The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My kids, from the very big to the very little

Today was an interesting day. I started at work, left for a couple of hours to go to an ultrasound and dr. appointment, and then returned to teach the rest of my classes and do back to school night.

There is so much I could say today, so here are the highlights:

I've never had an ultrasound this late before, and it was really cool. I couldn't see the whole baby as much as when she was 15-24 weeks (had 3 ultrasounds during that time), but what we could see of her face and everything was so pronounced. We could even see her opening and closing her eyes. It was crazy how much of her features we could really see. She really looks like Marc (but so did Vinny as an infant, and now he looks a lot more like me). She has a lot of hair. The tech measured her hair and said she's got at least half and inch of hair all over her head. It was crazy; you could see it waving in the fluid. 

Dr. said she is perfect, but measuring small for her gestational age. He offered to refer me to a specialist, but I am not concerned at all. He said that it is very possible that it is just genetics leading to small babies. A specialist could actually do genetic testing to determine that, but I don't need a specialist to tell me that this is the case. She is only 36 weeks, and she looks like she would be about 5 pounds 8 oz if born today. Vinny was born at 37 weeks (argueably 38 weeks- the dr and I disagreed on his due date- but with this one I am certain), and he was 5 pounds 10 oz and very healthy, just small. Marc was full-term and was 5 pounds 6 ounces. I was 7 pounds something ounces (why do I know everyone exactly but myself?), but I was a full week late. I was always the smallest kid in class. Vinny has never gone beyond the 10th percentile. So I am certain she will be a small baby, and probably just a small person in general. Why wouldn't she be? But hey, it is lucky for me... I would much rather deliver a 6-7 pound baby than anything bigger.

My blood pressure was great (was induced last time because of preeclampsia, so this is a good sign), and we are moving right along. I'm 2 cm dialated and 70% effaced. He expects things will go quickly when it happens, but it could still be any time between like next week and my actual due date of Sept. 21st. Much of the faculty (and student body) is betting I will go into labor at school. I suppose there is a good chance, just based on pure percentage of time spent there vs. at home, but I doubt it. Besides, only like 10% start labor with their water breaking, so, although the kids are expecting some exciting Hollywood-esque moment of a huge gush and a rush to find someone to bring me to the hospital, it would more likely be me noticing small contractions, finding coverage, and driving myself home to labor there until the contractions got worse. 

Not much to say on this front, but I just have to share a few funny Vinny-isms. Yesterday, a family friend brought a gift for Tiana and a gift for Vinny. He got a gift certificate to Baskin Robbins. He was so excited. We told him what it was in the car, he was "reading" me the fine print. It went something like this, "Mommy, it says you go to the store and give them this paper and they give you free ice cream- freezed ice cream- and you just have to be happy because they give you ice cream, and it says you can't be sad because they are giving you ice cream, so you just have to be glad."  Fantastic, right? We all need to think a little more like my son. Seriously.

Another funny. Is it possibly a telling sign that when my son plays with a cup in his bubble bath he likes to scoop up water with bubbles still on top, so that it looks like foam on a drink, and yell, "Mommy, your coffee is ready!" I suppose he knows that Mommy doesn't really think coffee is worth too terribly much without cream on top.

My Big Kids
I love my job a lot. As exhausting as it is, I especially love teaching theater. Today's rehearsal was awesome. I had a good laugh when I noticed my Ebeneezer Scrooge, a senior who is one of my best students, dragging himself painfully across stage and I asked, "What's wrong? Are you hurt?" only to be told, "No, just sore. I tried MMA [mixed martial arts- a program offered afterschool] yesterday and I think it was the first time I have worked out in over a year."  I laughed and informed him that it was probably a good decision then. It will be offered on Tuesdays, when we do not have rehearsal, so I really hope he keeps going.  Hmmm... a year? Perhaps my drama kids should do aerobic warm ups.

I had another interesting moment today when I said hello to one of the seniors who was one of my star theater kids last year but doesn't have room in his schedule this year, and he seemed down so I said, "You look rather put out. Everything okay?"  He answered, "I have 7 classes."  He is really bummed because he is super intelligent but blew off a lot of stuff his freshman and sophomore year, so he has had a lot of catching up to do while a lot of his friends have only a few classes. I reminded him that it is just one tough year and then he will be done, high school diploma in hand, off to get any job (within reason) that he wants, because he is so charismatic that he'll get any job he interviews for. He replied, "I hate how much you believe in me." I laughed and replied, "Someone has to, and if its not going to be you, it'll have to be me." I meant it too.

A group of my drama kids learned some tough lessons today at Back to School night. Since my class is truly career prep now, I am letting them really be quite project-based in all things, and not taking control of anything, including tonight's back to school night concessions fundraiser. I gave them a budget for supplies, cash for shopping, and told them to decide what to sell and make it happen. They did okay, but there was quite a few moments where they ran to me in panic, "Where are the ice cream toppings?" or "Do you have an ice cream scoop?"  I just smiled and said, "Ask your project manager." Made them all crazy I am sure, but they got through, made a profit (haven't counted exactly yet, but looks like they did), and I am sure learned a lot. I  plan on having them write reflections tomorrow. :-)

I love my job.


  1. Niki you are an awesome teacher...

    Sean measured small also. at 36 weeks they said he would be 5 lbs 5 oz, he was born at 39 weeks at 6 lbs 9 oz and look at him now.

    Vinny is going to be the best big brother.

  2. Dude...our family has SMALL BABIES. Doctors just freak out because everyone has fat babies nowadays. She's almost as big as Vinny was when he came out! LOL I think she'll be fine.