Future Prom Date + 10 Mile PR

Good Morning!!  I already feel like this week is dragging and it’s only Tuesday :/

We had SUCH a fun day yesterday!  My girlfriend, Nicole, and her daugther drove from LI to spend a few hours with us (it was her first time on SI!).  Nicole and I met last year through twitter / blogging and were so excited when we found out our due dates were only 4 weeks apart.  It was a blast to go through pregnancy and now motherhood side-by-side with her. =)  We’ve been planning a playdate for weeks months and FINALLY put a date on the calendar! It was so much fun to meet her beautiful daughter, Olivia after seeing pictures of her from the first day she’s been born!

Our little ones are only one month apart in age – Liv is almost 4 months and Ryan is almost 5 months!  I think they make a pretty cute couple…what do you think? BTW – this picture was totally spontaneous – we didn’t pose them or their hands!

Nicole brought THE most delicious cookies I have ever tasted.  Seriously…Ever.  They were GF Chocolate Chip Cookies w/ Garbonzo Bean Flour (the recipe for this tasty morsels can be found here). I don’t even want to tell you how many cookies I ate yesterday afternoon / evening – I totally blame it on yesterday being my first swim workout for IMLP training (more on that in tomorrow’s post!).

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    Mustela Review + Giveaway


    Mustela is the #1 Baby Care and Stretch Marks Brand in Europe and just began selling their line of products, including the 9 Months and Bebe lines, in Duane Reade stores across the United States. 

    Mustela focuses on selecting only the most natural ingredients to use in their products – any questionable ones such as parabens, alcohol or oils are excluded since they can be harmful to both babies and the expectant moms.

    Mustela® prides itself as being the skincare expert for babies and mothers-to-be. For this reason, Mustela® offers effective, easy-to-use products of the highest quality, designed to meet the specific needs of newborns, babies, children and expectant and new mothers.  Mustela is the leading cosmetic brand in the European pharmaceutical market for baby products.  In France, Mustela products are present in 90% of all pharmacies and used in more than 50% of maternity units for the care of newborn.

    I was familiar with several Mustela products, but hadn’t actually tried any until my second son was born two months ago.

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      A Second Child: What I’ve Learned

      Kiss time

      Happy THREE weeks  to my little guy!!  I’m amazed at how fast the time has gone and how I already can’t imagine life with my two little ones.

      While there are definitely some aspects of life that are more difficult now, I am amazed at how relatively seamless the transition is/was.  These are some of the things that I’ve learned the last few weeks:

      • Love.  I finally understand what my mom used to say to my sisters and I about loving us the same but for different reasons. There’s no way that I could love my two little boys for the same reasons – my oldest is talking and interacting 24/7 while my youngest mostly eats, sleeps, and poops.  But I feel like my heart is split equally for them.
      • Diapers. A good part of my day  is spent changing them. I got used to going through maybe 5-6 diapers/day, so having a newborn who requires many, many more than that is a change for me.  And I’m convinced the boys are in cahoots.  It seems that they decide to “go” at the same time or while I preoccupied with the other!  I received a shipment yesterday – diapers for both boys, wipes, and diaper garbage bags.  Can you believe these two boxes will only last a few weeks!?!  
      • Sleep.  I’m amazed at how our bodies adapt to change.  I had felt SO tired the last few weeks of pregnancy and that was on 8 hours of sleep a night (+ 30-60 min of napping during the day).  Now, I’m getting about 6 hours of (interrupted) sleep and surprisingly feel relatively good for most of the day.
      • Food/Drinks I had to eliminate / limit during pregnancy. I forgot how wonderful it is to be able to have an afternoon (or early evening) cup of coffee if I want to!  And although I am really not much of a beer drinker, I have been CRAVING one almost every night!
      • Older Son’s Reaction.  My oldest son has been pretty wonderful with his little brother.  He wants to be included in everything that is going on – giving him a bath, changing him, holding him…and will almost never pass him by without leaning in for a kiss! I’m appreciate of all the suggestions that were left when I discussed my guilt with having a second child.  Thank you! 

