19 Weeks

Baby size

Baby Mo is the size of a large mango and is about 6 inches long, weighing 8-9 ounces.

Highs

My best friend gave me an entire trash bag full of maternity clothes! It was like Christmas! I am now exclusively wearing maternity shorts/pants and have a great stash of shirts to turn to when I stop fitting into my regular ones.

Josh told me about Predaddit – the reddit community for expecting dads, and it’s the cutest thing ever! I also found the expecting mom community – Baby Bumps – and have enjoyed reading some of the posts there. There can also be stories of loss, but people are good about titling them in a way that it makes clear whether they’re happy or sad.

And the most exciting news – I’m pretty sure I had some movement! On Josh’s birthday I felt three strong pulses in my lower stomach. I pushed back on the spot and then it pulsed back at me! That is nothing like the “butterfly wings” I’ve been reading about, but I have felt some more subtle movements since then.

We have our anatomy scan tomorrow! I’m excited to see Baby Mo looking a little more like a baby and less like a blob now that’s getting bigger.

Lows

I had some bad congestion/sinus infection-type symptoms last week that made me feel awful! Nothing related to pregnancy – just normal person miserable.

Other than that I’ve been struggling with the heat and humidity as summer approaches. I get hot very quickly, and it takes a long time to cool down after. I’m sure part of it is just needing to adjust as all of us do every year, but it does have me a little worried for actual summer!

Thanks for reading! As a reminder, I’m participating in a 10-week fundraising effort for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and there are only 3 weeks left! Every donation, even just $5, works toward a cure. Donate HERE.

18 Weeks (plus Seattle pictures)

Baby size

Baby Mo is the size of a bell pepper and is 5 to 5.5 inches long and is 6-7 ounces in weight. My favorite non-product comparison is that the baby is about the size of a Nintendo NES Classic Controller.

Highs

I was in Seattle visiting Becka for the majority of last week! Seattle is beautiful, and I enjoyed the cool weather and lack of humidity for sure. When it’s clear enough to see Mount Rainier from UW’s campus, it honestly looks fake it’s so pretty.

Also pretty – an alpine lake! We hiked the Bridal Veil Falls trail and the Lake Serene trail on Mount Index in the central Cascades. The map said it was an 8 mile hike, but I am very skeptical since my watch said 9.2, and the “2 miles” from the falls to the lake felt like much more than that. But it was worth it!

We enjoyed some Zebra Cakes on a rock out on the lake before heading back. The total time on the hike was just shy of 5 and a half hours, and I was POOPED when we got done. Even though the downhill headed back was faster and easier, I still took quite a few breaks to just sit and get off my feet.

I got to see some of the city as well. We rode the Seattle Great Wheel on the pier and toured both the Klondike Gold Rush Museum and the Museum of History and Industry. I also saw the Fremont Troll (under the bridge, of course), and the views from Gas Works Park at night are spectacular!

Other than that, I am anxiously awaiting the first movements from Baby Mo! You can expect to feel the baby move anywhere from 16-25 weeks (what a range), and it tends to be later for first-timers since you aren’t familiar with what to expect.

Lows

I had a really vivid nightmare a couple of days ago that made it really hard to calm down enough to go back to sleep. Yay, pregnancy dreams!

My SI joint mainly is doing better but sometimes even if I do all of my stretching/activation techniques, it still is a pain. I took today off from running to help it calm down again (and because I wanted to sleep in…).

Thanks for reading! As a reminder, I’m participating in a 10-week fundraising effort for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and you can help! Every donation, even just $5, works toward a cure. Donate HERE.

More Seattle pics

17 Weeks

Baby size

Baby Mo is the size of a pear and is still 5 to 5.5 inches long but weighs a little more – around 5 ounces.

Highs

I got that 10-mile run in! It was questionably smart to do 10 miles the first time I wore my new support belt, but I felt like time was running out to get this distance in, so I just went for it. It was great! I was quite tired for the rest of the day, but I didn’t flare up my SI joint pain or make anything feel worse, so it was worth it.

Speaking of the SI joint, it has been behaving itself much better lately, so I haven’t been hurting like I was the week before.

