Category Archives: Home improvement

Third Trimester Recap: Weeks 29-30

 

Feeling sore and large — that’s how I’d sum up the past couple of weeks. But at the suggestion of my acupuncturist, I picked up some epsom salt and have been getting in a few soaks. Not only have the baths been super relaxing, I feel like the epsom salt has been really good for my sore, aching joints and muscles. I even had a couple nights of decent sleep!

We also had a great first prenatal meeting with our doula, Angie. Already, her presence makes me feel calm and reassured — I’d say that’s definitely a good sign! We spent the two hours talking about my last pregnancy and delivery, important pieces of this birth plan and fun things like eating my placenta (as much as I actually want to do this, I’m having it encapsulated instead) — it’s all getting so real. Our next meeting is going to be somewhere around 34-35 weeks. I also borrowed a nice stack of books and a DVD from her lending library.

The day after our meeting with Angie, we had our VBAC consult. My doctor is a family practice doctor, which means that if for some reason after I attempt a VBAC (vaginal birth after a cesarean), or TOLAC (trial of labor after a cesarean), it isn’t successful and I need a repeat cesarean, an OB would perform the surgery. So J and I met with an OB who took a look through my medical records and cesarean surgery notes to make sure he agreed that I’d be a good candidate for a VBAC. I wasn’t nervous because I’ve done a ton of research into this, my doctor is supportive, the last OB I was seeing was supportive, and we took a VBAC education course already, but a small part of me was afraid that the OB would say something that totally changed my plans. Luckily, it was a quick conversation and he said I’m a “great candidate” for a VBAC and have a high probability for success.

We took a newborn class called All About Babies this past weekend. It went over things like how to soothe your baby, when to call your health care provider, etc. Here’s J giving our “baby” a bath:

His face is because I'm taking his picture, not because of the bath/diapering. Or so he tells me.

His face is because I’m taking his picture, not because of the bath/diapering. Or so he tells me.

We’re also now halfway done with our Hypnobabies classes. I’ve been surprised that the weekly 3.5 hour class actually goes by pretty quickly and we’ve been doing a good job of keeping up on our homework.

Finally, more kitchen progress!

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Cutest little dishwasher ever. Also, that’s not the final color of the cabinets.

Looking forward to: July. June is incredibly busy since I’ve scheduled everything I want to get done, dinners with people I want to see, etc. prior to July. I’m hoping to spend July trying to relax as much as possible since baby could show up in July! July also means that J will be done with marathon training! (His marathon is June 20.)

Most embarrassing moment: I had my first official pregnancy breakdown on our way to/once we arrived at our VBAC consult appointment. I somehow mixed up the street name for where the clinic was located and got us lost and we were late to our appointment. This was particularly stressful for me since I: 1) Don’t like making mistakes and 2) HATE being late to things. After crying in the waiting room and again in the exam room, I felt sufficiently silly and pulled myself together.

Most surreal moment: My co-workers threw me a baby shower!

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It was such a nice shower, complete with an adorable diaper cake, (truly) fun games, delicious lemon cake and awesome and thoughtful gifts. It still didn’t feel real that I was actually having a baby shower — incredible.

Current stresses: Trying to stay on top of kick counting and then deciding if baby is moving enough/same as usual, etc. I understand why kick counting is so controversial. Also, getting everything done that’s on my to-do list! Also, overbooking myself. Bad idea when 30+ weeks pregnant. Breakdowns happen (see: Most embarrassing moment, above.)

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Day in the Life: Before Baby

I thought it might be kind of fun to do one of those ‘Day in the Life’-type posts, even if just for my own amusement to compare a typical day pre-baby and post-baby. So…here it goes! (PS – my life is not at all interesting. So congrats to you if you make it through this entire post.)

5:48 a.m. – A weird pregnancy dream makes me stir, and my cat (sensing weakness that I might be slightly awake) takes the opportunity to paw at my eyelids and sit on me until I’m fully awake and get out of bed to feed her and the dog.

