Words to live by...

"A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others." ~Author Unknown

"A good wife is her husband's biggest fan -- no matter how crazy he is." ~Me

"May God give you.. For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer." ~ Irish Blessing

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Year's Resolution

I need to get back to blogging.

I actually miss throwing random thoughts and happenings out into the interwebs.

I am back to work and have plenty of good Kindergarten stories built up waiting to come out...

Motherhood is an adventure that brings with it good stories, pictures, and deep thoughts...

I'm adjusting to life as a mom, wife, teacher, and student who still has a strong desire to ride my bikes, climb some mountains, and find some *me* again -- but have no time or energy to do so.

The blog needs an overhaul and hopefully over this lovely Christmas break I will get around to breathing new life into it as well as into myself.

Anyone actually still read this? I could use some encouragement to get me going...

Friday, November 19, 2010

12 weeks of bliss

Well, now that it's Friday evening, my maternity leave is officially over.

I can't believe how fast this 12 weeks has flown by and that I am already facing the reality of going back to work on Monday.

Luckily for me, JJ had such fantastic timing showing up, that I only have two days of work next week before a five day Thanksgiving weekend, and then only 15 more work days after that until a two week break for Christmas.

With those breaks in mind, I honestly am not dreading going back to work.

I am going to miss JJ like crazy during the day, but on the other hand, I'm ready to resume a bit of a life outside of the house. I really do enjoy teaching, and while going back after the kids have had a sub for three months is going to be an incredible challenge, I'm always up for a good challenge!

Plus, I am VERY ready to start getting paid again! My school district's maternity leave is so awful that I'm surprised it's even legal these days, and I'm ready to have all of that drama and hassle behind me.

I am currently working on a 3-month blog for baby JJ catching up on all of the fantastic skills he has learned over his short life so far, but for now, here's a cute picture...

And, an updated monkey picture!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Friday, October 08, 2010


Look what I did today!!
It took me the time it takes to go to Starbucks for me to get back out on the bike after getting the "let pain be your guide for exercising" schpeel from the doctor at my six week checkup.

Chris got my bike all set, took Baby J, and coaxed me out the door.

I was nervous to get back out on the bike. Afterall, just the thought of sitting on a bike seat a few weeks ago would make me dry heave.

But by the time I got down the street, the perma-grin crept onto my face.

I had only intended to ride easy paths around the neighborhood, but soon found myself pedaling up the rocky hill around the dog park, making people stare as I happily sang along to my ipod.

There is only one word to describe how the ride felt:


The last time I rode my bike I was about 30 pounds heavier and worried about sending myself into preterm labor. The big belly made me pedal with my knees out to the sides.

Despite being off the bike for a little more than two months, being back to "Original Marni" (as Chris likes to call me) made me feel fantastic.

Also, despite being *almost* back fighting weight, I am generally carrying around my little 12 pound Stay Puff Marshmallow Baby, holding him, feeding him, or tending to him when he fusses. Being back out on the bike, away from that physical and mental weight, made everything feel a little easier.

I love my little JJ and being away from him for a little Me-Time made me come back and love him even more.

I can't wait until he can come ride with me in the trailer, but until then, I'll take the weightlessness whenever I can squeeze it in!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

One Year

One year ago from this last Tuesday, was the day that Chris showed up at my school door after work and told me we were miscarrying our first pregnancy.

That day, and the following few days, were the hardest of my life.

When I look back, I can very clearly remember each horrible moment of those first few days.

I don't wish that feeling on anyone, and yet I realize it is sadly quite common.

Oddly enough, the days leading up to this anniversary were harder than the anniversary itself. I could remember how excited we were to find out we were really pregnant sitting in the REI Starbucks...going to the Rockies/Cardinals game wanting to eat nothing but jalapeno nachos...being giddy with excitement at our little secret...

On Tuesday, I honestly didn't even notice the date pass. Instead I was in St. Louis, knocked to the ground with a fever, flu symptoms, and an infection from breast feeding. I spent most of the day rotating between sleeping, whining, feeding JJ, and trying to coordinate care with our health care in a state that doesn't have the plan. We spent the evening in Urgent Care.

