Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Random Updates, Blah-ness, and Not-So-Blah-ness

I am feeling quite pregnant these days. Despite the fact that I gained no weight in the last two weeks, I have grown anyway and am struggling to find things to fit. Even my contact lenses have decided not to fit me these days. (Eyes changing shape is one of those normal but not overly common things I've learned about...)

My student teacher is now teaching 100% which means I am catching up on paperwork and getting things ready for when I go on leave and trying really hard not to interrupt her lessons and teach it myself. I am hoping to work until the end of October.

The baby is doing well. She is very active...even the doctor commented on that. She is still oblique, but is moving a lot and has time to decided to move into a more favorable position.

The camera is fixed...Cannon Customer Service wins a BIG thumbs up in my book! The gentleman who talked me through our flash issue knew exactly what he was talking about and was able to talk me through fixing the issue. I was worried about having to send off the camera before the baby.

I can tell that I am a bit sensitive...and have had friends with unfortunate situations that my heart is breaking for right now. One of the girls I went to college with has a young daughter who got sick a couple of weeks ago. She has been diagnosed with leukemia and now may have had a stroke. It is heartbreaking. You can read her story here.

I also found out that a friend from work is going through some rough personal issues and is suddenly moving away. I feel so bad for her having to leave so suddenly...and am still trying to process it all.

So, I am feeling a bit blah. On the plus side we had our first "cool front" of the season. That means that the high was only in the upper 80's today instead of the 90's. It was a bit overcast all day though so it has added to my blah mood.

My favorite water aerobics instructor was teaching tonight, but I decided to stay home and hang out with my favorite Irishman. (Better yet, the said Irishman is making dinner as I type this!) I am going to wash some of the baby clothes and work in the nursery. That is more fun that the other kind of work!

Also making my day brighter? I got an amazing box of goodies in the mail from a friend I have not seem since 8th grade. We have recently gotten back in touch through Facebook and blogs. It was such a generous surprise. What a treat!

One final random thought:
The e-mail I got yesterday said the baby is now the size of a medium pumpkin. I love pumpkins. I saw pumpkins in the grocery store this evening and it made me for one extra reason!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Book Crazy

Saturday the Irishman and I took advantage of National Museum Day and used a coupon for free admission to our local art museum. I'd been once with the kids from school, but I really wanted to go back with adults to look around. The Irishman was mostly well behaved. On our way out we stopped at the gift shop and saw a board book called Sunday with Seurat. The Irishman and I each found our favorite paintings in the book. We are avoiding impulse buys though so we reluctantly walked away.

I have a classroom full of books, but not many board books. The Irishman suggested we stop at Barnes and Noble on the way home, but I do not have that much self control...or money for that kind of a trip. (That and the Hogs were on TV...not that that ended the way we wanted it to!) I started thinking of the books I wanted to get for our little girl. Then I came up with the solution.

My good old friend Paperback Swap came to the rescue!

I have recently emptied several bookshelves in the house and posted the books on paperback swap. I had about 25 credits. That means I can order 25 books to be mailed to me free of charge. They are used books, but nothing a little disinfecting can't take care of. I spent hours last night "shopping" for books for the baby.

(Although a friend on Facebook pointed out that there is a fine line between what is for the baby and what is really for us!)

So far I've ordered 19 books. I called my mom (who has LOTS of credits on Paperback Swap) and begged asked for a donation of credits. The grandma-to-be wouldn't turn that down. I also put another 18 or so books on my wish list. The Irishman was a little bummed that most of his favorites are on the wish list.

So far here are the books we have coming our way:

Elmer's Colors (McKee)
I Love You, Little One (Tafuri)
Mama, Do You Love Me? (Joossee)
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (Christelow)
Christmas in the Manger (Buck)
Elmo's Christmas Colors (Allen)
Who Says Quack (Smith)
Moo Baa La La La (Boynton)
Barnyard Dance! (Boynton)
What Does Ernie Hear?
Kitten (Jumbo Animal Shaped Book)
Itsy Bitsy Spider (Trapani)
Mr. Brown Can Moo Can You? (Seuss)
Oh, David! (Shannon)
Oops! A Diaper David Book (Shannon)
Chicka Chicka ABC
Animal Kisses (Sattsberg)
On the Day You Were Born (Frasier)
Miss Mary Mack (Hoberman)

These are the books I have on my PBS wish list. As soon as they are posted they should be coming our way! Thankfully most of them do not have a long wait, so we stand a good chance of getting them soon.

