stopping by

We’re 6 weeks in to 3 kids, family of 5 (5!?! It’s my first time saying that.) and so far it’s going better than I expected. Not that I expected doom and gloom, but I thought things would be sticky, kids (especially Katie) having a hard time, sleep deprivation, the constant struggle of not having enough hands. And there’s some of that, to be sure, but for the most part it’s gone shockingly well.

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Leo and Kate have become the best of friends. This is new, probably in the last 2 months, and is more due to Kate growing up than Molly arriving, I think. Seriously, the two play SO WELL. They have their moments of angst (generally marked by Kate’s teradactyl shriek), but more often than not they’re running together, laughing hysterically (both make the other laugh harder than Dave or I ever have), mimicking each other, and living it up. It makes me incredibly happy to see them as friends and to watch their relationship grow and strengthen right before me.

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Leo turns 4 this month and is a master builder with train tracks, blocks, legos, etc. Seriously, the kid impresses me daily with his creativity and intricate structures. He loves stuffed animals and has a tendency to hoard all the things (my sister Jill, who I shared a room with growing up, will assure you that Leo got this trait from me). He is funny and bright and very curious (ALL THE QUESTIONS). He constantly worries that we will run out of something/there won’t be enough, and has a tendency to fuss when things aren’t right. He had his first bee sting this past weekend (bottom of the foot). His current loves are trains, especially steam engines, fruit snacks, any of Dave’s “special drinks”, and building anything.

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Kate is finally talking this month!  Prior to this she only said mama, dada, and uhoh. Now she says knee, nose, boo boo, brother, crackers, yeah yeah, baa baa (sheep), and yeti. She is spirited and opinionated and if you thought Leo was busy, you haven’t seen Katie. She is go go go all day, with lots of ideas and a plan. She likes to organize and keep things tidy, is furious if you tell her no (she’ll either scream, throw a fit, or pinch you), is barely phased by injury, and thinks she can do everything Leo does. She walks off couches and laughs, wants to climb and walk on every ledge, and will spend long amounts of time sorting. She likes to dress up, thinks Leo is the funniest, loves trains and motorcycles, gives very aggressive but sweet hugs and kisses unprompted, and will melt your heart with her curls and mischievous smile. Also, she seems to have finally passed her stranger danger phase, partly due to growing up, partly thanks to my mom being here for two weeks before and after Molly’s birth.

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Molly remains our mellow, happy, easy to please sweetheart, although I think I bragged too much about that at my 6 week postpartum check up because last night was not her finest (I’m writing this on my phone while holding her because apparently I’m not allowed to put her down).  She’s keeping me humble. In general Molly is sleeping a 7 hour stretch at night which is just THE BEST (also thanks to the noise machine and swaddle).  She’s starting to coo more frequently, tracks faces, loves the mirror on her playmat, gives beautiful crooked smiles, and poops like a boss (seriously her diapers both astound, horrify, and also make me strangely proud).

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I can’t promise a return to blogging but I do hope to stop in here every so often, if only to chronicle the growth of the kids for our own keeping!

molly june

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Introducing Molly June, born at 10:42pm on June 28th, 7 pounds 1 ounce, 19 inches long.

And while I’m here: her birth story!

My due date was June 22 and my mom wanted to come to help us out after Molly was born.  Given that my parents live about 11 hours away, we tried to guess when would be a good time for her to come based on my progress at doctor appointments.  I was also strep B positive, which meant that ideally I would receive 4 hours of antibiotics prior to the birth (if I didn’t get 4 hours worth then I would need to stay in the hospital 48 hours rather than 24 – not what we wanted).  My mom arrived at our house on June 21.  We were thrilled to have her and hopeful we would have a baby soon.  Monday (my due date) came and went.  Mom took on plenty of projects around the house – cleaning things I don’t normally get to (like scrubbing my radiators, wiping down baseboards, etc.) and sewing a bunch of curtains for me for various rooms.

Early Friday morning I was having contractions.  They weren’t painful but given how fast Kate’s labor went once it took off, we thought we should go to the hospital.  We arrived and got set up with antibiotics.  Four hours later and two rounds of antibiotics the doctor checked me.  I hadn’t really progressed so she stripped my membranes and discharged me, telling me to come back if my contractions picked up.  The antibiotics would be good in my system until midnight that night, so we were hopeful.  We went home and went on a long walk and I even went for a 2.5 mile run to try to encourage things along.  It seemed to do the opposite, as my contractions completely stopped.  Frustrating, but oh well.

