Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Journey to My First 5K

 Well! I did it!

I ran my very first 5K - and it was amazing.

Let me start from the beginning...

I was what you could call and "anti-runner." My family has always gave me a hard time about it. My max speed was a power walk and that's only if the word "hurry" was involved, or if I was late to class. I'd try jogging from time to time - on the evenings I couldn't make it to the gym, or if for some reason I just got an inkling to try it again. I just hated it. I was uncoordinated, sloppy, and just - well, bad at running. I spent my time in group classes where we did dead lifts and k-bands classes. WAY more fun! But also requiring blocks of dedicated time...

Then, I had a baby! If there is one thing a baby can abolish, its blocks of time dedicated to working out!

Parenthood is amazing and wonderful and thrilling (so far) and I love Jackson to pieces, but group training with a baby is not as easy as it sounds (wait..does that even sound easy?). I go to class as often as I can (with baby in tow), but its usually 2-3 times a week max, and that's only if the planets align. I needed something more flexible to fill in the gaps. Binging on Netflix was not exactly melting away the pounds...

Enter, running.

I knew I needed to get my but into gear to lose the baby weight, and the (ahem) excess weight that existed before baby. So I bit the bullet and committed myself to a jogging routine. I found a used jogging stroller on Craigslist (which was harder than it sounds), and downloaded a Couch 2 5K (C25K) app on my phone. I tried to forget all the hateful feelings I had toward running.

Let me just say this now, I COULD NOT have done this without the C25K app. I swear I'm not being paid to say this...its just THAT good.

Slowly, I started making the 8 week trek to a 5K, though it was more like 10 weeks for me (I didn't run 4 times a week...baby wins again!). The C25K training plan seems designed for lazy, unmotivated, hateful runners like me. It keeps us from getting too hot, too exhausted, and too pained; until we finally have the stamina to deal with those experiences - until we finally start enjoying it!

The training plan started me out slow, and it kept me from getting sore. I began to realize that I could run and not feel like death the next day.

While I was starting to adjust, Jackson took a little longer. Occasionally, he would just start rapidly losing it midway through our run. Then I found myself caught pushing a stroller a mile home - bent over trying to hold a paci in the mouth of my obviously upset infant - and hoping my neighbors didn't call social services on me in the process. Talk about a buzz kill...

Thankfully, a few weeks in, Jackson figured out this could be pretty fun. My body started getting stronger, and running began to be something to look forward too - something to enjoy! I found a 5K (Diabetes Dash for Life) I wanted to run in. I signed up and marked it on the calender, with the goal being "not to walk".

Once I was signed up, I began to feel excited. By now, I was REALLY looking forward to my evening runs. Jackson loved it too! By this point, he either sat there peacefully...or took a nap. I was cool with either one.

Naturally, I downloaded Runstastic to help track my pace and distance. I mapped out a 5K course in my neighborhood. I did some "5K for Beginners" research on the internet.

Then, race day was here!

Seth and I took off to Town Center, baby in tow. I picked up my race packet the day before, so we just walked around and enjoyed the experience! So much positive energy! It was addicting. I walked and stretched and did a light jog around some buildings. I checked the shoes of some of the other runners - whew! - just checking to make sure that time chip is actually supposed to go there..

Then, I lined up with the pack, and we took off! This was my first time actually jogging the full 3.1 miles. I had only done 2.95 at home. I kept a steady pace the entire time. Never walking, never feeling like death. I took pride in the fact that I had beaten my former self. I had improved so much that I was doing the one thing I never had been able to do in the past. I was RUNNING! Me! Running.

I finished my 5K in 31:40, and came in 17th out of 45 in my division. I was stoked!

I have several 5K's lined up in my future. My hubby treated me to an early birthday present...running shoes! We went to Gary Gribbles Running Sports and got professionally fitted for an extraordinary shoe.

I am seriously pumped at what I could accomplish. There is nothing better than succeeding at what you once failed at.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Water Baby of Our Very Own

Hello, Summer! Where have you been all year? Hiding around the corner? Simmering in the months of July & August? I had my baby in a freezing February, and now the cool spring days and rains have zipped by leaving me with an adorable 5 month old and a lazy summer heat. I’m in complete bliss!

