The Story Of Lilly- 04/20/10


ImageImageImageImage“I have no regrets in my life. I think that everything happens to you for a reason. The hard times that you go through build character, making you a much stronger person.” Rita Mero

ImageI have been writing this blog for quite some time now and I have neglected to write on the more serious side about life.  I realized this morning that my little girl will be four in less than a month and the time is flying by.  I am sad this year she will not be with me for her birthday so I am planning some activities to do with her.  She will be with me next year for her birthday.  My ex and I rotate and I have had her every year with good luck, but my luck ran out this year and it doesn’t seem fair that I do not get to see her on her special day. 

So here is the story of Lilly…and I think it is pretty interesting and she is certainly a gift.


     When I was younger I went to the doctor and had to have an ultrasound.  The doctor told me I had to go see a specialist because I might not be able to have children.  I was scared and heartbroken because I wanted to have children. I had spent years playing with cabbage patch dolls and the idea that I could not have my own child made me sad.  My future mother in law was the sort of person who wanted me to go see someone right then and there.  I want to believe she had my interests in mind but I often wonder if she wanted to make sure her son would have a child.  I know it sounds bad but you have no idea.  So I went to an endocrinologist, which I had never heard of before.  He had me get pictures taken of my uterus and I found out I have a divided uterus, which means there is not a lot of room for a baby.  I had never heard of such a thing.  He said I could have children so I did not care about the rest. 


     I will never forget the day I just knew.  I was supposed to run the Adirondack Distance Half Marathon in Scroon Lake, New York.  I just had this feeling something was going on and I turned my alarm off.  Anyone who knows me knows that me turning my alarm off and missing a half marathon is like a sin to me.  I never like missing races and I love running.  So I did not go…wow!


     I had been camping so the entire weekend all I could think about was finding out if I was going to have a baby. It drove me completely nuts and it isn’t like they had a pharmacy on the trail.  I had to wait until I got back home in Syracuse.  Sure enough, I was having a baby.  I was so excited, but scared.  The idea of a baby was just crazy.


     Unfortunately, I was moved at work this year too.  I had been working at Seymour School for Dual Language and I loved it there.  It was my home.  Well, I was in tears when I was told I had to move to Delaware School off of Geddes Street in Syracuse.  I had nothing against Delaware but I love my babies at Seymour.  They are essentially my children.  I was in second grade at Delaware and I was teaching ESL.  Throughout the year, my schedule changed all the time.  I was on the fourth floor teaching fifth grade to a lot of ha ha naughty kids.  I loved them but they drove me crazy sometimes.  Then I had to go down to the first floor and teach another grade level.  I was sooooooo exhausted by the end of pregnancy.  I also had to move all of my stuff.  I was so uncomfortable and people didn’t help, that my husband had to come in and help me move my stuff.  On top of that, I got in trouble because my students were not getting their ESL minutes and I complained.  I was told this was unprofessional but I love my students and they come first.  After meeting with administrators and the Union, I was happy to still have a job, but the stress just escalated.  I was depressed and I didn’t feel like I had a good job.  I did have some great co workers.  I worked with Patti Brody, who is a wonderful teacher.  I also worked with a new ESL teacher named Jennifer Degain and in general the ESL teachers were all pretty amazing.  I liked a lot of the faculty so it is a shame that some people spoil a great work environment.  Oh well.


   Back to the story.  The girl I shared a room with was also pregnant.  I was so excited.  We were the pregnant room and we welcomed in anyone who wanted to have kids.  We figured we must be good luck.  I think it worked.  I feel bad for the girl I shared a room with.  She had cancer after having her baby and it must have been awful.  I will never forget the one day I was supposed to go away for Christmas break.  I could not feel the baby.  I thought she was not breathing but I learned that babies love orange juice and it made her start kicking up a storm.  Lilly was quite active.  I was horrified by the constant moving and kicking and I still say I felt it at 8 weeks.  She has big feet!!!!!! 


