Thursday, January 31, 2008

Reason #127

Reason #127 why I love blogging so much-well, just read the comments you all left yesterday. OK, OK, there were only four, but those four comments made my day and kept me smiling. Thank you thank you thank you!

(127 was an arbitrary number, but it sounded good and I bet if I really worked on it I'd be able to come up with 126 reasons why I do love blogging, as inconsistent as I am! Oh, and NPW, I DID want to punch her out. Seriously.)

Yesterday was apparently a good comment day all around---so I share a few more with you that I got in person that also made me feel good....and so that you don't think that everything people say is negative!

"Could you please gain some weight in your ass so the rest of us feel better?"
(I totally loved that one because I'm a little happy with the fact that-so far-I've gained very little weight in that area. And that was a woman, not a man saying that. Does that make it creepy? Somehow, it didn't feel that way.)

"You are the CUTEST pregnant woman! My daughter told me that your husband is SO excited!"
(Her daughter had my husband as a teacher last year. And he is excited, in a very endearing, loving way.)

And this, from the mother of a student I haven't seen in awhile:
"You look so good! You're six months along? Then you look REALLY good!"

I think part of my happiness also definitely came from the fact that my daughter was kicking and moving all day long yesterday. She is one strong little lady let me tell you. She already kicks so hard that my stomach literally moves on the outside. And, for the record, I have no idea why people say it's like an alien inside of you. I mean, it IS a little weird that there is a little person inside of you, but whenever she moves it makes me happy. That's my daughter! I also got some paperwork on being selected to be trained as a BEST portfolio scorer over the summer (if you are a teacher in CT, or know a teacher in CT then you know what the BEST portfolio is. If you aren't, then trust me, you are lucky.) I threw it right away. Didn't even consider it. My god that felt GOOD!
(Wait, I'm having a weird sense of deja vu....did I already write that whole alien thing on another post? Oh well, if I did then chalk it up to pregnancy brain.)

Smiles all around!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I decided I seriously need to share some of the things that people say to a pregnant woman. Because you need to hear them. And then tell me how I'm supposed to here you go, a random sampling....(And, no, I didn't make ANY of these up!)

"I knew you were having a girl because your face structure has changed and girls suck the beauty right out of you!"

"My God you got big!"

"Every time I see you, you get a bit looks like you ate a watermelon over the weekend!"

" much weight have you gained?"

"Are your ankles swollen yet?" (This said while peering down in the general direction of my feet, which, yes, I can still see and no, they are not swollen--yet!)

I could keep going, but are you getting the picture? I don't know that people think before they speak. Or perhaps that they don't realize that what they are saying is downright rude and just a little hurtful. I have to say though, I am learning a lot about what NOT to say to a pregnant lady. Stick with telling me I'm beautiful (because that is what every pregnant woman needs to hear frankly), and asking me about the miracle that is my daughter.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Oh boy....

Mondays are always one likes rolling out of bed early and getting themselves ready for a week of work. But you KNOW you are going to have a rough week when your Monday starts out like this....

  • No less than three students asked me where they put their Friday folders. Three. !!! Despite the fact that there is a large black crate sitting on the same table it's sat on every Monday morning since September clearly labeled with a bright red sign that says Friday folders.
  • Two of my students completely forgot which way to go to get to music class. (Yes, I was with them, a few paces behind though and actually had to redirect them.) The music room has been in the same spot since the school opened.
  • Another student of mine came in a bit late and then took a couple of tries to get to music. First she went to the wrong place, then she forgot her music folder.
  • And, finally, another student asked me (actually this student asks this question almost every day) which computer day it was, even though, again, clearly written on the board the way it has been since the beginning of the school year.

All of this before 9:30.

And people wonder why I'm so tired by the end of the day!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Weekend in review

I'm supposed to be typing up a unit for my reading curriculum committee meeting tomorrow. But I don't want to for many many reasons that boil down to something like extreme annoyance with the whole committee, frustration over the work and plain old stubbornness. I will overcome all of this and get myself moving and frantically typing because that is how I roll....soon.

For now, it was a glorious three day weekend for us school teachers so I think I will share some weekend festivities with you, dear bloggers.

Driving home Friday after a LONG week filled with way too many meetings I spontaneously called up a massage place I had never been to before. Answering all the prerequisite questions for a pregnant lady I then asked if they had any appointments for the weekend. Lo and behold, they did! I think I even told the man on the phone that I loved him, such was my joy at this news. Saturday dawned and all I could think about was lying on my belly for a full hour! A full HOUR! This is what excites me now. Unfortunately, it was not to be, because I had missed one very essential question when I was interrogating the lovely gentleman who offered me the Saturday you have a special pregnancy massage table? No, no they didn't... so I had to lay on my side, which is the whole cause of my back pain anyway, but trust me, I still enjoyed the massage. So much so that I might have even been snoring. Or drooling. Or both. And the guilt I was feeling over spending the money evaporated the second she put the hot towels on my feet. Such bliss.

