STRAVA

Monday, December 27, 2010

38 week vlog/blog

Hi everyone. According to my due date, I have 11 days to go! Yikes. We are getting really excited to meet her and being able to get to see her. We were just talking last night about how fast this pregnancy has gone. When I break it down into trimesters, the second trimester went by the fastest. But in reality 40 weeks is not THAT long of a time, considering the end result is a human being! Heavy stuff.

I have posted up a 10 min vlog to this blog as well. Topics: Dr. appointment, breastfeeding class, pretty pusher, and random stuff. BTW, pay no attention to my super sexy pajama pants at the end of the video ;-)

I also posted up some photos from Christmas and things we have accomplished in baby girl land.

Take care and try to relax ... I will be posting to Facebook and sending out text messages when baby girl decides to have her birthday. ;-) My next appointment, barring an early arrival by baby girl, is 12/30/10.

Hugs, Heather



video

Andy cooking the lobsters (no worry they were flash frozen, so we were "humane")


YUMMY.


WHITE CHRISTMAS!


Driving up the snowy mountain


Baby girl prints


Mobile


Baby girl's perspective of mobile


Quilt I made from the extra material from curtains, bumpers, and dust ruffle

Sunday, December 12, 2010

37 week Vlog

Attempt #2 at a vlog. Much shorter this time. Only 2 parts! LOL If you have trouble viewing in my blog just go to www.youtube.com and search 2SweetMomma and it should be listed under my videos.

Take care and talk to you all soon. Heather

video

video

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

35 week apointment

Had my 35 week doctor's appointment yesterday and all is going well.
  • My blood pressure was 102/68
  • Baby heart rate was 144
  • Tummy measurement was 36 cm
  • My weight...well let's just say I am "right on track." ;-)
Meg said the baby is still head down and she is filling up the belly space nicely. She said the itching is normal and the "big" movements are normal as well. More movements are always good. I know this is bizarre but, I was worried her movements were a sign of distress or "unhappiness." Meg said there is not a conclusive way to determine why a fetus moves one way vs. another and not to worry. Whew.

Also, since the baby's heart rate is the same as it was 2 weeks ago, I am guessing it is normal. Meg didn't seem alarmed or anything - so I am not either.

Next time I go into see Meg (12/10/10) I am having my Strep B test (ugh), but she will also be able to tell me if my cervix has effaced (softened/thinned) or if I am dilated. She will also be able to tell me exactly how baby girl is positioned. (yeah).

We organized the great room on Sunday, so we could put up the Christmas tree and the nativity. Of course in true Heather fashion, I strung the lights BEFORE checking to see if they all worked and the string in the middle will not light up! grrr. So minor FAIL on the Christmas tree decorating. No fear the love/hate relationship I have with Wal*Mart continues and I have gotten 400 white lights for $10! So tonight I will attempt to finish the tree.

Andy has finished closing in the fireplace with insulation and walls. The tile is finished as well. He is SO talented when it comes to tile. I have no patience for it at all. I can grout, but actually laying out the tile and adhering it to the mortar...not my cup of tea. He is in the process of finding the right stove pipe kit that will go with our new wood burning fireplace/stove. We have ordered it and paid for the stove, just waiting on it getting shipped to the store so we can pick it up. I am so super stoked to get it going and having a toasty kitchen/dining room.

The weather down here is dismal to say the least. On Thanksgiving day it was B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L! I think it was 65* and sunny? But then the rain and cold everyone else experienced set into the South as well. The added "bonus" we have to living in the south is rain. It has been raining and raining and raining. Funny thing, peeps in TN do not want to do anything when it is raining...least of all drive correctly. Well, I am sure you have listened to me ramble on about how horrible the TN drivers are, but when it rains they are even worse! Hard to imagine, but true.

Well, ta ta for now.

Heather

Friday, November 26, 2010

35 week vlog!

So I attempted to post a video blog (vlog) this morning and total FAIL. Then, I went shopping at Hobby Lobby and got some hooter hider supplies and some binding for baby girl's quilt that I am going to try and make tonight. Whew. Good break, cuz when I got back I figured out how to split up my super EPIC long 1st vlog. FYI it is 25 min!!!!! omg. I thought I wouldn't have enough to say to fill 10 min. :o

At the end of my super duper long vlog, I ask your opinion about something. Feel free to post a comment about it here or you can find my vlog on YouTube. You can find the videos I have posted if you type "2sweetmomma" into the search field on the home page of YouTube.

I hope this turns out...it was easier to talk than to write, but not sure if this is how I will continue to blog/vlog...tell me what you think--either way.

Take care, Heather


video

video

video

Saturday, November 13, 2010

8 months

Today started off well and then hit a bump in the road, but it is a beautiful day in Chattanooga and I can't stay in a funk and not enjoy my friends and family.

I had a prenatal massage scheduled today, but the massage therapist called in sick. Boo. Then the spa couldn't get me rescheduled for 2 more weeks! UGH. I totally understand the fact the massage therapist was sick, but the salon should have a) more than 1 massage therapist on staff and b) try to fix the situation better than just trying to offer me an appointment in 2 weeks. When I did massage, if I had to cancel on a client I would offer to come in at any other time that would work for the client. I would also offer additional services to try and make up for it. I would do anything to keep them as a client, hey they were paying my bills! But not in this case. I was planning on using this spa for future services, but they have done pissed me off. OK. I am finished and ready to move onto the rest of this beautiful day.

