Sunday, December 30, 2012

boot camp starts...soon

dinner last night
I enjoyed my first pint last night since...April?
Some things just make sense: La Chouffe, bacon, and homemade Belgian waffles with Nutella for dinner on a quiet, snowy night.
Were it not for the sleeping newborn in her bouncy seat on our kitchen table, it would have been just like any other Saturday evening at home.
I'm starting to feel normal again.
Less shell shocked, more like myself.
Thinking less about stretch marks and a mushy abdomen and more about fresh Stans and adding a granny gear to my Salsa for the transition back to riding.

(and for what it's worth, I've thrown in the towel with breastfeeding...I am more than okay with this decision)

In roughly five weeks (maybe sooner??), I'll make an attempt to get back on the trails.
When the new year begins, it's time to reign it in.
When does the MASS schedule come out?
So out of touch.
So out of shape...

Friday, December 28, 2012


I know how fast they grow...
everyone tells you and it's true.
My eight year-old climbed onto my lap this afternoon (I have a lap again!) and it doesn't seem like so long ago that he was my little bundle.

one week later

The good:
Whatever may lie ahead doesn't matter much right now...our baby girl has been mellow and sleeping well. I am not so naive to think this is it and we have a good sleeper. She is one week old (a week already?? what the?) and I know there could be a change in our very near future. I know she is getting used to being out in the world, just as we are getting used to a brand new baby...
We've been blessed with a pretty easy transition home and that's all that matters right now.

Also, Max has been handling the change pretty well. I don't think he feels like he's starved for attention and he genuinely seems to adore his little sister. Again, I know it's early in the game, but so far so good.

Bill, as a new dad, has been nothing short of amazing. When we came home from the hospital, I was recovering from both labor and illness and Bill made sure I was rested, fed, and hydrated right alongside our newborn. He's showing me that it's okay for things to be good...I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop, but we're working on that.

The bad:
Breastfeeding has been tough.
I didn't even intend to nurse our baby, but something changed and I wanted to give it a try.
In the hospital, I did not have Maeve room in with me at night because I was so sick, but all nursing attempted during the day was successful.
At home, she has refused the breast more and more and now that my milk is established, I've began pumping so I can at least supplement with a little breastmilk.
It's not even that I feel guilty giving her formula, I just really enjoyed the experience of nursing her and I'm frustrated that it's not working.
I also know not to give up on that yet...I know it doesn't come as naturally as one may think and it does take practice.
One other "bad" thing...
Bringing home a baby in the dead of winter when already faced with Seasonal Affective Disorder and postpartum hormonal chaos is challenging.
I feel isolated and anxious for sunshine...cabin fever sucks.
Things could be so much worse, though...and as I mentioned, I am sleeping.  
So, yay!

The Ugly:
Quite simply, my midsection.
I came home looking about six months pregnant.
My belly is swollen, mushy, and quite round.
Yeah, took nine months to get here, it's not going to bounce back overnight...blah blah blah.
Before I know it, I'll be back on the bike and feeling more energetic.
But, for now, I feel pretty gross.

How has it been a week?
This time last Friday, my epidural was wearing off and I was telling Bill it would be time to push soon.
I'll share the birth story soon.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

settling in

I'm sure there are some rough nights in my near future, but right now I am basking in how well things are going.
I was scared to come home with a newborn again...
I was scared of feeling helpless and inexperienced (hey, it's been a while)...
I was scared of those first few sleepless nights weeks when everything feels desperate and lonely in those late hours.
Thankfully, things have been relatively normal and manageable.

I keep pinching myself...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

day two at home

Christmas is quietly winding down here and I am just so overwhelmed with gratitude to be home.
In between uncontrollable crying jags (will these hormones ever stop bossing me around?) and moments of zombie-like sleepiness, I've been reflecting on this amazing blessing and falling in love with my brand new little girl.

Bill and I gave her a bath tonight (barely any tears, surprisingly) and I had to keep reminding myself to soak this in...she isn't going to be so tiny and new for very long.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

at last...

Maeve Noel
born Friday 12/21/12 3:41am
7lbs 6oz 24 in (yes, 24!)

We are all happy to be home and healthy and together for the holidays...
Merry Christmas!

I'll be back after we are a bit more settled...xo

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

39 weeks

Still here, still very pregnant.
Doctor's appointment this morning revealed the following:
  • weight gain is fine (I stopped looking at the scale several weeks ago, and in turn have enjoyed this pregnancy much more)
  • BP is fine
  • baby's HR is fine
  • belly is measuring fine
  • everything is FINE
Everything is fine and for that I am grateful.
I can't help feeling disappointed that nothing has progressed.
Like, at all.
"Looks like you'll be having a Christmas baby. Somebody has to, right?"

What's another week (or more) now that I'm nearly ten months into it?
I mean, I'm kind of tired of my rib cage serving as somebody's jungle gym.
I'm kind of tired of being this shape.
I'm kind of tired of wearing the same three outfits.

Mostly, I am beside myself with excitement to hold our baby (when I'm not too busy being tired).
Come on

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I am ready (baby is not)

With my due date just 10 days away (10 days), I am ready...
It's weird to be anticipating such pain with this much excitement.
The closer I get, the more dejected I feel every time I don't experience any "signs" (and trust me, there have been zero).
I need to accept that everything will unfold in time, the baby will come.
I won't be pregnant forever.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

it makes no sense

The tragic events that took place in Connecticut yesterday rattled me and left my mind racing all afternoon and through the night.
I can't stop thinking of the families and parents of the children who lost their lives.
I can't stop thinking about how terrifying it must have been for all those kids at school.
All those little kids.
I counted the minutes, impatiently, to pick up my son at the bus stop.
We talked about his day on our walk back to the house.
Fridays are great...pretzel day, no homework...kid stuff.
Sometimes the school store is open on Friday and the kids can purchase inexpensive items like erasers, fancy pencils, small trinkets and toys.
Kid stuff.
Elementary school.
Stuff that makes Fridays fun and signify the end of a week's worth of hard work.
The television was off all afternoon at our wasn't a conscious choice and I was braced to talk about the events if prompted.
Instead, the draw of cookies warm from the oven led Max straight to the kitchen.
We sat at the table and tried (and failed) to make clever origami animals.
I said, "Screw it, Max. Get the scissors."
We made colorful snowflakes and Mexican wrestler's masks out of the paper instead.
My mind wandered & my eyes filled with tears (which I easily blamed on hormones yet again) and I wondered how my school teacher friends were processing this (if they could process this).
And my heart broke all afternoon and all night, mostly, for the kids.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

good morning

These blossoms greet me whenever I walk this particular loop and I am always amazed that they've hung on through frost, snow, and even a "superstorm." Hearty little bastards won't quit!

