Thursday, September 18

Running Update

It's been quite the adjustment running in the Texas heat--but I'm surviving. I'm starting to get unreasonably anxious about the marathon (NYC on Nov 2) and just have a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head about it.

I ran the Plaza 10k in KC this past weekend (although I added 20k more to get me 18 miles) and it was glorious. I ran a 44:46 which was faster than I'd hoped. I was thrilled to finish so quick since I restrained myself a bit, knowing that I was still going to run 9 more miles after the race. The pictures below kind of crack me up... I ran the course twice--first as a race, then again just to get more miles in. Any guess which ones were the race and which were the extra fun miles?

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I also really love these pictures too--me finishing my first lap and then my second lap when I caught up with Vic and Abbey! Love that the race let you download the photos for FREEE!

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Back to the marathon--I've switched up my training schedule for the first time--all eight of my previous marathons have been done using the trusty Hal Higdon method (5-6 days of running) but this time I'm using the FIRST method, which is three VERY HARD runs every week. One track workout, one tempo run, one long run, two days of cross training. I've been doing the two shorter runs on the treadmill while the boys are in preschool and swimming two mornings a week. I try to squeeze in some Barre, but I struggle to make myself do it.

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We (or maybe just me) were feeling exceptionally silly after running 18 miles and having a few adult beverages... Also--look at the sweet medal!

The long run is still a challenge--I can't leave early enough for it to be cool so I just struggle and sweat in the heat. So much sweat that I KILLED my iPhone and had to get a new one. Sad face. It doesn't show any sign of cooling down soon, so I'm taking the heat as a valuable training tool and hoping it means I'll be super quick running in the cool fall weather in NYC.

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We've been friends a long time. 

I am not sure what I'm hoping will happen in NYC. First, I'm just excited to GO. Sol and I are going without the boys--so it will be a delight no matter what. I've wanted to run NYC for a long time and will probably never get the chance again, so I'm thrilled just to be there. I'm a little nervous about the hills--there's literally 3 feet of elevation change on my long run route, so I need to find a hill somewhere to get some practice on. Basically, I'm excited. I can't even guess if I'll qualify for Boston this time... it's still a 3:35 for me to qualify, and they let you in based on how much you beat your time by--so who knows how fast I'd actually have to run. All I know is I don't want to stress about it--I want to enjoy a trip to New York with Sol and I want to enjoy running in that amazing city! If I run fast--even better.

Monday, September 8

Braden and Keaton in Preschool

Braden and Keaton are BOTH going to preschool two days a week this year--do you know what that means??? It means freedom. Four sweet hours, twice a week where I can run, grocery shop, clean... and be in silence. Ahhhh...

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Braden did not love preschool last year. He cried about it every day (and got over it within minutes.) His teacher this year is SO sweet and I think he really likes it--he willingly went on Thursday and asked to go back Friday! Such a huge victory for this kid. He loves his new backpack that's "just like Finn's."

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Best thing about Texas? Preschool for one year olds!!! Keaton disagrees, but he really doesn't get a vote. He's got serious separation anxiety--I had to pick him early Tuesday and we're going to try slightly shorter days this week to ease him in a little. He's just in love with me. And who can blame him?? Our typical week will have two days of gym childcare, two days of preschool, a day a BSF and church nursery--so he will hopefully learn to love playing with other nice ladies soon!

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Um, does this backpack just kill you? It's monstrous on him, but I couldn't resist taking a picture of him in it. I want to kiss him all the time.

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Sol took some awesome pictures of me pretending Keaton is baby Simba and that I'm Rafiki. It's a normal game to play with your baby.

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Just a quick family picture so that we can remember that we all exist in the same place and time occasionally. Happy school starting!

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Monday, September 1

Keaton at ONE

Is this officially the latest post about a kid turning a year old? Yep, it probably is. Here's the important details...

Height: 28.25"
Weight: 19 lbs 4 oz
Head: 46 cm

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If you can believe it, he's even smaller than Finley at 1. My little peanut.  He's still a stinker about eating and sleeping. He loves to nurse and will feed himself some foods (carbs are his jam) and pouches of pureed stuff. I've approached feeding all three boys very differently--it's so crazy to see how different they are! He's still waking up once at night and I'm trying REALLY hard not to feed him. Some nights have a couple hours of crying around 1--some nights he goes right back to sleep after I cuddle him for a minute. And some nights I'm tired and I cave.

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He's serious about his crawling--and will finally walk around holding our fingers. He's not standing on his own for more than a second or two yet, but it all changes so fast, I'm sure he'll be chasing the big boys before they know what hit them. He pulls up well and will cruise around like crazy.

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Keaton loves Finley and Braden the most and just wants to be around them. Finley still is friendly towards him--occasionally hamming it up when Keaton is laughing at him. Braden... still not Keaton's biggest fan. Basically, whenever Keaton gets near him Braden asks me to "take care of Keaton."

