Love.

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Love is sitting in your car for 1 hour because your precious boy is napping in the back seat and you know that he’ll wake up if you try to move him.

Of course, my sacrifice is somewhat diminished since I live in Florida (not Alaska) and I can access my home’s Wi Fi connection. Plus, I have an iPhone, which provides endless hours of entertainment. Seriously though, I would be sitting here even without Wi Fi or an iPhone or even if I lived in Alaska because the thing that no one tells you about motherhood is that you would do most anything to make sure that your little love is happy/rested/content.

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16 Miles And Counting…

I ran 16 miles this morning. I was afraid of that distance all week, but I decided to get out there and pretend that I ran 16 miles all the time. You know what? It totally worked. I breezed right through it and if I wasn’t sticking to a specific training plan, I would have absolutely kept going to 18 or 20 or however far I got until my legs gave way.

Right now, I feel like I can do anything and that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I’m training for a marathon. I crave this feeling. It’s my drug and by the end of the week, I’ll be ready for another dose of it. I feel powerful and invincible. I feel like climbing a mountain, or cleaning out my garage – equally daunting tasks.

Instead, I’m going to take a scalding hot shower and eat a cranberry walnut bagel (with butter) and drink an entire pot of coffee. Then, in about 6 hours, I’m going to soak my feet in an ice bath and pray to the good Lord that I don’t lose another toenail. Oh well, even invincibility has it’s drawbacks.

Day at the Museum

I recently bought our family annual passes to the local Children’s Museum. I thought that it was time for Parker to be exposed to science and art…plus, it’s a place that he can run around like a maniac when the weather is bad and we’re going stir crazy in our house.

So, Meg joined us as we set out on our maiden voyage to the museum. Parker is definitely into touching things, so this type of hands on setting is perfect for a curious little boy like him and even though he’s still small, he didn’t have any difficulty interacting with the exhibits.

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Here, we’re pedaling (ok, I’m pedaling and he’s supervising my progess) to generate enough watts of energy to run certain household appliances. The faster you pedal, the more power you generate. I’m wondering why they don’t have generator-bikes on the market for the general public because I would definitely buy one for the house. “Alright boys, you can’t have dinner until you generate enough energy to start the oven!”

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And here, Aunt Meg is hoisting Parker’s considerable weight, while he’s (again) supervising.

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At this particular exhibit, you could replicate a hurricane. May I bring your attention to the adoring look on Parker’s face? Yes, he certainly had enough of mom that weekend and was thrilled to have someone else to interact with. He also insisted on holding Meg’s hand the entire time we were outside instead of mine. He certainly is learning at a young age how to work his way into a girl’s heart. I’m pretty sure that Meg would have taken him home that day.

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And here is my alien child. I was actually quite terrified by this exhibit (my worst nightmare!) so we didn’t go into it, but Parker looked cute peeking through the sign. I’m still not sure why they would have a Roswell exhibit at the Children’s museum (shudder), but fortunately it was tucked out of the way. If you are reading this without a clue as to why I’m so freaked out, trust me, you really don’t want to know.

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I had to post this picture simply because I got yelled at for taking it by some 18-year-old who thought she was guarding the Mona Lisa. Plus, it shows all three levels of the museum.

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Finally, here are some other random exhibits that I couldn’t figure out, but Parker instinctively knew what to do. I’m sure that there’s merit to the theory that people lose intelligence with age. I’m definitely dumber than a 5th grader.

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Football Season

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Football season is a very busy time of year for us. Florida State plays on Saturdays and the Redskins and Steelers play on Sundays (or Mondays). The Irishman and I have a silent feud over which NFL team Parker will support. As a baby, he had both a Steelers and a Redskins bib, but the Irishman’s recent trip to Heinz Field greatly expanded Parker’s Steelers wardrobe. Yup, the Steelers definitely loom larger in our house, (aided primarily by the Irishman’s sheer volume), but I have a plan.

If Parker is anything like I was growing up, he will move in the exact opposite direction than you want him to. And when he rebels against the loud, garish Steeler gold, I’ll be waiting in the wings with a viable alternative – my beloved Redskins. We don’t run around flaunting our Superbowl victories and we prefer to use gold as an accent color. Besides, I’ve always been a fan of the underdog and I have a feeling that Parker will too.

My other advantage is that our house is 100% Florida State, so if we can succeed in making him a Florida State fan, then the Redskins would be a natural extension (same theme, similar colors…) To that end, Parker has a Florida State jersey and the Irishman has arguments with himself as to whether Parker will be a quarterback or a wide receiver. Little does he know that I’m pretty sure Parker is genetically predisposed to be a swimmer, which I might add, results in far fewer sports related injuries and cardiac arrests for the parents who have to watch.

Of course, only time will tell what sport Parker will end up playing, but in the meantime, he looks awfully cute in his jersey.

