Total Pageviews

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Every Day Life at Nine Months Pregnant

Tomorrow I will be 39 weeks pregnant.
That's more pregnant than I've ever been in my life.
Both Victoria and Christian were each eight days early.
That would be today for Baby.
Today was my official guess at the day I'd have Baby.

As this pregnancy winds down (I've been using that phrase for more than a month now)
I started taking pictures of every day life at 9 months pregnant.

Victoria wanted to get a turn in using the gigantic chalkboard too.
As Liv said, "I hope Baby's not to scale!"
I couldn't agree more.
However, each day it certainly gets closer and closer.

Victoria reading to Baby.
She lifts my shirt a bit and reads with her little mouth as close to Baby as possible.

Christian has been putting my socks on each morning for me for the last month or so.

He loves to feel Baby move.
I love how he places his little hands or lips or head on Baby.
He is going to be the Best Big Brother ever!
I hope and pray...

My view when I lay down on the couch.
That's a whole lot of flesh!
I sent this picture to my childhood friend in CA who's never 

I prefer this view:
Ooh la la....
A whole pan of freshly baked Rice Krispie treats.
No, I didn't eat the whole pan.

Receiving thoughtful gifts.
Beautiful swaddling blankets from Aunt Jane.

The joy of desserts.
Only Liv will know how happy this Dessert Trio really made me.

Lounging in the recliner after the kids go to bed.
Shots like that make me understand why people keep telling me how uncomfortable I look.

Last week.
Very very ready to pop.

Yet, here I am a whole week later.
I hope tomorrow is the last time I use that chalkboard for that purpose.

Look Who Turned 5

Since Christian turned 5 the day before having surgery I told him I would take him anywhere he wanted for lunch.  He asked if he could bring his BFF Rosie to lunch too.
He chose Dairy Queen, "Since Rosie LOVES ice cream," he explained.
These two are so darn cute together!

We had our usual birthday breakfast at McDonald's Playland too.

After Dairy Queen we headed over to Chuck E. Cheese.
We were pretty much the only people in the whole place.
They had a blast.
I sat back and watched how independent he was.
Explaining the different games to Rosie and only coming to me to show me his jackpot of tickets or to ask for more tokens.

There were several very serious games of air hockey.

During our trip I ended up feeling a lot of pressure and without too many details ended up having to cut our time short, bring them both back to their daycares and race myself to the clinic.

I felt so bad we got some cotton candy before heading out the door.

Looking back, neither knew I had cut the time short.
They look mighty happy:-)

After a three hour appointment we headed across town to Christian's favorite restaurant
(we were all about feeding him since he was pretty much on a popsicle diet for days) 
John and Tegan met us there.
Christian got his usual ice cream before the meal.
It's no wonder why it's his favorite!

Christian and his only 12 days away from being his Aunt Tegan.

Christian and his godfather Uncle John.
John and Tegan gave him a Mauer jersey and TWINS hat and a baseball book.
They are very thoughtful gift givers!
He LOVED it!!

Just loving life.

It was really really late and we still had to drop Victoria off at Grandma and Grandpa's for the night and get everything in order for his surgery the next day.
We grabbed all the gifts and headed over there.

Christian was so tired he put his pj's on before we left.
Victoria was reading him the card she picked out and wrote in 'all by myself!'

Whoops, family shot from Fuddruckers.

One more from Chuck E Cheese

We gave the poor kid rollerblades.
I don't know what I was thinking since he couldn't do any physical activities for three weeks.
What a mean mommy!
So we sent him back and forth across our small kitchen floor about a dozen times.
Then told him for three weeks, "Nope, sorry you can't use them."

A few days after his surgery we realized we never got a real cake.
So we put his 5 candle into a cupcake Aunt Molly brought over.

His birthday was, in no way is the way I would have planned it, 
but it was certainly memorable.

Hard to believe my baby is 5.

Good-Bye First

Last year one of the second grade teachers had to move to first grade.  I was the unlucky winner of that.  It was one of the most stressful life changes I've ever been through.  I had a lot of anxiety of the unknown.  It took me months before I was comfortable in my new classroom, with my new class, with the new age group, with my new teammates. One of the hardest things about leaving second grade was leaving my supportive team.  Little did I know my first grade team would be just as caring, thoughtful and willing to share.  I had been the giver for many years.  I had to learn that it's ok to be the receiver sometimes too. 

Even though it was only one grade level, there's no doubt it rocked my world.  Add being pregnant through the whole thing to it and some days (weeks and really months) I was hanging on by a thread.  Finally after Christmas I finally started to enjoy it.  In January I finally felt the groove and once again enjoyed teaching.  Since I enjoyed nearly every day of teaching for the ten years prior, it was very very sad to me that I wasn't enjoying it.  More than once I said to myself, My heart's just not in this.  It would bring tears to my eyes.  Teaching is a job you either do with you heart, or you get out.  One Monday morning I was so sad to be at school I actually considered other options.  Tutoring was the only other option I could realistically think of.  See, I still wanted to teach.  Just not first grade.  They're just not learning, I kept thinking.  

