Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Great Mother's Day Race

I am so excited to say that I spent my Mother's Day doing something good for myself.  I was fortunate enough to participate in the Great Mother's Day Race in Tampa.  Never in a million years did I think I would be spending my special day running 3.1 miles but I'm glad I did!!!

On Saturday, I took Noah with me to Fit2Run in International Mall to pick up my tshirt and race packet.  I have to say, the shirts were pretty awesome!  They are so soft!  They feel like a really worn in cotton tee with an active element to them.  I don't know...I can't say enough about the feel.  (I'm all about a comfy feel).  I may have worn it the rest of the day!!!  Noah loves going to packet pick ups with me so it was nice to spend some quality time with just him.  I got there right when they started so I didn't have any wait at all!  It was nice to breeze right in and get what I need.

Of course I sprung it on the Hubs that I needed a new shirt to run in.  For some reason I have to buy a new shirt or something when I have a race.  It's weird.  I think it's because all my pictures have the same 2 shirts in them.  So off to Old Navy I went and came home with a new tank and an amazing sports bra (this is a huge accomplishment since I am a little too blessed in that department.  Finding a decent bra is hard and I found this one and it was on clearance!!!!).  I was totally ready for the race!

The race was held at Al Lopez Park in Tampa.  I have seen the park before but had never been there before so I had no idea what was in store for me.  I ended up getting there insanely early (the Hubs overestimated how long it would take to get there) but it allowed me to get some stretching in.  After a while I met up with Jen, one of my Tampa Bay Moms Blog contributor friends, and got to meet her adorable family. I love that they run as a family.  One day that will be us.  Hear that Hubs???  Her hubby is a trooper and pushes the jogger the entire race.  We headed towards the starting line and got ready.  I hung back a little ways for a couple reasons:
1. I'm not a good run and talk girl.  I have to concentrate on actually breathing.  Plus I listen to music to drown out the sound of my heavy breathing
2. I'm slow and I knew they would be a heck of a lot faster
3. I was rocking this race solo.  Most of the time my brother's girlfriend does the races with me.  We start off together then she leaves me in her dust.  This time it was just me.

The course was really nice.  It was pretty flat and pretty shady.  The first mile was a great one for me.  I recorded my fastest mile to date as well as my fastest 1K to date.  Granted, this is still really slow but I was proud of myself.  And I did it without trying.  But then, BAM.  Mile 2.  For some reason the second mile is always the hardest for me.  I'm not sure why.  But it got to me.  Then I had an epiphany.  This race was about me.  As much as I wanted it to be about PRing, it was more about doing something for me.  With all the stress of Em's health and surgery and severe lack of sleep, this race allowed me to have a few minutes to just clear my mind, which was the best Mother's Day gift I could have received.  All of the stress I've been under just melted away.  I decided in that moment that I was going to just do what felt right.  If I wanted to walk, then I was going to walk.  If I wanted to run, I was going to run.  And I wasn't going to beat myself up over it.  And you know what?  It was the most liberating feeling.  Sure my time was about 3 minutes slower than any 5K I've ever ran.  But those extra 3 minutes were what I needed to clear my head. It was a wonderful feeling.  Oh and I can't forget how awesome it was that Jen and her crew were cheering me on as I crossed the finish line.  Her boys were cheering for me and it was absolutely adorable!  I can't thank them enough for that!!!

I can't speak enough about this event.  The race directors are awesome.  Claire walked by me before the race and introduced herself and welcomed me.  That's pretty awesome in my book!  I loved how family friendly it was.  So many people were pushing strollers so their little ones could be part of the race.  It was a great location with a great course.  And more importantly, it was a celebration.  There was an amazing sense of love and family every where you turned. I can't wait to spend many Mother's Days to come at this event!

Disclaimer: I received an comp'd entry into the Great Mother's Day Race in exchange for promoting the event.  I am not being paid to participate.  All opinions are my own.  

Monday, May 13, 2013

Not here. Over there.

I'm not here today.  I'm hanging out over at Tampa Bay Moms Blog talking all about balancing being a full time Momma and working full time.   Go check me out!!!!

Repping TBMB in my horribly grainy iPhone picture

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My life via Instagram

I have pretty much abandoned my camera in exchange for my cell phone.  I don't really know why I haven't been taking too many pictures on my real camera.  It just seems easier to snap a quick pic on my cell.  So I've had to rely on Instagram for all of my pics.  If you follow me on Instagram, I apologize because you've seen these pics already.  If you don't follow me, you should!!!

