Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Morning Runs

2 of the 4 deer I saw Monday morning on my 8.5 mile run.  It's a glorious time to run.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

An update: what it's like having a child with congenital defects

On the right hand side of my blog, it displays popular posts.  The "what it's like to have a child with congenital heart defects" is the most popular one.  I noticed it this morning, and thought I should update it.  Surgery was hard, as were the times leading up to it.  However, repairing the VSD did not make all right in the world.  There are still worries and concerns that David and I face.  Right now the most common one is developmental delays.  Presently, it's putting weight on her feet.  She has finally started putting some weight on her feet, with legs straight but up until last week she absolutely refused to do it.  A few months ago, it was her low weight and the fact that she didn't sit up.  These delays always seem to hit that point where it's like "ok, if she doesn't start doing this in the next month, we're going to have to get her outside help."  Although the consensus is that it is a result of having the defects and heart surgery at such a young age, I still worry about these delays.  I don't know if I'm more aware because of her past, which causes me to worry before I should.  However, I don't want to be the parent that refuses to believe that something is wrong, and thus put off correcting the delay for a long time.  I talked about it with a girlfriend last weekend and cried.  It's hard.  For me, it is a reminder of how surgery was not the end of it.

So we're working with her, always.  I feel like, from a realistic point of view, that she's months behind.  I am reminded of how she acted like a newborn right after surgery.  And I worry.  But then she does something like this, something like is displayed in these photos.  And I'm reminded that she's a happy, healthy baby.  She loves to eat, and gets into eating more than Hannah ever did.  She tries shoving food in her mouth by the fistful, both of them at the same time!  She loves attention and is not overwhelmed by being overcrowded.  I think that last one has something to do with the fact that Hannah is always THISCLOSE to her face, normally shrieking.  She kicks her legs all the time.  No really, all the time; when I'm holding her, when she's in her high chair, laying in her crib.  So for now, we'll work through the minor stuff as it comes.  And remind myself, that over the course of the next few years, any delays should balance out.  

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Riley, working hard

I took this video over a month ago, I can't believe it's taken me this long to post it!  I took the video because it's one of those baby moments when you feel like you can read their mind.  My interpretation of Riley's thoughts here: how do I pick this thing up?!?!?

Hannah & Me

With our living situation so different, I'm trying to remember to take time for just the girls and I.  Especially Hannah.  Overall, she's doing great but I can see the strain the separation has on her.  At times, it makes me question whether David and I are doing the right thing.  

So now that it's icd coffee season, Hannah and I have been venturing out for coffee.  She's not getting coffee, but she doesn't know that.  Most of the time, she gets a mocha slushy or something like that so that she gets the coffee flavor without the caffeine.  

Last Tuesday we went to the mall to pick up a birthday present.  And stop by Gloria Jean's for an iced beverage.  

Riley, just hanging out in the stroller.

Yea, I know there's a brush stuck under her.  She likes to chew on it.  And it must've fallen down.  I didn't notice it until after I snapped the picture.  

At Gloria Jeans, Hannah is enjoying her iced mocha.  

Riley had a lemon pack to throw around.  

The three of us.  

It's such a nice time with Hannah.  We sit, we chat.  My banana is growing up!  Before I know it, she'll be anti parent.  In the meantime, I treasure there small moments.

Friday, May 25, 2012

My New Obsession

The is the first book in a series about The Borgia family.  The Borgia's ruled Italy in the late 1400's.  The family is known for their ruthlessness in acquiring status and power within Italy.  It's crime, intrigue and Italy, what more would I want?  I'm working my way through this, so far it's really good!  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The story of one VW and one Saab

David and I, very reluctantly, decided that the truck was no longer necessary for us.  To be honest, filling the gas tank in the Chicago suburbs, where gas peaked at $4.29 a few weeks ago, was not good. David drives all over the city with work, and we were spending a lot of money to keep fuel in the truck.  We also needed to go from one vehicle to two vehicles.  

However, I didn't want our monthly vehicle expenses to increase.  Which was possibly, because consumers pay a premium for a truck, but difficult because we were going from one vehicle to two.  It took lots of time, and lots of research on my part.  However, we accomplished our goal!  

