Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Zoom through the Zoo

This past Thursday was the big day!  The race I've been training for for 8 weeks now.  The one I've been super nervous about because it was a "4 mile" race--the longest I've ever done.  The one that I wish I could have backed out on but my good friend Bekah was driving 4 hours round-trip  to "run with me".  (She's much faster than me so while we may start at the line together, she'll be cooled off and stretched out before I get to the finish.)  While training for this race I had a couple of really strong runs that gave me that great endorphin rush and runner's high, and plenty of hard runs where the humidity was so high I felt like I was running through a marsh with a wet rag in my mouth.  Early in the week I finally figured out it has a lot to do with the weather.  The day I ran 3.5 miles I felt like I could easily have finished and done 4 because it was a cool day with a nice breeze.  The next run it was sweltering hot and I had no one running with me so I wussed out and only ran 1 mile because I thought I was going to die.  That being said, when I woke up Thursday morning to an overcast sky I was elated.  It was a PERFECT running day!  The course was also through Overton Park so it was mostly shaded.  It was a fantastic day and place for this race.

Here's Bekah and I posing for pictures before the race.  Do you like my shirt?  My friend Eliza helped me freezer paper stencil it.  So I made it myself!  Just in case you can't tell the front says "Running 4 Two".  It also had a fun message on the back.  Want to see?  Well, you'll just have to wait until the end of the post.  Bekah is the one that got me started running.  She's a rock star and has run a ton more races than me (even signs up to run races in places that she's going to be on vacation) and has already won some race hardware in a few local 5Ks she's done.  She ran beside me for about 2 minutes before our natural paces separated me to the back of the pack.  I made up for this though by sprinting out the start line to make her catch up with me before she kicked my butt so I could say for about 3 minutes I was ahead of the great Bekah and her Buzz Lightyear shoes.  =)

Chris, my wonderful and supportive husband, also signed up and came to the race.  Unfortunately he's had a tough time training with a few injuries (like nearly slicing off the tip of his big toe) so he is a super trooper for coming out and running what he could.  He went ahead and ran his day of the C25K program and realized by the time his program was over he wasn't even at the 2 mile mark. So he turned around and came though the 1 mile finish shoot.  This was really smart because the next day he was going to help his dad work on the lake house and seeing how I couldn't walk the day after the race he probably would have been in the same boat and worthless at the lake house.  Plus, the other really nice thing was that he was able to be there at the finish line for me to cheer me in.  (I finished before him at the last race we did so it was great to hear him tell me how proud he was of me as I was collapsing after I finished.)
Anyway, thanks to my handy dandy garmin I can tell you they LIED about it only being a 4 mile race.  My read out said 4.14 miles and that I finished in 49:12 with an average pace of 11:52 min/mile.  So while I didn't get my 48 minute goal that I set for myself, I can take solace in the fact that based off my pace if it had only been 4 miles I would have made the goal.  The little slip they gave me said I was #419 out of all the women to finish.  I haven't bothered looking up the official results to see how many women there were overall.  It doesn't matter.  I'm really proud of myself.  I ran the race the whole way without stopping to walk (or pee) or even get water.  I took the cups on the run spilling most it on myself and tossing as I kept going.  I know my 12 minute pace is not impressive to real runners, but it's what I trained at.  I had to keep telling myself when I'd glance down that I was running my race at my pace and I was doing a good job.  (Especially when people pushing jogging strollers passed me.)  The only time I got a little bummed was when I could see people who were doing intervals (running and walking) ahead of me and knowing that they'd still finish before me even though they were walking because their running pace was faster than my slow and steady pace.  (In my head I was a little snarky though and wanted to jog pass them and say to them, "when I'm done I'll be able to say I ran the race...what will you be able to say?"  But I think that was just the pregnancy hormones and a little bit of jealousy over their better time talking.)

Post race--look how crazy sweaty I am compared to Bekah.  And red faced!  I think my face is as red as her shirt!

The post race party was catered by Hog Wild.  So I chomped down on some yummy bbq and since I don't like baked beans, the traditional bbq side dish, I decided that I should get 2 brownies.  You know, 1 with powdered sugar, 1 without.  It's logical.  Our race bib also came with 2 tickets for "adult libations".  We joked about selling our beer tickets since I obviously wouldn't be using them.  I will tell you that I was a little bummed that there was no chocolate milk after the race.  I know to some that might sound gross, but a cold thing of chocolate milk is the best thing for me after a race.  It cools me down and coats my dry throat.  

