Sunday, May 31, 2009

Reasons to Run

I got a 3 miler in today to round out the week's mileage with a whopping total of 10 miles. At least it's double digits.

To be honest, at this point, it is getting harder and harder to motivate myself to get my measly 2 and 3 mile runs done, and while I know that for many of you, a 10 miler is a mid-week run, for me completing a 3 miler right now brings with it the same sense of challenge and accomplishment that any long run used to. I knew months ago that this would be the hardest part of my pregnancy to run through -- not only because of the advancing discomforts of running in the 3rd trimester, but also because my 3rd trimester coincides with summer, in FL -- however, as long as I can still get runs in 3-4 days a week, I want to keep it up.

Why?

I have to have my own reasons for that because research demonstrates mixed results about how exercising during pregnancy helps with delivery and post-partum recovery, so even though some studies suggest that women who exercise strenuously throughout pregnancy enjoy shorter, easier labor and faster post-partum recovery, there is no conclusive data to say that it definitively does. So a pregnant runner, like myself, has to have her own reasons to continue doing this. Here are mine:

1. It helps relieve stress and anxiety.
Anticipating a first child is stressful because there's just so much I don't know and can't fully predict or prepare for. These things range from things relatively small in perspective (financial concerns) to things pretty large in perspective (will something go wrong in labor? will she be healthy?) to things in between (how will breastfeeding go?). But running has always helped me mentally and emotionally deal with the things that burden my thoughts, so it continues to do its job with these worries as well.

2. It helps with minor aches and pains.
At this point in pregnancy, a woman's lower back, hips and legs really start to ache. And I'm no different, but I find that running, and the prenatal yoga I try to include a few times a week, help keep these aches and pains to a minimum so far.

3. It's not just good for me.
It's good for the baby as well. And in this research, the evidence is pretty conclusive: A baby in utero pretty much experiences the same physical advantages of exercise that the mother does -- increased oxygen and blood flow and increased cardiac health in the form of a lower fetal heart rate. Also, some research even indicates that the mental and emotional benefits that I enjoy from running (like reduced stress and a general feeling of happiness and optimism) transfer to the baby while in utero as well.

4. It's bad ass.
I have run a marathon, but nothing feels quite as much like an accomplishment as running a 3 miler when 30 weeks pregnant. Seriously, it's like the pinnacle of toughness. And sorry guys, I don't know if there's any distance you can complete that will impress me as much as a woman who is running in the 3rd trimester of her pregnancy.

5. It just plain feels good.
When I'm running, and I can feel my heart pounding and the blood coursing through my veins, and my breath is steady with the exertion, I feel strong and healthy. And when I finish, sweaty and spent, I feel like even if I don't accomplish anything else in the course of the day, I have accomplished this. And that feels significant. Plus, I continue to feel good after a run in the same way that running has always made me feel good. And I can eat an Ice Cream Snickers and not feel a trace of guilt!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

New Couch

This is an old pic (I believe it is from 2007) of Jerry and Scooter chillin' on the red couch in our office. Jerry and I bought the couch about 5 years ago, but it didn't hold up well. It faded quickly, and it didn't fare well against the Scooter-factor. So, because we have also recently turned our guest bedroom into Norah's room, we decided to get a new couch for the office, specifically, one that has a sleeper in it to accomodate the guests who we expect to have after Norah is born. We bought the couch last weekend, but Jerry didn't get to pick it up until yesterday. So, here it is:
It's microfiber, so we're hoping the more durable fabric will hold up better against the couch's primary occupant, the dog:
Plus, with the queen sized pull out, it should work well for whoever comes to visit us (and since it's in the office, they can still close the doors in there and have some privacy, so it's not quite as bad as sleeping in the living room).

The other decorative objects that arrived yesterday were some shelves for Norah's room that we'd ordered, so Jerry hung them last night, and they look good over her crib.
Of course, we have very little to put on them at this point, but I'm sure that they'll fill up quickly.

In non-decorative news, I did get out for a short run last night, but it started to rain on me, so by the time I got home, I was pretty soaked. I am pretty done with all this rain; I think we've had enough!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Personal Triumph

I learned yesterday that a short story I recently wrote has been accepted for publication by a small, online literary magazine, Bartleby Snopes. It may seem like a small accomplishment -- getting a single story published by a small online publication -- but, for me, it's a huge personal triumph.