It was only yesterday on the 14 hour drive home through Missouri and Kansas did I actually have time to figure out what the date was. Looking back, I've never been happier to have a raging body infection because it means that I, in fact, have a baby.

This time last year was filled with discussions between Chris and I about whether we wanted to keep going through all of the crazy fertility treatments to try to get pregnant. We were emotionally warn down after three years of trying and not sure we wanted to keep going through with it -- at least for a while.

Luckily we decided to keep trying until the end of the year, then we'd stop for a while.

The last try produced my most wonderful gift...
And I couldn't possibly love him more.

As I watch him sleep next to me tonight, I am grateful for every moment that led up to getting him, no matter how hard some of those moments were.

Ah, the difference one year can make... check out those smiles!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

A Whole New World

In about an hour, my little guy will officially be two weeks old.

It is nearly impossible to believe.

In some ways, the last two weeks have flown by... in others, time has nearly stood still.

In watching my handsome boy grow and change, two weeks has passed by in the blink of an eye. He has gone from weighing 8 pounds at birth, down to 7 pounds 2 ounces a couple days after coming home, to topping the scales at 8 pounds 9 ounces at his appointment today! Everyday, he is more and more alert and we get to watch him scan the new world with his eyes and smile in his sleep. He already has both mommy and daddy wrapped around his adorable little fingers and we literally spend hours each day just staring at him. In two weeks, we have taken hundreds of pictures, and Chris has been outstanding at keeping his blog updated with the latest for our family and friends who aren't lucky enough to stare at him on a regular basis. Here are some of my favorites so far:
Baby shark!!

Bath time happiness!

Big boy in his first pair of pants!

Chillin' in the bed while Mommy and Daddy stare.

We never were worried about Turbo's reaction to a baby, but he's been amazing. He's curious, but already loves JJ!

Who is that cute boy?

In healing and recovering from a rough labor, two weeks has seemingly stood still. While I feel better everyday, my body is quick to remind me that I am, in fact, still only two weeks out from my hardest physical challenge. Even everyday activities seem to come back and bite me the next day. Luckily I have an absolutely amazing husband who has been patient and quick to take good care of me. I'm definitely no peach 24/7, but he is always there with a hug and understanding smile. He has been a fabulous dad, husband, and personal chef over the last two weeks. Minus one night where I was feeling particularly grateful and energetic and did it for him, he has gotten up and changed every dirty diaper in the middle of the night -- making my life a lot easier!

This was my "life doesn't get any better than this" picture. Delicious omelet, donut, and cute baby. Chris takes very good care of me!

We managed to get out for a walk as a family, then I completed my first solo baby/dog walk the other day. Both baby and dog loved getting out!

Overall, life is different and new, but good and amazing.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

THE story (verrrrrrrrrry long)

I am writing this blog for anyone who is curious, but mostly so I have it down in writing before I forget all of the great details surrounding JJ's birth. It's amazing how quickly you manage to forget the details surrounding such an enormous event...

One week ago yesterday, Chris and I welcomed the most amazing new little person into our lives. John James Plesko was born on August 26, 2010 (nine days early) weighing in at a hefty 8 lbs and even more surprisingly, a whopping 22 inches long! I have a hard time pinpointing a number of hours that I was in "labor", which is kind of a bummer because numbers are always fun! Let's just say, six days of fairly regular contractions led up to the actual event...

The kids returned to school on Friday the 20th. Being nine months pregnant and working with 25 brand new Kindergarteners was rough. Friday was only a half day for students, with the other half as testing, and it was still excruciatingly exhausting. Chris was up climbing the Diamond on Longs Peak that day, so I was under strict orders not to go into labor, since he'd be without cell reception or any good contact for nearly 24 hours. Even still, the consistent contractions started on Friday (I have to chalk it up to the stress), and honestly if he would've been around, I would've maybe considered visiting the doctor. Luckily for both of us, after work they calmed down a bit, and I went to see a movie with Heather and relaxing helped a lot.

