Pregnancy, albeit hard, is all worth it

Whelp, I am about 34 weeks along, and I am feeling it. Don’t get me wrong; I love being pregnant. I have had relatively easy pregnancies. I have never had morning sickness, although nights are not a whole lot of fun, especially during the first and third trimesters.

I rarely complain about being pregnant; you can ask my husband. To be honest, I think he often forgets my “condition” because I don’t complain. In fact, we took the kids to a condo the other week for a couple of days, and he got tired of waiting for the elevator. We were both lugging heavy bags and he said that we should just take the stairs (up to our 4th floor room). I didn’t think anything of it, and just followed he and the kids up.

When I got to the top, I felt a little tightness in my stomach (nothing bad). It was then that I also realized my condition. I laughed about it and then told him that not many 8 month pregnant women would stand for their husband suggesting that she lug baggage up 4 flights of stairs. He felt bad, but it is just the way it is. I don’t complain much.

However, there are times, even in my easy pregnancies, that I will make mention of things that are not-so-fun. For instance, when the baby kicks and you get an immediate jab in your pelvic or rib area, it kinda’ hurts … a lot. There is also the fact that I can’t sit up very well, due to the lack of stomach muscles and the constant flipping and turning inside of you, would make anyone dizzy. Pregnancy also makes you tired.

Then, there is the actual labor and delivery. I have to admit, I have had an epidural each time, but I have had some really brutal contractions where I have found myself burying my head in my pillow and screaming.  There was one time that the epidural only worked on one side, making it so that I felt it all on one side, but couldn’t move the other side. At the same time, I was slouching down in the bed, couldn’t do anything about it, and the medicine moved into my lungs, making me cough and have a difficult time breathing.

Needless to say, pregnancy is not all fun and games.

However, it is ALL worth it. Every. Single. Bit. I would go through it and more to be able to have my children.

Here are my little monkeys on our trip last week :)

Here are my little monkeys on our trip last week 🙂

And here is a our soon-to-be, Axel, all crammed in my belly :). I bet we're equally as uncomfortable.

And here is a our soon-to-be, Axel, all crammed in my belly :). I bet we’re equally as uncomfortable.

This was the topic of my last ksl.com artilce, titled, “Pregnancy: Men will never know what it feels like, and that’s too bad.

I admit, the title, although attention-grabbing, maybe didn’t advertise my intended message … which is probably why it brought about a good number of comments from men about women being men-haters … yada, yada, yada.

However, the point of the article was to validate women in their (uncomfortableness), while at the same time, encouraging them to be grateful for the ability to take a huge part in the miracle of life.

I am really so, so excited to meed this little guy. He is already following in the footsteps of his older brothers by the many, Many footsteps I feel moving across my belly … all. day. long :).

For more recent articles, you can like my facebook page. FYI, I get no monetary gain from this; it is just a place to post my articles to those who are interested in reading them :).

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Posted in born to run, exercise, family exercise, health, running, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Lake Powell 2013

Just about a week ago, we got back from our favorite trip of the year: Lake Powell. I have been going here nearly every year since I was little, and it is my favorite place on earth … by far. Here is a link to my post about last year’s trip. I am so grateful to my grandparents for allowing for such an amazing experience that I have been able to pass on to my kids.

Here are some pictures from our trip:

FAMILY

One of the great things about LP is it wears the little ones out :)

One of the great things about LP is it wears the little ones out 🙂

Everyone wanted a chance to go tubing with Azure. Here she is with Ace.

Everyone wanted a chance to go tubing with Azure. Here she is with Ace.

aceazuretube2

Ace jumping off the back of the house boat. By the end of the week, he got confident enough in his swimming, that he did it w/o his life jacket ... with Adam or I waiting at the bottom :)

Ace jumping off the back of the house boat. By the end of the week, he got confident enough in his swimming, that he did it w/o his life jacket … with Adam or I waiting at the bottom 🙂

Being buried by "The Uncles"

Being buried by “The Uncles”

Ace filling up the water toy, getting ready for war.

