Monday, April 21, 2014

so you say you want to run a marathon...

Now that it's been two weeks since I ran my marathon, I think I can write about 
my experience without just saying
Because seriously, my legs hurt so bad after I ran the race.

I signed up for the north shore marathon in the middle of November. I think I was feeling particularly ambitious that day. It had been about three months since I had Stella so I was ready to really start working out and training hard. I missed intense workouts while I was pregnant. I wanted to sweat for a good reason like a hard workout rather than just sweating because I was pregnant. 
(I was a very sweaty pregnant woman). 
Marathon time! I was pumped. 

And then I started running.  It was agonizing! I once posted about how hard it is to get back into running after you take a break, and this time was even harder because I was running with a newborn. Thankfully, Stella is a good running buddy. 
But after a month of working up to it, I broke through the running rut and started feeling good! I was up to about five miles. 
And then Christmas break happened. I didn't go on a single run the entire time we were in Arizona (even though I got new running shoes for Christmas, oops). Instead I just ate a truckload of cookies. 
Good marathon training! 

In January, I started seriously training. It was a rough couple of weeks getting back into my running groove, but once I did I really started enjoying my marathon training. 
I ran almost everyday with a speed/interval workout once a week and my long runs on Saturday mornings. I pushed Stella in the jogging stroller for most of my runs except the speed workouts, which I did on a treadmill, and my long runs on the weekend when Stewart could stay home with her. 

I really loved my Saturday long runs. I had to get up before the sun came up to start fueling and pump Stella milk, but it was blissful running at sunrise. I ran on our town's bike path, on the highway, next to the beach, and through the shrimp farms.  I basically ran the same course for every long run but I would just add a couple of miles each week. 

I built up my mileage slowly so I didn't get any serious running injuries, which was awesome
(good job knees!)
The last long run I did was 18 miles three weeks before the race, and then I had to start tapering my training. I felt fairly ready for the marathon but I was super nervous. Sometimes I would think about it and my stomach would drop. STRESS!

Stewart ran the race semi with me. He took off for about the first 17 miles and then ran the rest with me. I can't decide if it was annoying or helpful. I joke. I love you, Stewart. 

The first 18 miles went pretty well. I kept my race pace and I felt really good. Then at miles 20, I hit the infamous wall. I read all about it; everyone say that you can never be prepared for how hard those last six miles are, and it is a serious truth. I kept getting slower and slower until I was basically just trotting along trying not to die. I thought I might die. I may or may not have cried a little at mile 23. 
It was just so hard! My legs felt so heavy and it started getting so hot outside and blah, I just wanted to lay down on the road and never get up again. 
At this point, I was definitely talking out loud to myself, saying things like "don't. stop. moving." And I was definitely wondering why crazy people like me actually pay money to go and run 26.2 miles. WHY.
If this sounds dramatic its because I felt so so dramatic when I was finishing the race. Stewart was running right ahead of me, telling me to keep going and that I was almost there. Spectators on the side of the road and in their cars were all telling me I was almost there, and to just hang in there! 
(It's almost like when you're birthing a child and everyone keeps telling you it's almost over. False. It is not. Just leave me alone in my misery. Okay, drama is done).

By the time I was nearing the finish, my legs were turning against me. They were on the brink of totally cramping up and I am so grateful that they didn't. When we turned into the beach park where it finished, in the grass there were these cones that marked out this little zig-zag loop thing we had to run through the get to the finish line. I'm pretty sure I yelled, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!" and I probably cried some more.
Who knows, this part is kind of a blur. 

And then I trotted/limped/kind of ran across the finish line and suddenly it was over.
I finished the race in 5:09. My goal was to do it in under five hours, so what the heck, I'm happy with the time. I'm mainly just happy that I only walked through the water stations and ran the rest of the time. Pat on the back for me. 

After the race, I sat down and drank so much gatorade and I probably looked crazy and delirious because I was crazy and delirious. My parents were visiting and they were there with Stella at the finish, which was so much fun. Weirdly, you don't want to eat anything after you finish a marathon because you feel sick after. It's very disappointing because this is the time in your life when you feel like you actually earned the right to feast. Instead I choked down half a banana. 

I cannot even describe how sore my legs were after the race. My parents and Stewart can tell you how ridiculous I looked walking that week. It was a huge struggle going up and down the stairs.

