Saturday, July 28, 2012

Happy Birthday Parker (a few weeks late)

The past few weeks have been brutal. Aarik has been working six days a week which has left me to deal with all of the many things that have been going on in our home life during the same time period. While I won't bore you with the details of those many things, I will say it's been a lot to do alone. So much, in fact, that at least once a week I have a complete melt down/ borderline nervous break down of some sort and then have to continue on with whatever I am doing, without feeling any relief. Sleep deprivation and overwhelm have lead to too many accidents, from what I still believe to be a broken toe (it's been 2 weeks and I'm still in CRAZY pain), to running over a tricycle, dropping things, unexplained bruises on various parts of my body... I could go on but won't. Luckily nothing to do with our kiddos (well Mckenzie doesn't know about her trike yet. I'm sure that won't go over well...). Yesterday I finally reached my limit and hit the kind of wall, from whence you do not return. SO grateful Aarik took the day off, especially after Parker was up all night, so that I could sleep in until almost nine, do my grocery shopping, and do a few other major things that I'm on a time crunch to get done. I have been trying to get this posted for a while now, and it's basically come down to this: either I blog about Parker's first year using whatever pictures I have on the computer already, or I never get this post up so... Parker just turned one!! What a long journey we've been on just to get to that point! After seeing so many families struggle through so much for so long, and sometimes still not be able to have children, I'm so grateful that we only had to suffer through a few years of heart ache and pregnancy loss to get him here. This past year has been nothing short of insanity. Since he was about six weeks old he has been a demanding little cuss and has spent a majority of his life screaming about something. Truthfully, most of the time he had very good reason. Half of the time it was ear infections, which we had never experienced with our others. Luckily the past couple of months have brought more peaceful times and we have been able to finally enjoy our sweet boy. He seriously has such a fun personality. He loves to help clean up around the house, he LOVES other kids and socializing and he is quite the explorer. He is, by far, the most independent of any of our kids, although you wouldn't know it if you were to meet him when he was in one of his "mommy" moods. He loves both of his siblings, but he and Mckenzie have such a sweet and special bond. He absolutely adores her. They'll play together for hours and she never acts like it's a bother to her and he LOVES her for it. It's obvious he looks up to his big brother as well. He likes to wrestle Konnor and also makes attempts to play legos with him, which is a heart attack inducing situation for me. Parky (that's what we call him) only wants to eat if everyone else is and only wants to eat what everyone else is eating. He loves to give kisses, and will do so upon request, says mama, dada and no no, loves to watch Super Why, loves to go places, has no fear, is a climber, loves water, isn't a huge fan of sweets, loves chicken and makes the "aaah" noise after he sees someone else take a drink, after he takes a drink or sometimes when he's done nursing. We are so blessed to have our sweet, cuddly and finally ear infection free little 1 year old with us! He was worth the wait and we are so grateful to have filled the hole that was in our hearts knowing he was missing! Not necessarily in order, here are some pictures of Parker's first year:

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I Almost Died This Morning

Well, it felt that way. After being up all night with loud neighbors, then a teething baby and then my own frustration, my alarm went off at 5am. It was completely dark out so I rolled over until it went off again at 5:30. Repeat. At 6 I finally decided to get up, since I should have been running by then anyway. When I left the house for my eleven mile run it was 74 degrees and 100% humidity. 100% humidity. The first several miles I thought I might drown. Half of the run there was drizzle, but not the refreshing kind. The kind that happens when there is so much humidity in the air it has no where else to go but drizzle form. At the 10k point it felt like the humidity had dropped some and then by nine miles it felt worse again. Home now and it's 72 and 98% humidity. But... I DID finish. I've been training without music since I'm running on a lot of main roads and so I had lots of time to think. Today the post I wrote for Laura over at Mommy Run Fast went up. I'm so grateful to her for sharing some of her blog space/time and for her kindness. I'm also laughing at how I worded  "I had our third son" obviously that didn't come out like I thought it did. Wondering if I had mean to put "our third child, a son". Truthfully the past year has been such a blur of insanity that I'm glad that's the worst thing I did on there. I'm hoping to get a post up tonight (or maybe tomorrow...)about Parker's first birthday. For now I need to go get everyone ready for church- Happy Sunday!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For & Lots of Thanks

So last week I posted about how cool it looked to barefoot run and that I'd like to try it some time. Technically, we've probably all done the bare foot thing, as kids. But for some reason, as adults, it becomes an odd thing to do. Well, we have had complete insanity in our house the past couple of weeks. Aarik is now working six days a week, and his new schedule has been quite the adjustment for all of us. We've also had tons of people in and out of our home, which means lots of cleaning for me, and my niece has been staying with us for a week now, which means more cleaning for me. :) With all that's going on I'm quite tired and kind of out of it, and finding the need to rearrange my training days- not a good combination. Friday night, after another insanely busy day, I pulled the treadmill down for the first time in months and was running around the house trying to hurry up and get dressed to do a "quick three miles". Somehow during what should have been a simple task, I slammed my last two toes on my left foot into the bottom of the toilet. After the temporary black out that comes from doing something stupid and painful, I gathered my emotions and called a friend who's husband graduated from med school recently and got his opinion over the phone. After deciding not to go to the ER on a Friday night, I tried to put my tennis shoes on and was writhing in agony. So I took off my shoes and ran 1.5 miles on the treadmill. Barefoot. My toe only bothered me when it would jut out to the side (shudddder) and I stopped at 1.5 miles because I've always heard you have to be careful to ease into barefooting. By the time I got in bed a few hours later my little toe was very swollen and all sorts of fun colors and it kept me up all night. I just didn't feel good about taking Ibuprofen while I'm still nursing. I spent several hours at PrimeCare the next day and was told that "while it was hard to know for sure because of all of the other issues (breaks) I've had" they are pretty sure it's not broken. Take a little time off for the swelling and bruising to go down, ice it, cross train and get back on the horse. So I did the time equivalent of eleven miles on the elliptical (not fun btw)  and will just repeat this last week's mileage, running, this week. SIGH. Aarik and I just keep shaking our heads in disbelief that one person's feet could be under attack constantly. It's really becoming frustrating not knowing from one day to the next if I'll even complete training for the marathon, much less show up to run it. Just trying to remember the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation's "Never Give Up" motto.