Speaking of beautiful things. I had my 32 week (8 months) prenatal appointment yesterday. Baby girl is SO big compared to what she was only a few short months ago.
  • My tummy is measuring 32 cm. Since I am 32 weeks, that is just perfect (or so my midwife says ;-)).
  • My blood pressure was 108/60
  • Baby's heart rate was 144 bpm
  • I have gained 24 lbs so far. My midwife said I should gain 1/2 a lb. a week till the end so 4-5 more lbs. seems to be right on from where I started. It is startling to see 'that' number on the scale, but hearing I am on target and not gaining too much is comforting.
I think the baby's heart rate is a little high compared to what it has been in the past. Maybe b/c she is getting bigger her heart rate gets higher? Not sure, I didn't see Meg (my usual midwife) because she had another appointment. I also wanted to meet the other mid wives just in case Meg wouldn't be able to deliver baby girl. So, I will catch up with Meg at my next appointment too see where baby girl is and if the reading on Friday was just a fluke.

From what I have been reading baby girl is weighing in at a whopping 4 lbs. right now! Katie, the midwife I saw on Friday, said baby girl is head down and her hiney is facing out. So she is in the perfect labor position. If she stays there, we should be ready to go. =)

Here are my 32 week pics...(yes I am @ The HUB)



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cloth Diapers

There are so many people that are curious and interested in our pregnancy. I am so happy to answer any questions and tell them how I am feeling, planning, doing, etc. Although, it does get sort of annoying when I tell people we are going to cloth diaper they look at me like I have totally lost my mind. Then they follow up with a comment similar to if not exactly, "Wow, you are more daring than me."

When I hear comments like the one above, it makes me feel like I am doing something totally bizarre or something incorrect. Here are some examples of some "other" options I might suggest ;-) "Wow, that is cool." "I don't know how that works, what do you need to do that?" "I would really like to know more about that." "I never thought about doing that, what made you want to?" In their defense, cloth diaper has come a LONG way from safety pins, rubber pants, and toilet dunking. Some people may not know about all the advances they have made in the world of cloth diapering.

First, I guess it would only be fair to divulge some information about why we decided to do cloth diapers.
  • My mom did it, why wouldn't I do the same?
  • Cost savings- If you figure that the average newborn goes through 8-12 diapers a day, 6-8 diapers a day for an older baby, that can really add up; at the cost of about $0.29 per disposable diaper. In 6 months disposable diapers can cost up to $650!
  • Better for baby-cloth diapers do not have irritating chemicals in them to "wick" away wetness. Less chemicals = less diaper rash.
  • Less time in diapers-when babies/toddlers can actually feel they are wet in cloth diapers, they will know what it feels like when they have an "accident" and will progress to potty training faster.
You can also read more about the "Reasons to Cloth Diaper" in THIS link.

Some the "advances" that will be helpful and make the process easier are:

1. There are 2 types of cloth diapers out there. Pocket diapers and prefold diapers.

Pocket diapers look like this:

Pre-fold diapers look like this:


The covers for pre-fold diapers look like this:
If you go with the pocket diaper, the insert goes into the "pocket" that is sewn into the cover. So they are an "all in 1" kind of diaper. We went with the pre-fold diaper b/c we didn't want to mess with pulling a soiled diaper out of a pocket and then having 2 cloth things to launder. With the prefold you can rinse out the cover and hang dry it (as long as no poopies get loose) ;-) I have heard the pocket option is the way to go for sleeping. The other thing to keep in mind, with pre-fold diapers you will need to buy different sizes. With some pocket diapers they are adjustable and go from newborn to 'big' baby all in 1 diaper. So there are advantages/disadvantages to both.

2. Wet bags are the way to go! No need for a diaper genie (less waste and less expensive there too). All you need is 1 large wet bag (that is washable) that will fit into a garbage pail with a lid. Here is a look at what we are going with:

Here is a picture of what we are going to give to the day care/babysitter (1st) larger and holds dry and wet diapers; and what we are going to put in the diaper bag (2nd) smaller and wet only diapers:


3. Sprayer to rise the poopies off into the toilet. It attaches to the water source on the toilet. (BTW, I heard this could be really good for post labor).

4. Lastly, I heard you don't have to have these, but they would seem to help secure the prefold diaper better, especially if you have a wiggly active baby. Snappies:

Here is a video I found REALLY helpful for folding and securing a prefold diaper:



So that is all the information I currently have on cloth diapers. There are tons of other resources out there too. I am sure I will have more info when we actually get to diapering baby Sweet. ;-)

To finish, I don't think it is bad if you use disposable diapers. It is just not for us. I really hope this blog stops some of the crazy looks I have gotten. Maybe it will give insight into the fact cloth diapers are better for baby Sweet, better for the environment, less expensive, and really not all that much more time consuming.

Thanks for reading and leave a comment if you have any questions.

Heather

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

30 week preggo pics

The slowly disappearing belly button...

The bump is out there fo sho!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Less than 12 weeks to go...

I was 28 weeks last (FRIDAY 10/15/10) 7 months. WOW. It really has gone by fast. I didn’t think it would go fast, but it has…

Since the first 4-6 weeks were “funny” I guess it stands to reason. What I mean by “funny” is, women are not pregnant for 9 months, as we have come to believe. We are actually preggers for 10 months. 40 weeks = 10 months. The doc starts counting your weeks on the first day of your last period. So you are “pregnant” the week of your last period, the week you are ovulating after your period, and the 2 weeks after that (fertilization and implantation). Once you miss your period (another week) and go to the doc then the ~ 9 months start.

When I went to my 6-week appointment, I thought it would be forever before I started my 3rd trimester. I also could not imagine what my tummy would look like. Well, that day has come. I have officially started my 3rd trimester last Friday and my tummy is to the point I can’t imagine what it was like when it was flat. Putting on socks is a rather comical event around the Sweet house lately.

Some stats from Friday’s appointment:
  • Blood pressure: 122/64 (top # is a little high b/c I was not feeling well)
  • Baby HR: 135
  • Tummy measurement: 28.5 cm (2 cm larger in 2 weeks)
Things are progressing really well. Andy and I just put together our birth plan and gave it to our mid-wife for suggestions. It was really easy. I just “Googled” birth plan templates and voilĂ !