This week we hit the pool. I don’t know why we didn't attempt this sooner. Perhaps my mind was still stuck somewhere in winter mode, or maybe I was just distracted by how small my human was to even fathom the idea of swimming. Thanks to some close friends, my mind was opened this last weekend...and we’re HOOKED, to say the least. My Florida girl roots are reaching towards the surface. I've obviously been away from the beach (and the pools) too long. Now, wading in the warm pool water feels as natural as walking. Once a water baby, always a water baby...and my son seems to be following the same road.
The weekend before last, we splashed from the sidelines in the pool at a friends apartment complex. While we were missing our swimsuits, we enjoyed the water with my pants rolled up, and him stripped down to a borrowed swim diaper. This past weekend, we went swimming for realz at an OP community pool. Then, on Sunday, we wandered down to our own small apartment pool and splashed and kicked and bobbed the afternoon away. What a life!

Who knew babies would be so much fun in the water? Granted, my baby seems to actually enjoy the water, so that's nice. We toll around the pool giggling and blowing bubbles and singing. I look around at the other quiet pool goers; basking in the sun, or reading something on their e-book. Why aren't they smiling and laughing? Don’t they see how cute my baby is?! I’m slightly offended that no one else is as captivated as I am by my little swimmer.

As we float around, I’m mesmerized by his trust. He could easily give into fear as he feels the strange buoyancy and new sensation of water all around him. But he doesn't. He looks into my eyes and dons a little grin and then a giggle. He starts to kick his little legs, and smacks the surface with his tiny fists.

As I said. I’m in complete bliss with my son. He’s captivated my heart, and I love him dearly. I’m daydreaming about my next pool visit as I type this (which is tonight, if you must ask).

Once we’re all toweled off, and nestled into our dry clothes, I think about what is to come. I’m reminded of all the great experiences we’ll share - all the new wonderful little things my son will learn with and from me.

But, I try not to get too far ahead. I try to just bask in how fun the day was at the pool, just being together.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

4 Months Past and We're Just About in a Routine!

5 cent a smile..saving for college. 
Our baby is nearly four months old. FOUR MONTHS! In some ways it feels like its flown by, and in other ways to hard to remember life the way it was before. He is such a joy! He's just so amazing and captivating and just utterly enticing all in the same moment. I really don't know how its possible.

I am surprised by how much "fun" he is to take places. I feel like we are playing house whenever the three of us (four, including Bandit) load up in the car and take off to some generic place like Burlington or SportClips (which we did this weekend). Does this feeling ever go away? I certainly hope not. I am so proud of our little family. I'm proud of how we somehow deserved this little person. I'm proud of how we have managed to keep him alive and happy for four months.

And I'm REALLY proud that we somehow keep it together through the rare to often crying fits that can pop up for no reason at all. "Oh, you hate your car seat today? That's unfortunate, since the day is just starting... "

Packing up to head out. 
I'm also thankful....extremely thankful. He is truly a gift from God, and now I understand why people call babies miracles.

The three month mark started another chapter in our lives. I'm now officially working full time again in the office, and Jackson is in a full time in-home daycare facility. It was a little heart-wrenching at first. I had hoped to work part time from home for around a year before returning back to the office 5 full days. So this came on us a little early, but I think we adjusted well. I am very grateful for the time at home I had with him home during the day, I'm also very happy to be back at work.

If I'm lucky, Jackson falls
asleep during the warm up run.
I'm a huge advocate and supporter of moms who want to return to work. I'm also on the side of moms who want to stay at home full time. You do whats right for your family, and I've seen both work out wonderfully when the mom makes the choice that is best for them.

Full-Time daycare has opened up several other opportunities as well. I loved having him at my sister-in-law, but I was pretty limited on what I could do on those days. Most of my activities (gym, horse, etc) were located in Olathe/KS and I live in South KC, so driving 30 min (w/traffic) home and then back out to whatever I want to go was just not working out. Having daycare in Olathe just a couple miles from work saves me lots of drive time, and opens up time for me to head out to see the horse in Paola, or to work out afterwards. My schedule is definitely a little more normalized.

