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, September 30, 2010

SB 1381 Kindergarten Age

I am literally saying prayers right now that Gov. Schwarzenegger does not sign this bill.

If you are not familiar with the billl, it changes the deadline for kindergarten entrance from Dec 2. to Sept. 1st. The reason for this is that apparently some educators feel that children who enter kindergarten at age 4 are not quite ready for the academic demands and are not as successful as their peers. Frankly, I think it is totally the wrong solution.

The bill would create a transitional kindergarten for children whose birthdays fall between September and December. Basically, for kids in the transitional kindergarten, it would be like they are in kindergarten for 2 years, starting with skills that are more pre-k type skills. The reason that they cite for this necessity is, ironically enough, the importance of early learning. Advocates of the bill point out that many children of low-income families enter kindergarten with no preparation at all, and that they are less likely to succeed if they are younger. California has some of the most rigorous academic expectations for kindergarteners. Studies show that the first 5 years of a child's life are some of the most impressionable, when they are most ripe for learning literacy and numeracy skills. I do not understand why it makes sense to then push kids out of kindergarten during this time period.

Part of the problem is that parents who are more affluent and can afford an extra year of preschool are choosing not to send their children to kindergarten until as late as 6 years old. This makes an understandably difficult situation for any kindergarten teacher. How do you teach a child who is 4.75 years old and has never held a pencil or heard the alphabet in the same class as a 6 year old child who went to a reading readiness preschool and already knows the phonetics of each letter and has 20 or so sight words? It would be very challenging. I can't even imagine. However... that situation could be reversed too. You could still have a 4.75 year old who attended the reading readiness school and a 6 year old child of migrant workers who helped mom pick berries until this year. Age is not the main factor for success in the equation. Parenting and education is.

The answer, however, is not pushing kids OUT of school in those very advantageous learning years. The answer is not creating transitional kindergartens for that AGE group. The answer is assessing a child's skills and putting them in the appropriate program for those skills, transitional or regular. The answer is not using average daily attendance money to keep kids in kindergarten for an extra year. It is creating more funds for mandatory preschool programs. It is revising the California Compulsory Attendance law. Did you know that, in the state of California, children are not required to attend school until they are 6 years old?  As a result, some parents are actually choosing not to send their children to school until they are 6, and then having them start kindergarten when they are 6. Under the law, they are supposed to start in 1st grade if they start at 6, but in most districts, this would put children at a disadvantage, so they are started in kindergarten.

 Tiana's birthday is only 2 weeks after the deadline. She will inevitably be very similar to Vinny in that she will get a high quality early childhood education. Vinny is currently 4, in a pre-k program, learning many of the things that are supposed to be in this new transitional kindergarten. In fact, much of what he is being taught is actually part of current kindergarten curriculum too, which I am finding is actually pretty common in high quality preschool instruction. Vinny is rather successful in this age-appropriate curriculum. So... if, this bill passes, then that puts Tiana doing this stuff for 2 years- once when she is 4 in pre-k, and then again when she is 5 in transitional kindergarten. Frankly... that's ridiculous.

The text of the bill says that a school district MAY, on a case-by-case basis, admit a 4 year old child to a regular kindergarten as long as he/she turns 5 at any time during the school year, but both the governing board and the parents must agree that it is in the best interest of the child. Because it is written as a MAY, and it is up to a governing board, my guess is that most school districts will not be spending the time or money to hear very many cases like this. I would be more pleased with this condition of the bill if it required school districts to assess a child for regular kindergarten if a parent requests it, but under this bill, the law will not require them to do so, so I don't see why they would. They might... but there is no guarantee.

In my opinion, some huge reforms are necessary, but this is not it. I think that the following should happen:
1) A state-funded mandatory preK program school be created.
2) It should be mandatory for children to attend a preK class at age 4.
3) Transitional kindergarten should only be used for kids who are behind after completing mandatory preK, and not yet ready for regular kindergarten.
4) Parents should not be allowed to voluntarily hold their children back.
5) Children should always be retained if they have not met the majority of grade level standards, at teacher's discretion. No pushing kids forward just to keep them with their class... ever.

Ugh.... this state, I swear.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Possibly my first real breakdown...

... since Tiana arrived (unless you count the one in the hospital where I started crying and begging them to remove at least one of the IVs so that I could just stand up again).