I have previously published work, but it's been awhile since I've published anything creative, and I have never published a work of fiction. Plus, it just feels good to have an idea for something, create it, send it off for consideration, and have a publication agree that it's good enough to publish. So, snaps for me!

It won't get published until the July edition of the magazine, so I have to wait a bit before actually seeing it there, but once it's published, I'll let you guys know. I'm sure you'll want to at least feign excitement about reading it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hello, Heartburn

I'm Jess. And before I was pregnant, we'd never really been formally introduced. But now that I am 7 months pregnant, you and I have come to be on familiar terms, haven't we? At first you just tentatively edged your way into my life late at night or during a run, but now you seem to think you're welcome to arrive at any time, including an unannounced visit in the afternoon after I only committed the marginal sin of drinking a lemonade (yes, I'll concede red sauces and pizza to you, but c'mon, lemonade? it's practically just juice!*).

Well, I've got news for you buddy. I have recently discovered Tums Smoothies, and guess what? Those good people at Tums had the genius to combine the esophagus soothing qualities of Tums with the consistency of a large Smartie! What does this mean for you and your attempts to consistently ninja your way into my everyday life? Well, in case you haven't heard, I love Smarties, so I no longer dread having to chew a chalky antacid; no, instead I bolt to the medicine cabinet at the first wicked signs of your acidic bubbling and I munch down 2 of those delicious acid-fighting agents, and then you're eradicated! Ha.

So, while I will allow that you and I will most likely continue to associate with one another for the next few months, I want you to know that I will not accept our association without large quantities of these Smartie-esque Tums as chaperone. I am certain they are available in bulk, so you will go down, heartburn. Downtown.

Sincerely,
Jess

*Okay, so the label on the lemonade says it only contains 10% juice. But that's more than 0%!

P.S. I didn't run yesterday: Jerry, Scooter and I went for a family walk instead. And I didn't get up early to run this morning either and now it's raining sideways, so me thinks there will be no running today either.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Doctor Visit

Had a dr. check up this morning, and by and large, it was uneventful and everything is normal. Here are some stats:
  • Gained another few pounds, so I'm up 16.5 lbs overall.
  • My blood pressure remains average as well (110/72), and I don't have any swelling, so that's all good.
  • My glucose screening came back normal, and that's also good.
  • Norah's heart rate was again strong and healthy.

The only two blips on the radar were:

  • My iron is a little low. Not low enough for the dr. to prescribe a daily iron pill, but she said I should pick up an over the counter supplement and take it 2-3 days a week. Also, I should try eating more broccoli, spinach, and red meat. Jerry snickered at me being directed to eat more red meat since becoming pregnant, eating meat hasn't been my strong suit.
  • My fundal height (measurement of the growth of my uterus) was slightly big. The dr. wasn't concerned about it since this is the first time it's measured slightly larger, and it's very possible that how the baby is positioned could affect the day's measurement.

So, all in all, a good visit. Now, I start going every two weeks, instead of once a month, for my check ups.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Morning Run

This morning I dragged myself out of bed at 6:45, ate some breakfast, had a cup of coffee, and hit the road by 7:15 for a 3 mile run. It was still in the low 70s, so it was pleasant and cool for the run, and it felt good. And really, the best part about getting up and actually running first thing in the morning is just getting it done early in the day.

But, that's about all I know for today. I am boring.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Wet Season

In the past week, we've gotten enough rain that the canal behind our house has risen about 2 feet. This moisture is much needed, and an additional bonus to the daily rain is that it can make a 90 degree day, like today, transform into an 76 degree evening, which is pleasant for running.

So, after a 4 day hiatus from running, this evening, I got back out there for a short 2 miler. I cut it a little short because it began raining on me, yet again, while I was approaching the one mile point, so I thought it best to turn around in order to avoid getting soaked. Which was wise because it's raining pretty steady now.

