Reflections of a Mom's Life

Monday, March 30, 2009

scariest moment of my life

one week ago today, Monday March 23rd, was the most frightening night of my life. Addison choked and it was serious...

she was playing on the floor at my feet while i was getting dinner together. i was on the phone with Anthony at the time. he has Bible study and basketball on Monday nights so he doesn't get home until after 11pm. we often chat while he's on his way to church.

i picked Addison up and put her in the high chair and started feeding her some banana. she ate a couple of bites and then started choking. i patted her back to try and help her get it going down the right way but it wasn't helping. she was still coughing though. i picked her up, turned her over, and started pushing up on her back. when i turned her back it wasn't any better. i put my finger in her mouth and could feel something but could not get it. i turned her back over and started pushing up on her back again but NOTHING. at this point it was clear she was REALLY choking. not breathing. looking at me like HELP ME.

i panicked. i threw the phone down and ran to the front door. i was still trying to get her to cough it up while i sprinted down my hill over to my neighbor Kristine's house SCREAMING at the top of my lungs. i was frantic. by the time i got to her door she was turning blue and starting to go limp. there was a moment when i actually thought "this is it. i don't know what else to do."

all of a sudden, before i even knocked on Kristine's door (i was still screaming), another neighbor was beside me. her name is Rhonda and she lives across the street from me. i told her Addison was choking and she grabbed her from me. she started doing tummy compressions and was able to get her to start coughing again and before i knew it she had spit it up and was screaming. the sound of her screaming was the most wonderful sound i could have ever heard at that moment. i fell apart at that point. crying hysterically and holding Addison as tight as i could. i truly almost lost my baby girl. i have never been so scared.

God had Rhonda in the right place at the RIGHT time. Rhonda is NEVER home. she is RARELY outside. yet, there she was, standing in her driveway at the moment i came running out of my home with my choking baby. She is a surgical assistant at a local hospital and certified in CPR. i'm getting emotional about this even as i type. a miracle. i "sort of" knew what to do when someone is choking. an older child or adult i probably could have handled. but for a baby, everything at that moment went blank. God was watching out for our baby girl and i am SO very grateful.

Anthony came straight home. he was so worried as i had hung up on him when it all happened. the boys were emotional too. there was no time to explain why i was so frantic until after it was all over. i know it scared them and i hated that for them. my throat was sore for the rest of the night. i know most of the neighborhood must have heard my screams. :(

what was she choking on you might wonder? a piece of plastic. looked like part of a seal from a container or packaging of some kind. she must have gotten it into her mouth and when i started feeding her the banana it pushed it down. it's so hard to keep everything off the floor with little babies and with the boys dropping little things here and there it is not uncommon to see her "chewing" on something. i've had to start shutting the bathroom doors because i'll notice she's missing and she'll be in the restroom chewing on toilet paper. she's quiet and sneaky. :)

i'm just SO happy she is OK. that night i went into her room twice just to look at her. when i closed my eyes to go to sleep for the next two nights i would get weak as the whole thing would play over again in my mind. i've brushed up on my CPR and would really love to sign up for a class soon. i need to know more and know it so well that i'll kick into gear under pressure. the less you know, the less confident you are under pressure and that was so true for me.

however, i KNOW my God was looking out for us. i know He saved my baby girl that night. i am overwhelmed with emotion when i think about it. Thank you Lord for protecting our sweet girl.

Friday, March 27, 2009

My 1/2 MARATHON!!!!

I slept well, surprisingly. I thought for sure I'd be too wound up to sleep. I got up at 4:15am, woke up my sister Grace, and then headed down stairs for breakfast. Grace decided last minute, the night before, that she would run the 1/2 too. They had a friend who ended up not being able to run so she decided she'd run with his bib number. She's been a runner for years. She has just recently started running long distances but she is very strong. After I got into running, she was so excited that we would finally have that in common with each other. She's been very supportive of me throughout this journey. :) We both ate oatmeal and a banana and then got ready for the race!

Katy was there at 5AM and came in and sat with me while I fed Addison. It would be a long time before Addison would see me again so I made sure she got to eat as long as she wanted. Amy, Grace's friend, met us at the house and we all left for the race.

"the knee" - I fell SO hard on my right knee. The cut was so big and open I had to find a way to wrap it so it wouldn't bother me. After playing around with it I was able to make it work.

