Friday, August 6, 2010

is it really august already?

Wow - it's been a while, again. July was a busy month - David & I went on a kid-free vacation for a few days. We went to Playa del Carmen. It was our first trip of more than one night without the children, and I was worries I would miss them too much to have fun, but I didn't. I did miss them terribly, but it was so nice to have a break & just be able to sit back & relax. It was nice to have time to just focus on us as a couple, and to just do nothing. The weather wasn't perfect while we were there, but we made the best of it. We did some touristy stuff, we hung out by the ocean, we swam, I read 4 (YES 4!) books.

According to my parents, the kids were well-behaved while we were gone. They did ask us every night on the phone when we were coming home though. (The kids, not my parents.) Scarlett will often randomly say "I really love you all the time." Well she recently started getting on the phone & saying it, followed by "so byebye" and she snaps the phone closed (we only have cell phones in our house). We called my parents on their landline one night & she tried to do that to us on it. My dad was laughing so hard, he said you should have seen her face when she tried to fold the phone closed & it wouldn't fold up. My crazy girl.

I stayed at my parents' house for another 1.5 weeks when we got home, while David had to get back to work. Matthew told me a few time he wanted to live in GA all the time. He then told me he wanted us to move our house to GA. If only he knew how much his mommy wants that too! But we have a comfortable life here, and while we've tried to figure out ways to get back "home", those ways are riskier than I'm willing to take right now. I'm comfortable enough with the status quo, and we get home often enough that I'm content. I would be happier there though. That makes me feel bad, like I'm saying I'm not happy, but I am happy.

I'm marathon training...AGAIN! NYC Marathon is the first Sunday in Nov, and I'll be there. This week I also signed up for 2 marathons next year. I fretted about the first one, thinking we are planning to TTC after I run in NY. A friend pointed out that just because we're TTC doesn't mean I'll get pregnant, and she's seen people put their lives on hold waiting on pregnancies that don't happen. While I've been extremely lucky & gotten pregnant easily, I am getting older & realize that things change, and it doesn't always happen easily. It was presumptuous of me to assume I would be pregnant next May (which was worrying me about signing up for the 1st marathon), and I decided I'd just try to maintain my fitness as much as possible IF I am pregnant & I will run/walk what I can of the marathon. This marathon is for a cause in a way, so it was important to me to take part in it. Then I just got carried away in excitement today & registered for one next fall too. That one has a half that I can "downgrade" to if I am pregnant or have just had a baby, and I'm pretty confident I can maintain my fitness well enough to complete a half.

We are taking Matthew to Iowa later this month for his feet. The doctor there has been wonderful communicating with us via email, and we feel it's better to go there now than wait & let the doctor here do surgery. The physical therapist we've been seeing has seen improvement since we've been going but says he thinks he's done all he can & that Matthew would benefit from more casting. We're praying the doctor in Iowa can achieve the desired results with *just* casting; meanwhile, we're trying to figure out how to explain what's going on to Matthew so he's prepared, when in reality we don't even know what will happen once we get to Iowa. I don't want to scare him going into it, but then I don't want him to be surprised by things either....hopefully we'll figure something out.

I'll try to update more often so they can be shorter :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

once a month blogger

Maybe I need to rename the blog. I haven't been neglecting it on purpose, but it is definitely neglected. I've been trying to spend less time at the computer, and a lot of that time is spent on various groups and message boards. This still gives me a nice outlet though. This week is a busy week for us, with Father's Day starting it off. I am so fortunate to have great fathers in my life. My daddy (yes I call him that) is the best dad there could possibly be. He is strong and things are very black & white with him...there's a definite right and wrong, but when we fell on the wrong side, he still showed us his love and support. I used to think it was corny when my mom would tell us that we needed to grow up and marry a man like our daddy, but then again I didn't ever plan on getting married. Then when I met David things changed. I knew within a short time that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. And yes, he's a LOT like my daddy. That same quiet strength, that same quirky sense of humor, that same work ethic that gives me comfort he will always find a way to provide for us, I could go on. He is a wonderful father to our children, and I am blessed.

The second special day this week was our wedding anniversary. I've already mentioned what a wonderful man David is, but I haven't mentioned that I'm more in love with him now than I was when I decided getting married wasn't such a bad idea after all. I love him more and more with each passing year. Maybe that's as corny as my mom telling us to marry a man like my dad, but it's true. We didn't really celebrate our anniversary, but we planned an almost week-long trip without the children in early July, and it started as an anniversary trip, but it made more sense to take it in July than June.