     After finding out Lilly was alright, I was relieved and I drove back from vacation to find out I was having a girl.  I love having a girl but I confess they are more expensive because the clothes are so cute.  I have gotten better at yard sales and clothing sales.  I think kids get clothes so dirty I am not afraid to go second hand.  I let her pick out a mickey shirt once in a while or something special. 


     My sister has a girl, but she is fourteen now so she didn’t save the clothes.  Darn!  I have a lot of respect for my sister and I do not know how she does it.  She had a hard pregnancy and had her first child early.  Kaitlyn has blossomed into a beautiful teenager.  I can’t believe she just went to the prom!!!!!  She was born at 32 weeks I think.  She also has Xander (Alexander), who is just sprouting up.  He is in Boy Scouts and I am sad that I am not teaching the same grade level he is in this year.  I looped up so I could pick on him about what he was learning in school.  He was born at 34 weeks and I remember he had a ton of hair.  I will never forget how bad the weather was the day he came home from Crouse in Syracuse.  Xander is in the fourth grade this year.  I can’t believe it.  He is nine years old and I remember when he came home.  I remember how much he loved baths as a baby so I would give him rubber duckies.  Kaitlyn was a beast at restaurants but she was awfully cute. 

     Then there is Tristan.  I wasn’t sure if I should bring up Tristan but I think about him because he will always be my nephew and I wish I could have traded places with him.  I remember my sister being pregnant and I thought everything was going well.  Then, she had Tristan.  I can’t remember if she was 27 or 28 weeks pregnant.  I remember getting a call and going to the hospital.  I think I went with my cousin, Rebecca.  She picked me up.  I was a Sophomore in College.  He was so little and adorable.  He had blue eyes and a little hair.  I was too afraid to hold him because he was so little.  He lived for a month and it just isn’t fair.  I do not know how Shannon did it.  I can’t ever imagine losing a child.  She is the bravest person I know. 



     Maybe we just have bad luck with having kids.  I thought I would be alright after being told I could have kids.  I have kept the picture I shared at the top to myself for quite some time.  I remember that week.  I was in Maine.  I was given permission to travel to Maine for April break because I was not due until Memorial Day.  I was due May 29th.  I had gained a lot of weight (60+ pounds).  I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes so I had gone on a diet and was cranky.  I also got really depressed.  My marriage was not working out and my husband was not working a lot of hours.  He was also big into drinking and other stuff.  I spent a lot of time crying in the bathtub.  In a lot of sense, Lilly saved me.  I do not feel alone.  I know pregnancy makes you sad and you get mood swings, but there was a lot more to it than that.  I won’t get into it.


     We were in Maine and I got into an argument with Andy.  We had such a bad fight because he was constantly bitching about my family and something I said and he was always high.  He wasn’t high on life.  He had to bring the dog even though my mom is allergic to dogs and he was complaining.  I just got irritated.  Well, it got to the stage where I did not want to be in the same room.  I went to the car and slept for a while.  I do not think that helped.


     I was ready to go home.  On the 19, I went for a long walk and then took two showers.  I went to bed and took a nap because I was crying.  We ate pizza for dinner and I remember feeling uncomfortable at night.  My water broke at 2 in the morning and instead of going to the hospital my stupid ex insisted I was peeing my pants. Anyone who has had their water break, knows it is really not the same feeling.  So we went to the hospital finally and I will never forget the look on my mom and dad’s face when I told them.  OOOOOOOOOh!!!!!

     I have the smallest veins and they finally got an iv into me after 80 tries.  I looked like a heroin addict and I was really sore.  I found out at  4:30 that they cannot deliver babies in Presque Isle Maine because there is no NICU.  I had to ride in an ambulance all the way to Bangor, Maine by myself.  I wanted my mom, but there was no room for anyone but a nurse and two guys who could help deliver a baby.  It was a fun ride, but I was going into labor.  Lilly wanted out!  They had to give me magnesium and I remember being sooooo hungry and I wanted to rip the coffee out of the hands of the nurse.  I found out in Maine you cannot put the sirens on in the ambulance or speed because the police pull you over.  It is because of the moose.  We did go by some moose but I did not see them.  I still think they do not exist. 


