Body A.D.

My body B.C. (Before Cora), looked like this.


(Taken after completing the Warrior Dash in June 2012)


(Taken outside the Olympic Swim Trials in June 2012)

My body at the end of the pregnancy looked like this:


And now today, 1 week A.D. (After Delivery), I look like this:


Basically I look like I did at about 26 weeks pregnant.

This is totally normal. Ones bump doesn’t just go away overnight.

Which sucks.

But at least it’s shrinking. I’ve dropped 24 pounds since giving birth, which is comprised of baby, placenta, blood and other fluids from the uterus and water weight. 24 lbs in 1 week ain’t bad…but it will level off soon and I’ll have to start doing real work.

I have been paying better attention to my diet – eating more fresh produce, whole grains, and less processed stuff. I’ve also drastically limited the sweets. Not eliminated mind you, just limited. There’s a big difference. If I eliminated sweets altogether, I’d fall off the band wagon in no time. But by allowing myself some indulgences, it’s easier to make better choices all around.

I am not allowed to workout yet and it’s killing me. I am good at that for sure. Exercise has always been my strong suit when it comes to maintaining a healthy body. I most likely won’t be able to get back to full workout mode until about 5 weeks from now, with the doc’s okay. I will be very ready.


But the time to heal is important too. I put my body through a lot over the last 9 months and in particular, the last week. I am very sore and deal with pain every single day. There is a lot of recovery needed and I don’t want to shortcut that and risk more issues down the line. It’s hard for me to “take it easy” and “do nothing”. I’m a doer. But it’s not really “doing nothing” – it’s allowing my body to heal which is a very important job.

So, while I really want to drop the last 24 pounds (if not more) quickly and feel like my old self again, I know that it’s a process. After Isabella it took me a full year to get it all off. I hope that it doesn’t take as long this time but if it does, so be it. Slow and steady wins the race!

In the meantime, I shall enjoy time with my girls and practice a little patience.


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I was under the impression that the embarrassments and awkward moments that come with the teenage years, end when you reach adulthood. Things like your body changing in ways you don’t understand, saying stupid things to boys that you berate yourself for later, dealing with cliques and popularity contests and of course, acne.

Turns out they don’t.

You get to deal with the strange bodily things if you get pregnant and when you start aging. Things don’t work the way they used to and other parts move around. Hair that was straight becomes curly. And you find hairs in places you never did before.


You also never stop saying stupid things to boys. You just stop caring. It’s called marriage. The beautiful part is that when you say something stupid, your husband will just tell you it’s dumb so that you don’t have to worry about it for days/weeks/months at a time.


And those cliques? They never go away either. They exist in every work place and every organization. But again, you stop caring as much the older you get. You recognize them for what they are and learn how to deal.

As for the acne – I’ve had my up and down moments with that. Never had issues with zits in high school or college. Was blessed with perfect skin and unicorns dancing in my backyard. Then I went out in the real world and all hell broke loose on my face. After months of trying everything under the sun to figure it out, I finally found a solution that cleared it back up and the unicorns appeared once again.

And now it’s back.

No one told me that turning 35 in your adult years was akin to turning 13 as a kid. Suddenly I have zits appearing in all kinds of weird places. Found one inside my ear. Had another one on the bridge of my nose in between my eyes. Was blessed with a Rudolph style one on the tip of my nose and now I have one on the corner of my mouth, just above my lips.

So I look like Cindy Crawford, only if her mole was a big red zit.



And they have all been the painful red ones that hurt like a bitch!

Really universe? What did I ever do to you?

I’ve been trying to figure out what could be causing it. Could it be from sweating so much during my morning torture sessions, er, workouts? I suppose but I always go right home and take a shower afterwards. Could it be my diet? Probably not since I haven’t changed the way I eat. Could it be the new house? Maybe though that seems unlikely.