I am starting to really feel pregnant. Things are really “happening.”
  • I have officially “popped.” As many people have so sweetly pointed out, in case I haven’t noticed. BTW - Thanks. :-/
  • Every time I look in the mirror I am still surprised to see how big my belly has gotten. It is sorta an out of body experience, even though I am IN my body- so strange.
  • My emotions have started becoming more “prenatal.” I cry at a drop of a hat. I have unexplainable feelings of abandonment. I worry I won’t have enough time to be a mother, a wife, an athlete, a friend, an employee, or even sane. Come to find out…back fat is a REAL effing thing. Boo.
Andy has been great. I think the fact I have not gone postal is his amazing patience and understanding. Sometimes he doesn’t even have to say anything. A hug is sometimes the BEST medicine =)

My mother-in-law mentioned something really good the other day too. Since we are athletes, she said it is very similar to when you are training for a big race. The training in the first couple months is relatively easy. You can get the workouts in and you can accomplish the small goals you have initially set out. When you have only a couple months left before the big day you start doubting yourself. Can I do this? Do I have everything planned? Did I train enough? Why do I feel like crap? Am I going to disappoint myself? Am I going to disappoint everyone that helped me get here? If I can’t do “insert name of race here” now, how am I going to do this in a few short months? Then with just a couple of weeks before your race (starting your taper) you start to visualize reaching your goals. Things become much more manageable.

I think pregnancy is very similar. There is no way I am ready to be a Mommy tomorrow. That is why I still have 11 weeks until she is supposed to be here. Now if something happens and she comes crazy early, I know I could adapt, but let’s pretend that all will go according to plan, K? This is just like when I started wigging out 2 months before my first marathon. I thought I would NEVER be able to run 26.2 miles! Well the week before and week of, I had this strange sense of calm and confidence. I am looking forward to the calm, I am sure Andy is too =)

To any Mommies out there, if you have had or are currently having similar emotions, please leave a comment. Sometimes it feels better when I know I am not the only one going through it. Thanks for reading.

Take care,
Heather

PS- 29 week photo will be posted soon...I promise. =)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Preggo favorite things

I did a blog a while ago listing out my favorite things. Most of them still ring true, but I have added some things specifically designated for preggo times.

1. Patagonia Underwear: these are the bomb diggity! All I gotta say is spend the $20 on a pair and try them. Even if you are not preggers, you will fall in LOVE. You can find them cheaper on Amazon.com but HERE is a link to Patagonia's web-site.

2. Tank tops. The ones with the shelf bra are super nice. They cover the ever growing tummy and are not so restrictive. Lately I feel like I am putting a straight jacket on every time I get dressed. Old Navy seems to be the most comfy right now.

3. If I could wear yoga pants every day of my life I would.

4. With the season changing I have traded in my Chacos for Danskos. Fun designs and SUPER comfy.

*Now that I can smell EVERYTHING I am pretty particular about what "smells" calm me. "And no honey I am not interested in pulling your finger tonight."

5. ZUM soy candle. I really like the frankincense and myrrh scent. This candle lasts forever!

6. Suave shampoo/conditioner. The rosemary/mint scent is wicked awesome.

7. J.R. Watkins lotion is my new fav for lotion right now...since I am applying it every where and all the time, I feel like I have found my new best friend. I don't have a particular scent I like yet, but the mango is pretty nice. FYI: I found it buy 1, get 1 free @ Walgreens.

8. Since I need to be drinking my weight in water and I do NOT want to add calories to my water by adding those "flavor" enhancers, I have turned to LaCroix. Yummy flavors and the "sparkling" aspect has helped with my mild indigestion. Burping feels SO good! I found a wicked awesome deal at BiLo this week.

9. This is more for baby girl when she gets here than for me right now, but I am super excited to pop this CD in for her when she arrives: Rockaby Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Aerosmith. They also have U2 and Led Zeppelin!

Here are some cool ideas I have found for baby wipes and diaper rash:
*Disclaimer: I have not tried the below suggestions yet, but I will.
I found these 3 ideas on www.Make-your-own-baby-stuff.com

Make your own baby wipes:

2 cups water

1 tbsp of baby wash

1 tbsp of baby oil (tea tree oil can work)

Squirt/spray bottle

Flannel wipes

Recipe for Diaper Rash Ointment:

  • 1/2 cup sweet almond oil (you can also use olive oil)
  • 2-3 drops lavender oil
  • 2-3 drops tea tree oil
  • 4 Tablespoons water

Mix all the ingredients together well. Transfer to a jar or bottle to use for applying to baby to ease a red bottom or diaper rash. Be very careful not to double dip!

Calendula Ointment Recipe:

This recipe is a little more involved than the recipe above. It may take a little more effort to make but it will make a fantastic diaper rash ointments. The ingredients are 1/2 cup dried calendula, 8 oz. vegetable shortening, and 1-tablespoon beeswax. Melt the shortening and beeswax in a small pan and then add the calendula petals to the hot mixture. Let them steep in the mixture while it cools down. Transfer the ointment into a small jar.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Baby Prep: A work in progress

I had another doctor's appointment today. I am officially 26 weeks. Two more weeks and I start my third trimester. Come to find out, I "turn" every Friday. I guess since all my other appointments have been on Wednesdays that is why I was so confused the nurses kept saying I was a week behind where I thought I was.

Things are still looking good. I have had a couple of stressful weeks and lost a little weight and was not sleeping well, but things are back on track. I gained back the couple pounds I lost and am feeling really good right now. I think I have hit that "nesting" stage. I would much rather hang out at home than do anything social right now. Totally unlike me. I usually am the one to talk Andy into going out to dinner and making weekend plans.