The past 2 weeks have been a whirlwind.  Here's my recent life in pictures!!!
The kiddos spent 2 afternoons playing on the game consoles in the waiting room at the hospital.  I love the hospital I work at because they really took kids into consideration when they designed the new buildings.  My kids love coming to visit me because of these silly things!
We finally got to try on our recital costumes!!!  Despite her facial expression, she loved it!  She loved it so much that she didn't want to take it off then refused to participate in the rest of the class.  I have to keep reminding myself she's only 3!  
Even though I'm running on empty, it's nice to take a few minutes and just breathe.  This is my favorite spot on our new deck!
I don't care how blurry this pic is.  It's my favorite of all time!  I got to spend Friday morning in Em's classroom for Mother's Day Tea.  We were taking tons of pictures on my phone and then she took it from me.  When I got to work, I scrolled through my camera roll and found this gem.  I can't get enough of it!!!
Teaching Em from a young age the importance of big hats on Derby Day!!!  We might have literally just woken up but that didn't stop us from sporting our hats first thing!!!
This week was hair and make up week at the studio.  Em's big recital is in a month and she has to wear some serious makeup for it.  I've never claimed to be a girly girl.  I don't wear makeup unless it's eye shadow and mascara.  So learning to put on foundation and blush was a challenge. Oh and lets not forget about coloring her eyebrows to make them more visible on stage....what?!?  But I think she turned out pretty good!!!  I have to practice a few more times I thing to perfect the look.  
You just have to wear a hat, drink from a Derby glass and watch the most important 4 minutes of the racing season!  I just love the Kentucky Derby!!!  
This morning, Em and I woke up (it's still just me and her in the bed) and were watching Strawberry Shortcake.  Then I realized that she wasn't even in the bedroom anymore and I was still engaged in the show.  Typical mom moment right there.  And let me get one thing straight....she is an impostor !!  Strawberry Shortcake now has long pink hair and is a hipster.  She is an impostor compared to the Strawberry Shortcake I grew up with!!!  
I know it looks like I only have 1 kid but right now, Em is permanently attached to my hip.  I can't go anywhere without my little shadow.  Noah's starting to feel it, I think, and wonder what's going on.  Soon enough, life will get back to normal.  Or at least I'm praying it does.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

She's a brave one!!!

I apologize now if this turns into a week of posts all about Em. It's what's on the forefront of my mind so I need to get it out somehow.

My daughter is so brave.  I have subjected her to doctors appointments, xrays, and blood draws and she's proved that it's all no big deal.  I have yet to explain to her what is going to happen on Friday but she knows the doctors are going to make her better.

We went to the ENT on 4/24.  We saw the nurse practioner, who was just wonderful.  She was blown away by how nasally she sounds when she talks.  Em has always had a weird, cartoony voice.  It does sound like she's always stuffed up even if she's not.  According to the ARNP, she was shocked by the way she sounds since there is no evidence of nasal drainage or anything.  She suspected that her adenoids would need to come out. She asked the normal questions like does she get sick a lot ( every month) and is she hard to wake up in the mornings (yes....she's always been our late sleeper and hardest one to get moving).  We walked out of there with a prescription for xrays and a diagnosis of "Chronic Nasopharyngitis, Hypertropy of Adenoids, Other Disease Nasal Cavity/Sinuses, Obstruction/perforation, and Sleep Anpea, NOS."  Quite a few diagnoses for such a small kiddo.  We headed back to All Children's to get the scans done.  She did an amazing job.  She held still and in the same position for all of her pictures.  The tech was nice enough to show her what her head, teeth, nose, and mouth looked like on xray.  In that moment I wish I knew what I was looking at.  Give me a chest film or KUB and I can tell what's going on.  But I have no idea what is weird on a head xray so I had to wait it out like any other parent.