Fast forward to early Sunday morning and again, contractions.  This time they felt a little stronger – not painful but I could feel them more than Friday morning.  I debated about the hospital but in the end thought we should go, since we would need to redo the antibiotics.  We got there and they monitored me for a bit and then told me to go walk for an hour and come back and be monitored again.  We did and after the second monitoring I was discharged again – as labor was stalled out again and I hadn’t progressed really (Friday I had been 2cm and Sunday morning I was just 3cm).  I was feeling really emotional at this point – I felt stupid for going to the hospital twice with false labor and I felt confused about what was happening – why contractions would start and stop, why I wasn’t progressing, how I was supposed to know when to come in or not.  The doctor told me to wait until they were every 5 minutes, 1 minute long, for an hour, which helped me to have a solid idea of what I was looking for (prior to this it was more a vague, “when labor starts” since we knew I might go fast).

The rest of Sunday I basically had no contractions.  We went to Walmart and picked up groceries, went for some walks, etc.  Dave and I went to bed around 8pm that night.  At 9:30pm I woke up to a monster contraction – right away I was breathing to get through it, concentrating on staying relaxed.  I grabbed my phone and started timing them.  They were coming every 3 minutes and lasting a minute.  After 20 minutes I woke up Dave and told him that I was having contractions and they were really hurting.  He immediately got up and said we needed to get ready for the hospital.  I said no, that we were supposed to wait for an hour, but he said we were going now (smart man).  I got up at 10pm to get dressed and my water broke.  Contractions started coming every 2 minutes and 1 minute then.  We hurried out to the car, hugged my mom goodbye, and drove to the hospital (fortunately just a mile away for us).  I gratefully accepted the wheelchair ride up to labor and delivery and we got checked in to our room.  I changed in to my gown just after 10:20 and told the nurse I felt a lot of pressure.  She checked me and yep, I was complete (truthfully I had been feeling pressure starting about when my water broke, so I think I was complete way earlier).  I started pushing, our doctor arrived (luckily she lives close to the hospital, too), and at 10:42pm Molly arrived!

It was a crazy fast labor and delivery, which made it challenging while I was in it, because I felt like I was on a runaway train.  There was no buildup or adjusting to the labor – it was just there, full-force, and all-in.  But it also made things so much easier.  Physically I’ve recovered much quicker because my body didn’t have to work for very long – I wasn’t all-body sore or exhausted like I was with Leo and Kate.  And because labor was so fast, we still got to go home after 24 hours, which we were really grateful for!

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Leo and Kate have both adjusted really well – they love to give Molly kisses and Katie loves to touch her eyes, ears, nose, mouth, etc.  Then after they kiss her they completely forget about her and get on with their normal play.

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Molly is gaining weight well – at her 10 day appointment yesterday she was 7 pounds 8 ounces.  She’s pretty mellow overall (moreso than I remember Kate or Leo being) and a good sleeper and eater.  She’s made the adjustment from 2 to 3 remarkably smooth (so far).

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We love her to bits and are so so glad she is here!  (I’m realizing we are definitely missing a family photo of all 5 of us… we clearly need to get on that!  And one of the three kids!)

quick update

We’ve been on the stomach bug merry-go-round for the past 2 weeks and I think we’re finally getting off that hellish ride.  It started back on the 9th, when Leo and I both got sick within minutes of each other.  Kate threw up just once that night and the next morning Dave got taken down, too.  We thought we were out of the woods and then Leo randomly got sick again on Valentine’s Day.  And then Wednesday night of last week Leo got sick again, Kate got sick on Thursday night, and Leo came back for round freakin FOUR on Friday night.  Needless to say, there have been loads upon loads of towels, sheets, and pajamas, endless cups of juice, and a lot of toast and bananas.  And I will say this: Leo is a rockstar at using a puke bowl.  The kid does not miss.  While his aversion to being messy sometimes can be frustrating, it pays off HUGE when he’s sick.  The hardest part of it all was probably all the missed sleep.  Leo really had a great attitude through it all.  It’s much easier having a sick three year old, who can tell you he feels badly, who uses a bowl, and who can run to the toilet when he needs it!

I’m 23 weeks pregnant and pleased to announce it’s a girl!  Leo told us all along it was a girl and he only wanted sisters, so he was thrilled about the news.

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I had a brief week of sacral joint pain, but it passed with a few days rest.  I’ve been consistently running (treadmill) and feeling really good, which I’m grateful for.  I’d like to hit 100 miles a month for as long as possible this pregnancy.  I had to take almost a week off with the stomach bug (it too me much longer to bounce back energy-wise) but I think I’m on track to make it if I can get all my runs in this week.

Meanwhile Leo and Katie play amazingly well together.  Yesterday they were cracking each other up in the car, which had Dave and I laughing along.  It’s really sweet to see them together.