     My parents beat the ambulance to the hospital. It was a really nice hospital and Patrick Dempsey’s sister works there if you are interested to know.  It is the Eastern Maine Medical Center.  I liked it there and it was right on the river and I had my own room.  There was a bet going to see who would have the first baby of the day and the baby music would play.  After a long long time and a friggan, guy intern who wanted to watch a baby being born, Lilly came out at 12:41.  She wasn’t breathing when they put her on my stomach so they rushed her to the NICU.  She weight 5 pounds and 2 ounces and was the tiniest thing.  I can’t believe how little she was.   I had mini baby.  I was lucky she wasn’t bigger so I did not need to have a sea section. 

    Lilly was in the hospital for three weeks and would not eat for a while.  She definitely does not have this problem anymore.  She is a beautiful little girl.  She had her fair share of scares in the hospital and I thought we would never leave.  I was stuck in Maine for about a month total.  I was happy to have some great friends to help out and my sister saved the day.  My baby shower happened after Lilly was born.  I guess she wanted to go too.  I did not even have a car seat because I was not expecting to have a baby.  The preemie clothes were too big for her.  You have no idea.  We had to stay in a hotel because we had the dog.  I remember walking over to the hospital from the hotel every three hours and wanting to just sleep walk.  I think I did not sleep for about a year.  I am glad Lilly sleeps in once in a while.


     So long story short, Lilly is a gift.  I am happy she is okay and she is actually pretty perfect.  She knows how to write her name and she will hopefully like to run someday ha ha ha ….  I enjoy our time together and I am lucky to have her.  I would love to have more children but if Lilly Is the only child I ever have, then I think I have done pretty good.  If you have to leave a mark behind when you die, she is my mark.  She is great with other kids and loves sharing.  She enjoys going to work with me and the kids love her.   I want her to grow up innocent and caring about other people.  I love taking her to places and having her put a smile on someone’s face.  I remember taking her to an elder home and she made them smile.  I love the effect kids have on grown ups.  So this is the story of Lilly and I hope she makes you smile someday…



ImageImageLilly at almost age 2






Syracuse Half Marathon #36


ImageImageImage“Listen to your body.  Do not be a blind and deaf tenant.” George Sheehan…


     Today was my 36th half marathon, as well as the 4th half marathon of the month.  I did it.  I am still in shock that I made it past this half marathon.  Each and every time I run, I am amazed at what I am capable of.  I am not sad I am not as fast, but I am working harder and putting my heart into my running.  I start my playlist off with Breathe Carolina and I know the song order.  I know how much time I have until I run out of music.  I really like the songs at the end, but I am not disappointed when I finish before they play.  I set the music so it plays in a certain order and usually miles 8-10 are like a fish yanking on a pole.  This is when I focus on breathing.  Today, it worked and I would not let my knee get in the way. 


     I started out the race going a little too fast but it was nice to get out of the way.  I was doing really well until my knee did not like James Street.  I used to live off of James Street on Sedgwick Drive, so the hill was not the problem.  My knee kept buckling and I think because it was so cold outside it helped my situation.  I think the coldness made it numb so I could just run and not think about it.  If it hadn’t been for that I was done! 


     I finished the second mile in 9:03, but then I got my groove back and started making good time.  I knew I could do it and I think because I ran this course last year I know the whole drill.  I also practiced running the creek walk for a little while.  This helped too, but there were so many people it was hard to pass the slower people.  I had to wait.  The snow made it a little slippery and I was nervous on the downhill by Court Street.  However, this all made me miss living near Eastwood.  It is a great area.  I do enjoy the hills I have now though.  I like this hilly area and it helps with biking and running.


     Somewhere along the way, I ran into a few people who had thought I disappeared.  I sort of did.  I went from really fast for a girl to really not so good…yeah!  So I stopped doing so many races and I was also caught up with helping other people that I gave up a lot of my spare time.  I think I could hit myself for that.  UGHHHHHHH!!!! 


