Saturday, November 16, 2013

hi ho, hi ho...

It's back to work I go.

I started back on Tuesday. It was rough.
The kids have the attention span of a gnat.
They talk a lot.
They tattle.
They whine.

They also give hugs all day long, which is pretty sweet.

Wednesday was rougher.
I was already tired.
I wanted to play with my baby girl.
I didn't want to fight for the attention of my students.
I hate school fundraiser assemblies.
I didn't want anyone else to ask me whether I was glad to be back. (No.)


Thursday was a little better.
My students and I started working on a plan to get them speaking Spanish in the classroom.
We moved forward a tiny bit in math.
We (finally) went to the computer lab.
We still had some rough moments, especially in the afternoon.

Friday was a little better still.
It was Friday.
There was enough Spanish spoken for the kids to earn their reward.
They tattled a little less.
My team teacher sent one to the office right before he would have been in my room.
Lots of students got dismissed early.
It was Friday.

Today is fantastic.
It's Saturday, and I'm hanging out with the Peanut.

Monday, October 14, 2013

i am...

disappointed that sweet hubby doesn't start his second job today, as originally planned, but next week....that's one more week without the little extra to help get us back into the black...but also pleased that sweet hubby is going to be working more so that i can continue maternity leave for these next four weeks

in disbelief that i return to school in less than four weeks. (also: sad about it. but trying not to dwell on it....trying to focus on re-learning how to wake up at 5 a.m. and stay alert for the rest of the day without napping before 4 p.m., and teach a baby to go start a long sleep before 12 p.m....ha!)

listening for Peanut to wake up from her nap

planning to help mama pack up more of my grandma's things later this afternoon

able to button my pants, for the first time since december!

expecting a little bit of fabric fun to come in the mail in the next few days -- wet bag for the diaper pail, and maybe (hopefully!) a couple of new diapers for the Peanut, if there is enough fabric left over and i can figure out how to sew them without wanting to break the sewing machine

waiting for the diaper laundry to dry

reading and enjoying the "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" series (while feeding the Peanut)

SOOO excited to have talked the family into a beach weekend

worried about my mama -- she's been having chest pain and shortness of breath, and failed her EKG stress test on Wednesday...next Monday she'll have a heart cath done, and we'll know more after that....but until then, it's lots of prayer (and probably after, too)



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

i am...

feeling a little calmer about finances (at the moment, but probably not long term)

listening to the birds chirp outside

snuggled in my pjs -- flannel and a sweatshirt! Oh, my, fall has arrived!

getting SO close to cleaning off the bookcase in the living room

also close to pulling the boxes of my pre-pregnancy clothes down to find some warmer clothes that fit me now that the baby is born

excited to take Peanut to supper with my hallway team from last year

still avoiding thinking about going back to school -- even though more than half of my maternity leave is already over (boooooo)

thankful that sweet hubby is trying hard to work with a menu for the week and a small, small grocery budget

hearing dinosaur noises coming from the baby's room -- she must be stirring from her nap

blessed beyond measure to have my parents close by to keep the baby when sweet hubby and i want to take a trip to target (returns, then groceries...we returned more than we bought yesterday, which felt like a win!)

planning to return to yoga class for the first time post-birth tomorrow -- and hoping that my body doesn't simply fall apart from it after such a long break (and the birth of a baby!)

going to get that Peanut now!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

i am...

totally freaking out about finances (and my poor financial decision making skills which have led to this freaking out)

listening to the baby maybe sleep?

waiting to move the diapers into the dryer

looking forward to seeing some really good friends this weekend (only how many more days to go?)

encouraging sweet hubby to take a second job, if he can find another that works with his schedule

hoping hoping hoping not to end my maternity leave early just because of a (BIG) miscalculation (and getting weepy at the prospect)

addressing baby announcements

fixing some lunch (sandwich and fruit, how exciting!)

going to enjoy (as much as possible!) staying in my pajamas all day and staring at my beautiful little peanut's face

Sunday, September 15, 2013

i am...

waiting for the baby to wake up

skipping church (at the university...we went to big church this morning, with the peanut, and she slept through most of it, until my mama passed her to my sister...and she got very fussy, since i couldn't feed her in church and it was close to the end and I was sitting on the very inside of the pew, during the sermon, and then she had to wait until we were seated at the restaurant to have a go at her bottle...which she doesn't like...and the whole afternoon has been a little more difficult than normal...)

hoping that i can do a better job anticipating Peanut's eating schedule since we stayed home from church and the distractions that being out and about bring with it

wearing my third outfit of the day -- church, pjs, and more pjs...being a mom is messy

so glad that my family like to spend time with the Peanut

observing a subtle shift from us always stopping by my parents' house to them often stopping by ours

wondering how long we get to keep the pretty pink bow on the front door

wishing i had a magic wand to clean the house and do the million and four loads of laundry each day

thinking about whether i should try to eat supper before i wake up the Peanut to feed her (probably a smart idea)

going to go find something to eat

Thursday, September 5, 2013

She's here!

(Um, ok....I'm officially totally behind. She's been here for two whole weeks already!)



This was the day we came home from the hospital -- my family had put up a welcome home sign for the baby, bought us lunch, and marveled with us over how tiny our little girl (5 lbs 13 oz!) looked in a doll's dress and the bonnet my dad had bought for me to wear home from the hospital so long ago.

Baby girl is already growing -- she was up past her birth weight at her two week check up, and her toothpick legs are starting to fill out just a tiny bit.

We are SO IN LOVE.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

waiting for baby

Still waiting for baby....

I survived the teacher work-week before students return to school, but won't go back on Monday (when students start). I think my long term sub (LTS) will do a great job in my absence, and I'm very blessed that she is an enthusiastic worker with teaching experience, a daughter in the immersion program, and a good relationship with the technology specialist at my school who used to teach immersion and has offered to share her materials and expertise with both the LTS and me.

I passed my due date -- so far just by one day, but we'll see how many more. Baby girl is not seeming to make any progress whatsoever in trying to escape my belly. She'll be evicted on Wednesday if she chooses not to appear before then.

Sweet hubby helped me clean up and put away the last round of baby gifts from a shower last weekend, clean the kitchen, and in general straighten up the house this morning. I'm so glad he understands that I just can't really bend over very well with my big belly and that I get winded so quickly, with the baby pushing up into my lungs all the time.

We're going to have a little date this afternoon to see "The Butler" even though the reviews I've heard have been mixed. This may (hopefully!) be our last chance to have a date for a while -- we're both hoping, at this point, that the baby comes sooner rather than later.

Friday, August 9, 2013

last vacation day before...

Today is technically the last day of vacation before teachers head back to school in my district. I know we still have Saturday and Sunday, but those don't count as days of vacation, in my mind.

I met my long term sub yesterday -- she seems very nice, very energetic, and very enthusiastic. Easy to get along with and willing to learn/listen to how I typically do things/get things done. She and my partner teacher moved all the desks around in my classroom, which makes the room look *almost* ready for students. (I think this is pretty amazing, since yesterday was the first time I've returned to my classroom since I left it in June!)

Since it is so close to the beginning of school, there were many other teachers at school, too -- it was nice to see friends I haven't seen since June, and some of them were so surprised and excited to see my Peanut belly! I can't believe that my due date is next Friday! (Don't be surprised if Peanut is NOT here on Friday, though! There are no signs that she is ready to be born!)

I've been trying to make progress on my pre-baby to-do list:

1. Pack hospital bags (for both me and Peanut)
2. Wash cloth diapers
3. Hang artwork
4. Move sweet hubby's chest of drawer's into Peanut's room
5. Move chest of drawer's from Grandma's apartment into our room for sweet hubby

6. Move rocking chair from Grandma's to Peanut's room
7. Finish crocheting Peanut's blanket (whoops...I probably should have been working on this for a while now)
8. Meet with long term sub
9. Get classroom ready for long term sub/students
10. Check up with doctor today
11. Hair cut today
12. Celebrate being excused from jury duty!


I should probably add more items to the list, but I don't really want to....so I'm going to pretend that this is everything!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

the house is quiet!

The friends have returned to Chile!

There are so many things to do here, now that we have our space back to ourselves....I'm not sure sweet hubby is going to think that they all need to be accomplished as quickly as I'd like for them to be, but this will be rush-nesting at its finest, I'm sure.