At around 7::45 tonight, I really felt like I was losing it. I won't go in to all of it, but my beloved children were just making me crazy. Marc is at youth group tonight, and he was unfortunately really missed. Last week I was fine, but tonight, not so much. Tiana for some reason got really hungry and between 5pm and 7:30pm wanted to eat like non-stop. She'd only fall asleep for a couple of minutes in between and then decide she was hungry again. Each time I couldn't believe she was still hungry, but sure enough... it was all she wanted. When you spend 9 months feeling like your body is totally not your own, spending 2 hours with a little person attached to you can feel very stifling... which is why it was so much more frustrating when Vinny decided he needed my complete attention too.

First, he was okay just playing on the floor near me while I fed Tiana. Then he decided he needed to bring the box he was playing with to me, and sit right next to me (and I mean right next to me), and I had to open  it to see what was inside. There was nothing inside, which he found just hysterical and cracked up laughing, obnoxiously loud, which of course would set Tiana off crying. Then, after the box thing was over, he decided he just liked sitting practically on top of me (really, I couldn't move my arms or legs), and he wouldn't move no matter how much I asked. Then, I guess he got a kick out of the fact that he could get that much of a rise out of Tiana, because he decided to just yell constantly. He was yelling everything he said and being right in my face, and there was very little I could do unless I wanted to interrupt the feeding, which I didn't totally have the energy for.

Finally, she finished eating and I was able to put Vinny in the bath. Ah... space.... except Tiana has become totally spoiled and decided that she was going to whimper unless I held her. It took another 30 minutes to get her in a deep enough sleep to put her down. Bleh. Fortunately, Vinny wanted out of the bath early, and Tiana slept long enough that I was able to read him a story just the two of us, which I hope helped with his need for my attention.

Both children are finally asleep, and I am exhausted.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I don't usually post videos or links, but this one warmed my heart:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Baby 2

People said all kinds of things about baby #2. Some I believed, some I did not. Here is what I have found so far and whether I am finding it to be myth or truth.

Labor always goes faster with the second baby. 
MYTH. I was induced with both, really nothing different in the how. Water broken by doctor, pitocin induction with both of them. Vinny (baby 1) was about an 8 hour labor. Tiana (baby 2) was a 12 hour labor. Yeah....

If you have one easy baby, then the next one will be the opposite. 
MYTH. I thought Vinny was an easy baby. (Because he truly was. Everyone told me that he was an easy baby).  He was a good eater. He didn't fuss very much. He slept a lot. Great, easy, happy baby, right? Compared to Tiana... Vinny was difficult. Tiana is SO easy. She sleeps wonderfully. She is so calm. At night, she eats and then pretty much immediately goes back to sleep. She doesn't need to be rocked or swaddled or anything. It makes my nights comparably blissful.

Each baby is different. From the very beginning, they have their own personalities. 
TRUE. Vinny was so alert at the beginning. Now that I see, I think more than the average newborn. Either that or Tiana is overly sleepy, but I think it is the opposite and Vinny was just overly active. Plus, Vinny is definitely a more independent kid, and now I see that this was his personality from the beginning. We moved him to his big crib at 2 weeks old, and I cannot imagine moving Tiana right now. She is SO attached to me and Marc. The only time she really cries is if we are holding her and we go to put her down before she is ready to be put down. She makes this super sad face (like a cartoon frown, it is crazy funny looking) and cries this pathetically sad "Don't leave me Mommy!" cry. Vinny never ever did that when I put him down. He kind of just chilled there.

You will appreciate the baby stage with the second one. 
TRUE. I really, really, really did not believe this to be true, because I did not like when Vinny was so little and I just found myself constantly wanting him to get bigger and get to the next stage (until he was like a year old, and then I was pretty content at each stage). With Tiana, I am loving her being so little. She wants to just cuddle up with her head on my chest all the time, and I had forgotten how great that feels. Especially because this is almost definitely the last time I will do this, I am really enjoying her being so little and cuddly. Vinny has gotten cuddly again as he has gotten older (now he loves cuddling too), but it is different when you can fit the baby's whole body on your chest. I will miss this when she gets older.
The only part about the baby stage that I am excited to get over is the huge vulnerability. Her fragileness makes me crazy. For some reason I am way more nervous with this one. Which brings me to the next one...