After the race I was rocking an awesome runner's high thinking "that was great".  And "I could totally train for a half marathon after I have this baby".  Or I even went home and looked up the running calendar on to see what was coming up soon for me to sign up for.  However, by about 10:30 that evening my runners high had worn off and my body was pretty ticked off about that run.  My sciatic nerve seized up and my whole left side was just in extreme pain.  I couldn't get into bed without Chris's help.  My knees were screaming as I could hear the bone on bone grinding in both of them.  At 3 am I woke up for my usual middle of the night tinkle and I could not move.  Chris had to help push me out of bed and then it took about 5 minutes (I'm not exaggerating) to walk the short distance around the bed and to the toilet.  I had to hold on to anything and everything for dear life to take the weight off my left side so I could "walk" to the bathroom.  And then I cried a little when I sat on the toilet because of how much pain putting weight on my left hip shot through my whole body.  I didn't even bother trying to make it back to my side of the bed.  Chris's is closer to the bathroom so I pushed him over and climbed in his side.  The next morning I was pretty stiff and wanted to die as I got ready for the day, but luckily by about 10 in the morning everything was loosened out and I wasn't wincing in pain with every step or walking like Frankenstein.  At that point, my thoughts were I'M NEVER RUNNING AGAIN!  (But I'll be out there Monday running, especially with my game plan of restarting C25K.)  

So here's the back of my shirt since you've been reading for this long.
Since we lined up closer to the front than we should have (my fault) I had plenty of really good runners pass me and tell me congratulations or how they liked my shirt.  One person cheered for me and said "wahoo baby on board".  Another lady gave me a dissertation on how important it is to keep running through the whole pregnancy as she passed me pushing a toddler in a jogging stroller.  Others I could just hear discussing my shirt as they ran around me.  As the field thinned out and I found myself at the back with the slow runners and interval joggers I no longer heard the accolades but the shirt's message started to be motivational.  There were a few runners in particular who I kept leap frogging with and sure enough every time I got ahead of them they'd pick up the pace.  I think they were determined not to let Peggy Preggo come in ahead of them.  The only one I found annoying was this one particular kid (I say because he looked younger than me) who would walk until I passed him and then he'd take off sprinting until he felt he was a good distance ahead of me and would do that over and over.  Him, I wanted to trip.  

I really want to find another race to do just so I have an excuse to wear my new fun running shirt.  Gibson 5K sounds like fun, any takers?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Maternity Workouts

My little gym buddy!

So I thought I'd share a little about my work out regime just in case I ever get knocked up again, so I can go back and look and remember what I did this time around.

I'm not sure if everyone knows this or not (and of course always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program...bla bla bla) but with proper modifications, anything that you've done before getting pregnant you are safe to do during pregnancy.  So I'm still doing my normal daily class routine with a few changes to accommodate the growing belly and crazy heart rate.  (Do any of you other women get the crazy heart beating out of your chest when you work out of is that just me?)

When I was pregnant with Sarah I was working so I went to evening classes at the Y.  So I did 2, 1 hour long cardio classes a week (circuit and step) and 2, 1 hour long yoga classes.  However, now that I stay home and Sarah naps in the afternoon and goes to bed at 7 pm, we go to morning classes at the Y.  I'm also really lucky because the Y nursery has a 2 hour time limit.  So that means I can do 2 classes, or 1 class and then some other activity for an hour.  The downside to our earlier work out routine is that we go at 9:15-11:15 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and 10:15-12:15 on Tuesday and Thursday, and during those blocks each week there is only 1 cardio class, Zumba and it's Tuesday morning.  The rest of the week I take some sort of core conditioning/strengthening/flexibility class and try to get the rest of my cardio on my own.

I tried trekking, a fun incline interval class, on the treadmill.  But I hate Satan's sidewalk, and that started to give me shin splits.  At a loss for what other cardio to do I refocused on my running an signed up for another race (the Zoom through the Zoo).  I know running is safe to do while pregnant, however, it is a LOT harder to do while pregnant (at least for me).  This baby is sitting low and even though I pee before I go out for a run about a quarter of a mile in I feel like I'm going to wet myself.  Plus, I live in the south--it's hot and humid and my body temp is already up because I'm growing a giant furnace in my belly!  So the mental game of running has been a lot harder.  I'm glad I've got great friends at the gym who are always willing to run with me even though they do marathons with a 7 min/mile pace they don't complain about helping me chug along pushing for a 12 min/mile pace.  The other real mental killer is that last time I did Couch to 5K I trained at an 11 min/mile pace and raced at a 10 min pace.  When I signed up for this race I really thought I could make 44 minutes a realistic goal (and secretly thought I could push it to that golden 10 min pace on race day).  But as I check my log from my garmin forerunner it's just abundantly clear that I will be lucky to get it down to a 12 min pace on race day as most of my race day adrenaline and excitement will be used up making sure I run those whole 4 miles.  (3.5 miles is my longest distance so far.)  The other challenges have been physical.  I've got bad knees (remember me complaining about those when I first started my C25K challenge) and sciatic nerve issues.  So after a tough long run I can pretty much feel bone on bone in my knees and if my sciatic issues flair up I'm limping the rest of the day.  So while yes, it is SAFE to run while pregnant, it's also killing me.  That being said, I think what I'll do is restart C25K so that I'm getting in my running and mix in 2-3 mile runs twice a week to make sure I'm getting 4 to 5 days of cardio still.  That is AFTER I finish the Zoom through the Zoo 4 miler.  I think doing the intervals of early C25K will help me get a better work out since I'll be able to run faster in shorter spurts and get my heart rate up and then bring it down a little with the walking intervals.  I'll probably go ahead and start wearing the heart rate monitor it came with to make sure I'm not getting it up to high.