My relaxing day continued with a haircut that I had booked awhile ago (I swear, I haven't had this much pampering in one day since I got married). And quickly evaporated when I learned that the one friend that was coming over to watch the game on Sunday had turned into one more friend, and his girlfriend, and our two sets of neighbors with their two year old. And, of course, promises of "I'll take care of everything" turned into "Can you make sausage and peppers? And what should we make for an appetizer?" A quick dash to the grocery store, an even quicker change and we headed out to hang out with some good friends whom we don't see nearly enough. Saturday night ended with a lovely meal, some ridiculously delicious cake, wonderful conversations and a sleepy drive home late at night...

Sunday dawned and I was off to church with Mom and Dad, as is my custom. Afterwards I dashed home and I do believe I turned into the Tasmanian devil. Meat was fried, peppers were cleaned and chopped, dip was made, chips were opened, beer was refrigerated.....while Russ bustled around just as much cleaning everything. People started to arrive at 1, and stayed. And stayed. And stayed. Some left. Then they came back. And stayed some more. But it was great fun, and we loved having friends over to hang out with us- especially since one of them was teasing Russ about being rich because of our lake view. Ha! Hardly! Plus a Superbowl with the Patriots and the Giants is just too crazy for least here in CT where we are split right down the middle.....
And Monday I recuperated from the craziness of the two preceding days by doing very little except eating some of my Mom's delicious lasagna.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Today is a milestone: our baby is 20 weeks old. That means I am halfway through my pregnancy, and she is halfway here.
Another, slightly less significant, milestone is that for the first time in seventeen weeks I haven't thrown up ONCE this week.
To celebrate this milestone here are some belly shots. One from what I used to look like (and will never look like again) and one from this morning. Sorry about my arm in that shot, it's 6 am people.

(Here I am two weeks--or four days-- pregnant.)

Twenty weeks later.....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Shift in Perspective

One of the things that they don't tell you about pregnancy (I'm discovering there are a lot of these) is that your perspective shifts. You suddenly find yourself thinking about things in a whole new way....and I'm not even talking about the Big things. The thoughts that keep you up at night when you are going to the bathroom every two hours (which is preparation for nursing I think)......thoughts like "Can we afford to feed and clothe a baby and pay for day care and pay our mortgage and all of our bills and maybe even buy a new car soon? How about college and, oh my goodness her wedding? And once we pay for college and her wedding will we have enough money to retire or are we going to be working until we are 80 years old? We should really look into our retirement savings, maybe we should talk to a financial planner.....let's add that to my to-do list for tomorrow, to find a financial planner....speaking of to-do list, I have to call hospitals to find out about birthing classes, and the church to find out about baptismal classes....when can I do this? Maybe tomorrow, no, not tomorrow I have a meeting before and after school and there's never enough time during lunch, maybe on Wednesday...."

No, I'm not even talking about those thoughts. I'm talking about ordinary every day things suddenly taking on new meaning. Food for example. Once upon a time food used to just be food. Now, I'll be eating breakfast, or lunch, or dinner, and I think in terms of servings--"OK, veggies, protein, fruit, I have to eat fruit later....and for breakfast I had whole grains and more I better have more veggies for dinner and maybe another serving of protein." Food is no longer just peanut butter and jelly and an apple. Nope, now it's about wondering if my baby is getting everything she needs and if I'm eating the right amounts of everything.

And then there are the thoughts you have when someone tells you something random and this conversation yesterday: "You are really big!! Of course, you were so tiny to begin with, that's probably why...." OK, does she mean I'm big because I've gained too much weight? Have I gained too much weight? How much is too much? My book says a pound a week, am I doing that? Why is she saying it's because I was so tiny--is she trying to make up for the fact that she thinks I'm gaining too much weight? And what in the world am I supposed to say back to someone who I think is just calling me fat? Or how about this one: "When is your due date?" Me: "June 6th" "Oh! That's my dog's birthday! My sweet little blah blah blah named blah." OK, her dog has the same birthday as my due date....what is an appropriate response to that?

Then, there are shoes. Yes, shoes. If you know me at all, then you know that I love shoes. I love my high heeled, pointy toed, bad-for-my-back shoes. I think longingly of the brand new pair of brown suede high heeled shoes that are (dare I say it?) lovingly wrapped and stored in my closet, waiting to be worn. I look enviously at some of my colleagues in their snazzy high heels that clickety clack down the hall. And then I put on a pair of sensible, rubber soled shoes. Because the very thought of putting on those heels makes me wince at the pain in my lower back that is already a constant and cringe at the thought of the jarring feeling of those heels against the concrete floors that I walk on all day long. The funny part about this is that I am, apparently, known for my shoes. More than one person has told me that I will have to stop wearing the heels, or they have commented on the fact that I have stopped wearing them. Who knew people were paying so much attention to my feet all these years?

There are more.....many more....but I bet you are getting the gist. One crazy side effect of pregnancy is that you really do have all of these thoughts about everything all the time. I mean, I know you do normally, but this is way beyond normal....

Friday, January 11, 2008

It's a.....