The third special day this week is Scarlett's third birthday, which is Saturday. I can't believe it's already been 3 years, yet when she tells people she's 2 they don't believe her. I know I'm her mom, but she is incredibly advanced in her language and actions to be just turning 3. She has so much personality it is amazing - she doesn't meet a stranger, unless she is being moody & then she buries her head in my shoulder or leg. She has a fierce independent streak just like her mommy. She's also so mischievous but it's hard to "fuss" at her because she's just so darn cute. And she knows it!

I'll try to be a better blogger from now on. :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

my first marathon

Short version: I did it! Finished in 4:35:35 and according to my Garmin I ran 26.6 miles. Gotta learn to run the tangents! ;) I never asked myself "why are you doing this?" and I never said "I'm not doing this again." Notice I titled my post "my first marathon"...God willing there will be more. I'm scheduled for NYC in November & am debating running Detroit 2 weeks before that.

Long version:

We left Friday night for Cleveland. Saturday morning we got up & took the kids downtown for the kids' run....they had a blast! It was pretty crazy, especially with the 3 & under group - a lot of them cried for their parents so a lot of parents ran with them. My children were so excited to have a number & I kept telling them when they finished they would get a medal so they each took off when it was their turn to race. Matthew fell not far from the start, but he got right up & then ran around a whole group that had fallen on top of each other. He didn't seem bothered by his fall at all, so I was proud. (He was born with bilateral clubfoot & is still "overcorrected" so runs with his toes out. I am just thrilled he runs!) They were SO proud of their medals.

We left the kids' races and went to the expo. I didn't think the expo was very good but I got my number and shirt, looked around at the vendors but didn't buy anything! That afternoon we drove the route just so I would kind of know where I was going and also to look for parks/playgrounds around that David could take the kiddos to play while they also watched the race. Got to bed late Saturday night, but I figured I would be too anxious to sleep anyway. Turns out I slept great.

Woke up at 5:45, ate breakfast, got dressed, took some things down to our car, and headed to the start line. I found the 4:30 pace group & planned to run with/near them. I run/walk so I knew I wouldn't be with them the whole time. I ended up staying with them until the 6 mile marker when I really had to pee. Of course there was a line for port-a-potties but I had been on the lookout for a place to sneak off & pee & hadn't seen one, so I got in line. I ended up wasting 4.5 minutes in line! ARGH!

Around mile 8 another runner kind of pushed me sideways to get my attention, then pointed off the route. I turned to see David & Matthew running toward the course...David was trying to get to that street with the kids to watch & didn't really make it in time. I ran over & gave them hugs and went on. Around mile 11 I saw them again - he said I looked strong & I told him I felt great. Around 12.5 the half marathoners split off and the course suddenly felt empty. I wasn't really prepared for that feeling. Around mile 13 I had to pee again but I didn't have to wait in line! YAY! (You know, every second counts!) Around mile 19 I saw David & the kiddos again - I told him I'd make it 7 more miles and he said they'd see me there. Right after that I had to pee AGAIN! I stood in line for a couple of minutes but then was on my way.

All along I kept noticing my pace and I was right on to finish in 4:30. I guess I got slower because when my Garmin showed 4:00 I was at the 23 mile marker. Garmin showed I had run 23.37 miles at that point, so I knew I still had 3.2 miles to go. I knew there was NO WAY I was going to run 3.2 miles in 30 minutes and I just starte sobbing. I was doing that heaving sob that comes from deep down in your belly, you know the one? I can't really describe it but I'm sure you would know if you could hear the sound effects. Anyway, trying to run while crying like that doesn't work very well so I took a walk break. I gave myself a really stern talking to and got myself under control. I had to tell myself that it didn't matter if I didn't finish in under 4:30, I was going to finish that damn race & I should be proud of myself for accomplishing that, no matter how long it took. I walked for 3 minutes and was finally not sobbing anymore so I could breathe & run. I took off, felt great the last 3 miles, got high fives from David & the children as I approached the finish line, and crossed it at 4:35:35.

As soon as I crossed the finish line and got my medal I could feel tears coming but another runner who had just finished too looked at me & said "congratulations" and all the emotion kind of disappeared. I congratulated him on his finish and wandered off for chocolate milk & pretzels. (apparently they had bananas but ran out before the 4:00 mark!)