So here's a peak at my weekly work out routine:

* Pilates class. Great workout for preggos, plus I read an article from some workout whatever that I like on fb that said pilates was one of the best ways to lose the baby fat after delivery and tone everything back up to the way it's supposed to be.  However, be prepared to start making some serious modification by about 22 weeks (right Jennifer?) since you aren't supposed to lay on your back anymore and you don't want your abdominal muscles to separate.
* 2-3 mile run.  This usually takes me about 24-36 minutes then I cool down and stretch.

* Zumba class.  Excellent cardio really works your midsection too with all swiveling you do.  However, I cannot dance and so I look ridiculous in this class.  Luckily I know everyone else is just trying to figure out the moves too so no one is looking at me.
* Ian yoga class.  Yes, that's right, I make a differentiation between the yoga instructors so don't go googling Ian Yoga like it's some special kind of practice.  Ian is more of a power yoga instructor.  He focuses a lot on upper body strength and less on the flowly one breath to one movement type of yoga.  We do a lot of tricep pushups in there for the first 30 minutes.  Then the 2nd half he does more of a pilates-yoga infusion working on the core.  (Again, if you're preggo be prepared to start making some modifications depending on when you start showing.  As your belly gets bigger you'll need to spread your legs wider in child's pose or take a wider stance while doing chair if your hips have started to spread.)

* Jennifer yoga class.  Now if you live in the Memphis area, Jennifer yoga actually is a style that you can check out here YogaLifeWay.  But she's more of the traditional flow type yoga that forces you to really focus your mental energy and physical energy to get the pose right or hold it long enough to feel the full benefits of it.  Her style is also really neat because she always seems to have a goal pose and all the other stuff we do is leading up to getting ready for that pose.  My other reason why I love Jennifer yoga classes is because in a way, she takes requests.  I can walk in and say, my sciatic is killing me or I had a huge run yesterday and she can tailor the whole class to opening up my hips or stretching out my IT band.  (I'm pretty spoiled by her--she takes care of her fan club, especially the pregnant members.)  The other reason I love her classes, especially when pregnant, is because I don't have to remember what modifications I'm supposed to be making.  She's always very conscious and aware of me and reminds me that I can do twisting poses as deep right now and pretty soon shouldn't do them at all.  Or will bring me a block to help me lengthen a pose instead of sinking into it just to get my hand to where it normally falls when not pregnant.  I really love Jennifer yoga--I think it's why I was able to go sans epidural last round when I had Sarah.
* 2-3 mile run with warm up and cool down walk.  I usually try to run a little harder this day since I take a cardio break on Thursday.

* Ian yoga
--cardio break give knees time to recoup.  (However, after the zoom through the zoo I'll probably add a 2 mile run on this day.)

* Pilates class
* 2-3 mile run

After the zoom through the zoo, I'm going to do my C25K program on MWF, and add in a 2 or 3 mile run on Thursday and depending on my knees I may add a hill run or 3 mile run on Saturday mornings.

So there you have it.  It's really important to me to be physically active.  I know I'm spoiled by having a gym membership and that money should probably go elsewhere in our budget.  But for me it's my peace of mind and sanity saver.  It's like Elle Woods says in Legally Blonde, "working out gives you endorphins.  Endorphins make you happy.  And happy people don't kill their husbands.  They just don't."  However, it's especially important for me to stay physically active while I'm pregnant.  There's all kinds of studies and articles about how it makes labor, delivery, and recovery is easier if you've been physically active during those 9 months.  So that's my soap box.  Thanks for reading.  =)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Mom's Score Card

Fail: Can't keep clothes on Sarah
Win: At least she has a hair bow in!

Win: Sarah's finally looking at the camera and smiling for a picture.
Fail: She's not wearing a onesie so I can't use this picture for much and will probably have to take it off the blog in about a week because of the sketchy people in the world who search for inappropriate things. (By the way, I'm thinking about making this blog private because of said sketchy people...will let you know.)

Win: Sarah's vocabulary is really taking off.
Fail: The newest and most often heard words in my house now are "show", "watch", and "Pat-pat" (Her word for Little Einsteins.)

Win: She loves it when she sees animals and points them out and tells you what they are and what they say.
Fail: Her excited face could also be construed as sheer terror.  
(She's pointing at a dog and yelling "puppy" and "ruff ruff" in this picture.  What you can't tell?)

Fail:  Most of Sarah's pj's are still 9 months and she doesn't really fit into them.
Win: Grandma Schwartz recently put Sarah in her pjs saw that I keep cramming my child into outfits that are too small for her and bought her this ADORABLE pair of pjs.  Thanks Grandma!

Win: I'm absolutely head over heels in love with this little munchkin.  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Schwartz's vs the 17 Month Old

Sarah you are 17 months old now and it seems like over night you became a big girl!

