Sunday, April 21, 2013

Run Like a Mother

Before I went to bed on Friday night, I received a message from my friend Jenna that completely melted my heart + inspired me to no end. She wrote:

"Good Luck tomorrow Ashley....you are such an inspiration and you will do great! You have inspired myself to try and run a couple 5K's myself this summer. Just starting this whole training thing and think about you often as you are always motivating and inspiring others! You are such a great person Ashley!"

I went to bed hopeful, and excited about my race in the morning (despite having an awful sinus infection / chest cold).

I woke up to dog paws tapping the wooden floor.

My alarm clock had been going off for about 15 minutes.

But Willard (my friend's adorable dog) wanted to make sure I woke up on time for our marathon relay. He started barking and then banging his head on the door. Willard didn't want me to oversleep.

I pulled myself out of bed and opened the door. Willard was starring right up at me.

"How are you feeling, lady?" Carla asked me as I walked into the bathroom.

I coughed, sneezed three times, and then blew my nose.

"Better, I think!" I said back.

"I think you're a good liar," Carla said back.

She was right. I felt awful. And I honestly thought about trying to find someone else to run for me. But after the Boston events, I found myself more determined than ever to participate in the race.

I proudly put on my "Running for Two" t-shirt (one of my many layers) and placed on my bib.

"Baby on Board"

We had a late start, but we sill managed to pick up everyone, find a good parking spot, and be at the start line in time for the race to begin.

We found ourselves struggling to keep warm. Carla kept refreshing her iPhone to see if the weather temperature would change.

"30 degrees," Carla said. "Feels like 26 degrees..."

Running in cold weather is a challenge. And running in cold weather with a head cold is even harder.

We took a group picture before parting ways.

Team ROYGBIV!!!
Me, Jami, Robyn, and Carla.

I managed to sneak back up to the start line and watch Jami kick off the relay for us.

I couldn't find her at first, but I saw her toward the middle of the pack.

'YAHHHH JAMI!" I yelled from the sidelines.

She turned over to see me and got a giant smile on her face. I don't think she was expecting anyone to come cheer her on.

I waved goodbye and let out a good "WHOOAA!"

And then I cried.

Why?

Because Jami had a giant smile on her face.

Because I love races.

Because I love runners.

Because I love seeing people be active and care about their fitness.

Because I thought about Jenna's post from the night before. 

And mainly, I cried because I'm pregnant.


Spoiler alert: I cried about 30 times at the race.

After everyone Jami kicked off the race and everyone parted ways, I was left with my group of Leg 4 runners.

I overheard two woman chatting next to me about the many marathons they've done over the years.

The adorable, older Asian lady said, "After Boston, I knew I wanted to do another race. So I bought a ticket to the Indy Mini."

I interrupted, desperate for a conversation, "Have you ever done that race before?"

"Yes, many years ago," she said. "What about you!? Are you doing it this year?"

"Wellll," I started. "I am five months pregnant, so I don't think doing a half marathon is in my cards."

I was surprised at how many other runners turned around to congratulate me on my pregnancy + compliment me for being so active during my pregnancy.

I learned more and more about the runners next to me.

Most of them were FAST. One girl said she was injured, but hoping for a slower pace of 6:30 minutes per mile.

SLOWER PACE!?!?

Try doubling that and then you have my average pace.

Feeling a little intimidated about my future, I text Justin:

"Soooo everyone on my leg is legit runners- like 10+ full marathons! Will you still love me if I am the last one to cross the finish line?"

He replied back:

"Lmao. Hopefully they have all of their pregnant runners starting. So you may start way before them and tie."

I wrote back:

"Hahah in a perfect world!"

And Justin's charm came to the rescue again:

"But yes, I will love you no matter what. Even if you end up on the bus shame (in November. let's hope you don't end up riding the bus within 4 miles."

The bus of shame = the trolly that drives around picking up runners who are going too slow.

I got to my starting point around 9 am, which meant I had about three hours before I would run. I spent the time catching up on supporting text messages from my amazing friends and family, Facebook stalking, trying to predict my finish time, and chatting with the runners around me.

Eventually, I realized the marathon runners were passing by so I stepped outside to cheer them.

This is when I started to cry again.

The courage and strength it takes to complete a full marathon is so inspiring.

I tried to look every single runner in the eyes and say something uplifting to them. I wanted them to know how amazing they are...how strong they looked...I've often heard that hitting mile 22 is the hardest. You feel so close, yet so far away. So I felt I had an obligation to give every runner a boast of inspiration and support to finish strong.

