.

Touring the upper deck (guess I couldn't resist a turn wearing the medal myself ; )
Before we left we grabbed a treat for the girls for being so good at Daddy's race. I'm so glad we could all go down to support him and can't wait for his next race in just a few more weeks!


Monday, September 13, 2010

While We Were Gone...

One of the things that made our Florida trip so relaxing was knowing that the girls were with people they absolutely love and adore and who absolutely love and adore them right back.

From the Day Grandma and Grandpa Uda came into town the girls were on cloud nine.

My parents got their work-out keeping up with those two. While we were gone they played very hard. They jumped on the trampoline...

Grandpa REALLY got into the jumping!

They also took them apple picking at Parlee farms. The girls loved the tractor ride and the animals and we loved coming home to fresh crispy apples.

Other activities included hitting up the mall, McDonalds playground, Chunky's movie theater, various parks and bike rides around the neighborhood.

They definitely wore the kids (and themselves) out : )

In fact, at the end of their daily outings, once my Dad and the girls were buckled in they would all pass out. Good thing my mom was around to drive!

When Taber and I got back from Florida my friend watched the girls so I could take my parents down to Boston and show them around after all their hard work being on kid duty. We took a harbor cruise and toured the U.S.S. Constitution.

They loved the tour and it was nice having some rare time alone with my Mom and Dad.

After our sight seeing Taber texted me and insisted we get my parents some lobster to complete their New England experience. My Dad LOVES seafood so it was really fun watching him get so into his meal.

The next day I was supposed to take them to pick up their rental car so they could head down to Virginia to visit my Mom's family. We got off to a late start however and since they were already late I convinced them to hang out with me for a few more hours. My mom came with me to an OB appointment and then we all went to Parker's Maple Barn for a fabulous brunch. (Me and the girls are smiling in this picture because we're proud of ourselves for stalling Grandma and Grandpa and keeping them around for a few extra hours : )

I don't think they minded being kidnapped for the day. It ended up being really nice to have some more time together.

All good things must come to an end though and finally it was time to say goodbye. I managed to hold back the tears but I was definitely in a sad funk for several hours after they left. If only they lived next door, life would be perfect ; )