Ace filling up the water toy, getting ready for war.

adamanderaspen

Not sure what Adam is doing here ...?

Not sure what Adam is doing here …?

He was getting hot so he put a towel on his head?

He was getting hot so he put a towel on his head?

Adam wake boarding.

Adam wake boarding.

adamwakeboard2

Hanging out on the turtle.

Hanging out on the turtle.

Anderson and my 2 youngest brothers.

Anderson and my 2 youngest brothers.

Anderson jumping off the back of the houseboat. He was such a big kid this year!

Anderson jumping off the back of the houseboat. He was such a big kid this year!

andersonsand

Walking back from the hike. My belly serves as a good little resting place for tired legs :)

Walking back from the hike. My belly serves as a good little resting place for tired legs 🙂

Ace and Aspen tubing. She was a little stressed. She gets it from me. I don't like tubing.

Ace and Aspen tubing. She was a little stressed. She gets it from me. I don’t like tubing.

Aspen and I

Aspen and I

She had a good time making sand shapes.

She had a good time making sand shapes.

aspenheart2

Azure carefully going down the slide.

Azure carefully going down the slide.

We had to take a houseboat trip to the pump-out station. Leave it to my family to make pumping waste a fun activity!

We had to take a houseboat trip to the pump-out station. Leave it to my family to make pumping waste a fun activity!

Even Azure was running to get a turn!

Even Azure was running to get a turn!

aussiecrab

Aussie fishing with a pole Uncle David made.

Aussie fishing with a pole Uncle David made.

Mu mom and Aussie had a good time looking for "treasures."

Mu mom and Aussie had a good time looking for “treasures.”

Shivering on the top of the boat.

Shivering on the top of the boat.

Aussie and his many treasures he found.

Aussie and his many treasures he found.

azureausseitube

Azure just loved my cousin, Emily!

Azure just loved my cousin, Emily!

Coy and my boys sitting on the water weenie ... backwards!

Coy and my boys sitting on the water weenie … backwards!

Our campsite.

Our campsite.

My bro, Court and Anderson, way yo high on the sandstone.

My bro, Court and Anderson, way yo high on the sandstone.

Going crazy with Uncle, Coy.

Going crazy with Uncle, Coy.

Having a conversation with my dad :)

Having a conversation with my dad 🙂

dadazure

Adam and Azure ... so cute.

Adam and Azure … so cute.

Uncle, David teaching swim lessons.

Uncle, David teaching swim lessons.

Looking for treasures. One of the OK things about a low-water year.

Looking for treasures. One of the OK things about a low-water year.

girlsandemily

The whole crew!

The whole crew!

Beautiful place ... love.

Beautiful place … love.

Can you believe my phone took this pic?!

Can you believe my phone took this pic?!

Another great shot with my Droid. Beautiful place.

Another great shot with my Droid. Beautiful place.

There was some great sandstone that we had fun carving with the shells we found. Here are 2 of my feet.

There was some great sandstone that we had fun carving with the shells we found. Here are 2 of my feet.

It isn't Lake Powell without sand sculptures. Very therapeutic, I might add ...

It isn’t Lake Powell without sand sculptures. Very therapeutic, I might add …

sandplay2

I got them the same swimsuit for $4 each at Old Navy. Quite the find. Aren't they cute?

I got them the same swimsuit for $4 each at Old Navy. Quite the find. Aren’t they cute?

Aussie swimming at the back of the boat.

Aussie swimming at the back of the boat.

Hanging out with Uncle, David.

Hanging out with Uncle, David.

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‘Sweet’ 5K race to benefit Utah County mom battling rare disease

This week, I was privileged to be able to do an article on ksl.com about a friend of mine who is battling a rare autoimmune disease.  She is the mother of one of my preschool students from last year.