And I found myself getting SO mad at the people / other relay runners standing around not cheering for the marathoners passing by... some of these marathoners were in pain - whether it be physical or emotional-  and the best thing we can provide them is support and inspiration.

I started cheering loudly and recruited the people around me to cheer on the other runners. I wanted to yell at everyone for being jerks and just sitting around on their phones. Some people were standing on the course, which made marathoners have to dodge around them...instead of making a huge scene and screaming- I got tears in my eyes and cheered louder for the inspiring runners ahead of me.

The smiles and "thank yous" I received from the runners made my loud cheers completely worth it!

Eventually, I saw Carla running up to the relay exchange. She looked strong! I was SO proud of her and her amazing pace. In fact, I later learned that everyone had a fantastic pace - PR worthy paces! 

(PR = personal record)

"I had to run an extra mile," Carla said.

"Holy cow," I said back. "I am soooo proud of you girl. You did great."

"Your turn," she said and handed me the baton. "Good luck!!"

I took off running and waved goodbye to the mini cheering section I had created.

About 2 minutes into my run, I hated life.

I wanted to stop.

I questioned why I was even running in the first place.

My legs were tight from standing up and yelling the cold weather, despite my efforts to jog in place and stretch.

My nose was cold and raw from blowing it 100 million times over the past few days.

My chest was heavy, which made breathing hard.

I stopped for a walking interval and a runner passed me.

"Great job," I said. "Keep it up!"

Even though I was walking, which implies to some that I've given up, the marathoner turned and smiled.
 
He was an older man. Probably about 69 years old.

"You too, kiddo!" He said. "Keep it up!"

I promised myself that I would thank encourage every single runner who passed me. And I would thank every single volunteer, spectator, and police officer that I saw on the course.

I did a lot of powering walking and stopped once to use the restroom in a portable potty. At one point, I grabbed my stomach and said, "Coop - you have to get me through...I need you buddy."

Cooper was definitely my running buddy / internal cheerleader. 

I kept doing intervals of power walking and running.  But I did more power walking than running. I was getting frustrated that I didn't see any mile markers. Eventually, I came across another water station. It was down hill so my speed REALLY picked up and I felt awesome. 

Every single volunteer at the water station started cheering and yelling for me.

And I started bawling.

I could barely get the words, "Thank you" out of me.

One man commented on my shirt and I told him that I was five months pregnant that day.

"Wow- that's impressive," he said. "Great job!!!"

I took a walking break to drink my water and two drunk guys sitting in their front yard started yelling, "FINISH THAT WATER GIRL! STOP WALKING AND START RUNNING. YOU ARE ALMOST DONE. CHUG, CHUG, CHUG, CHUG!"

I couldn't stop laughing and they inspired me to start running again.

I tossed my cup and took off running toward the mile marker sign - the first one I'd seen since I started.

Mile 25. 

I pulled my phone from my sports bra and text Carla my location (you can tell we cheered each other on via text all afternoon):

I love her.
I fought up a hill and a few police officers started cheering me on because I stopped to walk.

"Fight through the pain," he said. "You're almost done."

"I'm five months pregnant," I said. "This is harder than I thought."

He, like so many others, complimented me for running while pregnant. I started crying (obviously), thanked him (like I did all the other police officers), and continued running.

About that time, I saw Jami standing on the right corner.

She saw me coming and started jumping up and down while yelling my name.

When I reached her, she started to run with me, but I had to stop to catch my breath.

Even though I stopped to walk, her positive energy and support was EXACTLY what I needed. I can't explain how thankful and happy I was that Jami spent that last half mile by my side.

We power walked for a few blocks. Jami was a few steps ahead of me to push me to keep fighting through the pain. We chatted about her section of the race, which was her best ever, and that made me very happy. She encouraged me to keep running or walking at whatever pace I needed.

We reached a certain point and I started running again.

"The finish line is up that hill and around the corner," Jami said.

"How far away would you say?" I asked.

"Not too far," Jami said. "But if I was running like you, I would think it's farther than it looks. But it's really close."

We picked up the pace and started to run again.

My body hated me.

I stopped to walk.

"I DON'T WANT TO STOP," I screamed, frustrated with my sick body.

I stopped for about 30 seconds to catch my breathe and we started running around.

"Say something," I said. "Anything."

I just wanted to take my mind off the pain.

"You're almost done," Jami said. 

Just then, I saw a group of people and they started cheering for us. One of the signs said:

Run Like A Mother

As if she was reading my mind, Jami said, "Run like a mother! Hey, you're a mother! You got this, Ash!"

"I am mother," I said.

I could see my relay teammates cheering for me and I had Jami by my side.  I started repeating "I am a mother" in my head and then we took off sprinting toward the finish line.