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        Meet the Newest Addition to Our Family: Ryan Thomas

        Happy to be a big brother =)

        We are now a family of FOUR!

        Good Morning and Happy Monday!!!

        First, just want to say thank you to everyone for the wonderful prayers, thoughts, and wishes the last few days.

        For those that aren’t aware, my husband, son, and I were thrilled to welcome the newest member to our family, Ryan Thomas Gonzalez, last week.

        Ryan is already back to his birth weight is showing early signs of being a good eater and even better sleeper!

        I hope to have the whole labor and delivery story on here tomorrow, but wanted to share some pictures and details with you as soon as I had a chance.

        Ryan was born at 6:53pm on Wednesday, September 19, 2012.  He weighed 7 lbs 2 oz and is 21″ long.  But most importantly, he is 100% healthy!

        My husband and I are walking around our house in a daze – it sounds crazy because we’ve had 9 months to prepare, but we still haven’t come to terms with the idea of having TWO children. It feels amazingly surreal to look at both of our sons and know that they are ours!

        One of the best things so far has been our son’s reaction to Ryan.  He wasn’t interested in him while we were in the hospital but everything seemed to change the  moment we came home.  He is now anxious to “help”, wants to hold him ALL the time, and includes him in everything (sharing his food, giving high “5s”…).

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          Pumpkin – Boy or Girl??


          AJ - just hours after his birth!

          When my mom was pregnant with my youngest sister, my other two sisters and I had so much fun guessing everything from the date she would be born, to the sex, to her height and weight…it made the birth a little bit more exciting (and interesting since we were are competitive with each other).  We’ve made it somewhat of a tradition – I still have the email chain from my first pregnancy with my family’s guesses…it was fun to see how close (or far) everyone was from the actual details!

          I thought it would be fun to have a little contest on here so that you can make some of the same guesses for Pumpkin!

          To make it as fair as possible, here is all the background info:

          I went into labor seven days early with my son (gave birth six days before his due date). My son was born at 12:18am.  My first labor pains began around noon the day prior. My son weighed 7 lbs 5 oz and was 20 1/2 in long at birth.

        • Pumpkin’s due date: September 27
        • At my last sonogram (32 wks) Pumpkin was 4 lb 2 oz.  My Dr said that if he/she gained an average amount of weight, he/she would be about 8 lbs if I carry to my due date.  (My son was 2 oz more at the same appointment.)
        • If you’d like to participate, please guess the following:

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            Friday Night Cry Session

            I normally don’t complain on here or blog about things that get me down.  I try to stay pretty positive and would consider myself a glass-half full kind of girl.

            But the recent pain in my lower back has made the last two weeks extremely tough:

            • I’m frustrated that the pain is affecting my parenting abilities.  I haven’t really taken my son anyplace lately because of my inability to keep up with him – so no park visits, no walks, no trips to Target or other stores.  He’s a vivacious 18 month old who wants to run around and play and the pain is preventing me from allowing him to do this.   I’ve also been told by the chiropractor to pick up my son as little as possible.  While he definitely prefers to be running around, there are countless times when he wants to be held during the day.  How am I supposed to not hold him or carry him up the stairs at bedtime?  It’s pretty hard to expect him to understand why mommy no longer can pick him up.
            • I haven’t run since Tuesday, July 10th.  Today is Day 11.  This is the longest I have gone in over three years without a single run.  Although I’m still praying to be able to run soon, I am losing hope and am already planning and expecting the worst – that I will not be able to run until after delivery of baby #2.
            • It’s been SO hard to stay connected via social media.  I’m so proud and happy of all the other running mamas out there, but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have a tinge of jealousy each time I read a post from some of my favorite running-for-two ladies: Janae, Sarah, or Nicole.  They are all running AMAZING miles still and I ache to be running with them.  It’s also extremely tough to read about everyone training for fall marathons, getting long runs in, and being so enthused about running.  So my reaction is to disconnect and mope (I know – I act like a little kid in this situations).
            • I made a stupid decision.  I began transitioning to minimalist shoes three months ago – so during pregnancy.  Do you ever do something that you know in your gut is not the smartest but you do it anyway?  Well that is what I did a few months ago.  I’ve been wearing the SAME shoes since 2007 – and have had no injuries or issues.  About three months ago, I decided to try out some low heel-to-toe drop shoes.  I slowly transitioned my way into them and have been wearing them for about 2/3 of my runs.  Based on what the chiropractor said today, it likely helped cause the pain that I am dealing with now because the change is too much for my body to adapt to (while it’s dealing with all the other changes going on).  So if I do get the chance to run again during pregnancy, it’ll be back to my Mizuno Wave Alchemys.