* You're wearing size 4 diapers, size 4 (some 5) shoes, and 18 month clothes.
* Your I-teeth are still coming in.  They've been taking a while, but all 4 are showing above the skin.  We've had to get the teething rings back out and keep them in the fridge for you recently since you feel the need to gnaw on anything and everything.
* You've started to dance to music and I must admit you've got my dancing skills.  
* You talk a lot more.  I can't really think of any new words except bye bye which you now say instead of just wave.  We are really working on "yes" and "thank you" right now.
* You love to color!  When you see your crayons out on the desk you say "color, color please".  Daddy loves to color with you because it's one of his favorite things to do. 
* I love to watch you walk around.  It's so cute, and I know you've been walking for a while now but I still find it adorable.
* Your shoe obsession is growing.  The only way to get you in your room to get dressed is to ask if you want to put shoes on.  You'll go to the closet and pick a pair out.  You'll also put your shoes back in the closet at the end of the day.  You like to find my shoes and put them on or bring them to me for me to wear.  And today while we were in the car you were pointing at your doll's feet and saying "shoes".  Your shoe obsession came in quite handy the other day at Costco when you shoe popped off as I was getting you out of the basket.  I didn't know it had come off but you started screaming "SHOE!!! SHOE!!!! and pointing, so I turned and saw you shoe on the ground.  
* You have recently discovered how to turn circles.  Very cute!
* You are still a social butterfly and live to wave and say "hi" to everyone as well as "bu-bye" when we leave.  However, you are shy and clingy in large crowds like the school music concert we went to.
* You are an excellent helper and like to bring me the phone when it's ringing and hang it up when I'm done.  If you find that I've left the phone out, you'll pick it up and go put it on the hook.  
* You help clean up your toys for the most part sometimes with more coaching than others.  You've also started singing the clean up song.
* You spot airplanes in the sky and point them out and like to watch them.  You also recognize the sound of a train coming when we are outside.  I can't tell if you get excited of scared about the train though because as you hear it approaching you run around with a big open mouth smile but as soon as it blows it's horn you jump into the closest person's arms.
* You're still a very good eater for the most part.  However there are meals where you don't want to eat anything except "cookies" which are actually kix, or bread.  We don't really fight with you about food.  You eat what we give you or don't and go hungry until the next meal.  We always give you a fork to use and sometimes you do, other times you run it through your hair like a comb.  However, we're working on spoon use.  Daddy has to be the one to help with that because it drives mommy nuts.
* I'm finally ready to officially say "momma" means me to you.  I never wanted to be one of those parents that claims you are saying mom when you were just babbling.  And for a while, it seemed like momma was a curse word to you because you only said it when you were angry.  But now you point at me and say momma, or when I walk in your room you say "hi momma!".  (You've been saying daddy for a while now.)
* You seem to have a very active imagination and love to play with baby dolls and your little people.  It's funny to watch you play with your little people.  Quite often you take the mommy doll and put her on the potty and then she starts the laundry.  I think you have my morning routine memorized.  =)  You also like for them to ring the door bell and come through the front door.  If I'm playing with you and have a little person ring the front door you bring a character to come answer it.  
* You LOVE your baby dolls, especially baby Belle.  Sometimes you use her to communicate with me.  I was sending some emails and doing some work one morning which made breakfast a little late.  I guess the whining you were doing wasn't getting the point that you were hungry across so you went to your room, got Belle, put her in your high chair and then pretended to feed her.  I got the message and stopped what I was doing and got your breakfast ready.
* You enjoy sitting in your rocking chair now to watch your shows.  (Speaking of which, I think you watch a little too much tv since you now say the words "watch show" and "pat-pat, please".)  Daddy lets you watch more tv than mom.
* Your favorite game right now is peek-a-boo.  You'll cover your eyes and then smile real big.  In the bath tub you'll use the curtain to hide behind.  And you also like to play "where did it go".  You like to put cups over your feet and then hold your hands up and say "where did it go" and then take the cup off and say "there it is".  
* You also like to stand on your head.  You think it's hilarious and giggle!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Schwartz's vs "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"