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But before you think they’re total angels, Leo already had a long timeout this morning for throwing at toy at Katie’s head and Katie had a timeout in her crib after she threw a big tantrum.  Katie is in the developmental phase of transferring things from one place to another, which most often results in her snacks being spread across the floor (or more realistically, crushed into the carpet).  Leo wants to know how to spell things, which is awesome but, you know, gets old after 12 words in a row.
That’s all from here for now!

sneaky spaghetti pie

The beauty – and sneakiness – of this recipe is that it gets in a whole head of cauliflower.  It’s delicious, comes together quickly, and was a big hit with Dave and I and both the kids (a dinnertime where we’re not fighting to get them to eat the meal?  Priceless!).  I’ve had a version of spaghetti pie made with ricotta or cottage cheese, which was really good.  But I liked this version even better!

sneaky spaghetti pie

Sneaky Spaghetti Pie

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cored and chopped into large pieces
  • 1lb. spaghetti, any variety (gf also works)
  • 1/4c. pesto
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2c. shredded parmesan
  • 3-4c. spaghetti sauce
  • salt to taste

Place the cauliflower in a large pot and cover with salted water.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes.  Scoop out the cauliflower with a slotted spoon and place in a food processor or blender.  Return the water to a boil for the spaghetti noodles and add more water if needed.  Cook the noodles as directed.  While the noodles cook, blend together the cauliflower, pesto, and eggs until smooth and creamy.  Add salt as needed.  When the noodles are finished, drain and return to the pot.  Add the cauliflower sauce to the noodles and mix well.  Add 1/2c. parmesan and mix again.  Pour into a greased 8″ round pan.  Top with the remaining parmesan.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Take off the foil and back for another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and starting to brown.  While the pie is baking warm the spaghetti sauce in a small pot.  Slice the pie and serve, topping with sauce.  Serves 6.

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2014 running review

January 1, 2014 I ran 2 miles – my first postpartum run after having Kate.  I ended the year at 15 weeks pregnant and 840 miles for the year.  I ran two half marathons: the Parlor City Trot in Bluffton Indiana (2:14, Kate in stroller) and the Haunted Hilly Half (1:58:48).  Parlor City Trot was my half marathon with Kate and she did really well for most of the race, aside from a few fussy spots where she was tired or wanted a snack.  I was not really trained for the 13 miles and hoped that all my miles pushing the double stroller would help me get across the finish line.  It worked… but was painful.  The Haunted Half was my attempt at going sub-2 for the first time since having kids and thanks to the help of Kimberly, I mostly achieved it.  I say “mostly” because the course was a little short, so technically I would have been just under 2:01 if it had been full length.  But the HILLS.  Yowza.  Kimberly had to drag my sorry 6 week pregnant butt over them (and she was 16 weeks pregnant at the time).  My highest mileage month was October, with 122 miles.  As of right now I’m still running.  I had a dip in November and December where I was tired and didn’t run as much, but now that I’m in the second trimester I’m finding my energy is back up, as well as my speed (for the most part).  I’m in the sweet spot right now where I don’t have first trimester fatigue or third trimester body bulk.  I’m loving it!

I don’t have tons of goals for 2015.  I’d like to run through pregnancy as much as possible and as my body is willing and able.  I’d like to come back running postpartum.  And I’d like to do a half marathon in the fall with Kimberly, as a postpartum comeback.  I’d love to do some stroller runs in the spring and late summer and fall, as it’s a great way to build strength and endurance and share running with the kids (as well as get them outside).

How was your 2014?  What goals do you have for 2015?

Kate: 13 months

I was thinking yesterday there are some things I want to remember about Kate at this age but her baby book no longer has space for me to do monthly summaries.

Kate started walking just shy of 11 months so now at 13 months she is almost running (it’s kind of a powerwalk/jog thing).  She is really aware of what is going on around her and knows when we are talking about certain things.  For instance, if you say “snack” or “eat” or “milk” or “breakfast/lunch/dinner” she will expect food immediately.  If we’re upstairs, she’ll go right over to the gate at the top of the stairs and shake it to let us know she’s ready.  She also does this when she’s hungry.  It’s actually really convenient and helpful that she can communicate that way!  She loves to be chased and wrestled.  She’s adores Leo and wants whatever he has.  For the most part Kate just does her thing but when she wants something she really lets you know!  She can also be quite dramatic.  This past week she had to get a heel prick and shots at the doctor and it was a huge ordeal.  She was screaming and flailing during the heel prick and blood was everywhere.  Then during the shots she was crying so hard she was sweating and shaking.  She did the heaving-postcry breathing for about 15 minutes afterwards, too.  The nurse said she wasn’t sure she’s ever seen such a reaction out of a baby!  To her credit, once shots are over Kate calms down and rarely has a reaction (no fever or crankiness).  She’s a tough girl!