I think the beautiful weather hasn't helped my nesting either. The mountain is so pretty this time of year. The mornings are cool and crisp and the days are sunny and warm, but not too warm. The evenings are perfect for sitting on the deck and watching the stars. Ahhhh TN. =)

We had the opportunity to take a tour of the birthing center. That was cool. We are planning on delivering at Parkridge East Hospital on the southeast side of Chattanooga. We have heard it is one of the most supportive centers of natural childbirth in the area. The private labor rooms are huge and look more like a hotel room than a hospital room. The lights can be dimmed to take that "hospital" edge off and all the cabinets are wood, not metal. Very homey. The recovery rooms are all private and have a private bathroom as well. We could have had the option to use a birthing tub if we wanted to drive to Cleveland, TN but for our first baby, staying closer to home was more ideal than a tub.

We are also planning on taking an infant/child CPR class and a breastfeeding class. Andy and I are already CPR certified, but a $15 refresher is a good idea. I am sure even with all the classes nursing isn't going to "click" until there is a baby here, but I think it could help with some prelim stuff too.

After the tour and the baby showers, I was wondering what in the world do you bring with you to the hospital for delivery and what DO you put in that diaper bag? Hmmm. So of course, I did some research ;-) I have made 2 lists. Duh...that IS what I do, right? With that in order, I am feeling less worried about "how to deal" when the moment comes. Small things sometimes make the big things seem less monumental. Ah the beauty of organization.

I also found out I can wear whatever I want for delivery! Whoo Hoo. I don't have to wear one of those icky hospital gowns. Yeah! Seriously, they are U-G-L-Y. They make you feel sick and since I am not sick, I wanted be comfortable. I found this:

It is called a Pretty Pusher. It is super low in the back so if you were to have an epidural, they can administer it. Also there are ties in the front so they have "easy access" to the nether regions. I have been able to find it pretty cheap. It is disposable, so no worries about a "messy" labor yuckin' up my nightgown. I may even get 2, one for delivery and one for post. I hate having anything around my neck and on my shoulders when I am working out, so I thought this would be a good way to be comfy and cute at the same time. Not sure if I can be "cute" while pushing out a baby...but it is worth a shot, right? ;-)

I also found out the birthing center has WiFi. I am so stoked about that. Andy poked fun at me when I asked, but I caught the glimpse of at least 2 Dads in the tour that were happy to hear they could get on-line too. HA! Mostly it is because I have a minimal collection of music on our iPod, and we use Pandora ALL the stinking time. I gotta have my tunes.

I have gotten over the "OMG there is a person in my belly!" I have also gotten very used to her moving around all the time. My midwife said this morning, I should be feeling her move at least 10 times a day in the next couple weeks...too late, she is already moving that much. Folks, we may have another swimmer in the family! ;-)

Some stats from the doc apt. today:
  • Baby heart beat is 140 beats per minute
  • My blood pressure was 108/64 (I have a pretty low resting HR). The highest my blood pressure ever was 114/64 @ week 9. I was really excited to see the first sonogram ;-) hehe
  • My tummy measurement from pubic bone to just under my boobs was 26.5 cm. An increase of 5.5 cm from week 22
I have been doing tummy pics every 4 weeks, but I think I look a little bigger since the last one so here you are (btw Sebastian follows me around EVERYWHERE these days):



*Yes, that is NOT an illusion the "girls" are becoming working gals...UGH. And you can sorta kinda see the pink belly, just a little bit.

Later taters, Heather

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Baby showers and 24 week pic!

Well it is official. I am 6 months along! Whoa. Really freaking hard to believe there is going to be another person living in our house in roughly 3 1/2 months. Cool, but still hard to believe. Here are my 24 week pics...




I know it doesn't LOOK like I am getting bigger, but it sure feels like it. I will take a pic tonight...I usually look quite a bit more "robust" after dinner ;-)

I am sure every pregnant woman and partner of a pregnant woman goes through the "Holy S%*t. We are going to have a baby!" phase. Probably multiple times ;-) Like I mentioned in an earlier post, wanting to get pregnant and wanting to have a baby -- I knew the outcome...a baby. Duh. I know, but the REALITY of having a baby is starting to settle.

I think it is hitting me harder now that I can SEE her move. It was so neat feeling her before. It was sorta like my little wonder secret. Just her and I connected by her telling me she is alive and "kicking." But now that she is getting bigger and and I can see her moving around. It is freaking me out a little bit. Ok maybe more than just a little bit...

Seriously. There is a PERSON inside my body! She is right there! I can't see her or touch her, but she is INSIDE my body. BTW, did I mention she is inside my body? Yea. Freaky. Every time she moves it totally wigs me out. Her movements are bigger and very noticeable. I have been told they are only going to get more pronounced. Hopefully, by that time I will have adjusted to the idea there is a person LIVING inside my body. maybe.

Ok, now that that is over. Whew. See? It comes and goes. Thank goodness. I am so elated to be a Mommy. I am stoked beyond comprehension to hold her and see her and smell her and take care of her. Some minor preggers freak outs along the way are healthy, I think.

What has really helped are the 2 wonderful baby showers we just had. We feel SO blessed and thankful for our friends and family. I am really overwhelmed with their generosity. *blush*

Now that we have "stuff," it is getting easier to conceptualize how we are going to take care of her. We have most of the big stuff already:
  • Crib (thanks to Grandma Elaine and Grandpa Al - haven't bought yet, but set the $ aside)
  • Crib mattress (thanks to Auntie Kiki)
  • Car seat and high chair (thanks to Grandma Karen and Aunts Heidi and Amanda)
  • Stroller-jogging and regular (thanks to Deni and Lloyd and gift certificates to Babies 'R' Us)
  • Diapers (thanks to Tim and Anna)
  • Play Pen (thanks to Great Uncle Greg and Great Aunt Kathy)
  • Clothes (thanks to everyone!)
Here are some pictures of my favorites:

I LOVE this one ;-) (from Grandma Karen)

Diaper Bag #1 (from Candace)

Diaper Bag #2 (from Great Aunt Allison & Great Uncle Carlo)

The CUTEST boots from Aunt Kiki (Candace ;-))

How cute is this poncho???? (from Great Aunt Cat)

Every gal needs a little black dress, right?