Katy says everyone has one of "these" pictures. My final bathroom stop...clearly I wasn't expecting her to snap my picture!

saying goodbye! Katy was about to run 3 miles so she could be waiting for me at mile 3! And she's pregnant! it meant SO much to have her there supporting me!

last minute stretching...and another potty stop. just to make sure!

me and Bryan...I mean Grace! :) I didn't know that she would be there that day...much less running beside me. I enjoyed having her by my side!

here's Addison, waiting for Mommy to pass by!

Here we are at not even a mile yet. Anthony and Mom were supposed to be waiting at mile 2 but came down further. We were excited to see them!

mile good to see Katy!

still smiling! see you at mile 9!!!

here we come...we had just come out of Ft. Story. on the base, no one was allowed unless you were a runner or volunteer. it was good to see the Katy again and all the people cheering for us. the spectators were GREAT! it was so fun to hear them call out our names and cheer us on!

at mile 9, I got rid of my jacket and gave it to Katy. Poor thing had to run another 4 miles to meet up with us at the finish. i can't believe she did all that!!! it was SO good to see her along the way. it gave me something to look forward to!

only 4 more to go! WOO HOO!

there goes Grace! way to go!

Here I come to the finish line! I really was this happy! I remember smiling the whole way once I got on the board walk. I couldn't believe I had done it! I couldn't believe how great I felt and I was so happy with the pace i kept!

The whole experience was amazing! I can't really explain what it felt like coming to that finish line. It was one of the most incredible feelings I've ever had! I was so proud of myself and this journey has been life changing for me!

During the race, I knew my training had paid off. There was NEVER a time when I felt I needed to stop. There was never a time when I was overwhelmed or felt like I couldn't take another step. My body felt great, there were no intense pains I had to will myself through. It was a GREAT run. I'm sure not every race is that way. Probably not all of my races to come will be that way. BUT this race WAS that way for me. I was ready. I was strong. I know that now. I doubted it but was so pleased when I saw how my body responded. This truly was an incredible experience for me!
(side note - this hiccup with my knee this week has frustrated me for one main reason. I never want to stop running. the race confirmed that for me. I hope to run many more races for years and years to come. I can't wait for my knee to be better and to be able to run again!)

here i come...about to finish my FIRST 1/2 marathon!!! WOO HOO!!!

WE DID IT!!! 2009 Yuengling Shamrock 1/2 Marathon Finishers!

Anthony has been so supportive of me throughout my training. I think there was a time where he thought I had lost my mind when I told him I wanted to start running. When he finally saw how committed I was he has been with me every step of the way...even running with me...something he never cared to do before. I could not have done this without him!

I did it! When I signed up for the race in Dec. 2008 I had to "guess" what my finish time would be. I put down 2hrs. 45 min. As my training continued, I hoped I could finish in 2:30:00 or less but wanted to make sure I didn't set a real goal. I wanted to be happy with FINISHING! When I hurt my knee, I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know if that would affect my finish time or make me feel like I was slower...or make me feel like I needed to walk.

I finished in 2:24:56!!! Faster than I had hoped! :) I was SO excited! I ran that whole thing! How exciting is that??? :)

What a sweetie pie this girl is! Mom and Anthony said she was GREAT, as always. She just hung out all morning..taking it all in. :) Harrison and Jackson hung out at Aunt Janet's house. What a blessing she was to us! They just got to play and enjoy their cousins!

And here she is...the girl who got me to this place! Katy, I could have NEVER done this without you. You have encouraged me for months and talked me through countless running questions and scenarios! Thank you SO MUCH! Thank you for encouraging me, supporting me, believing in me! I am forever grateful to you!!!

It was a GREAT day! We headed straight for a big buffet breakfast at Catch 31 down at the beach. It was delicious! I was so hungry! I remember saying to Grace around mile 6..."I'm starving!" :) That afternoon I was able to go to Katy's baby shower which I was SO excited to be in town for and then we hit the road home to Raleigh. We got in around 11:30pm and I was in bed about midnight. I was SO tired. I mean, I had just run a 1/2 Marathon! :)

I'm already ready to sign up for another one! Wouldn't the Disney one be awesome! Anthony first...10K in June though...anyone want to join me??? :)

The Expo

Well, here we are. The weekend I'd been training for since August 2008 had arrived! I couldn't believe it. I was nervous, excited, aggravated (about my fall and wondering how things would go with my knee), etc... So many emotions! At one point I remember telling Katy that I felt "out of place." This type of event...a race, a sporting event...I didn't feel like I belonged. I have NEVER belonged before. Although I knew in my mind I was ready I felt very unsure of myself. I can't explain it. It just felt weird. Here I was about to pick up my packet for my 1/2 Marathon!!! ahhh!!! What was I thinking???? :)

Here I am, checking in...