I've decided I'm a bit of a fuddy-duddy parent compared to other parents I know.  I often choose sanity over "enriching" events for Sarah, with one exception: free box seats.  I would never have paid for tickets to take Sarah to Disney on Ice last year when she was only 9 months old.  Just like we wouldn't have gone to Disney for Sarah's 1st birthday if it wasn't because of my wonderful Aunt Sarah who works for Disney and because we were already planning on going to visit my grandparents for Christmas in FL.  I guess my theory is she's not going to remember these events anyway so why pay for them.  But if they are free, eh, why not.  However, they do have to be box seats for sit down events before the free rule applies.  I realize that sounds pretty snobby, but only to those of you who've never had to wrestle a small child for an extended period in a seat while at an event that they don't care anything about.  (Think church people!  At our church we worship as a family, so while other churches send their kids off to nursery for the service we all, every Sunday, pack a ton of things into diaper bags to entertain our children, find creative ways of getting them not to leave the pew, and await the envitiable melt down.)  That's why box seats are crucial.  It gives you an enclosed space to let the child run around and play when they need a break from watching the event.  There's usually a mini fridge in there so you can pack your own meal for the kid and a table where they can eat it at.  It's ideal.  So when some friends of ours, the Brooks, posted that they had extra tickets to their company suite at the Redbirds game that had fireworks afterwards we were all over that.  I was a little nervous that they'd regret inviting us, but I think Sarah did a pretty good job.  
Sarah enjoyed sitting with Mrs. Tina and watching the ball game in between breaks of going into the suite to play catch with the boys.  Roo was so adorable playing with Sarah.  It looked more like a game of fetch then catch.  He'd roll the ball and tell Sarah, "Go get it" and she toddle off and then throw it back to him as best as she could.
When she needed a little break Mrs. Tina took her for a walk around the club level and snapped this picture just to prove that she could get Sarah to not only look at the camera but smile because she's a Mimi.  Getting Sarah to look at the camera has been the bane of my motherhood existence for the past 6 months.
Since the game was going to go late and there were fireworks after we packed Sarah's pj's.  I (don't know what I was thinking) actually thought Sarah might get so tired she could fall asleep for a few innings so we put her in them when she started rubbing her eyes.  But she didn't sleep.  She just got squirmy.  Also, like my hair bow storage system.  When she finds her hair bow and pulls it out I put it in my hair until I get back to the diaper bag.  So please don't think I always have giant flower hair bows in my hair.

It usually takes about 20 minutes after the game to get the firework show set up, so during that time we went into the suite and Sarah colored.  We were worried how she'd handle the fireworks.  The last time we saw some was the 4th of July last year when she was only 6.5 months old and she did fine.  But I know at some point a lot of kids get scared of them because they are so loud or what have you.  However, Sarah was a little champ.  We made sure to clap and say wow a lot so she wouldn't get scared of them.  She really enjoyed it and even started pointing to them and then start clapping on her own.
So all in all it was a great night.  And hopefully next time the Brooks score some extra sweet suite seats they'll invite us again.

And for others who read this blog...who might have box seat hook ups and feel the need to share with their wonderful friends and YW hum, Annie....Buble tickets would be real nice.  I'm just sayin'.  =)

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Zoo Trip with Grandma and Grandpa

While my parents were in town we decided to go to the zoo.  Memphis has an amazing zoo and I've always enjoyed going there.  When we were growing up we had a zoo pass, so as soon as Sarah was born Chris and I knew that when the weather warmed up we'd get a zoo pass.  So yes, last spring and summer we'd push our 4 month old around the zoo even though she had no clue what was going on.  In the beginning she mostly watched people, but now that she's older she really enjoys looking at the animals.

My parents have not been to the zoo since Memphis got pandas which I think was way back in 2002.  Since then the zoo has added the Northwest passage with an awesome area to view the polar bears and sea lions and most recently added the Teton Trek with a big feature area for the grizzlies.  We really have a nice zoo.  The next updates are going to be a boardwalk near the Teton Trek and the hippos are finally getting a nice new home.  They've been in the same tiny swimming pool type enclosure since I was a kid.

Here's grandma and grandpa with Sarah at the top of the waterfall in the Teton Trek.

Sorry for the blurry picture.  The panda was pacing and it was hard to get it in the shot and Sarah looking at the camera at the same time.  So apparently I didn't let the auto focus do it's thing before pressing the shutter.  (Have I mentioned how much I really want a fancy digital SLR with a quick shutter speed?)

Even though our zoo has a bunch of fancy animals, Sarah's favorite areas are the bird house and the Once Upon a Farm exhibit.  Since my mom, like much of her generation, is terrified of birds (thanks Alfred Hitchcock) we skipped the bird house and headed over to the farm area.  
The donkey and chickens were Sarah's favorite this time.  But Sarah's buddy the roaming rooster wasn't out and about.  Last time we went he followed us around because Sarah kept dropping Kix.  This time instead it was grandma feeding Kix to the pygmy goats.  They were very sad to see us walk away.  

Since Sarah had not had a very good nap that day, or really the past 3 days before our trip to the zoo or 4 days after she passed out in the car on the way home.  It was about 6:30 when we got home and I seriously considered trying to carry her in and straight to bed, but luckily she woke up about 5 minutes before we got home.  So she had dinner and  tried out the rocking chair grandma and grandpa brought over for her before finally going to bed a little late at 7:30.  Well, we put her in bed at 7:30, but I'm pretty sure I heard her in there still playing with her toys in her crib at 8:15.  

Thanks for braving the flood waters and coming over for a visit!  We always enjoy it when grandma and grandpa come to town.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Schwartz's vs the Worst Mother's Day Ever

As I'm sure it has been well noticed, I'm about two weeks behind in journaling current events.  And the reason from this draught all goes back to mother's day.  It has taken me this long to 1) come to terms with the events of that day and 2) be willing to take pictures of my daughter again.