To do:
1. Pack hospital bags (for both me and Peanut)
2. Wash cloth diapers
3. Hang artwork
4. Move sweet hubby's chest of drawer's into Peanut's room
5. Move chest of drawer's from Grandma's apartment into our room for sweet hubby
6. Move rocking chair from Grandma's to Peanut's room
7. Finish crocheting Peanut's blanket (whoops...I probably should have been working on this for a while now)
8. Meet with long term sub
9. Get classroom ready for long term sub/students
10. Check up with doctor today
11. Hair cut today
12. Celebrate being excused from jury duty!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

i am...

up early, but not as early as the friends and sweet hubby, who left the house at 6 a.m. to look for google chromecast (? is that right?) in a nearby bigger city

hoping the kitty stays on the arm of the chair, rather than on top of the baby bump this morning

thinking about finishing up a sewing project (a swaddle wrap with velcro for Peanut)

not sure whether the sewing machine is working correctly after the needle got stuck several times yesterday afternoon, not sure i want to fight with it if it isn't

enjoying the quiet of having the house to myself this morning and not being along for the long car ride, best buy, and possibly ikea

wondering how long Peanut is going to stay in my belly, as we are now in her birth-day-month! eep!

making a really long and impractical to-do list of things that ought to be accomplished before Peanut arrives (should packing a hospital bag go on the top of the list? things at the top are more likely to happen, right?)

eating sopaipillas with manjar for breakfast

not thrilled about jury duty starting on monday morning; hoping that they will take one look at my extra pregnant belly and send me home for the week

avoiding checking my school email account since this is the last week and a half of vacation before returning to the chaos of preparations, meetings, and negotiating exactly when to begin maternity leave (before kids come back, use up some days of maternity leave before Peanut arrives, or suffer through a week or so with kids and then be out for the full maternity leave the day i go into labor?, and working this all out with the long term sub and my principal who says she wants what is best for me but really wants what is easiest for her...)

trying not to count down days until Peanut's due date, trying not to think in terms of so many weeks left, trying to be flexible and easygoing as the unpredictability of my life increases infinitely with each passing day (and i know it will continue to increase with Peanut's birth, too -- maybe this crazy summer has just been a little mind bending preparation?)

counting down the days until the friends head back to chile and i have sweet hubby back to myself (not to mention the house, space to organize and clean and prepare for Peanut, and the furniture that will be coming from my grandma's apartment to our house, and going back to work after not really feeling like summer was all that relaxing this year, despite some wonderful times at the beach...)

off to get started fighting with the sewing machine

Friday, July 26, 2013

i am...

waiting for my hair to dry a little bit on its own before i blast it dry with hot air in this already feels-too-warm-even though the AC is set lower than normal house

glad the contractor showed up after i had gotten out of the shower and was almost dressed, rather than while i was in the shower or not nearly dressed....also glad i've known him for a long, long time, so it was less awkward to yell "just a minute" from my closed bedroom door while hurrying to find shorts and t-shirt and not brushing my wet hair

thrilled to have new rafters, a new roof, and a new ceiling in the dining room

not thrilled to pay for the new rafters, roof, and ceiling in the dining room

thrilled that it shouldn't rain inside my house again anytime soon

slowly waking up after a morning nap, or moving very slowly this morning

not packed or ready to go to the mountains this weekend

excited to share sliding rock with sweet hubby and the friends from Chile who are visiting, as the official photographer for the outing, and not have any pressure whatsoever on me to slide in the freezing cold water

sad to have left the beach for what is most likely the last time before the baby is born, even though she's not due for another 3 weeks (and I don't expect her to be born before or on her due date, either!)

happy to have enjoyed the beach very thoroughly for the few days we were there -- swimming in the ocean, boat ride, outlet shopping (I bought NOTHING!!! go me!), private beach, winery (they served me sprite and chocolates while the friends had their tasting!), and an hour long swim off the dock at high tide with sweet hubby, just floating in the perfectly still water and enjoying each other's company

a little bit annoyed that we have house guests (the friends) for the next week and a half while i'd rather be doing baby related nesting projects....and they are staying in the baby's room

trying to live in the moment and enjoy the friends' visit, since they are the 2nd and 3rd people to ever visit us here in the states in the 8 years sweet hubby has been living in the states (7 years of marriage).

doing my best not to be grumpy when i have super swollen feet, am hungry or thirsty, and need to go to the bathroom for the millionth time while the friends or sweet hubby are still enjoying being tourists

getting used to looking at the baby swing now set up in our living room

waiting for a few packages of cloth diapers to arrive in the mail

finished writing thank-you notes for the big baby shower last week

puzzling over the polite way to tell a good friend that i don't want her to come and/or bring her family to see me/help out a week after the baby is due (especially since i don't think the baby will actually be here yet, and i think my family would like to have first dibs on the initial helping out)

eager to meet the baby already and simultaneously anxious about the changes that are coming when she is born

having a very hard time keeping her name to myself -- i think it so often, i'm afraid i'll just blurt it out by accident sometime soon

going to go dry my hair now

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

i am....

listening to the roofers bang around above me

so tired of not sleeping well at night, but know i am nowhere near as tired as i'll be once Peanut is born

debating whether i need to eat another triple chocolate cookie or not (probably "or not", but it's likely i'll eat it anyway)

excited to have a mom-car now

overwhelmed by the past two weeks of my life...grandma, time at the beach with cousins, the family dog dying, new roof, new car, a wonderful woman from church dying...so many ups and downs

thinking about putting away some more baby things, especially those given to us at sweet hubby's work shower on sunday night

also considering putting away my target purchases from this morning -- shampoo and lotion and such to get me through the first few months of not wanting to go to the store and not wanting to describe the products i prefer in great detail to sweet hubby

waiting for the contractor to tell me how much extra it will cost to have new rafters installed above the dining room

wanting to take a nap but not sure the noise level around me will allow it

avoiding preparing for the math training at school tomorrow

not planning to do anything to make the kitchen more presentable -- not unloading the dishwasher and not reloading it, not washing anything from the sink....hoping sweet hubby will do it later tonight

going to lie down and count the month of days until Peanut is here (eep! one month until the due date!)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Grandma


This is a picture, from probably 20 years ago, of my grandma.

She passed away one week ago.

It was a surprise, but also not a huge surprise.

Grandma was a fixture throughout my childhood, teen years, young adulthood, and she was very excited about Peanut.

She outlived her husband by 27 years; most of that time she lived alone, in the house they had built together when my dad was a boy.

A few years ago, as her health was declining, and her driving skills were becoming more and more questionable, we helped her move into an apartment in a retirement home/assisted living/nursing home facility where seniors move in while independent and then can later be transferred throughout the facility into higher levels of care as needed.

Grandma never moved from the apartment, but she did acquire round-the-clock sitters who would help her with meals and dressing and all sorts of things.

She began using a walker or a wheelchair to go out.

Sitting for long periods of time began to bother her.

Her eyesight was so poor she could no longer enjoy reading, a frequent pass-time of hers. She had surgery a couple years ago to remove the lense placed in her eye during a cataract surgery when it had fallen/slipped loose -- she had outlived the normal life span of the cataract surgery.

When she first heard that I was engaged to sweet hubby, she said, "I'd like to be happy for you, but that (Chile) is too far away." She was thrilled when we moved home to get married, and sweet hubby became one of her favorite visitors.

She kept the little stuffed dog that my sister gave her for christmas or her birthday one year a long time ago, that had batteries and yapped and did a flip after barking at you, even after it stopped working, and moved it with her to the retirement home.

The year I started college, after Thanksgiving dinner, she pulled me aside for a serious conversation. "I'm very worried about you not joining a sorority. How will you meet men?"

Sweet hubby and I went to visit her at her house shortly after sweet hubby had arrived in the states. She had me try on her engagement ring, and offered to leave it to me one day, since she didn't think sweet hubby would ever be able to afford to buy me one. When she had her eye surgery, she was so worried she went ahead and gave me the ring. (I wear it, too -- it is a beautiful ring!)

She taught my siblings and me to play canasta when we were little, and also how to shuffle. My students are constantly in awe of my card shuffling skills.

Though her tongue could bite, at heart were always the best intentions -- corrections of letters mailed to her from summer camp, with the intention of us having better grammar or spelling; constant reminders of manners at the dinner table; flagging down my friends to have them return and make their beds at the beach house....She had character and an interesting (unconventional) way of showing her love for us.

She will be greatly missed.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

ups and downs

beginning of the week: up
1. extra day at the beach
2. yoga with mama, twice
3. normal check up for baby and me
4. lunch with mama and sister
5. plans to return to beach for 4th of july holiday
6. positive meeting with 2nd grade team

turning point: about 12:30 p.m. wed. july 3

down
1. grandma (aged 96) passed away
2. rushed overnight trip to beach to clean house and pack up clothes -- less than 24 hours
3. sleepless nights
4. mangled nursing top by trying to use double needle in new sewing machine (hopefully no permanent damage to machine, only to top)
5. downpour inside dining room/leaking chimney (again), 1 hour before visitation for grandma
6. trying to find someone to put tarp on roof during rain, holiday weekend, and visitation
7. long term sub canceled for fall

it's turned into a rough week.

hopefully it will feel less stressful SOON.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Please pray.

A friend of mine from college has a twin sister. Her twin sister's husband is seriously ill with stage 4 melanoma and is having an averse reaction to his current treatment. PLEASE PRAY FOR THE HILL FAMILY. You can read more about them here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

change of plans

*warning -- pregnant rambling ahead!*

I should be at the beach right now, but I'm not.

I was at the beach last week, as planned, but it was a little harder to have adventures than planned.