That canal is gonna overflow.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Baby Shower Pics

Here I am at home before I left for the shower:At the shower, we ate some delicious food, everyone else got to enjoy lots of wine (I had a marvelous vintage bottle of water for myself), we played some fun games, we gabbed, and then we got down to the present opening! Here I am opening up the cutest little swimsuit, evah!
Everyone thought that given my proclivity to talk about poop, the Diaper Champ and I would get along fabulously.
This is a beautiful quilt that my friend Connie made. The jean squares come from patches of Jerry's old jeans, and the patch in the upper right corner (my right in the pic) is from a pair of his that had a hole near the butt pocket that I distinctly remember. She also embroidered Norah's name in the bottom left corner. Both Jerry and I really love this quilt! Thanks Connie!
Norah got lots of really great, and necessary, stuff and after all the opening, I was spent!
Afterward, when I got home, Jerry and I sorted through everything and got it all put away, and now Norah's room is really feeling like it's filling up! Our family and friends have been so generous that, really, there are just a few items that we'll need to purchase on our own now as we get ready.

And last night before we went to bed, we both went in her room again to re-admire all the gifts and to imagine the final touch of what the room needs: Norah, herself.

Today, we have a BBQ/Pool Party to attend, and I hope the weather is nice. It's been storming all week, and yesterday we had rain, wind and lightening that seemed fit for a tropical storm! It's cloudy this morning, but let's cross our fingers that those clouds part and we can have some sun this afternoon because I'm ready to float around, weightless, in the pool!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Gettin' Ready for the Weekend

Because I only work on Tuesdays and Thursdays right now, every weekend is a long weekend for me, but still, a holiday weekend is always special, so I began yesterday by hitting up the spa for a pedicure. Jerry had gotten me a gift card for Mother's Day, so I took advantage of that gift and enjoy the pampering. Here are my pretty toes: Nice flip-flop tan line, right? That's pretty much permanent.

After the pedicure, I headed next door to the spa to Barnes and Noble and got myself a few new reads:
When I got home, I started reading Lancaster's "Pretty in Plaid" (If you haven't read Lancaster's other 3 memoirs, you must; I swear, you will crack a rib laughing), but I only got a chapter in before Jerry surprised me by arriving home from work early. We decided that instead of running, as we'd planned, we'd go for a family walk, so we changed, got Scooter leashed up, and the 3 of us went for a 3 mile walk. It's been awhile since Scooter walked that far, and while he enjoyed the excursion, he returned home pooped:
He matches our floors perfectly, doesn't he? It's like camouflage!

Anyhoo...Jerry and I wrapped up our Friday night by going out to dinner and renting a few movies.

Today?

I have my second baby shower to attend: My friend Erin is hosting it, and I know she's already put lots of hard work into preparing for it, so it should be wonderful. So, I think this morning, I'll lounge for a bit, and return to my book, and then get ready to party it up this afternoon -- Baby Shower Style!

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Don't Want to Name Names

But, somebody rolled in duck poop this morning... and had to have a bath.
Thankfully, he just accepts his fate and deals with it. He may give me the "sad" eyes, but at least I don't have to wrestle him into the tub.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Not Much to Say

So, I figured I'd make do by posting the recent preggo pic of myself:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Deja Vu

Remember how, a couple of weeks ago, I had a dryer sheet in my running shorts? Seemed odd then, right? Well, it happened again! But this time, I got nearly half a mile into my run before I detected the weird bunching. At least this time, I easily recognized the culprit instead of puzzling over the weird feeling in my shorts first.

This time, I didn't bother hanging on to it for my entire run, and I did the inconceivable; I littered.

Maybe it's because I committed the environmental sin of littering that Mother Nature decided to incite retaliation, I don't know, but in the subsequent miles following the dryer sheet discovery, I came upon a plague: The small, black bugs. I ran through clouds of them along my route tonight, and in my 3rd mile, one of those little fuckers kamikazed right into my eye!

I apologize for littering, Mother Nature, but I feel compelled to still take a moment to directly address the small, black bugs.

Dear bugs:

Why must you insist on flying into human orifices? Nose, eyes, mouth, you know these are certain death traps, correct? You will die there, and worse still, you cause discomfort and swearing on behalf of the human who must now scrape your carcass out of his or her sullied nose/eye/mouth. It's an undignified death. Try to avoid it and watch where you're going. We'll both be happier if you do.

