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

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The waiting game - 40 Plus weeks with baby #2

(Family photo 40 weeks +2 days)


How far along: 40 weeks and 2 days

How big is baby: full grown between 7 and 8 lbs

Weight/ Weight gain: Steady at 174/175lbs. Actually pretty happy about this. I have said before I gained quite a bit at the very end with Wes and retained a ton of water and got very puffy looking. This time I gained about 30 lbs total and feel smaller and less puffy. I don't feel like I 'did' much of anything differently. I am probably more active day to day and eat better but I also have had little to no time or energy to walk or try to 'exercise' this time.  Different babies, different pregnancies!

  (40 weeks +1)

Maternity clothes: Pulled some pants out since we have had cooler weather. Same long tanks and a few flowy shirts. Pulled out all my button downs, nursing shirts and got a few more for this time around. I was totally unprepared with that last time so now I feel like I have a good stash of postpartum/nursing friendly clothing options.

Sleep: Oh man its been kind of total crap. Anticipation of my mom and step dads visit coupled with just thinking that any night I could go into labor means I am up a lot. I go to sleep fine but then 2-3 hours later I have been waking up for at least an hour or two then back asleep and the cycle continues. Last night was better and hopefully tonight will be even better. Naps don't make the nighttime better or worse so I have been sneaking those in during the day when I can.

Food cravings: Pie, chicken... I had some heartburn this week for the first time. I cant believe I dealt with that crap for most of Wes's pregnancy. Its a pain! Chocolate makes it worse, boooo.

Food aversions: No strong ones but I am interested to see what I crave the few days after this baby is born. Its always the things I tended to avoid while pregnant. With Wes it was yogurt and bananas and they tasted SO GOOD again after he was born.

Symptoms: Of labor, still NONE. She is low so that's good, I will get checked at my appointment on Monday morning if I am still going strong. Sleep has been rough but that is more due to anticipation than anything. I have these quick thoughts of "oh is that a crampy feeling?!" "is that some lower back pain?" but then its just gas pains or I have to pee or something. With her feeling lower I get some shooting crotch pain now and then and a sore groin if I walk too much. All to be expected at this point! I'm big and awkward and feeling like a turtle on its back, ya know, the usual at 40 weeks.

Movement: Still going strong. Hiccups every evening, lots of movement around dinner time. Lots of hands and feet and pushing on my right side.

Gender: Girl

Ups: My mom and step dad came to visit. They just left actually. It was SO NICE to have them. They puttered around the house, cooked us dinner, did laundry, cleaned, gardened, played with Wes. I really was able to take it easy and relax. My mom and I got pedicures. They got to spend some much needed quality time with all of us, so in a way it was almost good this baby did not show up while they were here.

Torrey is slow at work and able to help out more. Its been cool and nice out. All my pregnant buddies who were due near me have had their sweet sweet babies and seeing all the photos makes me so happy for them! I cant wait to cuddle them and meet them. MAYBE I will be still pregnant this week and get to get some of that newborn smell love in my system before mine comes. I hear it was a mad house at the hospital so it could be a good thing she is taking her time.

Downs: My mom won't be there for this birth. She was able to be a strong support person through the long birth of Wes and it was so wonderful to share that experience with her. But due to some family care taking she could only come up for those few days this time. Its super bittersweet. I know what she is doing is very important and I know I don't need her at this birth and it will go well without her. But it was plan A and the best outcome we could have hoped for to have her there. A little redemptive too as I am sure it will be shorter and smoother than the birth of Wes. The circle of life and roller coaster of emotions is a crazy thing. We all did our best to wish this baby to make its appearance during or before her stay and that is all we could do. Plan B is in the works, hopefully she can plan to come up in a few weeks. I am so thankful I have my husband and wonderful Doula Francesca to be there for the birth and know we will be sending lots of videos and photos to my mom.

The sleep being messy was mentally challenging. I am one of those people that kind of FREAK OUT in my head and worry all about the next day if I am not sleeping well at night. Its like a crazy night paranoia. I have learned with experience that I am usually FINE the next day and that is more mental than anything but hopefully I will get some good sleep in before she comes I really dont want to go into labor tired even though I know adrenalin will kick in and get me through.

