Friday, February 6, 2015

Running Goals 2015

I am starting to feel like there is some good things on the horizon. I am starting to look to my running again and feeling like I want to get fit and get some competitive times back in me. In 2009 I ran my last marathon (Boston) and felt like I needed a break after doing 4 in 3 years plus all those years of college and highschool competitive running. Then Torrey and I got married and I ran on and off the next year or so. Then we decided to start trying to have a baby so I didn't push myself running. Then we had that first baby. Then just when I was kinda getting back into it but also thinking about when we were going to have our second I got pregnant again, and then, of course, had Lily so I can think about running again... phew!

I am pretty excited about it. I have a half marathon planned for April locally. It wont be any stellar time but I signed up to keep myself accountable running this winter. I dont want to push anything too much while I am still breastfeeding and have all these hormones surging through my body. But maybe in 2016 there will be a marathon plan. But there are so many steps and mini goals before then. So many stages after a 4 year hiatus.

For me there is the running I do when I am busy. The running I do a couple days a week to just not lose it all. The running I do with no plan and no future and that is what the last 4 years have been with short bursts of training. But now I want to do more. I want to train. I know life with a small business and two little kids means a more relaxed schedule.

(This is the first winter I have been running these streets since we moved into Burlington and am so thankful the city plows and salts the sidewalks, its a runners dream!)

So here is my list of mini goals and ways to achieve them:

1. Run 4-5 days a week: I mainly try to do a 2 days on/ one day off schedule. It seems to work really well for me. I can focus in such small chunks. I can carve out a bit of time when I look at it in such small chunks.

2. Increase long run up to 10 or so miles no matter my race distance: Once a week is a good goal to get out and just run without having to cut it short for kids or life. Since I am training for at most half marathons these arent 2 hour runs but long enough to push it. I am up to about 6 miles as my long run now and it feels so good. Honestly it takes me 3 miles or so to warmup so the long run is so necessary to get a run in where I feel fit and strong and have to push myself the last few miles. This also means to keep the long run 'long' even if I am only doing 5ks or something this summer.

3. Lose about 15lbs of baby weight: It is SLOWLY coming off. I am still about 10-15lbs heavier then I have ever been running (except when pregnant). This means my joints and body is just not used to carrying that weight around. I am actually shocked that I dont feel it more. Also so very few of my running clothes fit. Ugh. I am working with ONE pair of tights and I just refuse to buy more. In the last month or so I have lost about a pound a week. I am almost about to go down a jean size but I still have a ways to go. I know the long runs will help as well as my next goal...

4. Get in one hard workout a week: Tempo run, fartlek run, hill repeats, progression run, ladder run: Something that pushes me with speed and heart rate. These burn the calories and make me feel strong and fit. I do not want to get in a LSD (long slow distance) rut. They are a little scary but so so worth it when done.

Got the Lauren Fleshman Believe Training Journal for Christmas and LOVE IT!

5. RUN WITH PEOPLE: I am looking for a community and outside sources to keep me accountable. Re-join the local running team. Run with my neighbor friend in the evenings after the kids go to bed. Squeeze other times in to run with other friends. Step out of my comfort zone and join a group of people I don't know very well. Also stay connected to the online and instagram community of strong supportive runners that I get motivation from.

6. Take opportunities: When the neighbor that loves to hang out with our kids offers say YES. When the relative or friend offers say YES. When the HUSBAND offers say YES. When they nap at the same time, jump on the treadmill.  Also stop the guilt. Go run. Feel good. Be a happier and healthier mom/friend/wife for it after.

7. Do outside strength work: Mostly this means go to a weekly yoga class because I am the worst at strength work from home. I also like doing drills and strides after and during runs so I want to get back into those. The only other thing that helps in this department is Jillian Michaels workout videos on off days, for some reason I do anything that woman tells me to.

Here is Lily planking- I get my motivation from her, baby planking is the cutest!

