Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Why I Chose to Run For Charity

As of you may know, I am running the Princess Glass Slipper Challenge at Walt Disney World in February of 2016. I chose to run for a charity this year, which includes a minimum fundraising goal to participate in the race. Making a decision to not only raise a hefty sum of money, but to also sign up to run 6.2 miles on a Saturday and then 13.1 miles on Sunday can make anyone question their sanity. However, I feel compelled to share why I was drawn to the particular charity of my choice, Children's Miracle Network.

Anyone I've known for longer than 8 years probably knows my reasoning - my oldest daughter. She was born at 35 weeks, so considered to be a "preemie" by most standards, as 37 weeks is full term. She came into this world with the appearance of a healthy newborn -- screaming, good color and a decent weight for a preemie: 5lbs, 6oz. However, once we got into feeding, the nurses noticed some issues. They got my ok to try some formula, but we noticed after every feeding, no matter how small, she was spitting up a green, bile-colored fluid. So after some x-rays and communication with the local children's hospital, it was decided she might have an obstruction and was transferred by ambulance to Winnie Palmer Hospital, which is 45 minutes away. I still remember those EMT's having to pack my baby up in the incubator & call my doctor in the middle of the night to get permission to release me from the hospital so my husband and I could meet them down there. This all happened in less than 24 hours after birth. Once we got to Winnie Palmer, we meet the neonatal doctor on duty, and were pretty much suggested we go home and get some sleep, as nothing would be decided until the morning.

Go home and sleep, and leave my 1st born, brand new baby somewhere else???


But, these guys went to school for this and know more than my sleep-deprived self did, so home we went. Once we got there the next morning, the nurse and doctor on duty talked to us and let us know there was an obstruction, and they had her scheduled for surgery that afternoon. We had to sign forms for things like anesthesia and then sit in the waiting room at the adjoining hospital, Arnold Palmer Hospital, where the surgery was taking place. When they were done, Dr. David Miller, the pediatric surgeon talked to us about what he had to do. She had a duodenal atresia, which means her intestines weren't connected to her stomach. Poor thing was eating, but once it got to the bottom of her intestines, it had nowhere to go but up! He had to taper her intestines, reattach them to her stomach, then check to make sure there weren't any tears that would cause obstructions once they closed everything back up. They had to remove some of her intestines, because they had died due to lack of blood. Her appendix was also removed because in a tiny body like that with a major operation, it was just getting in the way! Once she got back to Winnie Palmer, she had to stay in the hospital until they could feed her actual milk (rather than IV fluids) and she had to have a bowel movement to be discharged. She got to spend time under the lights for jaundice, be poked and prodded for veins to put IV's in, and room with about 5 other babies. After about 2 weeks she got to move to the "easy" NICU room, where she was in a bassinet instead of an incubator & it was a lot quieter with less machines. We visited her every day, and celebrated her first Christmas at Winnie Palmer. I still have the tiny red hat a volunteer had crocheted. We learned to get our rest while we could, and I joked that we were paying for the best babysitters in the business. ;) (not that I think nurses are babysitters, just that if someone was going to watch my kid, I had the most qualified person taking care of her!!)

Finally, 3 weeks later she got to come home. We spent a lot of time in the first 6 months at Dr. appointments, but she is now a happy and healthy 8 year old girl! I remember how scary being a new parent was, much less spending the first 3 weeks of that time in the neonatal intensive care unit. Arnold Palmer is a Children's Miracle Network Hospital, and I am so thankful to have one nearby. The employees of that hospital are amazing. The kids that have to spend time there, need to get the chance to be kids. Children's Miracle Network helps with that, whether it be so mom and dad have a little less to stress about so there is time for one more story, or fun things that make a hospital seem a little more like "home away from home."

I want to support those families in their time of need, so I am running to help. Please consider donating to my fundraiser, so we can all help kids grow up happily ever after.

Please consider clicking below to donate!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Haunted 5k Recap

So even though I'm not much of a runner, I am a runner, and now I'm the kind of runner with 2 races under her belt! Saturday the 5th I completed my 2nd 5k race with RunDisney at the Happy Haunted 5k trail run. My previous (first) race was the Royal Family 5k back in February during the PHM weekend. This was much different! This race started a little later, so since I'm local, we only had to get up and out by 5:45am. We arrived at the Wide World of Sports around 7am, giving me plenty of time to take a potty break in the real restrooms & get a few photos before I turned into a sweaty mess.

I made my way to my corral (signed up so late for this race so I was dreading my start in D) & waited. We had entertainment & I heard Mickey & Goofy were there but I was at the very back of my corral so I couldn't see all the festivities. We did get to see an awesome hot air balloon lift-off though!

The Headless Horseman also made his way to the stage, bringing a message to stay on the trail!

