Monday, May 31, 2010

Life is Good

I slept in.

I spent the last 40 minutes just lounging in bed.

Most of that time I watched my belly jumping around as my little man said good morning.

The kids slept in.
In fact most of them are still in bed. And it's nearly 8:30. And there is nothing they have to get up for!
The kids that are up are playing in their rooms.

With any luck the sun will come out and we can spend the day with the Slip n' Slide and the kiddie pool.

Hubby gets a day off work and school.

I am about to go start a big waffle breakfast. And break out the whipped cream and sprinkles.

Because today is a whipped cream and sprinkles kind of day.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Now I can do one better

Than the snow on the hills a few miles up the road on Saturday....

How about snow all over everything?

It's May 24th and it's snowing. Not snow floating down and not sticking snowing, but real live big fat flakes snowing. And we lucked out-a little further up the road from here, it's coming down even harder. 3-6 inches! Ack!

It's like one big bad joke. Let's hope those water walls in the garden do their job....

But the good news? It's supposed to be 80 degrees on Wednesday.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

The return of Sweet Tooth Sunday-Lime Tart!

I have long strayed from one of my favorite little bloggy things.

I have missed it.

And now, return of morning sickness be darned! I need a little more Sweet Tooth Sunday in my life!

And as I was whipping up entirely too many brownies today (caramel brownies and these, despite the fact that I can only eat about half a brownie before my body objects) I realized that I still had people waiting on a few recipes.

Number one most requested recipe in the last month?

Lime Tart!

Mmmmm....lime tart......

Maybe I'll make me another one tonight.....

These are the days when it's a good thing I have such a big family. Otherwise all of my dessert creations would waste away before I could eat them since I can only put down a few bites. (dangit!!!) Also, you'd think that would help tame the spread of the butt and hips. Nope and nope. In a big way over the past two weeks.

But I digress.

Back to the tart.

I posted the lemon tart last year when I was functional and on top of things.

Psst! Here's a little secret; the lime tart is the same. Just use lime instead of lemon.

How easy is that?


But in case you don't feel like linking back, here we go!

You need limes.

Limes are my friend. The smell of limes makes me feel better.

It is wonderful.

You also need flour, powdered sugar, butter, cream cheese, sugar and eggs.

I will spare you the step by step and the billion pictures (if you want that, link back), but just a couple of things first....

If you do not have a zester, do yourself a favor and get one.


Also, tart pans are amazing. I'm sure you could do this in a 9x13 or something, but it just wouldn't be as wonderful.

Also, when you are serving it, be careful not to kill the crust like I did here:

Still delicious though.

1c flour
1/3c powdered sugar
dash salt
1/2c (1 stick) butter, cut into small pieces

5 ounces cream cheese
3/4c sugar
2 eggs
1/2c lime juice
1 tsp- 1 Tbsp lime zest (I prefer less, but if you want a super limey taste, go more)

Mix flour, sugar, salt. Add butter and cut together until mixture forms clumps. Press into tart pan. Pierce bottom of crust with fork. Place in freezer to chill for 15min, remove when fully chilled and bake at 425 degrees for 10-15min until light golden brown. Allow to cool on wire rack.
For filling: beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, mix well. Add eggs one at a time. Add fresh lime juice and lime zest, mix until thoroughly incorporated. Pour into pre-baked tart crust. Bake at 350 degrees 25-30min. Allow to cool on wire rack, chill in refrigerator at least one hour.

A little sprinkle of powdered sugar on the top, and you have heaven!

Coming up soon: Lemon Panna Cotta!

Virtual 10K-Maybe the last Hurrah

Yep, another virtual race. RacingWithBabes hosting the "Rock your Socks" virutal 10K and 1/2 marathon. Obiously the half is way out of my grasp at this point, but after a stellar 10K last Saturday, I was really looking forward to my "long" run this week. (wow-6.2 is long now....that's humbling)

But as Friday night rolled around, I started wondering....

There comes a point in pregnancy where it seems like everything just shifts. You can't quite pinpoint what has shifted or how it's shifted, but it all just feels off. And it doesn't happen gradually-it's like one morning you just wake up, crawl out of bed, stand up and think "Oh my goodness! What happened to my body?!" It's great fun.
Couple that with some entirely too frequent cramping/contracting going on on Friday and I started to question myself.