8. Sign up for races: Race often and a lot. Race locally but find some good new races an hour or so away. I am not one of those runners that will only hit a road race if I am in shape. Road races FUEL me. I love the atmosphere and the community. If I sign up for lots of little races then I keep running. Just having it in the back of my mind even if I am not 'racing' it keeps me going. So this year I am going to find some fun little 5ks and 10ks and drag some friends along too. Oh and since my kids get up early anyways I find heading to a road race at 7 am isn't nearly as hard as it used to be.

My next race: Sap Run 10k in March : Last time I ran this in 2009 I won it. Oh gosh, I wont be anywhere close to that this time but it will still be a fun muddy good time!

Okay Tessa, LETS DO THIS!

Anyone else with me?? Ready to get fit in 2015. Be realistic and hit some goals?!

Oh and here is my #runlikeagirl photo motivation.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lily at 5 months - Her own room

Its been a really rough couple months for sleep around here. Lots of frustration, anger and overtired moments in the middle of the night. Some flailing temper tantrums on my part because I just DID NOT WANT TO GET OUT OF BED AGAIN! And SHE HAS ONLY BEEN SLEEPING FOR 45 MIN!!  And whisper yelling with Torrey about what they heck we were supposed to do, let her fuss or go to her right away or both or neither. Lots of crazy moments like that. It was driving me batty having her in our room. I would lay awake waiting for her inevitable wake up and I would hear every...single...noise. I couldn't read before bed like I love to and we had to sneak around our room so much.  I remember when Wes went through this stage of "learning to fall back asleep" I said next time I would move our baby out into their own room sooner. And here we were at 5 months doing it all over again.

So we took a big leap yesterday and moved her into her own room. Since there are two bedrooms upstairs (ours and Wes's) and a guest room downstairs we decided to move her into the guest room. The plan was for the kids to have a room together but she still wakes up so much (we may have to gently sleep train her in a month or so) so putting her right in Wes's room didn't make sense. 

Her new bedroom is on the first floor so it makes daytime naps a breeze when Wes is running around being a wild man. She has been going down well for day naps and really does recognize when its time for bed. She can go about two hours between naps and then its tired city. Even though I so wanted her out of my room I totally shed a tear over that fact that she is old enough to make this move. Something about never again just lifting my head up in the middle of the night to see her sleeping gets me. I did love having her so close in those early days (when she was sleeping better).

So last night I trekked downstairs to nurse her when she woke. But instead of the usual 4-5 times it was only 3. So hopefully this move is good for her too, I swear she could smell me when we were in the same room together. And here is the relief I get every day... seeing my sweet boy Wes go to bed at 7 pm and wake up at 7:30am. I know it gets better. I KNOW it this time. She will get better.

Other than that Lily has been growing like a weed. She is working on sitting up and is so strong. She is such a mobile, determined girl. She rolls and wiggles and planks herself all around the room. She is trying to get her knees under her too! She grabs her feet and tries to chew her toes.

She is a little powerhouse of a baby. I am a big, big supporter of floor time and free play. So I try to put her on the floor and let her just do what her body wants. When she is feeling good (not tired, sick or hungry) she can play on the floor for a hour or so just using her body and moving around. This is a savior when chasing a toddler around. I started this from the beginning this time (with Wes I didn't know until 4 months how good it was for them) and I think thats part of the reason she is so mobile but also because its just her personality. Its so fun to see her personality come out! She has been a wiggly bean from the beginning always kicking her legs and turning and flipping as soon as she could. She is going to keep me on my toes this one. Its funny, I love that she is so strong, mobile and vocal but sometimes I see other peoples quiet calm babies and get envious. I am sure they are not as quiet or calm or 'easy' as the seem.

She also loves kisses, snuggly tickles and giggles. She ADORES watching her brother. That is the great part about having an older sibling around, its the best baby entertainment! She will drag herself around the floor to grab one of his toys and will just stare at him while he plays and eats. If she is fussy I just point her towards her brother and it usually does the trick.

She is starting to get interested in food. I think we are living in the last few days of having her on my lap while I eat, she is starting to lunge and grab for food. She loves being in the Ergo or carried when she starts to get fussy. She is losing most of her hair and has the funny bald spots going on. She still has beautiful blue eyes that I just adore. She is long and fitting into mostly 6 month clothes. Her baby smell and soft skin wow me on a regular basis.