Last week we reached 50% of our fundraising goal!!! Thanks to all of you wonderful, caring people who have donated so far and to Victoria Strong who has been so supportive and helpful. Thank you for helping me reach a personal goal to be half way before the half way point.  This fundraising is SO important for many reasons, but the thing that keeps coming to my mind is that with this disease parents are told there is nothing they can do to fight it. By raising this money we are doing something! This is really the only way these families can fight back. By funding projects that give their children better quality of life and research that will one day find a cure we are doing something. I'm so grateful to all of you who have given that to Callie's family by donating in her name. You're all so wonderful & you can't know how much the support means to us all. I can only imagine how it feels to Josh, Aimee and Callie to see how many people love & support them in all they're doing as well. Thank you all again!

One last thing, Laura over at, is a wonderful running and health food blogger. I've gotten some great advice from her blog and have been keeping up with her for a little while now. A while back she asked if I would be interested in doing a short guest post for a segment she does on Sunday's called Purposeful Running to talk a little bit about why I'm doing what I'm doing. She worked as a social worker before she became a SAHM, and being aware of what SMA is/was, wanted to help get the word out and help with the fight. Of course I jumped at the chance! She has a wonderful blog and lots of wonderful followers and this is one great way to spread awareness about Spinal Muscular Atrophy and our fundraising efforts for GSF. The post is supposed to be up this coming Sunday, July 22nd, for any of you who are interested. In the mean time, if any of you are runner's or looking to be more healthy with your eating, go check out her blog! BIG thank you to Laura!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Forced Step Back Week

So last week Aarik worked almost 60 hours. I ran in the 98 degree weather and with insane humidity for my mid week runs- a 3, a 5 and a 3. We have had lots going on with our house, and our car, and our kids. Not all bad stuff, just lots of stuff. Then on Thursday Aarik informed me he would be working Saturday morning from 6-12. Maybe all Saturdays from now on. Saturday mornings when I'm supposed to be doing my most important run of the week. Saturday mornings when most people want to sleep in and not get up and come to my house with my three kids at 5:30 am so I can get out the door to run. I REALLY, REALLY do not want to run on Sundays. I've done it before in a pinch, but I don't like the idea of making it a planned permanent thing, so I tried to get help. To no avail.  According to Hal Higdon it was supposed to be a step back week anyway. Bu according to my body in the past, step back weeks are a no no. Normally if I step back I pretty much have to start from scratch next long run. So I planned on running at least 11 instead of the 6 he said to run. Well, Saturday afternoon one of my very first and very favorite running buddies sent me a text to ask if I was up to running that night, so I jumped at the idea. If I could at least run the six my training plan suggested, but shoot for the eleven I wanted I would be good to go. Well, let me just tell you that a long run in the South, in the Summer, in the evening, after a crazy humid and very hot day may actually kill you. I wound up running and walking my six miles. It. Was. Miserable. Never again.

Tonight when I went out for my short three mile run I was surprised how strong my legs felt and how easy the running came. So smooth and natural, the way you're supposed to run after a step back week. Fingers crossed that my eleven this weekend will be as great! And, as a side note, I saw my first REAL bare footer tonight. No Vibrams, no moccasins, nothing. Just feet. Running in the same neighborhood as me. Completely bare foot. I felt the way walkers must feel when runners breeze past. I just watched him, feeling like I should be doing more. It was the first time I've ever thought of bare footing as an option. Pardon my French, but it just looked so bada$$. This is obviously not the time for me to experiment with it, and the lust for barefooting may pass as quickly as it came on, but for now I'm putting a pin in the idea. Considering I can't run in anything less cushioned than ASICS, I'm thinking I need to just let it go.

By the end of the month, if all goes according to plan I should be running thirteen miles. I had hopes to reach the half way point with fundraising by the time I reached the half way point in my mileage. Just a little personal goal that I think about when out running early on Saturday mornings. You have a lot of time to think when you run without music. It can be nice. Or weird. Depending on the day and what you had for dinner the night before, or how the heat plays mind tricks on you. If you know of any way to get the word out about  the fundraising pagethe race and the reason PLEASE help! I am in awe of the support that has been given by my friends and family, thank you all! This is quite a journey and a lesson to experience.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Committed and Determined... or something like that

Nothing says stupid crazy committed like starting a five mile run at 8:30 on July 4th in 90 degree weather with 50%  humidity and an air quality alert.Nothing says stupid crazy determined like finishing the 5 miles faster than you did in better, early morning weather last week.:) We did do something fun for the 4th this morning with lots of friends and I WILL blog about it, but since the batteries in my camera were dead today all I have is cell phone pics and I have to email them to myself to avoid loading insane amounts of other pictures.This week Aarik started his new (thankfully temporary) schedule and so I've had to run nights, and will continue to do so until he switches to his next schedule.not my favorite but it will have to do for now. Hope everyone had a wonderful Independence Day! I'll post pics and details of all of our fun soon!