Good thing I'm obnoxious and stubborn, huh?
(and yes, have the ok of my herd of specialists to keep running and just listen to my body, stop freaking out about the contraction thing)

I woke up at 6 on Saturday hoping to get the run in before the herd began to stir. It was pouring rain. Pouring!

I rolled over and went back to sleep. Take that rain!

So when I finally did roll my big old self out of bed at 7 and the rain had stopped, I was thrilled!
Woo-hoo! Time for a run!

And then I walked across the room. And wondered how my legs would hold up. And thought that I should just claim last Saturday's run as my time for this race.

But like I mentioned, I'm stubborn. As anyone who has known me for more than 2 1/2 minutes can tell you.

I got dressed, let the dogs out, then got a blast of arctic air that prompted me to turn around and go add another layer. And gloves.

Unfortunately, I did not rock my lucky shamrock socks since the swollen feet were begging for good running socks. But we'll just pretend I rocked my Balegas.

Walking out the front door, I was greeted with this:

Yep, that's snow. It's May 22nd and there's snow on them there hills. Nice.

Such an ominously beautiful morning.

I set out, it was a rocky start, but I've dealt with that before. By mile 2 I always get over it.
Not this time. My pregnant body is mocking me.
And so is my ipod. That died just past 2 miles in. Seriously?
And my body continued to laugh at the audacity I had to drag it out in the cold and try to run.

I am so sad to say that I couldn't actually run the entire 6.2 this week. Dang it. My poor ego is suffering. And so is my bladder. But the good news is that my uterus didn't just fall directly out of my body in the middle of the run. I wondered for a minute there if it might.
Uterus still in tact: bonus!! Also, just for the record, I have not peed myself while running pregnant.
Hey, even the little victories are still victories!

Thankfully it warmed up a little, and there weren't many people out running through the puddles with me so I only got passed by two people.

But I did finish. Much slower than I wanted, and without running the whole thing, but dangit-I got out and did it! Last week I mentioned I was over an hour for a 10K now-yeah. Well past an hour now.

(how's that for a crappy phone pic?)
Garmin read 1:10:22, but since I forgot to start it right as I set out, my time was probably closer to about 1:15. Ouch.

But look:

I faked a smile for a finish pic.
Also Sam was nice and content in there post race:

(you'll just have to take my word for it)
(and look! I can still see my feet!)

Also, I didn't feel the least bit guilty today for my new post run ritual;

Drink a lot, eat right after finishing, drink some more, and park my heiny on the bed while I drink some more to avoid any contractions that would be worth mentioning to a dr who would then encourage me to stop trying to run. See? look-I didn't even take the time to take off shoes before hitting the bed. And Sam did his typical post run victory dance, so all is well. Except my running time. And waddling. But I'll deal with those.
(no lectures-I am being smart and not overdoing it, I promise. Trust me, if there is one soul on this planet paranoid about me staying pregnant as long as possible, it is me!)

My husband did drive past when I was on my way home, and unfortunately he confirmed what I had feared. Later in the afternoon when he returned home he dared to ask, "So.....uh, how was your run this morning?"
I told him it sucked rocks. When he asked why, I told him that I felt like I was waddling down the path. "Really?" he asked. Unfortunately, yes. He then gave me a demo of what I looked like.
It was hilarious. And horribly accurate judging by how I felt. And really not pretty!
The fact that I have spent 306 weeks of my life pregnant is catching up with me.
(and really, I added up all of my pregnancies-306 weeks! plus two days. ohmyword!)

Nevertheless, I am glad I did it. I am glad that there are plenty of running crazies out there that blog regularly so I can live vicariously through them right now. I am glad that this was a virtual race and that the finish line I crossed was my driveway-with no spectators.
I am glad that my husband's imitation of my current running style made me laugh and not cry. (Those pregnancy hormones are brutal sometimes)

I'm finally sucking it up and realizing that this time around I will not be one of those women who can say "I ran 4 miles the day before I delivered". Dang. But you can count on seeing me out waddling down the trail for as long as I can manage. So just honk and wave, and then laugh amongst yourselves. And know that if you were within earshot and my ipod wasn't dead, you'd also get a serenade.