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He seems to forget his tricks as quickly as he learns them--at points he's been able to wave and do SO BIG... but he's not so interested now. He says dada and that's about it. I'm still waiting on that elusive MAMA. Make no mistake, I'm his fave. We're working really hard to manage the separation anxiety so he can be a little more pleasant at preschool/gym/BSF/church... and I think we're making strides. Hopefully Tuesday goes well!

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Love you little boy!

Friday, August 29


Yes, I think I'm very clever.

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Finley started kindergarten this week. I was a mix of emotions leading up to it--excited because I knew he'd love it, relieved to have less kids in the house some of the day, sentimental that my baaaaaaby is big enough for kindergarten and nervous about him being in a new place for 7 hours a day. Would the kids be nice to him? Would he be nice to them? Will he make pals? Will he be able to sit quietly?

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Things didn't go quite as planned--he woke up Monday complaining of stomach pain... and then went ahead and puked to seal the deal. So we stayed home Monday and made our triumphant entrance Tuesday. Finley likes to tell evvvveryone that his first day was everyone else's second day. It was probably good for me we waited a day--the emotions were less high and it was a bit anticlimactic dropping him off. Although it means Sol missed his first day--he was out of town for a conference. Finley's a pro--he wasn't anxious at all and didn't care one bit that I was leaving him there. He was excited about the school supplies at his seat and the cool things in his room.

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I was expecting him to come home exhausted--but so far he's come home CHATTY. I think he has to sit quietly a lot and his little brain had a lot to dump when he got home. So far, he's gotten in a bit of trouble for sitting upside down in his chair (YEP) and kneeling at lunch instead of sitting. He's such a wiggly fellow--we're having to work hard to get him to sit still! I think he's struggling a bit at lunch--he says it's LOUD and likes to talk about the special stoplight they have that helps kids know when to quiet down. I'm praying he's challenged and learns a lot this year. It's quite a change from preschool! I'm planning on volunteering about as much as they'll let me when the little guys are in preschool (which starts Tuesday! Sweet freedom!)

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We are SO PROUD of this guy. He's grown so much from last year and is such a joy to be around--even when he's talking our ear off.

Friday, August 22

Keaton's First Birthday Party

Like his brothers before him, Keaton up and turned one.

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I agonized about what to do for this poor kid--we moved into our new house four days before his birthday. I wasn't sure how to throw together a party for him--and finally managed to put one together almost a month after the fact. He was sad and mopey on his actual birthday--turns out he had an ear infection AND hand, foot and mouth disease. He was beyond miserable. We all went out for ice cream on his birthday and he wouldn't even eat it. It was pathetic. Since recovering he's gotten two molars--and I'm praying those next two show up soon so we can be back to sweet happy baby all the time!

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For a kid who hasn't really embraced FOOD yet, he seemed to enjoy his cupcake! At least the icing, anyways. You can also see his new sweet necklace in this picture--it may or may not be helping with teething... but I'm not going to risk taking it off. Even though he was mistaken for a girl TWICE yesterday. Whoops?

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I put together a quick party for him--mainly so he couldn't hold it against me when he was big that he didn't get a first birthday... and also because I can't say no to a party. The theme was "You are my sunshine" because he is. He's definitely my little sunshine. True story: when I was in the hospital after having him, I got an email asking for a party in this theme, so I designed it while in the hospital. I felt like it was fitting to use it for him a year later!

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It was a quick and easy party that was a great way to celebrate a year (and a bonus month!) with this sweet boy. I bought a few cupcakes and decorations and printed a few things of my own--and threw it all together in the dining room while Sol took the boys to the park. First birthdays are so special--yes, the baby has no idea what's going on... but a year of loving a little person is worth celebrating. So we celebrated our sweetest, littlest guy. Next year, baby, we're going all out. Promise.

Tuesday, August 12

Keaton Grows Up

Well I couldn't commit to one way to do monthly photo pictures--so I did two. And of those two, I used two pictures also. Sooo... lots of progressive pictures through the last year.

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The eleven month picture never happened because we were living at my parents--but I snuck in a zero picture so there would still be 12. Can you even handle how skinny he was and then how he was chubby for like 15 minutes and is skinny again? Oh baby.

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The hardest part of these projects is keeping track of your photos--after I went through them every month I'd immediately pull out the four I wanted to use at the end of the year and put them in a special folder. I feel like my ability to pick the best picture was better when I wasn't having to look through 12 months of photos!

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These pictures make me really miss the Pennsylvania house--it had a huge two story family room with lots of windows and great light--the last pictures are kind of shadowy, which isn't bad... they just don't match the lighting on the others. I worked super hard to try and keep the white balance consistent and am not too disappointed with how they turned out! 