I knew she was sick, but I had no idea the extent of it. Her son would come to class and was just as good and sweet as can be. She is a wonderful mom, and I just can’t imagine going through what she is.

To help her family cover some of her medical costs, my community is holding a 5k, family fun run with a kid’s race, as well as a little carnival to go along with it. It is being put on by our local Cupcake Charity.

They always put on a fantastic race.

Here is the link to the article with all of the info on the race. If you are in Northern Utah, it would be a great little race to stop by and run!

Posted in exercise, family exercise, running | 1 Comment

Finally, a family vacation

For the past, well … forever, we have never had a vacation that has just been our family.

We have gone to family reunions, gone on trips to see extended family. All of these are good things, but sometimes you just gotta’ be your own selves.

The past few summers have been difficult to do this for a couple of reasons: first, Adam has been coaching, making for time away to be very minimal. Second, I don’t teach preschool during the summer, so things get pretty tight around here during the summer months.

We really wanted to get out, and had saved a little money so that we could do this. We thought about going out of state, but didn’t really feel up to the drive. So, we decided to go to St. George. It is about 4 hours south of us, and a place we are familiar with.

Adam and I spent the first 4 years of our marriage down there, where he worked as a patrol officer for the SGPD, and I commuted to college, and then taught kindergarten. We actually had our first 2 kids here! We really liked it down there.

Here are pictures of 2 of our houses that we lived in and the school I worked in:

The first house we ever owned. We put in the landscaping and painted around the windows. Still looks good!

The first house we ever owned. We put in the landscaping and painted around the windows. Still looks good!

Our first house we built. Loved this house!

Our first house we built. Loved this house!

Coral Cliffs Elem.

Coral Cliffs Elem.

Although, it isn’t on the top lists of vacation get-aways, especially in the dead of summer, but for us, it was perfect.

We were able to get a condo for a week, courtesy of my mom’s side of the family, who has some fantastic time shares. My aunt, Julie has taken over my late grandpa’s job of booking the condos, and has done a great job!

All we asked for was a place to sleep, shower and if there was a swimming pool, we would be oh, so happy!

The place we got was above and beyond! We had 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a fully-stocked (speaking of utensils and utilities) kitchen and a pool just a 2 min walk from the house. It was at the Canyon Villas at Coral Canyon Resort. It was fantastic!

Our little escapee immediately located all the exits. I snapped this right as she was about to head out and find some friends.

Our little escapee immediately located all the exits. I snapped this right as she was about to head out and find some friends.

We wouldn’t know how glad we were that we asked for a pool until we got there. As luck would have it, this just so happened to be a week that the entire state of Utah had a massive heat wave. Northern Utah was at 100 degrees, so St. George was right about 115. SO HOT!

We ended up going to the pool 2-3 times a day. They all got to be such good swimmers!

Here is a youtube video of the kids playing an flipping at the pool :).

Rides on Dad's back were a must!

Rides on Dad’s back were a must!

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They had the coolest little waterfall/cave!

They had the coolest little waterfall/cave!

One of the days, my family came down to swim. The kids love them so much, and it was nice for them to play together for a night. My mom brought some new shirts for the kids, which they were very excited about.

Aspen and Uncle, Rand

Aspen and Uncle, Rand

His shirt that he left at the pool. If you want to hear more about this, feel free to read the article I wrote.

His shirt that he left at the pool. If you want to hear more about this, feel free to read the article I wrote.

Azure with grandpa! She loves him!

Azure with grandpa! She loves him!

The kids and all "The Uncles" under the waterfall.

The kids and all “The Uncles” under the waterfall.

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I actually had a few columns due that week, and I ended up writing about a lesson learned, that had a little something to do with this. Here’s the link: Listen to children; they may surprise 

Speaking of writing, I was able to meet one of my editors for the first time! He was actually my first editor who took a chance on little old me to write for the Spectrum. He brought his wife and kids, and we really hit it off! It is so nice to meet couples that you have a lot in common with. I hope we get together again.