Long walk, sunshine, breakfast with my cousin, nap...
perfect Thursday morning.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

eat nap repeat

The past two days have given new meaning to "low energy."
I don't know if it's the gray skies or what, but I have been more inclined to want to crawl back into bed for a few hours more than anything else.
By December, the winter blues inevitably start to peck away at me, but I usually fight back with long rides and hard physical efforts outdoors.
I guess my long walks near home just aren't cutting it?
Or perhaps my body is telling me to slow down and save some energy for the big (biggest?) task at hand?

There have been tiny moments of motivation to cook and nest in between naps and endless cups of chamomile tea, so I seize them when the urge strikes.
Last night, I made lasagna...I've mastered ziti and homemade pasta and pizza dough from scratch and all kinds of goodies that would do Erma proud, but lasagna has somehow eluded me all these years.
Armed with a bit of guidance from Lidia, I assembled this little beauty for dinner while the boys went Christmas tree shopping.
(see, too tired to get a tree)
After fueling up on homemade goodness, Max cued up the Frosty DVD and we decorated our tree.

And of course even that wore me out and I fell asleep shortly after nine with my book splayed across my belly...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I remember this

Every twinge, every cramp, every odd pain, every Braxton Hicks contraction that lasts just a tiny bit longer or feels just a tiny bit uncomfortable...
is this it? is this it?
No...this is 38 weeks and the waiting game.

Tomorrow is Bill's birthday.
December is a packed month around here.

Monday, December 10, 2012


One doctor said, "Any day now..."
Another doctor said, "Looks like you'll be holding out til Christmas."
From here on out, it's up to me if I want to be "checked" at my weekly appointments.
I think I'll just let nature take its course and not worry about how much I've progressed/dilated since my last visit.

all bets are off. I'm nearly thirty-eight weeks and I am ready not quite ready anyway.
Although I am rather physically uncomfortable, I'm fine with waiting a while longer (and let's face it, it's not really up to me).
Over the weekend, we made final preparations around the house (rearranging/re-purposing rooms/organizing) and for the first time in ages ever, everything has a place.
So, yes...
we are prepared, but I am not quite ready to part with the incredible feeling of building a human.
Now that I'm home and able to take it all in, I'm finally able to enjoy what is probably the last time I'll be pregnant.

Having said that, it would be really nice to be home and settled as a family of four for Christmas ;)

Thursday, December 6, 2012


"So, about six weeks til you'll be back on the bike?"
"More like six weeks after the baby is born." 

photo by Anthony Skorochod Charm City 2011

I'm no fool...
I know how hard this is going to be.
I also know I haven't done much in the way of maintaining the kind of fitness it takes to ride the way I am used to.
(I also have to step back alongside that sentiment and cut myself a little slack...this pregnancy hasn't exactly been a breeze)
Anyway, I miss it...

(not enough to get my ass out the door and go for a long walk today, evidently...I think I may have finally succumbed to Max's ailments)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

37 weeks (full term)

Thirty seven weeks...
Here I am.
Resting at home with my feet up, hydrating like crazy.
Doctor's orders (in fact, there is a note in my purse that I must fax to work...maternity leave has officially commenced, a little earlier than anticipated).
All is well, everything is okay.

Monday, December 3, 2012

tomorrow he's 8

My son's been sick since Thanksgiving.
I took him to a new doctor this morning and he was promptly diagnosed with a double ear infection and
a sinus infection (this after 4 missed days of school, 2 and a half missed days of work for me, and 2 futile visits to our original pediatrician).
Anyway, he's finally getting some relief and that's all I really care about.

Tomorrow is Max's 8th birthday.
He's such an awesome kid and every day I feel lucky to be his mom.
I feel lucky that he clings to me when he's not feeling well...
I feel lucky that he feels confident enough to express outlandish ideas and ask me big questions...
I feel lucky that he's honest and sensitive and has a pretty keen bullshit detector...

I feel lucky that he's mine.
Happy 8th (!!) Birthday, Max!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

36 weeks (instagram documentation)

That is one big belly. 
I'm not looking at the scale from here on out, but I'm guessing there is an extra 33 lbs on my 5'2" frame right now.
It's exhausting, but look how happy I am!

my Crank Bros Gran Prix hoodie still "fits"...

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Wissahickon Cross 2009
 I thought about what it's like to race this time of year when I got in my car this morning.
As I waited for the windshield to defrost a bit, I thought of clumsy fingers numb with cold hastily pinning numbers to my skinsuit.
I thought of the end of November and just a handful of races remaining on the calendar.
I thought of those bitter cold moments on the start grid, trying in vain to calmly keep my teeth from chattering.

Getting back on the bike in February is going to be tough.
I haven't had a chance to ease into the falling temps or acclimate myself to winter riding.
Good thing I don't mind bundling up.
Good thing I still have those Toko gloves and a sick sort of affection for the coldest winter adventures.

photo credit: Dennis Smith

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

36 Weeks (misshapen)

Nearly full term.
Sweet tooth is out of control.
Emotions are out of control.
Swelling at the end of the day is out of control.

My hands fall asleep often...especially at night time.
My belly button is inside out.
My appendix scar is in the middle of my belly (instead of my lower abdomen, directly above my right hip)...I thought it was a stretch mark, but no.
Things are just oddly misplaced and misshapen.

I miss my bike.
This is the longest I have gone without riding in nine years (if you count spinning or riding a trainer when I was pregnant with Max).
This is the least "athletic" I have felt in nine years.

My son will be eight next week. His hands are almost as big as mine.
I can't believe how fast eight years has gone by, how much we have been through together.
I can't believe in a matter of weeks he will be somebody's big brother.

Monday, November 26, 2012


I blush easily and cry uglier than, well, anyone.
With week 36 fast approaching, I was able to show off my Ugly Crier Face (disturbingly blotchy and red, impressively puffy) at the pediatrician this afternoon.
All it took was a receptionist having a serious case of the Mondays, a misunderstanding about my son's insurance, and my own raging hormones.
Three hours, many phone calls, one chest xray (Max does not have pneumonia...yay), and countless tears (mine) later, I finally got myself under control.
It takes about that long to look like myself again.