At the end of the marathon and right after I finished, I didn't think I would ever want to do that again. But now that I've recovered and I'm even running again, I think I want to. I'm already thinking about the things that I would do differently during my training next time around (more speedwork, one more long run). Weirdly, training for the marathon was so enjoyable. And Stewart told me that the first marathon is the hardest to get through because you don't know what to expect. Well, now I know to expect a near death experience (partially joking) so I think I might be able to better prepare myself for that next time. 

I am really proud that I did it. Running a marathon is something that I have been wanting to do for years, so it feels good to accomplish that goal. And I think I just might be one of those crazy people that enjoys this kind of torture. We'll see. 

If you have ever even thought about maybe doing a marathon, you should definitely do it! You might read through my post and wonder why I would even suggest that since I made it sound like literally the worst thing in the world. That's because it kind of felt like it was the worst thing in the world at that moment when I was tired and hurting, but now I'm glad that I experienced it. I'm proud of this body of mine. Our bodies are capable of so much! 

So just do it. It's hard but you feel pretty unstoppable afterwards. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

half a year old!

The last time I wrote a post was for Stella's three month update. She's six months now (almost seven)! Half a year old. 
I just looked through those three month pictures of her and I reminisced about her once lush hair. Poor babe is balding really bad. Stella now just has lush sideburns.
 Oh well, she still somehow gets more adorable every day. 
Stella is so funny these days. I feel like she is really starting to develop her sense of humor. This girl loves to be silly! Stella notices when she makes us laugh now, and she loves it.

Our baby has teeth! She got the two bottom ones in about a month ago and she is always trying to bite things now. For a while she was biting me when I fed her (not fun) but she seems to be over that excitement for now, thank heavens.  Now Stella has the silliest and cutest little grin you've ever seen with those two little teeth sticking out! I weirdly can never get any pictures of her teeth? She usually sticks her tongue out and hides them.

Stella's current favorite things:
-loves to be tickled but pretends she doesn't 
-the ittsy bittsy spider. she can be full on crying and if I sing than song she stops and grins 
-rice crackers and teething biscuits 
-grabbing everything in sight
-bath time!
-playing in the sand but not the ocean
-snuggling her stuffed puppy
-reading books/scratching the pages
-riding the bike with dad
-screeching from her bed 
-playing with my shoes, especially any with buckles
-stroller runs
-sitting in her booster seat and banging her spoon on the tray
-rolling around all over the place!
-avocados, bananas, rice cereal, mango, apples, oranges. she's crazy about food now

But not sweet potatoes. She hates them for some reason.

 Stella loves playing at the beach and Stewart always digs her a good hole to sit in. One time a wave washed up on her and it was pure drama, but she does pretty good with the sand usually. And she eats it, of course. She still doesn't like getting in the ocean when its cold, but she's doing better and only semi cries :)

 Lifeguarding with dad! When Stewart works during community swim on Saturdays, Stella and I go visit. She's doing much better in the pool and even gets her face wet! Stewart loves getting her to swim.

 Exploring the beach at low tide 

 snuggles at nap time

Stella is sitting up pretty well, until she droops over or tips. She wasn't interested in crawling until this last week, and now she is always rolling on her tummy and waving her arms and legs around trying to get moving. I think she's going to figure it out in the next couple of weeks and I am not ready for a mobile baby! 

We survived Stella's first fever and cold. Her temp got up to 103 but she was a trooper and tried to be happy even when she wasn't feeling well. We had a couple of nights where she had a rough time sleeping and cried for hours, and it was rough. It made us realize how lucky we are to have such a (normally) good sleeping baby! Seriously.

 We ran the great aloha run eight mile race last month and Stella did so good in her stroller! It is a really big race so she had a lot of people to stare at and paper water cups to chew on. She loved it. Afterwards, she was so tired she passed out sitting up. It was precious. 

I seriously have a million adorable pictures of my baby girl, it is so hard to pick just a few. She is such a sweet and good baby, we are so happy to have her in our family. Six months is such a fun age!

Friday, February 21, 2014


Wow. The last time I blogged was three months ago. That's embarrassing. 
I thought that once I had a baby I would be really diligent about documenting everything on this old blog, but it looks like I forgot about diligence. 
But I have had many requests (many as in three?) for more frequent blog posts, so I've decided to at least post pictures every week. Let's see how long this lasts.

