Last Firsts

Knowing you are done having babies is a weird life transition. At least, it has been for me. Sometimes I feel all 35.75 of my years, but most of the time I just feel like I’m perpetually 26. It was at 26 where I thought “Eh, I could have kids.”, so it’s strange and bittersweet to think that 10 years later my family is complete and that part of my life is behind me.

It doesn’t help that this past year has flown. At times I actually feel like I am just free falling. Didn’t I JUST have a baby? How is he almost 1?

Just out for a drive.

I also  feel like all of these feelings are amplified because with him I am also experiencing my last firsts.

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Can you believe he was once this little?

The first time I held him — also the last time I will hold MY OWN newborn.

The first time I nursed him.

The first time he spit up all over me (ok, I won’t miss that).

The first time he smiled at me (which, to be honest, I don’t actually remember – #newbornhaze).

The first time he peed all over himself (now that, I remember).

The first time he heard his voice.

The first time he laughed.

The first time he sat up on his own.

The first time he slept thru the night (oh wait, that hasn’t happened yet).

And so many more…

He’s now working on some pretty major milestones – pulling up, standing, and possibly crawling and eventually walking — and this whole “last firsts” thing is really hitting home. At times, I feel pretty overwhelmed with over  it. I cried when I realized he had teeth (especially those top teeth!). I tear up when he’s playing with a baby toy that belonged to Braeden. I mean, didn’t Braeden just play with that toy and now he’s almost 8?? And I rush to record him scooting, yet again, because at ANY MOMENT he could just decide to start crawling instead.

Have you seen him scoot? It’s pretty freaking adorable.

I’m a ridiculously nostalgic person to begin with, but this whole “last firsts” thing? It might be taking me a bit over the edge. In fact, I already feel bad for Evan. He will be the last kid in our family to start Kindergarten, graduate from high school,  and move out of the house. Oh, who am I kidding, he’s not moving out of the house. Right?

I admit that I am more patient with him because I know he’s my last. I savor the small things. I don’t rush the big events or hope he hits his milestones sooner. I relish his babyness and soak in the open mouth kisses and sleepy snuggles. I get why the baby is, in fact, always “the baby.” The irony is that most of the time, they grow up the fastest.

Kissing him, without protest, while I can.

I know that there are so many “firsts” that I still have to look forward to, but as we approach the “last first birthday” I can’t help but get wrapped up in the small things. Last night, as I rocked my last baby to sleep I thought about how thankful I was to have any of these firsts… so grateful. It’s so easy to get caught up in the sleep deprivation, the stress, the anxiety, and well, the work. At times, it can really get the best of you. However, in the same breath that I will tell you it’s HARD, harder than you ever expect or imagine, I will tell you that these little people — and all of their firsts– are worth it. Every second.

Maybe if I knew how fast it would go, I might have tried to live in the moment more. Or maybe I did it just right? That’s the thing with parenthood. You never really know how you’re doing… which is what makes those firsts so much sweeter.

Merry Christmas!! {2013}

Where am I? What month is it? Is it really Christmas??? Holy…

Well, in that case, from my family to yours….

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Note that this version has the Oxford Comma… my actual card does not because it was EDITED. #bitter

It’s taken a little effort, but it’s safe to say we are officially jolly and full of Christmas spirit. Or maybe just alcohol. Well, the kids aren’t full of alcohol (or are they??).

It helps that the we FINALLY got around to seeing Santa on Sunday. It’s always a wait , but it’s ALWAYS worth it. This Santa is legit.

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Isn’t he the best?

And now I’m off to wrap a hundred gifts, bake a thousand cookies, and drink A LOT of wine. After all… ’tis the season!

Wishing you and yours a safe and HAPPY holiday!

Whirlwind Surprise Trip

A few months ago my dad told me that my family was throwing a surprise 50th anniversary party for my aunt and uncle…

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If you’re new to the blog… I grew up in Massachusetts (Peabody to be exact) and moved to Florida when I was 11. Most of my family still lives in MA – with the exception of my parents and my brothers.

