Friday, November 27, 2015

Three Pregnancies - One Timeline

Every moment of this pregnancy has been like experience the arrival of the other two all over again.  The first two shared a due date.  And they both arrived during the week of Christmas.  This third baby is due December 29.  So, it has been a very similar timeline the entire way. 
I've been busy trying to wrap up all of our holiday preparation so that we are ready when she arrives and so that the next month can just be enjoyed as a family of four.  As much as I didn't want to have another "Christmas Baby", with all of the chaos that goes with it.  I have a feeling that she will fit right in with our crew and the craziness that the month of December is around our household. 
Just as my body is slowing me down, the Wisconsin weather gets cool and the daylight hours get short.  I find myself sitting on the couch much more and enjoying Dateline NBC, guessing puzzles on Wheel of Fortune and renting DVDs with the family.   I'm also reading a lot more.  Like with the other two, the last couple of months have been spent relaxing indoors in my sweatpants and my hair in a messy bun.  During the warmer months, I opt to spend every free moment outside or being active.  And the change in weather seems to come at the perfect time of my pregnancy, when my body is telling me to slow down.
I was 23 years old when I had Little Diva and pretty much clueless.  I was sifting through photos of my first pregnancy and of Little Diva's birth.  I was so young.  Mature, but young.  I was also a completely differently person than I am right now.  I know that motherhood changes you tremendously - that is a given.  But I also wasn't very social at the time, didn't hang out with friends and didn't have any special activities to call me own.
When I had Little Dude, I was 27 and a little wiser.  I was in full-force "mommy mode" and loved every minute of it.  I had discovered running a couple of years prior and had run a lot of 5Ks and one half marathon.  I was discovering myself and who I wanted to be.  I was meeting a lot of new people through running and I was reconnecting with old friends via Facebook. 
With number three, another eight years has passed.  I am now 35 and a completely different person.  I've struggled through difficult times, found love, become an entrepreneur, gained leadership skills through coaching, ran dozens of half marathons and ten full marathons.  I've learned how to push myself and how to push others.  This can only help me through childbirth, right?  I've met so many people in my community through running and through my children.  Having to move a few times over the past five years, I've also experienced new neighborhoods and met new families and it has only further expanded my circle.  As a mother, I've learned to set limits and boundaries.  The kids thrive on that.  Having them part-time, it's hard not to try to always be their "best friend" when they are with me.  I'm really learning to find a balance as a part-time parent.  I've also found balance in my professional life and family life and it feels amazing.  I made a leap of faith two years, then stepped back a bit and then eventually found some balance in all areas of my life.  And I honestly am the happiest I have been regarding my balance of time and energy in a really long time.  I learned a lot about myself and what I want and what I need through all of that.
So, as another busy December approaches and the countdown continues to delivery day .... I'm so thankful to add this little girl to my lineup of December babies.  After many discussions last year, I am grateful that we chose to add her to our family and embrace even further changes, growth and love that should surround us.  As a family of five.

Books 14-17 of 2015

This fall I have been very busy reading.  I tend to dive into stories about women that I can relate to - mothers, wives, entrepreneurs, runners, women who have overcome obstacles.  Some of the books I read this fall were great, random finds at our public library.  Others were gifted to me.
"Big Girl Panties" was a great story and I paged through it quicker than most books that I pick up.  The main character develops a strong relationship with her personal trainer, while she transforms both physically and mentally.  This book hooked me right in from the first chapter.
I love Jim Gaffigan's stand-up comedy.  He always has me laughing to tears.  And also I enjoyed reading his book, "Dad is Fat", about his daily life, raising several small children in a tiny apartment in New York City.  It was a super-easy and fast read for me.
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough
by Ruth Pennebaker
Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me
by Karen Carbo
Dad is Fat
by Jim Gaffigan
Big Girl Panties
by Stephanie Evanovich

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deal for Sun Prairie Library's Book'n It Run 2016

It's never too early to start planning your 2016 race schedule!!
The Sun Prairie Public Library's Book'n It Run is set for 8/6/2016 and Black Friday and Cyber Monday you can SAVE ON REGISTRATION! Register for the 5K or 10K for only $20!!!