I also bought my first maternity clothes! My jeans still fit right now but are getting a bit more uncomfortable, so I wanted to make sure I had something other than sweatpants to wear when the day comes that I can’t button my jeans. Since we are very close to shorts weather for the rest of the pregnancy, I only got one pair of jeans along with some shorts and a couple of shirts. I’m a huge fan of the shorts! Maternity shorts are super comfortable.

I ended week 16 with a doctor’s appointment where I got to hear the strong heartbeat (146) which is always nice. 🙂

Lows

I had a bad “pregnancy brain” day last week. I was making a birthday cake for a friend, so I needed to run to the store to grab a few things. In general I prefer Kroger to Publix and had planned on going there. I got in my car and…ended up at Publix. I didn’t even realize I had gone to the wrong store until I parked. It seemed like too much trouble to go over to Kroger when Publix has everything I needed (just in a worse store layout IMO), so I spent twice as long in the store trying to find everything. I also had the fun task of figuring out what the word “softer” meant that I had put on the list (it was powdered sugar, of course).

The only other low of the week is that I found out only 1 pair of my non-athletic shorts fit now. It’s starting to warm up, so I changed into shorts one afternoon only to find that I had extremely limited options. I guess I’ll be wearing those maternity shorts earlier than expected!

Thanks for reading! As a reminder, I’m participating in a 10-week fundraising effort for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and you can help! Every donation, even just $5, works toward a cure. Donate HERE.

16 Weeks

Now that I got my initial post out, I’m more motivated to keep up with ongoings! Also, I found another woman’s blog over the weekend and reading her weekly updates was really helpful to me. Maybe this will help someone else in the future?

Baby size

Baby Mo is the size of an avocado! 5 to 5.5 inches long and about 2.5 oz in weight.

Highs

I got to visit my coworkers in Charleston last week! We ate giant pizza which was my favorite food-related moment of the trip.

I had a great run at the end of last week as well. Friday was plagued with storms, so I kept an eye on the radar and was finally able to get out the door in the late afternoon. I wanted to run my 8-mile route but was open to seeing how I felt. Lately the first mile of most every run has been uncomfortable, and I feel like I have to pee even if I went right before stepping outside. The first couple miles of this run followed this pattern, but then once I started feeling better, I felt so strong for the rest of the run! It was a great end to the week/start to the weekend to finish up feeling like I thrived during a longer run rather than just survived. I have a goal to do a 10-mile run before I get too big, and having a solid run like this made me more confident in my ability to do that.

Then on Saturday I met up with my friend James for a run, and it was so fun to have his company! I found that a lot of the discomforts I have while running alone aren’t there when I have someone there to distract me.

Also on Saturday we got to have lunch with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law! We haven’t seen them since Christmas, so it was nice to get the chance to catch up on life and share more about their nephew-to-be.

Lows

I’m having a LOT of SI pain on my right side. I had some about 6 weeks ago but managed to keep it under control with a few exercises, but this weekend it really flared up. I K-taped my back at the beginning of the week and opted for a pool run yesterday and a short run today, and both of those have helped. I have a pregnancy support belt set to be delivered today as well! I didn’t think I needed a pregnancy support belt this early, but my friend Jenn said she started running in hers at 16 weeks, so I will, too!

If you’d like to know what SI pain feels like, imagine having a stabbing/is-my-back-broken level pain when you randomly make certain movements, but you’re not sure enough which movements bother it to avoid them. Fun times.

The only new symptom to develop is my gag reflex is extremely sensitive, and I’m gagging when I brush my teeth now. :/

My main low is that I just don’t like how I look right now. All of my weight and expansion is right in my stomach, but I always imagined the expansion being a little…firmer. My expanded stomach is soft and flabby, so I’m in that awkward stage of, “Did you eat a big meal, or are you pregnant?”

Something that helped reading the blog I found this weekend is hearing someone else struggle with that and acknowledging that you can feel both unhappy about how your body looks because of the baby AND super excited about the baby growing there. They aren’t mutually exclusive.

Thanks for reading! As a reminder, I’m participating in a 10-week fundraising effort for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and you can help! Every donation, even just $5, works toward a cure. Donate HERE.

We’re having a baby!

