Davis: 7 Months

January 12, 2017

Dear little Davis,

It’s definitely true what everyone says – time sure flies in your baby’s first year. It’s so hard to believe that you are 7 months old. I really feel like you’ve just graced our family with your presence!

Davis 7 months

Your days are filled with toothy smiles, endless giggles, and babble that never ends. You are around 16 lbs and comfortably in size 2 diapers. Your 6 month clothes fit you perfectly, and you can even still wear some 3 month clothes too. They just look more like capris than pants ūüėČ

You are eating solids like a champ and really haven’t run into a single thing you don’t like yet. I think your favorite so far has been a butternut squash and banana blend I made for you. You couldn’t get enough!

Davis 7 Months_2

You are so so close to sitting up. If you didn’t see your feet and instantly want to put them in your mouth, I’m convinced you’d be sitting up by now. You are also scooting and rolling around like a mad man. Crawling is definitely not very far away!

Davis 7 months_4

Sleep is just the same as it’s been for quite some time – great. Your naps are usually 2 hours long, twice a day. Night time tends to range from 12-13 hours of solid shut-eye. You always wake up so happy, so I know you are getting the perfect amount of sleep¬†– and so are daddy and I!

Davis 7 months_3

You experienced your very first Christmas with the family. I know you didn’t think anything was different about the day, but I sure loved having you there. There’s something so special about Christmas morning with our little family. We kept it to just the 4 of us this year for Christmas morning. And it sure was amazing. Your brother loved tearing open his gifts and you thoroughly enjoyed playing with all the paper spoils!

DAvis 1st christmas

There are so many more fun things we have to look forward to! I’m pretty sure Grant is just waiting for the day you can really play with him. He is pretty much your biggest fan. He asks for you every morning when he wakes up and is always sure to ask “where’s my baby brother” before heading to bed. You two already have a special bond and it absolutely makes my heart melt.

Grant Davis 7 Months

Thanks for being such a special part of our family, little one. You really are just the best.

Running Around New Orleans

December 21, 2016

When Marcus and I went to New Orleans for our 30th birthday a couple of weekends ago, we made sure to put some time in our agenda to go for a nice exploratory run. It’s always nice to explore somewhere new, and running is the best way to really see everything at your own leisure.

Running in New Orleans_1

Marcus has hung up his running shoes for the time being, so we found a bike rental shop and grabbed him a cruiser for our little jaunt. We committed to 2 hours, knowing we could see plenty of new places during that amount of time, without running too far. Check out the video Marcus made about our run and keep reading for some more details on the actual route

We started from the bike shop, and headed into the quarter to make our way to the recommended trail. The Lafitte Trail goes almost all the way to the huge and beautiful City Park, so we opted to pick it up and run on it almost all the way there. I was glad to have had him with me, because I can’t say I would have been ultra comfortable running solo.

nola-10 mile-running-route

Miles 1-2.5 (and 7.5-8.5 on the way back) went through some more urban neighborhoods, so just be aware if you are using this route as a solo female – its always good to have a buddy when running in a new place! Once we got past about 2.5 miles, the scenery really changed. We started running right by Bayou St. John, and it was a really neat part of the city. The houses were really pretty (and big!) and it was a nice and quiet neighborhood. there was a lot to look at and it made the miles really fly by! Once we got into the park, we had some fun playing around a bit. We had an impromptu photo shoot on a running track in the middle of the park, which was so fun! I needed some more running pictures for sure!

Running New Orleans

After getting in a bunch of photos and running lap or so around the track (hence why my route comes out to just under 10 miles since I didn’t include the lap), we headed back to the bike shop so we would be on time to return the bike we rented. ¬†We dropped it off and made it back to our hotel with time to spare before our brunch reservation.

We both really loved the run we went on! The only con I would say is there is no accessible water on the Lafitte Trail. It was nice and chilly out, so it wasn’t a huge deal, but if we were running during a warmer month, it would have definitely been necessary. If you run this route, be sure to take your water with you!

More to come on where we ate and played in another post!

The Hot Chocolate 15k Race Recap: Tampa

December 19, 2016
hot-chocolate Tampa15k_2

If there is one thing we can’t ever change when running a race (but will always want to), it would be the weather. This past weekend, Tampa hosted the Hot Chocolate 5k and 15k here in Tampa. Historically, this is a race held in cold locations so the runners can really indulge in the post race festivities of cocoa and fun. Well, give you Florida in December and you really never know what you are going to get. This year, unfortunately, we had 80 degree race day temperatures. Womp Womp.

The 15k started at 8:20, so I gave myself enough time to park and find a bathroom before the gun went of. I got pretty close to the front of my corral, and I am so glad I did. To the people who should really be closer to the back and line up at the front, please be considerate of others. It really is a safety issue if you plan on walking right out of the start line (end rant). I felt like a lot of people were in the front that shouldn’t have been, so there was a bit of weaving in and out for the first 200 yards or so. Once the course opened up a bit, it was no biggie.