Running like a mother.
  
I debated long and hard about sharing these pictures of me post-finish line. But heck - you guys have seen the best and worst of me, so here you go...This is what happens when you try sprinting with a head and chest cold:

I am pretty sure I coughed and then peed my pants at this point.
Oh, the joys of running + being sick while pregnant.
You're welcome for the laugh.



Another unattractive finisher photo.
A few minutes later, a volunteer wrapped a medal around my neck. I turned around to see a marathoner who had been walking toward the finish line with a group of family and friends. I think she got injured on the course.

I turned around when I heard everyone cheering.

She crossed the finish line and put her hands in her face. She started crying.

And obviously, I started crying for her.
 
The Carmel Marathon Relay was my best-worst race.

It was the best race because of the random cheerleaders, amazing teammates, and having Cooper with me the entire time.

And it was the worst race from a time perspective. I'm not sure what my finishing time was, but I am sure it was close to an hour.

But, some races aren't meant to be personal bests. And this race, while I was slower than usual, was a very memorable race.

Thank you for all the love and support! I couldn't have finished (or even got to the start line) without the encouraging words and inspiration from each and every single one of you!


Much love,
Ashley

Friday, April 19, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

My First Letter to Cooper

Dear Cooper,

Fine, I admit it.

I thought you were a girl.

BUT, the tears of joy I cried when I found out you were a boy should be proof enough that I am so happy and blessed to have you as my son.

I was mesmerized during the ultrasound.

Watching you move around.

And wiggle all over the place.

You must get your awesome dance moves and energy from me. You're welcome.

But, you were a little stubborn (you get that from your father). 

You'd even put your arms over your face when we tried to get a good view. You also get that from your father, who hates getting his picture taken most of time.

Me? I don't think anyone has ever told me I'm camera shy. Sorry in advance for the bazillion pictures I'll take of you + Bandit over the coming years. You'll thank me one day I hope...

Anyway, I can't explain the happiness and joy that filled my body once the ultrasound technician told us that you were healthy and growing perfectly.

That's all I wanted to hear.

We even got to see all four chambers of your heart...beating perfectly at 140 bpm. 

When we saw the doctor, he walked into the room and said, "Alright before we talk about the ROCKSTAR ultrasound you just had, I want to answer any of your questions."

We just had a few questions. I wanted to confirm I could run the marathon relay this Saturday and to be honest, I forget what your dad asked. You stole my heart that day. My baby boy, I can't wait to meet you.

We are running our first race together this Saturday!


The doctor assured us that as much as an ultrasound could predict, we are growing a very healthy baby boy.

But I know that your health is not guaranteed.

In fact, no one's health is certain.

A dear friend said goodbye to her baby girl today. She was only two months old. There are no words to explain the heartache and loss their family is experiencing right now.

But because we can never be certain of tomorrow, I want you to know I'll love you every second of every day.

And I'll hug and kiss you as often as possible without driving you crazy.

Okay, I'll probably drive you crazy. 

I'll tell you "I Love You" every chance I get.

I'll play with you even when I am tired.

I'll feed you before I feed myself, but don't be shocked if I sneak a bite of your food when you aren't looking.

I'll support you no matter what sport you play, if any. Although, your dad thinks you'll be in the NFL with the nickname Coo-Joe.

I'll inspire you to share your heart and passion with the world.

I'll protect you from harm....even if that means putting myself in front an alien, shark, or tornado (that's saying something).

I'll read you bedtime stories and we can make up a few stories of our own.

These are just a few of my promises to you. I have hundreds more.

I promise.

Oh, and when I checked out of the doctor's office yesterday, the front office lady asked when I could come back.

Before I could even say anything, I opened my mouth and a burp came out.

I couldn't control it.

"Well, that just must be the baby boy in there," I said.

Sorry I blamed you...

I promise not to do that all the time, but let's be real- you probably had something to do with that embarrassing check-out experience. 

Don't worry- if I have it my way, I have MANY years of embarrassing YOU ahead of me! 

I can't wait to meet you!!!!

Much love,
Mom

Bacon Problems

Told the husband I wanted BLTs for dinner.

This was his response:


"I hate your obsession with bacon.  I hate cooking bacon and how it makes the entire first floor smell like bacon for days."  

Sorry I'm not sorry.

Oh, and this:
Bacon Baby for Halloween.
Cooper will love me for this, right?


Much love,
Ashley 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It's a....


Bandit is thrilled!

Boy!!!!!

More details coming tomorrow.

For now, I would just like to note I am the happiest mom-to-be in the whole world!