Sweet hubby, late at night, the night before he was supposed to drive to the beach with my sister, had a little accident.

He dislocated his shoulder.

For the fourth time.

My sister drove him around town (discapacitated with one arm immobilized and the remnants of a morphine high from the ER) to take care of some odds and ends, and then drove him to the beach for family beach week.

He finally has an appointment with an orthopedist today, where I'm sure there will be discussion of surgery to stabilize his shoulder, before we head back to the beach tomorrow for our annual college friends beach reunion, which would be impossible to reschedule. Canceling (unless there are extreme circumstances) would waylay the vacation plans of two of my college best friends, since they count this trip as their summer vacation and plan for it all year.

I'm fairly certain that surgery would knock sweet hubby out of work for the rest of the summer, which would drastically change our budgeting for maternity leave. (Not to mention paying for the surgery itself....but that is a different story.)

I'm also unclear on how well sweet hubby will follow a physical therapy routine. He didn't follow a physical therapy routine the last time he dislocated his shoulder, or the time before that, or, as far as I know, the time before that either. He starts off with good intentions, and then it all just falls to the wayside. I know this is a common experience for many people, and I'm only sort of judging....It just seems to me that if one knows he has a preventable problem, he would take steps to prevent it....but in sweet hubby's case, that doesn't usually happen.

I love the man -- there is no question about that. I do, however, frequently become annoyed at his "leave it for later" attitude, which results in running out of groceries because he didn't feel like going to the grocery store before noon and had other obligations all afternoon, or waiting until later to mow the grass and a thunderstorm popping up so he can't get it done, or leaving the laundry until there are four or five loads that need to be washed all in one day, or waiting until the day the assignment is due to work on it for class....I wish there was some way to instill a sense of "work before play" into a grown man, without ever feeling like I was nagging him or pressuring him or acting like his mom.

I have my days, too, not to pretend that I am perfect -- no one always gets the laundry done as soon as a basket is full, or always grocery shops so that certain essential items never run out, or is always ahead of the weather to mow the lawn, or completely ahead on school assignments...but there are people who do a little bit better on the prioritizing of how to spend hours of the day, and are a little bit better prepared for life in general because of it.

So I'll take sweet hubby to this appointment today, where the doctor will probably request an MRI (and therefore another two appointments must be scheduled -- one with a radiologist, another follow up with the orthopedist), there will be discussion of surgery, and I will be frustrated at the suggestion of the doctor that sweet hubby will need to follow a strict regimen of physical therapy (with or without surgery, the shoulder must be rehabilitated), and sweet hubby will nod his head and enthusiastically agree that he will do the exercises every! day! and after we are home (or at the beach, or wherever), he will not do the exercises ever.

And then I will have a new baby girl that he cannot hold because he failed to take care of his body.

Again.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

i made it!

I survived the last week of school!

We had some friends over for a celebration last night -- grilled burgers, corn on the cob, sweet tea, strawberry shortcake...it was a nice night to sit out on the porch and chat and catch up.

My brother totally surprised me by inviting his girlfriend to come -- his girlfriend he had NEVER EVER mentioned before (but whom we thought might exist due to his occasional "other plans" with unmentioned and unexplained people and circumstances -- he is a very VERY private person). Sweet hubby and I were happy to meet her -- and glad to see my brother looking so content with her, too. Now comes the real challenge -- not telling my other family members that I've met her, nor acknowledging that she exists, until my brother does first! (He is an EXTREMELY private person -- I'm pretty sure he wanted to introduce the girl to me and my sister before introducing her to my parents, who will probably read a lot into the relationship that may or may not be there. But I'm guessing it is pretty serious this time, since the last girlfriend we met was over ten years ago.)

Unfortunately, I think I over-did it during party preparations. I've woken up with a severe pain in my sternum/ribs, which Dr. Google is telling me sounds an awful lot like "costochondritis" -- swelling and inflammation of the joints between the ribs and the sternum. Ugh. I think it was the dish-washing -- holding my arms with a (light) weight in front of me at a funny angle for a while...I could feel some back pain during the dish washing, but it was nothing compared to the pain I woke up with super early this morning. It hurts to raise my arms certain ways and to breathe really deeply. I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow morning (already scheduled) so I'll mention this and see if she has any suggestions -- the last time this happened, I thought I was just sleeping in a funny position with my arms, and sweet hubby and I went to target and picked out "Fred/Frida" -- the amazingly comfortable body pillow that occupies one third of our bed. I'm hopeful that I just over exerted myself yesterday and that the upcoming three weeks I'll be spending at the beach, relaxing, will give my body time to get back to normal. And I might beg off of dish duty until after Peanut is born.

I'm extremely excited to head to the beach tomorrow, after my appointment. I'll be "chaperoning" my godsisters -- aged 22 and 16 -- who have summer jobs at the beach while their mama stays home to work. And at the end of the week, I'll head up to my family's beach house for another couple of weeks -- watch out sweet hubby -- the baby belly will be huge by the end of my beach time!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

so close....

yet it feels so far away...
3 more school days with students, 1 teacher workday (on a Saturday, no less)....

and then summer.

I'm looking forward to:
sleeping in
beach time
pool time
lazy days
sewing time
setting up Peanut's nursery
wearing shorts
reading for pleasure
family time
sweet hubby having to wake up before me
lots of napping
friends from Chile visiting
PEANUT!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

i am...

8 days away from summer vacation

waiting for the appraisal-man to come and appraise the property next door, so that i can discuss finances with the finance man on thursday and hopefully make an offer on the property by the end of next week

missing the beach after a wonderful, relaxing, fun weekend with my family

watching my alien stomach move like crazy as Peanut dances on the inside

sad that the smoothie-blender-cup got stuck in the smoothie-blender-motor-base, so both are stuck in the fridge until sweet hubby gets home from getting some allergy shots (and finishing his work day, too)

excited to see sweet hubby's boss during career day at my school tomorrow, talking to my students about her job as an interpreter, and hopefully in spanish

hopeful that sweet hubby will remember to buy a new gallon of paint for Peanut's room so that my little sister can paint the room (again) on friday, since the second gallon was originally left untinted and got mixed with the first gallon....

dreading having a teacher evaluation written on me by my principal tomorrow during career day activities when i have the "art" rotation (draw a picture of a career for a guessing game), but tomorrow would still be better than friday field day movie time

constantly kicking sweet hubby out of bed by accident with my gigantic but super comfortable body pillow taking up too much space or whacking him on the head

tired of the mess of my house being totally out of order from Peanut's stuff in piles everywhere when it should be put away in her room already

sleepy, sleepy, sleepy, but trying hard not to nap so i can sleep better at night

ordering some more shorts for the summer, since the ones i ordered before are too tight on my rear (funny how my entire body has expanded much more than i ever thought possible even though my doctor keeps telling me i've gained the perfect amount of weight)

cleaning out my teaching files and materials to make space for everything that comes with the new grade level

Thursday, May 23, 2013

10 more days of school!

And every one of them....
will be soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo long.

But I can put one more finger down after each one of them, starting tomorrow.

This is cause for celebration!

Monday, May 20, 2013

I'm going with: or not. And I'll finish up by counting some blessings. It won't be all bad.

On the progress front.

I can't seem to get unstuck from the hurt of the way the whole situation at school with changing grade levels was handled.

I don't really want to leave my job for a whole year, or for forever, either.

I don't really want to stay at a job where I don't trust my boss, either.

I'm zero degrees closer to making a decision.

I don't seem any closer to forgiveness, either, although I think that it is probably necessary (and probably, eventually, the better choice).

I still have mean thoughts in my heart and my head -- especially a strong desire for the teacher/principal to experience great failure with this "experiment" that they are forcing me to be a part of. Not that I want my part to be a failure -- I just want that teacher to experience failure so great that she doesn't recover from it easily.

I don't think it is a good thing for me to want bad things for other people. I don't WANT to want bad things for these people, but I haven't been able to move forward. I don't know if it is the pregnancy hormones making me hold on to this for longer than I should, or an inherent character flaw, but something is holding me in this place of anxiety and anger that I don't really want to be in any longer.

I think, in general, I'm suffering some anxiety from feeling very out-of-control. I was feeling secure with the idea of teaching the same thing, at the same school, with the same expectations, while allowing for the freedom/lack of control of not knowing exactly how things will go when my daughter arrives. Having that idea of stability was apparently holding me together more than I realized. Having it removed has let me fall apart much more than I think is healthy for me, and unfortunately my response is not always to turn to God in trust.

As silly as it might be, in the long run, it is the little things that are undoing me -- a pretty decent school day followed by the news that the second of the two gallons of paint for the nursery was actually not tinted, three weeks after sweet hubby had originally planned to have the room painted and cleaned back up for me to re-start clearing it out. I can't get to the sewing stuff that I actually feel ready to work on....I can't figure out what to do with some of the furniture that we don't want to leave in the room but don't have space for anywhere else....Overall, I'm just feeling anxious and out of control.