Hot chocolate Tampa 15k_4

We all knew it was going to be a hot one, given it was already close to 75 degrees at the start, so I was sure to hydrate from the get go. I grabbed a cup of water at the first stop, and downed it pretty quickly. I knew I was going to need every drop! The course, like so many in Tampa, was held on Bayshore Boulevard, which is right and the water and always boasts a flat and fast course. We had a noticeable headwind on the way out, which meant only one thing – we’d pick up ¬†the tail wind on the way back. More often than not, I would be excited about a killer tailwind, but with the heat we were experiencing, it was less than ideal. As soon as we hit the turnaround spot, it immediately felt a solid 5+ degrees warmer. I couldn’t believe how hot it was! I was on the hunt for some more water and took as much as possible at the stop.

One super fun thing that happened on the course was running into Meb Keflezighi! His wife’s family lives in Tampa, so we tend to see him around here during the holidays. He was out for a run and I spotted him around the 5.5 mile mark. He is always so so nice and willing to chat with other runners, so I was sure to give him a holler and welcome him back to Tampa!

 

Right around 7 miles, I was so so ready to be done! The heat was really getting to me and I needed some more water, ASAP. I really just powered through the last 2 miles, grabbing two cups of water at the last stop, and headed over the bridge to the finish. The finisher’s chute was lined with cheering families and friends, so the energy was pretty exciting. Finishing is always something to clap about!

I made it through the chute, grabbed my medal, and caught my breath.

hot-chocolate Tampa15k_2

I grabbed a bottle of water and then headed to the post race celebration. It was pretty scarce, since the 5k had already finished and I was at the beginning of the 15k finishers, but that made getting my goodies super simple! There was a tag on our race numbers to get our finisher’s mug, so went in the chute and grabbed it from the super chipper volunteer!

Hot chocolate tampa 15k_5

The mug had hot chocolate and a bunch of yummy goodies to dip in the provided chocolate as well!Hot Chocolate 15k Tampa_1

I ended up taking a quick sip and then just tossing the hot chocolate – it was wayyy to warm to be drinking something so hot! It was pretty tasty though! It was much creamier than expected, so that was a plus! Once I got home, I was surprised to see the results and the *free* race photos already up and online. They weren’t kidding around! I ended up getting 3rd in my age group and had some decent finishing pictures.

Hot chocolate 15k results_1Hot chocolate 15k results_2

I would had loved to be closer to 7:30 pace, but I am pretty thrilled to have averaged sub 8 minute miles given the conditions. It always amazes me how much the heat affects running performance.

Hot chocolate 15k finisher tampa

Hot chocolate 15k finisher tampa_1

The only thing I would change about the race (other than the hot weather of course) would be the number of water stations on the course, as well as the number of volunteers at those water stations. Since the race is used to hosting races in colder places, I think it was a bit of an over site. With the crazy heat, we could have really used a cup of water every mile. I think it took me a solid 24 hours just to get to a point where I felt hydrated again after running those 9 miles. Other wise, I think everything went off very well for the race’s first Tampa event. The swag was awesome, the course was well marked, and the post race¬†tent was well stocked and easy to get to. I’m hoping for a cooler race at the event next year!

 

How to Pump While On a Vacation Without the Baby

December 13, 2016

For any guys reading, just skip this post. Given the title, I can’t imagine you would have clicked on it anyhow ūüėČ

This past weekend, Marcus and I headed to New Orleans to celebrate our 30th birthdays! Mine is on December 12th and his is on the 31st, so we asked my parents to watch he boys and off we went!

A trip without kids is so so needed after having a little one. Finding someone to watch them is always the toughest part, but with our family in town, we don’t run into that problem very often. Next come the logistics of being away from a 6 month old who is still very dependent on me. He only eats breastmilk, with the occasional solid food meal 1x a day, so I had to make it a priority to pump while we were in New Orleans. Here are my tips on how to make an adults only vacation work while still breastfeeding.

Find a centrally located place to stay

We stayed right outside of the French Quarter at the JW Marriott, so we could get around really easily. I would pump before going out to walk around, eat meals, etc., which would give me a solid 3 hours before needing to be back to do it again. It ended up being perfect! By staying pretty central, we would have to pass our hotel to get to other activities anyhow, so stopping in for 15 minutes to pump, use the restroom, etc. was really quite simple. It was also just a block from Starbucks, which I loved!

Bring bags for milk

Bags are significantly easier to travel with than bottles, so be sure to bring a bunch with you. They fold up and are so so simple to use. If you drive to your location, I’m sure bottles and a cooler would be pretty easy as long as you keep it super cold. For flying, bags are the way to go. if you use the Medela bags, you can even pump right into the bag, without having to use the bottle first.