Another round of drs, another update on baby "Sandal"

So the official transfer has begun.

A new hospital, and new perinatologist. Just one specifically even though there is a full team of them there. It will be nice to be have just one specialist taking over my care. Almost like a normal pregnancy. Except for that one specialist is also assisted by an MA and Midwife that I will also see at each appointment for the routine stuff while the peri worries about the big stuff and the technical stuff. It will be nice to have one specific specialist following my care though. Though all the perinatologists we've met over the past....what's it been? only 8-9 weeks? seems like an eternity...have been wonderful, it will be nice to have a constant.

Our new peri really is great, thank goodness. She had some big shoes to fill after everything Dr H (who was the wonderful peri we saw last week) spoke so highly of her. She is very personable, seems very knowledgeable, and the others we saw before her on Thursday morning spoke very highly of her as well. As a bonus, she was a happy person (ever notice how a relatively high number of drs are just very serious? Not willing to be jovial? bugs me). She also happens to be a native Texan and didn't skip a beat when Aaron (half)jokingly asked, "So, Texas huh? What do you carry?" The woman rattled off a preference without skipping a beat! ha! She also didn't look at him weirdly for asking. Bonus points.


Last Thursday as we did the full care transfer and started getting acquainted with the staff the will now be over our care, and the hospital we will now be delivering at (hospital #4 since this pregnancy began, just in case you were curious), we saw a sonographer (with 20+yrs experience), a Dr of Radiology (who teaches specialties internationally), the MA, the Midwife, the Perinatologist, and a member of the Neonatology team. Needless to say it was a long appointment.

We started with the sonographer who was wonderful. I hear all these stories from people about how their ultrasound was bitter sweet because the person running the machine was awful. I'm so glad I haven't run into that. And I hope we end up with Jo doing more of our ultrasound work in the coming weeks (hopefully months). She was a gem! At one point as we were looking over everything she asked "Have you chosen a name?" I replied, "Yep, his name is Samuel." She paused for a moment and said "Sandal?" I corrected her and pronounced more clearly "Sam-u-el". She started laughing so hard she had to stop the scan! It was great. :) She turned and said, "Now you have to admit that I handled that well! I didn't even flinch or balk. And some of the names I hear....Wow." This then led to a slew of bad jokes about what our other kids names are, and that if we could have one more shot at things we could have twins named Flip and Flop. She was a riot.

But of course we all had to snap back to reality, and as she was concerned about some of the shots she couldn't get, she pulled Dr W (the radiologist) in with us to see what she could find.

Unfortunately things weren't quite so light hearted after that.

We were so very very thrilled last week when after three weeks Sam's ventricles were mostly stable and had only grown a slight bit. After just a six day time span from that last ultrasound until this one, we expected to see roughly the same. But as a reminder that this is truly a day by day, week by week process, We didn't see what we hoped. We were thrilled when his smaller vent measured just under 21mm (less than last time!), our hearts sank when we saw that his other vent was measuring just over 30mm. That is nearly a 50% increase over a period of a week for that side. Obviously that's not great news.
It also appears as though there is some fusing going on between his frontal lobes. I think I have mentioned in the past that we couldn't see the midline division between the two hemispheres of his brain at certain levels. We assumed it was because of the fluid concentration since we could see it both below and above where the fluid was the greatest. We couldn't find it this time.
This then led to a discussion (again) of the amnio results, and reemphasis that they did indeed come back clean, with no indication of a trisomy or major genetic disorder. This seemed to be a bit concerning, and it seems as though there is a bit of wonder as to why we may be seeing this. Typically when brain fusion is present it is indicative of something called Holoprosencephaly (HPE). The good news is that this has been ruled out with the clean amnio. Also this usually comes with some very obvious facial deformities, and we have seen over and over our little boy's sweet perfect face; his eyes, nose and lips are all perfectly formed and we have seen them with great clarity. So what it is that may be causing this? We have no idea at this point. Nice huh?
The only way to really get a better look at this is through MRI where each layer of brain tissue can be looked at in depth. We have chosen to stick with the original timing that was discussed for the MRI ( about 30wks), so we will be doing that in 3 or 4 weeks. Until then the only things we can really watch will be the growth of his head circumference and ventricles. After the MRI we will start the consults with Pediatric neurosurgery-assuming that we are in a situation where it will be a feasible and worthwhile option after we have some more information on what's going on inside his head.