Regardless, the important part is dealing with them so they don’t ruin your whole day (or outfit). In a panic last week, when the Rudolph one started to appear, I Googled how to stop zits before they erupt (in other words when you know one is lingering under the surface because you can feel it but don’t want it to pop through the skin). There were all kinds of home remedies but the one that made the most sense to me was to apply Neosporin to it (and it was something I already had at home). The theory is that a clogged pore gets red and sore because it’s infected. So by applying a topical antibiotic, you are getting rid of the infection and the pimple will go away.

So I tried it.

And it worked! That pesky red nose never did appear! While that wouldn’t make for a good Christmas story, it did provide a happy ending to me! Worked on a couple other ones too but not the Cindy Zit. That one is in full swing.

Stupid aging.

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I am exactly at the halfway point of my 4 week membership to Kosama (a boot camp fitness center). Good news is they haven’t killed me yet. Bad news is that I hurt all over.

Let’s back up.

At our old house, I worked out in our basement either doing DVDs, the elliptical machine or workouts that I’d pull out of magazines. Or if the weather was nice, I’d go outside and run/walk with Samson.

samson walking

Well at the new house, things haven’t exactly been conducive to formal exercising. Our basement is pretty much being used for storage and so the elliptical is shoved in the corner, the DVDs are buried in a box somewhere and right now it’s too cold to go outside. So I needed something else.

I had heard about Kosama and other boot camp programs on the radio and such, and they sounded great, but hadn’t really investigated them seriously. Then one morning I saw that Living Social was having a deal: pay $40 and get 4 weeks of unlimited classes, a t-shirt, pre and post fitness assessment, yoga mat and kickboxing gloves. Seemed pretty good but I wanted to do my research first. Turns out, a normal 8 week session is $350. I’d say $40 was a pretty good deal!

So I jumped on it and enrolled in the November session.

On 10/30, I went for my pre-fitness assessment. They took measurements, weighed us, determined body fat, took before pictures and put us through the paces on various fitness tests (push ups, crunches, wall squats, pull ups, flexibility, and planks). It was all recorded and saved so that when we do the post-fitness assessment, we can see what progress we’ve made.

The very first class was plyometrics. Now, I consider myself to be pretty fit. As previously mentioned, I work out 5 days a week plus play volleyball once a week (twice a week in the summer). But I’m not going to lie to you. After the first 10 minutes of this plyo class I thought I was going to die. It was basically an hour of jumping various ways.



And the next day I was so incredibly sore. It hurt to walk. To drive. To type. To breathe.

Yet, it felt good because I knew I had done something good for my body (no pain, no gain right?).

Did I mention that I go to the 5 a.m. class? That means I’m up everyday at 4:30 a.m. and getting my ass kicked from 5-6.

What can I say, I’m a glutton for punishment.

How it works is that they rotate amongst 7 different workouts:

  • plyometrics
  • kickboxing
  • kettlebells
  • upper body
  • lower body
  • circuit
  • yoga

The middle 5 are mixed up every week so it’s always something different, and then Tuesday is always plyo and Saturday is always yoga. They have mercy and give you Sunday off.

Last week, Mon. – Fri. was circuit, plyo, kickboxing, circuit,  kickboxing. This week was upper body, plyo, kettlebells, kickboxing, circuit. And no two routines are the same.



What can I say – it’s a great workout. I’ve pretty much accepted the fact that some part of my body will hurt for the entire month on November. I sure as hell better see some results too. And it doesn’t hurt that Jeff, the manager of the location I go to is easy on the eyes. So when I’m halfway through a minute of burpees, I can look at his bulging biceps and feel a tad better. They also have women coaches who walk around and both encourage and correct form. That part has been great because a few exercises I thought I had the form perfect on, they gave me a few tips which made it that much more effective.

The question I’ve been asked over and over is if it’s worth paying full price for. I would honestly say no. While I love being pushed and working my body in new ways everyday, I’m not sure I’d pay $175 a month for it. However, if they ever do another Living Social/Groupon type deal again, jump on it. It was definitely worth the $40.

I’ll give a full report of my before/after results at the end of the month and let you know my final reviews!

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The Plague

It’s been a miserable few days at our house and there finally seems to be an end in sight.