Over the weekend, I continued to have contractions, although they had slowed to around 10-15 minutes each, sometimes more, sometimes less. I have had Braxton Hicks ("practice") contractions since 26 weeks, and these were certainly different. Chris and I mostly sat around all weekend, trying to relax and not worry too much about the contractions or how soon little JJ might be making his appearance. It seemed that every time they would speed up and become more regular and we would start to consider heading to the hospital, they'd slow down again and we'd be left a little disappointed on the couch.

Starting on Monday, the kids were with me full day. Chris came with me to work "just in case", and his help and presence made the day actually go okay. Tuesday, I convinced him to stay home and relax -- after all he was still pretty tired from his epic day on Longs, and I told him I needed him to be on full alert whenever things started to move along. Both Monday and Tuesday I came home from work with enormously swollen ankles and exhausted beyond belief. When Wednesday rolled around, I really was starting to feel miserable. I had a girl throw a fit when her mom left which required me to try to wrangle her to keep her from running out either door. The stress of the situation left me with some crazy contractions for a few hours, but I managed to keep chugging through the day. Walking back up from dropping the kids at lunch, I had an inner-dialogue with Mr. JJ telling him that he better come soon, because Mommy was about to give up. I was so tired, swollen, and uncomfortable that I couldn't imagine working another week and a half until my maternity leave was set to kick in. I would learn later that most of the teachers that saw me that day could tell that I was about ready to go. Something must've seemed *off* which I guess I could tell on some level.

Wednesday evening I got home from work to Chris just waking up from a nap (Chris NEVER takes naps...) and plopped onto the couch as usual with my feet up. Contractions kept coming and were anywhere from 5-10 minutes apart all evening long. Chris and I were both convinced they'd die off as usual, so we didn't really get our hopes up too much that anything would be happening. As the evening wore on, the contractions continued and actually managed to get more painful. While not as painful as they would eventually get, they did stop me in my tracks and Chris could always tell when one was coming just by my sudden shift in personality.

We went to bed early, knowing that if I were to survive the next day at work, I needed to relax as much as possible. We watched some Office episodes on the laptop and the contractions kept coming and coming. Around midnight, we decided to go for a walk. Neither one of us had any hope of sleeping, there was a big bright just-past-full moon out, the weather was perfect, and we wanted to see if we could get things moving along. This walk was one of the best we've ever taken. The world was so peaceful outside at midnight and the moon lit up the dirt path enough that no headlamps were necessary. We would have to stop about every three to five minutes to get through a contraction, which Turbo loved because it gave him extra exploring time. It has never taken us that long to walk the 2.5 mile loop before!

We were pretty encouraged that the contractions had not only not gone away, but they had increased in frequency and painfulness. Still, we knew that it was probably still too soon to go to the hospital, since they have always slowed down. We got into bed and both slept pretty fitfully for a few hours before finally getting up at 6:00. The question of whether to go to work or not wasn't even there, we both knew that this was when we would head to the hospital. I emailed work and told them I wouldn't be in (it just so happened that my long term sub was scheduled to visit that day and observe anyway, so that worked out perfectly with no stress). We got in the shower and I had my "bloody show" which kinda freaked both Chris and I out. We've been praying this whole pregnancy for NO BLOOD and now finally we saw some and could start to get excited. Chris offered to make breakfast, but I told him we should just get the rest of the stuff in the car (he'd packed almost everything into the car when we got back from our midnight walk) and hit up the starbucks on the way to the hospital.
When we went into starbucks, I had another painful contraction and did my best to hide it from everyone else in line. Chris and I both laughed afterwords, since labor contractions in line at starbucks are, well, pretty funny. I ordered a water and a huge cinnamon roll (YUM!!!!!!), knowing that our starbucks usually doesn't carry cinnamon rolls and if I went into labor and puked it all up, I didn't want to ruin a food that I usually eat. I had a few more contractions while we were sitting there, and Chris and I tried to make small talk to calm our nerves. Eventually we got back out into the car and drove the last five minutes to the hospital.