So blessed to have a healthy, wiggly baby boy in my belly!

Much love,
Ashley

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pregnancy and Gender Wives Tales

Tomorrow is the big day!

Pending the baby cooperates, we will know if we are having a Mini Ashley or a Mini Justin.


Note: I got this picture off Google.
This is NOT my belly.

I did some research on gender prediction wives tales and here is what I found:

How Low Can You Go

This one you can do just by looking south: if you're carrying high, break out the pink. If your bump is low, you're carrying a boy.

People say I am carrying high: Girl wins.

Be Still My Beating Heart

Next time your OB pulls out the Doppler to listen to baby's heartbeat, ask her to tell you what the heart rate is. According to legend, 140+ beats per minute indicates a girl, and below 140 a boy.

The baby’s heart beat was 138 bpm at our last doctor appointment: Boy wins.

Salty vs. Sweet

Craving ice cream every single day? Some people believe this means it's a girl. If you have to have salty or sour stuff, then it's a boy.

This is tough – because I crave BOTH sweet and salty. I’ve been eating more sweets than normal, but my biggest cravings have been more salty and sour so: Boy wins.

Chinese Birth Chart

This ancient method uses your age at conception and the month you did the deed to determine gender.
I did the test and: Girl wins.

Potty Time


This one's a little out there. Pee in a cup (you've been doing it at all your prenatal appointments anyway, haven't you?), mix a tablespoon of Drano in, and watch to see if it changes color. Green = girl, and blue = boy.

I am absolutely not doing this…no one wins.

Even and Odd


Legend has it that the Mayans determined a baby's sex by looking at the mother's age at conception and the year of conception. If both are even or odd, it's a girl. If one's even and one's odd, it's a boy.

Considering how the Myans were wrong about the world ending…I’ll bet they are wrong about my baby’s gender, but since I am 26 and we conceived in the year 2012: Girl wins.

Unlocking the Mystery

This is one for a friend to try. Place a key in front of your preggo friend and ask her to pick it up. If she grabs it by the narrow part, she's in for sugar and spice and all that. If she picks it up by the round part, it's snips and snails.

I didn’t try this test yet! Maybe I’ll have Justin do this tonight!

Spot On

If you're breaking out like crazy, blame it on your girl babe. The belief goes that girls steal their mother's beauty, hence, those annoying zits.

I haven’t been breaking out that much…so: Boy wins.

Nice Ring to It

Pop off your wedding ring -- if you still can! -- and tie it to a string. Hang it over your belly. If it swings in a circle, a little guy's in your future. If it goes back and forth, you've got a girl.

We didn’t try this trick yet either! Maybe tonight we will experiment and I’ll update the blog post accordingly!

Queasy Does It

Sick as a dog during the first trimester -- or still? Signs indicate you're having a girl. Little or no morning sickness points to a boy.

I have ZERO morning sickness: Boy wins.

Boy = 4
Girl = 3


Looks like boy is the front runner!

What do you think!?

Is Baby Sieb a boy or a girl?

Much love,
Ashley

PS: Gender prediction information was taken directly from this site.

Carmel Marathon Update - Ready to Go!

On Saturday morning, I'll be five months pregnant.

I'll also join three beautiful ladies and hundreds of people running the Carmel Marathon.

We're doing the marathon relay, which you might already know from previous blog posts.

My marathon relay team from October!
Jami, Me, Carla Jo, and Lindsay!

My leg is 4.2 miles. I'll walk some, I'm sure.

But every single step I take, I'll be thinking of Boston.

Here is an update I just got from the race organizer:

Subject line: Carmel Marathon Update- Ready to Go this Saturday! 

QUICK UPDATE: All systems are go for Saturday. You have all trained too hard and long to let those involved with the Boston situation get what they want; us to change our daily lives. We are runners and we will run on Saturday for our personal reasons that got us to this point AND NOW for all of our fellow runners and fans in Boston!

Prior to Boston, our plan included 96 police officers and 75 National Guard service men and womon on course and on the grounds. We have 20+ Ham Radio operators with special security privileges at every water stop with medical personnel.

We hope to have a special pin to wear in support of Boston at the Expo; stay tuneed for more details. Bib number assignments and final instructions will go out today.

We are ready and so are you!  We will see you this weekend to finish your goal!


(END OF EMAIL)

Maybe you can run for 10 miles. Or perhaps you can only run for 10 seconds.

It doesn't matter your pace or distance....

Go run for Boston today.

 

Much love,
Ashley 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Celebrating Courage

This.

I've trained for five half marathons.

Once, just once, I attempted to train for a full marathon.