It was really kind of hard to start talking about delivery plans and timing and just what all may be coming up in the next few weeks. Obviously we hope for a couple of months, but we will have more frequent ultrasounds now to see if we can get a good idea of the growth curve that his head is following so that we can accurately plan for a reasonable delivery time. We are still hoping to be able to avoid a surgical delivery, but of course there are a number of factors playing into that as we go over things each week.

It just seems too soon to be having to start planning for all of this.

It's difficult to go from such a high to yet another low. It's like living on a yo-yo. We're down, we're back up, we're back down again, and up. Then it comes time for the down again, so hopefully our appointment in a week and a half will be not another down, but another up. Or at least keep us spinning on the same level without another drop.

We're certainly learning to practice some patience as we go one or two weeks at a time waiting for the next dose of information. Someone asked this weekend "So do you feel like it just keeps knocking you down, or are you sitting at a point where you can say 'ok, bring it on!' as you go to each appointment?" While I'd love to say I was confident and strong enough that I feel like I can handle whatever it is that's heading our way.....I'm just not there most days. There are days when I feel like I'm handling things well, but others-like last Thursday-where I just beg the heavens for the strength to be able to make it through each piece of this puzzle that comes our way. It's hard to feel so optimistic about things to then be left wondering again.
And then we're exactly where we were when this entire things started. Placing our faith and trust in the only option that will carry us through, hoping for the best, but trusting that "the best" might not necessarily be what we have in mind, and praying that we will still be willing-and able-to accept that.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Saturday 10K

I'm calling it last week's victory lap.

Because it was a week of victories.

*We all survived. Trust me, some weeks that is a victory.
*One week closer to summer vacation. Hallelujah. Can't come fast enough!
*One week closer to Aaron finishing this quarter of his schooling. The last week of June will be heaven. (he gets a week of before the next quarter starts)
*I am still pregnant. (woo-hoo!)
*The house was clean. At one point. For a little while. I promise.
*It was sunny and warm! Not my doing, but a victory lately none the less.
*I finally painted the bathroom!
*I'm sure there are more things I'm forgetting. Pregnant brain and all.
*and most importantly-all that good stuff at our Perinatology appointment and ultrasound last Friday. If somehow you missed that, scroll down just a tad. Plus new hospital, new specialist, and uber on top of it people-the "we'll contact you within a few days to get you in within a week or two" turned into a phone call 4 hours later an appointment on Thursday at 8am! Wow!

So really, a good run was the perfect cap on the week.
Saturday was beyond beautiful-a perfect running morning. Though I am getting a little slower every week (sometimes it seems every day), the fact that I can still go the distance thrills me to death. I am learning to listen to my body in a different way; Last year it was hearing the "this hurts, stop!!" and pushing through it. And then pushing further and harder. This year it's been a big challenge to get those "this hurts!" signals from my body and figure out if it's just getting to that point of the good ache or if it's really hurting and I really need to slow down or stop. I think I'm finally figuring it out.
I guess the fact that I end up laughing out loud when I finally heard the line "I was forced with remorse to learn the bassoon" in one of the songs on my playlist when I have five miles under my belt is a good indicator that I've found the balance.

Finishing with a smile on my face, a focus on distance instead of time (I'm over an hour for a 10K now though-oy...ok, so mostly focusing on distance and less on time...), and feeling good the rest of the day instead of dead (which can be a challenge during pregnancy without the running) is even better news.

Definitely a victory lap.

Looking forward to this weekend's virtual 10K (go checkout to get in on it!), and hopefully another the weekend after that. Unless I can find a decent Memorial Day race that doesn't have a steep entry fee. (Suggestions? Anyone?)
Pony Express 5K the first weekend in June, wondering if my body will still be willing to pull off a 30 minute finish in another two weeks. Hoping so. Proud of my mind for letting a 30minute finish be an ok thing.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Local UT People!!! Go Enter!!!