Apparently Headless Horsemen do not go over well with 2 year olds, I don't believe she even saw him but I guess since the DJ's were making a big deal out of it, my husband texted me that our 2 year old was trying to climb out of her stroller in holy terror! We Facetime'd for a minute so I could blow her a few kisses (too noisy to hear what she was saying!) & the race started!! I was so happy with how the corrals moved, and I really hope this is a trend with Disney, I've been hearing they are adding more corrals and shorter wait times. In D, I started at 13:30 so about a 3 1/2 minute gap in between. We rounded the field and were in the woods! This being my first trail race, I didn't know exactly what to expect. Well, now I know -- trail! 

We ran the majority of the race in the woods around the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. Very cool part of this race, and I believe a hot selling point for any Disney fan -- lots of rare characters on the race path! The only one I skipped was the first character stop, which was the Big Bad Wolf, I got in the line and there seemed to be some sort of camera malfunction at the beginning so I stepped out and moved on. Next stop was Prince John & the Sherriff of Nottingham -- rare to see these guys and I do love Robin Hood!

Then we rounded a corner only to come upon an oversized swarm of buzzy bugs, complete with sound effects.

Right around the water stop with AWESOME volunteers was Briar Bear and Briar Fox, and then not much longer and we were literally out of the woods!

I totally dug the next character stop, The Haunted House Gravediggers! These guys didn't crack a smile the whole time I was waiting, but they added some awesome poses to all their photos.
 We ran around the track, which was a nice change from the dirt all over the back of my ankles, and came across some football and viking zombies -- can anyone tell me if they were part of RunDisney? I couldn't decide!!

After that it was around the corner and FINISH LINE!

I believe my actual finish time was 49 minutes, but I did spend about 10 minutes in character lines. That was the one thing I promised myself after the Royal Family 5k -- no PR's during Disney races! I want to stop for all the characters & have lots of fun!! All in all, I love all Disney races & think this one was fabulously executed. I personally probably won't run it again now that I have the medal because I didn't love getting my pretty Brooks all dirty! But I did like that it didn't seem to be as crowded, whether that was new RunDisney cut off regulations or the fact that it wasn't a huge race weekend, I'm not sure. Kids races & ToT Expo will be coming soon!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Important to Remember...

So I am trying desperately to start a healthy eating kick again, as well as maintain some sort of exercise routine. But in light of this new "beginning", I feel like this is something really important to read & share. I know my husband shared it on Facebook thinking of me, and I know at least a hundred women that need to read this. Having 2 little girls, this is something I probably need to revisit on a weekly basis. Not only do I teach them to read & write, to say please & thank you, but I teach them how to look in the mirror. How I define beauty, or happiness; and therefore give them guidelines in how they also should define their own beauty & happiness.

I will never be that woman that skips a meal, or doesn't have a piece (or two) of cake because I just love food too much!! But when my 6 year old gets her hair cut short to look like me & donate her hair because I did it, I need to remember she is also watching when I step on the scale, or "pinch an inch" on my waistline. Please read, share, retweet & comment! 

What do you do to share a healthy image with your children? 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Correcting Bad Behavior

Nope, not talking about my kiddos this time!! I was the one with bad behavior. I really, really need to focus on my eating habits. Part of my reason to run is so that I can have "cheat" days and not feel bad when I want a brownie (or a pan of brownies. I don't judge here, folks.). However, when I haven't been running & I still eat the junk, I can tell. I feel sluggish, the numbers on the scale go the direction I tell them not to, & then of course I always feel mad at myself afterwards. Today at work was a great example. I had a granola bar in the car this morning on my way in with a glass of water. Then we had a morning meeting where they brought in trays of unexpected food. Mostly the not good kind that you really want...bagels & muffins! And these muffins had cinnamon sugar on top! Aren't you proud of me for not taking one?! There was an entire platter of fruit, so I grabbed a bunch of that -- strawberries, pineapple (only 3 chunks) and some red grapes. So far, so good! Then around 10:45 I was hungry. I knew I didn't want to do lunch that early, so I sat down at the computer to work on the schedule & grabbed some pretzels. Finished those off and grabbed a few more. Hit lunch around 11:45 and was too full for my mostly healthy salad I brought from home, so I grabbed a Heath bar while I gathered my Shopkick points & checked Facebook. 


Dinner I can't always get around, when hubby is at work I have to make something both kids are going to eat which is a tough one unless you break out the PB&J. Tonight we made mini-pizzas & while I wish I could've used something better for the crust (we use Pillsbury Flaky biscuits) I did put cheese, bacon, pineapple & red & yellow peppers on it. Now that the girls are in bed, for my snack I tried a new Pinterest pin I've been eying -- chopped up banana, drizzled with honey & sprinkled with cinnamon. It was really good!! Even for my sugary sweet tooth. Definitely will be trying that one again.
Oops -- will have to try for the before picture next time! ;)

So now I ask -- what are your go-to snacks or quick meals? Do you have a tip or trick to stop from grabbing the easy junk food?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Running Disney - The Prequel

I can't believe it's been almost 2 weeks ago, but...2 weeks ago I ran my first 5k! Being the huge Disney fanatic I am, of course I had to sign up for a Disney race to be my first. Another good motivator was the cost, as Disney races don't come cheap. I know local 5k's in my area are around $25, while the Disney 5k was $50. Totally motivated me to train and be prepared to run -- I was going to finish this thing in a decent time! I signed up back in like August of last year or so, I'd have to look at my checkbook to give you an actual date. I started with the Couch 2 5k program and loved it! I definitely recommend it to anyone that is starting running & in good health or given the go-ahead from their doctor. I was a true Couch 2 5k'er, (is that a real phrase? If not, I just invented it!) seeing as how I have hated running my whole life. But I was ready to start something -- get moving, get healthy, show my kids how to set and accomplish a goal! So I ran.