It all started on Friday. I woke up with a sore throat and achiness but popped a few Ibuprofen, sucked on a cough drop and headed off to work. Little did I know, CJ would also wake up sick only his would be much worse. I found out when I got home from work Friday night. My father-in-law was here watching Isabella so CJ could sleep. I guess Ceige was having tummy troubles. I took Munch to a jewelry party and didn’t think too much of things. My husband has a sensitive stomach and it tends to happen every 3 months or so that something doesn’t sit right.

Saturday was mostly me hanging with Isabella while CJ slept all morning. Turns out it was more than eating something bad. I did manage to make a run to the grocery store. We ate homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner along with corn muffins and cheesy potatoes. It was yummy and just the thing for all of us feeling less than stellar.

That night Isabella threw up. I was just laying down for bed when I heard her cough a couple times and then start crying. Something told me it wasn’t your normal cry for attention. Sure enough, I found her covered in vomit, with her sheets soaked too. I tended to her while CJ stripped the bed. She was so brave. She didn’t carry on or anything, just let me change her in to clean jammies and told me her tummy hurt. We went and got some water and I took her to our bed to rest until hers was ready. She just sat with me and snuggled. When CJ was done, I asked her if she was ready to go back to bed and she nodded saying simply, “Yeah.”

She slept through the rest of the night and didn’t have any more issues. Thank God.

It hit me on Sunday. CJ was feeling better and so we all decided to walk to the park in the afternoon. We played and then took the long route back home. By the time we reached the house, I was about dead. Now mind you, this was not a long walk. The “long route” comprises a total of like, 6 blocks. But I was pooped and starting to feel queasy. I sat on the couch and waited for it to pass. It didn’t. We decided to order Chinese for dinner but I only wanted some egg drop soup and rice. Figured that would be safe. CJ left to go get it around 6 and I turned on some Sesame Street for Isabella as I fled in to the bathroom. That was when the puking started. He got home and I tried to eat the soup but it just didn’t taste the same after having just regurgitated my previous meal. I could only choke down a couple swallows before I had to flee to the bathroom again. This would continue for about every 30 minutes until midnight. I couldn’t even keep water down. It got to a point where there was nothing left in my stomach so it turned in to dry heaves.

I have never thrown up so much in my life. And I never want to again.

I also had diarrhea going on. Now I know that’s an “unmentionable” but hey we all deal with it at some point in our lives and I certainly did Sunday night. I was pretty much alternating between throwing up and having things come out the other end.

Then we reached the inevitable moment when they both happened at the same time. I was not prepared for this. I ran in to the bathroom and barely made it in time to hurl. As I knelt before the porcelain throne, I felt things going on down below but there was nothing I could do to stop it. When all was said and done, I peeled off my soiled lower garments and tossed them in the trash. You know those scenes in rape moves when the girl curls up the hot shower and never wants to leave because she feels so dirty? That’s what I wanted to do. Just curl up in the shower and die.

I tried to sleep in between bathroom trips but I was so achy and feverish, it was hard to get comfortable. Finally I dozed off around midnight when everything seemed to settle down but it was  a restless sleep. I finally got up around 7am and went downstairs for some juice and to try nibbling on a graham cracker. I was able to keep that down.

I didn’t want to spend too much time around Isabella because I didn’t want her to get it. We weren’t sure if her incident on Saturday night was due to the flu as well or just eating something that didn’t settle but I wasn’t about to take any chances. So I spent the morning in our bedroom, either sleeping or reading. She did come up and visit, bringing me some stuffed animals for company and asked if I wanted a smooch.

sick day

Of course I did! She gave me one on the forehead and I’m just sure that was what helped me turn the corner. I went down for a lunch of toast and to watch a bit of TV while Munchkin napped. Then I went back upstairs and had an afternoon nap myself.

The stomach/bowel issues have stopped and I’m slowly working regular meals back in. I wrestled with staying home from work again today. I’ve never been one to NOT feel guilty about it. Even in school I would tell my mom I was ok to go when clearly I wasn’t. I feel like I’m letting everyone down. But at the same time, I know it’s not good to go back too soon and risk getting worse again. Plus I don’t want to infect anyone in the office. So I’m staying put again today. Hopefully with a few more naps and some decent food I’ll be good as new tomorrow.