I got a call the next day saying that her sinus film was normal (I am still shocked by this) and that the rest showed that her adenoids were enlarged and needed to be removed (thank you Jesus!!!)  They also wanted us to get some allergy testing done just to see if that could be an issue.  I called up my in-laws who agreed to drop everything and drive her down to All Children's to get her labs drawn that day.
{Side note....I can't begin to express how thankful I am for my in-laws.  The Hubs's dad and step mom have not only given up their retirement time to watch my kids, but they routinely bend over backwards trying to help us.  They have been such a blessing to us over the past 5 years and especially right now.}

Em did such an amazing job getting her labs drawn.  She's never had blood work done before so I had no idea what to expect. When we were in the draw room, she was asking what things were and I was honest.  I said we needed to fill up tubes with her blood.  She asked to go sit in the chair and we played with some of the things.  We tested out freezy spray.  We played with the tourniquet.  I explained it needed to give her arm a tight hug.  She even wrapped it around her arm.  Then the phleb came in, who was absolutely amazing.  Em held her arm out (she has a great vein) and was super still.  I was ready to pin her arm down (nurse mode came out) but I never had to.  She sat still through the poke and only started to cry when she saw the blood.  She kept yelling "I can't stop looking at it!" I couldn't help but laugh.  It was over before we knew it and she instantly calmed down.  I am beyond impressed by her.  I bragged about it for the rest of the week at work.  You don't see a 3 year old who will hold still for labs like she did.  She is truly my brave girl.

She did yell at me later that night.  Hands on her hips, stomping her foot, telling me "This was the worst day ever!  The only way I will ever do that again is if I get a cuddle bear."  I have no idea what a cuddle bear is.  But I guess I can figure out what it is for Friday!  Nice thing about the surgery center...they'll gas her to sleep before putting in her IV.

She's definitely one tough cookie!  I think she takes after her Momma!!!  But for now, I guess I should just start calling her Merida!!!!
Ya know...from the movie Brave!!!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Going under the knife

I've been alluding to some health stuff that we're dealing with for Emmy.  It's really nothing life threatening but it's surely messing with our life.  We're gearing up for surgery on Friday to remove Em's adenoids.  I really hope this will begin to solve all of her problems.

My sweet girl has always had a rough time when it comes to congestion.  She spikes really high fevers and then a few days later, she'll get congested beyond belief.  This lingers for about 2 weeks then we're fighting with her to go back to sleeping in her room by herself.  This cycle happens about every month.  I attribute most of it to preschool germs but it's progressively getting worse.  Now she's getting so congested that she becomes apneic at night (meaning she stops breathing) and then startles herself awake in order to breathe.  It's a scary thing to witness as a parent.  The panic in her face is horrible.  And there's been nothing the Hubs or I can do to prevent it.  She's been sleeping between my legs, propped up on my hips.  This has been the only way I can get her to sleep for more than 2 hours at a time. She's tossing and turning all night long which means I have not gotten sleep in 5 weeks or so.  The Hubs has been sleeping in her room so at least someone is getting some sleep.  Oh and she snores.  Like a man.  If I knew how to upload a video from my phone to the blog, I would totally post it. She gives the Hubs a run for his money when it comes to snoring.  A 3 yr old should never be snoring like she is.  It's unreal.
Propped up on my stomach trying to get to sleep (with an ice pack for her pink eye)
If you read my post yesterday, you know that I have fallen off the working out wagon big time.  The extreme exhaustion has totally caught up to me.  I've adapted to functioning on no sleep and tons of coffee, which we all know is a recipe for disaster.  It's all come crashing down on me this week.  I feel my patience wearing thin.  I'm on the verge of tears all the time, not because I'm scared or emotional, just because I'm that tired.  The Hubs slept with her one night and woke up telling me he has no idea how I'm still functioning.  He was up almost all night making sure she was still breathing, much like I do.  He's been sweet enough to let me sleep in her room a few nights now just so I can try to recharge.  It's not really working but my body is thankful I am getting more than 2 hours of sleep at a time.

I think it's all just starting to hit me.  On Friday, my poor girl will go under anesthesia and someone will be cutting things out of her.  This is something I've definitely asked for because it will make things so much easier for her (and for us).  But it doesn't make it less scary.  I know she'll be fine.  We have a great surgeon and she's a tough cookie.  The nurse in me knows it's no big deal.  But the mom in me is starting to freak out a little.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Weekly Workouts

I'm linking up with Meghan and Kat for this week's Weekly Workout.  And it's not going to be pretty....I'm just warning you now.....
The past few weeks have been quite busy for us.  There's a lot going on with Em (I'll get to that tomorrow) and I've been busy with work and the kids school so, unfortunately, my working out has taken the back seat.  I know, I know....excuses, excuses.  But let me tell you, I haven't slept a full night of sleep in about 5 weeks and its finally hitting me.  I can't wait for this month to be over and life can go back to normal.