            I reached a breaking point last night.  I had just returned from an afternoon with my son at my mom’s.  I needed to get some lab work done for my OB-GYN and had a chiropractor appointment with a second doctor (for a second opinion) and my mom watched my son for the afternoon while I went to both.  My husband was in the city meeting up with some friends for dinner and drinks, so after putting my son to sleep in his crib, I walked into our bedroom, plopped on the bed, and proceeded to ball my eyes out for a good solid 10 minutes.

            There are times when a good cry is the best medicine.  Last night was one of those times.

            But since I do try to stay positive, there is some good news to share.  I went to a new chiropractor yesterday.  He diagnosed me over the phone a few days ago based on what I told him and confirmed his diagnosis yesterday: Posterior Pelvic Pain (aka Sacroiliac Joint Pain).  This is what I initially diagnosed myself as having.  He is a sports chiropractor and RUNS – so he understands my desire need to get out and run.  My Sacroilliac Joint (SI) was misaligned.  He realigned it yesterday as well as massaged out / stopped the muscle spasms that I had.  He wants to see me three times a week for the next few weeks.  I have to ice and do a series of stretches for a good portion of the weekend.  He is hopeful that I will be up and running soon – but has already cautioned me that some women do not get the relief that they hope and have to deal with pain until labor.

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              Pregnancy #2 vs. Pregnancy #1

              One of the questions I’m asked most frequently these days is if my second pregnancy is any different from the first.  They could NOT be any MORE different!  Although I feel and look different this time around, the major change is my overall outlook on my pregnancy.

              Breaking the news to my husband and family.  When I found out I was pregnant with our first child two years ago, I told my husband, parents, and sisters (with the exception of one) in person.  I had my husband come home from work (I told a small white lie) because I wanted to share the news immediately and wanted it to be face-to-face!  This time, other than my mom (who I was with when I took the pregnancy test) and my sister who lives next door, I broke the news to everyone over the phone – even to my husband who was at work!

              Books, websites, resources. Hours after telling my husband two years ago, we were in Barnes and Noble buying a handful of pregnancy books.  These (along with a few key websites and an awesome day-by-day pregnancy guide-book that a girlfriend sent me) were my bibles for the next 5-6 months.  The books were always by my side and I read and studied whenever I could – I wanted to know every single detail of pregnancy that I could.  I knew the baby’s current size, weight, developments, skills, etc.  Ask me how big Pumpkin is right now.  The answer?  I honestly have no idea. It’s not that I don’t care how big he/she is or what developmental stage he/she is up to – but there are different priorities right now in my life right now.  I know and remember what I need to in order to have a safe, healthy, and successful pregnancy.  The size of the baby (and fruit/vegetable comparison), while the highlight of my week for pregnancy #1, is no longer my focus these days.

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                Happy Bump Day! (22 weeks)

                22 weeks

                Happy Hump Bump Day!

                Well another two weeks have come and gone…I am now in my 22nd week of pregnancy.  I have my fetal anatomy ultrasound later today…despite being able to feel the baby kick and move pretty frequently these days, I always get nervous in the hours leading up to an appointment.  Did/does anyone else experience this? 