Miss Lily Bean in all her glory

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Run - Second time around

(Views from my longest best run yet, 4.7 miles and a few miles under 9 min pace)

So after saying goodbye from blogging I got the urge to... so why not?

I may not post often but maybe still once in a while, never say never.

I watched the NYC marathon this morning. I thought about running all day, I think about running almost every day. Its so motivational to watch a big race like that. I have been running for three weeks. Its slowly getting better. It is pretty rough still. I am still carrying 20 extra pounds. 20 pounds over my normal weight, my 'not super fit but just running for fun' weight. With Wes I was already knocking off a few pounds a week once I started running. This time it is just sitting there. I am getting a tiny bit faster and able to go a tiny bit farther each day I run but the weight just sits. Its hard to run 'heavy'. I have a belly that flops around and sticks out still. I am gonna be honest and say I do not like it very much. I am going to be honest and say I would rather it not be here. But I also don't want to cut down my food a ton or go on a 'clean' diet. I HATE to mess with my food. I would much rather run it off and breastfeed it off. I am not a bad eater and I already try to be fairly balanced and honestly I just don't want to be one of those women. One of those moms who wont have a cupcake with their kid or wont share a glass of chocolate milk. I also love food. Its one of my favorite things, one of my hobbies, creating meals, eating meals, trying new foods. So running it is.

But I am struggling to be patient and that is all I can be. Every run is filled with thoughts of "when will this get better?" "When will I fit into my running clothes and my regular clothes again?" I know I am only 9 weeks out from delivery but this part is so hard for me this time. I know that the breastfeeding weight loss tends to kick in around 3 months and hopefully I will be running a bit more by then too. So it wont be around forever, right?

I have goals that keep me going. Other than weight loss, for that I have hidden my scale and said I will not step on that damn thing again until my clothes tell me I have lost the weight. I hate reading that same number over and over again, that number that is so much more than it read last time I didn't have a baby in me. Instead I will focus on a Turkey Trot at Thanksgiving and a First Day run on New Years Day and a Sap Run in early spring and Half Marathon in Spring sometime and maybe a marathon in late 2015 or for sure 2016. Races are the closest thing I get to running with a team, with a group, and I miss running with people. So even though I am slow, I go, and run and catch the high from everyone around me. I will focus on strengthening my pelvic floor, going to post natal yoga, staying uninjured, stretching, and just getting in those runs. One at a time and I will get back to myself. I know it deep down, I know I will, and I know in a few months this time will seem like no big deal. But right now, ugh, I just want my eyes to not go straight to my middle when I look in a mirror. I want to get better at noticing my thoughts and moving on from them, pushing the bad ones to the side and letting the hopeful ones, the good ones glow.

That's it about running.

A short update on everything else with two littles. Its good... now. The first month was hard, but we have an okay grove now. I long for a helper, for another set of hands some days but we do it. We get though as a family. We have 'discussions' and find routines that work, for now, and make loose plans for later. I get the important stuff in; short runs, family time, a little bit of work and a little bit of sleep, and the days move along and things get a little easier.  I love Miss Lily more than words can say. I love to kiss the soft spot between her cheek and neck. I love the chunky leg rolls. I love to pet her fuzzy head. I love to work hard to make her smile and giggle. I love how she loves to be held. I love her baby smell and her baby squishy lips and her baby everything. Its hard, so hard at times, when I feel like one giant boob but oh so worth it.

(Lily at 8.5 weeks)

Wes is two. Can you believe it? I started this blog when he was just a thought, a goal, a plan, and now he is TWO. He made up this word "Ba-Douf" that means "move, move over there, over here, change positions, relocate" Its awesome and totally made up and makes so much sense and no sense at all. I love "Ba-Douf". He answers questions in excited "Yep!" or quiet "no" or "nope". When I try to figure out what he wants or what hes saying and I get the "Yep!" I think I am just as thrilled as he is. A two year old is so fun. We each other... about things! I sing this song before bed and he chimes in with the "mooooon" part.