When we got to the hospital, they put us in a room in labor and delivery and they hooked me up to the contraction monitor and baby heartrate monitor. Everything looked fine, and when she checked to see my progress, I was still only 1 cm dialted, although more thinned out. I had been at 1 cm since our last dr appointment a week and a half prior. She told us to go walk the halls for an hour and come back and she'd check me again. I was really frustrated walking the halls -- not only had I essentially been up since Wednesday morning, had a craptastic day at work, a night full of painful contractions, but now I was finding out I wasn't even making any good progress through all of that. Chris had to deal with a very cranky Marni for that hour, I didn't even want to talk or hold his hand or listen to his encouraging words. Especially as the contractions started to slow down, I got more and more frustrated.

Chris, knowing me better than anyone ever could, suggested that since it was Thursday, if we got sent home, at least we'd have a nice day together and then we could get some tasty Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner (Thursday night is 50 cent boneless night). That perked me up a little, knowing that at least I'd be getting some yummy wings for dinner. We went back to the room and she hooked me back up to the monitors and checked me again. "Still 1 cm" was all she said. I could've sobbed right there, except I always have to put on some sort of "brave" face in front of strangers for whatever reason. She was clearly going to be sending us home, since no progress was made and the contraction monitor wasn't really picking anything up. I knew I was contracting, but the monitor wasn't picking them up, so I of course started to doubt myself that I was making it all up in my head. Chris could tell, however, that the contractions were coming a lot more frequently than the monitor let on, so when the nurse returned, he told her it wasn't working and she needed to figure it out. She seemed a little annoyed that we wanted her to fix the monitor when we were going to be going home, but she humored us and left to get some blood results back (my blood pressure was a little high when we went in so they wanted to check out my blood).

After the nurse fixed the monitor and left the room, we could see the contractions on the monitor finally. Suddenly I got one really really painful contraction and my water exploded everywhere. I told Chris "uhhh, honey, I'm pretty sure my water just broke" and he paged the nurse who came back, still looking doubtful. When she looked down, she said "oh yeah, looks like you're not going home, you're staying here to have a baby!" I think Chris and I were both a little shocked after thinking we'd be heading home, but we were also excited to be staying. I honestly thought for a second "oh wait, this means I won't get wings tonight" -- haha.

They kept me on the monitors for just a few more minutes, then said I was free to move around and use any of the birth balls, birthing tubs, chairs, or anything to help me through the process. We went into labor thinking we'd try to do it naturally, but still left the epidural option open in case something didn't really go as planned. As I got out of bed, my water continued to gush everywhere, and I of course felt horrible that someone else would be cleaning that mess up. As they cleaned up my bed, they noticed meconium in my water (baby pooped in the womb and was breathing it in) so they were clearly concerned. I continued to gush and gush everywhere and the nurses all commented on how I had A LOT of fluid.

I tried the birthing ball, but that was not helping. I noticed I was having a lot of back labor pains, so we tried to the tricks we had learned in our birthing class to help that. I found one semi-decent position to stand in, but quickly realized that wasn't going to work either. Rather than the typical contractions that would be about 3-5 minutes apart lasting for a minute, mine were lasting 1.5 minutes and only 2 minutes apart, meaning I was getting about thirty seconds of "rest" in between. Essentially they were stacked right on top of each other and extremely painful both in my back and in the front (I'm now chalking that up to his 22 inch height, although dr's and nurses debated the rest of the labor what position he was in). I told Chris there wasn't any chance I could handle the constant pain, and he was supportive. I still tried to fight it and wanted to go without the epidural, but when a nurse came in and said "well, because of the meconium, we're going to need to put you under constant monitoring in the bed". At that point, I said "f___ it" (maybe in my head, maybe out loud?) and we decided to see how far along I was before ordering the epidural. We knew that it if it was given too soon, it could slow down labor and lead to all sorts of other interventions.