My husband, dear sweet husband, is a problem solver.  I guess he's like Vanilla Ice where in, "if you have a problem, yo I solve it" seems to be his motto.  So mother's day morning while he's doing his best to make it a wonderful day, tells me to go ahead and shower and start getting ready while he feeds Sarah.  Now, he's been complaining about her bangs for a little while.  And I know I need to trim them, but it's just very nerve wracking.  I mean, we all remember the outcome when I asked my mom to do it for me.  It took months for it to grow out!  Since then, I've trimmed her bangs once.  It took me all day coming back to it multiple times and the end result was a minimal trim that you really couldn't tell happened.

However, while I was getting ready for my shower, Chris on the other hand, from what I can guess, grabbed a handful of Sarah's bangs, twirled it in his finger and without hesitation whacked her bangs off to her hair line.  I happened to come out right after the travesty had occurred and found Chris with a large lock of Sarah's bangs in his hand.  It is all a blur now, but I'm pretty sure I screamed as I ran to Sarah to see the damage.  Then I cried most of the way through the shower not looking forward to all the comments and explaining I would have to endure at church, and the gym the next morning, and anywhere I went on a regular basis because this was a train wreck of a hair cut.

Once again, we have no pictures of me and my child on mother's day.  (We didn't get any last year because Chris was at the house working on flood recovery.)  And I was resolved not to talk about it on the blog.  But I can't wait 3 months to take pictures of Sarah again, and believe me, you'd notice it if I just started putting pictures up without talking about what happened.  I actually came to terms with it last week when we went to eat lunch with Chris at work and his friends all gave him a hard time.   Plus, now that we've been almost everywhere we normally go I don't have to explain so much any more.  (That's right, we've skipped church for the past 2 weeks while this has been growing.  But only because on Mother's day after being scarred for life, Sarah wasn't feeling well so she wanted to take a nap when we were supposed to be leaving.  And last Sunday I chose sanity over wrestling a 16 month old through a 2 hour long broadcast.)

So here you go, the moment you've all been waiting for a picture of Sarah.  Please note, this is after letting it grow out for 2 weeks!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Schwartz's vs the Big Reveal

Since I spent most of my time hiding Sarah's pregnancy, we never did fun things to announce different highlights.  At our 11 week check up when we first heard her heart beat I simply called my mom and told her to cancel her plans for mom and dad to go to FL for Christmas.  When we found out the gender I had a pink floral arrangement sent to my mom with a card that said "Can't wait to meet you, Love Sarah Irene."  We gave Chris's mom a pink charm for her pandora bracelet; she didn't get it and Dennis had to explain it to her.  But really that was about it.

This time around we're really trying to enjoy announcing things and coming up with creative ways to share the news.  Again, we wait until 12 weeks before we tell family and friends.  And this time we sent out cute cards that had the same picture and poem as the announcement I put up on the blog.  Then to tell everyone at church we just had Sarah wear her Big Sis dress to church.  It was pretty funny to see someone notice what it said on their row and then nudge the news down the aisle.  I really fought back the sarcasm when people would ask "are you trying to tell us something" because I wanted to say, "No this is just an ET hand me down and it was the only thing clean in the closet."

For the big gender reveal I took an idea I saw on someone else's blog and made it bigger.  They apparently took the slip saying what the baby was into a cupcake boutique and had them decorate a cupcake to announce what it was.  Then they cut into the cupcake in front of their family so everyone found out together.  Likewise, my sister in law did the same thing for H #4, and waited until the big family gathering to find out (minus the cupcake, they let H #1 read the slip of paper).  But I'm too anal retentive to wait to find out with a group of people.  Plus, this is something special for Chris and I to share and be excited about first, so we always plan to find out together in the ultrasound room.  But that doesn't mean I won't come up with creative ways to torture everyone else.  So this round I baked a fun-fetti cake and made my own butter cream icing (a first for me) and dyed some of it blue and put it in the middle.  Then I took the rest of the white icing and iced the cake making sure to completely cover so there was no blue peaking through.  Since I had some left over icing I dyed it pink and blue and faux piped it onto the cake (I used a ziplock bag that I cut a hole in.)  The cake isn't pretty, but I'm not a professional and have never taken a single class (though that's on my bucket list).

Since it was Dennis's birthday he got to do the honors and cut the cake.  (Fun fact, Chris's dad and my mom have the same birthday.  Chris's mom and my dad's birthday are only a week apart.)

I believe I heard a little criticism about there being a ton of frosting in the middle, but that was for the benefit of Vickie.  I didn't want there to be any confusion this time.  And I wanted it to be obvious for pictures.  

I really liked the cake idea.  It was fun to make and yummy to eat.  Plus it entertained me to listen to pleas of having cake before dinner.  And the waiting in between the meal and an appropriate time for desert to cut the cake and find out what it was.  However, after you know what you're having it is extremely difficult to not use pronouns, so if you're going to do this I recommend you scheduling the party for the evening of the ultrasound or the next day and not talk to ANYONE in between lest you drive yourself crazy trying to make sure you don't give anything away.  