Some days drag by and I miss my little guy. Other days go by quick and before I know it, we're hanging out. Some days get super busy and I feel like we didn't get any time at all to just "be", and other days I've planned to do NOTHING except just sit on the couch, floor or bed and bond. What a treat those times are! Achieving balance is never an easy task, but we seem to manage to do ok.

We're happy, and my baby is happy...so surely we're doing it right. :)


Enjoying a quite Sunday morning on the deck. 

We love to jog!! ...most days. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Two Month Review: What I've Learned So Far

"I'm 2 months!"
We've been parents for 8 weeks now! Its been a great 8 weeks. First off, I LOVE being Jackson's mom. To break it down, its been a combined 5 weeks of awesomeness, 2 weeks of total confusion, and about 1 week of 'WHY did I want a baby???' All in all its been a pretty fantastic time. Then again, I think I have a pretty easy baby.

Besides the obvious some-things-just-don't-matter-as-much-as-they-used-too feeling you get now that you have a tiny homo sapien glued to you 18 hours a day, there are quite a few random things that have changed that surprised me, or; I was not expecting to experience.

  • Spit up is no longer "gaaa-roooose"...or, lets just say body fluids in general. 

Seriously contemplating if he's still hungry or not. 
I've been peed on, poo'ed on and spit up on enough now that I barely give it a brief  'aww, darn' before wiping it off and continuing what I was doing. Sometimes its even cute...say what?? If I don't have time to mess around (Like if I finally got into work clothes in the morning), I'll throw a whole receiving blanket on the shoulder and call it good. Coming from someone who was scared of babies and their hazardous waste products - this is a big deal.

  • Baby socks are no easier to match than adult socks. 
Not only are there 297 different designs floating around, they are also 1/10th the size of a normal sock. So if you were lucky enough to not to lose one before removing it from tiny humans foot...you probably won't be lucky enough to see it return from the dryer before it gets sucked up into an air vent or something. 

Since we're talking about laundry...

  • I used to be completely fastidious about folding shirts, pants, etc exactly how I liked it. 
Turned right side out, sleeves neatly tucked away, stacked perfectly. That life has ended. Good bye. Gone. If its clean, its gets folded in half and lucky enough to be stuffed into a drawer in my closet. Hey, gotta safe time somehow.  
Nap time at Aunt Elizabeth's.

  • Pump-and-Dump is harder than I thought. 
Yup, I'm talking about boobs and breast milk here. Sure I'd love to enjoy 2-50 glasses of wine on occasion, but when that means waiting 2 hours, and then pumping a beautiful 4-6 ounces of liquid gold and then THROWING IT DOWN THE FREAKING DRAIN, it is not such an appeasing idea anymore. Just get me a milk shake please. Not expecting that - I love wine.

  • Watching your baby is often times more entertaining than TV. 
Who needs cable anymore? The unique and often adorable faces that your baby makes seem to keep us plenty entertained for now. I've had to re-watch about 10 episodes of Fringe because I ended up spending most of the time staring at baby, or cooing at their babies like moms do. I still do watch quite a bit of Netflix...its just that baby wins more than I thought. 

  • Standard humor is not the same anymore. 
...because nothing is funnier than when your little boy lets a giganteus motor boat fart that your pretty sure the neighbors next door heard with you. What can I say...farts are funny now! 

Jackson prefers to be "worn." This is how we roll at the parks. 
  • Baby wearing is amazing. 
I used to see those parents pushing their babies around in the expensive and adorable little strollers. Everyone say awwww. I thought I'd be joining the stroller herd, but let me tell you this; baby wearing is MUCH better. First off, your baby is happier. Pending hunger crys, little baby has never cried in the wrap for no apparent reason. Secondly, your not pushing a big stroller around the grocery store, and you have two hands to do normal things. Thirdly, it keeps your baby close and snugly and we just love that. I know all babies don't agree with wrapping, but our baby does. I've used a stroller once in the past 8 weeks. We just love wrapping baby Jackson up and taking off! 