Baby Faces: Sesame Beginnings (Lewison)
Baby Nose to Baby Toes (Ceelen)
Chugga-Chugga Choo Choo (Lewis)
Do You Want to be My Friend? (Carle)
Down By the Bay (Raffi)
Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z (Ehlert)
Hand, Hand, Finger, Thumb (Perkins)
Have You Seen My Cat (Carle)
In the Garden with Van Gogh (Merberg/Bober)
Mouse Paint (Walsh)
The Napping House (Wood)
Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? (Martin/Carle)
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? (Martin/Carle)
Silly Sally (Wood)
Skippyjon Jones: Color Crazy (Schachner)
Skippyjon Jones: Up and Down (Schachner)
Sunday with Seurat (Merberg/Bober)
We're Going on a Bear Hunt (Rosen)

I was getting a bit carried away, so I also have a list of another 15 books that I have book marked for later. The Irishman and I both have a thing for children's literature. He was thrilled because I ordered/wished for several that I knew he would pick: Christmas books, Sesame Street/Muppet books, and Eric Carle Books. It looks like our mail carrier is going to be one busy woman! At least we will have a full book shelf/basket to show for it!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mom's Visit

I have been up to my eyeballs in alligators this week (complete with a flu scare in my classroom that turned out to be nothing) and am finally able to catch up today! Thankfully it is a long school Monday! I could get use to this...

Last weekend my mom was in town. We had a great time working on the nursery. Mom and I picked out the drawer pulls for the dresser and some fabric for projects. The Irishman put on the drawer pulls and moved some furniture around. My mom sewed a new cover for Grandma Jo's old glider. I watched and directed.

On Sunday, Mom, GB, and my friend Dawn hosted a baby shower for me. Our camera decided last weekend that working with a flash is overrated (camera repair is now number one on our weekend to do list) so these pictures are all from Mom's camera.

It was a wonderful group of ladies and we had some great laughs! The shower was lovely and the Irishman and I are enjoying putting all the goodies away in the nursery. It is getting so close now! The nursery finally feels like a nursery. We have just a few more projects to finish off. (Although we now have no camera to show off the work!)

My mom got us a Pack and Play. It came on her last night here, so we talked the Irishman into putting it together so we could see what it looked like.

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I think the big smile was more relief to have set it up and then put it back in the bag than anything! You might notice the shirt became untucked in the process. He also tried on the Baby Bjorn, but his patience ran out before I could snap a picture!

I am at 34 weeks tomorrow and feeling rather large. I am rapidly outgrowing maternity clothes and plan to work for the next 5 weeks. It should be interesting! We are starting to get to the final pre-registration paperwork...installing the car seat in the car...touring childcare centers...finalizing maternity leave plans and benefits paperwork...the things we thought were months off suddenly aren't anymore! We are getting excited!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Barefoot and Pregnant

Shoe caught in the door = barefoot and pregnant in the 3rd grade classroom

Friday, September 18, 2009

Unexpected Long Weekend

Yesterday I visited the doctor. I've gained 5 pounds in the last two weeks. The baby is doing well. She is VERY active and is currently oblique. (I guess it wasn't my imagination that my belly seems a bit lopsided and she seems to be hitting my ribs a bit!)

I've had a sore throat this week and the doctor decided it looked red enough to warrant antibiotics and a day of rest away from children and their germs. Usually I would be rather tense about having to plan for a day off, but honestly it couldn't come at a better time! The students have a half day today and I think my student teacher is ready for the challenge. Better yet? My mom flies in at noon today. I haven't seen her since Thanksgiving and I know she is looking forward to seeing the baby preparations...and my lopsided belly!

(Mom asked if the doctor could say I needed Monday off too...)