On the upside to this whole thing, I probably needed to slow down in life a bit and this was God’s way of forcing it. Plus I got caught up on all my DVRed shows. And I lost 3 pounds. But on the downside, this was the most miserable 24 hours of my life. From what I hear, this nasty thing is going around so whatever you do, channel your inner OCD self and sanitize!! May you all stay healthy!!

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D & C

First of all, I have to thank everyone for all the warm wishes and condolences on our loss. I knew we had amazing friends and family was I was honestly surprised by the number of people who took the time to write either CJ or I a note. Many were from the usual close friends and family. Some were from acquaintances and there were even a few from old time schoolmates whom I haven’t talked to or heard from in over 10 years. It’s amazing how as a human race we come together in times of sorrow to care for one another. I am truly thankful for all of you and my heart is full.

Many have commented on how brave I am to share this experience with the world. I don’t really think it’s all that brave. To me it’s just being honest and open. Sadly, many women feel they can’t talk about having a miscarriage because they think it’s shameful or somehow their fault. It’s not. As women we want to blame someone and the natural inclination is to look inward at ourselves, the one carrying the baby. But unless you’re out smoking and drinking every night, it’s not your fault. It’s just natural selection. It’s nature recognizing a fetus that is somehow too malformed to survive and so it just stops forming. Believe me, it helps to talk about it. Though my original intention was admittedly more of a selfish one – therapy for me – if sharing my story can help someone else then I’m happy to be able to give back.

It’s nearly 4 am as I write this post, 3:52 to be exact. I can’t sleep. My mind is racing from all the things that have happened and those yet to be done. Since writing, and this blog, are a kind of therapy for me, I thought the best thing to do was just get it all out and hopefully I can sleep peacefully when that’s done.

I went in to work on Wednesday just trying to get through the day. Just after lunch, my Director Instant Messaged me to go home. I told her I didn’t have the extra PTO days. She said not to worry about it. To take the rest of the day, along with Thursday, Friday and Tuesday if I needed it (since Monday is Labor Day) and not to enter any PTO time. She would cover me. Another seemingly small gesture that really means a lot. It means I can spend the extra time with my family without having to worry about going in to the hole on hours at work. Another gift.

We spent Wednesday evening out to dinner as a family and then walked around the outdoor mall where we were at. Isabella loves the fountains they have so we strolled over to those and made some wishes. This was the first time she had actually thrown the pennies in herself. Before she made us do it. The first time we took her there was in the Spring. I wished for our dream home and a baby. The next time we took her there was a few weeks ago. That time I used my pennies as gratitude offerings for both my wishes having come true. This time, I didn’t make any wishes at all.

making a wish

Wednesday night I had to take a shower with a special antiseptic soap. Then I scarfed down some food because I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight.

Thursday was the big day. Surgery day. I was expecting it to be very emotional but surprisingly it was not. I only had a couple moments of heartache. The rest of the time was just getting through it. I had to take another shower with the special soap and wasn’t allowed to put on any lotion afterwards. All my jewelry was to be left at home as well. We packed up Isabella and dropped her off to spend the day with her boyfriend Owen. Many thanks to Heather and Jeremy for watching her so that my mom could be with me at the hospital. Another gift.

We got to the hospital and it is beautiful. It’s a new hospital just for women and you can tell they have thought through every little detail.

photo 1

I checked in with the gal at the front desk and verified all my information. Then she informed us of logistics like where the cafeteria is, which floor to go to, etc. She also mentioned that if we hear music played overhead, it means a baby was just born. I’m not sure if she knew why I was there but I imagine that’s part of her standard speech. Not 30 seconds later the music came on letting us know a new life had been brought in to the world. That was my first emotional moment as I realized I wouldn’t be hearing any music today. 