Now that my mom and step-dad have come and gone I don't feel any real hurry to have this baby on the outside. If she wants to take 41 weeks she can. If she wants to be born in September so be it. As long as I am healthy and she is doing well then that's all I can ask for. I would rather not be induced and I want to hold off on having my membranes stripped unless it gets to the very end. Either way it looks like she will be a Virgo like me and not a Leo!

Next Appointment: Monday morning

22 month old Big Brother Wesley

Monday, August 11, 2014

Unexpected perks - The structure of parenthood

Before nap time mornings have been fun lately, I wish I was more physically capable but we make do and have some good outdoor adventures

Before we had Wes, Torrey and I had a pretty flexible lifestyle. Since we run our own business our hours were ours to make. We worked a lot but we were constantly waking up too late and going to bed too late. Kicking ourselves for waisting mornings, being slow to get things done or procrastinating too much.

I think something unexpected with having a child has been our structure. We could be more loose parents but we aren't. Having a daily structure and routine for Wes works for us and him and leads to a good sleeper and a most of the time pretty happy kiddo. (Newborn-hood is a whole different ball game, structure didn't start to set in for us until 7 months or so)

Just this morning I said to Torrey "I do more before 9 am than I used to do in a half day". Having kids changes things and some people are afraid of that but I am so thankful for these changes, its been so good for us. As this new baby approaches I am taking time to enjoy the routine we have now and looking forward to a new routine months that will work for us as well. I hope and pray that this new baby doesnt make too much of a difference in Wes's daily schedule. If I can keep him on track I hope that it will make everything smoother. I feel like I dont really know what I am getting into other than it might be a bit messy for a while!

Early morning bagels at the beach

1. I wake up early and get stuff done: Wes is up between 6 and 7:30 most mornings. Waking up for a cute little human is much easier than waking up for no one but yourself. He is READY TO GO and I have to be too. Once we had a few months of this structure and I was getting decent nights sleep it became something I am very thankful for. I love getting so much done before noon!

2. I cook : Before Wes Torrey did all the cooking. I knew how to cook but he was better at it and I didn't really like doing it. Now I am the one who provides breakfast/lunch and prep or cook some of the dinners for our family. I get the meal plan organized, do the grocery shopping and cook the more simple/basic stuff. I have learned to love providing food for my son (even if he doesn't always LOVE eating it) and myself. I eat on a more regular schedule and we eat out way less.

3. I go to bed early: So with this pregnancy its easy to call it a night at 9 and go off to bed. I am usually asleep by 10-10:30. As a non pregnant person I sometimes struggle with early nights and bouts of insomnia. Most of the time we are stuck here past 7pm anyways. Unless we get a sitter or just one of us goes out, we have to stay home. So this aids in the easy routine.

4. I am more productive in my 'child free time': I know I only have a few hours a day where I am not responsible for another human being. Nap time, after bed time and my work days. So if something is looming or I am getting ready for a show I buckle down better. Also with more 'breaks' that are forced because of taking care of Wes or doing family things I don't get sick of my job as much. I long to sew and I long to get to work and those days are so much more appreciated. I didn't truly realize how much I love my job and what I got out of it until I had a child. This will take a big hit when this baby comes but since my sewing room is at home I am hoping to still be able to find pockets of time to work, we will see!

5. No boredom: Pre-baby Torrey and I would sometimes feel antsy and bored in our evenings. Not wanting to spend money on going out but also sick of the same old TV routine. I think boredom is way less common now. Spending lots of time one-on-one with a child/baby can sometimes be called "boring" or have "boring" parts but I really think people are describing it wrong. I think they just get lonely. Wes is tons of entertainment and not boring at all, but its not the same as adult interaction. When there is another adult around to accompany me, taking care of my child is never boring, so I know that its not him, its me. Its loneliness. I often think about that 'tribe' of the past, mothers, grandmothers, aunts and cousins all helping out to raise children.

6. Appreciate the little things: I appreciate my time away, I appreciate my time with my family, I appreciate my work time, I appreciate my running time, I appreciate my friend time, I appreciate my me time. I don't take things for granted as much.

I think its easy to think of our time before kids as "what did we do then?!" and "freedom!" but in reality this time is amazing in its own way and I really enjoy these unexpected perks of parenthood.

Oh and since Wes sleeps till 7 or so Torrey and I keep saying that we get to sleep in later NOW than we will when they are in school. Why oh why do schools start so early...blurgh.