So, about a half hour after my water broke (and broke, and broke, and broke), the nurse checked me and I was already 4 cm dialated! We ordred the epidural and waiting for him to come in seemed to take forever. He was in another room and we were next on the list, but I thought I was going to pass out from the pain waiting for him (especially now that I was strapped to be bed with monitors in a pretty uncomfortable position). Throughout this, Chris was very encouraging and helpful in keeping me calm and focused. When the anesthesiologist came in to give the epidural, I was ready to be done. Thank goodness for that guy!

He got the epidural in and told me that slowly, one by one, the contractions should become less painful. We waited a few contractions and it was slowly taking the edge off of them enough that they could check me again. After the epidural, and about an hour after my water broke, I was already 8 cm dilated! No wonder those contractions hurt like heck, I was speeding through labor like a freight train. In the middle of all of this, there had been a shift change and we got a nurse who I liked better than the first who thought we were crazy. When she decided I was already up to 9 cm a little while later, she explained to us that the two doctors on call were both performing emergency c-sections, but that they could call someone over in no time if we needed it (which I thought was funny, because I really had no choice in how long or short this was going to last).

By now, the epidural had taken full effect, and Chris and I were able to enjoy the labor for a little while. Chris called our family, friends, and work to let them know what was going on. He would feed me ice chips, got me a grape popsicle, and even had time to eat a few crackers himself. I was exhausted from the last 29 hours, but had somehow convinced myself in my head that if I let myself fall asleep, I would die. I'm not sure if that was the epidural talking, or a bit of anxiety over the situation, but every time my eyes would close, I would force them open to stay awake. Very bizarre.When I got the epidural, life became a lot easier. I could still definitely feel the contractions for a while, but after upping my dosage now and then, I finally got the "numb" feeling everyone talks about. When I reached a 9 a little while later, we expected to get a baby soon! Unfortunately, my body stalled at a 9 with a tiny lip of cervix left for about five hours. I was grateful for the epidural at this point and stopped feeling guilty about getting it. Being strapped to a bed at 9 cm for five hours being monitored would've been awful. JJ wasn't handling the contractions well (his heartbeat was dropping a little lower than the nurses liked during and shortly after a contraction), so they put me in various positions on the bed to find him a happy spot. One inch to the left this way, this arm slightly that way, and on and on and on for five hours. Honestly, this was all okay, but wherever they'd get me, that JJ supposedly liked, was usually the least comfortable for me. My tailbone was killing me despite the medicine and trying to stay still in one particular position or another wasn't helping at all.
Finally, around 5 pm, they called me fully dialated (after starting pitocin to get my body to progress)), and I got to start pushing. This was exhausting. I had to dig deep and use any of what I've learned in biking and hiking to get me through it. Over the last few years I have learned that despite my body telling me I'm exhausted and done, there is always something left in reserves to get me through. I have watched Chris battle through some exhausting adventures, and I knew that tiredness could not be what stopped me.

As Chris shoved my knees to my face, at least I was able to impress the doctors with my mad flexibility skillz. Chris was doing a fantastic job of keeping track of how I was doing, adjusting his rate of counting or depth of leg shoving to leave me feeling motivated and not discouraged. I tried to focus on his voice and try my best, although I surely had doubts that he and the nurses were trying to lie to me by telling me I'd made progress. At some point the doctor had come in to discuss what he could foresee happening (episiotomy, and using a vacuum to help JJ along). He said it in such a way that I took it personally to mean that I wasn't doing a good enough job and wouldn't be able to do it on my own. It felt like I had made it through a long bike race, only to get about a mile from the finish and need someone to tow me the rest of the way. I nearly broke down and cried, and when he left the room, the nurse asked what was wrong and I managed to tell her that now I felt like I wasn't doing anything well. She and Chris helped me feel better, and rather than getting frustrated I tried to use it as motivation. In the end, I needed the episiotomy, but am very pleased to say that I never needed the vacuum.

While I didn't realize this at the time, but now realize as I write this, I think the epidural made me extremely paranoid. When the nurse tried to tell me that she could see his head and that it was going to be soon, I asked her if by "soon", she meant another hour. She laughed and said "definitely no". I only believed the head was actually coming, when Chris said "I can see his head!" and he sounded like he was getting choked up. This gave me any last motivation I needed to get JJ out into the world.