Sincerely,
Jess

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

AM Run

Last night, it started raining around 5 pm, and it kept on raining just about all night, which was a good thing since we need the moisture badly, and this morning when I got up it was still cool and overcast. Perfect. I had a leisurely breakfast (English muffin with PB&J and my one cup of coffee), and then I put on my running stuff and hit the road.

Even though it was cloudy and cooler out, it was still humid, but it didn't bother me too much. I did my standard 3 mile loop and it was one of the best runs I've had in awhile (after the crappy run I had last week, I knew I was due for a good run one of these days).

If only weather conditions could allow me to repeat a similar pattern throughout the summer -- I would love to get up at 8 and run at 9 on a regular basis; however, I know that this cool, cloudy weather won't last, and on most South Florida summer days, to run at 9 am is madness. But, I'm glad I got to take advantage of it this morning!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thank You AC/DC

I downloaded some new tunes from Green Day, Taking Back Sunday, 3OH!3, and The All-American Rejects today, but it was AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" that helped me get through the last half mile of my run tonight.

Sometimes, a run just needs some classic rock.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ma Petit Chou

That title means "my little cabbage" in French, and it's always been one of my favorite terms of endearment, so imagine my delight when BabyCenter's weekly update compared Baby Norah to the size of a "Chinese cabbage"! (Really, I don't know why all size comparisons are made with either fruit or vegetables, but it's amusing nonetheless to see her go from grape-sized to cabbage-sized. I imagine at the end, it will say, "Your baby is now the size of a large watermelon.")

Anyhoo...as of today, I am 28 weeks, which means I'm 7 months preggo: two-thirds of the way there! So, I figure this is a good point for some pregnancy reflection: And I have a lot of thoughts, so brace yourself for a lengthy post.

Weeks 1-5
Didn't know I was pregnant. Drank beer and ran like I normally did. It was a Friday at the end of the 5th week that I consulted my weekly desk calendar and realized I had missed my period by a solid week (never happens), so on my way home from class that day, I stopped by Walgreens and picked up a home pregnancy test. Took it once I got home, and I didn't even have to wait the requisite 2 minutes in order to see the distinct + sign. I took one more to be certain and then I hugged Scooter and called Jerry at work. He came home because I told him I had something big to tell him, and when he heard the news, he nearly pooped himself -- literally.

Weeks 6-12
Pukey as all hell. Most pregnancy stuff says that if you're going to experience morning sickness, it will begin around weeks 6-8, and as if on cue, the day I was 6 weeks pregnant, I threw up. I didn't puke everyday in these weeks, but close to it, and some days were just pure hell -- barfing several times in one day. I also had really bad headaches, which also made me feel like ass. But, it was fun to be able to tell so many family and friends that we were expecting while we were in MN for Christmas.

Weeks 13-19
I thought the morning sickness would abate after the first trimester, but it really didn't. I would sometimes have several days in a row without barfing, but then it would again strike me down. On the whole, however, I did start to feel marginally better, and I began to gain some weight and began to show. In week 16, I felt Norah move for the first time. I remember distinctly that my brother was visiting and we were at the beach, and I was laying out in the sun when I felt a strange movement in my abdomen that kinda felt like gas in the wrong place. The most exciting part of this time was that in week 19, we learned that we were having a girl, and we didn't hesitate to begin calling her by the name we'd already selected.

Weeks 20-27
Morning sickness pretty much evaporates. Yes, there have been a few random barfisodes in this time, but on the whole, the constant nausea that plagued me in the beginning completely subsided. And while I was feeling much better, my continued weight gain and growing belly began to make me feel uncomfortable in new ways; sleeping, especially, is beginning to become more and more uncomfortable, but I have time to take frequent naps, so it's okay. Still, I'll take the physical discomfort of a growing belly over vomiting any day. In baby preparation, I had my first shower and we got the furniture and almost all of her clothes. We kept up with dr visits, which continued to go well, and we checked out the daycare, met with the pediatrician, and got signed up for baby class, which begins in June. Norah moves all the time now, and sometimes I can feel distinct body parts. The other day, I was laying on the couch, reading, and she was moving all around, so I pulled my shirt up to see the movement, and I think I saw either an elbow or a knee go sliding across my belly. It was surreal. Very much reminded me of "Alien."