He loves tools and cars and trucks and will only sit still for Curious George. He loves to eat and have 'snack' but isn't as fond of sitting down for meals unless he is super hungry. He eats more dairy and fruit than anything else but loves capers and spaghetti too. He will eat an apple whole but spit out the skins. He loves just about everyone and will say hello to strangers and is rarely afraid of people. He loves climbing around the playgrounds and walking on the trails and pushing his stroller down the bike path. Last week he took a burp cloth, laid it on the bike path during a walk, smoothed it all out, than laid down on it and said "watch bike" with both hands under his chin. I have no idea where he got that from but it was just about the cutest thing, unfortunately for him no bikes were around to watch. He says "momma run" when he sees me get back from a run, and pumps his one arm hard when he has his own races back and forth in the kitchen. He always starts them with a countdown though lately it was just the number "three, three, three" then go! He is quirky and fun and sweet and goes to sleep and naps like a champ. He also melts down and whines and wont give me kisses when I want them but I guess that's okay. I love this little peanut.

(Wes as a construction worker on Halloween)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Breakup

I will make it short. Every thing has a season and I have read so many 'I'm breaking up with blogging' posts over the years from some of my favorite bloggers. Many after they have had another child. Well I am joining the bandwagon, for now.

I love having this place for family and friends to see our growth but I have been having less and less time to devote to it. So I will be taking a good break. If I have the time I may post here and there but I think I will go back to an old fashioned journal and say goodbye to this space.

If you want to follow me feel free to follow my instagram, Its like a mini blog ;)
I keep it private but accept almost everyone that does not seem too spammy

Instagram: runtessa

Also feel free to email me anytime with any questions:

And follow our sometimes updated business blog at :

I love the blogging community so much and love following along with all your blogs out there. It has been such a special place to keep track of our family growing and I will for sure print it all out for Wes to have one day. I am learning to cut things out and let things go that are not top of the list cuz you all know kiddos make priorities that much stronger! Love you all!

I will leave you with this photo of chubby sleepy Lily - up to 9lbs 7oz!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lily at Twelve Days

It would be nice if I could do some sort of normal weekly/ bi-weekly/ monthly update on the kiddos but ya know what? I think I better just take the opportunity when I have a few min. instead so here is an update on Miss Lily at Twelve days.

She is up to 9 lbs!
She gets the hiccups every evening
She prefers to be upright a bit or she gets spit-upy so she has been sleeping a lot in her bouncer chair, rock-n-play or on us
She also gets really grunty when gassy, working on a poo, or needs to burp, so much work for one little baby.

She has projectile vomited on me a few times, that is some crazy "whoa-whoa-whoa, wheres the burp cloth, no... wheres the towel?!?!" moment stuff
She nurses like a champ even though my let down is forceful and she sometimes coughs on the milk
She nurses quickly then passes out
She sleeps 1.5-3 hours between feeds at night and pretty much the same during the day
She sometimes cluster feeds for an hour or so at a time
She falls asleep easily
She has a couple great awake and content moments each day
She seems like a pretty calm, mellow and happy baby so far
She has a couple little baby pimples
She has beautiful blue/grey eyes - I wonder if they will turn brown?
She has brown hair that is a bit shorter and lighter than Wes's was at this age
She has fuzzy blond hair everywhere, my favorite is her upper arms
She has the softest skin ever - gosh there is nothing like newborn skin
She finally lost her umbilical stump and with it the nasty stank that is rotting flesh, thank goodness!
She has had two baths at home that she seems to love

(first bath at 6 days old - Sept 5th 2014)
She loves the K'Tan carrier
She loves having her hair and head massaged
She gives us the best sleep smiles
She sometimes likes to suck on her hands when getting hungry

She has lovely warm skin tone, somehow both my kids don't have my super pale skin, don't know how that worked out.
She has a few nicknames- "lilybean" "lilyofthevalyou" "Lil" "peanut"
Shes absolutely perfect and I am so glad she is here.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Birth of Lily Evelyn

The birth of Lily Evelyn 
Born:  Saturday August 30th at 5:14 pm
8lbs 3oz and 20 inches

In many ways Lily's birth was similar to Wesley's and in many ways it was thankfully more natural and hands off. I feel like I learn so much about how I give birth every time I do. I learn what my body does naturally and also when I should listen to the advice of others and when I need to tone them out and listen to myself. There are always moments that could have gone differently but I am thankful to have had two successful vaginal births and two sweet snugly babies as wonderful rewards from all the hard work.