26.2 miles.

The distance was out of my league, so I dropped down to the half marathon.

I simply wasn't prepared.

And deep down, I didn't have the courage to conquer that distance.

Because at the end of the day...courage is what gets people to the start line.

And courage carries them through the finish line as well.

Today, we learned that courage bonds people together.

And I would argue that instead of focusing on the coward who committed such as a selfless, inhumane act of violence...we should focus on the courage of every single person who went to the Boston Marathon today.

The courageous runners, like my amazing friend Josh Dials.

The supporting spectators, like his lovely wife Meggie Dials.

The amazing volunteers, who filled the entire course. 

And in today's situation, we celebrate the lives lost and people injured in today's blast.

They are who matter.

Remember, it takes courage to run a full marathon. These people train for months and months to run such a prestigious event.

And it takes a coward to kill innocent people, and steal dreams.

I was in tears most of the afternoon.

Reading tweets.

Seeing awful pictures.

Watching videos.

Hearing stories.

I cried.

At my desk.

On my drive home.

And while watching the news on my couch.

My heart and prayers are with those hurting tonight after the Boston Marathon explosion.

As I was trying to come to peace with the situation, I came across this picture that many of my friends shared on Facebook.



A few moments later, I came across a tweet that said runners didn't stop at the finish line...they kept running to the hospital so that they could donate blood.

The helpers.

When I reflected on the videos, I remembered watching people run toward the explosion.

The helpers.


When I saw pictures and videos, I remembered seeing people run back to help the fallen.

The helpers.

So today, I challenge you to pray (or send positive vibes) to those hurting and celebrate the courage of the Boston Marathon runners today.


And not only look for the helpers, but become a helper.


Much love,
Ashley

 

Afternoon Delight

I am in heaven right now...



Eating this amazing Greek yogurt + closing my eyes and pretending I am eating real Key Lime Pie on the beach.

Much love,
Ashley


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sleeping and Texting

How was he confused by my text!? Clearly, I was thirsty and wanted him to bring me up an ice water!




Much love,
Ashley

Friday, April 12, 2013

Baby Blowouts

My lovely friends are giving us their gently used jumper for Baby Sieb.

"Listen," Scott said. "I wouldn't take a used jumper from anyone. And I definitely wouldn't buy one from Goodwill. But our son broke the first one because was too big, so we got a new one recently; it's barely used. So there is no puke, puke, pee, or stains on it."

Obviously, this lead to the discussion of baby blowouts.

"Can you imagine if I am holding my baby and it get poops all over me?!"

"WHAT DO YOU MEAN IMAGINE?!" Scott and Chad asked at the same time.

"Oh, that will absolutely happen to you," Chad added. "More than once probably."

The stories kept rolling and everyone kept laughing.

"But despite everything, everything is worth it, right?" I asked.

They both smiled and nodded their head "yes."

"Definitely," Chad said. "I wouldn't have more than one if I thought differently."

So while getting pooped and puked on is in my near future, I am still stupidly excited.

I can't wait to meet this little nugget that's growing in my belly!

Baby Sieb looking like a Teddy Graham at 10 weeks!
Next week, (s)he will be SO much bigger!!!



In the meantime, do you have any hilarious baby blowout stories to share?

Much love,
Ashley 

Favorite Outfit Friday: April 12

Yes, I am taking a bathroom selfie picture at work.

And yes, I wore this purple necklace last Friday. 



In case you're wondering, no one caught me AND one woman was in the bathroom at the time.
I am such a risk taker!

Not pictured = bright purple leggings.

Much love,

Ashley

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Lesson in Food Cravings

Maybe it was the rain.

Or perhaps the long week at work.

But I got home and crawled straight into bed.

I haven't gone to the gym all week. Although, we did walk / run with Bandit most every night because the weather has been wonderful.

But deep down, I knew I needed the exercise.

I've never regretted a workout.

And the first steps out the door are always the hardest.

So I pulled the covers off my lazy body, and climbed into my workout clothes.

While on the elliptical, I was watching The Food Network (always a bad idea).

Then a commercial for Popeye's chicken came on...

Here is how the rest of my workout went:

I need some mashed potatoes. 

With gravy.

Oh no!

Wait, I want chicken strips.

From Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Do they have good ranch dressing?!

I think so.

What if I got popcorn chicken instead?

Oh my gosh. 

Pop-corn chicken is the best invention ever.

And I think KFC has good ranch dressing.

If not, it's fried chicken - it's good plain!

(Look at the timer)

12 minutes 25 seconds left.

You can make it to 15 minutes.

That's good enough.

