Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sweet and Sour

Week 11 is here! Hooray!!

I am so excited to be leaving the first trimester behind me! True to form, as everyone has said I would, I am feeling better all the time. I hate to complain, because I could have felt as bad as I did AND have horrible morning sickness on top of it. Baby upheld his or her end of the bargain; we had a deal to go easy on mom when it came to the upset tummies, and I definitely had it much easier than I could have in that regard.

That said, though, there is a great deal about the first trimester that I won't miss.

Our weekly routine has pretty much taken shape, looking something like this:
*Our new pregnancy week begins on Wednesday. As we settle in for bed on Wednesday nights, instead of reading to Baby, Casey and I each take turns reading from a pregnancy book.
*Usually he reads aloud from "What to Expect," and I read from the pregnancy journal Kelsey got me.
*We look at how much Baby has grown (an entire half inch this week! In week 10, Baby gained half-again as much as it has previously grown - from one inch to 1 1/2 inches!! That 1/2 inch gained will keep up for a while).
*We look at which interesting food item the book is comparing Baby to this week (week 11: our little LIME!).
*We see what amazing, wonderful and incredible things Baby is up to during the upcoming week, like growing teeth!
*We compare the symptoms I am experiencing to what the book says I can look forward to.
*We chart my weight gain (limited so far) and changes in the proportions of my body (amazingly significant, considering I haven't gained much weight... not sure how to feel about that).

It is an amazing, wonderful and mind-boggling process. I can't believe that Baby gains 1/2 an inch in length every week! And all of the incredible advances in Baby's body as it gets to be less and less like an alien and more like a little person. This week, Baby's hands and feet are not webbed for the first time. WOW! And Baby's gender "bits" - even though we won't be able to see them for QUITE some time - will be in place by the end of the week (well, mostly anyway). That's just amazing. I'm so proud of our little lime!!!

And it is crazy to me to think that I am carrying a little lime. My tummy is firm and definitely more on the round side, but it is so bizarre and wonderful to think that all of that growth reflects the little person that is actually in there! How can something so tiny have such amazingly huge effects on me... and I mean that in ALL senses of the word. WOW is my word of the day, because I am still having some difficulty comprehending the enormousness of this amazing gift. W-O-W!! :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Breaking the news

I am sorry to say that our friends were pretty much the last to find out our good news. Of course, we told our parents and my sister. Next up on the dockett should have been our awesome, supportive circle of friends. Sadly, instead it was my boss and some of the people that I work most closely with due to the fact that I have been worried about having to go back to work and face the typical first trimester symptoms...

So, even though they were among the last of the first wave (does that make sense? First wave being those that we plan to tell prior to October) to know, we did come clean last week and share the big news...

...and their reactions were better than I could have ever asked for!

I made shirts for everyone that say "Auntie" or "Uncle." Casey and I are extremely blessed to have a very supportive, very close-knit group of people around us. I am actually a relative new-comer to this group, having come into it when Casey and I started dating 7 years ago. He has been friends with many of these people for probably close to 15 years, so we definitely feel like our friends are part of our family. I look forward to our children having that relationship with them as well!

The girls were SO supportive and wonderful. It is exciting to me to know that this will be an experience that (hopefully) each of us will be able to share with the others. I can't wait to see what the future holds for each of us!! And, I swear everyone - except me - has an "Auntie" so-and-so shirt, but evidently the only ones that show up on camera are the navy blue with white lettering.