Only 4 more weeks of this.
Unless I go past my due date.
And if that's the case...
just steer clear of me, I guess.

Friday, November 23, 2012

hospital bag...

It's a bit different than packing for a race (although both require a bag of gummi cola bottles).
I know I did this once before, but all I remember is packing an outfit for the baby and those hideous (and hurtful) Adidas sandals. This time:
  • ipod dock
  • 2 nightshirts
  • my favorite socks
  • real undies (I haven't forgotten about the weird mesh ones provided by the hospital...ewww)
  • a cute Paul Frank robe (scored at Target for $8 on clearance)
  • flip flops
  • toiletries
  • plenty of hair elastics and barrettes (last time I did this my hair was super short)
On our way out, we'll grab the camera, phones, and my pillow. Probably wouldn't hurt to throw in a change of clothes for Bill in the event that I don't have a roommate and he is able to spend the night.
What have I forgotten?

This is happening?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

35 Weeks (Thanksgiving Eve)

I'm almost 30 lbs heavier than I was when I got pregnant.
(that's a hell of turkey, huh?)

35 weeks seems pretty momentous...only 5 or so to go.
35 weeks sounds to me like, "Maybe pack that hospital bag so there is one less thing to think about."

I was never big on going out on Thanksgiving Eve anyway...too crowded, too crazy.
I'll be spending this quiet evening with my feet up and eating rice pudding for dinner.
Don't be jealous.

Friday, November 16, 2012

comfort measures (34 weeks) and a belated birth story

At this morning's check-up, my OB informed me that I will probably not have the option of an epidural during labor due to my increasingly low platelet count.
What's a girl to do?
gentlemen, be forewarned...the following paragraph is probably TMI ...such is life in the third trimester. 
Head to the spa for a painful bikini wax, that's what. (maybe that sounds like punishment, but at this stage in the game, it's actually a necessary "indulgence")
Bikini wax in the third trimester (while the nether regions are extra sensitive due to all that pressure), drug-free childbirth...pshaw...I got this.  
I'll say it again:
Being a woman is awesome.

I'm all about comfort measures this last month+ of pregnancy...if I can't have pain relief during childbirth, I'm just going to make damn sure I feel as comfortable and good about myself in the weeks leading up to the big day.

A maternity massage may be in my near future.
I finally broke down and bought an inexpensive cute pair of size 8 shoes to see me through.
I also purchased some new PJs and undies...I deserve to be comfortable.
Why has it taken me eight months to figure this part out?

As for the drug-free childbirth? Well, I almost nailed that once before, though not intentionally.
I don't think I've ever touched on my experience with Max's birth here.
For those interested, this is my attempt at his birth story:

Max born 12/4/04 6lbs 8 oz 20 in.
Mostly (and regrettably), it's a blur.
The night before our son was born, Jeff and I had dinner in town and walked all over West Chester for the Olde Fashioned  Christmas parade (one of my favorite West Chester traditions). I remember how freezing, freezing cold it was and I could barely zip up my puffy green jacket.
At 39 weeks pregnant, this was the week before my due date.
Hazel, our boxer, would not leave my side all night was like she could not snuggle up close enough and she kept trying to burrow her head in my non-existent lap. I think she sensed that something big was about to happen.
Dogs are keen like that, right?
We went to bed and I woke up around 3am with mild cramps.
Since I had already lost my mucous plug on Thanksgiving (and miraculously, still had an appetite after that little horror show) and was a few centimeters dilated at my checkup earlier that week, I was pretty certain labor was starting.
Rather than wake Jeff, I showered and got didn't take long for contractions to become regular and uncomfortable.
I wouldn't feel this calm again until seven frantic hours later.
By 7am we were on our way to Bryn Mawr hospital.
En route, my contractions were strong enough to take my breath away and make it difficult to speak.
"Maybe we should come up with some girl names," was pretty much the only thing I said during the 45 minute drive.
That and, "Call the hospital and tell them I want an epidural. Fuuuuuck. NOW."
as if it works that if the anesthesiologist is just waiting in the parking lot with his needle and his drugs, ready to just pop that sucker in your spine...
The next few hours are where things get fuzzy because I was progressing very quickly and the pain was incredibly intense.
Way bigger than me, way bigger than anything I was prepared for.
Bigger than broken bones or horrendous mountain bike races or four hour tattoo sessions...bigger than anything I could have imagined.
All I remember is gripping the rails of the bed, writhing in pain, wishing each contraction away, begging and praying for even just a little relief.
I was given oxygen and told to lie on my left side because my blood pressure was dropping and the baby's heart rate was declining.
In spite of my wishes and pleas to have an epidural, I didn't actually receive it until I was 9cm dilated.
I'm still not sure why it took so long because there wasn't much action on the labor & delivery floor that night. All I know is the nurse kept assuring me she would page the anesthesiologist, "just hang in there a little longer..."
Like, how much longer? I think I would have handled the pain better if they had just said, "Sorry, but you're going to do this naturally."
The proverbial dangling carrot ("he'll be here soon, I paged him again...") was awful.
So, yeah...9 cm.
Although I had made it through transition drug-free, I didn't realize the hardest part was behind me.
I didn't have the presence of mind at that point to realize I was nearly ready to push, that I was nearly complete.
The epidural gave me almost immediate relief, but I was so wiped out and scared and mentally depleted.
When it was finally time to push, I couldn't feel a thing (because my epidural was administered so close to me becoming fully dilated and effaced) and I was too tired to focus.
Eventually, the doctor used vacuum suction to assist in the delivery of our baby because his heart rate kept falling. It was as if my body just stalled out after all that hard work, which only made me feel more frustrated and disappointed in myself.
Minutes later, with the doctor's intervention, the baby was born.
Our son was placed on my chest; squirming, slimy, pink, and perfect.
I will never forget those tiny seconds upon holding him in my arms when he was alert enough for our eyes to lock.
Max had arrived.
All the craziness and pain and intensity and fear and everything that mattered so much leading up to that moment didn't matter at all anymore.

