The towel.

I have had a lot of jobs in my life. A lot. Literally upwards of 20 jobs in my 27 years on the earth, starting from when I was 16. I remember after the first day of any new job, driving home and thinking, "That was so hard and stressful" and then realizing it wasn't over, I had to go back the next day and do it all over again. Something so hard had to be only a one time thing, the thought of going back always scared me.

Being a parent is a similar sensation. This past week has been the hardest thus far. Late last Sunday night I started to get sick. Really sick. From 2am until about 7am, I was puking every 45 minutes, topped off with some serious diarrhea. It was incredible. I haven't been that sick since I was a kid. I couldn't believe my luck that Story decided to sleep 8 hours straight that night, if I'd had to get up to feed her, I am sure I would have puked all over her. 

My husband called off from work the next day and stayed home with me to take care of the girl. I spent the morning upstairs, seriously dehydrated and totally wiped out. About noon, he started to get sick too. My sister in law came over and took the girl for the day. Luckily I had a store of breast milk in the freezer that would last the day. We spent the day in bed, sleeping and moaning and feeling awful.

We slowly made it back to life. I felt good enough for Story to come home later that night and take care of her, although I was terrified because I was still exhausted. The thought of having to walk her around the house to calm her down made me want to lie down and sleep. She has also decided this is the week to be the fussiest she's ever been. 

Then came Christmas. Having barely eaten anything more than toast and Sprite all week, my husband and I still felt yucky, him being worse off than me. Christmas Eve at my dad's house had Skip going home early after presents and me following shortly after. Story was still super fussy. The next day was the run around to the moms' houses, but by now we could at least eat a little bit. Story got a cold, thus the fussiness. By the time Sunday rolled around, I was ready to quit. Story had just spent most of Saturday night awake and crying, and I remember laying down on the couch just thinking, "I quit. I quit." I wanted to throw in the towel, roll over and go to sleep. How could I get up and do this all again the next day?

Sunday afternoon, we all went over to my mother-in-law's house and I let myself be a slug. She took care of Story, fed us brunch, and I proceeded to lie on the couch and cuddle up in a blanket for 2 hours while we watched a movie. I couldn't have done anything more if I wanted to. I couldn't move. I have never felt so exhausted and further from myself. I was drained.

Having a 2 month old and being so sick is scary. Will she get it? If she does, we have to take her to the hospital. Is it the flu? Is it food poisoning? I also had to worry about producing enough milk since I was so dehydrated and undernourished. Her nose is stuffed up, is that a cough or is she just clearing her throat? I still haven't bought the parents' Christmas gifts. We don't have food in the house. I'm too tired to get up and get dressed, let alone make sure the girl gets a bath. Skip missed 4 days of work, will we be ok financially?

All of this lasted one week, but it easily felt like two or three. Story cried all week. It was the holidays. We could hardly eat anything. We got no sleep. 

That was so hard and stressful. It's indescribable.



Over the past few weeks, I've had dozens of ideas about blogs that I want to write. But the moment I get a ...er, moment to write one, I forget what I want to write then I discover something else I'd rather do. Like clean up all the junk mail clutter that trails throughout our house.

This blog first started off with  me tracking my weight loss accomplishments after the first year of marriage left me about 10 pounds heavier. It was great to see the results and also have a venue to vent.

It sort of ended with me getting pregnant and being too tired to do much of anything other than sleep and eat. I continued to work out for a while, although I had to skip my beloved half marathon, but I got discouraged at the thought that I couldn't really push myself anymore. When I work out, I like to sweat and I like to hurt a little bit and I like to be sore the next day. You can't really do that while pregnant, I was too tired anyway, so I gave up working out.

Thus, here I am. With a tiny, awesome little being on my hip and about 15 extra pounds everywhere else. I probably went a little too gung-ho on the whole "eating for two" thing, but hey, I've learned my lesson and I won't do it again. I was excited, when I was pregnant, to gain the weight because I was totally up for the challenge of losing it again. But then I had the baby, and now I have no time. For anything. Including blogging.

But here's the cool thing: you know how you hear new moms talk about the new respect they have for their body after they've had a baby? Yeah, that is totally true. I am a freaking champ right now. My body doesn't fit into the "fat jeans" I had before I got pregnant. I've had to go up two sizes from where I was earlier this year. My once flat stomach is kind of flappy, so are my arms, and I've inherited my dads thick legs which are, at the moment, without much tone.

And it's pretty okay with me. Don't get me wrong, I really want to start working out again. Badly. I want to start running. I want to lift weights and get sweaty and kick my own ass again. With the cold weather making going for walks impossible for an 8 week old, and her not ever wanting to be put down making it hard to for me to pick up my weights, I find myself just trying to watch what I eat and go with the flow. I'm trying not to freak out when I hear about celebrity "post baby-bodies" (Heidi Klum did the Victoria Secret fashion show two months after having her third child, how do you compete with that??), and I'm doing an okay job. I'll get back into the swing of things once it gets warmer outside and she starts sleeping for longer periods of time at night (I've been tired for almost a year now). I read somewhere once that a way to help your child feel a secure love is to make certain sacrifices, which can include sacrificing your once-svelte figure to spend time with your child. 

So it's okay with me. For right now I'm going to enjoy the holidays, eat as healthy as I can (the great thing about maternity leave is having time, sort of, to make great dinners), and just enjoy this time because I won't ever get it back. One day she will be too big to be held and kissed and rocked and cuddled, and I know that I will miss these days. So I'll stick with my few extra pounds, thank you, if it means a few extra hours with my girl.


Sleep, damn you!

I can't sleep. My whole life, it has been easy for me to wake up in the mornings and be productive almost immediately. In college I woke up 4 days a week extra early to go to the gym, including Saturdays. I rarely am able to take naps during the day, and I am horrible at staying up late. Granted, there have been a few exceptions, but mostly this is always true.

Toss a baby into that mix, and things get exhausting. "Sleep when the baby sleeps!" they all tell me. Um, I can't. I can count on one hand how many daytime naps I've taken in the three weeks since the girl got here. When nighttime rolls around, I am so tired I can hardly think straight. I go to sleep, wake up every two or three hours with her, sleep with her on the couch if I have to, and then when she wakes up in the morning to eat, whether it's 6am or 9am, I wake up too and then I'm up for the day. 

I try to sleep. I make myself lay down and I turn the TV off, but usually all I can do is think about all the things that need to get done around the house and around my life. Sleep when she sleeps? Yeah right, life still goes on, and my to do list is only getting longer and longer. I need to cancel my membership at the gym. I need to vacuum my bedroom. I need to empty the dishwasher and color my hair and go grocery shopping and eat lunch (is it lunchtime already??) and call about car insurance and write in her baby book and spend time with my husband and check my email and feed her again and send in my timesheets for work.

Shit. I forgot to send in my timesheets for work.

What comforts me is that one day she will sleep through the night, and I will finally get some work done.


It needs to be said...

Breastfeeding sucks. It sucks. It is hard and it is painful and I can say with confidence that is has been the hardest part of the whole giving birth/new mom package. 

It hurts. I have never been so aware of my nipples in my lifetime. Granted, almost three weeks later, the pain is subsiding and things are getting easier. But for a good week or so there, every time the girl needed to eat I would have to grit my teeth and bare (bear?) down to get through the first few seconds. 

It's hard. Being the sole source of my new daughter's nourishment is a huge responsibility, and thank goodness we've had an easy time of it. We haven't had problems with latching on or any of the common troubles that can occur with babies learning to nurse, but it is still hard. I'm the only one who can be there for her in the middle of the night. Skip can get up and change her diaper, but ultimately it's me who has the job to do. I can't hand her off to anyone else and say, "Here, you do it." And you can only sit down and lift up your shirt so many times before you feel like a cow. The on-demand-ness of it is what makes me the craziest. 