Very cool piggy bank from Great Aunt Teresa and her girls

Guardian Angel night light from Great Grandma Ester

BTW, I am sure the "Great" Aunt/Uncle thing wigged some of you out ;-) It was strange typing it too...hehehe

Much love, Heather

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Vacation?

WOW! Just got back into town from Andy and I's first "vacation" since we got married 3 years ago. If you know us, we don't take your typical vacations. Usually the vacation is initiated by a triathlon. This time was no exception. Also, this is a really busy time for my job, so I was working as much as I could fit in as possible. So for me, it was a working vacation. I know oxymoron ;-)

We headed to Madison, WI for Andy's 6th Ironman. On the way we stopped in Peoria, IL; then onto Aurora, IL. While visiting Andy's family in Peoria, his Aunts (Anita and Teresa) and Cara threw us a baby shower. It was so great! There was awesome food, games, and visiting. I hadn't seen some of them in over a year so it was great to catch up. People brought the most thoughtful gifts. I am starting to realize our little one is not going to go naked...that is for sure. I know it is SO hard to resist the cutest little dresses. Consequently, baby Sweet has a better wardrobe than I do -- not THAT hard to do ;-) I think my favorite gift was the knitted poncho from Andy's Aunt Cat. It is SO cute!!! I want to learn how to crochet so I can make more. We also got a poopy sprayer for cloth diapers from Cara, and a baby monitor from Elaine. There were SO many great gifts I will have to blog separately about that stuff later.

After 2 days in Peoria we headed up to Aurora. My sisters and Mom threw us another baby shower! Again, more great food and chances to visit with family and friends. My Aunts and Uncles really blessed us with gifts up there too! My Aunt Allison and Uncle Carlo got us an Ironman diaper bag!!! How cool is that? My Uncle Greg and Aunt Kathy got us this bomber pay pen! We couldn't resist setting it up as soon as we got into the house. It looks so cool. We also got TONS of beautiful clothes and toys. I was so overwhelmed with everyone's generosity. There were quite a few gift cards too. I think I am going to HAVE to go shopping soon.

(I know twist my arm, right?)

I will post pictures and stuff later...but now onto Ironman:


Like I said before, this was Andy's 6th Ironman. Now that I am an Ironman and have done more than 1 I feel I sorta have a handle on what drives people to do multiple IMs.
  • For your first one, you want to finish. You want to be a part of something that very few people are part of.
  • For your second one, you want to see if you can PR (personal record).
  • If you do a third, either it is to go faster (getting closer to qualifying time) or you have a different goal. Anymore than 3 you are trying to go to the "big show" in Kona. Nuff said, that is it. KONA.
No one really likes to admit that is the goal after 3, but it is. It is sorta like gaining weight and pregnancy. You know you are gaining weight, but there is not a reason or purpose for talking about it. Same goes for Kona and IM. After a couple Ironman triathlons, you know you WANT to qualify for Kona, but you don't want to sound boastful and put expectations out there that you might not attain. It is "understood" bottom line.

In FL he went 10:34. A qualifying Kona time in his age group is very low 10 or high 9. Like I said before, we didn't need to talk about his purpose for signing up for another IM. I knew. This was an important race.

To properly train for any IM, you need to dedicate a lot of time to all 3 disciplines, injury prevention, and nutrition. Last year when he signed up he was still working at the bike shop and I had just gotten my job at the advertising agency. It seemed everything was secure and pretty calm...1 year later: unemployment, new business, new location for new business, BABY, new job for me, and regular life stressors...Andy's training was not what is should have been for his goal. To finish an Ironman, yes totally doable, but to PR under 10:30?

We knew training was not optimal going into the race. Andy is a great athlete, awesome coach, and wonderful at stress management. We figured, hey let's do this and see how it goes.

His swim was great. He said it was comfortable and he found a good pace. A 1:04 swim time is not an "easy" pace for most. ;-) Lots of swimming this summer paid off. Nice job baby.

Onto the bike...he said first loop was pretty good. He held under the power threshold he wanted and was willing to put it out there for the second loop. At about mile 75 or so on the bike, things started falling off. His neck muscles gave out. Not sure if this has to do with bike fit (new bike this year too), lack of a half IM, lack of training with an aero helmet, or not enough races to get the neck muscles used to sighting during the swim and then sitting in aero position for HOURS. Multiple things could have contributed to his neck. He was not able to hold his head up and look where he was riding. (not very safe). With the added change in his body position on the bike, his stomach started cramping (bathroom issues here we come). By the time he got to me at mile 95 he was miserable. He was pale, shaking, not sweating (super bad sign), and could not look up. Having a 26.2 mile run to do, feeling like you are going to fall out at any moment, is not ideal by any stretch of the imagination. We decided, it would not be a good idea for him to push through. Yes, he could have pushed, but he has already finished multiple Ironman distance races. Better to DNF (did not finish) and save it for another day.

We got back to the hotel and were able to regroup and rest. Then hit the showers and back out there to cheer our friends and family to the finish line. We were able to see many of the Tri-Sharks finish and we were able to see my Uncle Dan (my Dad's brother) finish his FIRST Ironman!!! We are so proud of everyone who competed.