( only took me seven nearly eight years to write his birth story)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

34 weeks...steady as she goes

34 weeks...
That leaves only six.
At this point, I am in full-on anticipation/excitement mode.
Wondering...boy or girl? 
Since the beginning, my gut has been "girl", but now I find myself wavering whenever someone (a stranger, typically) scrutinizes my belly and declares, "Oh, a boy for sure."
[yes strangers do this...and often]

I feel shamefully tired pretty much from noon til whenever my sorry ass gets to bed (just shy of 8pm a few nights ago).
Do you know what a body pillow is?
It's like an awkward third party in your bed, a space invader, if you will...
it's a pillow that is as long as me, over-stuffed (like me) and...nevermind.
In any case, Bill tossed one in our cart at Target last weekend, in spite of my bratty protests.
Guess what? I love my body pillow.
Love. Love. Love.
Although it creates a massive divide between me and my husband, it gives me support where I need it and allows me to get some comfortable, quality sleep between countless trips to the bathroom during the night.
I almost feel like I should name it (but, that would be creepy and weird).
(and this is the honeymoon phase??...riiiiight)
So, yeah...
34 weeks.
Me and my behemoth pillow and behemoth belly just holding steady til December.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


When I act this way lately, it probably just means I need to be fed.
And I was out of my standard breakfast supplies this morning (fish tank gravel Grape Nuts, Very Vanilla soy milk, decaf Irish breakfast tea).
And Bill left to procure these items while I went back to bed (to pout, not sleep) and I texted him,
Who does that??!!!   

Honestly, I'm mortified by my moodiness lately...sure, hormones are probably to blame, but that doesn't make it okay.

Today I am buying some items for my hospital bag (!) and perhaps some cheap shoes and pjs.
Nothing fits, not even my shoes.
Seven(ish)  more weeks.

Friday, November 9, 2012


After breakfast with Lisa, this morning, I headed to Stroud's Preserve for a walk.
Stroud's reminds me of my old boxer, Hazel (best dog ever) and I could picture her bounding through the marshy reeds.
Sloppy and soaked, with a giant stick in her mouth.

I meant to walk the main gravel road out and back, but the sunshine was too beautiful to waste and I found myself exploring trails and wandering across the fields.
I like walking by myself...
(I like having company, too, but I don't mind being solo).

Happy Friday, at last! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

33 Weeks (just a big, puffy zombie)

As I was putting braces on a patient this morning, my baby definitely nudged/kicked her in the head.
My patient looked up at me, eyes wide, alarmed.
"Sorry, but I think my baby just kicked you!"
This is becoming a regular occurence as I am running out of personal space

33 weeks in and suddenly I am way more tired at the end of the work day.
By the time I see my last few patients, my hands are almost too swollen for the gloves and my feet are positively aching.
My face is even tired.
When I get home, I need to keep moving or I will collapse in a heap before Jeopardy is on.
I feel like I need to remind myself to talk to my family or engage in some interaction during dinner.
In short, I feel like a puffy zombie.

Knowing I probably won't go down this road again (although I did say that before), I'm determined to really enjoy these last weeks of my pregnancy, in spite of this exhaustion.
Yoga and long walks are satisfying my need to move, though my pace has slowed down quite a bit.
I've noticed after the first mile of a long walk, I feel awesome...after I am good & warmed up, my posture is great, my core feels strong, movement doesn't feel labored or heavy or sloooooow anymore.
Typically, that lasts for a solid mile, maybe a little more, and then I hit a wall again.
Tired, aching, heavy, dragging, (or you know, very pregnant).
I'll take the bloating and the heartburn and the nausea and the jabbing in my ribs and the disgustingly swollen feet and shortness of breath and dark circles under my eyes and waking up to pee every hour all night long and the ever-increasing weight strapped to the front of my body...
it's freaking miraculous and I'm in awe of this whole process, good and bad.
I'll also gladly take my husband lavishing me with encouraging words and the lustrous hair that is finally growing past my shoulders and the best my skin has looked in my thirties and the softest my hands have felt perhaps ever and the lively kicks I get to feel all day long reminding me that Baby Showers is growing and moving and thriving...

I'm not going to say I'll miss this huge belly, but approaching the end of this pregnancy feels bittersweet.

(remind me that at week 40, okay? and don't let me near the castor oil if it comes to that...I've heard the horror stories..thanks)

Monday, November 5, 2012


I attended one cross race this season (as a spectator, duh).
And I forgot my cowbell.
As we approached the venue (West Chester Cross at Bayard Rustin High School, minutes from home), my nerves inexplicably got a hold of me.  
Not wanting to miss my dad's start, I hopped out of the car while Bill parked and made my way to the grid.
By then, I felt the all too familiar pangs of full-on pre-race jitters.
Between the smell of embrocation in the air and the caution tape flapping in the wind, I felt queasy and anxious (not morning sickness this time, trust me).
And I wasn't even racing...

My dad had one of those "not my day" races (the kind we all seem to have when friends and family come out in force to cheer and spectate), but I'm glad I got to stand on the hillside and watch him hurry over the barriers and fly down the steep grassy slope.

I'm glad one of us is out there doing our thing.


Sunday, November 4, 2012


The calendar is quickly filling up with birthday parties, holiday engagements, school activities, work commitments...
and doctor appointments.
OB check-ups every two weeks til I reach 36 weeks, then weekly check-ups until delivery.
And blood work weekly to monitor platelets.
Oh my.

A morning hike at French Creek yielded very tired legs and sore hips.
Two hours seems to be my max these days.
Following familiar lines along trails I've been riding for years, I kept imagining how odd it's going to feel to ride there again.
I wonder how long it will take to get my fitness and confidence back.
I wonder how much that's even going to matter to me once our baby is born.

As we wrapped up our hike and crossed the dam at Scott's Run, somehow my mind wandered to that snowy, icy cross race at Reston several years ago...I remember shivering in the bathroom before the race, puking from nerves (and the flu, as it turned out), struggling to get my gloves back on because my hands were shaking so badly.
I remember the bridge covered in solid ice (as well as perhaps 75% of the course).
I just can't fathom putting myself out there like that again any time soon (out there meaning treacherous conditions, hours and hours from home for a mere 45 minutes of utter punishment).
We shall see...

Friday, November 2, 2012

32 weeks...getting closer

This morning's ultrasound revealed a very active, 4lb baby with a heart rate of 151 bpm.
At twenty weeks, there was a concern about the position of the placenta, but all is well and I am on track for a normal vaginal delivery.
(huge sigh of relief)
What else?
All the other measurements and stats look healthy and within normal ranges (fluid levels, etc)...I've spent the better part of this pregnancy worrying about pretty much everything, so now I am determined to relax and enjoy this home stretch.
I can do that.
I can relax.