I'm all for breastfeeding. To read the research and information on how awesome it is not only for her but for me, it's extremely clear not only that our bodies were built to do this, it's not just a coincidence that women can also nurse their babies, but it feels like I'd be cheating her out of the, literally, best food for her in the world. And she's only a baby! She doesn't deserve to be cheated out of anything.

But damn all those people who told me, "Your life is about to change forever!" or "Get your rest now!" Why the hell didn't anyone ever tell me, "Enjoy the last few weeks of your nipples feeling normal! Breastfeeding's a bitch!"



...she's here! After I ended up kind of going into labor on my own, getting a sah-WEET epidural, and pushing for maybe about 15 minutes, the girl finally got here. Six pounds, 13 ounces, 20 inches long. She was born about 9am on October 15.

And man is she tricky. Babies are pretty hard to take care of, which is strange because they just eat, sleep, and poop. Literally, they aren't lying about that part. But what is also weird how there is no time for anything. Anything! It's really hard to take everyone's advice and lay down and rest when she does. It's hard to not do laundry, or clean the bathroom, or mop the floor, or put things away. 

But she's completely worth it. It's surprising how, at 3am after being woken up for the fourth time that night, I don't resent her at all. If anything, I just look at her and love her as though I'd just gotten a great night's sleep, drank some Starbucks, and just had my hair done. It doesn't hurt matters that she is absolutely adorable. 

I can't believe how much I love her. I just can't believe how much I freaking love her.


The last one.

This is/was my last weekend as just me. However, it hasn't been too terribly outstanding because the last few weekends I have assumed were my last. I feel like I should do something really significant, but all I want to do is read my book, take my nap, and wait until early this week when I know she will get here, no questions asked. One way or another, next weekend will be my first as a mom.


I am due yesterday.

Bleeeehhhhh. Welp, here I am. Still pregnant. Man, October 8th was supposed to be it! It's like someone told me I was going to get this awesome thing on October 8th and then when the day rolled around they were like, "Oh right, that. Well, eh, not today." I feel really screwed. And cheated! When asked how I am feeling, all I can do is drop my shoulders, throw my head back in defeat, and pout and whine. It's not so much I'm super excited to be a parent to a newborn that cries a lot, that I'm still terrified of, it's that I'm sick of barely being able to move! It's a pain to lay down, it's a pain to sit up, it's a pain getting up and down, it sucks going to the bathroom all the time, I want to paint my toenails, and I want to sit on the floor and pet Tucker without wondering how the heck I'm going to get back up. 

Oh, and whoever said a person is pregnant for 9 months is a liar. A full-term pregnancy is 40 weeks. That's 10 months, people. Ten. Months. And here I am going on week 41 like a sucker.


Dilate already!!

I'm still barely dilated. My baby is still growing. I am not. Big baby, little mommy. Thus, if this kid hasn't shown up by next week, we are going in after her. 

I'm a scheduled person. I like a good schedule, and while I've heard that some women get disappointed when they have to be induced, I am pretty excited. One, it's a light at the end of the tunnel ...no pun intended. I finally have an idea of when this will all be over. And while I could still very easily and naturally go into labor on my own, I know that this won't go beyond early next week. But with that being said, two, I like the idea of being able to relax a little bit this week. Until now, every little pang or twinge, I would catch my breath and wonder if this was it. I don't know what contractions feel like (and I don't want to hear anyone tell me "Oh you'll know it when you feel it!"), so any little cramp and I am freaking out.

I also don't like surprises. I almost hope I have to wait until they induce me. I like organization. I like schedules. I like punctuality. Basically, inducing makes me happy, even though now I definitely have to do laundry because I'm running out of clothes that fit and I for sure won't make it until next week in these sweatpants.


Week one.

I am officially on maternity leave. Being that the hospital is about 10 minutes from my house but 45 minutes away from my work, along with the utter lack of anything productive to do at work, I decided to stop working a week before my due date to rest and, well, rest. 

So far, staying at home is ok, but daunting. I know that soon I will hopefully be much lighter and less cumbersome, but for right now I feel very handicapped and restricted. I tripped letting my dog out this afternoon and was stunned to find myself very rapidly going down with quite some force. Thankfully, I was able to catch myself on the handrails outside. Needless to say, I just can't get around like I used to. So I try to content myself with a couple of lame "girl" books that don't require a lot of thought (I can't concentrate on anything) and I try my best to not let myself feel guilty for watching episode after episode of "Friends" while intermittently taking 20 minute naps. It's the last time for a long time I'll get the opportunity to rest like this, I tell myself, and everyone is telling me to enjoy it anyway... so here I go. Being a lazy bum and pulling the pregnancy card once again. 

It's slightly daunting because I am kind of feeling like this is it. This is it. Sitting around waiting for my husband to get home. I mean, I know that pretty soon things are going to get hard, but... it's just a very scary feeling of "What next?" and having no idea what that answer looks like.


I have to say...

Something is different today. I don't exactly know what it is. Maybe because I have this burst of energy and I'm getting stuff done. Maybe it's just because it's such a nice day outside. Maybe it's because I have two days of work left. Maybe because I got to see Story this past week in an ultrasound. Maybe because I know I get to meet her for real very soon. 

Either way, I'm enjoying today. It's the first time in a while I haven't felt like a cranky jerk, and that is always nice. I've been really cranky lately, and not helping matters is the fact that I can barely move around, and I feel like I've been pregnant for freaking ever. I've been preparing for a baby for so long that I just want to meet her already and take care of her and hang out with her. I want to see Skip hold her. I want people to stop talking about her and get to meet her. She already has a huge fan club, and I want her to be able to enjoy that.

I want to get my life back in order. So many things are being put on hold until after the baby gets here. There are so many things I want to do again, like work out or drink a beer or lie on my back or not get up a million times to pee. I'm just ready to have this baby and get on with life. Will I miss being pregnant? I really don't know. I definitely am not one of those ladies who says how much she loves and enjoys being pregnant, but I do kind of like just having Story with me all the time, and feeling her move, although nowadays she's so big that's it's more often than not pretty uncomfortable when she decides to stretch out.

Anyway, today is just a good day.



I had an ultrasound the other day to check on the girl's size. She is, in my opinion, huge. The ultrasound estimates somewhere around 7 lbs 14 oz. With still 2 weeks to go! But I also got to see her sucking her thumb and resting her other little fist on the edge of her nose. What's weird though is that I still don't know what she looks like. I feel like I should know what she looks like.


I've never seen one that big.

I'm in the home stretch, and I have to say, I'm feeling a bit like a circus freak. People are definitely looking at me. I just left Bread Co. (Panera for all you out of towners), and I feel like the stares or glances are less "Aw, cute pregnant lady!" and more "Whoa, she might have the baby here." I had to give a presentation for work to a small group of people at the local Health Department, and one guy told me pregnant woman make him nervous. He was being cute and concerned, because it was hot out and I was fanning myself, but I was still shocked to realize that I am, officially, huge and pregnant. And very much could blow at any point. And people are noticing.

And while friends tell me it's all baby, my ass, thighs and arms tell a different story.

Meanwhile, I'm waiting out my last few days here at work, trying to be patient and praying that my girl's foot doesn't stab through my skin. She's kicking the crap out of me. Whoever said they don't move as much at this stage because they've got such little room is a damn liar.