You will be a more relaxed parent with the second one. 
MYTH. It is the opposite. I don't know why. Maybe I'm crazy, but with Vinny, I didn't really know anything about babies, so I just assumed everything was normal unless something was very obviously wrong, like when he had really high fevers or stuff like that. With Tiana, since I feel like I know what babies are "supposed" to be like now, I am comparing everything to Vinny, and if she does anything that I don't remember Vinny doing, then I get all nervous that something is wrong. Plus, I didn't worry that much about illnesses or anything with Vinny- I don't know why- but with Tiana, this whole pertussis thing is making me crazy nervous. I think it is partially because I didn't worry with Vinny, and when he got RSV, it was one of the worst experiences of my whole life, so I am terrified to have to go through something like that again, and terrified that it could not end as well.

You will love baby 2 just as much as baby 1. 
TRUE. I doubted this one, but it is true. I don't know how it works, because I never thought that my heart could love another person as much as I love Vinny, but I do truly adore Tiana just as much. More children do truly just overwhelm your heart with that much more love. (Don't read that the wrong way... I am still done with kids. As much as I love these two, I don't need more nor do I ever need to be pregnant again).  :-)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Like putting weights on a roadrunner...

This whole "slowing down" thing is really, really hard on me. I am a VERY active person. I thrive when managing 25 million things at once. I am happiest in life when I am busy. Since I had a slightly rough recovery with the blood loss and all, I was told to stay on bed rest for the first few days, and now I still am supposed to be sort of taking it easy, and just slowly returning to normal activity, but it is really, really hard on me.

Physically, I realize I have to. I was up and around a bit on Thursday and Friday, both around the house and a little out of the house, and while it was seriously nothing compared to my usual lifestyle, by Friday night, I was just zonked and physically really feeling the effects of it. I spent yesterday on the couch. Now today, I feel pretty good, and overall, I am sort of getting a little stir crazy. It is in my nature to want to stay busy. While I LOVE the stress-free feeling of being on maternity leave and not having a full stovetop of pots all boiling at the same time and 100 deadlines looming in the distance, it is in my nature to want to fill my time. I am having to make a conscious effort not to totally fill my calendar up, since Tiana and I need time to adjust.

Plus... I left several things somewhat undone upon leaving for break, like about 40 papers ungraded, so I need time to stay home and finish those too. But oh it is tempting to just be busy.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I am so blessed

#1) We are blessed to be part of a supportive Christian body.

Even though we have switched churches a few times in our marriage (part of being married to a minister), we have always been able to be part of supportive church bodies, and that has made such a difference in our lives. Especially at times like this. This past week, church members have been delivering meals to us, which has been a great help, and that is very helpful. :-)

#2) I am blessed to have a great job with great co-workers.

Not all people love their jobs, and I am fortunate to really love what I do. Even more than that, I really like the people I work with, and apparently, they like me, because they threw me the sweetest shower at lunch the week before I left on maternity leave. They chipped in to buy me the chair I wanted, and I love having it. When I am sitting in it, I feel loved.

#3) I have a great group of mom friends, and my son has a great group of long-term friends to create memories with.

We went to the play date/anniversary party yesterday (yes, we actually stayed out for a few hours) and it was wonderful. One of the moms was so much better prepared than the rest of us and brought a bunch of treats. The kids had so much fun and enjoyed it so much. Vinny proudly got to show off his baby sister, which he enjoyed very much. Then they found this hole in the bushes and they all played in the bushes for hours. They got covered in dirt. With little boys, this is always a good thing. :-)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A benefit to losing gallons of blood...

... is that I am halfway to pre-pregnancy size!

Seriously, I was lucked out there. After losing all of that blood, they gave me all these drugs to make my uterus contract faster, so within 24 hours of giving birth, my stomach was practically flat (okay, not flat, but in comparison, it felt that way).

When I had Vinny, I waited a week to step on the scale so that I wouldn't be too depressed with what I saw. Despite the fact that Vinny weighed 5 pounds 10 ounces, a week later, I had only lost like 3 pounds. Say what? And I still felt like I looked way pregnant... It sucked. I never expected miracles, but I had expected to lose at least the weight of the baby. I had a good cry and got over it and eventually lost all of the weight... like they say- 9 months up, 9 months down. Although I did find (to my first time pregnant friends and family, let this be your warning), even after I got below my pre-pregnancy weight, I was never again able to fit into pre-pregnancy pants. My body shape had just changed and that was just the way it was going to be.