Then you'll leave the gym and KFC is right by your house!

Well, close enough.

I guess I could get green beans.

That's healthy, right?


I hope they have bacon in them.

No, I just want popcorn chicken.

FINALLY - 15 minutes!

I jumped off the elliptical- cleaned it off- and walked out the door to my next destination.

But instead of pulling in the drive thru and wasting 500+ calories (410 calories on the chicken and 140 on ranch), I went home.

And enjoyed some fresh fruit.

Take that fried chicken balls of heaven!!!

You see, the thing about food cravings is they pass.

They don't last forever.

And often, you don't even feel satisfied once you've gorged yourself.

You feel guilty.

And gross.

And mad.

So, I saved 500 calories AND enjoyed a delicious snack.

And I feel FINE!

Happy, even.

Stay strong.

And stay on track.

IF I CAN DO THIS - ANYONE CAN!!!

And most importantly, I will appreciate my dedication to eating healthy and working out once the baby is born!

Much love,
Ashley

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Breakfast for Dinner

Yes!!!! I am in heaven!

Much love,
Ashley

The Worst Fake Baby Bump...Ever

The sun was shining.

The birds were singing.

And my shirt was riding up my stomach, so my maternity band was showing.

So I went shopping on my lunch break.

And I got VIP parking at Motherhood Maternity too.

Baby bump privileges.

I was the only person in the store. As a result, the sales clerk (who was awfully sweet) ended up stalking me.

But hey, I let the VIP service continue. The moment I took something off the hanger and placed in my hands, she was right by my side, "Let me put that in your fitting room!"

Finally, I found some goods and went into the fitting room.

"Let me know if you need anything at all!" She yelled.

I wanted to ask if she'd be willing to run down to Panera and get me a salad, but figured that'd be too much to ask.

The first sweater I tried on looked great, but I was worried the warmer weather would prevent me from getting good use out of it.

And then I tried on a dress, which was on sale for $15.

I noticed a black strap on belly. I debated if I should wear it or not, but then I thought - mise well give a try.

I strapped on the baby bump and slipped the dress over my head.

What happened next....

What I saw in the mirror....

Might make you pee your pants....

But before I could even react or say anything -the clerk comes by, "How is everything in there?! Do you need any other sizes?"

She felt so close and loud that I really thought she flipped open the curtain and was watching me.

Thankfully, she did no such a thing.

I looked in the mirror and lied, "Everything is great in here!"


You guys.
Seriously.
Is this not the worst fake bump you've ever seen?

MAKE IT STOP!

My real life bump is much better.
Right, guys?
RIGHT!?!!?!

I really couldn't stop laughing.

I showed the picture to Cayla back at the office and she almost peed her pants / told me it looked like I was growing an alien.

"You clearly put it on the wrong way," Cayla said, while crossing her legs and laughing so hard she nearly cried.

I did not get the dress AND I did not use the fake baby bump for future outfits.

I did, however, get some sweet purple leggings and long tank taps perfect for summer. 

If you call me Barney, I will punch you in the ear lobe.
Kidding.
But really...

They also gave me some awesome coupons + a free baby bottle! Holler- Baby Sieb's first bottle!!!

Hopefully this made you laugh.

And even more so, I hope you look cuter in fake baby bumps than I do...

And don't worry! I eventually got my salad!
BBQ chicken, black beans, corn, tortilla strips, and bbq ranch.
Thank you, Panera!!


Much love,
Ashley 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Warrior Marks

Stretch marks, or as I call them - warrior marks, have been on my body for as long as I can remember.

My body and weight has dramatically fluctuated over the years...

With that in mind, I knew I would get pregnancy stretch marks on my belly.

A few weeks ago, I only had two single marks.

But they are growing.

Because our baby is growing ...

So tonight - I thought, "What the heck!?" and picked up some stretch mark cream.

From my research, this cream will not remove or eliminate my warrior marks. However, the cream should help keep them under control.

Oh and I just felt my little one move again. There is something so magical about feeling your baby dancing around inside your belly.

And those little movements and moments make these stretch marks worth it.

Much love,
Ashley

Calling All Moms




In the coming weeks, Justin and I will start working on the nursery + create our baby registry.

If you're a mom (or even a babysitter or just know someone with kids), what is one or two things you can't live without?

What makes your life easier?

What is something you wish you knew about months before you ever had it?

What does your little one love to play with, read, or watch?  

Oh, and you're all amazing people. Being a mother is a 24-hour job...for the rest of your life.


Some days, I'm simply so exhausted from working all day + attempting to work out....and when I come up, I just want to lay around and watch Gossip Girl. 

