Monday, February 22, 2010

A Surprise for Bean

Last week, my boss came into my office with a huge ear-to-ear grin on her face and asked me to come up to the 7th floor with her because the Dean wanted to get my opinion about a mural they wanted to create up there.

Confused, I agreed, but asked her what “mural” she was talking about.

Apparently, she hadn’t thought her lie through enough to come up with an answer in case I had questioned her about it, and after a long pause, just muttered/giggled something about how she wasn’t sure and that I should just come up as soon as possible to talk to him.

As we wandered through the Dean’s suite, I realized that NO ONE was in their office and suspected something may be up.

Sure enough, as we walked into the room, everyone jumped out and yelled “SURPRISE!!!!”

As sure as I calmed down and made sure my water hadn’t broken, I realized everyone was there for a surprise shower for the Bean and I. YAY!

They had a beautiful cake, cupcakes, cookies, flowers and gifts!

Actually, it was for Jeremy too, but he was in a never-ending faculty meeting. Finally, one of the Deans went in there to end it so he could come out and everyone could surprise him too. Then the party was underway.

We got some great gifts, including a huge bag of clothes, a fun crib toy -soother/projector thingy, some other small baby toys and a super-cute diaper cake that our friend Courtenay made for us.

But the best surprise of all was the extremely generous gift that everyone pitched in together to get for us.

The Bob Revolution Jogging Stroller!

Jeremy and I had bought most of the big items on our registry ourselves and only had a jogging stroller left to get, but were planning on waiting a few months after she was born to get it since we didn’t need it right away and needed to save up for it.

While they didn’t get us the actual stroller, they got us a gift card with more than enough money to get it. Way more than we EVER expected anyone to get us. We were completely floored and overwhelmed.

We had such a great time and the whole shower was a wonderful surprise. We are so lucky to work with such an amazing group of people who have embraced us, taken us in since we moved here and been a source of strength through this entire pregnancy, especially in the beginning when we were having such a rough time.

We are so excited at the thought of being able to go out and enjoy the trails in Fairmount park together in the summer and do our runs together as a family when marathon training season comes around again. We can't wait to share our love of running with Bean.

So here is my question to all you running moms out there. I originally thought I would get the Bob Ironman, but after testing out the Revolution and talking to a father at the running store (who had a Baby Jogger and a Bob Ironman) he suggested for us, we may want to go with the Revolution with 16" wheels since we will be doing a lot of walking/running on trails.

Does anyone have on opinion on the Ironman vs the Revolution? Really, it seemed like the only major difference where the wheels and the fact that the Ironman has a fixed front wheel. I am worried about the Ironman's wheels on the trails in the parks around our house, but I obviously want something fast and slick on a flat surface (any help I can get to become faster is always appreciated). Decisions, decisions...

Oh, and here is a pic of me at 37 weeks since I haven't posted one in awhile. Of course, I'll be at 39 weeks on Wednesday. Eek! So close!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Nursery Tour

There is nothing like a couple of days of being snowed in to make you get some stuff done around the house.

The nursery is finally complete. It's great to be able to walk into the room and finally feel like there is nothing else that needs to be done before she is born. It's a great load off my shoulders.

The funny thing is she probably wont even sleep in there for months since we plan on having her sleep next to our bed for a month or two. But at least I know I don't have to worry about finishing the room once she's here and I have zero time to do it. I love checking things off the list.

As far as the nursery goes, there is no overall look. It's a really small space so I didn't have too much to work with. I am not into themes and can't even settle on a color scheme. I love trees and owls, so it's inspired by that, but the rest is kind of a hodgepodge. I just like collecting things that I think she will enjoy looking at and had fun finding some of my favorite toys packed away from when I was a little girl. I hope she will enjoy some of them as much as I did.

Wall color "Lime Rickey", Sherwin Williams. Crib by Babyletto.

Tree decal by walldecors.

Blanket embroidered with "Bean". :)

My mom made this wall hanging after being inspired by one she saw on etsy.

Switchplate by etsy seller funkychickendesign.

Lyrics to one of my favorite Beatles songs that I laid out in inDesign, had one of my awesome print vendors from work print for me and then framed with an inexpensive Ikea frame.

Blizzard number three outside. Lamp and curtain panels from Ikea.

My grandmother made this heart for me years before she passed away with her and my grandfather's old buttons, pins and cuff links.

My favorite Little People from when I was a little person.

The orange Fisher Price stuffed toy was mine from when I was a baby.

Changing table by Ikea.