I am excited to say that this is going to be much easier. I didn't gain nearly as much weight with Tiana as with Vinny (I probably have drama to thank for that- kept me active), and yesterday I stepped on the scale to learn that I have already lost half of it. :-) I am not quite ready to squeeze back into jeans, but I bet within a week I probably could. Considering that my pre-pregnancy weight was a little on the heavy side for me, my goal is to really get down to an ideal weight by the end of the year.

I think I wanted to take hip hop classes or maybe Zumba or possibly both. I found a Christian dance studio in the valley that I really want to try that has beginning adult hip hop classes. I have always wanted to take hip hop, but I have always felt like it was too late to start.  I found it earlier this year... right as I realized I was pregnant and was advised not to start a new fitness routine. Well... better late than never!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Out and About

Tiana is one week old today. Happy one week. :-)

I am still hurting and pretty tired, but today I actually put real clothes on, and put real clothes on Tiana, and we actually left the house. We went to the doctor and to lunch with my dad. It wasn't a very long outing, but it felt very, very good.

It is funny... a week ago, while I was sitting around the hospital in early labor, I told my mom that I was still having trouble believing that it was real and conceptualizing actually having a daughter. With Vinny, I was so there mentally weeks before. I could picture him, loved him like he was there, and felt an incredible connection to him before he was even born. With Tiana, I just didn't feel it. Even though everyone says it happens, and I cognitively knew it would happen, I think I was having a hard time really emotionally believing that I could feel the same connection to another little person that I feel to Vinny. Now... a week later, I can't imagine her not being here. She is so amazingly wonderful and I just adore being her mom.

She is so different from Vinny, even already. She just has a way different personality. I know that it seems odd to discuss a newborn as having a personality, but she really does. Just like, for instance, when Vinny would start to cry for something, it was like 0 to meltdown in 2 seconds. When he decided he wanted to eat, he let us know loud and clear that he wanted it immediately. With Tiana, when she gets hungry, she starts to get a little fussy and whimper a little bit, but she doesn't yell and scream until she's clearly let us know for a while that she is hungry. Vinny was so particular too. He wanted only ONE kind of pacifier and spat out everything else. She seems to love that pacifier most too, but she will take other ones. She doesn't seem to be as interested in what is going on around her though. When Vinny was awake, he seemed to really want to be alert and stared at everything. She seems just like... "Mom, hold me. Okay... cool, going back to sleep now."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stupid Forums

I just want to rant for a minute about how annoying most parenting forums are. I barely ever read any of them, but looked at the Baby Center forum for Sept 2010 babies today and was reminded again of why I don't go on forums.

Reasons why I don't like forums:
#1) Everyone is so freaking judgmental.
I can see why people like forums for support and advice, but do you really think that anyone posts on a forum for others to cast their negative opinions?  Really. One mom who is 41 weeks 5 days was posting that she is accepting the doctor's offer to induce tomorrow and a bunch of people went on and on about "Your baby will come when he/she is good and ready." Oh blah. Shut up. Who the heck asked you? Obviously, she is frustrated at that point and looking for support. She doesn't need condemnation. Birth is emotional enough without other people's condemnation. I can't tell you how much I cried in labor, and not from pain, from emotion.

90% of these people are SO long winded (like I am one to talk, I know), yet they feel like it is necessary to abbreviate everything. It is the mommy version of my teenagers' text speak and it is so annoying. I don't understand how a mom who writes 6 paragraphs in a forum somehow feels it makes such a difference to type out "DH" instead of husband. Seriously, it is 5 more letters. Plus... if DH stands for darling husband, that is even lamer, because you can tell from the tone of the rest of their writing that they would never actually say, "My darling husband." Plus, as an occasional forum reader, I shouldn't have to sit there racking my brain for possible translations while reading. I was like, "FTM?" huh... until a few sentences later I went, "Oh, okay, first time mom." Would it have killed her to just write "first time mom"? Really? 