I need to get back to remembering the good things -- the blessings. So here are a few from today/the weekend.
1. Supper with roommate -- just the two of us. Good time with a good friend.
2. 4 out 14 students in my poorly behaved group of students were absent/dismissed early today. This was truly cause for celebration!
3. Another teacher offered me (for free!) a barely-used car seat and extra base.
4. The owner of the vacant lot next door is interested in selling, and my mama's realtor neighbor suggested a very helpful real estate attorney to help me in the process of making an offer.
5. Sweet hubby spent some time putting away science and math materials from my classroom and backing up computer files for me on Saturday.


That's a bunch of blessings. There are more, I'm sure, but those are the ones that come to mind the quickest.

And now, it's time to pray for the tornado victims in Oklahoma.

Friday, May 17, 2013

progress, or not

There was a cookout for teachers during our lunch today -- I ate the lunch sweet hubby had packed for me, anyway, since I don't eat hamburgers or hot dogs (I eat turkey burgers, or chicken burgers, or chicken-dogs, but no red meat or pork products). The insurance/retirement guy was there with ice cream sundaes for all of us -- I guess I met with him in either december or january, and he didn't know I am expecting a baby! He was a little bit surprised. I can't remember exactly when I met with him, but I might not have even known I was pregnant yet! It blows my mind how much has changed in the past six months!

In a couple of weeks, I'll meet with a financial adviser to talk about the feasibility of taking long-term child care leave after maternity leave in the fall. I'm sure it will depend partly on me learning to stick to a budget, and partly on how many hours sweet hubby works this summer and fall (while I'm out on maternity leave), and partly on a little bit of luck/blessing.

So far, though, simply knowing that I have the option of deciding that I can't handle returning to work next year and leaving Peanut at home/daycare while I struggle through creating/translating/finding/learning new material and working with younger, less independent students has made me much more accepting of changing grade levels. My partner teacher keeps coming up with new things to put on our "pros" list -- not having certain other teachers' kids, working with a new team of younger teachers (two of whom are young moms, too), no state mandated standardized testing, etc. I'm hoping that sweet hubby will spend some time with me in the classroom cleaning out third grade materials, putting away things that are mine and won't be shared, saving all the files that I painstakingly created and translated to flash drives and an external hard drive, then wiping them from my school computer/school network, since I'm going to be a witch and not share with the teacher who requested the move.

I'm in the process of setting up a meeting with the recommended teacher from another school -- hopefully she will be open to me copying all of her computer files and such, and picking her brain about what I can expect from this new age group, especially as far as language and math skills are concerned.

I'd still rather stay in my current grade level, but clearly that is not one of my options at the moment.

My hallway team and a few other teacher friends hosted a baby shower for me and Peanut on Wednesday afternoon. I was impressed by the number of gifts that came off my registry -- it made me think that I did a good job in choosing things and also that I chose a store that is convenient enough for lots of different people. When I was getting married, my mama insisted I register at certain stores, but I wanted to register at others, so I ended up being registered at something like 5 or 6 different places -- and we received the most random assortment of things we didn't really want. I'm hoping that won't happen this time -- if Wednesday's shower was any indication, it will be much better!

I've come down with a little bit of a cold, or a relapse of allergies -- a persistent tickle in the back of my throat by day and stopped up sinuses by night. I hope it doesn't last long. I've started eating the honey again, even though I'm not a huge fan of honey.

Tomorrow is operation "kill the vines" in our backyard -- I'm hopeful that I can convince sweet hubby to complete this operation while I'm at yoga with my mama tomorrow morning, since I'd rather not actually participate in the yard work.

And here we are at 27 weeks!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

options

I have options!

I feel like there is a light at the end of a dark and stressful tunnel!

I met with the HR lady today about maternity leave, and she presented me with an option of which I had previously been unaware.

As you know, I've been moved to a different grade level for next year, taking the place of the teacher who requested to move into my current spot, and who is known to not actually use appropriate materials for immersion in her classroom, and also being required to work hand in hand with this teacher to let her "help" me adjust to the new grade level at the same time as I'm more concerned with spending time with my baby girl.

I've been very upset about it. Many sleepless nights, some pleas for help and assistance, grudging enlistment of another immersion teacher at my school (and perhaps forthcoming another teacher at a different school), lots of tears, a conference with the director of the immersion program, more tears....and now I finally feel like I have an option.

Did you know that beyond FMLA there are provisions for long term child care?

I had no idea!
Apparently, if I choose, I can take the WHOLE YEAR (unpaid).

THE WHOLE YEAR.

Without resigning.
Without breaking contract and risking unemployment the year following.
Without having to look for a new job.
(Ok, yes, without receiving pay beyond the vacation/sick days I've accumulated over the past four years.)
Without having to work with the teacher I am dreading working with, who has put me in this whole position to start with.
Without having to stress out about whether teaching materials are translated into Spanish.
Without having to spend lots and lots of time away from my baby girl.

There are still some details that need to be considered (like, a year of no pay) before any decisions are made.

But this feeling of having options?

It is amazing.

Pray that I will find the right information at the right times to make the right decision.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I have some great parents.

And I'm not just talking about my biological parents, or sweet hubby's, or our godparents, either.

I'm talking about the parents of my kids at school.

(They are mine. I claim them. As much as they drive me crazy, drive each other crazy, drive other teachers crazy....they are mine.)

They organized a baby shower at school so that my kids could help me celebrate Peanut.

There was pizza and cake and games and candy prizes and picture taking and a generous gift card, too.

It was loud and the kids were silly, but I think they were happy, too.

Now, if only the printer would print the thank you notes I've been drafting....

Thursday, May 9, 2013

i am...

still hoping the situation at school will resolve itself soon, although it seems that maybe i need to just get used to the idea of moving grade levels at the same time i have my first baby.

watching bad tv since the internet connection was too slow for netflix.

feeling the baby kick.

not excited about teaching tomorrow after three days of state testing.

also hoping i have enough activities planned for our wacky schedule at school tomorrow.

thinking the baby shower my students are having for me tomorrow will be cute.

covered in cat hair from my furry sweet kitty.

constantly checking my email in hopes of good news (i.e. the news that i won't actually be changing grade levels next year) but not really receiving the news i want.

enjoying a peanut-butter-fudge milkshake

thinking that it is bedtime, but with sweet hubby out for the night, it's hard to get myself in bed on time

just about 26 weeks pregnant and totally unable to control my emotions

glad sweet hubby has made plans to paint the baby's room tomorrow (grey -- not exciting, but hopefully pretty)

hoping to have some creative inspiration and follow through this weekend, whether sewing or framing or painting pictures for the baby's room

hoping the clothes i put in the mail to return to old navy arrive and are credited back to me pretty soon

counting down -- after tomorrow, there are four more weeks of school until summer!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

school drama, continued

It was a rough week.

The decision was made on Wednesday.

I didn't sleep more than three hours that night.

I cried a lot, prayed a little, wrote a little, looked up fun pictures to recreate for Peanut's nursery (to try to distract myself).

After I arrived at school on Thursday, I cried some more.

Thursday afternoon, I cried some more.

After I got home from school, I wrote an email detailing my upset to my principal. I sent it to my partner teacher for her opinion, and she said "Don't send it. Don't burn bridges right now." Good thing I didn't listen to sweet hubby, who thought it was excellent and should be sent right away.

Thursday evening, I went out to supper with sweet hubby and the movie night girls -- all of whom had been warned ahead of time not to ask me about school. We had plenty of other things to talk about, and a good time was had by all.

I didn't sleep much again on Thursday night, but I did start to find some gems. The first was this blog post, about knowing when to surrender. It was precisely what I needed to read at 3 a.m.

After reading, I emailed a few of my closest friends and asked for encouragement and advice. I think it helped me just to let a few more people know how much I am suffering mentally from this decision that my principal made. And their words of advice and encouragement, while they incited tears all over again, were wonderful. Their words were just what I needed.

Well, their words, and a get-away.

After my glucose test on Friday morning (I passed! No gestational diabetes!), and a nap, sweet hubby and I headed up to the mountains. It was a rainy, cold, cloudy, grey weekend. Perfect for cuddling up and sleeping.

I needed to sleep. I managed to sleep almost all night on Friday night. I woke up a little early, but was able to write some prayers down and refocus on other things. I started reading Madeleine L'Engle's A Circle of Quiet, which is apparently filled with more gems and ideas that I needed to find. A morning nap was followed by a lazy day -- the only times we left the cabin were in search of food -- lunch, home to nap, dinner. And I slept all night Saturday night -- it felt like quite an accomplishment.

When I woke up, I read a little more, thought a little more, and worked a little bit of Peanut's blanket. While I worked, I listed to Lori McKenna -- one of my favorites of all time -- and heard this new song. Yet another message that I needed to hear.

A couple of hours later, I crawled back into bed for another morning nap.

And now we are home, and I'm starting to feel anxiety once more at the thought of returning to school tomorrow.