Let me tell you, I don't care who you are. It is one of the hardest things in the world to say it is over before you hit the finish line. Sunday was no exception for Andy. This was his first DNF ever. Hard pill to swallow. I am not a fan of the laundry list of excuses for not doing what you set out to do. Either it was your day or it wasn't. Ironman is a very LONG day and a LONG training season leading up to it. For Andy it is no different. Things happened and it didn't turn out the way we had hoped. But he is healthy, happy, and able to live another day. Ironman is not off his docket. Next year is my year for a heavy race season (getting back in shape after baby girl), so look out for something big from my man in 2012 ;-)

Thanks for all the support and well wishes this year! We are so blessed and happy to have such wonderful friends and family cheering us onto our goals. You all rock!





Saturday, August 28, 2010

Normalcy?

Things are starting to get back to normal...I think.

For pretty much all of 2010, I have been thinking only about babies babies babies. It started in January when we decided to "try" to have a baby. It is so strange to switch from years and years of birth control to then throw it all out the window and "try" make a person. A person whom you will be responsible for, love, care about, and will depend upon you. BIG.

In less than a year I have gone from wishing and hoping to be a mother to actually being in the process of becoming one. Some days I sit back and really think about it and it blows my mind. In a good way, but still mind blowing.

Now that we know the baby is healthy, on-target, and a girl I am becoming more relaxed. I have forgotten when my next appointment is (it is written down), I forget what week I am (I have that written down too), & I have no clue what size fruit the baby is this week (yup. written down). I don't think it is the dreaded preggo forgetfulness. (Although I am losing stuff intermittently) I think I am embracing all that comes with pregnancy, and eventually motherhood. Before, I was embracing, but I think I was so worried things were going well I couldn't enjoy or relax.

A couple "update" things that I just looked up for blogging purposes:
  • I just finished my 21st week (half way there!)
  • I have gained 9 lbs.
  • I am feeling really good
  • Baby girl is moving A LOT! (punches, kicks, rolls)
  • She is roughly the length of a carrot/banana
  • I still love Skittles and now have discovered I really like root beer.
  • I have a lot of energy. Still swimming, biking (on the trainer), doing yoga, and walking.
  • My next doctor's appointment is September 3rd
  • I am beginning to enjoy the quite time in the house (heard that doesn't last long ;-))
Some strange/interesting things:
  • Everyone said it was weird we were having a girl b/c she has not "stolen" my beauty. Not sure what that means, but I have really clear skin, no strange hair growth, and I am not retaining a lot of water.
  • My belly is pink every once in awhile. I have been using coco-butter lotion everyday, so I am not too concerned-just strange. It reminds me of poor Milhouse on the Simpson's. (hehe)
  • Baby girl moving around in her home is sometimes really freaky.
We are traveling to IL/WI for Andy's Ironman. While in IL (first stop Peoria) Andy's Aunts (Anita & Teresa) and Cara are putting together a baby shower for us. We are going to meet up with Larry at some point too. We are then heading to Aurora and my family is putting a little party together for us and the baby too! We feel so blessed. I am really excited to see everyone and be able to visit. After the 2.5 days in IL, we are off to Madison for Ironman! Andy has been training a lot and I am really excited for him. I sorta think of Ironman Moo as our New Year's Eve. It marks the end of tri season and the beginning of a new year. We love the city and the Ironman party. We are going to be able to see A LOT of our friends up there. Here is a list of everyone I know who is racing:
  • Dan Johnson (my Uncle-first IM) =) #2194
  • Dennis Killian #2050
  • Rebecca Franks #2637
  • Mark Temple #1845
  • Damon Dusin #766
  • Brad Kitzerow #269
  • Andy Sweet #422
  • Chris Daniels #1530
  • Ryan Case #341
  • Flip Hartman #1685
  • Drew Hartman #1198
  • Mike Donahue #1665
  • Margaret Watson #2259
Off to finish laundry and do some yoga. :) Hope to see many of you in a few weeks!

Monday, August 16, 2010

O Abs, O Abs, wherefore art thou strong Abs?

I knew when I got pregnant my tummy would get bigger and bigger and bigger. I am cool with that. Actually, I am looking forward to the big round belly and knowing inside is a protected healthy baby. (I know when I go back and read this I am going to slap myself ;-))

But what I was NOT prepared for was the complete and utter lack of ab strength. I didn't really know how much I depended upon my core until I lost it. I guess it is one of those things you don't realize how great you have it until it is gone. Like when you get sick and you wish and hope for the day you can breathe out of at least 1 nostril. Or when you have a kink in your neck and can't remember how awesome it felt to turn your head more than 40 degrees.

Things I am unable to do:
  • Roll over in bed (must use a crazy leg whipping movement to swing my arse over)
  • Sit up from a lying position (forget about it...revert to the leg whipping thing)
  • Bend over with straight legs and pick something up (almost perfected the perfect squat)
  • Lean over the back seat of the car and get something out of my bag (not happening in this lifetime-I just get out of the car and open the back door)
It really has nothing to do with my belly getting "in the way" but rather a complete and utter lack of core strength.

The other day we were reupholstering 6 chairs for the HUB (Andy's new location for GAIA Fitness). It was a pretty lengthy process, but well worth it. The chairs look great! But after bending over for 7+ hours, my lower back was on fire. At first, I was like ok manual labor = sore back, I get it. Then, after we got home and finished watching a movie...holy crap! My back had NEVER hurt that bad. Not even when I had to vacuum for 2 hours straight then go up and finish cars for an additional 6 hours at my Uncle's car wash, THAT was the hardest physical job I have ever had.

I couldn't move. I am not exaggerating. I was frozen. I had no strength left in my back (plus it hurt SO bad) and since the abs are not working these days...thank God Andy was there.

I asked my doc about it and she said that if I wanted to do ab work, I could, but it really wouldn't help me the way I wanted it to. When you do ab exercises, or any type of exercise for that matter, you pull and strain your muscles to the point they will need repair themselves. During the "repair" they become stronger. If I were to to ab work now, I would only be speeding up the process of my slowly progressing separating abs. Also known as diastasis recti -- separation of the recti muscles. If you want to read about it in more detail click HERE.