So I have slept in and am resting up. The Irishman has been really good at pampering me.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Birthday Panic

This morning I called the Irishman to ask him a question about benefits. I would usually send him a text message, but I was being lazy and decided to call his office phone instead.

It rang about three times and he picked up. He sounded positively panicked.

I was concerned and asked him what was wrong.

It seems he has heard too many stories of people giving birth on their birthday or their husband's birthday and he had convinced himself that the phone call meant I was in labor.

He calmed down once I convinced him that all was good...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Odds & Ends

I had planned on posting this weekend...and it didn't happen. So I have a variety of odds and ends for you here tonight.

Up first...


Avoiding the Oink

Swine flu has been ALL over lately. They have sent home two notices at school though we have no cases reported yet. We went to a party this weekend and now one of the girls there thinks she has it...though her husband thinks it is just a cold and she has spent too much time on the Internet.

The best of all though had to be at the gym tonight. After water aerobics I went to get my bag before hopping into the shower. At the locker below mine was THAT LADY. You know...the one who is very naked and very much not moving. I was freezing cold in my wet swimsuit and trying to reach over to get to my locker...not an easy task at 32 weeks pregnant. At about this time THAT LADY notices I am pregnant. Instead of moving out of my way, she starts to lecture me about swine flu.

I hope you are being careful with this swine being pregnant
and all.

No, I mean it. Really.
Stay away from people and don't let them hug you.

I know she was well intentioned, but seriously, moving out of my way and putting on clothes may have been more helpful at the time! Part of me wanted to oink at her, but I'm a good girl and refrained.


Shopping deals

The Irishman and I have been really trimming our budget lately. I've been reading about the Walgreen's deals on several blogs. Sunday before our weekly shopping trip, my husband took a nap and I did my research. I printed coupons and made a list of items with good register rewards deals. We stopped at Walgreen's and I bought my goodies...but there were no register rewards. Thankfully the manager offered to just adjust the prices for me then and there. The Irishman thought it was too much trouble, but we got some really good deals. I am thinking I'll try again next a nicer store!

I have added several thrifty blogs to my reader, thanks to Jessi. I'm still new to all the coupons and such, but I am getting there! My grocery "advertised specials, store coupons, and manufacturers coupons" savings was almost to 50% this week.


Looking Forward to...

The Jay Leno Show! I have always liked Leno and I am THRILLED that it is on at 10pm. I grew up in the Central Time Zone. I now live in the Eastern Time Zone. I think people in the Central Time Zone might be nicer because they get an extra hour of sleep. TV is on too late...but Jay is going to fix it all!
That's about all from here! We had a nice weekend of celebrations. The nursery is getting there. We got even more used baby goodies this week from friends. Things are looking good. Best of all? My mom gets here on Friday. = )

Thursday, September 10, 2009

School Suprises

Today was the kind of day that reminds me why I enjoy teaching.

I actually started the day OUT of school. A co-worker and I went with the principal to an award breakfast hosted by a local community organization. This summer we applied for a grant for our Penny Harvest group. We were awarded $1,200 to cover entry fees, t-shirts for the student leaders, and to allow the student leaders to create a plastic recycling program at the school.

As they presented us with our check, they asked me to remain standing. It seems they also funded the OTHER grant I'd applied for with a different co-worker. Last year this same group funded our worm composting/gardening project. We'd applied this year for an addition $1,300 to expand the project to cover all 3rd and 4th grade classes. Somehow we missed the notification that they decided to fund the expansion project. Talk about a pleasant surprise!

Both of these projects are things I really enjoy working on. We won national recognitions last year for our efforts. It is fantastic to have the funding needed to make them work. I am also thrilled to have found a partner for each project who I know will be able to keep it going when I am on my maternity leave.

Yesterday in extreme frustration I accidentally found the magic trick to getting one of my students to complete assignments. We went from getting less than half the school work done to about 90% of the work done in one day. I don't want to jinx it, but we had a repeat today. It is a story that may be worth its own post!

To top it all off I had two parent conferences this afternoon. (Not usually listed as a good thing mind you...) Both went well, but during the second I got one of the best compliments I've gotten in a while. I was discussing a student with the parents when one of them stopped me. She said she could not get over how I talked about her son. She said I was talking about him as if I'd known him for YEARS and not just three weeks. She was so kind and sincere. It make my day!