Since I've been pregnant, the thing that has scared me most is autism. I have no idea why. I don't really know anyone who is autistic. I'm not scared of Down's syndrome, deformities, abnormalities, cleft palate, anything like that. I'm scared of autism, and I just do not know why. I've been seeing a lot of Jenny McCarthy on TV and her stance, not against vaccinations, but the materials found in them, like high levels of mercury and aluminum. I've been reading up, and a lot of what I'm reading is scaring the crap out of me. For example, in 1983, kids got 10 vaccines in their first year. Today, kids get 36. I read yesterday that giving 7 shots to a 13 pound baby (roughly two months old) is like giving 70 doses to a 130 pound adult. Yikes.

And just as there's plenty of information out there about why not to vaccinate, or to at least spread the vaccines out over a longer period of time and starting them at two years of age instead of day one, there's just as much information about how healthy vaccines are, and how they are not related to autism in the slightest. But why are there so many more kids these days being diagnosed with the disorder?

I'm sick of wondering and worrying. I just want my girl to be safe and healthy. I don't want her to get a shot and then be sick or have something go wrong. Why do we have so many vaccines? I mean, was chicken pox really that bad? Is it totally necessary to vaccinate against? I just can't imagine all of that medicine being good. I'm really not trying to be controversial, I'm saying this with a weary and scared mind-frame. I don't know what to do.


Baby talk.

Yesterday, I snapped. It wasn't the first day I felt irritated (see pretty much any previous post), but it was definitely the first day I let people know I was irritated. I have a co-worker who always wants to touch my belly and talk to the baby, and I usually let her because... I don't know why, because I kind of hate it. Yesterday she took one look at me and knew not to mess with me. Another guy was gently teasing me about having twins, I let him know it wasn't funny and I'm quite sure the look on my face let him know I would gladly rip his testicles off.

And if one more person asks me when my due date is, I will scream. It's one thing if it's someone at a store, a cashier for example, making small talk, but it's another thing when a secretary at work who I see every three days asks me every time I see her when my due date is. Lady, if you're not going to even try to remember, just shut up, tell me I look great, and move on. Geez.

What makes things even worse is that pretty much the only small talk conversation at work, polite work chit-chat if you will, revolves around my pregnancy. Here is the list of questions/comments, in order, of a typical conversation had about 4-5 times a day:

1) Wow you're really coming along! / Not too much longer now! / Aw look at you!
2) How much longer do you have?
(I tell them, they try doing the math)
3) So that would be... October?
(Yep, I tell them my due date. Again.)
4) Oh! So and so has a birthday October--.
(If I had kept track, I would probably have a list 100 names long of other people who have birthdays in October. People I don't even know, mind you.)
5) Do you know if you're having a boy or girl?
(I tell them. Again.)
6) Do you have names picked out?

God willing, I can be a stay at home mom for my kids. This will be great since I won't have to worry about child care and will get to raise my kids. This will be even better because the next time I get pregnant, I can stay in hiding.


head down? ...bottoms up!

I went to the doctor on Monday and he confirmed what all the baby books and information sites have been saying: she's head down now and will (should) remain that way until delivery.

Ouch. Six more weeks of being upside down? No wonder they're so freaking cranky when they first come out. Just thinking about being upside down and moving around and tossed from side to side is enough to make me want to throw up.



Gwen Stefani had her baby! It was a boy, and she named him Zuma Nesta Rock... and I get a lot of flack for naming my baby Story. Sheesh. Actually, I think the name they picked out is pretty cool, but maaaybe slightly pretentious? I mean, we're talking about a lady who wears her name on her belt buckle. (It's true, I've seen it.) **Update from People.com: "Zuma's second middle name, Rock, might be a nod to Rock Steady, the third studio album from Stefani's band No Doubt. Rock Steady was primarily recorded in Jamaica and featured a reggae-heavy sound, rounding out the Bob Marley love for the musical clan." She named her son after one of her albums. Jeebus...

Not that I think celebrity "news" needs anymore attention or is necessarily blog-worthy, but it is really interesting, since I've been pregnant and especially during the first few months, how annoyed I get when another celebrity releases the "news" that they are pregnant. I get jealous! I'm like, "Ah, yah, I'm pregnant too. I was pregnant first! Look at me, not Ashlee Simpson!" It feels like they are stealing my thunder. Minnie Driver said that she was pregnant days after me and I literally read the article thinking. "Join the club, like it's even big news now. Didn't you hear? I told everyone last week. Sorry toots."

However, now that I'm closer to my due date, it feels more like a buddy of mine just had their baby and I get kinda proud of them. Gwen, for example, we've been "pregnancy buddies" for months now and instead of getting jealous of her attention, I'm like, "Way to go! That must mean I'm next!"

Now we'll just have to see whose baby is cuter...


A little taste...

I was on vacation this past week. It was what the news channels are all calling "staycations." And while staycations are more in response to the rising gas prices, my staycation involved staying at home and experiencing a little taste of what it might be like to be a stay at home mom. With me being in the home stretch of my pregnancy, I had some things to wrap up around the house before she gets here. Here was my to-do list for the week:

-Paint Story's letters for her room
-Go to Bed, Bath & Beyond to see if they have something for our silverware
-Barnes & Noble to buy a journal and write thank you cards
-Write and send thank you cards
-Knitting shop in Edwardsville (I want to learnt to knit!)
-Give Tucker a bath
-Hang pictures in Story's room

I completed all of those things! And while being a stay at home mom, that list will probably have more "laundry" or "grocery shopping" items, it was still nice to have a full list and complete all of those things before 4pm on Friday.

I also got a little taste of how lonely it will be. By Thursday, I was bored. Skip would be out late on Thursday, so I was by myself all day until about 9pm without anyone to really call or hang out with. I guess when I stay at home, I can join mom's groups? But those sound really lame and depressing. This week I had the option of maybe going out for lunch or going to a matinee, which is always fun, but when Story is here and we're on one income, I won't really have that option anymore. 

So I'm a little nervous about staying at home. What makes it easier is that I'm not super crazy about my job, and I won't miss it so it's not like I'm really sacrificing a career that I love. But I will miss being around people that can use the bathroom themselves and won't need three changes of clothes a day and it doesn't affect me if they get diarrhea.


A boy and his dog.

Recently I've noticed that without my knowing, Tucker and Skip have become best friends. More often than not, I go to bed at least an hour or so before Skip does, and I started noticing that if Skip doesn't come upstairs to bed with me, then Tucker stays downstairs with him and looks at me like I'm crazy when I say to him, "Come on buddy, time for bed." Clearly, staying downstairs while Skip watches TV or plays video games with lights on is way more fun than being upstairs with me, not lying on the bed, and laying there in the dark in silence. It makes sense, after all, since Tucker spends a very good chunk of his day lying on his doggie bed with no one at home.

What's even funnier about their best bud-ness is how, after my and Tucker's morning routine of letting him outside and eating breakfast, he wants to go back upstairs immediately to see if Skip is awake. After breakfast, Tucker waits at the door to our bedroom, maybe even poking the knob with his nose, for me to open it up so he can bolt upstairs and see if his buddy is up yet and if he maybe wants to pet him a little bit. Since Tucker always beats me upstairs, I can tell by watching him if Skip is up yet. Tucker gets to the top of the stairs, looks over to the bed, and if Skip is awake, he puts his ears and head down in excitement and wags his tail so hard his butt shakes and prances right over to him to get some pets . If he's still asleep, Tucker just kind of walks back over to his corner with his blanket and goes back to sleep.

It should be noted that Skip always pets Tucker, and pets him good and for a good length of time, regardless of what he's wearing, so that he usually ends up covered in Tucker hair. I, on the other hand, don't pet him as much if I'm about to leave for work or don't feel like dusting myself off afterwards. Tucker must have noticed...

Skip asked me the other day, "If we have another girl, can we at least keep getting boy dogs?"