I was still pregnant when my dad mentioned this, but knew that I wanted to try to make it up for the party. The thought of traveling with an infant was daunting BUT I know that traveling with an infant is 1800000 times easier than traveling with a toddler (aside: traveling with the 5+ crew it pretty fun). Word to the wise – if you like to travel, don’t be afraid to do it with a baby. The more you travel with them, the easier it is.

So, a month ago I booked the trip (my dad sponsored me – thanks dad!). The original plan was for the whole family to go, but the party was on August 18th… the day before the first day of school. Yeah, that was not going to work with my kids. So it ended up being just E and me. We left after work on Thursday and got back LATE Sunday night.

Baby's first TSA line. We made it thru. Woo-hoo!

What are you talking about? TSA at MCO is SO FUN!!!

The flight up was full of parental mistakes (the biggest included accidentally leaving the pacifer in the car seat – derp!), but it was relatively uneventful and I arrived at my cousin’s house around 11… and then crashed.

Prior to the trip up, I sent a Rock ‘n Play Sleeper up to my aunt (the one who DID know about the party) for E to sleep in. Luckily, one of my cousins is expecting her first baby in just a few weeks (!!) so E was able sleep in something he was familiar with AND I was able to leave it for her as a gift. This ended up working out great because E slept like he does at home and I didn’t have to cart anything extra around. I already had my luggage, huge carry on, stroller, and car seat!

So, back to my weekend…

We ate a lot of seafood…

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No makeup, hair in a bun, beer in hand...

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Baby’s first lobster bib.

I drank A LOT of Dunkin…

I don't know why, but DD tastes so much better in MA.

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I was AT a Dunkin Donuts when I took this picture.

Saw A LOT of relatives (a huge chunk of my relatives live within 20 minutes of each other – so jealous!)….

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This is my godmother/great aunt. She was a midwife/lactation consultant/doula back in the day. It’s STILL her passion. I just love her.

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You know... just hanging out and playing Mario Kart.

Evan loved meeting his cousins today -- especially @kam71xx

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Already eyeing the beer.

Beer me.

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#runners

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I talked A LOT about babies (my cousin AND my sister-in-law are pregnant — Did I tell you I’m going to be an AUNT?? :))….

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Babies are cute, yo.

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She’s a natural :)

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Yay for babies – and cousins — 9 months apart :) PS – This was the exciting news I learned about a few weeks ago!

And surprised the hell out of two wonderful people – celebrating not only 50 years of marriage, but 50 years of family.

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On Sunday, I was really, really sad I had to leave. Not JUST because the weather was gorgeous (IT WA SO NICE), but because even though I am a true Floridian (it got down to the high 50s and low 60s and I was freezing)… I am a Masshole at heart. I just love that place!

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Gah…so pretty!

It was SUCH a whirlwind trip, but I’m so glad I went. Seeing my family and being in MA just makes my heart happy. And truthfully? I needed it.

The trip back was relatively uneventful (I learned from my mistakes!). There was a lot of sleeping this time around.

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In case you were wondering my arm was asleep in this picture.

And I managed to make it back to send Braeden and Livie off to their first day of 2nd grade and PreK.

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Bonus… Evan found his toes.

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Wait…how did this happen??? *sob*

This trip and the beginning of the school year ends an insane summer… I feel like I’ve been on the go since May. Fall (whenever you decide to arrive in Florida), I welcome you with open arms. I am ready to slow down a little. Please? There are so many posts I want to do, but I haven’t had time! Look for a 3 month update (yes – E is already 3 months old!) and a postpartum running update (yes – I am really running!) coming soon.

When the last time you were part of a big surprise? Does it surprise you that I cried when they arrived? It was just SO sweet!

The Best Mother’s Day Gift

This weekend didn’t go exactly as planned. Friday I went to dinner and then the movies with Jackie Jovi and my friend Tracy to see The Great Gatsby (sidenote: I know there’s a lot of negative reviews out there — but I liked it!). During the movie (during which, we were in the 2nd row) I felt really uncomfortable. The baby was moving around a ton and my back started radiating. I thought it was just because of where we were sitting, since the pain went away once I stood up, so I thought nothing of it. In fact, I went home and pretty much just went to bed feeling pretty good (as I had all week).