  • Falling asleep is easier, now. 
I've never been a very good sleeper, but I guess that changes once you have a limited amount of sleep to your name. I never understood how Seth could pass out after just 2-3 minutes. It takes me about 20 minutes of gentle reflection to pass into the sleep realm, and even after that, I'd wake up once or twice at night just "for." But, when your newborn just closed his eyes, and you've only got about 4 1/2 hours until your alarm goes off - I'm pretty sure I meet the 2-3 minutes mark now, myself. 

Jackson and Daddy snuggling on the couch.
  • Getting up at 5am is easier, now. 
Let me rephrase that. Getting up at 5am is easier...when you have a crying baby that gives you no other choice. 'Ok! I'll get up, just please stop screaming! Here, have a boob!'. I can't complain too much, though. Jackson goes to bed around 10pm and usually sleeps 6-7 hours. Yay! I used to 'practice' waking up in the morning. Dragging my but out of bed by 6am was depressing and discouraging. Now, 6am feels like sleeping in. I guess that's normal. 

  • The challenge of breastfeeding is (nearly) equal to the challenge of labor. 
You do all these things to prepare yourself for labor. Labor labor labor. Prepare prepare prepare. Especially when you do a natural birth. In my opinion labor was almost easy when comparing it to the non-stop challenges of breastfeeding and nursing. Why does no one tell you how completely hard and un-natural breastfeeding can be? No wonder so many moms choose other methods, like formula, or exclusive pumping. The nurses say "After the first two weeks, its easy." I say "The first two weeks are excruciatingly PAINFUL. The next two weeks hurt, but at least your not crying. And by the fourth and fifth weeks, you MIGHT feel like you know what you are doing." Finally, at 8 weeks. I will admit that breastfeeding is FINALLY easy. I swear I almost died a couple times, but alas, I did not give up. 
"I'm precious, and I know it." 
  • The baby only loves me for my boobs. 
He's a boy, what can I say. But no, seriously. Jackson used to cry a lot when I held him because all he wanted to do when I held him was nurse. He'd be happy and sleepy in Seth's arms. Then, when he was handed to me, he'd immediately start rooting and whining to be fed. I was a little saddened by it at first, but I guess God makes them like that so they eat and gain weight. He finally quit doing this around 5-6 weeks, and now he's happy to lounge in mom's arms between feeding without demanding to be fed. 

"It's too HOT for clothes."
So yes, besides all the obvious shockers of becoming a parent, this pretty much concludes all the major items in the past 2 months I was not really expecting. Its been a thrilling, and exhausting two months. But totally worth it, and totally fun. Its not all glitter and sparkles 100% of the time, but it is most of the time, and that rules out the less enjoyable moments. 

We love you, Jackson! 

Dana & Seth 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Natural Birth Story