As for me, my platelets are still low and we will continue to monitor that til the end (weekly blood work, no biggie). If the numbers dip really low (or "ridiculously so," according to my OBGYN), it means no epidural.
I can do that.
(I nearly did with Max, but that's another story for another day)

I've gained 25 lbs overall, which my doc insists is "perfect," but I would argue it's a tad much.
In fact, his words were, "Go ahead and enjoy some of that leftover Halloween candy..."
[dutifully unwraps mini Heath bar...aaaand fun size Whoppers...]     

I feel good.
I feel reassured.
32 weeks...holy sh*t.
Halloween came and went, ghosts were busted, sugar meltdowns ensued...the usual

Monday, October 29, 2012

Stormy Monday

"They call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday's just as bad..."

Although our office was open today, I opted to stay home (and suffer the consequences). The storm isn't supposed to get bad until this afternoon, but I didn't want to risk getting stuck or being the jackass in a bad situation on my way home.
(not to mention being eight months pregnant, but whatever...)

For the moment, we still have power, but the lights keep flickering.
Max is worried about Halloween being canceled.
I'm trying to be patient and lift his spirits with watercolors, Legos, grilled cheese, and Tom & Jerry.

oil pastels, watercolors, pajamas

chai lattes

parfait inspired by Pee Wee's Playhouse

chocolate chip oatmeal Biscoff bars 

Shrinky Dinks!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pumpkinpalooza 2012

This tradition is one of my favorites and almost makes up for the fact that I am too old for trick-or-treating.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

(not complaining) 31 weeks

I miss:
  • green tea (although, I have enjoyed it sparingly)  
  • coffee
  • beer
  • my waist
  • jeans that zip/button
  • bending over/down to pick things up when I drop them (you should see the detritus left on the floor in my clumsy wake...socks, ponytail holders, coins, cereal...I'm like Pig Pen, only better-smelling and maybe a tiny bit cuter)
I forget:
  • what it's like to not wake up at least six  eight times to pee in the middle of the night
  • how to tie my shoes without losing my breath
  • how easy it is to shave my legs when I can see what I'm doing
I can't wait:
  • til my dad stops remarking how huge I am to everyone and anyone within earshot (the dog, the next-door neighbor, the UPS man)
  • to hold our brand new baby
  • to finally know...boy or girl?!
  • to ride trails...rocky, rooty, hilly trails (yes, I know those hills are going to hurt)
(not necessarily in that order)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I Love Fall

There's a lot more time for stuff like this when weekends don't involve packing the car/gathering gear/prepping bikes/racing/racing/racing...
I miss it, but I don't.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

thirty weeks

The jump from twenty to thirty weeks is a blur.
I don't know where the time went, but I am getting very excited about giving birth to baby Showers. 
Now there is a baby inside me weighing nearly three pounds...
a baby strong enough to wake me in the middle of the night with some serious kicking.

After Max read a book to me the other night (I can't believe he is reading stories to ME now), he said,
"Can I sing to the baby?"
"Sure, go for it."
He leaned over and got close to my belly, cupping his hands around either side of his mouth as if to tell a secret...
Quietly, I heard him almost whisper/sing,
"Party Rock is in the house toniiiiight...
Everybody just have a good time...
We gonna make you lose your mind...
We just wanna see you have a good time"

I was thinking he'd go for twinkle, twinkle little star or something...
Party Rock Anthem.

He's going to be an awesome brother.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

bulking up

Lately, I've been longing to ride.
Fall rides are the best...blah blah blah...but, I've been been logging plenty of hours wandering on trails on my own two feet.
It must be the crunchy leaves underfoot and the smell of autumn in the woods that has me so nostalgic for two wheels and arm warmers.
At Friday's routine OB appointment, my doctor (a legit cyclist himself) asked if I am still mountain biking and assured me I still can.
"Yeah, I haven't been on trails in over a month...I don't exactly fit on the bike anymore. Look at me!"
We both laughed.

I've bulked up about 20 lbs (!) so this point, all I can do is laugh as the numbers climb every time I step on that scale.
With two+ months to go, I'll probably gain somewhere around 30 lbs total.
That sounds like a lot, but apparently is within a healthy range.

Yesterday, we hiked at Ridley Creek (and maybe got a tiny bit lost turned around)...Seven+ months pregnant, one solid hour of vigorous walking and plenty of hills left me pretty destroyed for the rest of the afternoon.
I took a nap just so I could stay awake past dark.

Weekends spent without an alarm or scrambling to pack and travel to races have been quite relaxing.
I said that.

Friday, October 12, 2012

on doping

Last night I started reading some of the testimony and affidavits related to the USADA investigation.

I began composing an objective post about my thoughts on the investigation and the witnesses and their testimonies, not to mention the emails, correspondence and photographs submitted as evidence...
But, honestly, I am just grossed out by the whole thing.
I can't even find any eloquent or articulate ways to express how I felt reading the affidavits other than
just. grossed. out.
And Hincapie's testimony left me feeling especially nauseated.

Grossed out by cheating and lying and trying to justify it and grossed out by the lengths some people will go to in order to manipulate their own biology for sport, for livelihood, for "glory."
Grossed out by the smugness.

This isn't me being naive, thinking this wasn't going on or doesn't exist in our sport...I know it has, I know it does...but, reading those affidavits made me feel so uneasy.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

this guy....

This guy has been so tireless, supportive, and encouraging the past seven months.
I don't know how he does it and nothing seems to rattle him...
Hormonal meltdowns about cluttered closets and ill-fitting clothes, panic attacks about sweatpants and dirty dishes, Pregzilla moodiness ("you're BREATHING near me!!"), cravings for disgusting dry cereal, constant indecisiveness about what's for dinner, incessant chatter about money worries/workplace worries/baby worries ...

He has handled it all like a pro.

Suddenly, in the throes of the third trimester (already??!), I feel like I am in pregnancy survival mode.
At the end of a busy work day, it's all I can do to get out of my scrubs and into bed...dinner and a bath feel like insurmountable chores. My husband and son are definitely not getting the attention they deserve (notes left on the kitchen counter reminding Bill to help Max with homework after school don't count).
Still, this guy has been nothing short of amazing.

I can't wait to see him with our baby.


Monday, October 8, 2012

oh, blogger

Apparently, I've used up my photo storage quota on Blogger.
I knew it was only a matter of time before all those narcissistic race photos and gratuitous self-portraits caught up to me.
Now I have an excuse to explore other platforms for my blog habit...
May take me a while because I suck at all things "tech"...


thanks, I'll be back...