Much like Wes I started having mild contractions a couple nights before actual labor started. The contractions would come and go, I was able to sleep and eat from Weds night through Friday evening. But as I was at 41 weeks I was just so happy something was happening! I went to my scheduled non-stress test and ultrasound appointment Friday and besides everything looking great it confirmed that I was in early labor with 3cm dilated and 70% effaced. The exact same thing happened with Wes! But with him my water broke an hour later so we were then on the ‘clock’. With this labor I tried to relax and rest and knew it could still be days until the ‘real thing’. Fortunately my water stayed intact and contractions started ramping up after I went to bed around 9 Friday night. They got closer and stronger and I had to focus to get through them and around 11 knew I could no longer lie in bed during them. I got up and they started coming closer 3-5 min apart and still very manageable pain wise. I woke Torrey up around midnight and called Francesca my doula, my OB on duty (Julie who helped deliver Wes, I love her!) and Torrey's parents to come stay with Wesley for the night.

Julie said to come on in, I was a little surprised because things were so 'easy' still but she was right, the contractions were close and since it was my second birth it could go much faster. We drove up the hill to the hospital at 2am. The bars were letting out for the night and all the college kids were wandering home. I had a few contractions in the car but they were still very manageable to get through. Sitting through them was hard as I usually like to lean over and sway but I was able to ride them out and was just glad they didn't stop when we left the house. We met Francesca there and headed up to Labor and Delivery. 

I asked for Julie to check me instead of the resident who came in. He made some excuse that he had to 'wake her up' but I didn't care I was most comfortable with her and knew I could ask for her instead of the resident at any time. The joys of a teaching hospital! Julie said I was 6cm and 80% effaced! What great news, that was the top of my hopes so it was great progress. Francesca was great about chatting with me about what I thought would happen and what I would do with the information I was given. Having a doula this second time was just as important as the first, maybe even more so. Just by having one it puts such a good vibe in the room. Plus the extra support was amazing for Torrey and I as the hospital was busy and we would have been left alone for some time without her. The contractions were still about 5-7min apart and very very manageable. It was the natural labor of my dreams. We all thought Lily would be here by morning.

We walked the halls and chatted. This is where things start to get all jumbled up in my head as far as time and order but I will do my best! I spent some time in the tub and then got out to get checked again as it had been a while and I was curious. I was up to 8 cm but things seemed to be stuck. At this point I decided to have my water broken and see if that would ramp up the contractions. This was about 7am. Things really didn't ramp up that much and I got back in the tub, the water felt great as I was having some back labor. We all talked about how I just should start feeling the ‘urge to push’ next and we could just wait for that to naturally happen. Julie had to stay if I wanted a water birth so she nicely stuck around after her shift ended and Elizabeth was the other OB on. But no urge came, a resident checked me (I made her do it in the tub as I did not want to get out and it was her first time doing it) and mistakenly said I was 9-10 cm. 

 At around 10am I got out and moved around to get things going and Julie then checked me. She said I was only 8 and the resident was wrong. Contractions were more intense now and we did some nipple stimulation to get things even stronger so we wouldn’t have to have Pitocin. It sure did work with the intensity! Things GOT CRAZY. The contractions got so much more intense and after a while I decided to get an epidural. By now it was about noon. Those ten or so contractions we waited through until the pain relief set in were… well, almost too much to handle. I was so done with pain and so done all over. 

(After epidural relief! We all napped and Torrey and Francesca got a chance to eat lunch)

Thankfully the epidural was great and Julie headed out, as I was no longer going to water birth. I rested for a while more as we waited, hopefully, to progress from that darn 8 cm! I was still feeling the contractions and they seemed pretty strong, I had to breathe through them. It was a well done epidural and I could feel my legs and wiggle my toes still and feel the contractions. At one point I felt the urge to push and my body just went for it without me trying, Torrey said that was the craziest part of the whole labor seeing my stomach push. Elizabeth came in to check and I was still 8, but she figured out WHY! Thank the sky’s above! Little Lilly was trying to come through with the side of her head. She was occiput transverse! That is why things were SO intense and stalled.