Just a few minutes old! 
Jackson has been here for 4 weeks now! 1 whole month of us parents staring in amazement, awe and wonder. He's the perfect addition to our family. He's so cool and chill and obviously our child. I don't know what we did to deserve this little miracle, but I'll take it!
I had an incredible natural birth experience. Jackson was born February 27th, at 7:13pm. We were 10 days overdue! He weighed 9 pounds and 8 ounces, and was 22 inches long.
Around 1 1/2 weeks before delivering, I developed sciatic nerve pain which only worsened as the day approached. This was probably the only real uncomfortable side effect from my pregnancy. I worked from home the last week and was pretty inactive.
I was starting to get REALLY worried that I would go too far past due, and no longer "qualify" to deliver at the birth center. Luckily, I had great midwives, pineapple, the "miles circuit", acupressure, 6oz of castor oil, etc, etc, etc, that put me into labor before my time was up. My water broke at 1pm on 2/27. I was actually on the toilet when it happened, and my initial thought was "Great...my bladder is officially shot." it took a moment to realize I wasn't peeing :p. TMI, yet?
Once I decided that my water may have broken, I called Seth (who was on the way to class, of course) and told him "I THINK my water broke... Though I'm not really sure." I told him to go to class anyways, because I had always read that it can ‘take hours to days’ before you go into labor from your water breaking. I called the midwife next (Melissa happened to be on call!) and she had me come up to the birth center for a check. Then I called Wendy! (my Mother-In-Law). While packing, I experienced that HUGE gush you only hear about in the movies, which confirmed it. I called Seth and Melissa back and said "it's DEFINITELY broke".
Seth met me at New Birth (along with his mom, Wendy) where Melissa checked me and declared I was 4 cm dilated. She also confirmed I was having legit contractions. Woho! I was administered antibiotics for my Group B strep, and the plan was for me to go home and labor there until my next dose of antibiotics 4 hours later. Yah! This is exactly why I chose New Birth.
We went home to our cozy apartment (only about 12 minutes from New Birth). I packed up the rest of my things super quick, while Seth cleaned up everything spick and span spotless for the soon-to-be arrival of our baby boy. Stronger contractions came on fast! I proceeded to labor on the floor of our apartment like a complete wimp. I had grand plans of walking and moving around while laboring, but with my nerve pain, that was the last thing on my mind. I laid happily on my left side, putting some pressure on my belly (recommended by Melissa to help get Jackson into better positioning) and timed my contractions with my "contraction timer" app on my phone. Yes, they make an app for that ;)
The contractions hurt A LOT. Not gonna lie! But it was a good hurt. Each one felt productive, like it had a purpose. Each one was bringing my son a little close to us. Around 4:30pm, contractions were lasting about 2 minutes long, and we're about 3 minutes apart. Fun! I'm still lying on the apartment floor like a beached whale. I probably sounded like one too! Or a dying cow... That probably would give you a good audible picture. I was excited, and I knew I could do this. It was just a matter of time before Jackson was with us for real.
About to get weighed and measured!
We called Melissa around 5pm, and told her my progress. She must have had great faith in me, or maybe I just should have sounded worse on the phone, but she told me to wait until 6:30pm before coming back. ‘WHAT?’?! was the reaction going on in my mind... but I resumed the beached whale position back on the floor.
Seth was absolutely marvelous this whole time. Always right next to me, rubbing my back and sides through contractions (which helped immensely!) but not bothering me or asking too many questions. He knew I was prepared for this, and that I was confident my body knew what to do (it did!)
6pm came around. Somehow, everything was packed and ready in the car. (go Seth!!) I miraculously managed to lug my contracting, nerve pained, doubled over self out to the car. I attempted to eat an apple on the way there. I knew eating would be important to keep up my energy. Sitting through contractions in the car was the worst. By now, they were full blown. I felt the beginning of "transition" and I was fighting not to "push". Of course, there was an accident on the highway and lots of traffic. I tried to focus on my apple. We made it there eventually with Seth's mad driving skills.
Walking into New Birth was exhilarating. I had imagined the day I would finally walk up to that building for the "real deal". That day was finally here! I'm pretty sure Melissa and the nurses knew my answer when they asked "You look great! Would you like to stay here?"
‘Holy Lord, thank you Jesus YES YES YES’.
I actually just say "Yea" but I was a lot more elaborate in my head. I went to the room, where I assumed the standard whale position on the queen sized bed. Ahhhh, love this place... I chose the "Contemporary" room. It had all my favorite colors, and it was the same room my sister-in-law had her baby (Jackson's cousin!).
Dressed to impress! And go home. Such a rockstar!
Melissa told me they wouldn't check me for a while unless I felt like I needed to push. The pushing sensation had sorta died since I was fighting it off in the car. I laid in the bed for a few minutes until I had to pee. I forgot there was something worse than contractions in the car... contractions on the freaking toilet. Oh my lord… Yup, that pushing sensation was back. I resumed whale position back on the bed, where they administered my second dose of antibiotics.
Melissa and the intern (whose name I have forgotten) checked my cervix. Almost a 10?! What? 2 more contractions later, I was a legit 10 cm dilated. It's about 7pm now.
Somehow, Mom, Dad, Dedi, Wendy, and Seth are all in the room now... Along with Melissa and a whole team of nurses. It's time to push (after dad leaves, of course). I was still on my left side. This position felt the most comfortable all day. Why change things now? Wendy held my leg up for me, while Dedi coached me on pushing. "Chin to chest!" Was the most helpful advice. My body knew what to do. I knew which contractions were "good" ones to push with. It was VERY painful, but still an effective pain. Yes, I was a bit of a screamer towards the end. Dedi coached me to hold the scream (and my breath) and turn it into pushing. This helped! I do not know what I would have done without my team.
Quick nap to pass the car ride...
In about 3-4 good pushes, I was able to reach down and feel his squashy little head. In about 2 more, he was OUT and they handed me this wide eyed beautiful slimy boy who I instantly knew was OURS! He rested skin to skin on my tummy and let out an annoyed little cry when nurse Aubrey started toweling him off. He was perfect, and he was here.
We did the delayed cord cutting, so he could get all his blood back before clamping. Seth cut the cord, and they laid him on my chest skin to skin. It was a wonderful, glorious moment. Most of the staff cleared out, and things got quieter. Holding Jackson was the most surreal thing I've ever experienced. So much love for this tiny creature with the cone shaped head and squinty eyes. Yet he's so perfect and so OURS that you can barely contain the emotion. It's still like that now.
Seth held him while Melissa helped me deliver the afterbirth. The placenta was pretty fascinating...
I got to drink my New Birth fruit smoothy and relax for a few minutes with our son. Then we started breastfeeding! Its harder than it looks, by the way. Cats, dogs and horses make it look easy... Later I was served breakfast in bed. Yum! The nurses baked a delicious chocolate cake and sang us Happy Birthday. Then I relaxed in a hot herbal bath to promote healing.
We were able to stay the night at New Birth. Aubrey was our nurse, and she was perfect! Well trained and very confident in her work. We were in excellent hands. She checked on Jackson and I every hour or so while we rested, and also helped us breastfeed.
We were discharged around 7am on 2/28. We had two home visits 24 and 48 hours later. Normally you'd have one, but with the Group B Strep, a second visit is made. Both nurses checked us out, and offered more support with breastfeeding.
The next morning, recovering and relaxing at home! 
My birth experience was amazing, and it was everything I wanted. My midwife Melissa was fabulous. The whole New Birth team was fabulous. My family and friends were fabulous too.

