Thursday, September 24, 2009

In the News

1. I am running out of clothes that fit. As a solution to this problem, I have begun to wear pants that I can zip up most, but not all, of the way. Today I wore a skirt to work that zipped up about half way and had a full four inch gap at the top. Yeah, this is getting bad!

For some unknown reason, there are a number of rather terrifying articles about pregnancy and babies in the news today. Like:

2. Evidently it is possible to get pregnant while pregnant...

3. ...and also to have a two-foot-long, 19 pound baby!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

For the books

It is worth noting: this is the world's largest potato!

It has been absolutely freezing in Colorado (48 degrees outside right now... Brrrrr!!!). I completely adore it, it makes me feel like turning on the fire and breaking out the Halloween decorations. But, anticipating the cold, I knew when I planned our menu this week that I needed a potato so I could make broccoli cheese soup.

When Casey came back with this huge thing, I couldn't believe my eyes!!

It's the hugest, most ginormous potato I've ever seen! (And no, that is absolutely not a euphimism!) Seriously, I couldn't even hold it long enough to peel it; it weighs like 30 pounds.

It was worth it, though; our broccoli cheese soup turned out spectacularly! It was a delicious lead in to my favorite fall season!

Sunday, September 20, 2009


There are many, many reasons I love being a teacher. Dealing with 13 year olds with crazy germs, not so much... but that aside...

I worked Monday of last week, then found out the big swine flu news, so I stayed home Tuesday through Thursday, and finally went back on Friday. Maybe not completely well, but it seemed like the right thing to do just the same.

When I got back, not only were the kids extremely glad to see me (which was so ridiculously nice, I was pretty sure that, since they are at that ripe old age of 13 now, they would be too cool to have "missed" the teacher!), but they also wanted nothing more than to tell me about the array of substitutes they had had while I was away. It was really cute, even kids that I wouldn't consider to be very "into" talking to the teacher were eager to tell me all about it.

The reason I am relaying this story is that one of my classes also called me out on the pregnancy issue. I know that teachers aren't supposed to have favorites, but sometimes a class dynamic just really comes together much better than others. The students are cooperative, polite, hardworking, and it has that illusive something that's particularly illusive in middle school - maybe it's that they seem to genuinely like each other? I won't lie; when you have a class like that, it's difficult not to like them!

So I was lucky that it was this class that called me out. I hadn't been planning on telling them until at least October (when I can no longer hide it). But, one of my cute students timidly raised her hand on Friday afternoon somewhere between talking about one of her eccentric subs and my experience being swabbed up the nose to test for swine flu.

Student: "Mrs. S, please don't be offended if you're not, but... are you pregnant?"

I'm pretty sure my face shuffled through about 8 diffferent expressions - since I hadn't been planning on telling them! - and I finally decided it would be silly not to tell them the truth.

They took the news amazingly! They were all genuinely excited - which surprises me from 13 year olds!! They had a million questions, wanting to know whether we're having a boy or a girl and what we're going to name him or her. It was so fun!!

Evidently they are far more observant than I was at 13, because they decided that I was too "cute" and "small," so my belly must be a baby bump.

Yeah, no wonder I like them!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bigger and Better

Welcome, 2nd Trimester!!!!

Hello, glorious second trimester! We have long-awaited your arrival!

I am so grateful to be able to say that I am in my 2nd trimester. As much as I would like to say I've played it cool from the get-go... I think we can all attest, that's just not in my nature. I have fretted over every little thing, particularly because that first trimester can be a little risky.

Even so, I have also learned a lot about myself in the past 14 weeks. I am proud of myself for the way I have handled that difficult first trimester. I am tougher than I think I am, and mind over matter really went a LONG way for me the past three months! I really can't complain, it has been comparatively easy to some of the horror stories I've heard. Although not everything was particularly pleasant, and there is definitely a lot to adjust to, I have enjoyed every single minute of being pregnant!!

Lovin' the maternity pants!