Here's one awesome thing about being pregnant: the urge and pressure to buy new clothes is pretty much gone. The fact that, when I walk into the Gap or any other clothing store, I feel no pressure to buy the latest trends is a pretty refreshing thing. Considering that, for the last 26 years, I've definitely felt that pressure, either with the need to fit in with my friends, or the urge to just look trendy or nice. Not to mention it's almost always reminded me of how broke I am.

Now that I can't wear those clothes, I feel no pressure! Throw all of your cute t-shirts and sweaters and jeans and dresses at me, I'm totally capable of ignoring them and feeling fine about it!

This also is partly replaced by the fact that I've been basically forced into buying maternity clothes. I'm terrible at shopping, I hate spending money and I hate all the options. But now that I literally can't fit into anything except maybe a few t-shirts, the guilt of spending money is gone because I really do need that shirt! I have no pants that fit, I need some new ones! I've never bought so many clothes, but I still don't really have that many maternity items.

It's nice to be forced, while at the same time it's equally nice to feel no pressure. ...makes sense.


It's August!

Agh!! I think the countdown officially begins now. I am 30 weeks pregnant, with 10 more (hopefully) to go. August also marks the beginning of the scramble to finish all the baby projects we have going on. Stories from moms who had their babies 2, 3 or even 5 weeks early are, at this point, absolutely terrifying to me. We have a mattress and a crib. The crib is still in its box, unopened and certainly not put together. So, if she comes anytime soon she'll have a place to sleep, but nothing else. Oh well, at least she won't be sleeping in a dresser drawer.

I also have three baby showers and my birthing class this month, and I begin going to the doctor every 2 weeks instead of once a month. My back hurts, I'm tired, and my maternity clothes are starting to fit a little bit tighter.

Welcome to the last trimester.


sick and pregnant.

Have you ever been sick and pregnant and the same time? I have. Well, I still am. It's horrible. I got sick and started feeling it on Friday morning, and here it is Monday afternoon, I came home from work early, I sat in a cloud of used Kleenex all weekend, and I'm still sick. My husband is the one who doesn't like to take medicine and let his body fix things itself, I'm the one who is all about the Nyquil and any other cold medication that will help me sleep better and get healthy faster. Now I can't take anything and I'm still sick and I feel horrible! This is awful! What if I die?? Dying can't be good for the baby, right? Wouldn't it be worse if I died? She's has been kicking me all weekend like, "What the heck is going ON up there?? Will you stop!" And I'm so big that I can't get very comfortable sleeping on the couch which is where you're supposed to spend a lot of time when you're sick! It's awful. 



Everyone wants to give advice. Not necessarily (although they are among the most vocal advice-givers) moms, either seasoned or brand-new, but all people who have done something before you want to tell you how to do it. For example, my little brother is moving to Chicago and all I want to tell him is how to take the train and where he should go eat. But I don't. I realize how annoying it is, so I bite my tongue and tell him good luck and that he's going to love it. Get pregnant, on the other hand, and you will forever be surrounded by people giving unsolicited advice.

I'm not even a mom yet, and I already gave my first piece of advice. A childhood friend of mine is 13 weeks pregnant, and we were together over the fourth of July. It was a potluck dinner, and I was on round two of side dishes. She said to me, "Kate how many trips is this for you?" Meaning, how many times have you been back for seconds? She was kidding, and I knew it. I also knew that she was on round two or three herself. So I laughed and said, "Oh, you just wait. You'll see..."

I've become what I've always hated!! Not only do I hate the advice and constant talk about my pregnancy, but I hate when someone says "You just wait" to me! Now, in my defense, I meant, "You just wait until you're farther along" and most often when people tell me that phrase they are referencing my soon to be had lack of sleep or how much my life will change (no duh, and no shit). But still! (Ugh, on that note, let me just say, never ever tell a pregnant woman that her life is about to change. You don't think I know that?? Shut UP!)

Perhaps this advice-giving is part of the maternal instinct? I don't know, but from here on out, I promise to only say nice things and words of encouragement to new or soon to be moms. And if you guys knew how grumpy and irritable I am these days, you'll take my advice, too. :)

(Oh, haha, I just did it again. I told you to take my advice when I just told you not to give it. I think that's irony. Also, as a sort of PS, this pregnancy is making me dumber by the day. Can't you tell by this all-over-the-place blog?)


A Rush, A Catch, Then Death: Pregnancy Hormones at Their Finest

Tucker, my dog, is very finicky about going outside these days. No longer is he excited to go outside just to be outside. If he doesn't have to pee, he looks at me standing at the open back door and goes, "Eh." He also has this nasty little habit of running outside if Skip and I leave the house together and then proceeds to run between the fence gate and the front yard, dodging us as we try to grab him to put him back inside. He's a 70 lb. yellow lab/shepard mix, he's fast, and he's strong.

So instead of going out back after I get home from work, sometimes Tucker will join me in the front yard as I get the mail. He pees on the big tree in front, and comes right back inside. He'd rather just hang out with you than walk around by himself out back. Fair enough. Yesterday, same old, I go out to get the mail, and Tucker joins me. He goes out to pee on the tree, and the next thing I know I hear him scrambling fast, like he's chasing something. At first I get scared that he's about to run into the street, but then my worries stop as he's no longer running into the street, but he's caught something, has it in his mouth, and is running to the back fence gate so he can go out back and play with whatever he caught.

I'm almost 6 months pregnant, and I'm standing in the front yard, screaming at my dog, "Tucker, no!!" I run to the backyard to follow him, and see him just as he drops the poor thing he caught. A little grey baby bunny. No bigger than my hand. "Tucker stop!" But too late, he was already chasing after it again and caught it, again. The little thing almost got through the slats in the fence but it was just a little bit too big. Tucker caught the bunny again and was holding it in his mouth. Now I've got him by the collar and the scruff of his neck screaming "Drop it!! Tucker drop it!" He does, and it lays still where it lands. It takes all my might to keep Tucker from grabbing it again, and I drag him into the house and close the door. I go back to check on the little baby bunny. She is breathing really fast, and she's lying still, I tell myself she's just getting her bearings back, by the time I come back, she'll be gone.

I go inside to call Skip who is still at work. At this point, it's still kind of funny to me. My heart is pounding and Tucker is looking very proud of himself. I call Skip and tell him the story, and, while I have him on the phone, I go outside to check on the bunny. She's still there, except now I can see she is trying to get up. She is nudging her head and moving all of her legs, but something won't let her get up. She rolls over onto her side.

Enter pregnant Kate. I start crying. Hard. Poor little thing, she's trying so hard to get up. I don't know what to do, should I kill her and put her out of her misery? No way, I can't kill her. I'm too pregnant and emotional. It was hard enough killing gross little moles that Tucker had half-killed, no way can I kill a sweet little baby bunny. Skip won't be home for a couple hours. Should I call my dad to come do it? What if my neighbor's dog comes outside and gets a hold of her? Where was that bunny's mother? I start crying even harder. I decide to just go back inside and try to stop crying.

I've given myself a huge headache at this point, and I'm not speaking to Tucker. I go out a little bit later, and the baby bunny is dead. I don't know if Tucker broke her back, or punctured something internally, or just gave her a heart attack, but now she's dead and still. Poor baby bunny. I get very sad again, but leave to go run errands. Skip comes home while I am gone and takes care of the poor little baby bunny. I was too sad the rest of the night.

I gave Tucker a very stern talking to about picking on things his own size. I know he's a dog and he was following his instinct, but he needs to learn the lesson about fair fights. That little bunny didn't stand a chance. If Tucker catches a full grown adult bunny, that's one thing, but poor little baby animals aren't fast enough. It would be like me picking on a hamster.

I couldn't believe how upset I got. I've been weepy a lot lately. These pregnancy hormones are killing me.


shut UP!