5:53 a.m. – Turn on the Kuerig and take the dog around the block for a quick walk. This is becoming one of my favorite parts of the day because the neighborhood is quiet and the cool, but pleasant temps help wake me up.

6:00 a.m. – I “brew” a cup of decaf, grab a coconut water from the fridge and split up the overnight oats I made the night before. I made this batch with Hint of Vanilla Honey Almondmilk that Almond Breeze sent me to try (I usually use unsweetened original Almond Breeze Almondmilk).  I pour my portion of the oats out into a bowl and leave J’s in the mason jar for him to bring to work. I go through work and personal emails while I eat. I can definitely notice a nice, subtle additional sweetness to my oats from the honey vanilla almondmilk!

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6:22 a.m. – Shower and start getting ready for the day. Realizing that I need a haircut because it’s taking longer and longer to dry my hair in the mornings #thickhairproblems.

6:50 a.m. – Cut up some strawberries for my infused water, portion out some snacks for the work day and pack a lunch. Today, it’s: one brown rice tortilla, one Trader Joe’s Cowboy Quinoa Veggie Burger, some spinach (will also top with mustard at work), Plentils lentil chips, whole wheat crackers and Babybel cheese, some strawberries and blueberries and almonds.

7 a.m.  – Say goodbye to the husband. Cole (the dog) and I head out the door. He’s going to daycare today because J has a 13 mile run in the evening and then we’re going out for our monthly date night.

7:10 a.m. – Drop Cole off at daycare. The other day I realized that I get so sad when I drop him off at daycare and that I’m going to have to get used to it because soon I’ll have to drop off a human baby at daycare and I imagine that’s no walk in the park.

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7:50 a.m. – Starbucks drive-thru. I’m slowly breaking this habit, but achieving gold status has been my downfall. Plus, I’m weak. I order a decaf soy misto with one pump of vanilla. #highmaintenance

8:00 a.m. – Arrive at work — and earlier than usual!

4:40 p.m. – Leave work and head home a little early to grab Cole from daycare. Looking forward to dinner because I know that soon we’re not going to have the luxury of date nights whenever we feel like it.

5:35 p.m. – Traffic was pretty terrible because of the rain. I log back onto my computer for a little while to finish up some work items.

6:05 p.m. – J arrives home from his run and hops in the shower. I feed the animals and then continue with my latest obsession — tidying. I finished The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in a day and then got to work. I haven’t had a large chunk of time to do my whole house at once, but I’ve been working my way through categories and I’m LOVING how my house feels.

7:20 p.m. – With dinner, J got his Pub Pass free beer and I had a turkey burger with sweet potato fries. It was super disappointing, so I didn’t even take a photo of it.

9 p.m. – We get home and out of habit, I turn on the radio to finish listening to the Minnesota Twins game, only to remember that they played earlier in the day and lost big time. We cut back our cable package a couple of weeks ago to save a little money and I’m really happy with our decision so far. It’s taken some adjusting to since I don’t watch TV except for sports, and that’s what I feel like has been missing so far. We still have Netflix and a Roku and Apple TV, so we’re going to be just fine. Or at least that’s what I keep telling J.

9:10 p.m. – J touches up a few spots where the paint looked a little thin in the kitchen. (Kitchen remodel update coming soon!) I (of course) do a little more tidying — this time tackling the vanity drawers in the bathroom.

9:30 p.m. – Run through my nightly fitness routine which includes some deep breathing, planks, light weight lifting, hip lifts, spine strengthening and stretching.

9:55 p.m. – Get ready for bed — includes taking my prenatal vitamins.

10:08 p.m. – Let the dog out one last time for the night.

10:10 p.m. – Lights out and in bed with my Snoogle, slightly later than usual. These days, I’m pretty wiped out by the time 8:30 rolls around and usually it’s lights out by 10. I realize I didn’t listen to my Hypnobabies tracks today. I was on a roll, but am too tired to do it now.