                Today would be the day that we could find out the sex of the baby – if we wanted to…I have to say, there is a small part of me that would love to know – simply for the logistics of painting Pumpkin’s room before we move in a few weeks…But, in the end, I know the surprise is what we want.  I’ve learned that it’s easier to not find out if you are proactive and just tell the technician / nurse as soon as you walk in the room that you don’t want to know.  Otherwise, he/she will ask you midway through the appointment while you are excited and happy to be seeing the baby in 3D/4D.

                I’m really starting to feel exhausted by the end of each day.  My calves, ankles, and feet are a little swollen at night if I don’t make a concerted effort to sit with my feet elevated for 15-20 minutes in the afternoon.  But it’s easier said then done. My son has slowly transitioned to one nap a day – so from 1pm until his bedtime (630/7pm), I am often on the go with him – trips to the boardwalk, the zoo, the park…We also closed on our first home on Monday…so all of my “free” time is spent packing up our apartment or cleaning the new house…the hours just seem to disappear these days.

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                  Happy Bump Day! (20 weeks)


                  Happy Hump Bump Day! 

                  Today marks the start of Week 20 of pregnancy – I’m already halfway through with this pregnancy (assuming Pumpkin decides to make a punctual appearance)!

                  The last two weeks have seen their share of good and bad days.  The good days have been amazing – no aches or pains and lots of running miles.  But I’ve also had a handful of days where I felt achy and just wanted to stay in bed and lounge around all day.  I guess it’s a blessing, in a way, to have AJ around – he forces me to be active even on days when I would prefer to sit on the couch and veg.

                  Cravings – Lately I have been craving dairy like it’s nobody’s business – so lots of chocolate milk, pepper jack cheese, and mozzarella.  I also am constantly in the mood for steak or creamy pasta (think unhealthy) most nights for dinner.  Surprisingly, I’m not craving ice cream this pregnancy – with my son, we were making almost nightly visits to the local ice cream shop.

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                    How did you do in 2011?

                    Photo Credit - visitfortwayne.com

                    With only a few days left in 2011, it’s normal to reflect upon the past 12 months – smile with the good, hope to learn from the bad, and decide upon some goals for the upcoming year.

                    After reading [and loving!] a similar post from Miss Zippy, a fellow blogger and FitFluential Ambassador, I decided to share these questions [and my answers] with all of you.

                    • Best race experience? NYC Marathon! I participated in the 5 Borough Challenge with 4 other runners. We got to start the marathon an hour before the rest of the field, and run the course on empty streets.  The best part was having my son and husband standing at the finish line waiting for me to run through the tape – I’m not sure any future racing experiences will ever top that!
                    • Best run? A one-mile run five days after my son was born. It felt SO good to run with considerably less weight (~20 pounds) than on my previous run (one day prior to his birth).  I felt like I was flying!
                    • Best new piece of gear? Saucony Run Vibe beanie – keeps my whole head warm on early morning winter runs.
                    • Best piece of running advice you received? If you aren’t in pain during training, how will you know what to do when you experience pain in a race?
                    • Most inspirational runner? This year, it was Desiree Davila and her 2nd place finish at the 2011 Boston Marathon
                    • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Never Stop Running =)
                    • What are a couple of your major goals for 2012?  Run a sub-3:10 spring marathon and complete my first Ironman

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                      Having “me” time does not make me a bad mother

                      I’m a very happy stay-at-home mom. I LOVE spending each day with my little man [and I’m beyond grateful that I have the ability to do so]. But a recent trip to the gym made me realize [once again] how important and necessary “me” time is on a regular basis and that I’m still struggling with this concept after 11 months of being a new mom.