Ugh, I am so irritable. I mean I am really cranky. Maybe it's because I'm not so crazy about my job right now. Maybe it's because I kind of hate my job right now. Maybe it's because I'm so tired. But am I so tired because I'm pregnant? Or is it because I'm not working out as much? Or am I so cranky because I'm pregnant? Ugh. Maybe it's because I've been to my doctor twice in two weeks and no one seems to know what is happening or why I'm there. My doctor actually said, after I told him it was me in the hospital last weekend, "Oh that was you?" Or maybe the two white trash pregnant ladies in the waiting room who reeked of cigarette smoke and kept talking about jail and bail and their cars getting repossessed and quitting their jobs and "bitch" this and "hoe" that and it really depressed me to know that these ladies were about to bring kids into the world and how sad it would be for those little kids growing up and then I saw the ladies in the parking lot afterwards and they already had a van full of kids. I felt very lucky and almost guilty all at the same time for being as "well off" as I am.

I'm probably a little bummed out too.



I had to go into the hospital late Friday night/early Saturday morning. It's normal to experience some cramping and aches and pains in your abdomen area while you're pregnant because your muscles and ligaments are stretching and growing. It's when those pains don't go away with rest and fluids that you need to worry. 

That's what happened to me. Friday night I went out with friends to say goodbye to another friend who is leaving for Korea. I started feeling crampy then, but I chalked it up to being tired and also the constant shouting to talk above the noise. 

By the time I got home, I couldn't stand up straight. I washed my face and went to bed, knowing that before, this feeling went away with some rest. Although, before it never hurt this bad.

I woke up a couple hours later barely able to yell for Skip. We went to the emergency room and I was sent to the women's center where they monitored my contractions (contractions!!), did a bunch of ultrasounds on the baby and my appendix and gallbladder, drew blood, gave me two shots (one of which is making my leg super sore and tender over 24 hours later), and gave me an I.V. Apparently my potassium was low, which was also causing me to shiver uncontrollably. Eventually, about 5am, I was able to get to sleep without nurses coming in and checking on me. Skip slept in a recliner.

I'm still hazy about what caused what; were my contractions causing my potassium level to drop or vice versa? I have to call my doctor and go in this week for a quick checkup.

I'm extremely grateful that I was able to go home after about 11 hours. I was thinking the worst on the way to the ER: are they going to put me on bed rest? Am I going to lose my baby? It was definitely the first time I realized that not only was I pregnant, but I am a parent with someone to take care of. It also made me see how fragile everything can be and it can all be gone in an instant. 

While I'm still unsure of the exact details, I do know that everyone is ok. Me, the baby, everyone

By the way, we're naming her Story.


excuses, part 2

I just went to the dentist's office. I'm a teeth grinder, and he asked me how my night guard was holding up since the warranty expires in July. I had to tell him that my dog chewed it up while he was showing off for my mom's dog.

"Oh man!' he says. "I wonder if the warranty covers dog damage. Don't leave before I call them to see that way we won't have to charge you for a new one." I'm grateful, those things can run a couple hundred bucks (yes, I know Walgreens sells $20 generic one size fits all night guards, I've chewed through about 3 of them). The ones my dentist makes fit to your teeth perfectly and are made of a hard material that lasts a couple years.

His hygienist, who is also pregnant and due a month before me, yells after him, "Tell them she's pregnant!"

Everyone takes pity on a pregnant girl who can't sleep because her teeth are grinding too hard, right?


excuses, excuses.

Being pregnant is a love/ hate relationship. For the most part, I hate being pregnant. Well, definitely I hated it at first. My Body for Life body was becoming no more, my skin was breaking out like crazy (crazy!!), I was nauseous, I couldn't run my half marathon, and all I ever wanted to do was go to sleep.

But now, I am slowly looking less like I'm chubbing out and more like I'm pregnant, my skin is a bit more under control, the nausea is almost gone (just please don't make me cook meat), and I'm a little bit more awake. And, as a bonus, I've discovered the pregnancy excuse.

For example, last night we had James over for his birthday. Everyone was having a great time, but I was exhausted after having flown back from Cleveland that evening and rushed around in a short amount of time to straighten the house and pick up Tucker from The Bets' house before people started arriving. About 9pm, I was getting a headache I was so tired. This isn't abnormal, I have always been a tired person. I went upstairs to lie down for just a few seconds before going back and waiting for all the guests to leave, when I remembered that I was pregnant. 

Hooray! "Sorry guys, I think I have to go upstairs and lie down. I'm exhausted." People took this as a great idea, since I was pregnant and all. I really was exhausted, I can tell the difference between regular tired and pregnant tired, and last night I was definitely both, but now that I can pull the pregnancy card, I look like less of a party pooper.

So today, when I locked my keys in my car in a rural Missouri town over an hour from home, and the locksmith said it might take 2.5 hours before he could get there, I wanted to say, "But I'm pregnant!" I knew that wouldn't make a difference, and luckily I found someone else who made me wait only 45 minutes. I guess the ol' pregnancy card isn't always a way out. Or in, in this case.



I'm hungry. Here is what I ate today up until about 10 minutes ago:

Yogurt blast Cheerios with skim milk
Peanut butter crackers
Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips
Panera/ Bread Co.:
-broccoli cheddar soup (about 1.5 bowls)
-1/4 of a chicken salad sandwich
-Greek salad
-short bread cookie (not all of it, but you know... just most of it)
Diet Pepsi (aspartame and caffeine??! My baby will have 3 arms!)

That should be enough. Enough clearly until dinner tonight. Nope, I got home from work and was legitimately hungry again.

I just ate 2 turkey hot dogs with ketchup and mustard. 

I don't have any weird cravings, I just have cravings. For food. Immediately. I have food turn offs: vegetables, meat that I have to cook myself, and poultry is hot and cold for me. On the other hand, I can't get enough fruit or cheese. 

I'm trying to not make the mistake I hear a lot of first time pregnant ladies make: eating a lot using pregnancy as an excuse. But I'm not kidding people, I'm hungry. Right now.

I have also recently rediscovered Ramen noodles and I can't wait to eat it for dinner tonight. I mean I am really excited.



"Uh oh, you're starting to show!"

I'm starting to hear this more and more often. It's a strange phenomenon because, really, they're telling me I'm getting fatter. That's what happens first, mostly, when you get pregnant, you just look and feel fat before you really look and feel pregnant. Which is exactly where I am right now. But, instead of it being an all-over weight gain, it's mostly just my tummy and my sides. I mean, yeah I've gained some weight everywhere else (ahem, butt), but noticeably in my stomach. Which is why I'm hearing the "showing" statements.

It's funny because it's confusing. It's hard to know what to think. Someone just told me they can see that my stomach is bigger. Until now, I could only relate that kind of comment to some serious weight gain and I need to hit the treadmill. But now I think, oh, riiiight... not my fault! Nope, I am totally gaining this weight through no efforts of my own. Ok, so I didn't need those Doritos. But mostly it's just my kid getting bigger, and how can I help that?! (By the by, he or she is the size of an avacado now... mm, avacado.)

I can't! Bring on the Doritos!



"Most of the current wisdom says that a pregnant woman can continue exercising to her full capacity, but that she should not take up new or more difficult regimens after becoming pregnant. To be completely candid with you, I did not know how to exercise moderately. If I wasn't working out to achieve strength or to stay trim, I would just as soon skip the whole thing. Since the stakes were so high, I wasn't willing to gamble with how much was too much. And since there comes a point when exercising lightly becomes a waste of time, I just gave the whole thing up."
-The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy

Ok, so before you give me crap about the book that I'm reading, let me first say that this pregnancy book is awesome. It isn't dry and boring like the other ones that I'm reading, it feels more relatable, and this lady talks just like me and cracks me up. So deal with it people, pregnancy books suck and if you can find one that isn't mind-numbing, read your heart out.

