Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I'm Baaaaaack!

Aside from being an awesome three-day weekend, with great food and great weather, this weekend was a huge confidence boost for my running! I had a fantastic 4.5 mile run on Saturday, which was my longest run since February, 2012, and it was a very smart run too! The weather was perfect, and I managed negative splits, which I tend to struggle with on my longer runs. I was so pleased with that run, that I would have been okay if that was my only run of the weekend, but I was really thinking about trying to run Monday night, too. I figured, if I went ahead and got a run in, I wouldn't need to worry about running in the morning, and the weather didn't suck, so maybe... The lazy part of me said "But, it's a holiday! You should take the day off! Take it easy! Plus, look at those rain clouds! You should stay home." I managed to ignore that voice, put on my running clothes, and headed out during what I thought was a break in the rain. I was totally wrong about the rain. Got really wet on my run, but I managed to bust out another sub-30-minute 5k, and missed hitting a PR by 3 seconds.

I've realized that I really don't run that many races, since my 5k PR is from July, 2011. But, I was thrilled with that race, since I managed to PR, despite the fact that it was July in Washington, DC! If you've never been to Washington, DC in July, all you need to know is that it's ridiculously hot, and stupidly humid. Not runner-friendly weather! Looking back on the race, I've realized that it wasn't really one to be proud of, since I didn't run it well at all. I busted my ass on the first mile, and then got waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay slower on the second and third. That's not how you want to run a race at all! You want to fly, not crawl across the finish line! So, when I managed to come this close to my PR on a dumb-ole run, without the adrenaline of race day, and nowhere near my physical peak (where I was in October, 2012), I was shocked, amazed, and hopeful. Maybe, just maybe this means I can get back to where I used to be as a runner!

Then yesterday, my BFF asked me if I want to do the Runner's World Run Streak with her. It involves running at least one mile every day between Memorial Day and July 4th. I've heard about streakers, but never really thought I would be one, since I would tend to stress out too much about stuff like that. The last thing I want is to end up not enjoying my runs. But, since this streak has a definite end date, and a short distance requirement, I think I can manage it. I figure, at the very least, I can take Mischa on a quick mile run on days I don't want to do a longer run. It will be good for me to get out every day, and I know she'll love it! So, I'm two days in, and so far so good! We'll see if I manage to keep it up...

Here's a breakdown so far:
  1. Monday, May 26th: 3.1 miles, 27:29, average pace: 8:58/mile. An awesome run in drizzly weather.
  2. Tuesday, May 27th: 1.11 miles, 11:06, average pace: 9:58/mile. Another wet run, with an unwilling running buddy. Yes, Mischa looooooooves to run, but she hates the rain, and the two kind of cancelled each other out.
A weekend of serious fun
And, and update on the Things: the babies had a great weekend, with family time, a playdate with another set of twins, and lots of time outside. Unfortunately, yesterday wasn't so great. While they were on their way back to our house with our nanny, the Things and Mischa were in a car accident. They were rear-ended while at a stoplight and the car was pushed forward into the car in front of it. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and hubby and I were nearby, and got there shortly after the accident. We decided to take the Things to the hospital, since Thing 2 was clearly upset, so mommy got her first ambulance ride! It was one of the most terrifying moments in my life, but it quickly became clear that Thing 2 was more scared than anything, and she had calmed down by the time we made it to the hospital. Thing 1 was a trooper the whole time, and just took everything in, from the flashing lights of the ambulance, to being held by the EMT. What a mellow boy! Actually, I think Mischa had it the worst: she literally had the crap scared out of her (yup, she pooped in the car), and was just relieved to be home safe and sound and snuggle all night.

After we got to the ER, the babies were admired by all the hospital staff, and quickly pronounced "perfect." We've checked with their pediatrician, and have been given the all-clear for them. They've quickly bounced back to their happy, active selves, which is a huge relief. Obviously, we're cuddling them a little more, and keeping a close eye on them, but they seem to be feeling no ill effects from the accident.

Speaking of active: we now officially have two mobile babies! Thing 1 decided enough was enough last week, and is now crawling almost as fast as Thing2 (of course, often in opposite directions)! We're quickly learning what babyproofing needs to be done, but it's so much fun to watch these two explore their home together.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

36 + 1

It seems impossible, but Thing 1 and Thing 2 have now spent as long on the outside as they did on the inside! Today, they are 36 weeks and 1 day old.

What a difference 36 weeks makes! 36 + 1 in, 36 + 1 out!
A lot has happened over the past 36 weeks! They're now turning into real people, who can sit up on their own, and (sometimes) get themselves where they want to go (Thing 2 has mastered the army crawl, while Thing 1 prefers to roll to  his destination--he's so close to crawling, but just not there yet). They stick everything straight into their mouths, from food to dog toys to body parts (their own, yours, each others'...they don't care!), and Thing 2 is working on her first tooth! They're sleeping through the night, with some early-morning discussions from Thing 1 to keep things interesting. They love to laugh, and have discovered how entertaining they are--there's nothing sweeter than hearing them make each other giggle (even when they should be sleeping). They love people, and are happiest when there's someone there to hold them, help them walk around the room, or just watch them do their own thing. When one of their favorite people walks into a room, they usually get a shriek as a greeting. It's pretty awesome to have two small people who are so excited to see you that they can't help but scream!