On one of the days, we did brave hiking at Zion National Park. It was fine, but it was very hot. The kids were troopers, though. There were some complaints along the way, but really, it was just fine.

A nice lady offered to take a picture.

A nice lady offered to take a picture.

zion1

Yes, there was carrying involved, as was expected :)

Yes, there was carrying involved, as was expected 🙂

zion3 zion4

They were so tired, but I was so proud of them.

They were so tired, but I was so proud of them.

If you haven't been to Zion, you MUST!

If you haven’t been to Zion, you MUST!

When we were done, Adam took the kids to wade in the river. I was feeling a little heat struck and felt a little cramping in my stomach, so I sat out the river. Good thing, because who would have taken pictures?

Such a good daddy!

Such a good daddy!

zion8

I wasn’t able to get any good runs in because of the extreme heat. We did swim a lot and get a good hike in, so all is good :).

It was such a great get-away; something we plan on doing more often. I love my little family!

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Husband and wife: It takes 2 to find time to exercise

In my second article to be run in the Deseret News, I wrote about the importance of couples working together to achieve their fitness  goals.

As I’m sure I have mentioned before, Adam and I met on our college cross country/track team. We have always been physically active. However, getting married and a few years later, finishing college athletics and then jumping right into parenting and adding “real” jobs to the mix, really made finding time to exercise difficult.

However, the two of us having been in peak physical condition before, and having known how our bodies felt when when in that type of shape, we have both striven to maintain, or at the very least remain in really good shape.

We have always been very encouraging of each other in this respect, and it has been not only good for our physical health, but has been a key factor in the health of our relationship, too.

In the article, I give 4 tips to help couples find time to fit exercise in. Here is the link:

Husband and wife: it takes 2 to find time to exercise

How do you find time?

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Time to ‘Fit’ it in

Some of you may have noticed that I changed the name of this blog.

The blog began as a way to chronicle my running adventures and hopefully inspire others to run as well.

I have really enjoyed this, but it always bothered me that my blog name had my name in it. I never really wanted it to be about me. However, I never knew how to change it. I toyed with the idea of starting a new blog, but I really like my followers and wanted to keep that as well as the content in it.

So … just the other week, I was asked by one of the biggest newspapers in Utah, Deseret Newsto write a bi-weekly column dedicated to helping parents and really whomever else is struggling with it, to find ways to fit in exercise and fitness. I titled the column “Time to ‘Fit’ it in.”

I thought this would be a perfect time to change things up a bit. So, last night I made the bold move of changing the name of the blog and also the address to timetofititin.com … yeah, a “.com.” I feel so official, although I’m not … at all.

I feel like this title fits me a lot better, and I feel less confined to writing race reports and running logs. Although those will most likely find their way in here, I will also be posting ways/tips on how to “fit” it in.

Here is the first article that came out in the paper today. It is essentially the “Who, what, where, when, why and how” of “fit” ing it in.

I am also still writing my two columns for the Spectrum that come out bi-weekly (“The Rundown” and “(Tattle) Tales of a busy mom”) as well as my weekly articles that come out every Sunday on ksl.com.

If you don’t mind, I will post the latest articles at the bottom of each post and then “archive” them in the “Links to published articles” tab at the top of the page.

Here are the latest articles:

KSL article: My experience with a streaker/escapee child

Spectrum” (Tattle) Tales” article: You know you have a child escapee when

Here’s proof of all this madness …

azureswimwithatboots

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Tips for running on trails … and pregnant

My last two “Rundown” articles that for my bi-weekly column I write for the Spectrum, have some tips on two very important running topics (to me, at least).

The first one that came out a couple of weeks ago was “Tips on running through pregnancy.”

This is something that is very important to me and something that I have gotten many questions about.