Jackson is the best baby a mom could ask for. We love love love him to pieces! He the next step in mine and Seth's life, and we could not be more pleased that he is ours. We love you Jackson!
P.S: I went to the chiropractor 1 week after delivery. She was completely able to eradicate my sciatic nerve pain! Woho! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Getting Down to the Wire - Nearly 39 Weeks

Remeber this???
Wow! I can't believe it - I seriously just cannot fathom how close we are to the main event. My due date is in 9 days. We are counting down in single digits now, people! One midwife told me that first time moms often go 1 - 1 1/2 weeks overdue, which is fine, because that's STILL super close... Holy cow.

I've been revamping my workout routines with lots of hip-moving-cardio (arc-glider, walking) and about a billion squats and lunges. Hopefully this baby starts thinking about coming. I'm worried he is a bit too cozy, but I don't really blame him with this ridiculously COLD weather we've been having... 

I've got to give a public shout out to my wonderful husband! He has just been fantastic throughout this whole adventure. He goes WAY above and beyond when carrying out his I-Have-a-Very-Pregnant-Wife duties. Whether its cooking and cleaning, comforting massages, encouraging words, or just helping me carry my bags to the car (I carry about 3 bags of stuff with me throughout the day), he is seriously awesome. Better yet, he's become a great prenatal workout buddy for me!

Walking lunges. Supposed to help
the baby get into position for labor. :) 
Being pregnant has been wonderful - and I'm seriously not just "saying that." I've tried (with success) to make my pregnancy an "enjoyable experience." I love learning in general, and I've loved experiencing the differences and changes that a pregnant body goes though. Plus, feeling your adorable baby moving and kicking inside you is enough to make any ones heart melt...