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Freezing My Tail Off…Literally.

Hi folks. Sorry it’s been so long since my last post. I was in St. Louis last week for a criminology conference. I have lots of pictures to post from Parker’s tiny birthday party and a trip to the museum, but while I’m working on editing those, I thought I would write about what’s been most on my mind…freezing weather!

When I checked the temperature for my run this morning, I cringed when I read that it was 34 degrees outside. So, I promptly layered on my short-sleeved shirt, long-sleeved shirt, jacket, gloves, ear muffs and running tights. I stepped outside and it was so cold, I still felt like I was in my skivvies. This was not good.

I drove down to the track with icicles for fingers willing my car to warm up and wondering if I’ve completely lost my mind. Most sane people, I was sure, were still tucked into their nicely heated homes snoozing away for at least another hour or two. I, on the other hand, was making my way to a pitch black running track. My crazy theory was confirmed when there wasn’t a single car in the parking lot. Yup, I was the only crazy out this morning, but at least my friends were going to join me.

When they showed up, I felt much better. Misery loves company and we were a chorus of groans and complaints as we walked to the other side of the track. We left all of our layers on as we started our warm up, but slowly, we started peeling layers off one at a time until, at mile four, I was running in a short-sleeved shirt and gloves.

It’s amazing how quickly your body warms up. It equally amazing that you forget this fact every single time you head out for an early morning run. I’m half convinced in the ride over that this particular time, I will not get warm. I will run with chattering teeth and numb fingers cursing the first time that I ever laced on running shoes. Thankfully, that’s never happened and the bigger concern is making yourself pile on all of your layers after your run so that you don’t catch a chill on the way home.

What’s funny though is that, while your muscles warm up, your fat cells never do. It has something to do with the fact that blood does not circulate as well through fat as it does through muscle. So, without fail, I hop into a searing hot shower after my run and feel as if my backside (the largest deposit of fat on my body) is frostbitten. This process invariable serves as a reminder that regardless of how fit I think I am, there’s always room for improvement.

Happy Birthday Parker!!

Wow, I can’t believe that today is Parker’s 2nd birthday. It seems like yesterday that I was checking into the hospital. Like most surreal events, I remember every detail of his birth so clearly. I thought it would be fun to post his birth story here along with some pictures of his first days, so I dug up the original birth story I wrote just hours after his birth. Happy reading!

11/11/2006 – We checked into the hospital at 5pm for our planned induction. The previous Wednesday, we had an ultrasound at 40 1/2 weeks that estimated Parker’s weight at 9 – 9 1/2 lbs. We agreed that it was in Parker’s best interest to induce at 41 weeks. The last thing that I wanted to end up with was a C-section. The doctor inserted the Cervadil at 7:30pm and we settled into the hospital for a long night full of monitors, fluids and shuffled trips to the restroom. I didn’t sleep at all.

Waiting to check into the hospital.

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One of my many trips to the restroom.

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11/12/2006 – The Cervadil fell out by itself at 6am and the OB decided to start the Pitocin at 7am. I began having regular contractions immediately, but they were not very painful. At 10am, the OB decided to break my water, which really increased the intensity of the contractions. In all honesty, if felt like someone was hitting me in the back with a sledgehammer (not that I’ve ever experienced that, but you get my point.) The worst part about the contractions was that I didn’t know how much longer I had to go through them.

I labored without any drugs until 4:30pm, when the contractions began coming every 90 seconds and were very, very painful. The most difficult part of the labor process was deciding to get an epidural. I had really wanted to complete the childbirth process naturally, but those Pitocin contractions were excruciating and combined with the fact that I had intense back labor, I could not relax enough to allow my cervix to dilate rapidly. When I received the epidural, I was 5cm dilated. About an hour later, I felt like the epidural was wearing off on one side because I began to feel the contractions again. When the OB checked me, we were all shocked when she said that I was complete and I could start pushing.

The high risk team was already planning on being in the room due to the fact that there was meconium present when my water was broken, but when I started pushing, their presence was necessary because his heartrate began dropping drastically. We all got a little scared because we knew that he was distressed in the birth canal and the OB told me I needed to push with everything I had to get Parker out because he wasn’t doing well in the birth canal. So, she gave me an oxygen mask and needless to say, I pushed with all of my might and he was born less than 20 minutes (and three pushes) later at 6:02pm. He was 9 lbs. 2 oz. and 20 1/2 inches long at birth. He is absolutely perfect in every way and we couldn’t be happier! Happy Birthday Parker!

Just minutes old!

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The Irishman meeting Parker for the first time.

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24 hours old.

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Man, how tired do I look?

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Ready to go home!

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All in all, this was the most incredible experience of my life. Happy birthday Parker and thank you for letting me be your mom. I love you.