But for moms with kids (or even more than on kid), you don't get that luxury. 

In a few short months, I won't get that luxury....

So for what it's worth- I think you're amazing.

Actually, I think you're a super hero!!

   
Thanks in advance for your positive advice and inspiring input on your must-have items!! Comment below, send me a Facebook message, Tweet me, or email me directly at ambedwell@gmail.com.

Much love,
Ashley

Sunday, April 7, 2013

What If?

When I first found out I was pregnant, I promised myself that I wouldn't Google any of the following:
  • What can go wrong with pregnancy?
  • What are all of the birth defect out there?
  • How can people die giving birth?
  • What causes a still birth?
NOT that I don't want to be educated about these topics ....because these are all possibilities.

No pregnancy is the same.

No birthing process is the same. 

No baby is the same.

However, I didn't want to obsess over the negative.

And most importantly, I didn't want to play the "What If?" game my entire pregnancy.

I'd be lying if I said those thoughts don't cross my mind.

And sometimes I do get caught up in playing that dangerous game.

But I know that everything happens for a reason.

God has a master plan.

Last month, we had to decide if we wanted to do additional testing to help determine if Baby Sieb has certain birth defects.

These tests aren't covered by our insurance.

And they're very costly.

Not to mention, even if the tests come back to reveal Baby Sieb has a certain birth defect or Down Syndrome...there isn't much they can do....

And guess what?

We will love our little one no matter how he or she enters this world.

So we opted out of the tests.

Obviously this doesn't help battling with the "What If?" mind game - because those questions are still out there.

However, I've decided to focus on other aspects of my pregnancy journey...

I've spent my time writing and reading books that provide the education I need to fill those "What If?" gaps without obsessing over anything.

At our 20 week ultrasound on April 17th, we will find out the gender of our baby + they can tell us more about our baby's development.

We're obviously praying for a healthy and happy baby.

That's our only wish.

But, what if something is wrong?

What if....

Well- then that's just part of the journey.

In the meantime, I'm just going to cruise with the windows down.

And enjoy the sunshine and bliss that pregnancy brings into our lives each day. 

Much love,
Ashley


His Smile

"I want mac & cheese, a side salad, and a wrap!" I told Justin.

Everything at Scotty's Brewhouse is so amazing- and deciding what to order can take an hour.

Such an important decision...

"Ashley, do you remember the last time we ate out and you ordered too much?" Justin asked. "You barely at it all!"

"Well, that wasn't at Scotty's!" I replied back quickly.

I saved half my wrap for Justin and shared few bites of my mac and cheese with him too.

The waiter should have just left a pitcher of water on the table because I was chugging my water down too.

"You're a thirsty lady," she said.

"Well, I'm growing a baby!" I replied back.

At first, she didn't know what to say back- I think my comment caught her off guard.

"Oh wow- that's exciting!" she said. "Congrats! You drink up!"

I got up to use the restroom. When I walked back to our table, I noticed Justin had a huge smile on his face.

He has been smiling at me like that a lot lately.

"What are you smiling at?" I asked.

"You," he said.

"What about me?" I asked, thinking I had mac and cheese stuck on my shirt or maybe even my maternity band was showing ....

"Nothing in particular," he said. "I just love you. And your pregnant belly."

Our little one isn't born yet, but Justin is already a proud papa.

And our love grows for each other every single day.

We fight.

Everyone does....

But we know how to say sorry, make-up, and move on.

We also dress up as Harry and Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber.


And nothing makes me happier than when he smiles at me for no reason at all.
 

Much love,
Ashley 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Favorite Outfit Friday: April 5

In elementary school, I remember always saving my favorite outfit for Friday.

Let's not discuss my definition of "favorite" at the time....because that could mean I was wearing a floral dress with sandals (AND SOCKS). Yes, I did that...I'll try to dig up some pictures for you. Although, I'm pretty sure my sister Sarah has one saved up for blackmail somewhere...haha!

Or maybe my "favorite outfit" meant I was wearing an over sized Garfield t-shirt...even though I never really watched Garfield?

Either way, the habit of saving my favorite outfit for Friday has continued with me 20 years later!

Love my necklace? Me too.
Check out modernego.com for amazing deals!
Pregnancy is no excuse to give up your love for fashion and beauty. 

But if you want to wear a Garfield sweater or sandals with socks- then by golly sister, you rock it. I'm not here to judge. 

Just love. 

Much love,
Ashley

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Is Baby Sieb A Boy?

Maybe, baby.

Eating for Two is Too Much

Are you like me?

Could you eat pizza for EVERY single meal?