Thursday, October 4, 2012


While scraping Nutella from the jar with animal crackers earlier, I probably should have been thinking, "it's not going to be easy when I finally get back on the bike this winter..."
What I was actually thinking was, "This is the highlight of my day and Nutella on animal crackers is fucking AWESOME."

I am twenty-eight weeks pregnant.
Roughly ten to twelve weeks from giving birth and bringing home a baby.
Roughly ten to twelve weeks from clutching my belly, doubled over, begging for an epidural before I'm even sure if it's actual labor (if memory serves me correctly).

Lately, I alternate between bouts of pure excitement and complete anxiety.
And these moods strike hardest in the middle of the night after a long day when I really just need sleep.
I better get used to it.

I'm huge, I'm happy, I'm feeling pretty good right now...
Tired, with aching feet, but feeling pretty good.

gratuitous poor quality self-portrait

Monday, October 1, 2012

Good Friends, Bad Weather...Vermont 2012

The weather was not on our side this year, but we had a great time during our brief pilgrimage to Vermont.
The Kingdom Trails offered a completely different perspective on two feet and I really enjoyed wandering through the woods.
My bike remained on the deck, under rainy skies, for the duration...which, honestly, is probably for the better. As you can see, I'm only getting bigger at this point and even smooth double-track would probably be ill-advised from here on out.

With baby on board, I found it quite easy to relax in the company of great friends...
Warm fires, indoor s'mores, hot chocolate, good conversation, and the most colorful foliage I've ever seen in the Northeast Kingdom made for an amazing weekend away.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

magically delicious

This is what it's come to...
Lucky Charms for dessert/dinner at 9:30pm.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Charm City Day Two (guess what? I still wasn't there...)

But, if I was:
Predictably, I always seem to fare better the second day and Charm City is no exception.
Today I just wanted to hold my own and stay (mostly) upright. Although I was DFL, I was happy to plow through the sand on two wheels every lap.
Yay, me.
And I didn't get pulled. 
(until one lap to go...)

Sounds about right.

My weekend really involved too much pasta, maybe some gelato, a perfect autumn hike on my favorite trails, some challenging yoga, warming up by the fire in my parent's backyard, and holding my best friend's perfect, tiny newborn baby girl.
Blows my mind how fast the past twenty-six weeks have passed.

I'm going to celebrate this first full day of fall with a Sweetzel's Spiced Wafer and a cup of hot cocoa, then probably fall asleep while we watch the Hangover (on TNT, so I'm sure all the good stuff is cut out anyway).

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Charm City Day One (I wasn't there)

Seven years ago I fell in love with cross in the middle of a muddy pumpkin patch.

Right now I miss red wine, rocky trails, espresso, and cyclocross.
Mostly cyclocross.

Having said that, I love being pregnant right now.
I am in awe of the kicks and movement I feel, now a predictable cycle of activity and inactivity throughout the day.
Baby responds to cold drinks, ice cream, and anything sweet...
Interestingly, Bowie and Jimmy Cliff also elicit lots of movement when I am driving.

How's that for a race report?

If I had raced Charm City today (you know, not in my current "state"), I imagine it would have gone something like this:
I fought like hell to not get lapped by Nikki or Helen Wyman, but ultimately got pulled with a lap to go...Conditions were amazing, but damn, it was HOT!  Charm City remains one of my favorite races and I can't wait for day two. Too nervous to sleep, too destroyed to do anything else.

Next year.   

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Over the weekend, my best friend labored at home for thirty-six hours (thirty-six plus, actually...but, who's counting? Me. I'm counting.)
We were turned away from the hospital twice.
The third attempt yielded these golden words from the doc,
"Well, the good news is you are nine centimeters dilated."
At ten centimeters, one is "complete" and ready to push.
So, nine centimeters...nbd. Can she stay this time, and you know, have the baby??
I'm not surprised...I've known Beth since middle school and I've rarely seen her rattled or flustered or unhinged.
In fact, we're pretty much opposite in that regard.
Even still, I don't think Beth's loosely constructed "birth plan" involved showing up at the hospital fighting the urge to push in the elevator or receiving an epidural at 9cm if only to be able to breathe for a pause and gather herself before the monumental task of delivering a child.

At last, Beth gave birth to a perfect, pink, squirmy eight pound baby girl on Sunday evening.
I was there to (hide my nervousness) and hold her legs and breathlessly count with the nurse as Beth pushed and pushed and pushed...
I was there to see my amazingly strong friend calmly give birth to her daughter after nearly two days of grueling labor (during which I barely saw her pause or wince or complain)...labor that took us from her home, to a cafe in East Falls for lunch, back home, to the hospital (only to be turned away), to dinner at the tap room, back home, to the hospital again (only to be turned away...again), all while enduring steady and increasingly uncomfortable contractions every five minutes.
I can only hope I have a shred of her strength when my time comes. A shred.
It was pretty much the most graceful, most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed.

And the little baby murmurs and sounds? god.

Beth & Aria


  • instant pudding (pistachio...the fake, green Jello instant pudding)
  • hot chocolate (Swiss marshmallows)
  • sugary cereal (I still can't find Frankenberry or Count And I feel like I can't get out the Halloween decorations until those cereals show up on the shelves at Giant)
Sadly, I'm not indulging in these cravings (yet)...the kitchen is in a sorry state and we skipped grocery shopping this weekend (too busy with broken toes, food poisoning, and babies being born).

As for babies being born, my best friend had her baby on Sunday.
More on that as soon as I get her okay.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

a little ride

This morning I rode my bike for the first time in over a month...
Understandably, it was a little bit uncomfortable.
After fifty (yes, only fifty) minutes, I was done and realized I need to make a few modifications before my next ride.
Or just borrow my mom's cushy cruiser.
Still, it was liberating to get outside and pedal...I've been missing that.
A lot.
There have been a few hormonal meltdowns this week...a few completely unexplained crying jags and all I could think was, I want to ride my bike. I need to ride my bike.
For the past nine years, riding my bike has been my number one coping mechanism, my equalizer, my thing.
Sometimes I feel a little lost when I can't get on my bike and just go.
Fifty minutes on some cinders along the creek did me a world of good.

at the bus stop this week, a mom said, "My daughter asked if I had noticed Max's mom is getting chunky..."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

girl with a plan...

I've been asked about my birth plan lately...
birth plan?