Daddy's very proud that it's a boy.  I think this big grin while he eats his blue icing filled cake says it all.  Plus he subconsciously wore a blue shirt that day.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Spotting the Turtle

We had the ultrasound today to find out what the newest little Schwartz is.  I love ultrasounds, not enough to pay for the 4D mind you, but I do find them very exciting.  When we had Sarah's at 19 weeks, it was the first time and we didn't know what to expect.  It was just so overwhelming and awesome to see her before we could meet her.  I remember she was so active; she was sucking her thumb and kicking her legs.  The ultrasound tech even pointed out that she apparently peed during the ultrasound.  I remember looking over at Chris and he was just beaming.  We immediately went to target afterwards to buy a frame so Chris could put one of the ultrasound pictures on his desk.  Needless to say, we've been really looking forward to the 19 week ultrasound this go around.

Since my parents probably won't be able to be there for the birth of this one since Emily and I have due dates so close together, I invited my parents over for the ultrasound.  You know they had them back in the day I guess, but not ones as clear as they are now since people didn't use to find out the gender.  I don't know.  So I told the wonderful lady doing the ultrasound that my parents had never seen one so she was really nice and explained everything.  It was a very educational experience.  Luckily we had every intention of finding out the gender since the first image up on the screen was our baby spread eagle making sure we were aware.  The ultrasound tech said, "Oh, it's a boy!  There's the turtle."  But compared to Sarah, he was a pretty mellow dude.  He yawned a few times, but for the most part, I think he was asleep.  I was mostly entertained by the tech poking our little boy in the head trying to annoy him and get him to move so she could get different measurements.  It made me feel better about when I grab my belly, shake it and say "Shaken baby syndrome!"

Chris wasn't as excited as I would have expected when we got the official announcement that it was a boy.  He finally explained why the other day.  Our doctor is pretty ultrasound happy.  They actually did one on me at 12 weeks to "confirm dating" which I think is bunk.  Anyway, while you're not supposed to be able to tell at 12 weeks, once again, this boy isn't shy.  We both saw what we were pretty sure was little boy parts.  And the ultrasound tech that time even said, you know it's too early to confidently tell you it's a boy...but...if that's not a penis I don't know what it could be.  Chris took that as "that's my boy".  I took it as a cautious it's probably a boy but don't go around announcing it.  Of course we showed the picture to my friend Annie, who pointed right at his junk and said "it's a boy".  After that I decided not to show people the picture because I like waiting until the halfway point to know. It gives me something to look forward to.

But know we know and we're both really excited.  So without further adieu I introduce you to Cody Dennis Schwartz.

(Don't bother looking for the turtle.  I decided to keep it classy and not post the picture with the arrow pointing at his stuff and the exclamation of "it's a boy!")

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Schwartz's vs the Allergies

So we've been suspicious about Sarah having food allergies for a while now.  The first allergy we actually figured out was peas.  You remember the hives incident right?  But in actuality, the real first allergic reaction was the day Sarah politely waited until we were out of the car before she explosively expelled all the contents of her stomach.  It was a reaction to the eggs, but I didn't figure that out until I took the advice from the comments on the peas post and tested peanuts.  She had the same explosive reaction coupled with some hives around her mouth.  So we figured she was allergic to peanuts and decided to stay away from them as well.

Well, when we were at the dr for Sarah's 16 month appointment she mentioned that "still no honey or peanuts until Sarah's 2".  To which I said, uh oh, we already did peanuts, and we're pretty sure she's allergic.  Then I described the peas, eggs, and peanut reactions we've seen.  So Dr. Catherine said we needed to take Sarah to the allergist.

I was going to get around to taking Sarah to the allergist when I got around to it, until we had another reaction.

This was what happened when I let Sarah have some mustard relish with her ham.  Mustard relish is delicious, but it's also egg based.  This time the reaction happened so fast and it must have itched because she started scratching at her throat and the hives spread to her neck.  She was tired so as she rubbed her eyes the hives spread to there.  This was the first time she spread the hives by touching.  It was a little disturbing.  So I dosed her with Benedryl, washed her down in the sink with Dawn, and kept her up for a little bit to make sure it was working before I let her take a nap.  During her nap, I decided it was best to go ahead and call and schedule that allergist appointment.

The receptionist at the allergist told me the appointment could take up to 4 hours, so Chris decided to take off and come with us.  She did a really good job, but I was glad he was there to help distract her and also to listen to the doctor while I was keeping Sarah from freaking out.  She does really well with her pediatrician, but was not a big fan of the allergist.

Anyway, so the allergist came in and we had the consultation where we described the reactions and to what.  I was smart and brought pictures of the peas and mustard relish.  He was a little perplex about the pea thing and said we could test for that but we'd have to use the adult 32 allergen panel instead of the 6 allergen kiddie panel.  Not wanting to torture Sarah anymore than was necessary we decided on the kiddie test and I'll just assume and NOT feed her peas.  (I don't like them anyway, so no worries here.)  He described the test to us and then left and the nurse came in.  She said it would just feel like a hair brush to Sarah.  But it must have been like a steel needle wire hair brush because she cried a lot.  She calmed down quickly and then was ok while we played and waited for someone to come read the results.