Despite the epidural (which I'm not sure hadn't gotten turned down in the process of pushing), getting a baby out of me was extremely painful and exhausting. However, there is nothing in this world like accomplishing that. When he started to come out, they told me to stop pushing for a second. Later I learned this was because the doctor needed to unwind the cord from around my sweety's neck. He came fully out and they put him on my stomach for a very brief moment. Chris quickly cut the cord and before I could even open my eyes and focus on his little body, they whisked him away to the warmer in the room. I told Chris to go over with him.

All I noticed was that he wasn't crying.

I gave him a few seconds before I freaked out.

When he still hadn't cried after what seemed like an eternity, I looked over at the warmer and saw the nurses pumping him full of oxygen.

Then I freaked out.

I kept yelling over to Chris and the nurses about whether he was okay or not. Chris said "he's moving", but I still hadn't heard him cry. In the end, this time was only a minute and a half, but looking back on how it felt, it took forever.

What I didn't like about the doctor over the last few months of my pregnancy and during the labor, ended up being exactly what I liked about him in this minute and a half. We have never been big fans of how slowly he explains every minute detail of everything, but in my freaking out about my un-crying baby, he was able to calm me down and explain what was going on. His one minute apgar score (out of 10) was 1. Poor little guy :(
When they got him breathing and moving and happy, they brought him back to me and I got to finally to meet my little man. He was (and is) absolutely perfect.

I asked the nurse if I could finally drink any water, and she was happy to inform me that not only could I drink water, my ice chips had melted into the perfect cold watery goodness. Drinking that was sooooooooo nice!
Over the next hour or so, Chris and I got to bond with our little boy, try to nurse, and get cleaned up. Soon my wonderful family started trickling in. JJ was visited by his Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Colleen, Uncle Scott, Uncle Jim, Aunt Jenn, and finally his cousins Kylie and Trevor. Aunt Betsy came to visit the next day. My dad went and got Chris and I some subway sandwiches, and we enjoyed eating for the first time since starbucks early that morning.
The only other noteworthy happening of the evening was the nurse taking me to clean up in the bathroom and while she was talking to me, I interrupted asking her if it was normal that I couldn't hear her voice. I heard her talking, then it started to get really funky, and then no hearing at all. I noticed her call in Chris and they dragged me over to the wheelchair to bring me back from starting to black out. That was a bizarre experience.

The first night in the hospital went really well. Chris and I were exhausted and so was little JJ. We got some decent stretches of sleep and he ate like a champ. Chris and I couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces that night, and they still haven't gone away.
After several years of trying to get pregnant, fertility treatments, and a miscarriage, it was all worth the wait. I am desperately in love with my little boy and falling more and more in love with my husband every day.
Life is good.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The beginning of the end

After waiting and waiting for this pregnancy for years through all of the ups and downs, we are now under two weeks away from d-day.

Returning to work the last week and a half has been a little brutal, but teaching the 25 Kindergarteners for the first time on Friday, was especially hard. I was lucky enough to go unscathed, for the second year in a row, without major criers or fit-throwers. Pretty amazing. Just the sheer energy of putting routines and procedures in place and dealing with that many kids was exhausting.

I've been dealing with feet/ankle swelling issues since returning to work -- being more on my feet than before and being in a H-O-T, stressful environment has left me amazingly cankelicious.
This was the first day. I thought this was bad. Now they are regularly twice this size.
Plus... I used to have arches -- what happened?

On top of all of that, on Friday, my contractions (which I've had since about 26 weeks) went into overdrive and got really close together for a while. I tried to ignore them for the most part, since JJ was NOT allowed to come into this world on Friday because of Chris squeezing in one last great adventure on the Diamond on Longs Peak and being out of cell phone range for almost 24 hours (yay for hubby doing awesome on a route neither one of us ever thought he'd do!!). Once Chris returned, we had a pep talk with JJ that he can now feel free to come anytime he is ready, thus resulting in more close together contractions Saturday morning that ultimately tapered off. Today was a bit of a repeat of yesterday and although the contractions have tapered off again, we can't help but feel that this is truly the beginning of the end. We'll see how tomorrow goes at work!