But I opened up a blog that I enjoy, and what did I see? A bible verse, as if chosen just for me: "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." -- Exodus 14:14

Tomorrow after school, I meet with the coordinator of the immersion program I teach in. Wednesday after school, I meet with the 1st grade immersion teacher at my school. Hopefully somewhere in there I will find that I no longer need to feel as though I should be fighting.

Pray for me -- that I will be able to relax, to sleep, to focus on what is best for the students who are still in my classroom this year, and that God will be apparent in all of the details.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I'm kind of angry right now.

Not that it will do me much good, because there isn't really anything I can do about it. But I need to vent a little bit, and so I'm going to get started.

The principal of my school just screwed me over because the 2nd grade teacher wanted something she shouldn't have been able to have. What did she want? My 3rd grade position.

I have many concerns about this teacher's teaching practices, especially as they are related to teaching immersion, and also related to her ability to have students actually learn math and science content. The students who arrive to my 3rd grade classroom from her 2nd grade classroom are often lacking in basic skills, both mathematical and language. I have students in my classroom who arrived in 3rd grade immersion without the capability of asking permission to leave the room to use the restroom and without the capability of adding 1 digit numbers. This teacher, who voluntarily teaches in the immersion program, constantly uses resources in English in her classroom, speaks in English with her students, and allows her students to avoid speaking in Spanish (the target language in our program), all the while allowing them to "learn at their own pace" while not actually progressing in any content area nor in their language development.

Yet somehow this teacher, who last year confessed to me that she was barely passing her teacher evaluation, has become the golden child in my principal's eyes. When she suggested that she would like to move up with her class to 3rd grade, my principal, without hesitating, apparently told her that it sounded like a good idea.

I found out about this "good idea" through a rumor little miss perfect started -- she told one friend that she was moving, who told another friend, who told my partner teacher, who asked me whether I knew anything about it -- since according to the rumor, I had agreed to it and thought it was a good idea.

I did not know anything about it, and I did not think it was a good idea.

I still don't think it is a good idea.

I think it is a horrible idea.

Oh, wait. It's not just an idea anymore.

As of our hour long meeting today, during which little miss perfect sucked up to the principal some more, it was decided that not only am I moving to 2nd grade for next year, while I'll be out on maternity leave for the first 12 weeks of school, that little miss perfect will be helping me write my lesson plans.

You know, because she's so perfect and so willing to make this work, because she wants it so badly.

And because somehow she thinks that I will be convinced that it's ok to provide my long term sub with materials that are in English when they should be in Spanish, and that somehow it is ok for me to speak in English to my students (or have my long term sub speak in English), and somehow I would make a great teammate for working together as a vertical team with her and the current 1st grade teacher.

I'd rather peel my skin off with a potato peeler than have to sit in a room with her at any point in the near future and have her act like the expert on teaching 2nd grade immersion, when I have seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears the lack of success she has teaching immersion.

I'd rather pour lemon juice into a paper cut than listen to her whiny voice talking about "how wonderful it would be for the kids" to have the same teacher again next year since she "knows how they learn and where they are academically." It doesn't take long to figure out what kids know and what they should have learned the year before -- I'd prefer to be able to use the materials I've already created, translated, tested, and been successful with than to move to a new set of standards, needier children, more material creation and translation, and a new math curriculum on top of it all.

And this at the same time as I'm having a baby, becoming a mother, and missing the first 12 weeks of school.

If I weren't expecting the baby at the beginning of the school year, I would transfer to a different school, or break my contract and look for a job in a different district....But I'm stuck for this year.

I'm not going to be a good team player.

I'm not going to share all the hard work I put into 3rd grade.

I'm not going to share the resources I collected.

I'm not going to stay late or come in on weekends to get a 2nd grade materials collection started, like I did my first year with 3rd grade.

I will do the bare minimum. I will spend as little time at that school as I possibly can. I will speak in Spanish to those kids, regardless of whether I'm in the classroom, the cafeteria, or happen to see one of them at a restaurant one night. I will teach those kids the best I can for the little effort and time I'm willing to commit to the job, and when the year is almost over, I'll decide whether I want to stay another year -- supposedly moving up to 3rd grade again -- before moving on to another school, another principal, another set of people who might do a better job of acting like compassionate human beings who take other people's experience, opinions, research, and backgrounds into consideration.

My perception of these two people, both the current 2nd grade teacher and the principal, have been forever altered.

One day I'll forgive them. But I won't be forgetting.

I'm a teacher after all. I'm in the business of learning.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

hard things

When I was younger, in middle school, my cousin came to live with us. She had just graduated from college, had found a job, and needed to save up some money for a while to get her life off to a good start. My family lived in town; her family lived an hour or so farther away. Cousin was everything anyone would want for a role model -- pretty, kind, involved in her church, motivated, funny, and on and on. She lived with us for about half of a school year, when she decided that she had saved up enough money and was ready to find a place of her own.

This is the cousin I've always felt closest to, simply because she shared the experience, albeit briefly, of living in the same house I did, with my parents worrying about her comings and goings (no matter that she had lived on her own in college!), watching tv with us at night, grading papers, taking us with her to fun events at her church.

She waited and waited and waited to meet the right man for her -- an excellent example of not compromising her beliefs and trusting in God to provide for her, even though she was 35 before meeting the man of her dreams. They dated for a while, he went away to war, he came back, they were married. A couple years later, she was pregnant with their first baby, one of the cutest I've ever seen. He is healthy, currently about 2 years old, and surely the joy of their family.

Cousin and husband want their family to grow, but after miscarriages and I'm sure other interventions, have decided that their family is only going to grow through adoption. They made the announcement to family and friends, asked for prayers, and set about waiting through the process.

Then comes tax day (this year -- only a week or so ago) and the exciting phone call that a young pregnant woman, expecting twins, has chosen Cousin as the adoptive mom. Twin girls, due date in June, expected mid May -- more or less a month to prepare for this addition to their family. Celebration and hope and joy and relief at prayers answered for this family, this excellent example of God's good work and God's provision. More prayers, too, that the adoption will go as planned, that the birth mother won't change her mind, that the two girls will be healthy.

And my own selfish concern, mixed in, that Cousin will choose the same name I've chosen for my baby girl, due in August. We are traditional enough in our family that we like family names, but not traditional enough to have juniors, thirds, fourths (any more). My own concern, at Easter (before tax day, by a couple weeks this year), of how Cousin would feel seeing my pregnant belly for the first time (though she had known for a little while I was expecting), knowing how hard it was for me to find out and see other people's bellies when I was in the midst of wanting but not being able to have a baby of my own. (Believe it or not, this is not something that we shared with family -- lots of friends, yes, but not family.) My own relief, at finding out her girls would arrive before mine, that something good was happening for her, that my little girl wouldn't be separated from the cousins by so great an age gap as my siblings and I from our cousins. And excitement -- babies are exciting!

So it is with great sadness, my jaw dropped, that I received an email from Cousin this morning, addressed to the same great list of friends and family who had received the exciting news only a week ago, that the birth mother was lying, there are no babies being born to be adopted by my Cousin, the lawyer and social worker were both fooled, and the prayer thought to be answered has, indeed, simply left more questions.

I find myself grieving this loss for my Cousin, yet at the same time wondering if there is any comfort at all that I can offer her, in my present state of having what she so desires. I pray for her, that she truly, as she states, believes that this is part of God's great plan, that this is not the end, that God will provide, that in due time, all will be revealed.

I pray also, though she didn't ask for it, that her heart will be healed.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

i am...

watching the boats go by, under the still grey sky, from the comfort of the old flowered couch in my favorite house on the planet

feeling Peanut's little kicks inside my belly and hoping everything is going the right way in there

uncertain about what the next school year will bring, between a possible grade level change and starting the year either about to pop pregnant or with a long term sub and with a new math curriculum and higher expectations to implement RISC

glad that my partner teacher is 100% committed to being my partner teacher again next year, so that at least that part I can count on

bewildered by the fact that Peanut has been growing in my belly for 24 weeks, and other than the school drama, it has been just about the happiest 24 weeks of my life that I can ever remember

planning to spend almost all day in my pjs, on this couch, with sweet hubby nearby, and maybe do a little housework somewhere in between the lounging (there is so much pollen on the porch of this palace, and so much mildew on the porch furniture, that no one in their right mind would sit out there)

might run around in a bathing suit if the sun decides to come out and play

will continue to wish sweet hubby was ready to paint the baby's room, already, so that I can start decorating it

missing saturday morning yoga with Annie, and next week too, but hopeful that my mama made it there this morning

re-reading The Forgotten Garden, which I thoroughly enjoyed that last time I visited this magical house of lazing and relaxing and just being

curious about whether i will finish the baby blanket i started for Peanut last weekend when I was cleaning out my stash of yarn and found some soft, soft, soft yellow, pink, and white bought several years ago, when babies were additions to my friends' families and not my own

content.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

it's a...

First things first:
It has been forever since I posted any pictures on here. I've basically stopped playing with the camera, and my little computer has slowed down a whole lot in the 3.5 years that it has been my primary source of internet access, and only recently has sweet hubby consented to truly share his (nicer, newer) laptop with me. So I'll finally start with a couple of pictures!