The above is a "before" and "after" depiction...now imagine when the muscles are stretched while there is a baby in there. :o

Not to worry, my doc says as long as I take it easy during my pregnancy and wait for at least 8-10 weeks before even thinking about ab work, I should be ok. But in the mean time, it is a stinker to have lost ALL ab strength. I now realize why the pregnancy posture exists...


Well here is my 20 week picture... (yea that is the Punisher in the background ;-)





Not too much different from 16 weeks, except the little bulge above my belly button...hmmm wonder what organ is trying to poke its way out there.

TTFN,
Heather








Thursday, August 12, 2010

Baby Sweet: boy or girl?

When a couple decides to expand their family from 2 to 3, there is so much to talk about: when to start, how to handle difficulties conceiving, cloth vs. disposables, breast feeding, child care, and the list goes on and on. But the one thing they can't "decide" upon is the baby's gender. That is left to biology and chance.


Oh sure, you could go the *designer baby* route; but personally, I find it a little creepy and too expensive to even entertain the thought. So we went the "let's see what the world has to offer us and take it" route. I was worried about all the health risks and concerns that may lie out in the future for us. All I want is a healthy baby. Really. I didn't used to believe women when they said that, but it is true...at least it is for me.

The health worries were non-stop. For instance, up until my most recent sonogram, I would have days/moments I would think the baby disappeared. Regardless of my growing tummy. I would wake up and feel nothing. No twinges, no bloating, no weight gain, nothing...and then I would get worried. I would think the baby was gone or disappeared. Strange, I know, but that is what really went through my head. Then it would hit me, like a ton of bricks. It was almost as if the baby was telling me "Nope, I am here! Big and bad, and I am going to make you remember it!" Within the same day of feeling like the baby had vanished I would feel the worst bloating, nausea, and emotional roller coaster ride of the week. Ahh the joys of parenthood ;-)

Every time I went to see the doctor I would be so worried they wouldn't find a heart beat. I was so elated when we did hear the heart beat, I didn't really care if it was under/over 140 bpm. (Old wives tale #1: over 140 = girl -- under 140 = boy). Ahhh a heart beat, awesome. =)

In the end, our curiosity was getting the better of us. So we tried all the old wives tales: Chinese Gender calendar (boy), ring test (girl), I sleep with my pillow to the north (boy), maternal grandmother has gray hair (boy), didn't have morning sickness (boy), my chest development is rather noticeable (girl), and craving sweets (girl).

One more to add to the list: my Dad has had an uncanny ability to accurately predict the sex of babies in utero for years...shortly after Andy and I got married, but WAY before we had started trying to get pregnant, he mentioned when we have a baby we were going to have a girl. He recently changed his vote to a boy by sending this email to me ;-) "Name him anything but Sue."

So what are we having? I bet you are dying to know... hahaha


The Sweets are having a 'sweet' baby GIRL =) I am not going to embarrass her by showing her 'girl' sonogram. There will be plenty of time for embarrassing pictures later. Trust me, she is a girl.

Below is her sonogram (facing us - head it to our right - the 2 black circles are her eyes and her fists are by her cheeks):

btw, I JUST noticed in the lower right hand corner of the pic above, there is a shadow of a heart. I swear I DID NOT photo shop that in. Also, it is not in there on the file on my computer either...maybe she is telling us she loves us? ...how precious/sweet? right?
*tears*

The second sonogram is her profile (head it to the right) her arm is just under her chin with her fist at the top of the sonogram. Not sure what the other stuff floating around the middle is, could be a leg or something...

So it looks like my Dad is a winner--if we will go with his first instinct :-) Also, the ring test, craving sweets, and the increase in my bra size all said g-i-r-l.

Andy has already mentioned purchasing a shot gun and the fact she is not dating until she is in her late twenties...fun times ahead. LOL

We are overjoyed to be having a healthy baby girl and are so excited for all the adventures that will come our way.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ich liebe Deutschland!

The world is a funny, strange, and exciting place. I had to come to Tennessee to find out the answer to something I have been wondering about Illinois.

Back in college, I had a friend from New Jersey and we were chatting one day about accents and how people speak differently depending on what region of the US they call home. He mentioned the MOST annoying thing Mid-Westerners said was, "Do you want to come with?" instead of asking the same question and adding "...with me?" I thought what a strange thing to be annoyed by. But always thought it was just a Mid-Western idiosyncrasy in our dialect that I liked to hold onto, regardless of how "annoying" it might be to people outside the Mid-West.

Until I was having the same conversation with Jim (hails from New England) and 2 local Tennesseans. Jim, although he is from New England, he has lived in TN for about 15 years and speaks German fluently as well as French. I brought up my Mid-West "Do you want to come with?" thing and he actually said it is not so strange. I was perplexed, since I have discovered this dialect difference I always thought it to be unique.

He said that since most Germans settled into the Mid-West, when they immigrated from Germany, it makes total sense.


Again, I was confused. Not too unusual for this gal ;-) Until he explained, in the German language when someone asks if they want you to join them they say, "Wollen Sie damit kommen?" It is the same English to German!


I thought it was so interesting to know the idiosyncrasy I thought was so unique to the Mid-West isn't unique to us at all...but rather our heritage.


I wonder if other parts of the country attained their accents by their heritage? I know New Orleans has French Creole influence, but the East coast? Southerners? Far North? Interesting...

By the way... I will always call pop - pop. NEVER soda, soda pop, or coke. :)

Not sure if it is a German thing or not, maybe...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Week 16!

Well, I am officially 16 weeks. Check out the article from Strong Moms.com

Baby Sweet is the size of a large pear.


