Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Running during Pregnancy

It's been an interesting journey keeping up my running during this pregnancy.  During my last pregnancy, I ran a marathon at 15 weeks.  I had already completed a lot of the training for the marathon when I found out I was pregnant and I was willing to make some modifications to my running to make sure I was keeping my baby safe (I answered some questions about that here). Basically, I brought along plenty of water, added some walk breaks, and changed to a marathon that happened when I was 15 weeks instead of 20.

But along the way, I struggled with a knee injury that made the marathon hard to complete.  After the run, I kept off my legs for a few weeks to recover and let that injury heal, and by that point, I just didn't feel much like running again.

This time around, I started the pregnancy as a much stronger runner.  I've run a half marathon every year since 2011 and I've done well at keeping up a basic 10K fitness this year.  It's been years since I took a walk break during a run, and I've come to depend on running to keep me fit and feeling great. So I haven't been anxious to give up running.

The first trimester was great.  I ran a 4-miler with my best per-mile-average yet at 6 weeks (9:06 average pace).  I ran a nine-miler training run that felt great around the same time.  Basically, I found that for the first few months, I could keep up the same regular training (3-4 milers twice a week, a 5-6 miler on Saturdays) at the same conversational pace with no problems.

My motivation was easy to keep up this time because I hardly experienced morning sickness, thanks to the miracles of modern medicine.  I signed up for a 10K when I'd be 20 weeks along, hoping to keep up my motivation for the longer runs and maintain as much fitness as I could.

Starting around the first of the year, or about 12 weeks, the running started to get harder.  I was getting bigger and feeling a lot more worn out at the end of longer runs.  But I was able to push through and keep it up.  Just to prove I could, I did my favorite, but very challenging, 7-mile-loop when I was 15 weeks, running up and around the Provo Temple.  It was hard, but it felt great.
Me at 14.5 weeks

But I was also feeling a lot of pulling and discomfort in my belly and back when I ran.  The addition of a belly band has helped a ton.

19.5 weeks
On March 7th, I ran my 10K.  I told myself to I could go slow and I planned on pulling in 11-minute miles.  But I didn't time myself at all along the race, just ran as fast as felt reasonable.  I ended up finishing the race in 1:03:57, a 10:21 average pace, much faster than I expected.  It felt great to have worked so hard.  The last twenty minutes or so were really tough and I felt pretty wiped out (you can see me sprint to the finish line on this video, and the look on my face shows my exhaustion well).  Still, I was proud of myself for having enough left in me to sprint at the end.

20 weeks, 2 days, the day of my 10K

My husband, who has been running 5 or 6 days a week since the fall (when he beat me soundly in a weight-loss challenge), ran his first 5K since high school, and did extremely well, finishing in 23:36, with a pace of 7:37.  The brat!  :)  Seriously, I am really proud of how hard he's worked, but his native speed makes me slightly jealous.  I've worked my tail off for years to go from slow to average, so to have him come in 7th out of 31 with just six months of running experience could be disheartening.  If he'd been older by six months, he would have been 2nd in his division!  But I've never been about speed, and it's awesome to see him love running.  And I love that he's lost 60 pounds, too.

In the weeks since the 10K, it's become harder and harder to run.  My legs and arms have started to feel heavy, as if the blood just isn't circulating as well.  It feels a lot like when I was running after recovering from my miscarriage and the loss of blood.  Only this time, the blood is there; it's just supporting my cute little baby boy instead of my legs and arms.  And the belly band, while being very supportive, also lies right around my bladder area, which is already at reduced capacity.
22 weeks, right after a 3 miler

My running partner has been wonderful to slow down with me and the last few times, I've ditched the timer so I won't worry about speed.  And how I feel on a run seems to vary by the day.  I ran 3 miles this morning and felt better than I did the last couple of runs.  But I'm 24 weeks on Thursday and I'm thinking this might be the week I quit in favor of less intense cardio.