Through these past 7 months, I have also been happy that I've been able to keep running. Initially, I maintained my weekly mileage of about 20-25 miles a week, but by now it has dropped to 9-12 miles a week. Still, being able to run at all at this point keeps me happy.

Looking Toward the Next 12 Weeks
In my running-while-pregnant books, this time is often compared to the last 6.2 miles of a marathon -- I'm more than halfway there, yet this is the most difficult part of the journey. Physically, I know this part of the pregnancy is more demanding, but I think on the whole, I feel better now than I did 5 months ago, and mentally and emotionally, I feel more and more prepared for what lies ahead. And instead of the anxiety and fear that dominated my emotions in the beginning, I am feeling more and more excited as the weeks go by. Both Jerry and I have been dreaming of Norah lately (Jerry told me this morning that he dreamt last night of having Norah in the bookstore and he was buying her books...and pickles...hey, his dream, not mine), and sometimes I just go in her room and stand in there. Sometimes I open up the drawers of her dresser and look at her clothes, trying to imagine a baby filling them out, and it quite honestly makes me optimistic in a way that I've never felt before.

I hope to keep running for as much as I can for as long as I can in this last trimester, but I also know it's gonna get more difficult (especially with summer's heat encroaching). I remain flexible on this and just hope that I remain active even if running begins to become too strenuous.

So far, it's been an amazing journey, and I look ahead to the next 12 weeks with mixed emotions -- eager to get it over with and have her here, and also with some remorse since I know I'll never be this close to her, in this way, again. At any rate, no matter my continuous emotional contradictions, I know the time will go quickly, and before we know it, Norah will arrive!

Friday, May 15, 2009

FunDay Friday

This morning I had my glucose screening, which meant I couldn't eat breakfast before my 9 am appointment; then, I got there and bravely chugged my orange flavored drink. It didn't taste too bad, and it was cold, so that was a benefit. And then I just had to sit around and wait an hour before they drew my blood. I was pretty hungry after I got out of there (I'm the sort of person who wakes up every morning hungry and eating breakfast is always the first thing I do), but other than that, I thought the whole thing was pretty simple, and they'll have the results when I got to my next dr. visit in a week and a half.

After my lab appointment, I drove to Boca to have lunch with Mrs. K. We met at Mizner Park and had lunch at a really great Mexican restaurant. It was great to meet her and spend some time sitting around and chatting, so that was a good reward for getting stuck with a needle this morning.

And considering that those two activities were the only things on my schedule today, you may not think I'd still need my afternoon nap, but sure enough, I got home around 2:15 and fell asleep while I was reading. I got up just before Jerry got home, and now we're getting ready to go out for the evening: A work friend of Jerry's is hosting a happy hour and then we're going bowling afterward. Should be a good evening.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

So the Carpet Matches the Drapes

sRod pointed out to me recently that while I had changed the wording in my banner to indicate that I'm now blogging as not just a runner, but a pregnant runner, I had not changed the profile pic of me drinking from a pitcher of beer when clearly this is an activity I am not currently allowed to engage in. I was actually aware of the discrepency before he pointed it out, and ever since I got pregnant, I had considered changing my profile pic in order to capture something more...current...but, ultimately, I am lazy.

But today, I decided to go ahead and remedy the difference by posting the most recent preggo pic of myself, and I figure I can just update the profile pic as I march through the last trimester of my pregnancy; I imagine that tiny little rectangle will barely contain me and my growing belly 12 weeks from now.

In other news, I slept too late this morning in order to fit a run in, and I have class this evening, so I guess I can label today a "rest day." I really excel at resting. Especially on the couch, with a book, and a glass of lemonade.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Crappy Run

This evening I ran the crappiest 3 miler I've had in a long time. And to say that I "ran" it is a bit of an exaggeration since I ended up taking a lot of walk breaks.

No one particular thing wrong, I just felt tired and the whole thing felt like a HUGE effort.