I "plan" to (hopefully) deliver a healthy baby somewhere around the 40 week mark with as much or as little medical intervention as I need.
As for for pain relief? Yes please, if possible...
and that's about it.
As you can see, there is plenty of room within my plan for changes and modifications.

But, my other plan...
Get back on the bike by late February and be ready to race show up at some endurance races come April.
That is my plan.
I'm not gonna lie...the beautiful weather this week has me positively longing for rocks and roots and tricky switchbacks.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

twenty-four weeks...Adapting

Yet again, our office is closed this week. I am broke, but so grateful for the time off.
I am making the most of these quiet, mostly lazy days at home while I can.

This morning I went to the mall.
With my parents.

My dad actually treated me to a pair of cute maternity jeans (there is such a thing...but, they are, like, seventy bucks, so thanks, dad!).
I think that's it for maternity clothes for me. With roughly three and a half months (!) to go, I am going to do my best with what I've got.
Even if it means wearing a threadbare Hello Kitty t-shirt every other day because it's comfy and covers my massive belly entirely.
I thought I was vain, but that was before I willingly ventured out at odd hours in sweatpants and no bra to get my fix of Gummi Cola Bottles and US Weekly.
I'm like a whole new woman...(or something)        

Lately, I'm going through a lazy phase and even that is kicking my ass.
When I was expecting Max, I was pretty smug about being so active, so full of energy, so awesome at being pregnant.
"I taught a spinning class the morning I went into labor...I can still zip up my winter coat...What are stretchmarks?"
This time around has been a bit humbling (thank god) and I have no problem throwing in the towel and giving in to the exhaustion of being a normal thirty-seven year-old working mom who also happens to be pregnant.
I'm pretty good at guilting myself into moving, but the past few days I have found it easy to just chill.

Just. chill.

See, I'm adapting...
Twenty-four weeks and finally, I am adapting and enjoying.
I am going to make a toasted bagel with processed cheese melted on it because that is my favorite thing to eat right now.
My eating habits are back to that of a picky child.
I pack my (picky) son's lunch and it's not too far removed from what I want these days.
Goldfish, "kid soup" (what he calls chicken broth with plain pasta), pretzels.
Max is doing better than me, though, because at least he eats baby carrots.

Putting a lot of faith in those prenatal vitamins these days...

Sunday, September 9, 2012


I'd share pictures of my little kayaking adventure with my dad this afternoon, but my camera is somewhere at the bottom of the Brandywine.

"It's like when you fall off your bike climbing uphill," my dad said, shaking his head.
I know, right?? Only me.
In spite of almost being eaten by the tree that claimed my camera and water bottle, I had fun on the water (or in the water, as it were).

 damn, I'm sore... 

just five months ago...

toasting (newly) wedded bliss

no idea we'd be a family of four inside a year of this...
And now, five months later...
Wide awake at 2am.
Hungry for nutella and toast.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

how do you feel?

  • clumsy...dropping everything these days. All day long.
  • big...makes bending over to retrieve clumsily dropped items a bit trying.
  • ready for a nap any time, anywhere
  • 23 weeks

  • nostalgic...I don't have many photos of me during my first pregnancy, but I have been rifling through those pictures and thinking about labor and birth and my newborn/firstborn son  

Friday, September 7, 2012

feeling like Uncle Rico

Reminiscing and sh*t.
Feeling nervous about the upcoming season...
oh, right...I'm not racing.
No matter.
The good old days...

photos courtesy Dennis Smith

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Second day in a row I've woken up with Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time," in my head...
I only have to hear a bad song a few times before it's ingrained in the recesses of useless, permanent memory.
And I spend about thirty-five hours a week listening to awful radio at work (maybe every fourth song is tolerable).
I can't escape this loop today and it's killing me.

addendum: Cher has been replaced by Uncle Kracker. What's next? Train?
Fml, indeed.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I'm sorry, Cleveland

If the claw at Giant hadn't been "Temporarily Out of Order Sorry for the Inconvenience," I would have spent an embarrassing amount of cash trying to rescue Cleveland for my son.
I know it's wrong and I know it's (age) inappropriate, but my son loves Family Guy and has an affinity for Cleveland Brown.
I'd rather my kid watch the Cleveland spin-off than Caillou for reasons that probably deserve their own post.
My son spends most weekends or part of the weekend with his dad...I've learned to choose my battles carefully and admittedly, Family Guy is one I am willing to relent to.
What my son doesn't know (yet) is that I, too, share a fondness for Cleveland Brown.


A patient's mom, marvelling at my...girth:
"Wow, you look great...not much further to go, huh? Any time now?"
"Umm...yeah, only about eighteen more weeks."

I'm not that big.
I don't have the pictures to prove it (this week...or last week...or the week before that...maybe I should enlist Bill to snap those cute insufferable week-by-week "bumpdate" pics? yeah, no.), but I swear I am not that big.
I am not waddling.
I wore a normal, size small (albeit, empire-waisted) dress last night.
It's not like I'm eating a scoop of ice cream for breakfast (every day) or sitting on my ass reading baby blogs (all day, every day)...

Any time now?
It had to be the unflattering scrubs.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

on quitting

"Mom, if I don't like the club, do I have to keep going?"
"I can quit?"

This is me telling a seven year-old it's okay to quit (and not dancing around semantics and trying to find a nicer way to say "quit").
For what it's worth, we were talking about a Lego Robotics club at school.
I think it's important for kids to try things and stick with them...I get it, I understand the benefit of that.
I also think there is merit in trying new things, finding maybe you're not so into it and having the flexibility to bow out and move on.
I am giving him that flexibility.
I don't think there's harm in that.
In fact, I think there is more harm in making a kid his age suck it up and see it through.
Maybe things will be different when he is older, but for now I want him to have the freedom and confidence to give something a try and not have to worry about sticking with it for the duration if he thinks it sucks.

That's all.
I mean, imagine how miserable I'd be if my parents made me continue taking lessons with that scary ballet instructor.
And if they made me stick with ballet, I may not have moved on to karate or drums or model rockets or...
Or maybe I'd be a principal dancer in the Nutcracker.

who are we kidding? Even at age seven, there wasn't a ballerina bone in my body.

Yeah, I am good with this decision.

Friday, August 31, 2012

last Friday before school starts...

Our family has had a bit of whirlwind year.
Engaged, married, pregnant within a span of seven-ish months.
I hope my son has had a great summer, his last summer as our "only."

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

twenty two weeks

I woke up at 4am thinking about waffles and Nutella and that was it...
Wiiiiiiiiide awake.