23.5 weeks
It's been a fun challenge to keep it up as long as I can.  I was complaining to my doctor last week about how hard it's become and she smiled as she said, "Have I talked to you about swimming?"  I told her I just wanted to keep it up as long as I could and she said, "Why?"  I realized that I really didn't have a good reason.  I don't care about what others think -- most people won't care whether I quit at 12, 20 or 28 weeks. But I realize that running for me has become a challenge that I enjoy -- I feel a desire to improve, to see how well I can do, just to prove to myself that I can.  It might not make a lot of logical sense, but I got it fixed in my head that I wanted to run until 28 weeks so I wanted to do it, even if it wasn't any fun and even if it hurt.  But I think I'll settle for 24, unless I feel so great after Thursday's run that I change my mind again.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

One a Day, Week Twelve

Ice cream in the backyard on a warm spring day

This is how I feel about spring too.

Eliza and one of her favorite friends

My two boys

Family Home Evening

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Potty Training Fail, Illness, and New Toys

Potty-training Cami didn't last long, darn it.  After starting two weeks ago Monday, she, she got sick on Wednesday and between throwing up and explosive diarrhea, we went back to diapers.  She's better now, but says she wants to stay little a bit longer and not wear underwear.  So we'll try again in another month or two.

* * *
Speaking of illness, Cami felt better by Friday.  Then Saturday night, four of the little girls threw up in the night.  They felt fine by Monday, when I got hit with it.  Then Tuesday of last week, Michael threw up, followed by Katie on Wednesday.  If I'd been smart, I would have just cleared my calendar for two weeks once Cami got sick.  But I'm ever the optimist and always hope the rest of us will be spared.  It's been nearly a week since the last one got sick and I'm hopeful we've seen the last of it.  DH, Lillian, and Joey were the only ones spared.
Cami back to her old self and ready to pump some iron.

* * *

I got a couple of new camera toys last week.  I'd saved up enough for another lens and was debating between a smaller prime that's easier to carry around or a macro lens for close-ups.

But there's been this red-tailed hawk that has been perching on a tree in our backyard almost every day for a weeks, and it's been driving me crazy that I can't zoom in very close, so I decided to go for a wildlife lens.  I'm excited to take it out to the lake and to the beach with my kids.  It's 600mm on the long end, and it's been fun to play with.  But man, it's a tank!

I feel like a member of the paparazzi carrying it around, but it's been fun to get photos of my kids from a distance.  That red-tailed hawk, however, has only shown up once since I got the lens and I wasn't able to get it onto my camera fast enough before it flew away.

My other new toy was a macro extension tube for all of $15.  It fits between my camera and a lens and makes it possible to focus extremely close to the lens.  It's a little tricky to work, as it has only a fixed spot where the subject is in focus (no zooming in and out and re-focusing), I have to manually focus the lens, and the depth of field is extremely narrow since I can't close down my aperture, but it's still been a fun little toy to take flower photos with.

Before, this was about as close as I could get to my crocuses:

Decent enough photos, but nothing like the fun of getting in even closer:

I have so much more I want to write about -- the 10K I ran a few weeks ago, the races my husband and kids have been doing, how my kids are learning to be better and more independent cooks in the kitchen, how I've picked up some fiction books lately and have been reminded of why I don't read them often (because I ignore everyone anything until I find out what happens next!), and more.  

But I've only got a few more minutes today, so I'll save it for next week.  Life is good.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

One a Day, Week Eleven

Growing the bangs out

Joey playing basketball with one of our favorite neighbors.  He's using the force to levitate the ball in the air.

Pi Day Breakfast

Sunday games

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

One a Day, Week Ten

I had a couple of days this week where I almost forgot to take a photo.  But I still haven't missed a day yet!

These silly bands are always all. over. my. house.

Allison and Sarah helped me plant seven fruit trees last week!

We love our haircuts!
Harmony:  "I love my mom because we go places together.  We love to go to the stors and we love to go on trips and she loves us.  My mom makes food for us.  she takes us to school and plays games with me.  I love you mom."