I will probably post some older pictures and little tidbits about what's been going on with us.
In the mean time, here is a picture of the balding babe at the beach.
 Her hair is pretty hilarious these days.

We've been busy and happy and loving on this baby of ours! 
In other news, we are moving back to the mainland at the end of April!
We have loved our time here so so much, but we are excited to be close to family once again. 
We are heading back to Arizona right when it's getting nice and hot (death). 

The next few months will be busy as we prepare to move and say goodbye to the island. 
I'll keep you posted...hopefully :) 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

three months old.

Stella is three months old, which is halfway to six months, which is halfway to a year! Crazy. 
Three month old Stella is really starting to figure everything out. 

Stella's new tricks include:
-Improved hand eye coordination
-An interest in toys and reaching up to grab things 
-Eating her hand. All the time. Always.

-Lots and lots of baby cooing and babbling. When she figures out how to make a new noise with her mouth she gets really into it and makes that noise all day long. I love it.
-Super strength during tummy time. She is so close to rolling over!
-Very ticklish. Sorry Stella, that's from me.

-Loves chatting with me after she eats and when I'm rocking her to sleep. I talk really softly to her and she gets so excited, she tries to talk even with her pacifier in her mouth. 
-LOVES her bath time! We started laying her in our tub with a little bit of water and she goes crazy! She's a little fish, that's for sure.
-Still an awesome sleeper, she has mastered sleeping through the night and I praise her for that

-She is the happiest baby! Smiles all the time (except when there is a camera in her face, then she gets all serious and curious about the camera and makes this face)

Stella is definitely a mama's girl. For a few weeks she would cry when my uncle or grandparents would try to hold her (or sometimes just look at her) and she only wanted me. She would even fuss when she was with Stewart for a while (sorry, love) but she seems to be doing better with other people again. 
I'm glad she likes me though ;)

She is getting pretty chubby. She has one really great thigh roll on each leg and the cutest little pudgy wrists. I'm pretty sure each of her cheeks weighs a pound, and they just keep getting bigger! I kiss on those cheeks all day long. Last time she was weighed and measured was at two months, and she was 11 pounds and 25 inches long, so I know she weighs much more than that now! Carrying her car seat around is a serious workout. 

Stella has done a couple of really cute shrieking laughs, but we are still waiting on her big full on laugh. She still just gasp-laughs all the time. 

Everyone that meets Stella comments on
1. her mane of hair
 2. how content she is
And that is the truth. Stella is just happy to be here and we are happy too!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

stella at two months.

Stella at two months is such a peach. 
Sometimes I look at photos and videos of brand new baby Stella and I get a little wistful for those early newborn days when she was just so tiny, sleepy and snuggly. 
She was just such a baby, you know? And she was beyond wonderful. 

But then I look at this two month old girl of mine and I don't want to go back to the beginning because Stella just gets more and more amazing everyday. I love watching my baby grow into a little person. 

Stella at two months:
-So many smiles! 
-Attempts at a laugh but really its just this gaspy noise 
-Lifting up her head during tummy time
-Gaining more control over her little limbs, no more scratching of the face, hooray!
-Loving her cloth diapers (me too)

-Doesn't mind alone time unless it's in her carseat at night in the back of the car. She seems to get scared and won't stop crying unless she is holding onto my fingers while I'm trying to drive. It get's complicated. I can't decide if this is precious or just super inconvenient?
-Yelps from her bed when she is ready to come out after her nap. It seriously sounds like she is saying, "HEY!" 
-Sleeps through the night and usually get's up to eat at 4-5 am and then goes back
to sleep for another 1-2 hours. 

-Usually a good napper. Stella typically has a shorter mid morning nap and then a nice long nap later in the morning through the early afternoon. 
-Grins when I come to get her after her naps, it kills me every time, she's just so cute. 
-Recognizes Stewart and I. She seems to give us the most smiles and she responds to our voices and faces. At least that's what we tell ourselves :) 

-Spit bubbles
-Likes the ergo carrier over the moby wrap. 
-Discovering her fingers
-Babbling all the time! This might be my favorite development of hers. Stella will look at my face so intently and just make all kinds of noises while making such serious faces. 
-Loves to snuggle after getting all of her wiggles out 
-Enjoys watching What Not to Wear with mom. Joke, she just loves staring at the bright light of the TV.
-Has the wildest eyebrows in the world. This girl is always making us laugh with the faces she pulls while her eyebrows go all over the place!