While bike racing seems to consume my dreams lately, food occupies an embarrassing portion of my thoughts during waking hours. Suddenly, I am ravenous pretty much all. day. long.

What else has the twenty two week mark brought me?
  • anticipation for Halloween when Count Chocula and Frankenberry cereal will be readily available again
  • lots of attention from Max directed toward my belly (he has taken to talking to his future sibling..."are you a sister or a brother? Come on, poke me or something...")
  • insomnia (nothing new to me)
  • the realization that I may not want to wait til the last minute for Christmas shopping this year (the fact that I am even thinking about Christmas in August is pretty remarkable...don't you worry, I am not changing my procrastinator ways entirely) 
  • an ever-increasing appreciation for my husband's patience...I am a mess,  sometimes constantly fretting about stretch marks I don't even have, being indecisive and acting like what we're having for dinner is the most insurmountable and overwhelming choice one could possibly have to make...I'm sure it's exhausting, but he is taking it like a champ ("Bill, you're breathing too loud...")  
At least the boys will wake up to homemade waffles this morning...

Monday, August 27, 2012

37 vs 30

Pregnant at 30:
Staying up late, poring enthusiastically over the Book with the Ugly Cover, too excited to sleep.

Pregnant at 37:
Asleep by 9pm, too tired to leaf through trashy gossip mags (the updated Book with the Ugly Cover was abandoned during the first trimester when a frozen bag of strawberries thawed and leaked all over it, rendering it the Book with the Ugly Moldy Cover).

What's up with the frozen strawberries? Gross.
Oh...I was too lazy to make a proper ice pack for a hormone-induced raging headache...I guess I was also too lazy to properly dispose of said "ice pack" and it found a comfortable place to thaw on my bedside table.
Poor, poor Bill...  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

calling it...

"Marsh Creek?"
I couldn't decide where to ride and then it occurred to me...

It's almost September.
Nearly six months pregnant, I've decided to call more moutain biking for me.
At this point, my belly is much bigger (which confounds me because I have only gained eleven pounds so far) and the baby is not as well protected if I fall or crash.
It's not worth it.
I'll still ride the bike paths around here and I have even unearthed my old spinning bike from the basement for some workouts when the weather is perfect for cross bad.

quick aside: Yes, I have an actual Spinning bike...years ago, I spent a few days at U of Penn to become a certified Spinning instructor. To be honest, the music snob in me was the impetus to start teaching. And it was a lot of fun.

Calling it.
I feel lucky to have been able to continue riding trails this far along, but not as lucky as I feel to be carrying a squirming, kicking, very active baby.
As for that very active baby, I caught a glimpse of some freakishly long legs stretched out during our ultrasound last Showers, indeed.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


My sister-in-law broadcasted on Facebook that the taproom just tapped Green Flash Imperial IPA.
I have had a few sips here and there along the way of whatever Bill happens to be enjoying at Sunday dinner, but I haven't had an adult beverage since April.
It's not a big deal and I certainly don't miss alcohol (in fact, the few sips I've indulged in have tasted odd), but Green Flash is one of my favorites.
It reminds me of sitting at TJ's with Sara on a Thursday night while she makes fun of me for being old.

I think I miss my friend more than I miss my beer...why does Texas have to be so far away?
Summer without a beer is kinda weird...


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

head high barriers

two cross dreams in one night:
1) I am racing Town Hall cross with all the usual suspects, except it's nighttime and the barriers are! I approach the barriers and dismount, dejected...everyone is laughing at me.

2)'s super muddy. I've forgotten my kit and I'm racing in my jeans. The starting grid is two lanes wide. Two lanes. We are called up, two by two. I'm next to Diane Vettori (hi, Diane)...she gives me an extra pair of gloves she just happens to be holding. I may be wearing jeans, but at least I have some sweet gloves to race in.
Again, it's nighttime.

Cross dreams...appropriate this time of year, I suppose. My cross bike is literally gathering dust.

Monday, August 20, 2012


caught in a downpour at the national zoo...

We ventured to Virginia this weekend to help send off one one of the coolest, most classiest women I've ever had the pleasure of racing with. She's moving to Minnesota and I am going to miss her presence here on the east coast.
Even though silly real life logistics such as location/work/being grownups have kept us from hanging out on a regular basis, our friendship has grown beyond the start grids and caution tape where we first became acquainted.
Cross is like that.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

twenty weeks (only twenty more to go)

Clearly, the focus here has greatly shifted from race reports/riding/adventures on the trails/cross cross cross/practice race repeat  to the occasional ride/mostly musings on my current state (expecting).
If you've stuck with me, thanks...
If you've had enough of my burgeoning belly and pregnancy updates, I invite you to return in the spring.
I'll still be here, working my ass off to balance mothering an infant (and second-grader) and hopefully getting reacquainted with our local mountain bike series.
Time will tell.

Until then, here are my ruminations of being twenty weeks pregnant at age 37 (Advanced Maternal Age, pshhhh, really?)...
I am coming to terms with looking like this:
Guys, it's not that bad.
I have no idea how much weight I've gained, but it's nice to be round and curvy for a change.
Yes, my belly awkwardly bumps the tops of my quads thighs when I am climbing the smallest of hills at White Clay.
I don't have quads anymore.
My leg muscles are definitely less defined thanks to moderate efforts on the easiest terrain, but hey, I'm building a human.
But, I am still moving.
If anything, I am more inclined to go for a long walk in the evening than before I was pregnant. Even after a tiring day at work, it feels almost meditative to wander around the neighborhoods as the days get shorter.
Maternity clothes still suck, though.
Without completely breaking the bank, I found a few cute pieces...cute jeans that won't stay up, for one. I am beyond the little tricks and modifications for my regular clothes and the horrible belly panel on maternity skirts/jeans sucks. Most of the summer dresses and skirts in my closet still fit, but I'll be scrambling a little when the weather turns colder.
So, yeah...I am finally coming to terms with the physical changes.

Emotionally, I am starting to realize it's more than just being pregnant.
It's a family of three becoming four.
It's unending sleep deprivation and choking hazards and constant supervision and running low on diapers and cleaning bottles and even more laundry...
But, it's exciting...
I am getting excited to hold and snuggle a baby again.
Swaddling. Feeding. Stroller adventures. First smiles. First giggles.
First sleeping through the night (okay, with Max that came around nine months...and that was maybe a six hour stretch).

twenty weeks.