The guys were cute as well. Nico, who already has a 5 year old son, was nostalgic and shared some of his experiences when his then-wife was pregnant. My favorite, though, was Andrew, who is kind of play-it-cool when it comes to emotions; very stoic. He was genuinely emotional and excited, which was soooo cool to see! Really, really cute!!
I am also excited, because the closer I get to the second trimester, the better I am feeling. Although I still have no energy, my energy levels are actually - VERY slowly - starting to recover. I think I have been at about a 30% for the past 6 weeks, and finally today I am at about a 50%. So, even though it's slow, I'm definitely starting to feel that increase in energy. Now, granted, I have done little besides sleep for the past 36 hours, but still... I'll take what I can get!
Feeling like this, though, brings to light just how crappy I've been feeling, even when I didn't realize it. Going through it day to day, there's just nothing to do but push through and do the best I can, even when it's difficult. When I look back on just how little energy I've had, and how crappy I've truly felt now that I don't feel so bad, I'm actually a little bit proud of myself that I've been as tough and as positive as I have. Casey has been a HUGE help in that regard, because he helps me to conserve every little bit of energy possible by taking care of every single thing he can for me, from making me breakfast in the mornings, to cleaning and housework on the weekends, and even preparing me meals. He's probably fixed dinner more times in the past three weeks than in the past three years that we've lived together!
He made me cry this week too, because I had a really difficult, long day at school and came home completely exhausted. After teaching all day, I just had no drive or strength left to do anything but lay on the couch. Casey ran a bunch of errands for me and then went to the grocery store on top of that. When he came home, not only had he completed a bunch of stuff that I was supposed to do, but he brought me sunflowers to top it off! He is the BEST husband in the whole world! It made me cry because I felt like I should be giving him flowers for all of his extra work, not the other way around!!
Anyway, I hope this is a trend that will keep up. Most days, I feel better than I have in a while, and with any luck, that will continue to be the case as we move into trimester 2!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

School Days, part II

Back to School!

The students returned to school on Thursday, August 13th this year. As you can see, I was pretty excited to have them back. Although the school is amazing and beautiful, it just felt empty until it had all those little faces back in the halls and classrooms!
Before the kiddos came back, I had access to my classroom (in addition to some LONG days of training). Here are a few pics of the classroom as I found it:

*A shot of my classroom - or as much as I could get of it in one picture! That thing hanging down
is a projector, which hooks up to my computer so I don't have to use an overhead machine.
I absolutely adore all of the technology I get to use! What a turn-around from my classroom at Adams City!

*Here is a shot of the front of the room. My desk is off to the left of this shot.

*My beautiful view!!! An entire wall of windows - awesome!!

I was extremely lucky, because Casey spent the better part of one day with me, helping me work on getting the classroom in a more "kid friendly" condition. I think we really accomplished something:
*Just to help, a little reminder of the many kinds of punctuation... I teach Language Arts, after all!

*I had to have a little Twilight. I never said I wasn't a fanatic...

*My awesome little office area. It's starting to look lived in!

*I really wanted to emphasize the college thing early.
Hopefully, there will be a few for whom it sticks.

*Pendant flags from all the Big XII schools (and CO State against my will. I suppose I really should support the in-state schools).
I was really pleased with how the first week of school went. We had back to school night Thursday, which was fun. At Adams City, I had probably 100 kids and only about 6 parents who showed up. This time around, I had 5 or 6 from each one of my classes. It is really encouraging to have parents and students who are invested in their education!
Although I am completely exhausted (Casey and I ordered in last night and were supposed to watch a movie... except that I fell asleep at about 8:00), it was a great first week. I really enjoy working with my students. 8th grade is definitely a different animal than high school, but it's also really fun.
And I've been feeling pretty good on top of that. As long as I manage my meals by eating every few hours, I still haven't had much nausea. I also came clean to my boss and co-workers, mostly because I wasn't sure what the protocol would be for leaving a classroom of students alone if I had to make a sudden trip to the restroom... Fortunately, though, I haven't had to do that!
Now, if I could just get my energy level back!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Why sisters are the best

Someone in our family is going to be a new Auntie soon!

We broke the news to my sister yesterday, and far and away, her raction wins the day (well, except Casey - daddies always win by default!). Of course, I had to have a plan to make the moment special (as if the news isn't special enough?!), so I made her a shirt that says, in blue embroidered letters, "Auntie Kelsey." I wrapped the shirt with the ultrasound picture beneath it, and went to meet her for coffee.