And here's some more exclamation points, just for my husband!!!!!!!!!!!

Take that dear!

I have this cute friend, who also happens to be an awesome photographer. I told her I'd be happy to put her giveaways here on the blog, and then last time I totally missed her message about it until it was too late. And now, here I am again-days later than I should be.... What a schmuck I am sometimes.

So here's the deal: Cute Niki is giving away a family photo session. And not only that-you also get a cd with photos from the session! Everyone knows that the hardest part of photos is that too often you have to pay through the nose for prints. And when you have a herd of beautiful children-how do you even narrow it down to which prints you want so you can show them off? Exactly.

So go to Niki's blog HERE-the Take Me Out to the Ball Game post. (if for some reason that doesn't work, it's All you have to do is leave a comment to enter. That's it! No jumping through hoops, finding some hidden something somewhere on the blog, no dragging through for your personal favorite photo or any of that. Though I do highly recommend going through her blog-she does some beautiful work!

You have today and tomorrow, but entries are only accepted until tomorrow-Monday May 17th, so get on it!


Friday, May 14, 2010

The latest on baby Sam-today's appointment and ultrasound (26 weeks)

We were so nervous about today's appointment after that lovely (ARGH!) experience we had with the "Dr" we saw last time. (Just because you have a PhD does not make you a doctor. But enough about that.) We have been praying that we would be able to meet with a dr that would be helpful and understanding of our hopes and fears and desires for this pregnancy and for our baby. When someone other than the dr we originally saw today walked in we were nervous. Dh even said right up front, "uh, isn't Dr E here? We are supposed to see HER." The Dr said she was more than happy to get Dr E if we preferred and wasn't the least bit bothered, but I kind of explained the concern and the issues we had last time, and told her that as long as she was a perinatologist I was happy to give her a shot and if we had concerns we could pull Dr E in as well. This woman, Dr H, was WONDERFUL!!! She was so kind and understanding and absolutely dead on with everything we've researched, been concerned about and hope for and want concerning both my health and Sam's. From our plan for care, to delivery, to was like a gift wrapped answer to our prayers! She was a gem!

She completely addressed every fear and question and concern we've had come up in the past month. She was just so darn wonderful!

Sam is doing remarkably well. Though he's not doing any "better", or even staying stagnant as far as ventricle size, the increase over the past three weeks has been about as minimal as we could hope for. Last appt his vents were measuring 19.7 and 22.3mm, this time they were 22.3 and 22.7 (?I think?), so really not a huge change! His head was measuring 3wks ahead last time, and is consistent at about 3wks ahead this time (just a couple of days past 3wks ahead). Everything else measures almost perfectly to the day to where it should be. His heart still looks amazing-there is no reason to be doing echos or consulting with a cardiologist, which is something we were told we needed last time. His hr is strong at 149, still active and growing just as he should be which is SUCH a relief! As I have found other hydrocephalus moms online and looked at the measurements of their babies in utero, it seems that a lot of the big jumps in vent/head size occur at about this time. One little boy who measured almost exactly as Sam has at our past few appointments had a jump in head size from 3wks ahead to 12wks ahead at this point in his development. I was terrified that we were going to see that today-and SO grateful that we didn't! All things considered, our little guy is thriving in there-beating back so much of what we were told in the beginning of all of this.

We will be transferring my care, up to the U which is adjacent to the Children's Hospital that serves many of the Intermountain states. That way we will be within steps of surgery if we happen to need it asap after delivery. The U hospital and the children's hospital are connected, so it's just down the hallway. Even if I end up with a section (hopefully not-this dr was VERY encouraging about planning a vaginal delivery still!!), I will be able to just get right to baby and not be stuck at a hospital elsewhere recovering myself. Unfortunately the Dr we saw today does not primarily practice at the U, but does have privileges there and does service weeks there every so often, so she does have two partners she works with that are primarily based at the U. She was so positive about them both, and is setting up an appointment for us to meet with one of them in the next week or two. From what she said this other Dr seems to have very similar ideas towards practice as she does, and they both believe that setting up a plan of care to move forward with at this point in the game will be beneficial for us and for all those involved in my care and Sam's. She also mentioned that this dr is a crazy marathoner, so she'll for sure understand the fact that I'm still trying to keep running.