16 weeks

20 weeks

These two pictures don't show a whole lot of difference in the size of Peanut's bump, but I can assure you that the bump is, indeed, getting bigger! It has only been a couple of weeks that people have been telling me they can really tell a difference -- before, I was just kind of getting bigger, and now Peanut is more of a bump than general size increase.

Second things second:
We did find out Peanut's gender! And in time for an Easter reveal!

Here is our (not so lovely from the outside, after all, since the lemon icing kept running and running and running and sliding all over the place) tasty cake:

The little flags say "He peep?" and "She peep?"

Most of my family members are a little bit older than us -- my mama was the youngest of 4 sisters, and only her two oldest sisters had children, and their children have all already had children -- there is only one cousin who knew without us explaining what the cake was about! My uncles kept asking if the two peeps on top meant that there was a boy and a girl -- we reiterated that there is only one baby, not twins!

We all ate Easter dinner before my aunts couldn't wait any more to cut the cake. Here is the inside:

Peanut's a girl!

We are thrilled, of course, and would have been thrilled with a boy, too! We are so excited that so far, Peanut seems to be a healthy little baby -- something we wondered whether we would ever be able to have!

Friday, March 29, 2013

spring break!

It's finally here!

I survived the last four days of school with super crazy kids -- there was a full moon, too! Who planned that? (Definitely NOT me. I think the lunar cycle should be included in the school calendar -- maybe as a long weekend/week off every time there is a full moon. Let parents deal with their crazy, full moon kids -- not teachers. What a week of babysitting!)

And now for the over-achieving list of things I'd like to accomplish this spring break...Oh boy.
1. Shopping trip -- target and others -- for some storage bins, a (belated birthday) gift for my partner teacher, and some other essential items (toilet paper, I'm talking to you) that seem necessary to keep purchasing... And maybe some more maternity wear -- pants other than khaki, black, or jeans, please? I can only wear khaki pants to school so many days in a row before my kids think I only own one pair of pants.

2. Sewing time -- I've got the supplies, I've got the table (mostly) cleared off....Now I need to get the courage up to either trace or cut into the patterns I bought, and then the fabric. Once it's cut, the sewing part is more exciting. I'm afraid I'll cut out the wrong size and not be able to use the pattern again, or that it will turn out so horribly wrong that I will never wear something I spent money and time on making and visualize as being so useful and attractive.

3. Family gatherings -- yoga on Saturday morning, cookie decorating Saturday lunchtime, polka-dot cake making Saturday afternoon, and Sunday gender reveal at extended family Easter! Look for pictures of the aforementioned cake sometime next week!

4. Beach! -- and college friend reunion! with one of my dearest friends from college and her cute little family. This is (hopefully) going to be a GREAT replacement of the disaster that our plans last year to spend part of the week after Easter turned out to be....I was dealing with infertility at the same time she was dealing with too much work and pregnancy (and now I finally understand why she was too tired/overwhelmed to fit the beach in....) and the trip fell through, and our friendship was put way in the background somewhere...we talked about it (and emailed long letters) later in the summer, and both decided that it was time to move forward....and now that I'm so much less jealous of her beautiful little family, I think I will be able to enjoy them so much more! And of course, I've always loved the beach.

5. School work -- a minimal amount, of course, and only enough to keep things going when I get back to school after break. I turned off my computer a little too quickly yesterday afternoon, and forgot to update some scores and comments in our grading/scoring system used for report cards....and they are due on the Monday we get back from break. If I can figure out how to get access to the website from home, I'll take care of it; if not, it can wait until that Monday.

6. Class work -- for the class I'm participating in, on gifted and talented students. Please remind me why I signed up to turn my stuff in at the first class, rather than the last one? Good thing I'm a minimalist for this too -- otherwise it might be stressful. I'm aiming for a C....good enough to pass with credit.

7. Baby room organizing -- there is still a whole lot of stuff stored in the baby's room that needs to be moved out to make space for baby things! In addition to moving things out, it would be fun to spend some time measuring the room, picking out a paint color, figuring out some furniture configurations (we'll be trying to keep the room as both baby's room and guest room -- so some big furniture stays in the room, with the addition of baby's things), and the like.

8. Is it too early to register for baby things? It's almost April, and even though baby is not due until August, most of my showers (school, sweet hubby's work, church friends) will be in May or early June.

9. Bathing suit shopping -- for suits that cover my ever expanding tummy! I'm hoping to spend a LOT of time at the beach this summer, since there are no international trips planned for this summer, and it's so much nicer than the heat of the city I live in in July. And what is the fun of being at the beach is I don't have enough suits to wear a dry one each time?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

next up in the doctor saga....

Tomorrow, sweet hubby and I will go to a genetic counseling appointment.

Even though my doctor (the one I like) said that it wasn't really necessary, we decided that this would be a good opportunity for a couple of reasons....

First of all, we can see whether another practice is run more efficiently than the one the doctor I like works at.
Secondly, we can see whether I like a different doctor better than my current doctor.
And last of all, I'm scheduled for an ultrasound which *might* let us find out the sex of the baby not on April fool's day.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit nervous about the appointment, but overall, I'm pretty excited to have this opportunity to help me decide whether my current doctor is really the best doctor for me in this pregnancy.

And I would LOVE to know whether my peanut is a girl or a boy!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

as usual, i am....

snuggled up with the kitty cat, who is learning to sit on my legs or beside me, instead of on my belly.

thinking about ironing my dress before church

thinking about whether i should go through the box of spring/summer dresses that i put away in the fall to see if any of them fit me now

thinking about whether i'll actually finish pinning the skirt i started hemming yesterday

debating whether the laundry needs to be put away before sweet hubby gets home from brazil this afternoon (probably)

avoiding the pile of dirty dishes in the sink and putting anything else in the kitchen trash so that i don't have to take it out and can leave it for that man of mine who will be home so soon

finished with two whole seasons of "dance academy" after only about a week and a half....all within the time that sweet hubby was away (don't judge....my body is still worn out all the time from growing the baby. and i know i will only be more tired when the baby is actually here).

trying to decide whether to keep the genetic counseling appointment scheduled for march 25 or the ultrasound with my regular doctor on april 1....my sister has offered to make a polka dot cake with polka dots the color of the sex of the baby for our big family easter celebration if we find out before easter, and april 1 is the day after....but my doctor says i don't *really* need the genetic counseling....

thrilled with the weather this weekend, and especially with lounging in the hammock yesterday afternoon for a snooze

hopeful that we are actually past winter and into spring, and that spring will be a long, pleasant season, rather than a short lead in to an exceptionally hot and long summer

starting to wear more maternity clothes since my belly is poking out a lot more now

convincing myself that all of the "project supplies" i pulled out of the closet yesterday should probably go back in before sweet hubby gets home

probably not going to have time to do all the straightening up and cleaning and ironing if i don't get started NOW.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

doctor update

I had a check-up today, with my normal (and much preferred!) doctor.

The wait was long, but I think that is kind of par for the course for scheduling late afternoon appointments -- I know most doctor's offices (of any type) are running behind by the end of the day.

The same kind lab lady was there -- she was surprised to see me -- and expressed happiness that I hadn't changed practices yet.

And my doctor -- my normal, friendly, honest and reasonable doctor, saw me today, and I was able to feel relaxed and calm and properly attended to throughout the appointment....So I'll stay there for now. As long as I'm able to keep scheduling my appointments with her.

And the baby is growing just fine! Heartbeat was 153 today, and the nurse went straight to the right spot with her fancy heartbeat-hearing-wand -- less goop all over my stomach.

In general, a very satisfactory appointment.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

i am...

missing sweet hubby (for another whole week!) while he is in Brazil.

snuggled up with the kitty.

watching a "Dance Academy" marathon (thank you Netflix).

looking at the huge pile of clothes I should be sewing, mocking me from the dining room table

happy about warmer weather, finally!

hoping the time change doesn't throw me off too much.

avoiding folding the clothes in the dryer, and especially putting them away

going to miss my favorite yoga teacher when she moves back to Dallas this summer

not excited about meeting with the parents of two of my discipline problem students next week

glad I got to spend another Saturday running errands with my mama, and have lunch with my siblings, too

thrilled that the local ballet company will be doing a special performance at my school this week

amazed by the extreme quantity of cat hair all over my house

needing a little bit of "get it done" inspiration

showing off my 17 week belly at church this morning in a roomier dress

rearranging and cleaning out my things from the "guest room" so that it can become the baby's room

discovering that I may be a borderline hoarder....must control the urge to keep everything

enjoying having the house to myself for a few days, even though the quiet is a little lonely, and I wish the phone calls were more than 20 seconds of poor quality internet connection

counting down the days until sweet hubby is home!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

i am...

listening to the rain

snuggled up with the kitty cat and a mug of vanilla chai milk

thinking about my dear travel buddy on the day after her birthday, and the hard, hard year she has had, and hoping, hoping, hoping, that this year gets a little bit better for her

wishing for smooth travel for roommate, who is going to visit an old friend, if the rain doesn't cancel her plans

psyching myself up for yoga

planning to purchase notions and get sewing, if the rain doesn't win

totally wrapped up in the silly tv series "Make it or Break it"

a little bit jealous of sweet hubby's ability to sleep past 7:00 a.m. on any day of the week, but especially a saturday

starting week 15 of my pregnancy, and still mostly in disbelief that there is actually a little tiny baby growing in my belly

enjoying the pre-Valentine's flowers sweet hubby brought home to me

Thursday, February 21, 2013

today

Today was a long day.....LOOOOOONG day.

school, supper, school open house....LOOOOOOONG day.

but I think some updating is in order....