     I think when I run I have a different perspective than most people.  I know people run to lose weight and I did too in a way.  Well, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, so I figured that running was a great way to not get diabetes when I am older.  My chances are 50%…and I want to beat it!  Without getting into my craptastic life problems I have had, running truly saved me, along with my awesome girl- Lilly!!!!  She is the best!  I think that people at work want to adopt her.  I wish she could go to my school but unfortunately that is not an option.  I always thought I would never want her in my class, but I would love it and I could never be happier if she was my student.  I would never treat her differently than my other students. 


     So my point it, when I get out and run I realize how much it means to me.  I take it all in.  I feel free because I wasn’t for a while.  I love spectators and I love the signs people put up.  Yesterday’s race had more signs.  I really liked the signs from “Hangover.”  I also liked the horse signs with the pumpkin heads on them in Sleepy Hollow.  The small things are sometimes what make the race.  I also like the little kids cheering.  I hope Lilly gets a chance to cheer me on someday in a race.  If I ever get to Boston, I am giving her my medal when she graduates from school because I want her to know anything is possible if you put your head and your heart into it. 


     Today when I was running, it was like a part of me came back to life…that had been pretty dormant for a while.  I had this will inside me to not give up and to help others make it to the finish line.  I ran in a tank top and shorts today and it was about 22 degrees outside.  I was warm but everyone thought I was completely crazy.  When they were all sweating at mile 10, they even came out and said they were envious of me.  It made me laugh.  This was coming from a guy dressed in a plaid dress shirt and I don’t now what he was wearing for pants.  Maybe he randomly signed up.  There was a guy in khakis yesterday with a dress shirt.  I have seen some pretty interesting things, though the girl wearing the southern belle wedding dress with the umbrella for the entire Gettysburg Marathon is still my favorite. 


     No matter how slow or fast I go, I take it all in and no matter how much I hurt I want to be the girl who is always smiling.  If I stop smiling then I need to stop running.  It definitely hurts and the hills can be a pain but you have to remember that it will pass.  So today I finished in 1:48.  I am really happy with my time because it means that my speed is coming back and  I have missed it so much. 


     I did a few things daring today for me.  If anyone knows me, they know I always wear a running belt for races because I hate Gatorade.  I need something to drink and I get side stitches and feel sick with Gatorade.  I bring vitamin water in my water belt.  I also bring shot bloks or honey stingers.  I love the pomegranate flavor.  Well, today I texted my good running friend, Krista.  I asked, “the water belt?  Ditch it or bring it? ”  She said to ditch it and I listened.  I spend too much time ignoring opinions and it was a great idea.  I am glad I did.  Thank you, Krista!!!!!!!!  Then, I had to ditch the honey stingers.  This was the hard part as well because I hate Gu.  I think it is absolutely disgusting and I want to gag when I eat it.  I didn’t have pockets so I ate half the bag and called it a day.  The only thing I did was take my long sleeved shirt off and run like a streaker. This was definitely a good idea because the sun made me hot. I even rolled up my arm warmers.  I was glad I had one pair of running gloves left.  I still miss my black ones. 


     Today’s race was great.  Last year I finished in 1:44 and I am sure if my knee wasn’t hurting and I did not run yesterday, I could have made it in 1:44…but I had a great time and I love my medals from this weekend.  I have to give it to Sleepy Hollow!!!!!  The Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon Medal is serious!!!!!!!  It says to all the people looking, “I just ran some bad ass hills and trails.”  Mine says,” I fell on my face and ate dirt, but I still finished.”  A lot of people have not heard of this race.  I thought Sleepy Hollow was wonderful and the people running it are really nice.  I was glad I did not have to throw my shirt today.  I also realized my last name is on the back.


     After completing Sleepy Hollow and seeing my last name everywhere, I keep being reminded that I need to finish changing my last name back to Phelps.  I was holding off because my passport expires in 2017.  I am quite the adventurist and I don’t like the idea that I have to fill out a new passport and this one is not full.  Plus, Lilly’s last name is Squire.  However, I am tired of trying to figure out if they have me registered to run as Phelps or Squire.  Phelps is my maiden name and I would like to rid the name Squire from my title.  I miss it even if people always mess up Phelps.  It is my identity…and I don’t know if I will ever get married so why wait?