It hasn't all been peaches and cream, but about 88% of it has, which is totally fine with me. Its not like you feel 100% all the time when your NOT preggers anyways...so how can I complain? Working out and staying positive has been my medicine. Sometimes I back that up with a Tylenol and a nap. :P 

I'm super thankful for all the support I have had throughout my pregnancy! Last night, I met with Dedi, Wendy, Mom and Seth to talk about my expectations of labor. If you don't already know, I've chosen a non-intervention natural birthing facility called New Birth Company. Its run by a team of certified Midwifes. We talked about labor stuff and also about what I wanted each of them to do to help me through the process. Mostly managing pain and discomfort, because they do not offer epidurals or other pain medications at the birth center. 

Kettle-ball squat swings. Also supposed
to help baby drop, rotate and get into a good
birthing position. 
I'm an over planner, of course. Mom says I'll breeze through it without a problem. I think a little bit of over planning helps with the breezing process ;) 

The nursery is basically ready, and everything else has been properly nested. Jackson could come anytime, and I'd be ok with it. I've even nested at work! I'm amazed by all the things that have been given, purchased or gifted to us. I started out with ZERO, and now I have everything I need to welcome a newborn. I'm so thankful for all my supportive friends and family! 

I don't know if I'll be posting again before baby Jackson comes, so the next post might be about him. Can't wait! 

Dana Alley 

Monday, January 20, 2014

35 Week Photography

Warning! This post is very image heavy, so if you don't like photos...you might want to leave like, NOW! :D
Last weekend we met with the lovely Dawn  and she took some fabulous shots of me, Seth and the belly, aka. Jackson. The weather was pretty cooperative, and the photos just turned out GREAT. Here are some of my favorites!

So I'm 36 weeks now, and still doing well! I get lots of pushes and shoves now instead of sharp kicks. Its super cute and fun to both feel and watch. Having a little baby moving around inside is just the coolest thing. He seems to be pretty well behaved, for the most part. Can't complain!

I simply can't wait to meet this baby boy. The next 4 weeks are going to be great! Our new dresser will be delivered this Thursday, and I've got a pre-natal massage coming up this weekend. Lots of other little details are coming to a close as well. The baby room is nearly complete, and I'm wrapping up my DIY and sewing projects as well.

Thanks for checking in... Stay tuned for my next post!


Monday, January 13, 2014

35 Weeks & The Best Baby Shower Ever!


Well, LOTS has happened since my last post. I've been meaning to write about it, I promise! So far this
pregnancy has been such an awesome experience. I've taken lots of tips and tricks that have been offered up to me from friends and family; like using belly bands, tummy support belts, exercise balls, and of course, - staying active and working out!

Oh, and I listen to my mid-wives and take my red raspberry leaf and alfalfa capsules. Both designed to help in labor (stronger contractions, less bleeding, etc). Both of those equate to 13 capsules a day...goodness! I feel like I'm always popping pills. ;) 5 weeks to go!

Here are some highlights....

  • Had my baby shower!
  • Jeep died/ Leased a new car ('14 Toyota Corolla! It's amazing!) 
  • Had 35 week maternity photos taken by Dawn Vieux (blog post coming soon on this!
The baby shower that my mom (and company) threw for me was friggin' amazing! It was everything you'd expect a baby shower to be. First off, it was co-ed, which really made my dad since Seth and I are friends with lots of "couples" who either have kids, are expecting, or are just plain awesome. We wanted to celebrate with them! 

The decorations were amazing (lots of sweet boy colors popping up everywhere), the games were hilarious and the cute cottage setting was just perfect. Not to mention the food! Mom made all the food, and the presentation just impressed the heck out of everyone. I seriously thought she had it catered...turns out she's just that good. Be jealous, my friends. ;) 

I'm so very grateful for my family for putting on this amazing shower, and to all the people who helped also! I truly believe I have surrounded myself with the most awesome people and each of you bring infinite joy and support to my life. I can't wait to introduce my baby boy to you all! 

And of course I got LOTS of amazing gifts from my family and buddies. 

Until next time! - Dana