The results must have been really easy to read because 20 minutes later when the nurse came back in the check on us Sarah's back was to the door.  The nurse took one look at her and said "I'll go get the doctor."  He came back and explained the results and told us we'd need an epi pen for the peanut allergy.  He said MOST kids do out grow the egg allergy and as long as she's not having a reaction she can continue to eat pancakes and waffles (she loves them) even though they have eggs in it, but we should probably avoid things like mayo.  But we only have a 20% chance of outgrowing the peanut allergy.  Luckily peanut oil is ok, so we don't have to be crazy anal at restaurants.  In fact he specifically said Chick-fil-a was ok.  Wahoo!  He also said that because she technically showed reactions to everything we need to come back in a month to do a retest without the known allergens (peanuts and eggs).  He was worried there may have been some cross contamination because Sarah's skin is so sensitive.  

So there you have it.  Our sweet baby girl has food allergies even though neither Chris nor I have any.  But she's a trooper and luckily since it's just food it should be easy enough to manage.  At least she didn't inherit my mom's allergies.  She's allergic to pretty much everything outside.  

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Easter 2011

I love Easter!  I love it!  I remember loving it as a kid in Bradenton, FL (when I was under 5 years old so that shows you how much I loved it.)  We use to drive past this house that we called the Easter Bunny house because it was decorated to the nines.  (This was before people decorated for almost every holiday by throwing a couple of inflatables out in their yard.)  And as much as I remember the Easter Bunny's house, I don't actually remember the Easter bunny being a big part of our celebration.  I'm sure we did Easter egg hunts as kids, and I remember dying eggs with my mom and siblings.  But really, most of my Easter memories must be from my teenage year post egg hunts and all that good jazz where our Easter treat was picking which flavor chocolate bunny you want by picking where you were going to sit at the table.  Then mom would slap a post it note with your name on it so everyone knew who was whose during the week as ears and heads and tails disappeared off the bunnies.

Even though Sarah's 1st Easter was technically last year I just don't want to count 2010 as her first holidays because she either slept through most of them or didn't really have the presence of mind to know what was going on.  So as I started to plan this Easter for this year I decided we just couldn't go over to my parent's house because I need to be here as often as possible on Sunday's for my church calling.  Plus, I wanted to show Sarah off in her adorable Easter dress at my own home ward instead of over in PB, AR.  (Oh, I think I like that and will now refer to where my parents live as P-bar.)

Therefore, to kick off our Easter festivities, Chris and I decided to host our own Easter supper here with other friends who's families don't live in town.  We threw and Easter Egg hunt and picnic potluck.  I went NUTS making many deserts (and then in classic fashion failed to take a picture of my desert display I set up).  I made 54 sugar cookies, 71 cake balls in 2 flavors: carrot cake and strawberry, and 24 chocolate cupcakes with Nutella buttercream icing.  I was busy all week getting ready for this!  Chris had it easy, he just had to make the mustard relish (divine) and glaze the ham.

Then, once again in natalie fashion, I was having such a good time enjoying our Easter celebration on our new deck that I forgot to take a single picture of the friends and kids playing.  I took pictures of Sarah while she was hunting the eggs and then put the camera down and didn't pick it up again.  Whoops.  But here's a few highlights of the egg hunt:

We set up the ball pit Sarah got for her birthday out on the deck for the kids to play with along with a new kiddie picnic table for them to eat at and a water/sand box that Sarah has been enjoying these past couple of days while the ground's been to soggy to get to the swing set.

Getting her basket ready to hunt.

She mastered the pitch into the basket for time optimization.

Sorry for the overload, I couldn't get those picture to appear in Picasa for some reason to make a collage. Oh, and here's one more of Sarah hunting eggs with Chris.

Then since we had such a good time hunting eggs with Sarah and thought it was the most adorable thing we had ever seen we called Chris's parents and asked them if we could do an egg hunt at their house too.  I'm sure they were not please with me begging for yet another change in the plans (I had already begged them to have a family dinner Sunday on Thursday when I really couldn't take the idea of not being with family on Easter anymore.)  But it was super cute and fun.  And Grandma and Grandpa Schwartz hid special eggs just for Sarah that had fruit loops inside since I don't let her eat candy yet.  

Sarah and 4H's getting ready to go egg hunting.

She stepped over the egg and then couldn't find it because it was under her dress.  She looked around confused and then plopped on the ground to reach under her skirt and find it.

Carefully placing her eggs in her basket.

Grandma Schwartz helping her collect eggs.

I'm so very thankful for the Easter season and the opportunity we have to celebrate and remember the resurrection of Christ.  While I love egg hunts because they're just good fun, what I love most is the Plan of Salvation and the Atonement and Resurrection and the opportunity we will all have to live with our Heavenly Father again because of this plan that was laid out and chosen by us before we came here.  I hope that we can always keep the focus on Christ in our daily lives and not just in between picking up plastic candy filled eggs.