So the first order of business was to try to get her to turn naturally during a contraction. So the amazing nurse we had (seriously she was the best nurse I have ever had through both labors, so thankful) and Francesca both got me into this funny position pictured above. On my left side then tilting my hips down and putting my right leg in the left stirrup. And it worked! At one point I felt Lily move and all of a sudden the contractions just slumped off in intensity. They were so manageable again, she was all lined up! I was so relieved I started crying. The mind plays funny tricks on you while you are in tough spots in labor and I knew if this didn’t work things would get tougher, Pitocin and C-section kept running through my mind. The relief I felt when she turned was so sudden and whole body.

I started feeling the urge to push again. Elizabeth checked me and said she could see her head, we were good to go! I was afraid to move out of position, though they promised me she wouldn’t ‘turn back’. But I couldn’t bear down so we switched to my back and I could push better. My contractions were still 5-7 min apart, that’s just how I roll, so if they were closer I think she would have been out in just a few pushes but we had to wait a bit more (everyone was so nice through this part and reassuring me she would come out, finally!) They saw her head with only 1-2 contractions and after a few more her head was halfway out. But dang! That hurt, even with the epidural and I did not want to wait 7 min to get the rest of her out. So even though they all said wait, I pushed anyways and got that peanut out. I was able to reach down and catch her and lift her right to my chest. 

That was so amazing as Wes had meconium in the womb and had to be whisked away to get his lungs cleared. It was SO redeeming and wonderful to be the one to catch and hold her right away. Torrey cut the cord after it stopped pulsing and I was able to just be with her while they stitched me up and I birthed the placenta. I am so so very thankful for the presence of Francesca as my doula, Torrey as the best back pressure support EVER, my amazing providers Elizabeth and Julie and our nurse Kimball. Since the way I labor and birth is not ‘by the book’ I don’t know if I would have been able to have two successful vaginal births without my team. It was another long adventure of a birth!

I have some moments of 'what if'. What if I tried the nipple stimulation before I got my water broken would that have gotten her into the correct position? Did breaking my water place her in a position she wasn't ready for? Would I have gotten the epidural sooner if I knew I was at 8cm instead of 9-10 like the resident said? (YES!) Could we have found out sooner she was in a funky position and tried to turn me and her sooner? But I guess we will never know. I do know that the part that was 'natural' was fairly manageable and if I moved on from 8cm sooner I would have had a much quicker natural birth, so that is so awesome! It honestly makes me want to do it again and see what can happen next time instead of scaring me away. Its going to be a bunch of years before we even think about another possible kiddo but it does make me wonder. Birth is such a trip, even 8 days out I can say "eh it wasn't that bad" but I know that at the time... those contractions before the epidural broke me down hard. I think we forget the pain because there is no point in reliving it. Its over and gone. The sweet sweet baby is here and its time to be her mama.

 (no roomie so Torrey got to sleep over in recovery)

(Wes meeting his sister and showing her his BIIIIKE present she got him)

The after pains were stronger the few days after this time as everyone warned me. But my milk coming in was so much easier and smoother. Lily is a champion nurser and I am starting to feel like my old self. My before pregnant self. I feel like a fog has lifted, my body is mine again and I can already use it better. I am sleeping better (in between feedings) than I was pregnant and recovering well. Lily is a Virgo like me and I am so excited to see how she grows into her personality and appearance. We were both a bit shocked at how much she looks like Lily and not like Wesley when he was a newborn. She is her own little being and I am so glad she is here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Shes HERE!

Gosh, its no joke that two kids plus life = very little time for part time blogging.

A late announcement that Miss Lily Evelyn has arrived!
Born Saturday August 30th at 5:14 pm
8lbs 3oz and 20 inches

Birth Story and more photos to come