Case in point: this paragraph I have typed out for you, straight from the author's mouth/book. It pretty much sums up how I feel about exercising right now. The chapter I'm in has the author's top 10 list for reasons why keeping up your gym membership isn't totally necessary during pregnancy. It's something I really need to hear right now as my gym outings are levelling out at about once, maybe twice a week. When I do have the energy to go, I use the elliptical machine, but find myself really pushing myself and working hard, then I start to worry that I'm depriving my baby of oxygen. It sucks. Again, going to the gym as a stress reliever, in this instance, might be a tad counterproductive.


the half

Last weekend, The Bets and others ran the half-marathon and relay, respectively. I was glad to be there as a spectator and supporter, but I was really pissed off too. I wanted to run. I was so tired, but I still got that runner's rush and wanted to run my ass off. Argh. Oh well, maybe next year I'll say screw the half and run the full.

Here's a picture to show my frustration. This was when Betsy and our friend Katie and I went to pick up our shirts. I essentially paid $55 for a running shirt and some free samples at the registration place.


frowny face.

The half marathon is this weekend. The halfie. My halfie. And I won't be running it. 

I'm really bummed out about this. Very bummed out, actually. I was really enjoying training for it and pushing myself farther and farther. I was really excited to run it with a lot of my friends running in it as well or at least being there to support me. Some people from work were even going to come. But now I feel like I've quit. A small consolation is that I can still go pick up my goody bag that has my shirt and my bib number, but even that is a small slap in the face. 

I really wanted to run it. And the worst part is that I could have run it! If I had just a little more energy, I could have continued training and been even more proud of myself knowing that I'd just run a half marathon while I was almost 4 months pregnant. Instead I'm just some tired pregnant lady standing on the side lines feeling crappy. 

Oh well, I guess I can feel better knowing that, while I could have continued training, I could have also put my baby more at risk from all the exertion. I could have continued training, but if my body wasn't responding well or if I'd started spotting, that could have been bad news. At least I can still be there to support my friends, and hopefully I can keep myself in good enough shape while I'm pregnant that I can start training for the half (or maybe full?) in enough time to be able to run it next year.

If I could just freaking wake up already!!



It used to be that if I didn't go to the gym first thing in the morning, I wouldn't go. I mean, first thing. There was a long stretch of time that I wouldn't even brush my teeth before I went... well, until my aunt told me that was kinda gross. I certainly never ate anything before I went. If I couldn't go first thing in the morning, I just couldn't go. I would skip that day. I hated having a work out at the back of my mind. I liked having my evenings to do whatever I wanted, not wasting it at the gym. Plus, the gym was more crowded in the evenings. No thank you, I'll wake up at 5:15 am  to go if I have to.

I did that for years. Years. I did that through college. College. I remember my junior year when I first lived in a dorm my roommate and neighbors would be amazed at the fact that I got up consistently 3 mornings during the week and went to work out. 

I can't do that anymore. I can't get up early anymore. I've gone backwards, so to speak. I've never been able to stay up late, but now I can't even wake up early. I need sleep. Thus, I've made some adjustments and I now go to the gym only in the evenings. It's the only time I can go. I don't really like it, if I had my way I would still go in the mornings so I could have my evenings free, but I just can't get up early enough now that I have a 45 minute commute. 

This week I found myself at the gym at 8pm and didn't leave until after 9. I feel a bit rebellious to my old self. I feel like I've finally given up some of my anal tendencies in my old age. I feel like I finally like to work out, instead of it just being something I made myself do.

Or maybe I'm just really, really tired.


an explanation.

Some of you may be wondering, "Gee Kate, for someone who is training for a half-marathon and blogging about her 12 week training schedule, you sure aren't talking about running too much." Well, my friends, thank you for being so observant, first of all. And second of all, I have a confession to make: I haven't really been training for the half marathon. I've been really exhausted

Because I'm pregnant.

I apologize for my secrecy, seeing as how I've known for about 2 months now. But, if it makes you feel any better, I'm 12 weeks into my pregnancy! How's that for ironic?!! Each trimester is 12 weeks long! Things that last for 12 weeks is my life!

So it looks as though I won't run the half marathon, not because my doctor says I can't, but because I have been so tired I can hardly think straight. However, I'm on to my second set of 12 weeks (read: 2nd trimester), and now that I'm "out" with my news, I can blog about pregnancy workouts!


simpler times. and workouts.

I was at the gym the other night on the elliptical machine. I was really annoyed for some reason. Everything was pissing me off. This happens sometimes at the gym. I see people doing exercises with terrible form and I get mad, marveling at how could they possibly not understand that they're doing it wrong. Sometimes people do their repetitions on the weight machines reeeally fast. Like the faster they go they think the better the workout. It drives me crazy!

So this night, the lady on the treadmill in front of me was making me insane. She was going the slowest she could probably go on the treadmill. You know when you get on the treadmill and it starts on like 0.5 mph and it's up to you to make the speed increase? Yeah, I don't think she got that memo. So she's moseying along (at least she was not hanging on the handrails-argh!!), and I'm trying to calm myself down. Why do I get so worked up sometimes? Why won't she go faster??! Then, to make things worse, she starts running. BUT. She does not increase the speed. She was going 1 mph but she was trying to run. So she was bouncing and working her arms and legs like she was running. At 1 mph. Yaargagahhhhgghh. Ugh. 

I take some deep breaths. So what? So what this lady is working it? So what she is trying to make the most out of her workout? This frustration coming from the girl who gets frustrated as hell when she can't run as far or lift as much as she could in college. Or last week.

So I'm calming myself down. I don't know this lady's story. Maybe she's recovering from an injury. Maybe this is her first time working out and she's excited and making the most out of going slow. I'm jumping to conclusions and making assumptions about this broad. Meanwhile,I should be focusing on my workout. And my blood pressure. 

Reflecting on this made me miss just enjoying a good workout. Anymore, I have to accomplish something. I have to break a personal record. I have to work really hard. If I go to the gym wanting to run and end up only being able to walk, I get pissed at myself. I feel like my workout didn't count and I might as well have done nothing at all.

I feel like going to the gym to relieve stress is actually counterproductive. 


new bloggers!

I consider myself to be a great influence. If I haven't convinced anyone to get into shape, then I have at least convinced a couple people to start blogs. My mom, and the Bets!

My mom's blog is funny, silly, and about her new dog, Sonny. Well, it's partly about him. He's a very goofy dog, and in his big puppy phase, and entertaining to read about. He's a yellow lab who looks very much like my buddy, Tucker. My mum is a dog lover, through and through, and she's a really good writer and also she's my mom! I bet your mom doesn't have a blog!

The other blog I'm excited to tell you about is Betsy's! Or The Bets for short. Betsy is a marathon runner who is posting funny blogs about the people she meets and things she thinks about while running. For example, what flavor Popsicle would I be? If I was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, I would probably be... And, my favorite, why is this dog following me? Why hasn't he gotten squashed by a car yet? Her blog is titled Bubba Loves to Run because she has an inner fat kid she named Bubba. You may also remember that Betsy just happened to make authorized meals for Girl's Night while I was still doing BFL.

Betsy and my Mom are also both amazing cooks. I want to be like them one day.

I hope you enjoy. I'm linking them up under my "Bloggers That I Love" list to your right! Enjoy!


the couch.

With the weather being absolutely ridiculous (it was 75 degrees and sunny on Sunday and today we are sitting on an inch of ice with 3-5" of snow falling) and my commute being a good 45 minutes, I tend to work from home a lot. Which I hate. I feel less productive, probably because I am, and I spend the day on the couch. I feel really gross after I work from home all day, like I haven't done anything. I never really understood how people could be couch potatoes or what that would even feel like. I do now. I hate this weather.