We'll soon be meeting the perinatologist who will be assuming our care-we will just be transferring everything from the midwife to eliminate all the extra appointments. The MRI will be scheduled within the next month, as well as a consult with neonatologists and peds neurosurgeons so that after we have the MRI results we can start establishing a care plan for Sam once he gets here too. The MRI is a fairly vital step in letting us know what is really going on in his head-in the mounds of research I've done in the past month (I feel like I'm working for a degree in hydrocephalus at this point!), I found that in 40-50% of cases like ours where the hydrocephalus appears to be isolated, the MRI will reveal other issues that weren't detectable through ultrasound. We are anxiously looking ahead to see what more information we can find on Sam's condition, and are so grateful for the amazing advances in technology that will allow us to do so.

It is so nice to feel like we are finally moving forward, and with plans to prepare for a baby-not a funeral! Though it will still be a wait and see thing, and as far as any of us know, it's possible that his vent and head size could increase exponentially tomorrow and totally blow the prognosis we are looking at as of today's u/s. It will still be touch and go in the newborn period, especially if he decides to come earlier than term, so the possibility of the worst case of losing our little boy is still very real. But today I feel like I am walking on air-this is the best news we have had in the past 7 weeks! So for now we're basking in the glow of today's great news and moving forward with unbelievably grateful, and hopeful hearts.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

The best glucose test

I think we've accurately covered my opinions on tests during pregnancy.
The glucose tolerance test is one that falls into the same category as the majority of them. Expensive waste of my time. Yes, I know that some people show no signs, Yes, I know that it can show up unexpectedly. But the typical one hour drink the nastiness test that just about every care provider uses also throws back a freak number of false positives, and then you end up blowing 3+ hours and a lot of money on the follow up test only to fast for longer than a pregnant woman wants to go without food, and often end up feeling sick afterwards.

Gosh, I don't know why I'm not on board with that one.

I've done the drink thing a couple of times in the past, but my OB and I had a nice little understanding about that; if I have concerns I let him know, if he has concerns he let me know, otherwise, I don't do the test. Once I did due to some questions on (freakishly rapid!) weight gain, another I had a sugar spill. Fine-I'm ok with it in those cases. But just regularly? I don't do the test.
Sometimes I still really miss my OB.

This time around I figured I wouldn't even hear about it since I went the midwife route. I signed all the forms at that first appointment opting out of every test and blood draw except that routine ultrasound. Thank goodness I'm not one of those people who is patient enough to wait until baby's arrival to know if it's a boy or a girl, huh?

But I digress.

After officially opting out I was surprised to hear my midwife mention this test at my 20wk appointment. When I told her I don't do that one, she was very understanding, but then mentioned that her mother died from complications of diabetes and so she's pretty nervous about this test not being done. Ugh. That makes it harder to argue. Knowing that we have numerous family members on Aaron's side that are diabetic, she knew I'd have access to a glucose monitor. She said that if I'd just check once for her, she wouldn't mention the test again. Ok, I can deal with that.

I was going to just borrow a friend's monitor, but her test strips had expired so the thing wouldn't work. Dang.

So instead of bugging everyone else I know, I bought my own. $21.44 for the monitor kit and test strips. Do you know how much they charge for this dumb test in a dr's office? It's ridiculous. It cost less for me to buy my own monitor, strips, and two Snickers bars than it costs in gas just for me to get to the office for the test.

The Snickers were for the test. I promise.

Thinking I'd give the monitor a dry run last night before I had to use my precious Snicker's bars, I checked my level after eating a nice big bowl full of chocolate trifle.

Any guesses?


You have to be under 140 to pass in a dr's office. Or under 120 in some of the (too strict) dr's offices. Which is another thing that bugs me-there is no set standard! Some drs cut off at 120, some at 130, some at 140. So with one dr you could get a 121 and be forced into the 3 hour test, yet in another dr's office that's nearly 20 below the cut off. That's passing with no problem!
Go figure.

This morning I choked down 1 2/3 Snickers bars. 50 grams of sugar. I won't tell you how many calories. I'm pretty sure calories don't count when being used for a medical purpose. Yeah, that sounds good.