Kate never stops moving.  She doesn’t sit and play with toys.  If something is particularly interesting she might stand and play with it for about 3 seconds before she’s walking on to something else.  She’ll bring you stacks and stacks of books but not stick around for more than a page before she walks off again.  She loves to chew on things.  Thinking of Christmas ideas for her for family was hard because she doesn’t really “play” with anything!  She walks around and chews things!  She loves to take magnets off the fridge and to put toys on her head (or other’s heads) as hats.  She loves to get hats out of the bin of winter things and bring them to us to dress up.  She eats pretty well but when she’s done with a food she does “scissor hands” in front of her face to let you know she will not eat any more of that.  She knows what “no” means but generally laughs when we say it and thinks it’s a pretty funny joke.  If you actually tell her no emphatically and swat her hand lightly, she will be very offended and wail.

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doctor on the move

drinking bathwater.  gross.

drinking bathwater. gross.

sleeping hard with pink kitty

sleeping hard with pink kitty

Nicknames: Katie, Katiegirl, Missy, Little Miss, Shortstack, Babycakes

Favorite foods: graham crackers, cheese, peas, noodles, fruit, yogurt and oatmeal (but only if sweetened), cheerios, raisins, roasted broccoli, eggs, toast

Foods she dislikes: beans, avocados, tofu

Dislikes: diaper changes and getting dressed (you’d think after a year this would be old hat but no), sitting still, getting nails trimmed (basically she walks around with talons because trying to cut her nails is akin to wrestling a very angry wildcat)

Likes: socks and shoes, playing dress up, magnets (she uses Leo’s magformers more than he does), saying “dadada” and “mamamamama”, playing with Leo, her pink kitty and pacifier, rattling balls, taking things off shelves/out of baskets

I would still describe Kate as opinionated and a little particular at times, but she’s predominantly very sweet, happy, and silly.  She’s busy busy busy but still a really good sleeper (she sleeps 12+ hours at night, 45 minute morning nap, and 1.5 hour afternoon nap).  It’s fun to see her and Leo chase each other and laugh together and we’re hopeful that they will grow up to be good friends!

hello out there?

Remember when I blogged?  Me, too.  Barely.  It’s been a loooong time (7 months…).  Basically I was tired, I didn’t feel like I had much to say, and when I had extra time I wanted to use it to zone out, not write.  I’m not saying this is a comeback.  But for the first time I felt like I wanted to write, so I’m going with that.  No promises it will become a regular “thing” again.

In case you forget what we look like…

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This morning as I was getting ready I thought of a few things I/we do that have made life a little simpler, so I wanted to share them.  And I’m hoping you have some ideas you can share, too!

1) Get up before your kids.  Obviously losing some sleep kind of sucks, but once you’re used to the wake up time, it becomes much easier (also: turn on the light as soon as your alarm goes off and it’s much much easier to wake up).  That first cup of coffee by yourself?  GOLD.  And Dave and I have both found that we’re much more mentally and emotionally ready to hang with the kids when we’ve started the day with some time on our own.  Which leads to…

2) Trade off.  First, you might have to make some tradeoffs with your life.  For instance, we go to bed silly-early (about 8-9pm) because Leo is an early riser.  This means we might miss out on social things at night or we’re going to pay for it the next day because we stayed up late.  Second, we tradeoff with the kids.  Dave does breakfast with Leo so I can run in the mornings and takes the kids for half an hour before dinner so I can cook without kids hanging on me (literally Kate hanging on my jeans crying because she knows there is fooooood).

3) Put your shoes on when you get dressed.  This seems silly, but if you’re getting two kids ready to head out the door it’s so much easier if you don’t have to get your shoes on, too.  In the winter there is enough stuff to tie, pull on, zip up.

4) Pick recipes that are delicious but easy.  I want meals that come together in about 30 minutes.  If I have to do a little prep over naptime that’s okay, but I prefer it to just be done all at once, in half an hour.  Here are a couple of our favorites:

There’s also the crockpot, which I’ve sorely underused lately.

5) A quick clean is better than a no-clean.  So you’d love to sweeper the whole kitchen but only have time to use the handheld to get the really crumb-y spots.  You don’t have time to deep-clean the bathroom but you can quick-scrub the sink and toilet.  Go for it.  Anything is better than nothing!

What are some of your best ideas for making life a little simpler?  We need all the help we can get because…

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Baby #3 is coming in late June!