I had an appointment on Monday afternoon, which lasted for about 15 minutes after I had waited for 1.5 hours past my scheduled appointment time. I confronted the doctor about it, and he laughed, and said he was frustrated too, but that he wouldn't show up on time. When I asked him what the check-in ladies would say if I showed up 45 minutes late (like he suggested) for my next appointment, he said, "tell them I told you to". He suggested that his nurse would schedule the referral appointment for genetic counseling (and test result review) that they've been putting off scheduling, and she spoke to me personally to confirm that first thing in the morning she would be making the phone call. There were, however, a couple of really good things about the appointment.

Of course, it is always amazing to hear the baby's heartbeat.

It was also amazing that the kind lady who draws my blood without bruising my inner elbow (which I think is a small miracle every single time) got upset about how off my appointments are being scheduled from what they normally do. She had me review all of the appointments I've had since finding out I was pregnant, went over the "normal" schedule of appointments, and let me know that in general, they have been having trouble with scheduling for the past few months at their office. While I was waiting to see the doctor, she went and spoke to the office manager about how badly the scheduling is working out, and they came up with a couple of solutions they were going to try to implement to make things better in the future. And even though she is not even remotely in charge of scheduling, she apologized for the huge mess that all of my appointments so far have been.

Part of my 15 minute conversation with the doctor did have him conclude that something needed to be done to get me back on a more normal appointment schedule, since taking the time to wait at their office every two weeks is just not working out very well for me. He suggested a reasonable transition of 3 weeks (instead of 2) for the next two appointments, after which I should be able to shift to every 4 weeks.

My favorite part, though, is that I told the scheduler I want to see my normal doctor, and she accommodated my request AND confirmed that my normal doctor does a better job of staying on schedule. And I was very specific about when I wanted/needed the next two appointments, to make sure that I can get to less frequent appointments.

Also, the preliminary test results are in, and it's looking less likely that the baby has Down syndrome, which means I'm not stressing out about that as much. And of course, the nurse who said she would schedule the genetic counseling appointment has NOT followed up. But since the preliminary test results are making me feel so much more relaxed, I'm inclined not to pursue the genetic counseling appointment and just wait it out, like most people do.

Another really nice thing that happened on Monday was a "professional development" day at school. The kids had a holiday, and the few of us teachers who did not participate in a summer professional development opportunity had a 1/2 workday in our classrooms, followed by an instructional fair. My art teacher friend and I asked the principal if we really needed to go to the instructional fair, and she basically gave us permission not to go. So we went out to lunch instead, and had a really great conversation. I don't know this teacher very very well yet, but I believe we are forming a friendship. Each time we are able to sit and talk we find out that we have more and more in common.

I got to tell her about the baby, which I was sort of hesitant to do, since I knew that she has been married about the same amount of time sweet hubby and I have been married (almost 7 years!) and doesn't have kids yet. Knowing my own story about kids and wanting them and not being able to have them and how much it hurt to hear that other people were pregnant, I was concerned that she might have her own difficult story. As awkward as it can be to openly talk about infertility and treatment, it is actually another something that we share -- a long journey that is more complicated than most people let on about. I'm not sure if she asked a leading question or if I just kind of volunteered that we have been waiting a long time for this baby, but after I shared my infertility story, she was able to tell me about a miscarriage followed by an ectopic pregnancy and the long path that is still ahead of her. We both had some of the same treatment and diagnostic procedures and we both definitely shared a lot of the same feelings when hearing about other people's pregnancies -- especially the jealousy and that feeling of "when will it be my turn". Being able to have that conversation with her confirmed for me the importance of being careful with announcements and how they can affect others, and I think (and she said) that having this conversation helped her to be genuinely happy for me, rather than jealous, since she could understand the long road to finally being pregnant. I think our conversation might have nudged her to get back in touch with her doctor, too, so if that happens, and she gets pregnant, I will probably cheer the loudest.

School this week has been a challenge -- mostly to stay motivated. I'm still SO TIRED all the time -- I really can't wait for at least a little bit of energy to come back, even if it is only for a couple of months. Tuesday, I had a really hard time waking up at 5:30, but I did make it to school on time. Tuesday night was a lot of fun too -- Wild Woman supper -- a huge group of ladies who are mostly my mama's age get together once a month for supper. It is vaguely related to our church, but there is a lot of wine and a lot of funny/personal/inappropriate story telling that builds fellowship in a way that meeting in a dry church building cannot. After all of the prayer requests, but before the blessing, I shared my happy news and received the LOUDEST screams of joy. It was fantastic! And then I stayed up too late at supper, talking with all of these amazing (slightly older than me) women. Someone suggested that the baby can be their mascot. I think this little baby is going to be WELL LOVED by all.

On Wednesday, my part time student teacher reminded me that she only has one more week, and after school I met with the hearing loss specialist in our school district to coordinate a special lesson for my two classes, since one of my students is about to get hearing aids. And then there was yoga, of course. I sleep very well on Wednesday nights after yoga.

Sweet hubby took a good friend of his to the doctor yesterday, and it turns out it was the flu -- so now sweet hubby is taking Tamiflu as a preventative measure, to make sure that he doesn't bring those nasty germs into the house with his pregnant wife. (I did get a flu shot in the fall, and he was planning to get one, but just hadn't gotten to it yet....)

And today, we had to stay late at school. The teacher across the hall from me had arranged for us to go out to supper with one of our assistant administrators who was transferred to a different school in the middle of the summer, and that was a lot of fun. Heading back to school after that, though, was not so much fun as it felt like torture. We had "student led open house" -- so my partner teacher and I didn't tell our kids much about it, so as not to encourage them to be there, and out of 34 we had 3 stop by with their parents. When they came in, since it was supposed to be student led, we just told them to tell their parents about the things they had around the room -- science posters, projects, games, etc. And when they were finished, they left. And I sat at my computer wishing I could just close my eyes for a little nap....but I didn't. My partner teacher and I were the first from our hallway to actually leave the school tonight. We both live 30 minutes away. I caught myself getting distracted while driving -- but I tried really hard to re-focus, and I made it home safely.

Tomorrow is Friday, my favorite school day of all. We work with kindergarten for 30 minutes (each group! hurray!) and usually have a lot more of a review day than a pushing full steam ahead with new concepts day -- so it is a lot more relaxed and easier to enjoy. Also, we can wear jeans with a school t-shirt, rather than looking a lot nicer, which is so much more comfortable for getting on the floor and doing experiments and things like that. (Plus, I have a new, belly friendly, pair of jeans that I'm excited to wear -- because my old, non-belly friendly jeans were getting really uncomfortable.) And my student teacher will be there in the morning, so I really won't have to teach too much tomorrow! Yay!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

oh, um, hi!

I guess it's been a while.

I've been....angry. Emotional. I'm blaming the hormones and my doctor's office. They get me so riled up, it is ridiculous. After my appointment tomorrow, sweet hubby and I are going to evaluate whether it is time to find a different practice or not.

I have been focused on getting the results back from some prenatal testing, with the problem that the doctor's office doesn't seem to want to schedule a review of the results. It's annoying to have to call them all the time, have them not return my calls, and to give me conflicting information to what the doctors say during my appointments. It has been clouding what should be a joyous and exciting and happy season for me, because we are finally starting to make this pregnancy public and having to worry worry worry at the same time. (Regardless of the testing results, we are keeping the baby -- there is a high chance of Down syndrome -- which is not what we are hoping for, but we'll accept if it is what God is planning for our lives.)

Things I've been doing to not focus on how much I dislike the doctor's office right now:
1. Shopping! Oh, shopping! If only I actually had the money to support my shopping habit! I just ordered a bunch of things online, and I'm sure most of them will have to go back, either because of budget or because of fit. A very sweet friend of mine sent me a box of her maternity clothes, but our bodies are very different shapes. There are several tops that will work (for now, at least), but most of the pants are way too tight for me -- so I'm trying to find a couple good pairs of khakis that I can wear to school, a pair of jeans, and some shorts, since summer here is HOT.

2. Shopping! Yes, more shopping. My mama took me shopping on Friday (school holiday!) with my sister, and they helped me pick out a couple of nice dresses, a skirt, and some tops that are a little more my style/color. The best part? My mama was paying! I get to keep these, for sure, because most of them I tried on with the belly (what an experience!) and because they were gifts.