Here is a little snapshot of our first 14 weeks of pregnancy:

14 times I cried over something ridiculous (let's just pretend this number actually stops at 14, I didn't keep an exact count!)
13 friends and family members told the news (though more by word of mouth - our parents' big mouths!)
12 times a day (at least) I had to take a detour to the bathroom. Generally, at least 5-6 of those were at night.
11 extra trips to the grocery store - made by my awsesome husband, of course, because he's kind - for pregnancy-related foods.
10 days that we had bean burritos for dinner because it is all that sounded good to me.
9 foods - including chicken, salmon, almonds, most meats, and certain kinds of veggies - that I used to eat every day that sound absolutely disgusting to me since getting pregnant.
8 pounds gained. A little more than recommended, but I had been on a ridiculous diet and work out regimine prior to getting pregnant. There was NO WAY I was ever going to keep that up. Ah, size 4, I shall miss you.
7 centimeters Baby measured at last ultrasound.
6 articles of maternity clothes purchased, 4 shirts and 2 amazing pairs of pants that I'd like to live in
5 calls to the nurse to make sure what I was experiencing was normal
4 nights when I felt decent enough to make dinner. Poor Casey.
3 times we ordered Chinese food, which has been a huge craving of mine
2 visits to the doctor, complete with ultrasound pictures!
1 time I couldn't avoid the nausea and actually threw up.

HOURS and hours that I laid on the couch feeling completely exhausted and/or sick.

The joy of remembering every day that I am beyond lucky to have so many incredible blessings in my life. We are actually having a baby!!! These last 14 items could have said anything, and it would always have been worth it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I don't know that I would have believed it a few months ago, but being sick as a pregnant lady is infinitely worse than being sick normally. Really, nothing is different...
Except it's terrifying.
There are so many precautions we are supposed to take anyway, that having any kind of an illness is just over the top. I have been feeling poorly for about 3 days - coughing and runny nose, not a big deal. But the one thing that my OBGYN kept reiterating was that if I develop a fever over 100.5 degrees, I needed to be seen right away.
When I went to bed last night, my temp was almost at 100. I wanted to wake up to check it throughout the night, but Casey assured me I'd be fine. So, when I woke up at 5 with a temperature of 100.6, I was pretty freaked out.
As per my doctor, I went to an urgent care center right away. Unfortunately, though, they had absolutely no idea why my doctor would recommend I go to the doctor, since there was really nothing they could do for me. They don't check the baby unless I'm at 20 weeks, which obviously I'm not. And they can't do anything to bring my fever down that I couldn't already do at home.
I called the on-call nurse at my hospital, and the big reason they are concerned is because of the flu that is going around. So evidently I need to find a physician who is testing for the flu, which, as it turns out, is easier said than done. The family practices are all happy to see me, but they are not testing for the flu right now... which seems a little silly.
It is very nerve-wracking to have all of this going on, and have to be responsible for the little life I love so much. Being a mommy is a scary thing in some ways - and this is just my first little forray into it!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Better every day

I went to the gym today! I am extremely proud of myself, because it has been like 6 or 7 weeks since I've done that - mostly because I have been alternating between feeling sick, exhausted and weak for most of that time.

And I'm finally feeling none of those! Okay, that's not 100% the truth, but I am feeling them to a much more diminished extent, and to me, that seems like a triumph. I have really missed going to the gym, truth be told. I enjoy the work out, and it was nice - before - to watch myself slimming down and getting stronger. Jessica and I had a quasi-plan to train for a marathon next year. Somehow I'm not really sure that is in the cards anymore, which makes me a little sad.

At any rate, it was nice to be back in the gym. I'm stronger than I thought I would be, considering I haven't done this in 6 weeks! It's definitely a little nerve-racking, though; I'm not sure what I can do and what's not particularly good for Baby. The doctor said I could do whatever I was doing before we got pregnant, but I'm not sure how some of that works.

And I am noticing an increase in energy. There is no way I would have been able to do this three weeks ago! It's an intense class, and I would have been weak and sick and had to give up, so that's definitely some improvement. I'm feeling much better all around, too. This was an extremely busy week - the earliest I made it home was 6:30 (12 hour day, no biggie!). And, although it exhausted me, I made it through just fine. That's a VAST improvement from the days that I could hardly muster the energy to drag myself off the couch! So all in all, a lot to be thankful for!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The most beautiful...