Well, this blog wasn't meant to sound whiny, believe it or not I actually started this blog to highlight some of the fun things we've done in the past few weeks...
34 weeks. My last ride with the Wednesday night crew before a babysitter becomes necessary. I only rode the road on Waterton Canyon, but it was nice to get out.

Rock climbing at the Boulder Rock Club at 35 weeks. I tried it just to see if I could.
I could... it wasn't pretty though.

A lot of this summer has been spent enjoying time belaying Chris at the gym. It was an awesome way to stay "active" (at least my right arm) and have fun with the hubby.

At 36 weeks, we also celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary by going to The Melting Pot. Yum! I can't believe it has been six wonderful years of marriage and things still get better every day. Our honeymoon phase has still yet to end...

I had a beautiful baby shower with a great group of friends and unbelievable food and cake! My sister, niece, and mom put on a great party (along with the cooking of my dad and bartending by my brother)

Last night we went on another date night to Protos Pizza. Delicious! We are treating every date night like our potential last babysitterless date. We sat outside and enjoyed an awesome sunset. Unfortunately I seem to only be able to take blurry pictures these days...

So basically, while we are REALLY ready for JJ to make his appearance, we are enjoying every last minute together that we have. I can't wait to be a mommy, but today the idea even managed to creep into my head that I might be able to get myself back into good enough shape to race one or two of the Leadville snow races this year...

Life is good.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bloggedy blog blog

I just spent the last hour going through my blog posts from last summer.

I laughed, I cried, I got a little jealous of myself.

I really think that's the best part of blogging -- being able to look back at different times and see what we were up to. Since we have both been such ridiculously inconsistent and boring bloggers as of late, I'm sure Chris and I are our only readers at this point... but, my hope is that next summer I'll be able to look back with fondness at our pregnancy and post-ankle-accident induced laziness (and Chris's standard of being "lazy" would have my crying with exhaustion, but to each his own...).

As for my current state -- I am 33 1/2 weeks preggo, still expanding rapidly, eating constantly, and staying "active" by walking up the stairs to the bathroom every ten minutes to pee, walking the dog when it's not over 90 degrees, belaying Chris at the climbing gym*, and once-weekly prenatal yoga. I hope to ride my bike or trainer a few more times before JJ makes his appearance, but it's so darn hot that I seriously lack the motivation to even try. I can't complain though, it has been really fun to have a summer "off" from the pressures of constantly doing something and I am loving almost every second of growing this little guy.

There are only a few more precious weeks of vacation before school starts back up again. I really have enjoyed having the summer off. I can't complain about not working during my third trimester! I will be working a few weeks before having twelve weeks off with the kiddo, so while that few weeks will be really brutal and HOT HOT HOT (darn ghetto schools with no a/c), I'll make it.

Well, that's about it for now!

*belaying Chris at the gym is always super entertaining. Only in Boulder can someone 8 months pregnant get asked if she's climbing that 5.11 next -- haha, my response is always "uhh, no, but thanks for believing in me!". I also got stalked by an acupuncturist lady wanting to feel my "tired pulses" and make the uncanny observation that I "must be tired" because she can tell from my eye vibes, pulses (we have more than one pulse?), and some other crap. Really? Someone 8 months pregnant in the heat of July being tired? Wow! She's insightful :) Haha. She was nice, but... ummmm... yeah. There's Boulder for ya!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

When in Rome...

Or should I say...

When 32 weeks pregnant...

Do as the tourists do!

That's exactly what we just spent the day doing, and it was fabulous.

As I mentioned in my last blog, I've had a bit of a rough time adjusting to my more sedentary lifestyle. Afterall, summers are usually the time that Chris and I rack up some good 14er hiking in our attempt to finish all 54 as a couple, but since I have a physical and moral obligation to my unborn baby to not deprive him of oxygen, that can't happen. It is 100% worth it, but it's still an adjustment.