I found David & the kiddos, we went back to the hotel so I could shower and then we headed to Kalahari, an indoor waterpark. We stopped pretty often for me to walk around and when we got the park I felt pretty good. We got in the lazy river & the wave pool, but also rode some of the waterslides. Even climbing the stairs I felt pretty good. My quads were a little sore but not too bad, and nowhere else hurt. Monday morning I felt stiff getting out of bed but once I was up & moving I felt good. I think the waterpark really helped in my recovery. Monday afternoon I had a massage at the hotel spa, that was pure heaven. Tuesday we spent more time at the park & in the water, and we came home Tuesday night.

I have mixed emotions about this race. I am proud of myself because it is a huge accomplishment, but I'm also frustrated that I didn't make that 4:30 goal. I really thought I could, and honestly, if I hadn't had to stop to pee, I could have done it. So, any runners out there reading this....how do I not pee during a race?

Friday, April 30, 2010

been a while

I've been pretty slack about blogging lately so here are a few updates.

First: the feet...we set up the initial evaluation for PT & the therapist thought Matthew definitely had a tight achilles and that his hips are weak. We had one session, they gave us some exercises to do at home, and then we had to wait on insurance approval before continuing. I am struggling to remember to do the PT every day, and still haven't figured out the best time for it in our daily routine. I'm working on this, as I know how important it is. We just got insurance approval this week & he has had 2 sessions since then. The therapist said he can already see an improvement so that is very encouraging.

Second: the job - David's not mine since I dont' have one. He got a new position and we will be relocating. As much as I've talked about wanting to go closer to "home", this move will take us a lot farther away. Instead of being a 14 hour drive, we will have a 14 hour flight. But 14 hours is 14 hours, right? In a few months we will be moving to Turkey. I am beyond excited about this opportunity, even though I know there are a lot of decisions and things to do before we move. I am glad the children are old enough they will remember living there, I am hoping we can really immerse ourselves in the way of life and gain a lot from it. It is a 3 year project & we will return here when it is over. :)

Third: running - I'm tapering now for the marathon in 2(!) weeks. I still can't believe I'll be running that distance, but I will do it somehow someway. I already have a little bit of prerace jitters, but that's more questioning if I've prepared as well as I should and wondering what I need to do to travel to a race that I haven't already considered. Regardless, I plan to enjoy the race and the weekend.

Fourth: weight loss - I'm not losing as quickly as I'd like but it's still slowly melting away. Hopefully the long time it's taking to lose will help me keep it off better. I've also read that when you're training for a long race your body tries to hold onto weight so maybe just maybe when this marathon is over I will lose it a little more easily.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

it's not always bad to be a nerd

Hi. My name is Kaci and I am a nerd. I like to plan. I like to research. I like to know my options. I like to analyze. Sometimes I even like to overplan & overanalyze. Sometimes that is a problem. Sometimes it's not.

I stressed, worried, blamed myself, shed tears, got angry, and shed more tears over Matthew's feet. These are all emotions I've experienced before, even over his feet (well except the blaming myself part...those feet were totally his daddy's doing!), but this was far far worse than anything I'd gone through about my children. That really means I should count myself lucky because so many parents go through far worse, and I am blessed that I haven't had to go through more. But still...when the doctor mentions things are severe enough that outcomes could mean your child cannot walk again, it's pretty freaking scary. But because of who I am, I didn't just go through all of those emotions & then say "Let's schedule the surgery." Hell no. I pulled from every clubfoot related resource I had to figure out what to do next. To figure out what other options might exist. To figure out what was best for Matthew.

Fortunately that figuring out came fairly easy, and I was able to discuss Matthew's feet with one of the best doctors in the field. The doctors at the University of Iowa are absolutely amazing. I was able to take pictures of Matthew's feet from several angles to show different things and email to them for review. After reviewing the pictures, the doctor I spoke with said he believes Matthew's feet are corrected and that if there is tightness in the heel cord he thinks it can be corrected with physical therapy. (I believe there is tightness, as Matthew's pediatrician & his regular orthopedic doctor commented on it.) He also said if PT does not help the tightness that casting is an option. This is not something our doctor mentioned as a possibility, he said at Matthew's age surgery would be required. The doctors in Iowa though are pioneers in this field/area so I would trust them if they say we can cast. If physical therapy does not loosen things up, we will head to Iowa to see what they recommend. If we end up relocating, we will head to Iowa before we move just to make sure things are ok before we leave the country.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

this parenting thing

Well, it's hard. That about sums it up. I am so discouraged. No matter how much you try to do the right thing for your children, sometimes it just doesn't work out. I sit here beating myself up over things that I really can't control, my head is telling me I did the best I could but my heart is telling me I should have listened just a little more to that nagging voice, you know, mother's intuition. So my mothering assvice will now be, ALWAYS listen to your gut...no matter how many people tell you it's ok, if you don't truly deep down believe it, don't take that as the answer. Because it's not us as mothers who pay the price, it's our precious children.