Now let me just break here to point out that if I found time to run, you can. No excuses. I have 2 kids, 6 and 2. My husband and I both work full time, and we do not have daycare. So if one of us is at work, the other is home with one or both kids. We have one car, so I had to run near home, not on any cool running trails. And yes, I have sidewalks near my neighborhood but I live in the country where the speed limit on the main road is 40 and consists mostly of thru traffic & semi trucks.

We would get home from work and I would go out and run before dinner, or I would run in the morning before work. On Thursdays & Fridays when I am home in the morning, I walk my daughter to school & then take my 2 year old on a run with me. We use a stroller I got on a local for sale group, not a fancy jogging stroller but one that is about to bite the dust. I probably don't run as fast as I could with the stroller but point is that I run. Tracking your run is so important in the beginning -- you can see your accomplishments from day 1! I know we all got really sick in November, my husband got pneumonia & I had bronchitis, then Sophie got RSV & Delaney got an ear infection. I could hardly wait for that month to be over!! I think I ran maybe twice in November. I don't think I ever officially finished the C25k program, I started using RunKeeper to track my distance but I wish it would let me shuffle my songs! I ran my first full 3.1 miles 2 weeks before the Disney 5k, and I did it pushing the stroller in 40 minutes. I know 40 minutes isn't the best time, but I wasn't running for the best time. I was running because I could.

Running Disney - Race Day coming soon!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Now it Feels Like Christmas!

So Sunday morning was a huge hit in our house. Why, you ask? Elmer & Trixie FINALLY made their debut, after 3 long days of questions about why they hadn't arrived yet. They seem to have started a tradition of bringing us a North Pole breakfast upon their arrival, so I think they were waiting for a morning we were all home.

So Delaney woke me up Sunday & was so excited that they elves had finally made it to Florida! I've been sick for almost 2 weeks, and spend most of my free time as of late trying to hack up one of my lungs, so I was completely exhausted from being up coughing until 2am the night prior so I was thankful she was content to pick a movie and let me get a little more rest since the rest of the house was still sleeping. We watched/listened to "The Secret of the Wings" & once Sophie got up we had our North Pole breakfast & visited with our new company.

Elmer & Trixie Jingle have arrived!
Santa usually prints his letter...his printer must be on the fritz!

Sophie loves donuts!
So does Delaney, but she might be too cool to let you know that...

 Then we woke up today to 2 elves climbing our Christmas tree (thankfully no ornaments were harmed in the process) to engage in a lightsaber battle. I bet they loved that our lightsabers we made at the Orlando History Museum weren't too heavy for them!

So as a co-worker posted on my husband's facebook page -- "Now it feels like Christmas!" Let the elf hi-jinx begin!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas....

Ok, I know, I know!! You're all saying, "Seriously? Can we just have Thanksgiving first?!" Well, as most of you know, I work in the world of retail. It's Christmas time, for many reasons. 1 - I listen to that CD thing back in the Christmas section where you can "sample" the Christmas music. ALL. DAY. LONG. 2. This coming weekend we are kicking off our fun, old fashioned Christmas by: seeing the Osbourne Light Spectacle at Hollywood Studios Friday (I love to see the lights when it's actually COLD out -- yay!!), possibly a visit to see Jolly Old St. Nick himself Saturday & decorating the interior of the house the rest of the weekend. We will be working all Thanksgiving weekend so we can't do our decorating then like a lot of people do, and personally, I don't feel 1 month is enough time to enjoy the tree & everything that comes with it! So since my husband is awesome he lets me get in the Christmas spirit early! I know the visit with Santa is a little early, but we go to see him at a very popular location & with our crazy schedules, I would rather go early than be stuck in an hour line.

Elmer & Trixie "go fish"
However, the whole reason of this post was to talk about a few visitors I anticipate will arrive in several weeks. Just like many of you, we have an Elf that spends the holidays with us. We actually have two, one for each kiddo, which works out nicely because the elves seem to have a lot more fun together (& Sophie is probably trouble enough to warrant an elf to herself for reports back to Santa). I know a lot of you follow our Elves through Facebook, but since I have a private facebook page, it's hard to share pictures you might want to show friends & now with the explosion of Pinterest, you won't be able to link to any ideas you love unless they are somewhere a little more accessible.

So -- make sure you subscribe to my blog & invite your friends that have kids & might be interested! Elf happenings will be getting posted (I can't promise daily, like I said, Sophie DOES warrant her own elf) & I'm sure we will have plenty to talk about once Elmer & Trixie arrive!