My Number!!!

Here we are watching the video of how to put on my timing chip. Jacob was all about the touch screen monitor. :)

Sweet Callie...and David. :) He's nice too.

Doesn't she look proud of her Mommy??? :)

Checking the timing chip to see if it does!

Picking up my bag to put all my goodies in

Trying on my shirt

the boys made signs

Harrison's sign (Lady and the Tramp theme) "Go Mom. Run like a Lady and a Tramp." I know he meant well. :) I LOVED IT! :)

Josiah made me a beautiful sign! He even drew me in a cute pink running outfit running on the street. GO!! BETH!!! very cool!

I liked this shirt! :)

I love these boys!

Trying out a muscle massage tool

Josiah said this is one of his favorite booths that the Expo. He's gotten to go to two now since his mom and dad have become runners! :)

my coach! :)

The Expo was a lot of fun. I started warming up to the idea that I was actually RUNNING the race the next day. I bought a "runner girl" magnet for my car. :) I've been wanting one of those for a while. Thought about buying a 13.1 magnet but figure I better FINISH the race first! :) Anthony was able to browse a bit. He and Chris are planning to run the Rock-n-Roll 1/2 in September. He's got the bug too now. :)

That night after we said goodbye to the Schrodt's we dropped Harrison and Jackson off at the skating rink to go home with Aunt Janet. They were SO excited to be spending the night with Grant and Emma. Austin came with us and we met Tom, Grace, & their girls, Mandi and Ashlynn, and Chris and Jessica for dinner at Felini's. We had never been but it was very yummy. I ate lots of pasta and bread like I was supposed too! :) We headed home and I got all my stuff laid out, got Addison in bed and headed to bed myself. I needed to make sure I got plenty of good sleep! :) Katy was set to pick me up at 5:15am...

Happy Birthday Harrison!!!

Happy Birthday Harrison! I can't believe my little man is SEVEN YEARS OLD!!!
Friday, March 20th, we woke up and celebrated Harrison's birthday with Krispy Kreme Doughnuts! The perfect way to start out the day! Harrison went to school until 2pm after which we picked him up to head to VA.

When I realized that race weekend would be the same weekend of Harrison birthday, I was excited that we would be with family to celebrate. I quickly came up with the idea to SURPRISE Harrison with a party! His cousins and some of his closest VA friends were happy to celebrate with us. We drove straight to Aunt Grace's and Uncle Tom's where Mammaw, Jon, Austin, Grant, Emma, Baylee, Savannah, Nanny, Granddaddy, David, Katy, Josiah, Jacob, Callie, Jen, Erin, Anna, Chris, Jessica, & Cody were set to party with us! It was GREAT! Harrison was very surprised and excited to see everyone...see for yourself below!

My big 7 year old!

I love seeing all these kids together!

Erin & Anna

Callie...gotta love that face!

Nanny made the cake! It was SO GOOD! She seriously has the best recipe and it was so special to have her make it. THANK YOU NANNY!

Here we are all singing Happy Birthday to Harrison and he is very clear about what his wish is...

Poor guys...Aunt Grace's house is ALL GIRL! The boys just have to make do! :) If she ever has a boy I don't know what she'll do with all that pink! :)

Aunt Grace really hit it big with her gift. Harrison is STILL in love with Toy Story. She got him Buzz Lightyear Jammies and arrived from the UPS man minutes before he opened presents. She was so tickled they go there in time. After he had opened all his gifts...he got some really cool stuff...he disappeared and before we knew it there he was sporting his new jammies! You know it's a hit when they drop everything to put it on right away! He played the rest of the night in his Buzz Lightyear Jammies! :)

It was a wonderful time celebrating our big boy with family and friends! Thank you Grace and Tom for opening up your home for the party! We appreciated it SO much!