I will say that is a lot of Snickers bars to consume in a very short time period. It may be a while before I crave a Snickers again.

The moment of truth one hour later?
Passed with flying colors. Even by a strict dr's standards.

C'mon-this is ME we're talking about! Does anyone who has known me for more than about 3 minutes really think my body has issues processing sugar? Pshaw.


Monday, May 10, 2010

How does your garden grow?

So as I mentioned, indulging me with all the garden extras was my big Mother's Day gift.

As I spent Saturday afternoon turning up the garden soil (good thing I skipped the long run that morning-big garden=big workout!), bringing some of the kids along for the ride, we got a lot done. Everything was prepped and ready to go. It was time to map things out.

Our tomato plants got so much bigger than we expected last year, I wanted to make sure that this year's tomato plants would be spaced appropriately, but still close enough so as to not waste any space. I thought I'd be really clever and use the extra large tomato cages to help me space them. Before I turned all the soil down there, I flipped the cages over so that I could put the plants in the appropriate places and figure out how much space I needed to plot for tomatoes.

Now I know I do some strange things. I know my sanity is questioned by others, and probably on a daily basis. When I'm pregnant-all bets are off-who knows what I'll do!

But apparently I must be getting worse than I thought. Because my husband walked out to this:

and said, "uh, Catey? You know that they go the other way, right?"
And he was serious.
Boy, if I've gotten so bad that my husband doubts that I even know what way tomato cages go, I'm in trouble!

A nephew

Baby feet!

Oh my goodness-I've left that cute little ear sitting up here for so long! It's about time you get to see the rest of him!

This is my sweet nephew Cole-just 7 hours old.

Look at his adorable fuzzy blond hair! So soft you can hardly feel it. He's like a little chick or a duckling.

My sister is a trooper-natural birth, and not a tiny baby. He tipped the scales at 8lbs 11oz. Not huge, but much bigger than any of mine!

And yet he has the most perfectly round little head.

This sweet little guy was just the therapy I needed last week. There is nothing that compares to having a newborn baby in your arms. Sweet, sweet baby boy.


Friday, May 7, 2010

A Teaser

Because my sister loves me and will forgive me for posting this photo without telling her....

And seriously-could teeny tiny baby parts be any cuter??
Be still my heart.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Virtual Race Report- 3 High Fives

For obvious reasons my race schedule this year is pretty much zero. When the 1/2 in March got bagged due to being thoroughly entrenched in morning sickness (still) I was bummed. Then life came crashing down 5 days later so that really didn't matter anymore. There's a nice dose of perspective for you, huh?

Since I'm (already?!) getting to the point where I can't guarantee that my veins won't be trying to burst from my skin, my knee won't totally let go, that I won't wet myself or that my sciatic nerve might actually behave, scheduling any race at this point is iffy. Don't get me wrong, I'm still eyeing a handful of 5 and 10k's in the next two months.... (shh....don't tell my husband....)

The nice thing is that a solution is presenting itself-in the form of Virtual Racing.

While I am all about getting my run fix on a daily basis while it's still possible, it is different when you are running for something other than to just run. It's nice. It's motivating.

What is a virtual race? No assigned location or start time, no ridiculous entry fees-just run and report the race on your own. Then everyone links up their reports and finish times and it's all one big happy kumbaya for runners who happened to find each other online.

This is where my husband would roll his eyes and tell me that I have running issues. Of all the issues I could have in life, I'll take it!

Today's 5/5 5k was courtesy of Mel over at Tall Mom on the Run. She's entirely too cute. And like a foot taller than me. But cute tall, not like scary tall.
Mel has been raising funds for Marathon for the Cure (Komen), so all that was involved in this race was a donation to the cause, and a 5K run on May 5th. Happy Cinco by the way.
So I signed up. And signed Sam up too.

He was coming along for the run anyway, but hey, the kid believes in a good cause so we made it official.
This looks like pre-race belly mug shots or something.

Yes-those are his actual feet on his race bib. And yes I made him a race bib. Take that.

Number 8-since he is of course our number 8, and 169 for me, as today I am 169 days pregnant.