Oh well, got it done, and hopefully, this means a really great run is just around the corner.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hot Hot Heat

Tonight is my first night of my summer class, so knowing that I wouldn't be able to run this evening, I got up a little early this morning in order to fit my run in before it got too hot out. I got up at 6:45 and was out the door for the run at 7:15, and while the morning was certainly cooler, it was still a balmy 80 degrees with thick humidity. I ran my standard 3 miles, and the run felt good, and it definitely is nice to get it done first thing in the morning, but I got back and was simply soaked in sweat. Oh well, I'd best get used to it because it's only May.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Strength Training

Certainly, continuing to run while pregnant is great exercise, and there are many benefits that running provides me at this point -- both physical and mental -- however, running is primarily a cardiovascular activity (although, there are also many strengthening aspects to it as well), and I've been reading a lot lately in my preggo stuff about the importance of strength training while pregnant.

Strength training is helpful during pregnancy for many reasons: it helps alleviate some common complaints, like back aches and legs cramps, that begin to crop up in the 2nd trimester, and it helps prepare you for labor (the ultimate strength test -- most women say that they engaged every single muscle in their body); and lastly, it helps prepare you for lugging that baby and all of her accoutrement around after birth. Personally, I have never been good about maintaining a strength training regimen alongside running, but I determined that this summer, since I have more time now, I would begin to incorporate more strength and flexibility training into my regular exercise routine.

So, after doing a lot of reading on exercises appropriate and helpful during pregnancy, I dusted off the handheld weights, busted out the yoga mat, and got down to business. Of course, the major impediment to this at-home routine is a little copper top dog who thinks that every time I break out the yoga mat, I am breaking out a very comfy place for him to settle.
So, after I bribed him with a bone, I endeavored through my planned routine. I began with a few minutes of yoga:

some modified sun salutations
plank
modified child's pose
downward facing dog (which, to me, feels fabulous on my lower back, as well as on my legs)
and then, finally, tree pose
Feeling sufficiently warmed up and stretched, I then continued on to my planned strength training session with the following:

squats
chair pose (yoga move that is a squat)
calf raises
lunges
bicep curls
shoulder press
and then some upper back rows
I look serious, don't I?

Then, I cooled off with some light stretching, and finally, a modified corpse pose. The whole routine took me about 30 minutes from start to finish, and it felt pretty good. I used light weights, and I focused on keeping my sets to 8 reps a piece. I would like to make this an established routine (2 days a week, maybe?) that I can incorporate with my running and (sporadic) pre-natal yoga.

Now, I'm off to the showers, and tonight we have bowling: Tonight is the position round for this quarter, and we're currently in 5th place, so it's completely possible that we could place in the top 5 this quarter! Wish me, and my other teammates, bowling luck!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Beach Day

Today, as per my mom-to-be request, we spent the day at the beach. And like always, it was so relaxing. There's just something about the combination of the sun, the smell of sunscreen, the rhythm of the waves, and the gentle breeze that sedates me, and I could spend all day long there. Which is pretty much what we did.

When we got home, we both took a long nap (there's something about sitting in the sun all day that wears you out), and then this evening, I went for a 3 mile run. It was a hot day today (the "feels like" temp was 96 this afternoon), and this evening, it was still hot as hades when I went for my run, but I just took it slow (do I have any other speed at this point?) and got it done. Summer runnin' is definitely not my favorite thing here in South Florida, and I expect it's going to become even more uncomfortable as I progress into the 3rd trimester, but I'll just take each run as it comes, and if I have to start taking walk breaks, so be it.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and all the moms out there got the chance to relax and enjoy the day!

Happy Mother's Day!

To all the moms and moms-to-be out there!

For my mom-to-be day, I think we're going to go spend the day at the beach! Hope everyone else has a great day!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Shopping, A Massage and Smoothies

Last night, after Jerry pointed out that I had pie on my t-shirt (sexy, right?), I went to change my shirt, and what I discovered shouldn't have been a newfound thing: I have very few t-shirts that work for just laying around the house. I had been relying on a stash of tees that were a bit oversized pre-pregnancy, but now those tees are fitting me pretty snug. True, I have a few maternity tank tops, as well as a supply of sweatpants, but I decided I needed to go shop for a few more maternity items. Particularly, I wanted some loungewear/sleepwear.