My only hope, was to think it was a one year gig and I'd be back in 2nd next year.  Then a couple weeks ago the principal told me he decided I would stay put in first grade.  To say I was shocked was an understatement.  I gave reasons why I am a better teacher in second grade.  I did everything but beg him to put me back.  It took all I had to not let a tear fall in front of him.  After I said and asked all I could I walked out of his office and straight to my teammate's room and bawled uncontrollably.  Then I walked into my other teammates room with a handful of damp Kleenex and rehashed everything again.  I was hurt, crushed and beyond disappointed.  I got myself together, barely, and finished out the day.  I couldn't sleep, I couldn't stop talking about it. I considered transferring schools.  I went weeks being consumed by the thought.  

I had a long talk about it with Liv and when we were done I actually thought, "Next year could be different."  Maybe I will be alright in first grade.  I had made peace with it and it was what it was.  I have learned a lot through this challenging change and things could only look up for next year.  Just as my mindset changed he called me in his office again last week.  We sat down and he immediately said, "I wanted to let you know I've been thinking about the points you made and I've decided to put you in second grade next year."  What?!  I grabbed the edge of the desk thinking I was being Punked or something.  He followed it up with, "I want you to know this is my decision and you can go on Maternity Leave knowing where you'll be next year."   I thanked him over and over.  I felt relief like I hadn't felt since last spring.  

I went to tell my first grade teammates right away again.  As I opened my mouth to tell one of them, I immediately realized this was bittersweet news.  I had finally found my way.  Now I'm changing again.  A new curriculum again for reading next year.  Changing rooms again.  Different, different, different.

Overall, am I happy I'll be in second again next year?  Yes.


Yesterday I did 19 out of 20 reading assessments for quarter three.  I met with 19 students one on one in the hallway to listen to them read.  As I was setting it up I thought, "This should be good," sarcastically.  I was pleasantly surprised (ok, they shocked the hell out of me) that all but two students passed.  I was high-fiving, hugging and cheering for student after student.  As I was cleaning up at the end of the day I couldn't help but think, "I did that!  I taught them!"  Each one has grown so much in so many ways.  

I've been a confident teacher for years and this year I lost a lot of my confidence.  Turns out I've been doing it the entire time.  The change from beginning of first grade to the end has to be one of the biggest jumps in all the grades, except kindergarten, possibly.

As the year winds down for me, with maternity leave looming each and every day, I can't believe that I know can say and really feel like I'm going to miss it.  Miss them.  Miss first grade.  I feel like they need me and as I prepare my room, my desk, the curriculum, I wonder what will happen when I'm gone.  How will I release it all?  How will I stay out of there?  How will they do without me?  After everything I've put into it this year I can now realize why I felt my heart wasn't in it.  My heart was in it so deeply I was practically numb.  Now that the hard part is over I can feel each student tugging at my heart.  Each one needs me for a different reason in a different way, deeper than most second graders ever need their teacher.  This thought made me so uncomfortable in the fall and now I find it so endearing.  

It makes me want to commit to going back those last few weeks.

However, soon Baby will be born and I'm certain my love for him or her will surmount any and all love I have for my students.  

If I make it through this week, it will, for certain, be my last week as a first grade teacher.  It's sure to be bittersweet.  I will give it all I have to give.  I will make it as special as possible for them and me.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Happy Birthday to My BFF

She's been my friend longer than anyone is the world.
She is the kind of friend everyone should have...
however, most people aren't that lucky.
She's been there for me more than anyone else, ever.

I couldn't be more grateful for you.

Happy 34th Birthday Livi!

Love you to pieces!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Post Op for Christian

Christian had his tonsillectomy post op. last week.

He has healed perfectly and is no longer on any restrictions.
So glad we did it when we did and so glad it's over!

Enchanted Forest

Liv bought Victoria the board game Enchanted Forest for Christmas
We have played many many many games.
She loves it.
She's gotten really good at it.
I have to really pay attention now if I want to win;-)

Jon's Basketball Game

Two weeks ago we went to Jonathan's varsity basketball game.
We all love to watch him play as the starting point guard.
However, Christian LOVES it!
Here he is reclining against me watching the game.
The game starts after bedtime so we only made it to a couple Friday night home games and never stay til the end.

But that smile tells me it doesn't matter!
Jon is #21 in the background.
He's over six feet now.
It really seems like just the other day he was in kindergarten and I still able to pick him up.

It makes me want to enjoy these years with Christian even more.

Ways to Get a Baby Out

Over an hour walk around each floor at Mall of America.
Nearly a gallon of pineapple juice.
Sitting in a recliner rather than laying on the couch.
Swaying back and forth while standing.
Inconsistent mild contractions.
No baby....yet.....