This is our midday McDonald's break.  David's Uncle Jim works for corporate McDonald's, and has for a long time.  At one time, he owned a few stores but switched to the corporate world some time ago.  I'm not sure what exactly his title is, but I know he is in charge of the McDonald's conventions held annually and he travels all over the world.  This is the McDonald's restaurant located in the building.  I was curious about whether there were items on this menu that weren't on our menus! ; ).  

There was only one item on this menu that I hadn't seen on other McDonald's menus: The New York Burger, which David got, and really liked.  It had fresh cucumbers, among other things, on it.  

This is a bad picture, lighting wise, but you can see the view from the windows, which is what I was going for.  

Nice, comfy seating along the forest preserve.  While we were there we viewed test kitchens and ran into McDonald's head chef.  It was so neat!

The Lodge, a hotel and reception/meeting area.  Hamburger University is located across the lake (where I'm standing at).  

The inside of my car.  

They are, by far, the fanciest vehicles we've ever had.  However, they are the smartest vehicle purchases we've ever made.  I researched the cars online, looking up the fair buying price as well as finding out how much our insurance would increase.  Our total vehicle expense is no more with these two vehicles than it was with the truck.  

What I'm excited about: heated leather seats and a in dash GPS.  Both cars are the turbo endition.  Supposedly, the VW will go from 0 to 60 in less than 7 seconds.  I will not testing that theory, cause I'm too chicken.  The other thing I'm excited about: an 18.5 gallon tank.  I'll be able to go WEEKS in between fill ups!  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tubers and Zots, with a side of Watermelon

It's been a good week.  

I picked this up for Hannah, Toobers and Zots.  It's just bendable foam in all sorts of shapes and sizes.  
They're fantastic, and Hannah has played with every day since I got them for her.  I saw them as a way to help her understand mechanical concepts, which I am not good at.  She see's them as a sword, a laser, a hat and many other different things.  

Earlier this week we had watermelon at Grandma Cernock's.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Run Like a Mother 5k

A run for mothers, and all women, on Mother's Day.  I signed David and I both up for it, only to realize on the day of the event that it is a women's only race!  Oops!  In my defense, it was tucked away on an obscure page, you'd think they'd have it all over the place to avoid confusion.  Oh well.  Now I don't typically set goals for myself in races.  I'm too afraid of failing and getting disappointed.  I know, silly.  But I've been formally working on my speed and increasing my average distance.  I am becoming more serious about my running.  So I decided to set a goal for this 5k, of 26 minutes.  If I could do it, I would set a PR (Personal Record) for myself.  Saturday night David and I went on a date.  I was leery about doing this, because I was afraid I would partake in activities that might make running the race the next morning more difficult, i.e. have a beer, stay up too late.  However, David and I don't live together right now and alone time with my husband is VERY hard to come by.  An offer was made by Aunt Debbie and Uncle Jim, and we just couldn't pass it up.  I did, in fact, have a few beers and stay up way to late.  Race morning is like every other race morning, with all sorts of butterflies and excitement for me.  David, the girls, Great Grandma Cernock, Aunt Debbie, and Ed found a place by the start/finish while Barbara, who made the last minute decision to join in the fun, and I lined up at the start.  The start was a slow one, because of the amount of runners.  I held back so I could wave to Hannah as a passed and then took off.  The course started off flat and fast.  I wasn't timing myself, and I also ran without music, so I'm not sure how fast my first mile was but I'm guessing close to 8 minutes.  It felt like the first mile just flew by.  The course stayed pretty flat.  We ran through a beautiful neighborhood and every once in awhile you'd pass a family out on the street in front of their house, cheering on the runners.  There were some messages written on the street in chalk.  There were a few, small hills out the end.  I felt a little dehydrated, thanks to the evening before I'm sure, so I did grab some water at the water station and chugged as much of it as I could without coming to a stop.  Right at the 3 mile mark (a 5k is actually 3.1 miles) we hit a smallish hill with a slow, steady incline.  I just kept thinking about how I would feel to actually meet my goal.  As I finished, Hannah joined me.  I actually got a little too excited at the end, and Hannah almost crashed trying to keep up, right before the finish line.  So I grabbed her up and ran across the finish line with her in my arms.