Here are my tips:

1. Start an exercise regiment before you get pregnant. If you ask a doctor about exercise or any physical activity during pregnancy, they will almost always say “If you’ve done it before, you are safe to continue; but don’t start anything new.” Which brings me to my next point:

2. Consult with your OB. It is always best to get a good assessment from your doctor, if you are able to run. For some, due to complications and such, it is not possible; but for most, it is and is highly recommended.

3. Get a good sports bra. Need I say more.

4. Go to the bathroom before. Again, need I say more.

Now, the good stuff …

5. Pay attention to your body. Now is not the time to be breaking any records or setting any new personal best times. If it feels uncomfortable (and you be the judge), don’t be afraid to stop and walk. After all, walking is also a great source of exercise.

6. Ease into it. For the first few minutes of the run, you will feel a little bit “off.” For me, my belly is a little wobbly and feels different. I find that if I take the first few minutes slow and steady, that the baby finds a comfortable position, and I am able to continue the run without any problems.

7. Be careful. When I say this, I am referring to the clumsiness that is often associated with pregnancy. It is a fact that your gate will change, due to your hips shifting and also that you have added pressure right at the top of your hips and pelvic area.

You will find that you are not picking your feet up off the ground as high as you used to. Pay attention to this and be careful, as to prevent yourself from falling … especially if you frequent the trails like I do.

8. Try avoiding rocky terrain. This is one that I need to follow a little better than I do. I love running in the mountains near my house. If you must run on trails, again, be careful. Watch your step, and even walk over areas that are rockier.

9. Bring a phone. This is generally a good idea for anyone to do. During my first trimester (the lovely time that is packed full with yuckiness), I had a few runs where I felt nauseous after a few miles. It didn’t happen very often, but when it did, it was good to be able to call my husband to come pick me up.

10. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Fuel, fuel, fuel. When running, you are obviously burning more calories than normal, and a lot of your water is also going to the baby. It is extremely important to replenish your body buy bringing water and/or sport drinks and also fuel with (healthy) food. Which brings me to my final point:

11. Eat healthy. It is difficult enough running with a baby in your belly. Adding junk food to the mix, only makes things that much worse. By fueling with healthy fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other (food-pyramid-ish) stuff, you can avoid any unwanted sick stomach, and be able to get out there and enjoy a good run … not the bad kid (if you catch my drift). 

To read the article in its entirety, here’s the link.

The other article focused on running hills. I love hills; mostly the uphills. It has taken me a while to get here, but I am honestly at a place where, if I see a road (preferably rocky) veer up, I will always take the detour. There is just something about the climb that is so rewarding, exhilarating … everything!

Here are my tips for running hills:

  • Take short strides and stay on the balls of your feet on the uphill. Staying on the balls of your feet will help you to lean into the hill, which is always a good thing (leaning away will create what I call a “Jack and Jill effect). The short strides will help with your posture and also, strangely enough, help you cover more ground.
  • Keep your arms moving at the height of your hips, moving rhythmically with your legs. It may take a little focus at first, but keeping your arms low, rather than up high near your chest, will help open up your lungs, helping you to breath better. Which brings me to my next point:
  • Breathe slowly and deeply. Going up hills, you will need more oxygen. The tendency for many is to breathe fast. This is also know as hyperventilating, and when done, creates an adverse affect. Taking in slow, deep breaths, helps you to relax and focus on the task at hand.

Now, for the downhill …

  • Stride out, relax and let gravity do its job. Gravity is a wonderful thing if used correctly and not forced. Too often, downhills are pushed too hard, when in fact, if you have long, relaxed strides, and don’t force gravity, the downhill will be quite enjoyable and less of a pounding torture.

Here is the link to the entire article.

If you’re wondering if I combine the two (hills and pregnancy), the answer is, YES!

Here is a picture from this morning, after completing a 1700 ft climb up to View Benchmark on a trail called “Ann’s Trail.” So much fun!

ari1700

 

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