So, this afternoon, I went and got 4 new t-shirts, 2 pairs of pajama shorts, 2 sleeping bras (those sweater puppies need to be corraled even in my sleep now), and a new swimsuit. I feel like I spent a lot (shouldn't maternity clothes be discounted since you only wear them a few months?), but I can rest assured that the clothing was necessary, and it is always fun to get a few new things for me.

After shopping, I headed to my massage appointment this afternoon.

See, Jerry had bought me a gift card for...Valentine's Day...and, um, yeah, I hadn't gotten around to scheduling an appointment until now. But the massage was wonderful. Since I'm preggo, and unable to lay on my tummy anymore, the therapist had me lay on my side for half the massage, and then I flipped on to my other side for the other half of the massage. I hear that there are some massage places that have special tables for preggos where there's a hole cutout for the belly, but this place did not have such special tables.

I enjoyed the massage though -- it was very relaxing and felt especially good on my back and legs.

When I got home from my shopping and massage, I was hungry for a snack, so I decided to make myself a smoothie. I don't know what it is about smoothies lately, but I have been a smoothie makin' machine! And it seems that I have at least one every day for a snack. This one that I made for myself this afternoon has been a particular favorite as of late:
The ingredients are as follows, but I don't measure stuff, so no measurements, sorry:

spinach
frozen mixed berries
Stonyfield Farms organic yogurt
skim milk
a touch of honey

I've been trying to incorporate spinach and other leafy greens into my diet everyday since they are high in iron and folic acid, both necessary for my growing baby girl, and I find that by using frozen fruit instead of ice, I get the added benefits of both flavor and vitamins. I also add the yogurt and milk for added calories, taste, and calcium, and lastly, the honey is just to add that extra bit of sweetness. It's a delicious shake, but I will warn: the side effect is green poop. So green, it's almost black. Yeah. Weird how something so pretty going in can come out looking so gross, right?

Okay, enough poop talk.

My last tidbit of the day? Buy Buy Baby called and Norah's furniture has arrived! So, when Jerry gets home from work, we'll go and pick it up! I'm so excited for it, so hopefully I can get some pictures of it this weekend once it's assembled and arranged.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Eat My Dust

Tonight, on my 3 miler, I totally "chicked" a dude. Granted, he was about 30 years older than I, but doesn't being 6 months pregnant and 14 lbs heavier somehow level the playing field in my favor?

I came up on him in my 3rd mile (always my strongest mile), and as I edged past him and then left him in my dust, I felt pretty dang kick ass. I hope it didn't damage his ego too much because it toally lifted mine!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

26 Weeks 4 Days

My doctor appointment this afternoon was pretty much as I predicted earlier: standard check up stuff. Still, the check up was good, and both Norah and I continue to be in good health. Some stats:
  • My blood pressure is still good: 110/70.
  • I gained another 3 lbs since my last visit, so I am up 14 lbs overall.
  • And Norah's heartbeat was again strong and healthy.
So, yeah, that's all good. Next up for preggo: I have my appointment set for the glucose screening on May 15th. Oh joy.

Other than doctor visits today for both Scooter and I, I went for a nice 3 mile run this evening. I haven't had a chance to run since Saturday, and I don't usually like to allow more than 2 days between runs, but I've just had stuff going on the past few evenings, so tonight I was anxious to lace up and get out there. It was hot and humid, and I was one sweaty monkey afterward. But it was a good sweat, you know?

Doctor Appointments

Today, for my first day of break, I started by taking Scooter to his annual vet appointment. Once a year, he gets his "wellness exam," his updated vaccines, and we re-load on the necessary HeartGuard and Frontline Plus. A vet visit doesn't make any dog happy, but Scooter was good, if nervous, and he was declared healthy and cute. Okay, I added the cute. So, now he's all set for the next year. And my checkbook is now much lighter thanks to the visit (if only we could convince Blue Cross Blue Shield that Scooter, as our fur-baby, is a dependent and they should cover 90% of his medical costs).