Interesting to think since he/she has most of what they are going to have when they are born. At this point everything is really really small and not functioning. Although, I have heard I should be feeling "fluttering" or kicking. I am not sure how that is supposed to feel, but really the only thing I am feeling is gurgling. The gurgling isn't like sounds your tummy makes when you are hungry or rumbling, but it feels like it. Just really low. If you asked me to pin-point it, it would directly behind and a little below my belly button. Plus since baby Sweet's placenta is attached on the front of my belly, it is absorbs most of his/her movement :(

Baby Sweet can make facial expressions, he/she has eye lashes, and could be having his/her first hiccups...only I can't feel them -- yet ;-)

Strange things keep happening to my body. I got the Strong Mom's newsletter on Monday. Of course, BEFORE I read it I arrived to work sneezing and had a full-on runny nose. I thought I might have gotten sick. (I rarely, if ever, get sick). UGH. Then I read the newsletter and discovered the increase in blood volume can wreak havoc on my nose! Strange, but true.

I am feeling a lot more energy and am not falling asleep at 6:30 pm anymore. Whew. I have been doing yoga, running, and swimming. Which is good, since I have decided baby Sweet and I are going to do a triathlon! On August 8th we are going to do the Sports Barn Super Sprint. The swim is .25 (440 yd) mile swim - 8.2 mile bike - 2 mile run. Since I have never done this tri before, it will be easier to hold back and not be going for a time. -- I hope. We will be in it to finish. I am thinking I might even wear my Tri-Shark jersey. When I wore this jersey before I usually tucked it up under my bra strap anyway, this time instead of a flat tummy, baby Sweet will be bumpin' out. :)

In addition to the preggers calendar ticking by, I have some more good news. I have gotten a new job at BikeToursDirect.com I am the marketing director for BTD. We hook up Americans (and some Europeans living in the US) with bike tour vacations in Europe. We handle everything from booking the inclusive tour to answering questions about traveling in Europe. The cost of the tour includes breakfast and lunch each day (typically both but always breakfast), hotel accommodations, luggage transfers, the bike tour (guided and self guided), and bike rental. The only thing we do not include in the price of the tour is the airfare. We are in the process of revamping our web-site and adding all the 2011 tour information. *keep an eye out for fun stuff.

Speaking of the fun stuff! BikeToursDirect has a Facebook page AND a Twitter page. @BikeToursDirect. Please become a "fan" on FB and follow us on Twitter. We will soon be creating a blog so that will be one more fun thing to read while at work ;-)

Take care and see ya on the flip side, Heather

I will leave you a pic of me at 16 weeks...oh I AM gettin' bigger :)



Monday, July 5, 2010

Baby Registry...blarg

I am now at week 14 and things are starting to take off. Baby Sweet is about the size of a peach. Like I mentioned in my previous post, none of my pants or shorts fit anymore. I got all of Cara's maternity clothes hung up and the skinny Heather stuff put away till next year. I couldn't give up my 2 favorite pairs of jeans though. I am hoping to get a belly band or a b-buckle. I am thinking if I get 1 b-buckle, I can figure out how to make more. It looks like a piece of t-shirt material with 2 snaps on it, but for sizing purposes and things...it would be most efficient to buy one and replicate it. ;-) Hey, I am a crafty sewing mamma...see the new baby curtains?


Yes, I know they are 3 inches too short. I am in the process of fixing that. And before anyone asks, "Can't you lower the curtain rod?" No, we can't. Not a biggie. Adding a ruffle or a band at the bottom will be perfect.

I am feeling more and more comfortable telling people I am pregnant and we are expanding our family. At first I was worried it was still too early and I didn't want to jinx it by being too excited and happy too early. Go figure. Catholic guilt perseveres in the strangest places ;-) But now that I am wearing maternity clothes and "showing" a little. I figure why hold back now? My body is putting it out there, so why not talk about it, right? Right.

The one thing I have not completely embraced is this darn baby registry. I know, if we don't put one together we will have 5 diaper genies and 1000 packs of disposable diapers (btw-we are using cloth diapers). When Andy and I got married, I was all over that registry. I was so excited to start putting together our life and visualizing our home. I think it was the first thing I did after we picked a date. But this baby registry...ugh, I feel greedy putting things on there. I don't think it has anything to do with not wanting to visualize our baby and our growing/changing family. I think it has more to do with the fundamentals of asking for stuff. Stuff I have NO CLUE about. Why do I need a bouncy chair, a swing, a play yard, AND an exer saucer? Check this out...it is crazy! My eyes are going buggy just looking at the thing.

We are going to register for the fundamentals. Simple. Streamline. I know essentially what we need. I have a check list, no worries there. Come on...haven't you known me long enough to know I have researched and created at least a couple lists? ;-) Andy and I are very simple people (with the exception of our bikes). Our intention of moving to TN and living in BFE was to live simply and enjoy what the world has given us. That exer saucer thingy is not simple. Hope I don't break anyone's heart here, but that octopus looking thang is not going on the registry. A part of me wishes if people want give us stuff, awesome; and we would be blessed with their generosity and kindness. I know, I know. That is not how things work and I am going to have to suck it up and do this baby registry thing.

On the other hand, we have already started a pretty good baby collection. As not thrilled as I am about the registry, I am getting really excited about starting to collect things. Strange, I know. I don't know how to explain my Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde syndrome.

So far, we have a bassinet (Mom and Dad are bringing that down on their trip), a jogging stroller (thanks to Deni and Lloyd), a crib (thanks to Elaine and Al), a wicked bad ass diaper bag (thanks to Candace), some smart wool booties from Courtney (so cool AND cute), and a ton of onesies I found at garage sales. I will probably not keep up the laundry list of stuff since I am sure it will be overwhelming and not interesting to everyone, but with the few things we have so far, I couldn't resist.

Take care and wish me luck "shopping." ~ Heather

PS-I will post a blog or send an e-mail when we have our registry finished.