Hooray! Baby Morrison will be joining us in October of this year, and we couldn’t be more excited! I’ve been gathering info for this post but putting off writing it. Everyone keeps telling me how quickly the time will pass, and even if it feels slow now, I probably shouldn’t put off writing about it! My memory is already getting bad as it is.

January 2019

Since my running had been going terribly, I decided to get my ferritin level tested to see if I was anemic. I hate going to the doctor, so I ordered a CBC+Ferritin test online and presented it to LabCorp without having to go through a doctor! I got the results back, and there were a few concerning things. First of all, my ferritin level was 215. To put that into perspective, my level has never been above 50, and the normal range ends at 150, so that was absolutely bonkers. I also had some indicators of hypothyroidism, so I scheduled a doctor’s appointment to talk to someone about my results.

January 28th

I had a doctor’s appointment that afternoon, and I assumed they would ask me to take a pregnancy test since we were trying to have a baby. I really didn’t want to find out I was pregnancy in a doctor’s office, so I took a test that morning even though it was pretty much the earliest possible day I could find out (roughly 5 days before my period was due). I braced myself for a negative (which due to the early nature could have been a false negative) and was seriously shocked it was positive. I got to tell Josh he was going to be a dad and we took this photo at 5:56am. #wewokeuplikethis

My doctor said all of my abnormal tests were likely due to the very early stage pregnancy and ordered another test for me, just to double check everything, mainly the thyroid issue. She was wonderful, and I’m happy to have found a doctor I like!

Things I learned about pregnancy

  1. You count weeks from your last period, not from ovulation. This makes perfect sense since most women can remember their last period and likely don’t track ovulation, but it felt like cheating to me when I was extremely early. 4 weeks pregnant means you’ve only actually been pregnant for 2! Half the time!
  2. Your OB-Gyn doesn’t see you until you’re 6-8 weeks pregnant. If you find out as early as I did, that is a LOT of time to freak out and worry about all the things that could go wrong and wonder if you’re really pregnant.

February 2019

I spent the first week of February in Charleston with the Praxis team and it was SO HARD not to say anything. My notes from that trip say, “Keeping this secret is exhausting!”

I did take a sneaky picture when we took a trip to the beach. I was about 5 weeks pregnant, so Baby Mo as we were calling the baby was the size of an apple seed, so I could send it to Josh.

A couple of weeks later I finally had my first doctor’s appointment! Apparently my insurance at the time required a “confirmation of pregnancy” appointment before you have your “initial OB” appointment, so my visit was very quick. We did get to see the tiny baby (1/3 of a cm) and the movement of a heartbeat, so that was cool! It made it real that there was actually something there even if it was very small. I also got put on levothyroxine for my thyroid.

I eagerly called Becka on the way home from the doctor, and we got to share the news with Josh’s parents later that day, too. We were seeing my parents the next week for my birthday, so they were the first ones we got to tell in person! I’m pretty proud of my delivery as well. Their 40th wedding anniversary is coming up in October, so I asked if they new what the gift was for the 40th. Dad sarcastically guessed paper, and then I said, “Oh, I thought it was that you got your first grandchild?” 😉

“Morning” Sickness

I’m sure most people have heard that morning sickness is poorly named, and that is the TRUTH. My notes for February 19th are, “Been a rough nausea day. I made ramen at 9am.”

Luckily weeks 7 and 9 were the worst for me, and I was almost fully past morning sickness by week 10-11.

March 2019

I went back to the doctor and had my “first OB” appointment which was much more informative than my first one! I got a goodie bag and a packet of information and instructions not to type my questions into Google but instead to ask the doctor. I got to see the baby again who was actually visible this time. I still hadn’t heard the heartbeat, but my doctor showed me the wiggly heart and measured the rate.

More pregnancy fun

Pregnancy nausea is a fine balance where you try not to get hungry but you also try not to eat too much. You essentially snack all day or do the “six small meals a day” plan. I get no joy from constant snacking or small meals! But being hungry was terrifying, and eating too much was horrible too, so snack all the time it was. At my second doctor’s appointment they made a comment about how I had already gained some weight – well that’s what happens when you eat constantly!