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Potty Training Tips from a Mother of Nine

I started potty training Cami yesterday.  She sat on the potty, wiped, flushed, washed her hands and got her potty treat a dozen times.  She also peed -- in her underwear -- twice, both quite soon after having visited the bathroom.  She has yet to actually deposit anything into the potty.  Yeah, I'm really good at this.  :)  Some of my kids have been super easy to train and others super hard, and it doesn't always match up with their personalities.  Katie was pretty tough as a toddler, so I dreaded potty-training and put it off as long as I could.  Then, a few months after she turned three, we potty-trained her in the course of a couple of days.  And that was it.  No accidents, she stayed dry at night, and no complaints.  Others of my kids had accidents for months afterwards.  About half of my kids have needed pull-ups at night for years afterwards, but that's more a matter of how deep they are genetically programmed to sleep rather than any kind of potty-training dos or don'ts.

Crazy, Intense Katie!
I don't consider myself a potty-training expert by any means.  It's not something I ever look forward to, and though I've somehow managed to have 8 success stories so far, it's never a guarantee that this time will go well.

Still, I have learned a few things.

My best tips for potty-training:

1.  Wait until they are close to 3.  Sure, your kid might be able to do it sooner, but usually, it involves a lot more work on your part and a lot more accidents.  Waiting until almost three almost always makes it go faster and allows the child to be more aware of their own bodies and more able to manage the many steps required.

2.  Talk a lot about potty-training in the months and years before you do it.  I often point out while changing diapers, for example, "right now, you are using diapers.  When you get bigger, you'll make your poop and pee in the potty!"  Talk it up and make it sound like an exciting, grown-up thing to do.  Read books about potty-training and share your excitement about how great it will be when your child is also big enough to wear underwear.

3.  Pick a week when there is not a lot going on.  Try to stay home completely for the first few days.

4.  Make a special trip to the store to let the child pick out her own underwear.  I prefer to start with training pants since they have the ability to contain accidents a lot better.

5.  Buy potty treats.  I usually use M&Ms or something similar.  During the first few weeks of training, I give out 2 M&Ms for sitting on the potty and trying, even if nothing happens, and a whole handful when poop is made.  After a few weeks, the potty treats usually run out, but by then, the child is pretty well trained, so I don't have to buy more than one big bag.

6.  On the days you start potty-training, have the child wear just underwear, with no pants.  It makes it easier for them to pull them up and down and saves on laundry for accidents.  It also helps remind the child that something is different and helps them remember to go into the bathroom.  Some of my friends swear by having their child run around completely naked and giving them the underwear after they are successfully trained, but I just can't handle the thought of an accident going everywhere, nor do I want to go to the effort of keeping them on hard floors for several days in a row.  Give your child plenty to drink.

7.  Give it a good try for at least 3 days.  The first couple of days, lead your child into the bathroom at least every 30 minutes, whether they go or not.  Have them practice pulling down their underwear, sitting and trying, wiping, flushing, and washing their hands.  Praise them for trying and talk up how grown up and wonderful it is to be using the potty and getting potty treats.

8.  Don't make a big deal of accidents.  Help the child clean it up, change into a fresh pair of underwear, and remind them "We need to keep our pretty new underwear dry.  Let's go pee in the potty next time."

9.  If it obviously isn't working after a week, go back to diapers for a few months.  That's SO much better, in my opinion, than having a half-trained child running around having accidents often.  Don't make a big deal of it and just continue to talk up the excitement of "when you're bigger, you'll get to wear underwear again!"  Then try again.  Trust me, it's much better to wait and have success with a fully-potty-trained child than to push on and deal with constant accidents.  Of course, even if everything goes well, your child will likely have a few accidents here and there.  When that happens, show some disappointment and show them how to clean it up, but don't get angry or punish them.

Here's to success -- yours AND mine!

I'm hoping all goes well with Cami.  If so, it will be the first time in almost 16 years that I haven't had a child in diapers.  And it will last all of 4 months before baby Benjamin is born.  :)

Friday, March 06, 2015

It's a . . .

I think I'll let Cami share our news:

We're super excited, at least as "not excited" as Cami is.

Lillian, Allison and Sarah had a good time trying to interpret the different blobs on the ultrasound screen (they don't have quite as much experience with that as I do).  They were especially excited when the gender was revealed.  I had Lillian call to tell her dad, then the four of us went out for lunch.

Best news of all, though, is that everything looked great with baby's development.  That's not something to take for granted.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015


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