The surprise went like this:

Me: **ridiculously excited, handing Kelsey the present.
Kelsey: **unwrapping the box. A box! I always wanted a box!
Me: **nods and fights back laughter - this is exactly what Casey said...
Kelsey: **opens the box. And... Paper!
Me: Yes... and...?
Kelsey: And... a shirt! Aw thanks... **Pause to read the shirt
Kelsey: ... Auntie Kelsey?...
Kelsey: ...?
Kelsey: ...?
Kelsey: ARE YOU PREGNANT?!?!?!

This was all followed by some squealing, a huge hug and some wonderful incoherence. She was so excited and surprised, I could hardly answer one question before she was asking me about something else. It was absolutely adorable, and amazing to have my sister's awesome, enthusiastic support. Just a guess, but I think she's pretty pleased that she will get to be an auntie.

The really cool thing, though, was when she took us out to dinner to celebrate. To MY surprise, she had responded even more generously:

by purchasing me and Baby an absolutely gorgeous new diaper bag! I really like this bag a ton; it's not pink or blue (which is good, because neither is baby at this point), and it's not too schmoopy or baby-ish... it doesn't scream "YOU'RE A MOM!" which I love. It's just a great, functional black bag. Plus, until Baby gets here, it's good for sneaking snacks into the movie theatre...

She also went waaaay above and beyond in her new Auntie role by getting us a baby name book and a pregnancy journal, as well as some aromatherapy bubble bath (one of which is designed to help you when you're "overtired and cranky" - it's like she knows me!!).

The last thing she gave us was the very first book in Baby's library - "I'll Love you Forever." Awww! Kelsey is a wise lady, and she had me open this one last because she knew it would make me cry - which it did!

I can't help but feel extremely lucky. It has been such a crazy, delightful journey already, and we still have such a long way to go. I know that our baby will be surrounded by incredible love from his or her family... we are truly, truly blessed!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

School Days

Well, after a truly wonderful summer, it's back to the grindstone. Except in my case, the grindstone is really not so bad! In fact, I am totally excited to set up my classroom and to see the faces of all those kiddos in their seats. I am so completely thrilled about my new job, it fits me in absolutely every way possible. I couldn't have found a more perfect place to truly begin my teaching career!

The district hosted a training this week for all teachers new to the district. I have spent the past week with the rest of the new staff, and it has been awesome. They are all great, funny and fun people, and I think it's going to be a wonderful school year. The trainings have been a little redundant - 5 hours on formative assessment? Isn't this why I went back to school? - but the company makes it enjoyable nonetheless.

On the pregnancy front, we hit a pretty momentous milestone: we told our parents the good news! It has been extremely hard to wait this long (week 8! Woohoo!), but I wanted it to be a memorable moment for more than the obvious reason. To that end, weeks ago, we ordered coffee mugs that say "Grandma" and "Grandpa" to give to our parents as a way to tell them. On Monday, Casey and I were taking the dogs for a walk when we discovered that the packages had arrived! We made it to the end of the driveway before I turned around and begged him to let us break the news that very night!

Casey is always such a good sport, and willing to go along with whatever crazy plan I dream up. So, even though it was already 7:30 in the evening, we immediately wrapped the mugs, got in the car and drove to Littleton to tell my mom. When we got there, she opened up a bag containing this:

Although, she kind of ruined my surprise because she actually saw the ultrasound picture first, at which point she got a little emotional, but it was wonderful just the same.

Then, we went on to Casey's parents' house, and I think it is fair to say that they were both pretty excited! There were a few tears... I am so thrilled to have the support of our parents as we embark on this next amazing chapter of our lives.

At any rate, it has been a wonderful, exhausting week, and I am very much looking forward to more of the same.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Telling Casey!

Hello all, Casey here...

Here is the video of Melissa giving me a very special present on July 8th 2009. We were super excited, as you can see from the last few of Melissa's posts. As you can see from the gift that Melissa gave me, she went above and beyond to make this moment as memorable as possible. I am extremely glad that she had the forethought to setup the video camera and capture this moment on tape so we can always look back and watch it in the future. This is something that we will remember for a long time to come. I could not wait to go and see the doctor to know that everything was good and healthy. It was so cool to see the little pictures on the machine. It made us both extremely happy. I hope you all enjoy the little movie.

I changed my font at