A while ago, when I was craving some pop, my friends suggested I squeeze lemon into some sparkling water. That way I would get the bubbly feeling as well as some flavor.

Has anyone seen this recent study on lemon slices served in drinks at restaurants? You know, in your iced tea, you request it for your Diet Coke, some places just put a lemon slice in your water without asking. It's an article worth reading. Here is a little "taste" (no pun intended) of what the article discussed:

"A total of 25 different types of germs were found on 53 out of the 76 lemons that were sampled. Some were fecal in origin (either from dirty fingertips of the restaurant employees, or from meat-contaminated cutting boards and knives), while others were types commonly found in saliva, on the skin and in the environment."




My family and I have been going to our gym for probably about 16 years. There used to be a sign in the main cardio/weight machine room that said "No one under 12 allowed in the weight room." It really sucked at first because we, my younger brother and I, really wanted to go to the gym, too. My older brother was old enough to work out. There were several times when we were pulled aside by the owner and my dad pointed to me and my younger brother and said, "She's 11 and he's 10." We were 10 and 8, respectively. I guess my dad wanted us to be almost 12? Eventually, we kids stopped trying to go to the gym.

The other night (I'm 26 now), I walk in to the gym and see three kids on the treadmills. I immediately got pissed. It was 7 o'clock on a Tuesday, the place was packed with guys in jeans (yes, jeans) lifting weights, older ladies getting out of aerobics class, and people in general just working out. Between the kids on the treadmill was an older woman, I'm guessing she was their mom.

By the time I got out of the locker room, the kids and mom were off the treadmill and onto the weight machines. I get on my elliptical and zone out. I catch glimpses of the family as they move around the gym. Granted, these kids were better behaved than a lot of the kids I usually see at the gym. Fifteen year olds walking at about 2mph on a treadmill talking on their cell phone. Girls, soaking wet from the pool in their shorts and t-shirts, running around giggling and playing on the machines.

The kids this night were working out with their folks. The boy did leg presses with his dad. The girl watched quietly. As they were walking out, I saw that it was a family of five, just like mine was. The oldest boy was probably the only one over 12. All of them were overweight. The little girl, maybe 8 or 9, had little chubby rolls at her sides. Same for her younger brother.

Before I left the gym, I noticed the "No one under 12..." sign was not up anymore. I wonder how long it's been down.



I've been sleepy. I come home, and I take a little nap. When I wake up, sooooometimes I go to the gym and sometimes I don't. This week I took it a bit easy, but it's ok. Right now I am waiting for the gym to open so I can go for a run. I'm too tired to try and decide if I want to run in the cold or not. Well, it's not so much the cold, as it is cold mornings. I can run in cold afternoons, but cold mornings are not sitting well with me. 

In other news, I made chicken breast with gouda cheese gravy for Valentine's Day. Eat that, Body for Life!


The Talker.

There is a woman at the gym that I steer clear of. She will talk to anyone. And not only will she engage in conversation, but it's totally one-sided. She talks and talks and talks and cannot take any kind of nonverbal cue that lets her know the person she is chattering away to is not interested.

At least, that was my experience.

I was at the gym one night running on a treadmill. It was pretty quiet, so I decided to run on one of the treadmills closest to the TV. It was while I was still on BFL and my iPod was still broken and had not been replaced. Thankfully, I only had to do 20 minutes of cardio.

She gets on the treadmill directly next to me, even though there is no one on any treadmill. Ok, I think, she wants to be able to watch TV, too. Great. The news is on, and they are talking about certain churches being demanded to show proof of exactly how they are spending the millions of dollars they are bringing in, and some churches either will not show proof that their money is going towards reputable causes, or they can't.

She starts talking. And talking. Voicing her opinion loudly. To me. At first I think, ok, fine, I'll make idle chit chat, and then she'll see that I'm not totally interested and stop talking to me. It happens all the time at the gym. You get on a treadmill, maybe make some small talk to the person next to you, then shut up and get on with your workout.

She does not stop talking. I finally stop pretending to even be listening and this lady does not shut up. And it's embarassing. It's one thing to talk about your day or something, but this lady is ranting and raving about churches having to prove how they spend their money and why don't super star athletes have to do the same thing. There are people behind us on the stationary bikes. I hope they don't think I agree with her statements. Or they at least see how annoyed I am.

I have since steered clear of her at all costs. I see her talking to someone constantly. I feel sorry for whoever gets stuck next to her on any of the cardio equipment. If anything, I make sure to leave my earbuds in my ears so she thinks I can't hear her if I see her in the locker room or something. Unforunately, she caught me the other day in the locker room. I thought I was safe because she was on the other side of the lockers, but she caught me in the mirror. There was no one else in there.

"What time do the polls close today?" she asked.

"I really don't know," I say, and hightail it out of there.



I hate the snow. I really just hate the snow. I hate everything about it: driving in it, walking in it, getting it all over the bottoms of my jeans, wiping Tucker's paws off every time he comes back inside, shoveling it, looking at it when it's gross and dirty, and being cold from it. Today is my long run day and the thought of running it on a treadmill makes me crazy. But when I tried to find a good route around town to run, a lot of the sidewalks are snowed over. I am also a big baby.

Good thing it will be almost 60 degrees outside tomorrow! Haha, take that, snow!



You know what is really cool? Turning your body into some kind of machine. It's crazy! Eating right and exercising and then seeing the results in the form of being able to run for extended periods of time is crazy and I think it's awesome. I've never been able to run so far! I'm really pumped about the half marathon and I'm just happy that I've gotten myself back in shape. And I get to run a half marathon! It's just cool to see a hill and climb it... literally and figuratively.



oooouch. and an adjustment.

Sometimes when I run, my leg dies. My right leg, it dies. It feels dead. I was almost done with my 5 mile run on Sunday when it happened. It usually happens when I run. It just gets a dull pain up and down my whole leg, and the only way I can describe it is to say it feels dead.

I think I am committing the #1 cardinal sin of beginner runners: I'm doing too much too soon. When I started doing the 12 week training program, it had a little "demo" week (totalling about 19 miles) that I should be able to run comfortably for 4-5 weeks before starting this program. I can't run that much. Also, when I run on the treadmill, I think I have the speed set too high. I need to run a little slower.

So, I'm backing off the miles a little bit. I'm sort of meshing together two training programs that I've seen. Both have me running close to the same amount of miles in a week, but one schedule has 3 rest days scheduled instead of just 2. So I'm compromising and running at least one recovery or easy run in the middle of the week.

I think if I can build up my long run to 10 miles, I will be fine on the day of the half marathon. So, along with my husband (a longtime runner and track and cross country coach), I am tweaking my running schedule just a bit.

My leg dies more often towards the end of my running week. I want to stick to the schedule, but I also don't want to hurt myself. This is very tricky.


my iPod is too emo.

I love running with my new iPod nano and its armband, seeing as how my old nano went the way of getting caught in a treadmill and being bent to smithereens because I had no armband and my hand caught it while I was running and flipped it off the little treadmill tray right into the jaws of the machine. However, the armband is also kind of a curse. It's really awkward to have to reach across my chest while I'm running to change it to the next song. Especially if song after song isn't a good one to run to because it's slow and dreary. Thus I came to this conclusion: my iPod is too emo.

I was 2 miles into my run tonight before I finally came to a song that was upbeat enough to actually make me want to run a bit quicker or feel a bit more pumped up. Up until then I either just listened to the song that came on because I was sick of reaching across and changing it, or I reached across time after time and came to lame song after lame, sad, emo song hoping that the next one will be something fun.

I made a running playlist over the summer that had only songs that were upbeat and fast paced. But... I got bored of those songs because, well, they were the ones I listened to every time I ran. In the same order.