New Year's Eve Printable for 2016

For the past several years, my family has sat around the kitchen table on New Year's Eve (or whenever we are celebrating with the kids) and completed this worksheet together.  This has been a fun tradition, that has allowed us each to reflect and share on the past year.  We also set some goals for ourselves and our family for the upcoming year.  Overtime, it is fun to flip through the worksheets of year's past and see how we have changed and grown as a family and how some common themes have remained the same.  It is such a special time for each of us.

Please enjoy the updated printable for ringing in 2016.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

34 Weeks ... and counting down!

Well, the countdown is on.  I'm getting eager to meet our little girl!  With each day that passes, things get a little more real.  However, like with my other two, I don't think it will really hit me until I see her face and she's in my arms.  34 weeks and 6 or less weeks to go. 
We've been busy getting things done around the house.  Both of us are nesting!  Hubby assembled the stroller and put the pack and play together in our bedroom.  He also installed the car seats in our vehicles this past weekend.  Those are the only new pieces we requested, other than a booster high chair.  Everything else has been purchased second hand at garage sales or are being borrowed from friends and family.  I'm really trying to be realistic and simplify with this one.  After the other two, I realize just how little they use that stuff and how much time and money goes into it.
 Hubby painted a second-hand crib from friends and we finished the nursery a couple of months ago.  I let him pick out the bedding, which he found online.  Neither of us really wanted to go with cutesy animal themes and I'm really happy with what he picked out.  The kids painted canvases that matched the nursery and I purchased a few decorative items off of Etsy and at places like Hobby Lobby and Marshall's.  We also purchased a glider second hand.
Hospital bags have been packed for awhile now.  The breast pump and supplies have been purchased.  Bottles have been washed.  The drawers have been filled with burp cloths and bibs.  I washed four loads of second-hand clothing that I purchased at garage sales and thrift stores over the summer.  We are ready for whatever life throws at us.  The rest of the furniture was reused from other areas of our house.
I've still been feeling great.  Other than a five week cold/cough, I've generally been feeling much better than my other pregnancies.  I've had a lot of energy.  I've still been running (inconsistently) through the past month throughout this darn sickness.   I just wish it would go away.
After Sunday's walk/run escapade of fifteen miles throughout the day, my legs were restless at night, I couldn't sleep and it literally felt like I had ran a marathon that day.  All of the same aches and pains and restlessness.  Except I had this big belly controlling how I could contort my body in bed with three different pillows to fall asleep comfortably.  I could hardly walk the next day.  I had so much lower back and ligament pain, that I could barely get to my bus stop yesterday afternoon.  Not sure if I should hang up my running shoes until six weeks postpartum, if I should just be happy with a couple of miles here and there, or if I should just enjoy some time walking on the treadmill.  Colder weather is now unfortunately upon us.  We will see what the next few weeks bring us.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

I may have over-done it today?!?! Maybe.