The Pink Panther was my FAVORITE stuffed animal when I was a kid.

Elephant Jeremy bought Bean in Amsterdam.

Baby pictures of mommy, daddy and big bro, Dakota.

Details of quilt my mom made for Bean :)

My mom started to knit this when she was pregnant with me, but ran out of yarn with only a small patch to go. When I got pregnant, she found someone to finish it for her with the same yarn she had used 34 years ago.

Beautiful homemade blanket made by Jeremy's cousin, Carey.

My mom made these burp cloths for Jeremy...

...and these for me :)

Fortune I got when I was in my first trimester.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Marathon Training vs. Labor Training

Last Sunday, one of my very best friends ran her first marathon. She trained diligently for over five months for the perfect race experience, only to end up with an injured IT band 4 weeks before the big day. She went to PT every other day in the remaining weeks, did all her stretches and exercises, discussed all her options with her therapist, mentally prepared herself and in the end, decided to just run the full, get out there and see what happened.

What happened was four miles into the 26.2 mile journey, her knee started bothering her and she went from her 9:30-10:00minute/mile pace to a 13:00-14:00 minute/mile pace. She ended up finishing about an hour and half slower than she had trained for all those months and cried pretty much every step of the way.

But when she called me afterwards to tell me about her race, she still had that sound of amazement and joy of someone who just ran her first marathon. Sure, she said she was never going to run another one again (who hasn’t said that after their first marathon?). Sure, she said it was the most painful, strenuous, exhausting thing she could ever imagine doing. But even still, you could tell she was amazed by her will, astounded by her body and proud of her accomplishment and the fact that she didn’t give up, even though it really, really, REALLY sucked. I know in a few months or maybe even weeks, she will have fleeting thoughts of her next big race. She knows she could’ve done it better if the situation were different. She put in all the training and was doing great for weeks. But no matter how much preparation you put into it, you just never know what you’re going to get on race day.

Which reminds me of something my wise husband said to me a few weeks back.

One afternoon, I was sitting there listing off all of the things I wanted and did not want for the delivery of Bean and the endless ways I was going to make sure these things happened. Jeremy just lovingly smiled and then gently reminded me that preparing for labor and delivery (and parenthood for that matter) is like training for a marathon. You can train and prepare all you want for the perfect race experience, but when the big day comes, you only have so much control over what cards you are dealt and you have to be mentally prepared for many different game plans.

How did my husband become so smart all of the sudden?

It really is funny how true this statement is. And all runners/parents can relate to it.

As soon as you sign up for the big race or see that positive pregnancy test, the first thought through your head is:

“What the hell did I just get myself into?”

When that wears off, it’s time to prepare.

First you get a ticker.
(marathon ticker/pregnancy ticker)

Then, you need to figure out what kind of outcome you want.
(run for fun, a new PR/ natural childbirth, epidural, c-section)

What plan do you need to adopt to make sure you meet your goal? (Galloway, Higdon/Lamaze, Bradley, Hyponobirth,)

Then there is the need to read everything you possibly can on the subject.
(Born to Run, Runners World/ What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Ina May’s The Guide to Childbirth).

Not only in print but online.
(Running Lounge, running blogs, running forums, bump, baby blogs, pregnancy forums,

There is the change of diet.
(Eating healthier to lose weight, finding something that wont upset your stomach on a run, loading up on carbs/eating healthier to gain weight, finding something that wont upset your stomach in the first trimester, loading up on everything for no good reason)

There is endless product comparison and shopping for your new obsession.
(running shoes, running clothes, gels/ strollers, car seats, diaper rash cream)

There are the friends who can relate to you and LOVE to talk about their experiences.
(marathon runners who will tell you how AWESOME it is and how you should follow their training plan, marathon runners who only want to talk about their horrible race experiences and try to scare you/ mothers who will tell you how AWESOME labor and delivery are and how you are dumb if you do it any other way, mothers who only want to talk about how horrible their labor experience was and try to scare you)

And friends who totally cannot relate to you.
(Why would you EVER want to run a marathon? /Are you sure you’re ready to have kids?)

Then, it's time to taper. And the real obsession begins...

This Wednesday, I will be 37 weeks. That's officially full-term. My taper is about to begin.

And no matter how much I've prepared. No matter how perfect I want everything to be, I know I can only obsess so much. Because on that day, it's out of my control. I just need to show up prepared and focused, but with an open mind and ability to trust myself if I need to switch game-plans at the last minute.

No matter how the race unfolds, this time I'm coming home with the best medal yet. A definite PR.

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