Last night we found ourselves just outside of Aspen in the wonderful town of Carbondale, for a Ride the Divide showing, featuring Chris as the Q&A speaker at the end. The movie is great and it's fun watching people ooh and aah over Chris doing the route on a single speed just a few days short of the overall record time. Before the show, we had some great Thai food with the filmmakers and we got to stay the night for free in a super cute little cabin owned by the lady who brought the movie to Carbondale. It was really nice of her to give up her house to Chris, Turbo, and I for the night!

This morning we went back to Dos Gringos (where the movie was shown) for some awesome breakfast burritos. If you ever find yourself in Carbondale, find Dos Gringos, it is soooooooooooo delicious (if you've ever been to the coffee shop adjacent to Absolute Bikes in Salida, it's very similar).

Since we were already in the area, we headed up to Aspen to go see the Maroon Bells. Chris had a plan to climb the Bells the night before, but instead he played his role as super-baby-daddy and stayed the night with me instead (have I mentioned that he is an awesome husband?? :) ). Because we were headed up to Maroon Lake after 9 am, we had to take the tourist shuttle up the road. Chris and I were both literally and figuratively, well, very out of our element. As the driver drove five miles an hour up the road, stopping to talk about avalanche chutes and aspen trees, Chris and I worked to entertain ourselves. We did listen just long enough for the bus driver to tell the bus of tourists that "there are 54 14,000 foot mountains in Colorado, called 14ers, which is why Colorado is called the 'Rocky Mountain State'". Ummm, what? He also proceeded to tell everyone that the Bells are nicknamed The Deadly Bells because "every year, at least one person goes up and falls off the mountain". Ummm, okay, not really, but okay.

It was also nearly noon and in Colorado, you don't go up to the high mountains to walk around at noon. Daily rain and thunder storms make this idea stupid, and not even once did the driver warn the poor tourists not to head *up* any of the trails. Luckily it was raining as we exited the bus, so hopefully not many of them decided to walk to the higher lake as they had planned. We walked the short path to Maroon Lake and got a good little peak at the Bells before standing under the shelter of the bathrooms analyzing various couloirs and climbing routes in the area. It was really nice to be in the mountains instead of on the couch like I have spent most of this summer. The Bells were fantastically beautiful and I can't wait to go back to climb them. If you are from out of town and find yourself in the Aspen area, it is worth taking this bus up to the lake to look around. The views are spectacular!
32 week picture!

It was rainnnnnnnnny.

After a short time spent admiring the Bells, we walked around the Aspen ski area a little bit and discovered a store devoted completely to brownies. Marni-heaven! Then, Chris decided to take us home via Independence Pass -- a highway that connects Aspen and Leadville through some amazing country.

We even pulled off at the top of the pass to walk to the overlook and admire the clearing weather and spectacular views. We even got to gawk at La Plata, a 14er that we hiked in the snow in November 2008. I love looking at a big peak, knowing that I have been on the top, and remembering the beautiful views we saw along the way and the horrible knee pain I had coming back down.
The big flat-topped looking mountain behind us is La Plata and Ellingwood Ridge. Yes, I'm wearing three coats...

Chris will always be Chris and got excited when he found a place to boulder along the trail. Haha.

This person seemed scared that they'd fall off the side of the pass, so instead of driving in their lane, they nearly creemed several oncoming cars by driving pretty far over the center line. Hmmmm....

Coming back into Leadville, we got to see more of the mountains we climbed the last few years, and it was fun trying to pick out and name each of them. We constantly had our 14ers book out, comparing pictures to views, and telling stories of previous trips. When we got into town, we stopped at the best pizza place in the area (which is tiny and was packed because of the rain), and we took the pizza back into the car to eat. It was soooooooo tasty. Go there too.

This is a bit of a gross picture of me, but it shows how excited Turbo was for us to come eat our lunch in the car.

We finally headed back on I70 and got home not too long ago.

The day was rainy, but getting to be in the mountains with Chris at all, even at a tourist level, was fantastic. It was an important reminder to slow down once in a while, forget about doing everything the hard way, and just enjoy this beautiful state that we're lucky enough to live in.