And, this afternoon, I too have a doctor appointment, except Scooter can't come with me to mine. It's just a monthly check-in, and I suspect it will be the standard pee-in-a-cup, get weighed in, take my blood pressure, listen to the baby's HR, and I'll be on my way type of visit. No need for a fecal sample from me ;)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Cinco de Mayo

Yesterday, d.a.r. asked what my teaching schedule would be like once Norah arrives, and this is a valid question: One that took me and my department chair weeks to decide upon. So, here's the answer:

In the fall, I am going to be teaching in a term we have that's called "session 4," which doesn't begin classes until October 20th. The classes in this term are only 7 weeks long, but meet twice a week for 3 hours a day. So, I'll be on maternity leave from the start of the term (Aug 20th) until October 20th; then, I'm going to teach two of those session 4 classes (which equals 12 credit hours) + I will be spending a few additional hours a week in the college's writing lab in order to fulfill my full time status, which requires 15 credit hours of "in class" time a term.

Thankfully, these classes, as well as my planned hours in the lab, are in the late afternoon/early evening, so our plan for the fall, once I resume work, is as follows: I will be at home with Norah in the morning, then I will take her to daycare at 12:30 pm and go to work. Jerry will then pick her up from daycare when he's done with work in the evening and be at home with her in the evening. This way, we only have to have her in part-time daycare, which is advantageous in many ways.

Hopefully, this is a schedule that works well because in the spring term, I plan on selecting classes that meet on a similar schedule (late afternoons and evenings) so that we can continue the same routine. And that's really one of the best parts about teaching in higher ed: flexibility of scheduling. I don't have to work Mon-Fri from 9-5; I can schedule my classes in the mornings only, in the afternoons only, no class on Friday, I can even pile all my classes on to two or three days a week if I want, so this makes working around the schedule of children a little easier (in theory -- I haven't yet put it into practice).

So, there ya go: That's the plan for now.

As for today, it's Cinco de Mayo, bitches! So Jerry and I are having a Taco Tuesday happy hour at our place this evening. Too bad I can't enjoy any refreshing cervesas, but...I can eat my fill of tacos, as well as plentiful quantities of chips and salsa! Ole!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Hallelujah, I'm Done!

I just finished the last of my grading, and I got all the term grades calculated and input into the system, so that means...I'm done for the term! Yahoo!

Tomorrow I have office hours for a few hours in the morning (and hopefully I can get all the final planning for my summer class done during those hours), and then I am free as a bird for a week before my summer class begins on May 12th.

The past two weeks have been hectic with all the grading that has to get done at the end of the semester, but in the end, the feeling of relief that comes with the finale of the term is glorious!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

One More Thing

An unexpected difficulty about running while pregnant is somewhat unexpected, but incredibly simple:

Bending over to tie my shoes.

It's not easy at this stage since I have a bowling ball out in front of me that makes bending over kinda difficult in general. Most of the time, I sit on the floor to put my shoes on, but as of late, that's not making it that much easier. Instead, I find that the easiest way is to sit and slip them on, then stand and put my foot on a chair so that I can not only bend my leg closer to me, but so that I can also maneuver the belly around the bent leg.

Running shoes and bowling shoes are the only kinds of shoes I own that require tying; almost all of my other shoes are slip on shoes (and to be honest, I wear flip flops about 90% of the time), but I only bowl once a week; I run about 4 days a week.

Clearly, this is one more reason why I need some helpful gnomes around here -- they'd be the perfect size for helping me out on this one!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Up to Our Ears in Clothes

This afternoon, a big box of baby clothes arrived via UPS from Jerry's mom. Apparently, she's been busy buying up the stock of baby girl clothes in the greater Twin Cities area: So, Jerry and I decided that it was time to break out all the clothes we've received so far and organize them by size. What a task! Here I am holding up one of the onesies I like: We have about ten of these in different colors, patterns and sizes. They're onesies, but they look like little dresses.
Nice that my bra strap is showing, huh? I'm classy like that.
And here's Jerry with one of his favorite outfits: Jerry is very fond of anything animals, but he seems to have a soft spot for ducks.
And here's a last shot of all the clothes sorting that we were doing: Somewhere beneath those piles, this laptop was buried.
So, after doing all the sorting, I think we're actually pretty close to set on clothes for at least the first few months (although, it's so difficult to predict how fast she'll grow, so it's tough to know exactly how much of any one size we'll need). And, I think Norah will be better dressed than I!