3. Volunteering for a local production of the Vagina Monologues. Performed around Valentine's day, this show is often used to help raise awareness of women's issues. The local university production is a fundraiser/volunteer recruiter for a sexual trauma service group in town. They provide free counseling for victims of sexual abuse or rape, visit victims in the hospital to walk them through the process, and do so much more in our community. It was encouraging to see a larger number of male audience members this year than two years ago. It gives me hope that attitudes towards women are changing, albeit slowly.

4. Watching "Make it or Break it" on Netflix. Oh, ABC family, you know just how to rope me in -- a little bit of high school drama, a little bit of gymnastics fun, and, thank you Netflix, no commercials.

5. Finally cleaning up the Christmas mess. This means clearing off the dining room table, which will next be set up as a sewing station. New pants? Must be hemmed. New skirts? Must be hemmed. And there is also the fabric and patterns that I splurged on in January, hoping to be inspired to make myself some of my own maternity clothes....I hope I get more inspired soon, soon, soon! I won't be able to make my before-March goal unless I get moving.

6. Telling people, one by one, about the baby! This is probably my favorite, because we've been married for a while (almost 7 years) and this is our first baby. I am LOVING people's reactions, their screams of delight, their impulse hugs, and the smiles on their faces. It is, I think, the BEST distraction of all.

Monday, January 21, 2013

what a great weekend!

Even though I was still battling a cold, we decided to head out to visit our good friends and their babies in Atlanta this weekend.

I'm so glad we decided to go! (And not to postpone the visit!)

We arrived late Friday night, and I more or less went straight to bed.

Saturday morning, I got the baby up when he was crying, and started off a great day of playing with babies and catching up with college friends. The last time we visited was right before we found out we were expecting our baby, so it was exciting to see each other again!

We lounged around in pajamas for a while and then figured it was time to do something. My friend took her 3 year old to a birthday party and I took a nap. A little bit later, we fixed lunch and waited for our other college friend and her family to arrive -- a reunion of the summer beach crowd, in January!

The two older kids (3.5 and 4) are old enough to run around together in the backyard, so we let them do that, while the baby took a nap, and we adults sat around on the patio eating brownies and chatting.

IT WAS PERFECT. Not too hot, not too cold, a little sunny but we were in the shade, all of that good stuff.

We went out to supper and ice cream, then sent the kids to bed and watched a movie.

Sunday morning, my good friend's photographer sister took some pictures of sweet hubby and me -- we never had engagement photos taken, so these were kind of like that -- at a park and then on some train tracks -- hopefully a few of them will be cute. We were looking at it as one of our last chances to get pictures of just the two of us before the baby becomes really obvious -- although I'm sure my little belly will show up in some of the pictures.

We were on time for church, too, even after taking pictures, and had a delicious lunch, then had to pack up and head home.

I LOVE visiting these friends -- the only thing we ever schedule is time to hang out and play.

It was a GREAT weekend. (And my cold is mostly gone, too!)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I'll need some accountability, Please and Thank You

I just made a couple of splurgy little purchases...

This pack of sewing patterns...

Some hot pink bamboo jersey knit...

And over the coming few days, after that fabric arrives, I'll be out shopping for notions...(elastic, matching thread, ball point needles, maybe even a double needle).

And hopefully, I will be able to figure out a few things:
- how to sew on my brand new sewing machine that sweet hubby bought me for Christmas (since I broke my old machine almost a year ago and have been missing it!)

- how to sew knits!

- how to make my own maternity clothes! (really, this seems like my only option at the moment for sewing for myself -- I can't really make tops or dresses with woven fabrics that won't stretch or have extra room and realistically expect to wear them this year!)

So...hopefully writing this here will help me be accountable for actually putting together the supplies I've paid for. My goal: to finish a dress before the end of February. That's totally reasonable for my supplies to arrive and for me to have a few good weekend hours for working on a fun project for myself.

Eep! I'm excited and hope it works out well!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

i am...

getting ready for yoga class

glad it's the weekend again

making more cinnamon rolls this weekend (thank you for the addiction, pioneer woman.)

overwhelmed by the amazing faithfulness of my God

looking forward to two short weeks of school (thank you, Dr. King.)

super emotional (thank you, pregnancy hormones.)

praying for Kristen Sullivan and her family she cares for her 2 year old and newborn while her husband is in the hospital with an inoperable, end-of-life stage brain tumor that was discovered two days ago (thank you for saying a prayer for them, too).

hoping my students remember on Monday the behavior lessons that my partner teacher says "clicked" Friday afternoon.

browsing maternity clothes online even though the only kind of bump I have so far is lots of bloating.

counting down the days until I'm past the first trimester to make public announcements in real life, or at least not try to keep the secret.

feeling happy and content this morning.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Well, that was unexpected.

(probably TMI today....fair warning.)

I woke up for about the third time around 4:30 on Sunday morning, went to the bathroom, and new something was not right. Even in the dark (just a nightlight in the bathroom for mid-night bathroom runs -- helps me fall back asleep faster), I could tell that there was some bleeding going on.

So I sat there for a while, and checked again.

More blood.

I started to sniffle a little, then it escalated into full on weeping.

I woke sweet hubby up.

I panicked.

I mean, really, really panicked.

He had to call the doctor's office for me.

At almost 5:00 in the morning, on a weekend.

The answering service had my doctor call us back.

She sounded pretty sleepy, but advised me to stay home, stay quiet, not lift anything, and only go to the emergency room if the bleeding got worse. She finished with "call the office on Monday, come in, and we'll check you."

Ok.

Thank you, 5 a.m. sleepy doctor, for not reassuring me AT ALL. I sobbed for at least another hour before falling back asleep, sweet hubby holding me the whole time.

I woke up again around 9 a.m. still totally freaked out, but fortunately, bleeding less. And crying a little less, but still crying a lot.

My good friend Dr. Google was actually very good to me -- instead of making me think of worse case scenarios, it allowed me to entertain the possibility that everything was normal and that I had less to worry about.

When my dad texted and then texted again and then called to offer us a ride to church, I ignored the phone. Sweet hubby answered when my dad tried again, at the house number, and said we weren't going to make it to church. I couldn't talk to anyone.

My sister called to see if we would make it to lunch -- sweet hubby, again, ran interference and said no.

I texted my partner teacher -- she found a sub for me and called in sick for me, and said they would start praying.

I texted roommate -- she started praying for us.

Then I took a nap.

I spent the day alternating between sleeping and crying, with my fear easing more and more as the bleeding stopped and stayed stopped. I still managed, even with basically sleeping all day, to sleep all night (except for the million bathroom breaks, but that seems to be par for the course right now).

My doctor's office opens at 8:30, but it wasn't until closer to 8:45 that they finally switched the phone system on (from the answering service message). How soon could I come in? 20 minutes -- long enough to throw on clothes and find a parking spot.

Sweet hubby already had the day off work today, so he went with me. We arrived, waited a few minutes, and then were called back for the basic vitals check -- pee in a cup, blood pressure, weight check.

Then we waited about an hour and a half before we were called again, led across the hall, and surprised with an ultrasound.

The ultrasound tech did a WHOLE LOT to help me feel relief -- she showed us the baby and the baby's heartbeat, and when she wanted to measure other things, she turned the screen a little so I couldn't see what she was doing. I'm sure it is her job to keep potentially bad news for the doctor to reveal, but just seeing the baby was AMAZING.

That the baby was/is still there and still alive? AMAZING. I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my chest.

When she finished, she led us to another waiting area, where we probably waited 30 minutes to be shown into the doctor's office. Then we waited probably 30 minutes in the doctor's office for him -- he came in and out a few times, grabbing papers and excusing himself -- "I'm not really here yet!" "I'll be back soon, I promise!". Once he was finally able to sit down with us, he gave me the good and the "keep an eye on this" news.

For now, the baby is fine and healthy.

However, there is a big spot on the ultrasound of blood hemorrhaging near the baby.

And, unrelated to this saga, I have several cysts that will probably need to be dealt with post-baby, that I was unaware of.

The odds are 90% that the baby will be fine, 10% that the threatened miscarriage will happen.

I'm clinging to that 90%.

So it was unexpected, but also kind of exciting to see the baby. It was unexpected to spend the day home from school today, sleeping off the excitement.

It was WONDERFUL to see how my community rallied around me, surrounding us in prayer, and celebrating when we were able to relate good news.

And as a bonus, we were able to take my Mama to lunch, and while there we ran into roommate and another long-lost friend who agreed to sit with us. It was such a celebration -- relief pouring forth, the bear hugs, catching up from the holidays and talking about future plans.

I'll go back to school tomorrow, turning this week into a four day week for me, and then have a short week next week and the week after, too, because of Professional Development and Martin Luther King Day. And then I should be a lot closer to the end of the 1st trimester, and hopefully beginning to regain some energy.

If you made it this far, please PRAY for me -- peace of mind, that I'm part of the 90%, that the baby stays healthy in there....I definitely appreciate it!