                      This past Friday, I wasn’t in the mood to battle the winds on my run (30+ mph winds) and since my husband was home from work for the day, I decided to go to the gym. I had this amazing sense of freedom as I drove along Hylan Blvd, singing to Christmas music on the radio. I wasn’t worried about waiting too long at a red light (my son is great until we stop at a long red light) or preoccupied with singing nursery rhymes to keep him entertained. I wasn’t looking in the rearview mirror every 45-60 seconds to check on him (okay, maybe I still was – but that’s only because it’s habit).  It was extremely liberating to know that I was alone and driving someplace to do something that I wanted to do.  And I was going to be alone for the next two hours! JOY!

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                        Running through Pregnancy – Part 3 – the 2nd Trimester

                        4 mile race @ 24 weeks

                        In case you missed it, Part 1 can be found here and Part 2 can be found here.

                        By the end of the 2nd trimester, I was averaging between 30-40 mi/wk while running anywhere from 4-10 mi/day. My “easy” pace had begun to slow down – instead of an 8:30 pace, most runs were now around 9:00 min/mile. I had heard numerous times that the 2nd trimester was the honeymoon phase of pregnancy…after experiencing it, I could not agree MORE!  For most of the 2nd trimester, I was able to run 6x days a week and was actually running more at 25 weeks then I was at 10 weeks. My belly was slowly growing, but it was still small enough to not get in the way while running.  The occasional nausea I felt in the 1st trimester was gone and my energy levels were through the roof.  There were days where I felt like I could run forever – and I often turned planned short runs into long, slow ones (upwards of 10 miles) because I felt great. 

                        Races I completed
                        Since I felt so great during the 2nd trimester, I decided to sign up for a few local races.  I ran the Fitness Mind, Body and Spirit 4-miler in Central Park with my girlfriend in September and the SI Half-Marathon in October.  
                        My husband and family were leery with my desire to run the latter.  I promised that I would keep my pace around a 9:00 min/mile and would stop at the halfway point to eat to ensure that I was properly fueled for the long distance I was running. I also promised that if I felt or experienced anything that didn’t seem “normal”, I would immediately stop and call it a day.  This was not the time to do something stupid.  After discussing my plans with my husband and family, they were much more understanding and supportive of my desire to run the half-marathon! I had no time goals – I just wanted to run at a comfortable pace without pushing myself too hard.  

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                          Running through Pregnancy – Part 2 – the 1st Trimester

                          In case you missed it, Part 1 can be found here.

                          The first trimester started off great. I was running 6x days/wk, anywhere from 4-10 mi/day and 45-50 mi/wk.  
                          But by week 8, I started to feel extremely tired, out of breath, and achy when I was running.  I constantly felt like I needed to stop and walk – so despite not wanting to, this is what I did.  I began doing a run/walk interval (running 1-2 miles, then walking 1/2 mile). I’ve never been a walker so I was surprised to find I actually enjoyed it! However, I was extremely discouraged – I really missed being able to run for more than 10-15 at a time and was worried that my plans to run throughout pregnancy were lost. 

                          Looking back, I think I was overly cautious with my running and exercise in the first few months.  Any time I was out of breath, I stopped and walked.  I never wanted to come close to being winded or tired. I didn’t want to do anything that I might regret down the road.  It was hard to convince myself that my baby was okay with all the jostling and movement he was experiencing…at the time, he was barely the size of a kidney bean! And, I felt that my body was trying to tell me something. Of course, there’s been plenty of studies and research done to prove that there is NO harm to your baby if you run – even early on when your baby is so tiny.  But, I couldn’t get the fact that I just didn’t feel “right” when I was running out of my head. 

                          It’s SO important to do whatever you are comfortable with.  Don’t feel pressure to keep up with those that may have been able to run their whole pregnancy. Everyone and every pregnancy is different!  Listen to your body!

                          I knew I wanted to run more than anything.  But, my baby’s health – and my piece of mind – meant even more. 