I'm not sure what was crazier today ... that I ran five miles at 34 weeks pregnant, logged 15+ miles and 32,000+ steps on my Garmin Vivofit ... or that I ran in a tank top!?!?  It was 62 degrees when I checked today.  November 15 in Wisconsin.  Absolutely amazing!!!! And, absolutely beautiful!!!!  I can't say it enough ... I am so thankful that we have been blessed with a beautiful fall.  It has allowed us to enjoy the outdoors and continue to be active through each week and month that passes.
Today started with a coffee day with a client that I've been blessed to cross paths with many times over the past couple of years.  Sara made Little Diva #2 this beautiful blanket.  I can't wait to have her in my arms next month and wrap her up in this.  I have the most amazing clients and can't thank Sara enough for her thoughtfulness and the time that went into this creation.
The day followed with a trip to one of my favorite places in the area - Pheasant Branch Conservancy in Middleton.  There are miles and miles of paved and gravel trail in Middleton.  The trail varies with hills, streams, mini waterfalls, bridges, forest and prairie.  It's absolutely amazing.  We took our dog out with us today for a slow hike and logged about five miles through the Conservancy.  It was so peaceful and there were so many people out today.  We loved it so much, and we didn't want to leave .... but I had to pee .... a few times.  This baby is really doing a number on my bladder these days!
I'm approaching 34 weeks this week and still can't believe I'm moving as much as I am right now.  I realized last night that with Little Diva, that I was put on bed rest two weeks from now and gave birth to her a week later.  Things are right around the corner!!!
There was about another hour of daylight left when we returned home.  Since I had my running clothes on all day, I decided to head out for a quick run for an undetermined amount of miles.  I immediately lost my lightweight jacket and enjoyed my comfortable maternity tank top.  I can't believe I was running outside in a tank top mid-November.  It's insane, really.  I loved it.  I felt pretty great today while I ran.  My bladder continued to be full and I occasionally felt some pressure.  A few knots in my calves, but nothing terrible like I've felt previously.  I ended up winding around my neighborhood a couple of times and finished with about five miles in just over one hour.  It was gorgeous and I arrived home just as the sun was setting.
After, dinner we opted to take the dog for another long walk.  The sky was clear, it was pitch black out (so sad so early!!), but it was still pretty comfortable outside.  We logged a few more miles and I ended the day with over 15 miles on my Garmin Vivofit.  I was sore and waddling the entire time.  I even had to stop and stretch out a few times.  I swear it felt like I ran a marathon today.  The same muscles are strained and sore.  It was a reallllllllly slow walk, but it felt good to keep moving.
I hope we finally tired the dog out today.  I know that I am wiped ... and sore.  I may have over-done it today?!?!  Maybe.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Congratulations on your Half Marathon, Nicky!

I met Nicky and her daughter earlier this year, as they both participated in a nine-week Running Diva Mom mom-and-me couch to 5K class in Sun Prairie.  Sometimes you just bond with people; and I connected with both of them.  Nicky was outgoing and very personable; her daughter was outgoing and always made me laugh - especially her excitement when she showed me all of her new running gear.  Nicky and I kept in touch and she reached out to me earlier this summer regarding training for her first half marathon.  She had tried to train for a half marathon on her own previously, but had gotten injured, and was unable to run her race. 
I worked with Nicky to develop a custom training program around her schedule as a busy mom (with a busy girl!) who also had other interests and activities on her agenda.  So we worked running into her routine, including some long runs.  Nicky ran her first 5K in August and she was a natural.  She ramped up her mileage and completed her first 10K in September.  And, then the grand finale was the Haunted Hustle Half Marathon at the end of October.  I checked in with her weekly this summer and fall to see how her training was going, answer her questions and to make suggestions/modifications.  And, Nicky stayed injury free!
We met for coffee on a Friday afternoon before the race and talked about her training up until that point.  "I feel ready!", she said.  And with that, I knew that this natural runner had all of the experience and training necessary to have a good race - and enjoy herself.  She had run the practice course with a group of runners, which was a little outside of her comfort zone.  Other than our couch to 5K group, Nicky enjoyed all of her solo runs on her own.  But she was very happy to have stepped outside of her comfort zone, met some other runners and familiarized herself with the course (and the hills!).
Later that weekend, Nicky had beautiful weather for her first half marathon.  And she completed her first 13.1 mile journey in style and with a smile on her face.  I had no doubt that she would.  I love that her husband spectated along the course by bike and that her parents pitched in to help out with their busy daughter's schedule, to get her to practice on one side of town, and then rushed to the finish line to cheer her mom on.  It just proves that anything is possible and that if you really want to commit to doing something, that you will find a way.  It's good to have goals.  And it's good to have a plan to help you get there.