#3) Lack of Discernment
I am a VERY open person online, which most people know, and I do it for the purpose of cultivating real life relationships. Being open online allows those I care about to keep up with me, even when I have little time to keep up in real life, In many ways, this makes for deeper relationships, because when I do get a chance for coffee or lunch with a friend, she already knows my daily life, and we can have deeper conversations than just catching up on what's new. HOWEVER, there are certain things that don't get posted. It is called being discerning.
People don't need to know about every argument I have with my family or friends. That's private stuff, and it is no one's business. I don't need to vent about it online, not even generally. I don't think it is appropriate to post this on my personal blog or facebook, yet people somehow feel that is is appropriate to just straight up bash family members on pubic forums. Is it the anonymity?  I don't know, but I find it inappropriate either way.
Along the same lines, there are some pictures that just shouldn't get posted. To a certain extent, ever, but most definitely not in a public forum. I had a nightmare the night before I gave birth that someone was in the delivery room taking pictures with her phone and posting them on facebook. Even the idea mortified me to the point that I had a nightmare about it. I let Marc take some pictures of Tiana right after birth while I was breastfeeding her. Realistically, I was relatively covered, and you couldn't see any more than in a picture of me in a bathing suit, but Marc still knew that these are private pictures for us to have and enjoy, not to be posted online. One woman online posted in a forum "My twins birth story" pictures of her dead babies. Graphic ones. It breaks my heart that the poor woman lost her children, and I can see why she took these pictures and would want to have these pictures, but why share such personal pictures on a public forum for complete strangers to see, I will never understand.

Okay... done ranting.

Turning the Corner

I believe I am turning the corner. It may have something to do with actually getting some real sleep last night. Even though Tiana woke up a lot last night, she also slept really well this morning. Despite frequent breaks to feed, change diapers etc., I slept from about 10:30pm to 10:30a.m., with a total of probably 7-8 hours of sleep which has made a world of difference.

I am having milk supply issues, which is not surprising considering the amount of blood I lost. It takes a lot of fluid to produce milk, and my body is using the fluids to replenish my blood supply first. However, it is getting better, so she is starting to get more sleep. I've been doing a little bit of supplementing of formula at night to be able to get some sleep, but it seems that my own milk supply is starting to actually satisfy her for a little while, which is making me very, very happy.

Plus, today, I don't hurt constantly, which is a very nice change. It has been a little hard for busy body me to be so stuck at home and so bored. I mean, there are a million things I can do- like grading the narratives I still have leftover- but I am not really up to that yet. I think I will start on it tomorrow. For now, my coping strategy has been the wonder of digital cable. Yesterday, I scrolled through the guide on all of my favorite channels and DVRed anything that sounded interesting, so by today, it has caught up where I have lots of interesting things to watch. Today I have enjoyed a couple of interesting episodes of "I didn't know I was pregnant," a great travel channel special on the world's most unique McDonalds (Did you know that in Asheville, N.C. there is a mansion McDonalds that is designed after the Biltmore and has a fireplace in it? And in Montreal, there is a McDonalds's McCafe that serves only coffee, gourmet desserts, and cafe style sandwiches?), a True Life about being ex-Amish, a Dateline special about parenting, a "Giada at Home" where she made Pots de Creme and Filet Mignon with rosemary mushroom gravy (yum!) and several other interesting things.

I am feeling so, so much better and have some real energy today finally. I am thinking that I may actually leave the house on Thursday to go to a party my playgroup is having. It is for the 4th anniversary of when the group started. It is kind of neat because I joined the playgroup when Vinny was about 6 months old. There were a bunch of other moms with kids around the same age. It has made for some great friendships for both me and Vinny. There has been a sort of baby boom in the group this year, and many of the other moms had new babies this year (or will soon), so it is sort of exciting to me that Tiana will get to grow up with this new generation of little ones, and a lot of the moms will be at the event on Thursday, so I would really like to go.   :-)   Well, we will see how I feel Thursday.

She's so pretty.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cloth Diapers, For Real Now

So, I made the decision while I was pregnant that we would cloth diaper this baby. I decided this for several reasons.
#1) It is the environmentally responsible choice, which I always try to chose whenever reasonable.
#2) Babies who wear cloth train much faster.
#3) I felt like it could be more cost effective.

Those of you who know me well know that I rarely make a decision without significant research, and back in the Spring, I found researching cloth diapers to be surprisingly overwhelming. (Click back to this entry from April to see what I mean). The options are practically endless, leaving me with more decisions than I realized. It is not just cloth or disposable any more. There are all-in-ones, prefolds, covers with liners, g-diapers, etc.