Here are some pictures from today--the day we found out we are having a daughter. The day she is 19 weeks old.
This is her foot: (See it there? Right in the middle? We already know she has five toes and five fingers. We saw them today. Of course, I'm sure I'll still count them once she joins us in the outside world.)
And in this picture- this is where you see that she is a little girl. It doesn't look like much, but it's her little bottom-to the left (and her legs are to the right) and then the three itty-bitty blobbish lines to the left of the + sign are the female parts:

And here is another picture- she was moving to suck her thumb here:
Everything was measured--and I do mean everything....her bones, her organs, her head.....They checked to be sure that everything was where it was supposed to be and that there were no genetic defects or chromosomal problems and that everything was developing properly. And everything was. We really did create a miracle......

Proof positive

Right before vacation....that is, right before I became so visibly pregnant that now even strangers are asking me how far along I am, three separate events occurred that were rather telling. At least, I thought they were rather telling....I will share them with you, and let you make up your own opinions.

Event #1:

I walked into the office of a colleague and she greeted me and then glanced at my belly. "Wow!" she exclaimed, "You are really showing now!" To which I replied, "Yeah, I haven't actually gained all that much weight but it all seems to be settling right in my belly." And then she asked, "How much weight have you gained anyway?"

Event #2:

My students had been telling me that they didn't think I looked very pregnant, in fact, they thought I looked rather skinny. Until A. A took one look at me one day and said "Mrs. S, your belly is really big!"

Event #3:

A colleague of mine approached me to tell me a story....apparently another teacher had asked her how far along I was and she had said a little over three months. Apparently that teacher didn't believe her....she was convinced I was further along than that based on my belly.

(For those of you that have seen me recently, keep in mind all of this happened BEFORE Christmas break....before I truly "popped".)

Your thoughts on these events?

Monday, January 07, 2008

Christmas marathon

OK, OK, I know that Christmas has become a memory for many of you and the only thought you may have of it at this late date is when you drive by the sad Christmas trees abandoned by the side of the road (seriously, is there anything more sad than a Christmas tree after Christmas?) but still...I haven't written about Christmas so here it is. My marathon post about my marathon Christmas.....

Christmas in our family is always more of a marathon than a sprint. The festivities begin long before Christmas arrives and end long after Christmas is actually over. As a child this was the best thing EVER because it meant lots of presents and a holiday of gift giving that lasted forever. As a hormonal teenager I was occasionally bored at the various family events but went to them anyways, recognizing the value of tradition and family. As an adult I cherish these events because they are the hallmarks of my childhood and because in a crazy world they are unchanged and comforting. Now that we're expecting our first child I approached every event with a new thought: "at this time next year we'll have a 7 month old!" or "I can't wait until my baby gets to do this!" Pretty cool.

Anyway...a week before Christmas two events happened: my father's side of the family had their annual Christmas party and we hosted our first (hopefully annual) cookie exchange. My father's family Christmas party is the same every's in the same VFW hall, with the same recycled decorations....the food is pot luck and usually consists of sandwiches, the occasional hot food item and yes, the dorito salad makes an appearance. We turn the lights off every year and stand in a big circle singing Christmas carols (that's my favorite part) and then, just as we are kissing and wishing all a Merry Christmas Santa arrives and starts handing out presents. Everyone from birth to 18 sits on Santa's lap to get a present (it's rather embarassing when you are 15 and older, but when you turn 18--well, it's like a graduation). Then we open our presents from family members. Everyone gets a name so everyone gets a present...the kids get multiple presents. Eventually people bundle up and head out leaving behind a few poor souls to clean up and take down the decorations to be saved for another year.

Our cookie exchange was low key and lovely. We didn't invite too many people, partly because we weren't organized enough to do so and partly because we liked the idea of keeping it small and simple. I'd say it was just about perfect. Everyone left with a snazzy tin filled with delicious cookies and there were even left overs to be shared with neighbors and friends. We definitely want to do it again next year.....

Christmas Eve was also a new event, that may also become an annual one. We hosted our parents for Christmas Eve dinner: also known as the Seven Fishes Dinner in my Italian family. Not being a fish lover this was always a meal I hated and I usually ate bread throughout much of this meal (no meat allowed after all!). My sister even pointed out that it was funny that we hosted this dinner since I hate fish so much (unless it's sushi of course, I know I'm weird!) But somehow, hosting it this year.....well, it was different. I still don't like fish, but I was brave and tried everything. But what made it different was that this meal always took place at Nonnie's house. Every year my whole family: aunts, uncles and cousins would gather at Nonnie's for this meal and sit around the table for HOURS just eating and eating and eating and the food never stopped coming. At least it felt that way. Hosting this meal for my parents and my in laws made me feel like my Nonnie was smiling down on me. Seeing as how it was our first Christmas without her it was a really great feeling....

OK, I know I'm not even up to Christmas yet but I also know that dinner is ready, and the baby wants to eat. I'll finish my marathon post about my marathon Christmas another day. Soon. Promise.