After all my frustration last week it was the kind of day I needed. It was the kind you want to bottle up and save for later!

I've made it to water aerobics twice this week and I feel good. Add to that a little (almost) TGIF...I can go to bed happy tonight!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Early Birthday Surprise

As few weeks ago, the Irishman and I got a letter from our Homeowner's Association regarding black marks on the verandas. (Side note...this is what the Irishman refers to it as and I cannot for the life of me think of the other word...we have two patios accessible from the second story sliding glass doors.) Morgan tried to scrub off the gunk, but there was some slight spray paint marks on the concrete from the last time the railings were repainted...almost two years ago. This morning Uncle Ken came by to drop off his pressure washer for us to borrow.

He also came with an early birthday surprise! (Have you noticed Rafa manages to get himself into just about every picture I take?) I have just over a week left of my 20s, but my uncle is heading out of town and thought I could use an early treat. Can I tell you how much this made my day! Thank you Ken!!!

It is going to be a nice weekend. I was at school for a combined 24 hours on Thursday and Friday, but I think things are falling into place now in my classroom. We had a nice third grade planning session and my student teacher will start taking over a subject a week now. By October she will be teaching 100%.

I asked for help with the childcare issue...and I asked the right person. My friend Lyndsay had done a fair bit of research before she went back to work after having her twins. She is going to share what she found and offered to visit places with me. Better yet, she said she is still getting e-mails from places she'd visited and she thinks with the economy the way it is we should have no problem finding a good place. She seemed to think I had plenty of time and that really put my mind at ease.

So it is a nice LONG weekend. The Irishman is playing in a golf tournament...the university where he works is holding their own "Ryder Cup" of sorts and he is playing for Europe. I have had a quiet lazy morning. The clothes are hanging on the line. The baby is kicking. I have beautiful birthday flowers on the table. The to do list is manageable and we are taking it a little bit at a time. All is good!

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Thursday, September 3, 2009


Looking back, summer was easy.

I didn't realize how much so until now. Now I am so overwhelmed.

I dreaded going back to work. I love my job, I just wasn't sure how I was going to be able to do it all. I used to get to work each day by 7:30 7:40 and then not leave until 5 or 6 each night. The Irishman and I carpooled.

Now that work day is too long for me. I am trying my best to leave as close to 4 as I can. The problem is that I am trying to fit in the same amount of work I did before. Between losing two planning periods and leaving early, there is a difference of about 6 hours. It isn't possible.

It should get better...for a while at least. My student teacher will start taking on more responsibilities beginning next week. For now though I want to model as much as I can the "right" ways to do things to make the transition smoother when she takes over...and instead I feel like I am treading water just trying to keep my head above. I know it will soon be less work, and I love working with developing educator, but for now it is still just more work when I don't feel like I am doing that great a job to start with.

Then there is the house. The Irishman has had to work late for the last three weeks. One night last week he called as he was leaving work at 8pm. We have a to do list that is getting the best of us. There is no way we can get to the garden before the baby comes. We just have so much to do...and so much of it I don't feel like I am able to do...the boxes in the closet...the floor in our bathroom. We are both overwhelmed. I can't keep up with things at work or at school and it is really getting to me.

Today will be a 13 hour work day. We have Open House. The parents in my class are most concerned (and understandably so) about what will happen to THEIR kids when I go on my maternity leave. I HATE those conversations. It burst into tears at the thought of having to go back in February. The most important thing on my to do list is to sort out child care for when I go back to work...and it is the one thing I keep putting off. It breaks my heart to think about it. I know I have to do it...but I am just so overwhelmed. I don't need reminders from well-meaning parents that I am not going to want to leave that baby to go back to work. I know that already. That is the problem.

I know it will all work out. I just have to let go and know that things will work out. On my tearful drive home from work last night I heard "Unanswered Prayers" and "Jesus Take the Wheel." I know I just need to take a deep breath and know that my best is all I can do.

I am sorry for the down post. I am just overwhelmed...and overly hormonal. (And running late this morning...go figure!)