What I lack in creativity I make up for with......uh.....something else I hope.

I love running against just me-not worrying about anyone else around me-but still hoping to push myself.

And it was a beautiful day for a run!

Since this is a "pick your own course" run, I chose to start at Unity Pass and run home across the valley.

The view to the east:

The view to the west:

It's almost like someone took a chunk out of one of the flat states (Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, pick anything in the middle) and plopped it right here in the middle of the Rockies.
Also, I learned that apparently the effort of trying to take a picture of myself mid-run using my phone must send my brain into overload.

Do you see that vein? It looks like it's going to explode right out the middle of my forehead. Nice.

Note to self: photos of surroundings while running, fine. Photos of self while running, uh, no.

I was hoping to come in at 30min or less (which was ironically my goal for my very first 5k), but just barely missed it. Can't help but think if I'd just pushed a little tiny bit harder..... But considering that I neglected to wear a compression tank, and left my belly band at home it was a tad bit more of an ab challenge to run today, so I'll take it.

Out of focus and sweaty, but still smiling.
The official finish time: 30min 22 seconds.
That sounds SO slow to me for a 5k, but I'm totally pulling the pregnancy card on this one. And since it's under 10min/mi, I'll live with it.
Average of 9:49/mi, though I did apparently find a burst of energy in there somewhere as the good old Garmin says I topped out at 7:50 at some point. Go me! er, Go us!

Leaving you with one more photo-just for you Mel! Tall Mom's signature two thumbs up-before heading out (pre-switching race bibs to back because who can run with two papers stuck to the front of them?):

Thanks for the race!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy V-Day!

I know-most of you are thinking I've really lost it since Valentine's Day was nearly 3 months ago.

This is a different V.


Though a baby born at 23wks actually has a 17% chance of survival (which is a heck of a lot more than zero!), and the record for survival is 21wks and 5 days, most medical personnel will dismiss you before 24wks as "non-viable". You know, like the idiot I saw last time who told me that nothing we were discussing at that point even mattered because my baby was non-viable.

Not that I'm still irritated at her comments or anything. Or have conversations with her in my head telling her exactly what I think of her opinions and misinformation. Nope, not me.

Anyway, today marks 24 weeks of pregnancy. Wo0-hoo!

This is a big deal. 6 weeks ago we wondered if I'd even still be pregnant at this point. I am. My sweet little Sam is so very alive-I swear he dances in there just for fun-like he's mocking his diagnosis every minute that he can. Or at least just keeping me blissfully happy for every second that he's inside me. I am one of the fortunate ones. Sadly I have already met others who were in this same "wait and watch" boat with hydrocephalus who have not been so fortunate. It is heartbreaking.

And now, all you squeamish people-look away.

I warned you.

I'm one of those belly obsessed pregnant people. The fact that I've been measuring 4-6 weeks ahead for the past 10 weeks has given me a belly earlier than normal, and bigger than I usually have at this point. For those not familiar with this method of measurement-typically the height of the top of your uterus, measured from your pubic bone (yes, I actually just said pubic bone), roughly corresponds with the number of weeks pregnant you are. I was a little big in the beginning, but when I hit 16 weeks I was already measuring 22 weeks! Wow! For someone who has always measured dead on, and sometimes just a tad behind in the last weeks of pregnancy, this was a shock. As my midwife pointed out-we know now what I'd look like if were expecting twins. Curiosity satisfied. Apparently during pregnancies with hydrocephalus babies there are often fluid level issues, so if/when the amniotic fluid levels increase overall, I may see even more of a forward measurement in my own growth. Oy! I hope the belly is up for it. It's not failed me yet though, so I'll just trust in my body's ability to stretch repeatedly to freakish size and then return to normal.

Thank you body.

And now that you've have more than enough notice, here is the big old belly this morning at 24 weeks:
Brace yourselves now:

There it is!

I'll spare you the weekly pictures I take for my own obsession with my belly, but I can't promise I won't splash my belly up here again in the coming months. As much as it has always been a joyous novelty for me to have a pregnant belly, it is even more so now! Every week is a treat, and once I pass 28 weeks (the number that's been stuck in my head since the day of the diagnosis-not sure why), each week will just be icing on the cake!