So far her hair hasn't been falling out, and I hope it doesn't because it is just getting longer and more lovely by the day. It's a beautiful dark brown color that's so bright in the sun. Stella definitely has my brown eyes and my hair, but I think the rest of her face might belong to Stewart. They look so much alike and I love seeing the similarities when he is holding her. 

The onesie Stella is wearing in these pictures is the first piece of clothing that Stewart and I bought when we found out we were having a baby, nice and gender neutral since we didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl. We're so glad you're our little lady, Stella!

*Also, we weren't matching on purpose, but I kind of like it. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

six weeks old and growing like crazy!

I need to be much better about posting on this old blog. Stella is growing far too quickly and I don't want to forget a single thing she does. 

Here is a little recap of the past six weeks with this babe. 

Newborn Stella was the sleepiest little snuggler. My mom got to be here with us for two weeks, and we spent those weeks cuddling with Stella, staring at her when she was sleeping, and endlessly talking about how cute she is. From the very beginning, Stella has been such a relaxed and calm baby. Right away she started eating really well and sleeping like a champion. The first few weeks, I had to be up to feed her every couple of hours, but then around 3-4 weeks, she started sleeping for 6-8 hour stretches at night! It's amazing. Stella pretty much has the whole day vs. night thing figured out. 

Stella is a good napper too. When she sleeps she sprawls out on the floor, on our bed, or in her little bassinet. Stella just likes to be free, no swaddling for this girl. She always sleeps with her little frog legs bent and her arms thrown up above her head, it's hilarious and adorable and I feel the need to take a picture of her every time I see her sleeping. 

The first thing everyone says when they see her is, "Wow, look at all that hair!" It's true. Stella has some serious hair. I had the exact same hair when I was born. It's so fun to look at Stella and see glimpses of me and Stewart. Stella has my same hairline and my eyebrows, and she has her dad's chin and his eye shape and I think she might have his nose. Stella looks so much like Stewart but with my dark coloring and brown eyes.

Stella girl loves to wiggle. After she eats, she loves to lay down on a blanket and just kick her legs and wave her arms. We call it her exercise time.

Stella also loves to go on walks with me in her stroller, ride in her swing, get cozy after taking a bath, and hang out in her moby wrap. Joke! We have yet to put Stella in her moby wrap without her crying.

We took Stella to the beach for the first time a few weeks ago and she basically slept the whole time. Stewart did dip her feet in the ocean and she freaked out, but she loved the sea breeze blowing in her face!

This baby girl makes some crazy faces! She has started smiling all the time and it just turns me into a puddle of gooey proud mom every single time, she is just too precious. The above faces:
1. Smiley happy Stella
2. Crazy eyebrow Stella
3. Serious pondering Stella
4. Poop face Stella

The progression of Stella's faces when she wakes up from a nap are unbelievably funny.

Stella is pretty strong. She doesn't mind tummy time too much and she can lift up her little head and turn it to the other side a few times before she starts whimpering. When she cries she sounds like a little lamb with the hiccups. It's so cute/sad/and funny all the same time. Luckily Stella isn't much of a crier. She has had some tears over a gassy stomach, and sometimes she gets worked up when I'm not ready to feed her fast enough, but other than that she is pretty much cool as a cucumber. 

At her one month check up, Stella was at 9 pounds and 21.5 inches. She gained exactly two pounds and grew exactly two inches. So precise! 


These past six weeks with our baby have been blissful.  Every day I can't believe that my daughter is finally here and that I get to love on her all day long. She is such a joy and so much fun.
I love seeing the little person she is becoming!

Thursday, September 12, 2013


My Uncle Kim took some beautiful pictures of Stella and our little family in the 
birthing center after Stella was born. 
She looks so squishy and sleepy and newborn soft in these pictures, it just kills me. 
It is absolutely amazing how fast little babies grow. Stella already seems so much older! 
I love these pictures. I love remembering that day and all of its magic. There is nothing like finally getting to meet your baby after dreaming about her your whole life and then growing her for nine months. Stella is everything I ever hoped for and so much more.