*This post was sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk. I received one free 32oz of Almond Breeze Almondmilk Hint of Honey Vanilla. All opinions are my own.

Fun weekend + St. Peter Fun Run Recap

What a fun and busy weekend!

On Friday, J and I went to my dear friend and marathon buddy’s wedding. It was an absolutely beautiful wedding and my friend looked gorgeous!

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Plus, it was like a mini reunion with some of my former co-workers.

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Early Saturday morning (which, let me tell you, felt great the morning after a late and wine-filled night), Andrea, Mandy and I drove down to St Peter to meet up with Jen to run the St. Peter Fun Run!

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St. Peter is a small-ish city just outside of Mankato, Minnesota. This was the 11th year they’ve held this Halloween Fun Run and it’s a pretty course with some hills and a surprisingly good amount of crowd support! I took it super easy and just enjoyed the lovely weather and all of the fun costumes. After the race, we grabbed some snacks and checked out the little festival that was set up. They really went all out! For all of you Parks and Rec fans, I seriously felt like I was at the Harvest Festival!

On our way back to the Cities, we made a quick pit stop here:

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I left with a nice little haul.

The rest of the weekend was busy busy. We went out for yummy drinks for Andrea’s birthday. I was having so much fun, I forgot to take photos! But my drink was delicious. I had “The Greek God:” Skinos Masitha Spirits, House-made Sour, Muddled Cucumber & Seltzer Water. So refreshing. I also ordered the lefse nachos which consisted of smoked salmon, cucumbers, finely sliced radish, pistachio guacamole & crème fraiche. Awesome.

Sunday morning, I met up with Andrea again and we took Cole for a 2.5 mile walk. The weather was too amazing not to get out and enjoy it.

For the rest of the weekend, my time was consumed by working on this “little” project we have going on:

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We bought our house five years ago and have been renovating each room ever since. This is by far the biggest project yet. It’s not like I’ve been cooking a ton lately anyways, but now that my kitchen is in my living room and we don’t have access to a stove/oven, it doesn’t look like I’ll be starting anytime soon!

On the running front, I’m looking forward to what is most likely my last race of 2014 (but who knows) — a turkey trot the weekend before Thanksgiving. And I believe I almost have my next big race locked down. I’m SUPER excited about it and hope to announce it very soon!

What kind of home improvement projects have you done?

Have you ever dressed up for a race?

What food should I make while I’m without an oven/stove?

Putting the whole “Finding a Balance” thing to the test.

As the title of this post suggests, I feel like I’m about to be put to the test. And here is why:

  • The busy season at work is in full swing and likely won’t slow down until mid-October.
  • I started my part time job on Sunday and it left me absolutely exhausted by the end of the day. I think I’m too old to have two jobs (and as Carly put it, one that’s so physical!)
  • I plan to buy a new car this fall so need to start researching and test driving cars!
  • I just finished week 2 of marathon training and this week speed work gets incorporated into my training plan.
  • I started working with a personal trainer a couple of weeks ago and will be meeting with her on a weekly basis.
  • I signed up for my own personal training certification test which is scheduled for November 22. Need to fit in study time somehow…
  • We’ve been talking about starting our kitchen remodel project (completely gutting and re-doing the kitchen) in a couple of months.
  • I’m the captain of our Ragnar team and there’s still a lot to do before the race! Oh and I got roped into captaining the team at work, too….
  • Although my friends and family have been AMAZING and I’m about 75% of the way to my fundraising goal, I will still need to do some work to hit that $1,000 mark for Girls on the Run Twin Cities.

How I plan to find and keep a balance:

Learn to say no/ hold my “me time” sacred. I have a tendency to feel guilty when I have “white space” on my personal calendar and feel like if someone wants to make plans, I should just fill up that time. I’m going to work on spacing things out and not being afraid to say no when I need to.