Most common acne products aren’t pregnancy approved, so I had to switch to something that was. My skin has been on a rollercoaster of breaking out badly all over, clearing up, and then having spotty breakouts, and also clearing up. It’s definitely been tough from a self-confidence standpoint.

April 2019

I reallllly wanted to announce publicly on April 1st as a not-joke, but I had my 12-week appointment on April 2nd, and I just wanted to make sure everything was still good. This marked the first of my double appointments where I see my doctor quickly (weight check, blood pressure check, doppler to hear the heartbeat) and then go to another office to see a specialist. The specialist office had a much fancier ultrasound, and Baby Mo was nearly 10 cm long at this point! Still looks a bit like a blob with a big head but more like a baby than a month ago.

I got my blood drawn for the cell free test that checks for Trisomy 13, 18, and 21 as well as the sex of the baby. They told me they would call me with the results but wouldn’t leave the sex on voicemail, so I’d have to call them back for that. Because of this, we knew there wasn’t a way for Josh and I to find out together as I’d find out before him, so he asked me to surprise him with a cookie cake.

Just a week later, I got the call! She told me the results were negative for all of the trisomy tests and asked if I wanted to know the sex. I said yes, and she replied, “You’re having a baby boy.”

A boy! I was so excited to know…and a bit shocking! I made a cookie cake for Josh just like he asked and sent him a photo of the blank cake before I decorated it. Then it was just the wait for him to come home from work!

15 weeks down, 25 to go!

Team ALL in for Hattie

I have an exciting announcement! My friend and college teammate Thomas Clarke was nominated as a candidate for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) 2019 Man & Woman of the Year campaign, and I am a part of his team.

Thomas and I were both drawn to this cause because of our friend Lauren Harrison whose daughter was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) last summer. Lauren is an excellent writer, and you can read the full story on Hattie here.

There are a lot of ways for you to be involved and the easiest is to donate. You can even join our team if you’d like! These funds go directly to LLS in support of its mission to find a cure to blood cancer and improve the quality of life for patients & their families.

Please join me in helping fund the research to find a cure for blood cancers!

 

 

The Quickest Way to Start off an Interview on the Wrong Foot

Do you want to know the quickest way to start an interview off on the wrong foot? Don’t reciprocate when the interviewer asks how you are.

That’s it! It immediately causes a sense of unease in the interviewer and makes them question your social intelligence. It causes a weird pause where the interviewer is kind of waiting for you to ask, but you’re just sitting there staring at them.

Compare the two following conversations:

Interviewer: Hi, Applicant! How are you doing today?

Applicant: Good.

– – –

Interviewer: Hi, Applicant! How are you doing today?

Applicant: Good! And how are you?

I’m not even going to harp on the fact that the grammatically correct answer is “well” instead of “good” because that isn’t nearly as big of an issue as not reciprocating is. I’m not saying you need to over exaggerate your interest in them as a person or be insincere, but you should show the basic manners of reciprocating a basic “how are you?”

So, don’t dig a hole at the beginning of an interview that you’ll have to win your way out of. Ask your interviewer how their day is!

Even better, ask before they ask you.

Dance with who You Came With

Yesterday I did 800s at a pace slower than I used to run mile repeats. They were sufficiently hard with a nice dose of weird.

The comparison game makes getting in shape difficult. Thanks to my diligent logging, I can look up the splits of past workouts and see the difference with just a few clicks.

In the middle of my workout yesterday, I tried a new mantra.

You’ve gotta be good with where you are and what you have.

It reminded me of the saying, “You’ve gotta dance with who you came with.” I have to run intervals with the body and fitness that I have right now, not what I had in 2017 because apparently just wanting to be faster doesn’t make you run faster.

Once you accept where you are, you’re better able to see the benefits of your effort. Each workout builds a little more fitness and gets you closer to the times you want to run. There are no shortcuts to get there, and the process will be a lot more enjoyable if you’re at peace with where you are and what you have.

 

Two Years at Praxis!

Today marks my 2-year anniversary at Praxis! Here are some notable moments of the last year:

Salesforce still kicks my butt

Salesforce is my greatest love and also my greatest source of frustration at times. I’ve been using it long enough to at times be overly confident in my vision for a new process, only to realize my mistake after I test what I’ve built out.