But now I think — maybe not?

I’ll go into full details when I have the energy and have slept more than 2 consecutive hours (or more than 45 minutes) – but I won’t tease that my family of five is now complete!

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Surprise…The baby is s a boy!! (<–totally not surprised)

After a very lengthy labor and a very, very, very , very (got that?) quick delivery (which, included an unplanned drug-free birth) at 1:32am this morning – Evan David joined our family. He weighed in at a strapping 9lbs 4oz and measured 21 inches.

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And he is nothing but pure sweetness.

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B and L think he is pretty awesome too.

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You have to admit, his timing was pretty perfect. Nothing says Mother’s Day like becoming a mom…again.

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I hope all of the Moms’ out there had a GREAT Mother’s Day– including mine :)

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Was he the best Mother’s Day Gift ever?

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Yep, pretty much! I think this year is going to be hard to top…

Auld Lang Syne: 2012

I’m not going to recap my year because — well — that’s why I have a blog. It’s already recapped (so enjoy some random pictures of some of my favorite memories instead!). Now can we talk about how 2012 is already over???

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Here are some of my highlights….

  • I dubbed 2012 as the year of travel – and travel we did (at least until August). Between work trips to DC, St. Louis, and Norfolk and personal trips to Las Vegas, San Francisco, Sonoma, Tallahassee (twice!), Miami, Tampa, and Sarasota – I have had some great experiences and definitely made a lot of fun memories.
  • Running was not as big as a priority in 2012 as it was in 2011, but that’s OK. I still managed to run 4 half marathons this year and a few smaller races. I also hit a new PR (much to my surprise!) for the half.
  • Work has been both busy and successful for me this year. I continue to build on my skill set (I realize half of you have no idea what I do, so I won’t bore you with the details) and there is the potential for a lot of growth and new opportunities in 2013 that I’m definitely looking forward to!
  • I started to focus more on strength training and as much as it’s still not my favorite, I hope to continue working on it in the new year – especially after May.

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Family was a a big priority for me this year and they’ve made some big milestones!

  • Dan broke his arm (which obviously is not a good thing), but turned it into something good when he been slightly addicted to indoor cycling. He was also given more responsibility at work and has been relatively successful this year (could I be more vague?).
  • B started reading chapter books on his own and has repeatedly announced that he loves to write (this warms my heart!). He has really settled down in school this year. I got to volunteer in class a few weeks ago and I can really tell he loves his teacher, his classmates, and school.
  • L is now potty trained and can spell and write her name. She is a sassy lady and is currently obsessed with princesses at home and dirt at school (apparently she is quite the tomboy there!). She has no idea what’s coming at her in 2013, but I know she will take it in stride!

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When I look back at where my kids where a year ago it makes me a little nostalgic  They look so little! But at the same time it makes me happy to see how much they’ve grown and what great little people they have become.

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There is no doubt that 2013 is going to be an exciting year with a new baby on the way! It’s funny to think that a year ago on NYE I was sitting around with friends discussing our plans to add a 3rd. We were still wavering at that point – but it was definitely a tentative goal (if you can call it that?) for 2012 – and now it’s reality.

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As I get older and the more I reflect, the more I realize how much can really happen in a year if you MAKE it happen. I don’t have any big plans or resolutions for 2013 — but I know that life has big plans for me and I’m ready to go just go with the flow. I want to have a healthy pregnancy, I want to spend quality time with my kids, I want to get rid of some of the CLUTTER in my house, I want to stay busy at work, I want to do a few fall races and I want to have fun with my friends.

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Bottom line: I want to be the best mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend that I can possibly be. Basically, I want to continue to find balance. That’s not too much to ask for, right??

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I have to say 2012 was a pretty fantastic year — and 2013 has a lot to live up to…but I’m ready for it!

I hope everyone has a safe and fun New Year’s Eve and a happy, healthy, blessed 2013!!!