This past weekend was an adventure for all of us. My sister-in-law graduated from college in California on Saturday, and the whole family (minus the Things) went to cheer her on. It was our first trip away from the babies, but we just weren't prepared to consider taking them on a trip that would probably leave little time for napping. So, Nana and Grandad and GG (my parents and grandmother) came to stay for the weekend! It sounds like everyone had a great time, and Hubby and I enjoyed some much-needed sleep. The babies and Mischa were pretty tired when we got home--everybody played hard while we were gone. I was proud of how well I did while I was away from them. I was totally fine during the trip, right up until we landed back in Chicago. As soon as we were back, I couldn't get home fast enough. By the time we were about 5 minutes away from home, I was in tears! I needed to see my babies right away! I had a great time in California, and I'm so glad we got to see Leslie graduate, but it sure is good to be home!

In running news, I'm thinking about going back to evening runs for a while. While we generally get to sleep until 6AM, there are still mornings where somebody (usually Thing 1) wakes us up at 5:30, or sometimes even 4:30, and that lack of sleep really messes me up. I may regret this as summer starts up, and it gets hotter in the evenings, but I'm going to give it a try for a while. I'm still trying to focus on enjoying myself and just getting my runs in. It doesn't matter when they happen, just that they happen! I fell off the wagon last week, and didn't get my three runs in, but we were so busy getting ready for our trip and then enjoying California, and I only feel a little bad about it. I think I made up with quality what I lacked in quantity, though! I ran my first sub-30 minute 5k since before the babies were born! That used to be no big deal, but now it's a huge accomplishment!

This weekend will be our first Memorial Day weekend as a family, and we're looking forward to it. Hopefully there will be a play date with some other twin friends, maybe a trip to the zoo, probably some fun times's going to be great!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

My First Mother's Day

Hubby and I knew as soon as we saw that first ultrasound that our lives would never be the same. We knew our family life was suddenly going to be much different than we had expected. We knew it would be hard. We knew we were going to love these babies more than anything else.

Even though we knew a lot of stuff going in to the pregnancy and the early months of parenting, there are wonderful little things that surprise us every day. Watching the Things start to notice and interact with each other has been a beautiful revelation. Nap times and bed time will never be the same, but the past few days have been the most amazing preview of what's to come.

They make each other laugh all the time now, which has been so much fun. I never expected how much it would mean to me to watch their faces light up when they see each other, or how one will try to help when the other is upset. It's more than I could have ever imagined, and it's totally wonderful!

The babies are eight months old today, and tomorrow will be our first Mother's Day. I'm so excited for it, but I'm looking forward even more to the Mother's Days to come.

So big!
I'm still keeping up with running three times a week, and I'm working on adding other kinds of exercise to my routine as well, to hopefully get in some strength training and increase my flexibility. Of course, carrying the Things around as they get heavier is strength training on its own! My parents gave us a running stroller, so Hubby and I have been able to run together again, as a family. We're finally enjoying some spring weather, so it's been great to take the Things out of doors, and they really enjoy all the sunshine and fresh air.

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there! I hope you have a fantastic day! I'll admit that part of what I've asked for tomorrow is a nap--and I'm really looking forward to it!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

International Bereaved Mother's Day

Today is International Bereaved Mother's Day. It's a day I wish I didn't celebrate, but it's also probably the reason I'll be celebrating Mother's Day next Sunday.
Hubby and I almost had a very different family. I became pregnant in October, 2012 with a baby I never got to meet. It started out so easily, but it soon became clear that something wasn't right. The baby never developed past 6 weeks, I started spotting, and though the doctor wouldn't say anything, I started to worry. We lost our precious child in early December.
That holiday season was one I'd much rather have skipped. It wasn't in me to enjoy what should be a happy family occasion, when all I could think about was the family I'd lost.
We made it through the holidays together, thanks to the support of our families and lots of cuddles from Mischa. I don't know how we would have made it through without her. She was just we what needed when nothing else was right with the world.
We were very happy to say goodbye to 2012, and hoped for better news from 2013.
That news wasn't long in coming. I knew right away that I was pregnant again, and even though I was terrified during the entire pregnancy, it was such a relief that it happened again so quickly.
Even though I now have two perfect, healthy, wonderful babies to love; I often find myself wondering what if? My first baby was due in July, so watching that due date come and go was difficult. What would our life have been like if it were just just the 3 of us? I love our family, but I'll never stop loving the baby that might have been mine. I never got to know whether it was a girl or boy, and I never saw it as anything other than a heartbeat on the ultrasound, but it was still my first baby.
I wish I weren't a member of the group of strong women who celebrates this particular day, but it's made me the mother I am, and it has given me my beautiful children. Today, I celebrate the babies I have, mourn the one I never got to meet, and think with love of all the other women who have lost their children.