For instance, I recently learned that an object has a ~1.6 million character limit on text area fields. The default character limit on a long text area field is 32,678, so if you create too many fields set at the default, you’ll hit the limit! And have to go back and edit the character limit on all of those fields. Also, 32,000 characters is INSANELY long.

Another new discovery is the Salesforce Optimizer. I ran this and the report let me know that we were at 130% of our data storage limit! Data storage costs money, so this is something I needed to address. I looked into what made up our data storage and saw we had about 350,000 tasks!

We use tasks to track emails, both personal and automated ones, but those aren’t things we need a forever record of, so I went about pulling reports to delete old tasks. I deleted about 15,000 tasks before I realized 15,000 at a time wasn’t fast enough and wasn’t really making a dent in our storage problem. I ran a report on all tasks and only found…9,000 remaining? Where are the other 300,000+?!

Thankfully, Salesforce is so widely used that you can type your problem into Google and find the answer. From Googling, I learned that Salesforce archives tasks 365 days after they’re closed, meaning they aren’t reportable, but still counts them toward your storage limit! Tricksy little hobbitses.

I used the data loader to export all tasks (including archived ones!)…and then I crashed the export because it was too large. I tried cancelling the export when it was 50,000 or 100,000 into the export, and that worked well enough. Then I was able to filter by non-deleted tasks and get even more of them cleaned up.

Now I have a quarterly calendar reminder set up to delete old tasks, so I won’t have this unpleasant surprise in the future!

New application process

I revamped the application process with my coworker Chuck, and it was a huge project! To read about the finished product, check out this post. To give the TL;DR version of what went into building this:

  • A new Salesforce object record type & page layout
  • 55 new fields
  • 5 forms with Salesforce mapping
  • 15 new Salesforce workflows
  • 44 new emails
  • 4 outbound messages

Plus all of the work Chuck did in building an entire subdomain and all of the coding that goes into advancing people through the process.

February Retreat

The team got together in February where we spent a few days at a beach house working together and mapping out our StoryBrand. We also took some group photos and this is my favorite of the outtakes:

A Lesson in Marketing

We were without a marketing manager for most of the year, and I took my turn managing the department over the summer. Marketing is nowhere near my strong suit, but I did learn a lot, and I enjoyed the data analysis aspect of the role. I also managed our first (to my knowledge) direct mail campaign, which is an entirely new language compared to digital marketing.

Event & Conference Travel

I ran two Homeschool Career Day events, and we experimented with attending high school and/or homeschool conferences over the summer. I went to Austin and Virginia and San Diego and Minneapolis as well as some local conferences here in Atlanta. I even had a breakout session at some of them where I spoke about the advantages homeschool teens have as well as projects teens can start today to set them apart in the job hunt.

FEEcon Social

I love that FEEcon is here in Atlanta because so many staff, participants, and alumni come to me! It was fun to see everyone at the conference and then gather for a social at the end. We had some new Praxis swag to debut as well!

The Team has Grown!

I think at this time last year there were 10-11 employees, and now we’re up to 14! I even hired my first apprentice last month and am enjoying experiencing the apprenticeship program from the business partner perspective.

Praxis HQ

Praxis has an office now! It was fun to visit in September and help break in the new ping pong table. I can’t wait to go back next month for the first annual Praxis Christmas Party!

It’s been a great second year, and I already know year three is going to be even better/crazier. Onward!

Check your Perspective, Change your Attitude

Ever since my injury, I’ve been lamenting the fact that I can’t roll out of bed and out the door to run anymore. I talk about the necessity of my new warm up routine due to being “old” or “broken” or some other negative framing.

Then I ran across this tweet from Molly Huddle – replying to another professional runner Matt Llano.

And I realized what makes perfect, logical sense when you take away the self-imposed negative framing: warming up is good for you, and people do it for that reason. It’s not punishment for getting older or being injured. It just furthers the reward of running. Making sure your ankles are mobilized and your glutes are activated means you glide into your first few steps instead of an awkwardly jolt while waiting for the pain to warm out.

Changing my attitude from angst to pride – pride in doing the right thing for my body, the smart thing that other athletes do – has already made a difference. And even if that’s some sort of placebo – I’ll take it.