Take care of myself: eating healthy, getting as much sleep as possible, etc. Meal planning and prepping will be crucial to make sure I don’t just opt for convenience food or make unhealthy choices. Getting a decent amount of sleep might be tricky but I’ve been doing a good job so far of getting around 7 hours of sleep a night, even with getting up earlier. I’m also still getting regular massages, which has been fantastic.

Continue seeing my therapist: sometimes you just need the help of a professional

Enjoy and savor the relaxing time at the cabin I have coming up in a few days! Our cabin is one of my favorite places on earth to be. I plan to be lazy and catch up on some reading I’ve been meaning to do 😉

Keep my eye on the prize(s): I find it’s good to keep perspective when things get tough. Eg. why am I working a part time job? I want to buy a nice brand new car in the fall. Also, I always think about the things I have to look forward to:

  • The Basilica Block Party with Mandy!
  • Chicago weekend with Andrea (and Hillary!)
  • Um, hello Minnesota State Fair?! I hear there’s some pretty sweet new foods debuting this year.
  • The marathon!
  • I feel like the cabin deserves another mention 🙂

There’s a lot of  “me” talk going on (which normally would make me uncomfortable) but if I’ve learned anything recently, it’s that I have to give myself permission to put myself first sometimes so that I can be the best employee/wife/friend/pup and cat mom I can be.

How do you maintain balance in your life?

Kicking off the racing season

You know you’re getting old when you get excited about a freezer.

Isn't it pretty?

Isn’t it pretty?

Look at all that room.

Look at all that room.

In keeping with the theme of being old/home ownership, we spent Saturday all day trying to fix the leak in our brand new shower. So naturally, J cut a hole in our wall.

Lovely.

Lovely.

Thanks to J and my father-in-law, everything seems to be in working order now!

Anyways, back to the topic of this blog. Like the title of this entry implies, I’ve officially kicked of my 2013 racing reason. It feels a little early, but I feel like I have a little catching up to do after taking so much forced time off and having some pretty big speed goals for the year. First up, I’m training for the Point Bock Run 5 miler which is March 2. The fastest I’ve ever run that was in 48:54. I don’t want to just PR this race — rather, break 45 min. So I’ve got my work cut out for me.

I got a run in Friday, a solid workout on the stepmill/strength training on Saturday and a “long” run on Sunday. And that feels amazing to be back at it.

Step mill reading material.

Step mill reading material.

Today’s run splits:

Mile 1 – 9:40

Mile 2 – 9:22

Mile 3 – 9:05

Mile 4 – 8:49

Four miles in 36:58.

I’ve been taking it easy, but I feel like I’m getting really close to be able to start picking up the pace again. Thank goodness!

Off to watch the Golden Globes and the season premiere of Girls! #obsessed

Weekend recap and Girls on the Run 5K

First of all, I wanted to give a shout out to Michelle over at NYC Running Mama and her very cool Race for Recovery virtual race. I just signed up today and I’m SO excited for December 8! Check it out.

Wow — where did the weekend go? It was a busy one that started with our first very own Girls on the Run 5K on Saturday morning. Thanks so much, Erin, Mandy and KJ for volunteering to be running buddies! And thanks to Nick, who came out to cheer everyone on!

Stretching!

Goody Happy Hair station

 

Saturday afternoon, we made a lot of progress on our bathroom.

Saturday night was pretty relaxing. J made his famous chili and I did some fall baking.

mmm Carrots n Cake loaded pumpkin cookies!

Sunday morning started with a trip to the grocery store and gym and then a very exciting meeting for a new project I’m working on! At the gym, I did an interval program on the stepmill and was a sweaty mess when it was over! GREAT workout.

More work on the bathroom and then we went to see Skyfall! I love Bond movies and I was definitely entertained by this one — but I think my expectations were too high. I also think the new Q is pretty adorable and oh yeah, Mr. Craig isn’t so bad himself.

This weekend I also had a successful first attempt at making Bulgogi. I will learn to cook Korean food someday 🙂

This week I’m running the Turkey Day 5K on Thanksgiving which kicks off my Runner’s World run streak!