Week 12!

Look at Baby's pretty little hands!!!!!!!

We had our second doctor's appointment today, but our first with the new doctor. Since I have a new job, I changed my insurance carrier and so we had to change our doctors as well - which is actually probably very beneficial. We met with our new OBGYN, I am pleased to say that we both loved her! She was extremely knowledgeable, but also very funny, easy going, pleasant and full of energy.

As part of our visit, we got to see a second ultrasound, and much to my relief and amazement, everything looks great! The progression that has taken place in the past 6 weeks is just incredible! Our first ultrasound was practically unreadable. Of course, I was so thrilled to see it that it didn't matter, but you couldn't make out anything but a little blob. This time around, Baby is starting to look like something resembling an actual baby! We could see the spine, the eyes, even the fingers of the hand! We discoverd that our sweet baby is already a thumb sucker (I hear that's pretty common, but I still think it's the coolest thing on the face of the planet. Our baby is so totally a genius)!

Baby's head is pointing down here, and the eye is clearly visible (that little tiny circle!), and you can see the fingers where Baby is sucking its thumb!

I was so immersed in looking at Baby from all the various angles, trying to see what little features I could make out, that I even forgot to cry. Until, that is, a faint, scratchy little sound came over the ultrasound. As it intensified, it developed into a fast, strong thub-thubbing, and I realized what it was: our baby's heartbeat! The experience of it was beyond words. By far the most beautiful sound in the world! That I did not survive without tears!!

Casey and I also finished the first book - The Iliad - that we are reading to Baby. Well, not finished so much as just decided we're done reading it. Yeah... that book is definitely a marathon, not a sprint! We've been reading it for about 8 weeks, and we're only about half way through. I don't particularly want to spend the entire pregnancy reading this one book to Baby, so we've decided to move on to Harry Potter, which is already going much more quickly! I think Casey is particularly pleased to be rid of Hector, Achilles and their commerades; he's not exactly what you would call a reader, so I'm pretty sure that, to him, this was like starting by climbing Mt. Everest!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

All the things I love

Things I love:

1. Decorating for fall. Without doubt, fall is my favorite season! I love it when the kids go back to school, when the mornings become cool, when the days begin to get a little shorter. Every year, I look forward to watching the leaves change, using my crockpot, and listening to those old crooners that I love so much (Frank, Dean, Ella), which, for some reason, always seems most appropriate in the fall!

2. My amazing husband! Because, even though every year I start to get ridiculously excited about fall - and subsequently Halloween and Christmas, because my brain never stops where a normal person's would - WAAAAY earlier than I should, he always puts up with me, and even supports me. Even though I decorated for fall early. Even though I have been begging to watch Halloween episodes of our favorite TV shows since July. Even though I have been searching and for Halloween decorating ideas. Even though I drug him to the Halloween store - which had only opened that day - two weeks ago. I don't know how he keeps from laughing at me! He's a very strong man!!

3. Pumpkin Spice lattes (half-caf, of course!). As with so many other of my favorite elements of fall, I wait all year for these delicious treats! Today was the first day they were available, and guess who had one waiting for me when I got home tonight?! Yep. One more reason I love him!!

4. Chinese food. Enough said.

5. "It Won't Be Like This for Long" by the artist formerly known as Hootie (now he's minus the Blowfish). This song made me absolutely sob all the way home from work today. Not that that's particularly unusual - the same might result from driving past a blue Honda or a really cute dog on the side of the road. Especially if it's a day ending in "y." I'm just saying...

6. The fact that I'll be pregnant over the holidays. Everyone should be so lucky, seriously. ALERT: another crying story lies ahead. You've been forewarned... I was in Hobby Lobby on Friday, and they have all their Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas stuff out already. As I was walking through the aisles, I felt such an overwhelming sense of contentment and joy it brought me to tears.

On another note, it is kind of incredible to me that, after all the crying I've done in my life over things that are truly sad and tragic, I now - and haven't for some years - shed nothing besides tears of joy. What a remarkable turn around! After all the death and sadness, I am actually carrying life - literally! I get to wake up every day and feel my little belly, and know that a miracle is happening. What an amazing blessing.

I changed my font at