The only picture snapped, right at the start.  That's me in the yellow shirt.  One is better than none, right!

I finished in 25:56, and am incredibly proud of myself.  That's an 8:21 pace. I finished 76 out of 813, 13th out of 127 in my age group.  My training has paid off.  It makes me think of this quote, by Oprah Winfrey of all people, "running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it exactly what you put in to it." 

In other news, remember that race I did in Carbondale last month, the Nutrition 5k?  Well I finished 2nd out of my age group!  My time was 28:41.  

Results can be found here: http://resultsarchive.active.com/pages/displayNonGru.jsp?rsID=128262

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Arriving: Chicago & Naperville

Thursday afternoon, I loaded up the girls into the Business Class car on an Amtrak train and we headed to Chicago.  My decision to change to first class was made at the last minute and I am so glad I did!  I intend to go first class anytime I'm on the train.  It made such a difference with the girls because there was so much more space.

I actually got my own seat, since the girls were small enough to share one.  Riley's face in this one
cracks me up.  

We had a small delay of 30 minutes.  This is right before our backup into Union Station.  
Hannah looked out the window for the last 30 minutes of the ride.  

There was a small delay in David getting to us also.  So what does a person do, at 9:30 p.m. in Union Station with two small kids.  They get ice cream.  Or TCBY if you're a stickler.  

Yesterday, I spent the day in downtown Naperville with Aunt Debby, Carolyn, Will and Emma.  

Hannah, Will and Debby looking in the fountain.  

Hannah's hair is so long!  I forgot how long it is because it's in a braid so much.  

Will and Hannah, in front of the fountain.  

I pushed Riley into the flowers so she could play with them.  

A few flowers were sacrificed.  

We walked around, did a lot of window shopping.  Picked up some cupcakes from Sugar Monkey Cupcakes.  After dinner, Debby, Carolyn and I went back downtown and walked around.  I picked up a shirt from White House Black Market.  It was the first time I had ever been in this store.  They've got nice, dressier type clothing.  What I found most interesting is that nothing wowed me on the hanger, but then when I saw it on myself, or Carolyn or Debby, it totally wowed me.  Then we sat in front of the river and had our cupcakes and wine in celebration of Mother's Day.  The cupcakes are fantastic.  I had a chocolate cherry cupcake.  It was phenomenal, especially the icing.  And I'm not an icing person, I normally scrape it right off.  All in all, it was a pretty fabulous day.  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hannah's Ballet Show

Hannah and the rest of her ballet class performed for parents and grandparents this past Sunday.  The class only goes through the end of May, then they break for summer.  So this was done to show all the parents what they've leaned in ballet.  I also tried to get a clip of Riley, she was chewing on my necklace.  On a side note, her teacher, Ms. Intravia, has been teaching ballet since 1954.  She's incredible.  She doesn't have a car, so she walks everywhere.  And she teaches young kids to senior adults.

Painting with straws

I read about this on another blog, blowing paint through straws to create artwork.  

All you do is dip your straw in some paint and put your finger on the other end of the straw to hold the paint on the end of the straw.  Then you let the paint drop on your canvas.

From there, just blow!  And blow some more.  

The one on top is Hannah's and the one below is mine.  I'm going to frame them and hang them together.  

And this is some of our homemade pizza.  I don't know about y'all but I love making homemade pizzas.  Everyone can put whatever they want on it and it's easy.  Here's my veggie pizza and Hannah's Hawaiian pizza, which she just discovered.  It is her new favorite.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Happy Birthday Hannah, the big 5!

I took the plunge

and bought a good sports bra.  No, a really good one.  But I have to tell you: it was SO worth it.  It's the UA Armour Bra from Under Armour.  And when I run in this, nothing moves.  It fabulous.  I'll never wear anything else when running!  It's that wonderful.

I still have my other sports bras, I just use them for everything else.  

The other plunge: minimalist running shoes.  

And I LOVE THEM!!!  They are so lightweight and awesome.  

And in conclusions, I think I'm turning into an Under Armour snob.