Today we went to lunch at Pearl Street Pizzeria downtown Indy to discuss our upcoming events for Meggie's Woman of the Year campaign. You should support her and donate to the LLS after you're done reading my lunch confession.

Anyway...

EVERYONE at the table ordered a salad, except for me.

I ordered an 8 inch hand tossed pizza - Quattro Forrmaggio style (yeah, good luck saying that one)....

After I ordered the pizza by pointing at the menu and saying, "Let's be real  - I don't know how to say this pizza....but that's what I want..." - the server informed me it's basically a four cheese pizza.

Great, exactly what my lactose sensitive butt needs: four cheeses.

Oh well, the pizza sounded delicious.

NO ONE at the table finished their entire salad, but I managed to throw down my entire pizza + eye the extra salad laying around. I honestly wanted to box up some of the salads for dinner later tonight.

I googled pregnant eating for a good picture (since I inhaled my pizza before I could snap a picture)  and the majority of the pictures are adorable woman smiling with a fruit basket or salad in front of them. Most of them are in their undies and have a belly shirt on. UM NO that is NOT what I look like laying around my house....Anyway, I did finally find a picture that would fit my situation:

This is not me (obviously).
But I'm jealous of her french fries.
Scotty's waffle fries with ranch dressing sound really good.
And you want to know what article this image links back to on Google: Eating for Two is Too Much.

Noted, Google. Noted...

You know, I would have felt fine using the whole, "I'm pregnant" excuse to explain my unhealthy choices.

But number one- let's be real, pizza just sounded better.

Number two, there was a 30 week pregnant woman at the table with us who happily ordered a salad, ate half it, and still had some of her breadstick leftover.

And number three, I need to save my "pregnancy excuses" for when I really need them...like when I cry because someone takes the last bagel that I want from Panera...or when I get extremely mad at Justin because he tells me I'm addicted to Gossip Girl and lay around all night.

Until then, bonjour!

Much love,
Ashley 


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Safe Word

"We need a safe word," I told Cayla four months ago. "Something that you can say when I am super emotional or upset....but it can't be something that will make me even more angry...."

Looking back, I'm not sure if Cayla or I choose the word "lemon" - but that's what we picked!

Maybe it's because lemons are sour and I shouldn't be a sour person.

Or maybe it's because pregnancy made me fall deeply in love with fresh lemonade!

But, either way, lemon.

That's our safe word.

My morning started out great. I woke up with enough time to shower AND cook breakfast, which was a victory considering how I have problems sleeping these days.

Every SINGLE night I wake up between 1:30 and 3:15 am.

Every.

Night.

I usually have a nightmare...

The majority of the time someone is breaking into our house or kidnapping me.

I always grab Justin's arm.

"Babe, did you hear that?" I ask him every night.

Usually there is nothing to be heard...

He grunts. 

Then I try to wake up Bandit and make him cuddle with me.

He wants nothing to do with me.

Neither of them do.

So, I turn on the TV.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is at 2:30.

And then TMZ's gossip show comes on around 3.

Justin groans and tells me that I'm out of control.

And asks me to go in another room.

I refuse.

I do some Facebook stalking for about 30 minutes.

And then try to lay back down, with the glow of the TV helping me spot robbers, rapists, and kidnappers that try to enter my room. Oh, and evil spirits / ghosts, which I also hallucinate. 

Well, last night - someone drove by our house and picked up some old lawn furniture we left out for someone to grab OR the trash man to take away....

I hear the car down slam shut and then hear what sounds like an alien space ship crashing into our driveway aka the person chucked the heavy furniture into the back of the truck.

BANG!

Justin and I both wake up....and we both know, that I'm going to be up for the next hour or so.

So sleep, yeah, I'm not getting much of it these days- which probably adds to my moodiness.

Anyway, the weatherman was hilarious this morning. He made me laugh for about 20 minutes straight because he said, "And it's just what everyone loves to hear...today is a dry hump day!"

But things happen and people say things and then I get annoyed / frustrated.

I told Cayla I was having one of those days where everyone and everything makes you upset.

Eventually, it was time for lunch and I ate my emotions (obviously, you knew that was coming).

Then, I felt the guilt sink in....I told Justin we needed to make a dinner under 400 calories. I made plans to take a walking break later in the afternoon, run 1.5 miles with Bandit, and then hit up the gym for the elliptical.

When I walked back to my desk, I found the most perfect gift.

Two lemons.

And a card.

To you, this just two lemons and a card.
To me, this a day maker.


How did Cayla know I ate my emotions at Panera today?

Everyone needs a safe word.

And wonderful friends.

Much love,
Ashley