                          I gained a whooping 9 pounds from my first to second ob-gyn appointment!  I was astounded!!  How could I have gained that much weight? I really hadn’t consumed that many more calories than I had been. The astronomical weight gain scared me – I was on track to put on over 70 pounds!! My doctor assured me I shouldn’t panic – the weight gain was my body’s way of preparing itself for the next 7 months. 

                          So here I was – barely 2 months into pregnancy…I couldn’t push myself to run more than a couple of miles at a time and I had already gained close to 10 pounds.  Throw in the hormones, exhaustion, and stress of becoming a new mom soon and you get an idea of how out of it I was! I told myself to put it into perspective – the “rough” few months were mostly self-imposed – I was fine, my pregnancy was going well, and more importantly, my baby was growing and had no health issues. 

                          Thankfully, by the end of the first trimester, I found that my breathing was under control and was comfortable enough to begin increasing my mileage again.  It seemed to happen overnight and I was so thankful for the opportunity to just run!

                          The hardest transition for me during the first trimester was to LET GO on runs and not worry about my speed. It was difficult to know that every run was going to be slow – I no longer had runs where I pushed myself as hard as I could go or returned home covered in sweat.  When you have an “easy” day scheduled on your training plan, it’s welcomed and appreciated.  But, every day was basically an “easy” run for me. I quickly realized how much I missed being free to test my limits when I wanted to!

                          Tips and Suggestions
                          – I started running with a waterbottle in the first trimester.  Hydration is important throughout pregnancy, but especially in the first trimester. Quick medical jargon:Almost immediately after becoming pregnant, the volume of your entire circulatory system (heart, arteries, and veins) increases. But, there is not enough blood in circulation (yet) to fill up the expanded system.  So, your body goes through a series of actions and ultimately the kidneys decrease the excretion of water and salt to the rest of the body. 
                          – Pay attention to environmental conditions – humidity, heat, smoke, direct sunlight – that can cause your internal body temperature to rise and stay elevated for long stretches of time. 
                          – If you don’t feel right before a run, turn it into a walk or hop on the stationery bike or elliptical.  If you feel better after getting started, then try running.  Don’t push yourself and trust your first instinct. Even if you are “just walking”, you are still out there exercising – which is the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby. 
                          – Don’t ignore symptoms that could indicate a serious problem – pain (both localized and persistent), sudden change in well-being, and vaginal bleeding (according to Dr. James F. Clapp III) are all signs of a potential complication. Call your doctor if you are unsure. In the first few months, I called my ob-gyn no less then four times with questions regarding something I was feeling or seeing. 

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                            Running through Pregnancy – Part 1

                            Are you on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook? Let’s connect! 

                            This is the first in a series that I am writing dedicated to running during pregnancy.  They will discuss what I experienced and learned from my successful “run” through pregnancy, some tips and advice as you and your baby continue to grow, and clothing options (if you are like me and don’t want to spend a lot of $$ on running clothes you will only wear for a couple off months). 

                            First, a disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, nor do I have “expertise” when it comes to running during pregnancy.  So what am I basing these posts on?  
                            – I am currently in the process of receiving my certification as a Pre / Post-Natal Exercise Specialist.  
                            – I ran up until the day before I went into labor and ran my first mile only 5 days post-delivery.

                            Second, a word of caution: Running during pregnancy is NOT for everyone.  If you weren’t a runner before you got pregnant, now may not be the time to pick it up.  Stick with what you were doing and comfortable with prior to pregnancy.  And, if you decide you want to give it a try, definitely discuss your intentions with your obstetrician early on in your pregnancy.

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                              Why don’t friends with kids have time?