We headed upstairs and got checked in there. I was led back to my room and went through more paperwork. At one point we had to talk about the remains. To be honest, I hadn’t really thought much about this because the baby was so small, only 7 and a half weeks, that I assumed nothing could be done with it. But apparently you can have either the hospital cremate the baby, along with all the other hospital tissue needing to be disposed, or have your own cremation done. If the hospital does it, it’s free but you don’t get to keep anything. With a baby this small, the ashes only amount to about a teaspoon in size. Not really prepared to make a decision, we opted to have them hold the remains aside for us until we could figure it out. Today I have to call funeral homes and cemeteries to see what I can find out. At first it seemed silly to me to have a vault or plot for a teaspoon of ashes. But it’s not silly as it’s more than just ashes. It’s a life. It’s my baby. It deserves a proper place of rest.

Then it was time to change in to my lovely gown and get prepped. These gowns are actually very nice. They’re thicker, warm and even have a hole in them that can attach to a blower so that if you do get cold, they can pump warm air in. Nice! The nurse put my IV in, attached a heart rate monitor and checked my vitals.

photo 2

She was a very nice lady and I was glad to have her as my nurse.

The Anesthesiologist came in and introduced himself. He was very nice too. He hung out and chatted with us for a bit and then went off to get ready. After that the surgical nurse came in. The first thing she said to me after introducing herself was, “I’m sorry for your loss.” That was the first time of the day someone had said the words out loud to acknowledge it and why we were there. I got teary eyed. My second emotional moment of the day.

Now it was waiting time. We were waiting for the doctor to finish with another woman and come in to see me.

photo 3

Finally she arrived and we were ready to go. The surgical nurses came in, put a special thermal hat on me (sorry, no pics…there are some things you just don’t need to see) and off we went to the OR.

They had me move over to the operating table and put more monitors and wires on me. I heard the anesthesiologist say that he was going to start the medicine and to let him know when the room started to spin. A few seconds later I said, “There it goes!” and the next thing I remember I was in the recovery room.

I went in and out of sleep for about an hour and when I was fully awake, she brought me juice and toast. After 16 hours of no food or drink, that was the best juice and toast I’ve ever had!

We headed up to the room then and they told me I was pretty much free to go since I wasn’t nauseous or anything. I decided to wait for a bit, just to make sure I was steady on my feet.

photo 4

My mom laughed at me when I took this picture. I told her I had to document the journey. This was post-op. I wanted to smile to show that I wasn’t in any pain and overall feeling good but it came out looking a little crazy. I’ll blame it on the drugs.

Finally it was time to go and they wheeled me out to the car. We dropped my mom off at home, swung through the McDonald’s drive thru to get a shake and then the Taco Bell drive thru for food. On the way home I started to panic as I could feel my nether regions getting very warm and hot. I wondered if that was normal after this procedure until I realized it was because I had hot tacos on my lap. Again, I blame it on the drugs.

It was too late to nap by the time we got home and ate, as I knew I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep later if I took one, so I watched some TV and read a magazine. Samson was my constant companion.

photo 5

CJ left to pick up Isabella. I called ahead to let Jeremy know he was coming and found out that when Jeremy got home from work Isabella asked him if he’d seen her mommy. That warmed my heart. She missed me as much as I missed her.

CJ picked up dinner on the way home and we all ate as a family. We got La Casa pizza because it’s my fav. I ate the whole small pizza by myself while CJ and Isabella split some spaghetti and bread. CJ carted Munchkin off to her bath while I rested, watching some pre-season football (hurray!). When she came back out we snuggled on the couch, watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and then read some stories.

After she went to bed I sat down and enjoyed a piece of Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake I had picked up from the Cheesecake Factory on Tuesday, after finding out the news. I needed the chocolate for comfort then but only ate half of it, knowing I’d want something yummy today. It was worth waiting for.

Now it’s 4:56 am and I’ve pretty much poured it all out. Today will be spent calling funeral homes and cemeteries, napping and just enjoying my family. I will want to pack and clean and do a million other things but must force myself to take it easy. There will be plenty of time for all that other stuff.

And now I’m off to bed where hopefully I will drift to sleep and dream of cheesecake, wet toddler kisses, and new life.

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