Fabletics by Kate Hudson - Salar and Tuberose Running Capri Review

I was ecstatic to hear from Fabletics by Kate Hudson at the end of the summer.  I am contacted daily by companies wanting me to review their products on Running Diva Mom.  After years of testing out products and running gear, I really enjoy it, but can't always take companies up on their offer these days.  Either I am not interested in their products, their gear is not my style or I just am too backlogged on products to review.  At one point I was working with close to fifty companies at once.  With a lot on our plate this year, I've really tried to be selective with which companies I work with and make sure that the product and the timing is right.  
When Fabletics contacted me, I jumped on it.  I had been curious about their running gear.  I had noticed their advertisements and deals on Facebook, other blogs and on Pandora.  I hoped that if I selected a few pairs of running capris that they would be able to grow with me during the last part of my pregnancy.  And that I would be able to enjoy them post-partum.
Let me just say ... these bottoms are fabulous!  I love, love, love them!  I've struggled with a lot of running capris - even before I had a baby belly.  It was very difficult to find the right pair that stayed snug on my waist and didn't slide down.  I struggled with finding the right size ... Were they too small?  Did I purchase too large of a size? 
I ordered two pairs of Fabletics capris in my standard size medium and they fit perfect.  Even through pregnancy.
The first pair that I tried a few times is the Salar Capri (HERE).   These are a nice neutral capri that you can wear for working out or just on the go.  They are available in dozens of colors and fun patterns and soooo many sizes.  Sizes range from XXS to XXL.  I think that the range of sizes is absolutely amazing!!!  Seriously amazing.  You can't always find such a range of sizes in such high quality running gear and in such fun patterns, cuts and detailing.  These capris feature maximum compression, they are moisture-wicking and feature four-way stretch (heck yeah!), a pleasant mid-rise, 20 inch inseam, 88% polyester and 12% spandex.  They are chafe-resistant and I agree.  I can't wait to try them out on some of my longer runs next spring.  They have a hidden pocket for a key or nutrition. 

The comfort band is absolutely the best comfort I've found in running bottoms and my pants aren't moving anywhere.  No tugging or pulling while I walk or run.  The four-way stretch is the best thing ever. 

I also am adoring the Tuberose Capri (HERE).  These are FUN!  These are great for running or yoga.  I love the detail and can't wait to sport these when I'm a little smaller next year.  The black pair that I tried have unique lace detailing on the leg.  They also come in a black/grey combination (without the lace) and the fun, pink/black peak pattern.  These also come in sizes XXS to XXL.  These washed up great - no problems with the lace.  They are fitted through the leg and are slightly looser and the leg.  Fabletics says that they run true to size and I agree.  They are comfortable and not restrictive.  Mid rise.  21 inch inseam.  88% polyester.  Sweat-wicking (great for running or  hot yoga!), all-way stretch, UPF 50+, smooth/soft fabric, internal waistband pocket.  These are also chafe-resistant for your long runs.  The lace didn't annoy me while I ran.  I really would like to get these in the pink/black combination to go with some of my hot pink running tops.  The black pair with lace detail is perfect for running around town in an oversized sweatshirt and messy bun.  Little Diva adored them and wants a pair, too!

Running off the Sugar

On Sunday, I had a wonderful day surrounded by family at a baby shower. This baby is so blessed to have such wonderful family! Since I enjoyed a tasty cupcake at the shower, I had to bring my blood sugar levels back down. I quickly changed into my running gear when I got home and headed out the door for a few miles.
I wish that I could say that I enjoyed my run just as much as the rest of my day. But the 2.5 miles were pretty painful. My calves were on fire once again. And... my miles clocked by slowly. However, it was nice to be able to get outside and enjoy the sunset. I never regret a run, knowing that I am blessed to be able to do this. Approaching 33 weeks, every moment that I'm still pounding the pavement, I take a moment to be thankful for my body and what it's doing for me and baby girl.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

32 week Check Up

I had my 32 week check up today and was surprised when the doctor said that my baby girl has gained a pound over the past two weeks, but the scale said I lost about two pounds.  She said baby is "big" but is measuring ok, since I'm monitoring blood sugar levels four times daily and still being super active.  I attribute all of my activity to the amazing fall weather we have had recently.  And a little self-motivation and determination.  And encouragement from my supportive husband.
I gained about 48 lbs with my second pregnancy and close to that with my first.  My goal for #3 was to stay at or under 30 lbs.  With the recent weight loss, I am now up 21 lbs. 
My doctor was super enthusiastic at my appointment and kept telling me how proud she was of me.  She told me to head out and enjoy the  gorgeous afternoon with a run.  Little did she know that I already got four miles in this morning ...
32 weeks - up 21 lbs