I will honestly say that I did not work out at all this past week.  I walk a lot at work so I guess I was a little active but no where close to where I want to be.  One day I'm going to wear a pedometer to see how many steps I log in a day.  That would be interesting to see.

But I did work out a little the week before so I guess I'll share all that instead.....

The week before was more of Family Fitness time.  Noah really wanted to run with me and I know his little 6yr old legs can't do 3 miles yet.  So we went out a few nights and did a mile or so.

Monday 4/22: we went out as a family for a walk/run.  Em did not want to walk so she was in the stroller and I pushed.  Noah and the Hubs came along too.  We would walk a little, run a little.  Overall we did 1.16 miles.  We have a great neighborhood that I figured out a 1 mile loop to run.  Noah did better than I figured he would and I even got to see the Hubs run!!!
He really can run!!!!
Tuesday 4/23: Noah wanted to go out running again and the Hubs really didn't. So I loaded Emmy up in the stroller again and the 3 of us headed out.  We did more running than walking, which I was really proud of Noah for.  Until we got to about 0.8 miles.  That's when he started telling me he needed to stop running and catch his breath.  At this point he was full on wheezing, throat tugging, couldn't catch his breath.  I almost had to call the Hubs to come pick us up so we could get home faster.  But Noah wanted to keep walking.  We ended  up doing 1/17 miles.  When we got home, I took a listen to him (I've had my stethoscope in my purse for weeks now) and he was wheezing like crazy!!!  A few puffs of Albuterol and some resting on the couch calmed him down. We've been playing around with this idea that he has some form of Asthma but we've never really been convinced of it.  Well I am now a believer that he has exercise induced asthma for real.  I have never seen him work so hard to breathe in my life.  It was horrible to watch because I knew that I was to blame.  I was making him run.  The mom guilt was happening big time!

Wednesday 4/24: This is the day our week went upside down.  I worked, then rushed to Countryside to take Em to a specialist, then raced back to All Children's in St Pete to get Xrays done.  Let the whirlwind begin. No working out for me.
First day in the OCC waiting for Xrays
Thursday 4/25: Went to work again only to make the in laws bring Emmy down to All Children's again for blood work. No working out for me.
Round 2 in the OCC waiting for blood draw
Friday 4/26: Work Work Work.  No sleep and no working out.

Saturday 4/27: Picked up an extra shift on the inpatient unit.  Probably walked about 3-4 miles in those 8 hours.  Still not sleeping so that walking will have to do

Sunday 4/28: The Hubs's family came over for a birthday lunch.  April/May are very busy months in the birthday world for them.  I was exhausted and it was my only day off before starting another 5 day work week (11 shifts in 13 days is tough). All I wanted to do is sleep but I ended up grocery shopping instead.
I got a few minutes to just breathe
And we all know that I did absolutely nothing this past week.  I hate that I've let the extreme exhaustion catch up to me but I'm pretty much running on empty.  I was able to get a decent amount of sleep Friday night and a little bit last night so I'm in a better place.  I plan on pounding the pavement today and getting in as many miles as I can before Friday.  Em has surgery that day and I know I'll be a little consumed afterwards.

How do you stay motivated?  Is it better to keep pushing yourself to be active or take a breather every once and a while?  I'm afraid if I take a breather for too long, I won't get back into it......


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Come check me out!!!

I am so excited to be introduced today over at Tampa Bay Moms Blog!!!

When I was approached by Sheriss to be a contributing writer for the blog, I thought she was nutso!!!  Why would anyone want to hear what I had to say?  But we all know how much I like to talk and share about my life and experiences so I said why not!  I'm blessed to be working with an amazing group of local Mommas who are passionate about being the best Mom they can be.  Plus I can't complain about finally having a picture of myself that I absolutely adore!!!! (shameless plug....Yeah I did it....I'm being totally shallow right now!!!)
Yep....that's my head shot for the blog
I have to credit the amazing Christina Higman for working magic on my picture! She is a genius!!!  

I can't wait to see what this new endeavor has in store for me and for the incredible women I'm working with. I really hope I can live up to the high expectations we have for the blog!!!
The Tampa Bay Moms Blog Girlies!!!!!
 Go check us out!  Like us on Facebook!  Follow us on Twitter!  I'm sure Instagram will be coming soon!!!!