This is all about Matthew's feet. He was born with bilateral clubfoot. We researched treatment options, our pediatrician recommended a doctor, we saw that doctor, he used the treatment option we thought sounded best from our research. Super. The first phase of treatment is casting, which is usually followed by a small surgical procedure. Usually. Except in Matthew's case the doctor said it wasn't needed. What a relief. Except I kept thinking "what are the chances he doesn't need it? Small. Less then 10% of children with clubfoot don't need this." I sent pictures of his feet to the leading expert, the guy who developed the procedure. From the pictures, the feet looked corrected. Great. But something still nagged at me. When our first doctor started breaking from protocol with the bracing schedule we decided to change doctors. We found another one, one who was "approved" by the master. We went there, he thought Matthew's heels were a little tight but ok, and told us to keep wearing the brace. The "little tight" nagged at me. But I have to trust the doctors, right? And 3 of them are saying it is ok. But Matthew isn't their child. He's mine. Ultimately I am the one responsible for making sure everything is ok.

A new doctor moved to Detroit who was also approved by the master, so we decided to change again and use him, just to save on the long drive to the first approved doctor. Every visit it was a different story...one time everything looked great, the next time he was concerned about tightness. Rinse & repeat. Unfortunately by this time Matthew was too old for the small procedure to work, so the options are limited, a more in depth surgery or wait it out. Since it was such a roller coaster of tight/not tight, the doctor said we should wait. Today...Dr said he needs surgery. I'm a mess. Not that it's doing Matthew any good, but I'm beating myself up over this because I knew. Four years ago I knew. I FUCKING KNEW!

So now my poor baby probably has to have surgery and it's all my fault. I could have done something about this when he was a baby and I didn't. I can't help but hate myself for this fuck up. But I've got to pull myself together and do some research so I can make damned sure I don't fuck it up again. For Matthew. Because I love that little guy more than life itself and he's worth it. Whatever I have to do now to insure the best for him, I will do.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

another boring update

Sunday I ran about 16.5 miles...I needed to fit in my training run & David & I had signed up for a 5k, so I left home early for the 5k and ran around a bit before, then ran from our house downtown to the start area. I met up with David & the children there, where I helped get them in the bike trailer that converts to a stroller and he headed for the start line. He needed to finish faster than I did, so I had to push the children. It was super cold at the start - I think because I was sweaty from my 13+ mile run and then I stopped to deal with gear changes before the 5k. As I approached the start line I heard the race announcer say that everyone had started. I had not! LOL As I ran across he said "Oh here comes a woman with 2 small children." I was the LAST person to start! Thank goodness I wasn't also last to finish! :) The race was a lot of fun, but if you've ever run a race before & you know how it is to weave around people because they are running slower than you or worse, walking 4-5 side by side...imagine doing it with one of the bike trailers that converts to a stroller...so you have a wheel way out in front. Plus people just kept cutting in front of me...I tried to watch out so as not to hurt someone's ankles but I finally decided if it was due to THEM cutting in front of me without looking over their shoulder...I wasn't going to worry about it!

After the race we came home to watch basketball instead of sticking around for the parade. What can I say, I was cold & we like to watch our team! Scarlett told me on the way home that she didn't have fun because she didn't want me to push her, she wanted to run! Love it!

I'm a little less than 9 weeks away from the marathon and I feel ready. Sometimes it still overwhelms me to think about that distance, but I know I'm on track with my training and I know I'll cross that finish line. I'm trying to keep any time goals out of my head but it is hard not to think about how fast I'd *like* to be.

Tomorrow David will officially interview for another position at his company. It would be an international relocation assignment, with us moving away for 3 years, then most likely being assigned back here. I have mixed feelings about it but overall I think it's too good of an opportunity to pass it up, if he gets the offer. Before we had children I would have JUMPED at the chance, with them in the picture it changes things, but I still think it's a great idea.

I got LOADS of yummy yarn in the mail yesterday, including the yarn I bought to knit myself a sweater. This is definitely the biggest project I've taken on, and I probably still won't get started on it for a while, but it's nice to know I have the yarn when I decide I am ready!