Four Miles with my Four-Legged Friend

I have been hesitant about taking the dog out too much with me on my solo runs lately.  He has A LOT of pull and loves to run and I'm just worried he's going to take me down.  But, today was so beautiful out - perfect morning for a run.  And he gave me that guilty puppy dog face when I put on my running shoes.
We headed out for a few miles around the neighborhood and he did amazing.  I kept him on a short leash near me and he ran right along side me.  Didn't pull after the first .25 mile.  And mama enjoyed all of his pee breaks along the way.  It gave my calves and my bouncing bladder some time to rest.
We ran the first three miles around the neighborhood, met a woman with three other huskies, and stopped home for a potty/water break, then headed back out for a final mile.
I love my crazy, furry running buddy.  He's always so happy after he's gone for a run ... just like his mommy.

Monday, November 2, 2015

80 miles to go ...

I was able to squeeze in one mile with the dog tonight before the early sunset. What a beautiful day in Madison, Wisconsin!! Then, I was forced to finish my final two miles on the treadmill. I'm refusing to run in the dark with Little Diva #2 on board. I can't even recall the last time I was on a treadmill??!!! Maybe in March?! 

I wasn't sure where my baby-belly pace would take me at 32 weeks. But, I started out at 5.5 MPH and increased all the way to a 7.0 MPH at the end. I'm hoping that my body can hold out another 4-5 weeks and allow me to get in 1,000 miles for the year. I have about 80 miles to go ...

Sunday, November 1, 2015

She's Going to Come Out Running ...

She's either going to come out running - or I'm going to have to run in place with her in my arms to soothe her. ‪#‎NoExcuses

10/30/2015 - 31.5 weeks pregnant with #3

Laura and Cheryl are Marathoners

A year ago today, I met Laura at the Womens Running Retreat that I held in Madison, WI. A few months later, I received an email from her. She and her friend wanted to train for their first marathon in 2015. I met with Cheryl and Laura for coffee on Valentine's Day and we hit it off right away. Surrounded by kids, caffeine and lots of ideas - we discussed their goals for the year, including the marathon. I worked with them to develop a training program around their life, ...family (five kids between them), work and other activities and we put a plan in place. We ran together once a month and they followed the custom training program that I laid out for them; running most of the miles together at 5am before their families started their day. In early-October they both ran their first 26.2 mile victory lap together at Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee. And I was there to see it all. I was so very proud of all that they accomplished - not just the race; but all of those miles that they put in together this summer and fall. Ironically, exactly one year to the day that I first met Laura, the three of us met at a local coffee shop to discuss their race and how it's changed their lives. And in the same ol' Laura/Cheryl fashion - they put in many miles together at the crack of dawn before we met. I received this gorgeous custom RDM cuff bracelet and outfit for Little Diva #2 as a thank you.
But, Laura and Cheryl - I can't thank you enough for allowing me to share this journey with you this year. It has been amazing to work together towards a common goal and help you follow your dreams. I've enjoyed observing your amazing friendship and dedication. And, I am so grateful for our new friendship.

Amazing Fall Weather

Well, we are certainly taking advantage of this AMAZING fall weather in Wisconsin.  I can hardly believe that it is November now ... and that means that baby girl will arrive NEXT MONTH!!  Temperatures are rising again and are expected to reach 70 degrees the next three days.  Hubby and I enjoyed an amazing day outdoors today. 

The dog got out for several walks and he even joined us for a six mile mini-destination run on a trail in Albany.  I am trying to take advantage of all of the daylight and the extra hour today.  My step count was right back up there today, too. 

So thankful for all of this amazing weather we have been blessed with.  I am still amazed that my body is blessing me with the ability to stay this active.  I never imagined that I would be moving this much this late into my pregnancy.  Thankful is an understatement.