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What a gift these pictures are now! I love watching his hair get a little bit longer and seeing the same facial expressions he makes now over the past year. The calendar ones were a CHALLENGE at the end of the year, but we did it with some help from Sol. He's just such a JOY. Such a smiley, sweet guy. We're so so happy he's here with us. (Well, Braden is still not sure, but I'm confident he'll come around.)

Friday, August 8

Keaton at 10 months... and also 11. Even though he's ONE.

Time to give myself GRACE. Well, I never posted the 10 month pictures. And the 11 month pictures don't actually exist because the flowered chair and monthly calendar were on a moving van. Think Keaton'll forgive me? Probably. This post is two and a half months late--but I started writing it about two months ago... so there's that. I need to write his ONE YEAR POST but this one is haunting my Type A soul. So here's a bit about Keaton two and a half months ago...

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This boy is sweet sweet sweet.  He's about as smiley as he seems on Instagram. He is happy until he needs to eat or sleep and is pretty content to crawl around and play independently. We've put him through a lot lately... a few days in Virginia, 10 days in New England, 4 days in Kansas City and a few weeks in Little Rock. He's been so happy to let just about anyone hold him and play with him--as long as he can still see me. We're still struggling with being left in child care situations.

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At around 10.5 months he started crawling and finally gave up the scoot. We were on our trip to NH when he decided he would be a big kid and crawl around. And he is a speedy crawler now! Sometimes his hands don't quite keep up with his legs and he smashes his chin--and we're all real sad about it.

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Sleep continues to be a roller coaster. He'll have a few days where he'll just wake up once at night, and then he'll have nights where he'll wake up several times. He's a good napper--when we're at home he takes two pretty solid naps, and when we're out he catnaps in the car/stroller/Ergo. His naps are normally around an hour and sometimes will go to almost 2 hours. I'm trying to cut back to nursing four times a day (and around twice a night... but ideally ZERO) to encourage him to eat more foods. He was doing pretty well sucking down the little pouches but has been on a bit of an eating strike lately. I don't know why. He did get a seventh tooth! He's got a seriously sharp grin. He'll eat some table foods--I always try to give him cut up versions of what we're having, but he tends to only eat carb type things. Which is strange--he won't even eat fruit.

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He started babbling around 11 months (which seems rather late!) but now says da-da and clicks his tongue. We're, of course, delighted and act like he's the first baby to ever babble. He loves to play "SO BIG!" and thinks its funny when someone plays Peekaboo with him. He delights in his brothers and thinks whatever they are doing is the best.

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I feel like I should end this post with something about how hard it is to see him turn one, which is what Rachel from two and a half months ago would say... but SPOILER ALERT he turned one and the world kept turning. Stay tuned for those developments...

Friday, August 1

Things I Will Eventually Blog About

Well, hey there! I thought it was time to pop over and clear out some of the cobwebs and watch the tumbleweeds go by... I have no real pictures to go with this post because, well, we've been busy. We're pretty much moved in--there's even stuff on the walls thanks to my dear friends, Megan and Courtney, coming to help get house set up.

I feel like there are so many things to update on, I'll just do a little brain dump and preview of what will eventually get blogged about. And because I haven't taken any real pictures lately... we'll use some GIFs.

Keaton turned ONE!!! True to third child form, he's nine days into being one and has yet to have a party or celebration. Granted, he was diagnosed with an ear infection and Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease the day after his birthday and we're still recovering from that. There WILL BE a celebration. Maybe next week. Also--some day I will blog month 10 and 11 for that poor poor child. If he ever doubts my love and commitment to him, he can reference the literal ONE THOUSAND times I've gotten up with him in the middle of the night. One perk of his multitude of illnesses? He slept through the night because his mouth hurt too much to eat. Yep, second time ever. Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion of this GIF: what will happen in month TWELVE???

We moved into our house. It's in Beaumont, TX, not to be confused with Bomont, GA, setting of Footloose. You are allowed to dance here. It's very hot and full of critters. I've caught a lizard in the bathroom, had Courtney dispose of a cockroach, seen lots of frogs on the porch and seen a LOT of dead animals out on my runs. Also, cows. But basically--it's hot.

I've been running, and also Barre-ing. I'm registered for Marathon #9, the NYC Marathon, in November. You know what's perfect? Marathon training in July in Texas!!! Actually, it's the worst. I literally can not leave the house early enough for it to be cool. While in Little Rock, I did Pure Barre for a month and I loooooooved it. Such a fantastic workout and so great for runners. Obsessed and in withdrawal. I'm still trying to do some Barre online and considering going to a class at the gym... but mostly, I run.

I leave tomorrow for Vic's Bachelorette Bash in Kansas--and am excited to spend THIRTY HOURS away from my children. Sol would appreciate prayers. It's going to be amazing.

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