                              When my 10 month old son was born, I didn’t talk on the phone (except brief conversations with my husband, mom, or sisters), browse the internet (Facebook), or watch TV when he was awake.  I wanted all of my time and attention to be devoted to him.  I left phone calls, tv shows, and chores for when he was napping or at the end of the day when he was asleep for the night.  I assumed the lack of personal time was temporary and kept telling myself that I would have more time when he got older and was more independent.  Here I am, 10 months later…with even LESS free time and LESS opportunity to chat or email with friends and family.  While I couldn’t be happier with my son and our days together, I sometimes feel that I am =&0=& separated from the outside world and know that I am extremely difficult to get a hold of these days.  So when my girlfriend, Leah, sent me this article, I couldn’t help but smile.  It’s a relief to hear that other moms have the same issues I do.  It makes me feel better knowing that I’m not the only one who sometimes just wants an hour of “quiet” when my son naps! 

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                                Best part of the NYC Marathon

                                In the weeks leading up the NYC Marathon, two of the questions I was asked the most were What motivates you to run? and What will you be thinking about while you are running to the finish line?  Both answers were the same – I looked forward to my 10 month old son, AJ, and my husband, Paul waiting for me at the finish line.

                                Waiting for me at the finish line was more of a metaphor.  I knew they weren’t actually going to be at the finish line of the NYC Marathon – the largest marathon in the world.  The number of celebrities, media personnel and VIPs are astronomical and security to even get somewhat close is extremely tight.  But, I knew they would be close by – somewhere in the general area of the finish line and that I would eventually get to see them soon after I finished.

                                The best part of running and competing in the 2011 NYC Marathon had absolutely nothing to do with running across the Verrazano Bridge with only 4 other runners or having spectators cheer for me as though I were an elite runner.  It had nothing to do with winning the Foot Locker 5 Borough Challenge or running a 16+ minute negative split in the second half of the race.  These are all amazing memories that I will cherish FOREVER.

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                                  NYC Marathon – the Experience of a Lifetime (part 1)

                                  I plan on writing a few posts about the NYC Marathon on Sunday, Nov 6.  The first couple will be about the events before and after the marathon, one will deal with running the marathon (splits, how I felt, etc), and another will be a recap of the experience of participating in the Foot Locker 5 Borough Challenge.

                                  I don’t think I will ever experience a day quite like yesterday.  Winning the challenge is extremely gratifying but it pales in comparison to the day my family and I shared together.   I guess the best place to start is at the beginning of the day…

                                  My supporters were in full force for the day – Paul, AJ, my mom, dad, 2 of my sisters, their significant others, and my niece!  Unfortunately, my sister who lives in the city could not make it to the start or finish as she was setting up and preparing for the after party she hosted for me in her apt (which is only 2 avenues away from the finish!!).

                                  In order to be at the entrance of Fort Wadsworth at 630am, we had to leave by 6am – which I can’t complain too much about since it is actually much later than runners coming from the city, other boroughs or neighboring areas.  The weather was chilly when we left (low 30s)- but with little to no wind and a crystal blue, clear sky, it was showing signs of the beautiful day that was to come.

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                                    Petunia Picklebottom Boxy Backpack Review and Giveaway!

                                    CONTEST CLOSED!!!

                                    I was turned onto Petunia Picklebottom (PPB) by my cousin who swore that all of my diaper bag problems would be solved if I tried a PPB Boxy Backpack.  At the time I was using a designer diaper bag that looked great – but had NO functionality.  It was impossible to get things from the bottom of the bag, there was NEVER enough room, and I could no longer carry the bag and my son at the same time (it kept falling off my shoulder).  After an afternoon trip out with my son when I  had to empty the entire bag just to find the triple paste container, I went to PPB’s website and ordered a Boxy Backpack.

                                    It was the best decision I could have made.

                                    – I have no problem when it’s time to change him – the front compartment makes finding diaper products a cinch
                                    – the 2 pockets on the outside are perfect for his sippy cup and my bottle of water
                                    – the main compartment is HUGE – and has a flap that velcros to keep everything safe and secure when I am tossing it into the car
                                    – my favorite part of the bag are the shoulder straps.  For a mom that is on-the-go, likes to stay active, and has a son that moves a lot while he’s in my arms, having both hands free is HEAVEN!

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