Saturday, November 26, 2011

Nice things

Nice things I have done in the past week.

Last Saturday: pink pedicure for my toes! (I officially can't reach them on my own).

Wednesday: Raiders of the Lost Ark at the Music Box, with popcorn and Nick (It's even better than the last time I saw it).

Thursday: wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with Laura and Tim, and Tim's family.

Friday: didn't get enough Thanksgiving, so I made cranberry orange bread, sage stuffing, and a from a pumpkin, pumpkin pie.

Today: prenatal massage and cooking a turkey!  I went to Whole paycheck yesterday and bought a turkey. I just want the smells of turkey cooking in the apartment, and I want the turkey soup that comes after the turkey.

5 more days of teaching, and then I'm off for 12 weeks.  And hopefully the baby will be here soon!

Any tips on novice turkey cooking?  We don't really do this very often, and will definitely be consulting the internets to help us out. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

38 week updates

Apologies in advance for the weird formatting.  I can't figure it out and I need to go to bed!

Grown-up behaviors are time consuming.  Meeting a pediatrician, finishing up dog training, getting a guest room together, being the guest of honor at a baby shower, visiting with excited grandparents and aunts to-be, washing and folding baby clothes, and trying to be a good teacher: it's busyness every night of the week. 

Tomorrow will be 38 weeks, which means, baby could come any time now.  As overwhelming as it feels to have a real live baby, I simultaneously feel ready and anxious to meet this little one who has been with me for so long now.  It's also getting just a little uncomfortable... so really any day would be fine.  Of course, I have a feeling that he or she is really cozy in there, and is probably not in any rush to come out.  I'm committed to working up until the Friday before my due date, so I have a short Thanksgiving week, and then one more week after that.  If I get extremely uncomfortable or if my co-workers convince me to take off early, then I very well might.

The other day Nick mentioned that maybe we should look into some pregnancy photos, like from a pro.  Until now I really haven't been interested in having any pictures taken.  I mostly feel huge.  After looking at some of the websites, and seeing how tastefully done maternity photos can be, I really thought I might be interested.  And then I looked at prices.  It's not the photo shoot that is costly, its the prints!  To get several prints made would easily run our bill towards $1000.  I can't rationalize it in my head.  So, I had Nick take these two pics of me to share with my friends and family from afar, and I can see now that we have to work on lighting, wardrobe, and makeup before we take the next pictures, but I think we can get some good ones for less than $1000.

38 weeks of baby belly. 
Yep, I'm really having a baby.

My dear friends Kristina and Laura (and their husbands Paul and Laura), gave us the most lovely baby shower a few weeks ago.  I was so overwhelmed by the amazing people that came.  It was sort of like our wedding, having so many of our favorite people in one place.  So much love was flowing all around! 
This is how Nick felt. 
Lovely Sarah is exactly 10 weeks behind me!  And I was 10 weeks behind Kristina.  And now, Gus is the cutest thing around.  It was so great to see this cycle of babies continue! 

Remember this? 
Kristina and I in late August at her shower. 

The babies met :)

And now, Gus is a real, live, amazing baby.  (With some awesome parents to boot.)

Life just keeps happening.   And it's miraculous. 

Some little miracles are happening in my class at school: 

We have independent reading stations, that are actually working!

We are examining mineral samples and analyzing them!
We are doing independent research on Science topics. 

We are folding cranes for our assembly on Asia on Wednesday. 

And, we can read next to each other without talking! 
It's the little successes that keep me going! 

So long for now,  I'll leave you with Arnie, trying to get his dinner out of an orange juice carton (our latest innovation in challenging his brain). 

Don't even think of taking this away from me!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

growing a life and finding more empathy

I continue to feel like I need to apologize for my lackluster blog writing schedule these days, the truth is, teaching is all encompassing right now, and my tired, hormonal, physically limited body is less than apt to write at the end of a night than to eat a bowl of ice cream and go to bed early.  Those are the things I've been doing a lot of: sleeping and eating.  I guess it's supposed to go that way.

At 35 weeks and a few days along now, we are heading in the direction of having a baby soon! Babies are considered full term at 37 weeks, and could be born any time between 37, and feasibly 42 weeks.  The notion that we could be 2 weeks away from having a baby in our apartment is elicits simultaneous emotions of exciting and terrifying.  The societal pressure to have "things" a certain way has been overwhelming, to say the least.  Nick has been great about the pressure, I have caved in every way.  I feel like an unfit person to be a mother because our "nursery" is not a nursery, but a room with baby things in it.  It's such a conundrum for me because the baby will surely be in our room for the first many months (my lovely, early college graduate sister is planning on staying with us and doing childcare March-June, when I have to go back to work), and the "baby room/ nursery" will most definitely be a guest room for her at that time.  So shouldn't we just make the baby room a guest room right now?  My practical and loving husband is resistant, and wants to wait and see how everything goes.  So, at this time, it's a room with a changing table and baskets for baby clothes and things (which will go in our room as soon as the baby is born), and a table of supplies for our home birth (more on that later), and a few boxes of hand me downs from Nick's sister, which we have yet to put together.   My sewing machine sits in there as well, quietly gathering dust and adding character.   I did put up a curtain, which makes the room feel more relaxing and sweet.   That is one touch I am proud of.
This week, our goal is to find some sort of glider/ rocker that I can sit comfortably in, and rock a little baby, that will be here soon!

On a complete side note: my other life, the one that is taking up all of my time: my classroom and kids, continues to encourage all kinds of personal growth.  My ability to empathize with the unknown has shifted.  This week, a student brought a highly inappropriate magazine into the classroom, and proceeded to read it during silent reading time.   It was "Vibe,"  and on the cover was a rapper, dressed and exuding a less than role model status air.   The content was not appropriate for 4th graders.  Anyhow, the magazine, after I requested that the student put it away, somehow got passed secretly to another illustrious student, who continued to try and read it under her desk.  I wasn't angry that they were curious about this world, it just couldn't be read in our classroom under the guise of independent reading level choices.  I confiscated the magazine, and after school the student came back to the class, his sister happened to come with him, to request the magazine back.  I had a brief discussion with them, and it turns out that they got the magazine from the hospital, from the pile of free magazines in the rooms.  "Why were you at the hospital?"  Candidly, with no emotion, "My dad got shot."  Upon probing, "he and my uncle were going to buy food for us, and they both got shot.  My dad in the waist, and my uncle in the leg.  My mom is begging God and said that if my dad gets better, we will go to church from now on."  I think the student missed one day last week, but has been in school since.

The lives kids lead today is so far from the life I grew up in.  Violence is commonplace and their emotional needs are far from met.  How can learning to write a persuasive essay or find perimeter seem important to a 4th grader who is dealing with life and death on the way to the store?  What I don't know is enough to help me offer support and empathy for each child in my class, their lives are maybe more turbulent than I will ever know.