     I leave you this weekend with a smile, but I must also confess I am still lonely.  I really enjoyed having these races, but I hate traveling alone.  I am looking forward to nagging people enough that I will have a road buddy before I turn 50!!!!!!  Well, at least have someone come to a few races to run or watch.  I have a great time on the roads and I know how to do a road trip. 


     My next race weekend is going to be a blast, but lonely ha ha ha.  I am doing three races in one weekend.  It isn’t that crazy if you listen.


     April 5, 2014 I am doing Race the Runways in Brunswick, Maine.  I signed up for the half marathon but they actually have a one mile sprint.  I am a better sprinter and I am not going to lie, I would love to bring Lilly home a trophy with an airplane on it.  Haha ha ha. 

Then I have the half right after.  I will have to drive seven hours, which isn’t going to be fun, but these adventures make the loneliness a little less lonely.  I love the coffee along the way, the horrible music, and the road munchies I bring.  I have been living off luna bars and pita chips.  I think I am successfully dropping weight, but I am missing something in my diet because I am always hungry and dehydrated. 

     Sunday, April 6, 2014 is the Ithaca Skunk Cabbage Classic.  Like I previously said, it was my first time going sub 1:40 and it was hilly.  I do not know if I am capable of doing that again but why not.  The race was only 18$ I think and you get a cute skunk medal.  I am a little nervous because up until now, the first race of the weekend is hilly.  That weekend, the skunk cabbage will be the hilly course.  We will see….doom doom doom…anyhow, happy Sunday.  I hope everyone had a great weekend…and I think I already feel a case of the Mondays coming….blaaaaaaaaaaa I have ELA testing coming up and four weeks of school before April break…




The Ocean’s Run Half Marathon- South Kingstown, Rhode Island


Ability is what you are capable of doing.
Motivation determines what you do.
Attitude determines how well you do it.
–Lou Holtz



After many miles of driving, I landed in Rhode Island.  I was in Rhode Island for a brief visit.  I have never been there for a day.  I have to say, “wow!”  It was beautiful!!!  i stayed overnight in Jamestown.  I loved the Jamestown Bridge and it was beautiful to drive over at night with the lights on.  I felt like I was going to Hollywood.  I really enjoyed the drive from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and it did not seem like it was really long.  I think it took me about 6 hours and a tank and a quarter of gas. 


I was a little disappointed I could not stay for the awards at the Chambersburg Half Marathon.  I grabbed my medal, chugged some chocolate milk, and ran to my car.  It turns out I was fourth place by about 50 seconds.  I wish I had known how close it was and I would have pushed harder.  I guess I have to learn how to build endurance.  I am happy that I was able to do decent in both races, though I am still far from my pr of 1:37.  I am frustrated, but I will get there.  My time for Chambersburg was 1:55:40 and the girl who was third was 1:54:59.  It was very hilly, but I am glad  I had the hills Saturday.


ImageThe Tappan Zee Bridge…really neat!  Outside of NYC


ImageI was told I should match.  I did for a little while, but I had to go back and change because it was only 30 outside.  I threw my Ironman shirt on and it totally did not match with my purple headband. 













ImageI finished in 1:51:59.  The course read that I finished in 13.3 miles.  I thought that my watch was pretty accurate for the most part.  I did better than the last race, but this was a really flat course for us New Yorkers.  I laughed when I thought there would be hills.  I think there was one hill maybe.  It was cake.  I loved this course and there were water stops every mile.  I snuggled in my warm fleece I got for free at the end.  I did not stay for food, but chugged some coffee.  There were plenty of munchies and the people were very nice.  I would love to do this race again!!!!  If you volunteer here, I hear you get a free race entry.  I ran into some ladies from the Half Fanatics and Marathon Maniac Clubs.  Great Gals!!!!  I love the running scene.  I get excited when people talk about me winning, but I am just not back to where I was before competitively…but I argue that I enjoy it more now than I did before.  It was nice to enjoy the scenery and talk to people….I almost forgot to tell you…when I ran the Chambersburg Half, the sign of the day went to the girls who help up, “Keep it up Random Strangers!”  Funny!!!!!!!  I love spectators!