Make sure you have a freezer in your room

This is probably the most important part. You have to be able to keep¬†the milk after you pump it, and freezing it is the best option. Before booking out hotel, we made absolutely sure we would have a fridge/freezer combo in our room. Staying at an Air BnB would have made this even easier, but we just didn’t find any in the area we wanted to stay in. Also, if ¬†you have frozen milk, TSA doesn’t have to test it on your flight home. They will just put it through the scanner and you are good to go!

Pumping While Traveling_1

Time activities accordingly

We didn’t do anything longer than 3 hours, knowing it was important to come back and pump periodically. I could have stretched it to closer to 4 hours, but since I always pump every 3 hours at work, I really wanted to keep to the same schedule. It’s still really important that I keep up my supply, so sticking to the same schedule that the baby eats is key!

Pump n dump if you need to

A trip without a baby means you have the liberty to go out and have a glass of wine (or three) and not have anyone to come take care of at the end of the night. Even though it absolutely pains me to do it as well, just pump and dump if you want to imbibe a bit. It’s pretty amazing to go have a good time and its best for everyone to just pour that session’s milk down the drain.

Pumping While Traveling_2

Bring a lunch box in your suitcase

Fold up a lunch box and put it in your suitcase for the flight home. Since you have the frozen milk in the freezer, you can easily transfer it on over and bring it on the plane with you. Assuming your flight isn’t terribly long, the milk will still be frozen by the time you get home!

Bring a hand pump too

I brought my hand pump, just in case my regular pump stopped working for some reason. The pump didn’t break, but I did end up using the manual pump on the way home on the plane. Our layover was pretty short, and I was just sitting there anyhow. Rather than having to plug into an outlet somewhere (our plane didn’t have in seat outlets), I opted to pump manually while I was sitting down. It was no big deal at all and no one even noticed what I was doing. The manual pumps are a really great thing to fall back on.

Sure, having to pump while on vacation is not exactly convenient. If you plan correctly, it’s really not a big deal! I hope these tips helped you!

Do you have any other tips to add to the list?

 

Davis: 6 Months

December 7, 2016

Dear Davis,

Hey little guy! This month has been a lot like the others you’ve experienced – it’s flown by! You experienced your very first big holiday, Thanksgiving, and were a champ the whole time! You snoozed on and off throughout the day and watched your very first Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Day parade with your dad and Grant while I was off running the turkey trot. The day before Thanksgiving, Mimi¬†actually discovered your very first tooth! Just a couple of days after, your second tooth came in as well, so now you have both bottom chompers! Your toothy little smile is pretty adorable!

Davis 6 Months

You are completely obsessed with your little feet these days. Whether you are in your car seat, on the changing table, or hanging on your playmat, those toes are in your mouth. I’m pretty sure it is my favorite little trick of yours! You are working hard on sitting up unassisted, but you just aren’t there quiet yet. I’m sure you will be there in just a couple of weeks, if not sooner. You weigh 15 pounds now and the pediatrician says you are perfect. You are on the smaller size in terms of weight, but you are pretty long in length! You are definitely taking after your daddy in so many ways.

We introduced some solids at the very end of your 5th month, right before your 6 month birthday. So far, you’ve eaten sweet potatoes, hummus, peas, avocado, and yogurt. You LOVE the yogurt and hummus, and can just tolerate the others. We are really just in explore mode at the moment with food, and you seem to really enjoy it.

Davis 6 Months

You are still breastfeeding like a champ and it is such a nice time we spend together. Although, your brother does like to hand out with us in the chair sometimes while you are eating, and you think that is pretty funny. You will take a few sips, laugh at him, and then get back on the boob. The two of you are already quite the pair!

Davis 6 months and Grant 2.5 years

Davis,¬†are rocking your 6 month clothes and are still in size 2 diapers. You are grabbing for anything and everything right now, especially my hair! You love taking a huge handful and giving it a good tug – its definitely not my favorite ūüėČ Rattles seem to be a lot of fun for you, as well as taggie blankets. I’m pretty sure you would spend all day in your bouncer if we let you – it gives you the best view of the house, for sure!

You are still an amazing sleeper, taking 3 naps a day, ranging anywhere from 1-3 hours at a time. You pretty much just sleep for as long as you need to, and then wake up super happy, just babbling away. Nighttime is pretty similar, as you love 12-14 hours of straight shut eye a night. Thank you for being such an amazing sleeper! We are all so incredibly thankful!

Davis 6 months giraffe

Your best friend these days seems to Winnie B! Any time she walks by, your eyes are absolutely glued to her. You will just watch her every move, and pet her ears and back whenever we hold you close to her. She gives you big kisses and it doesn’t even phase you. I’m pretty sure you want her to do it more!

David 6 months Winnie

The next month is going to be the absolute best! We have both Christmas and a new year to look forward to, with lots of celebrating with family and friends. I can’t wait to experience every minute with our little family. It’s going to be amazing!

Love you so much sweet little boy!