I've got a new idea. I think I am going to actually clear out my iPod and leave only good running songs on there. Then, I'm going to actually use my iTunes gift cards and buy some great music and continue to buy great music up until the half marathon. By then I should have enough songs to listen to on shuffle that I won't get too bored and can trust that each song that comes up will be decent and not sad and mopey.

I need suggestions.

that damn fan!

And I don't mean someone who really likes me! 

At the gym, there is a line of treadmills in front of a huge mirror. I like running in front of the mirror because then I can see what everyone is doing in the gym behind me and I can get in some great people watching. My other option is to run looking directly into a white wall or the single flat screen TV that just plays the news or baseball games. My gym isn't very high-tech.

So, in front of the mirror. Now, over to the right of all the treadmills, there is a huge fan. Sometimes someone will push this fan so it is not blowing directly on them and the five other treadmill goers beside them thus allowing them to do... oh what is it called? Oh yeah! Sweat. Don't get me wrong people, I like a light breeze, but this is like standing in front of one of those wind tunnel machines. During the summer, it's slightly more tolerable. But when it's 4 degrees outside and I'm wearing shorts and a tank top, it's very hard for me to ever get warm. Even if I'm running for an extended period of time.

That's what happened last night. This lady, who was holding onto the treadmill (one of my pet peeves - you don't get a good workout when you hold on!) and kept her eyes down the entire time, had the fan on and blowing directly on her. I mean, her bangs were blowing in the wind and the fan couldn't have been more than 10 inches from her face. Ugh!!! I tried to get on a treadmill that was farthest from the breeze, but it was no use. Ten minutes into my run I was still freezing and my hands were ice. Oh, and did I mention there is a small built in fan on every treadmill? Hey lady, just use that! 

She finally got off the treadmill. I turned to the guy walking next to me and asked if he would mind if I turned the fan away. Thankfully he said for me to go ahead, and I was able to get in a workout where I was actually able to sweat and get warm. 

If people want to be cold while they work out, hello, it's winter. Go outside! That damn fan is one of my biggest pet peeves in life. I hate that fan.


out of town

I was in Chicago this weekend. I need to stay there for longer than a day and a half, I need to see more people while I'm there (Josh I'm talking to you!).

But anyway, while I was there, I was able to go for a run on Saturday at the gym with my friend, Kris. This gym is amazing, it puts Leisure World to shame. 

I missed my long run this weekend though. It was 6 miles, but I didn't get a chance to run it. I couldn't run outside, it was like -2 in Chicago. I didn't have a chance to go to the gym because we had to start shooting our movie. I hope it won't hurt me too much. I definitely cannot make a habit out of missing my long runs, they're scheduled in to help me build up endurance. 

I'm trying not to freak out to much about missing that run,but I do feel bad. Oh well, I'll pick it up next week, right?


titular line

I hurt all over. All over.

This running stuff is crazy! I ran outside yesterday for the first time, as you know, and my legs are freaking killing me. My quadriceps are killing me and my knees are a little sore, along with my hips.

Dear concrete,

Thanks a lot.

Love, Kate

Screw BFL, this running stuff is crazy! I hurt way worse after my third day of training than I have all 12 weeks of BFL.

But don't worry about me. This is all part of it. Yes, I have good shoes. No, I'm not doing more than I can handle. The run last night was actually really nice, and running four miles wasn't really a problem, it was the cold and dark that was hardest to work through.

The good news is, I'm still really excited about training! I super stoked for warmer weather, longer days, and longer runs!


Fine, I'll do it!

Well, I just got back from a four mile run. OUTside! Yay! It was actually really nice. Very peaceful... well, except for all the cars. But one time I turned down a side street and it got really quiet and I could actually hear my feet hit the ground. Pretty nice. By the time I was finished with the run I wasn't cold at all and felt pretty great. 

Ok, so, now I know I can do it. From now on, except for snow days, I'll try my best to get at least a couple of runs a week outside.


It's a real word, I swear. And it has nothing to do with farting. ...or Ikea furniture.

A fartlek is essentially a speed interval that can, for a beginning runner, last anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. An advanced runner might have 20-30 minute fartlek intervals.

I ran four miles last night! It was my "fartlek" day and I'm happy to say I made it through alive.

One thing I'm kind of worried about is that right now I'm running on a treadmill. Which is ok, but not great. I ran four miles last night at a controlled pace at a controlled incline. If I had to run four miles outside in the cold with hills and slopes, I don't know if I would have been able to do it. But when I get home from work, it's starting to get dark.

Mostly I think I just need to take the time to map out a course or two around town. I just don't like the idea of running outside in the dark. There aren't a lot of streetlights around town unless I stay on main roads. When I run on those roads, I get honked and hooted at so by the time I'm done with what should be a stress-relieving run I'm actually really annoyed and I just want to catch up with the honkers and shove their heads through a car window.


first day!

Today is the first day of my half marathon training, and boy am I tired.

Today is my rest day!

Mondays and Fridays are my rest days from running. So my day today consists of me doing absolutely nothing. Tough, I know. But tomorrow I start off with a cool 4 mile run that makes me a little bit scared. And eventually I want to start lifting some weight too, but I don't want to exhaust myself or my body and possibly get hurt. It's going to be a bit of a tango figuring out how to train for the half, but I'm ready for it. 

Today I do, however, start eating the BFL way again. Bummer. It's okay though, I said goodbye to my days off by eating at Red Robin last night. I had a cheeseburger with bacon and a fried egg on top! Delish, but I think my heart is a little mad at me today.



I'm in my second week off of Body For Life and I feel like crap. There's no order! It's chaos! I haven't been grocery shopping in probably two weeks! Which, before BFL, was pretty common at our house so it's easy to see how we slipped into such terrible eating habits. We go out to eat all the time, we don't eat on a regular basis, and especially since I've been "deprived" of really good junk food for 12 weeks, it's really easy to let myself eat the unhealthy stuff at restaurants.

So! That being said. I'm very ready to get back on some kind of 12 week program. Not 12 step, 12 week. My half marathon training starts on Monday, and I plan on starting to eat the BFL way again too.

Here is my concern with the half marathon training: I have to run 13.1 miles! I have to be even more diligent with my training. What I mean is, with BFL, if I couldn't work out one or two days it was like no big deal. With the half marathon, if I don't run for a couple days, I could really screw myself. This isn't just "I want to get back in shape," this is "If I don't run on a schedule and do what they say, I could really hurt myself. Really." 13.1 miles!

So, pray for me, people. I feel like this half marathon will be a really great challenge and a step up from BFL. I'm excited! I'm also ready to get back in the gym and grocery store and out of McDonald's.

Mmmm, McDonald's.



Before - October 7, 2007...

weight: 117.5 lbs.
chest: 34"
waist: 29"
hips: 36"
biceps: 11"
thighs: 22"
calves: 14"
After - December 30, 2007... (12 weeks later!)

weight: 109
chest: 33"
waist: 26.5"
hips: 33"
biceps: 10"
thighs: 21"
calves: 13"
That's it! I can't believe it's over. It went by so fast. Now I almost feel lost without the structure and regimen. It feels good to take a little time off, but I'm already ready to get started with my half marathon training (also 12 weeks long). But for now I'm working on getting my photos made, writing my essay for the BFL Challenge, and trying my best to win $50,000!
Thanks to everyone for reading my blog and giving me loads of encouragement and support. Body for Life was a super realistic program that I truly believe anyone who wants to do it can and will succeed. But you have to want to do it! It goes by really fast, you see results so quickly, and it's just easy! Read the book or just use the website, I'm here for anyone who wants to give it a go.
Thanks again, and keep reading as I start my marathon training! Happy 12 weeks!