After much research, I decided to go with a diaper service. Here in the Los Angeles area, I found Dy Dee Diapers. Basically, they deliver an inventory of diapers each week. They charge for the amount of diapers you use, and right now it works out to about $20 a week, which is about the same or possibly less than we spent on disposables with Vinny. In the long run, I am convinced this will be significantly cheaper, as she will potty train faster. The diapers that they deliver are the the traditional prefolds. This basically means that they are the type of cloth diapers most people picture- white squares in three sections. You can put them on the old way- with pins, or you can use snappis (these little plastic things that work like pins but way easier), or you can use a cover. The covers are these thin waterproof things with Velcro. At first, I sort of felt the covers were stupid, like they'd  have to be washed each time which defeats the purpose of a service, but actually, they are waterproof on the inside, and most of the time nothing gets on them from the cloth, but if it does, it is really easy to wipe it down and then just put it back on. They hold the diapers on tighter and prevent it from leaking on clothing. I am finding pinning with covers to be sort of a good idea right now, since she is so small, and I want the pins to make it tight enough.

So.... how is it?

I love it. At first, as we were leaving the hospital, I was a little nervous. We used disposable in the hospital, and going home, I was a bit afraid of it being extra work. Because of the service, it SO is not more work. In fact, it is easier. All I do when I change her is throw the dirty diaper in the Dy Dee bucket, no different than disposables. No dunking, no rinsing. They will be here next Monday to pick it up and leave me fresh ones.

They are way absorbent. They don't soak in like regular diapers, but they don't leak at all, ever. It is awesome. I thought it would be hard to clean poopy off of them, but you can actually use the sides of the diaper to clean it off way better than with disposable. I remember when Vinny was newborn, breast milk poops seemed to leak no matter what we did. It was like we changed his clothes every time we changed his diaper. That totally doesn't happen with these.

It is going to take Marc some time to get the hang of the folding and whatnot, but he is willing, for which I am very grateful. I ordered a few more covers today and some snappis, since I am finding pinning to be helpful and the snappis are supposed to be just as effective but easier.

So... if you are a new mom considering cloth, I highly recommend it, particularly if you can find a service. I can't say that I would be as thrilled if I was thinking about washing and drying these.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tiana is here... and I am alive.

So, on Wednesday morning, September 15, per doctor's recommendation, I was induced. I was 39 weeks and 2 days, and she was ready to go. Everyone (doctors and nurses) kept saying that with your second baby things go much faster, and when I was induced with Vinny, he was there by 4:30 in the afternoon. Things didn't go nearly as quickly this time. I had hoped to get through it without an epidural, since it didn't work last time and was a lot of hassle for no relief, but by 4:30, it was really bad, and I was only at 5cm, so I gave in an got the epidural. Oh my, what an amazing thing. Had I known how amazing it was when it actually works, I would have gotten it much sooner. It was amazing how much better I felt. The next couple of hours flew by and then it was definitely time. It only took about 5 minutes of pushing and at 7:04 p.m., out came Tiana Marley Mohr. It was much easier than last time and much calmer. I was so happy. She was perfect. 6lbs even. 19 inches even. :-)

After some clean-up, family came in to visit and Vinny got to meet his new baby sister, which was so precious. You have never seen a little boy more in love with his little sister than Vinny is with Tiana. He is so affectionate; he just wants to hug and kiss her constantly. Finally, grandma and papa took Vinny home to go to bed and get ready for preschool and Daddy hung out with mommy. We ate dinner, watched some tv, and then went to bed, hoping for an uneventful first night.

It didn't exactly turn out that way. In the middle of the night, I had what is apparently known as a postpartum hemorrhage. I will spare you the gory details for the most part. You can click on the link and read about what it is if you are so inclined. Essentially, everyone bleeds some after having a baby, but I basically stood up to go to the bathroom and was gushing blood everywhere. I don't know what caused it- there are several possible causes- it most likely had to do with the placement of the placenta and the fact that it was not coming out, so the doctor had to somewhat forcibly remove it, which then leaves your uterine blood vessels very tender and susceptible to bleeding.

The bleeding started at 2:30a.m. and didn't stop until about 6 a.m. I lost a TON of blood. I have never seen so much blood in my entire life. I couldn't believe I had any blood left in me. My blood pressure dropped to 75/50 at the last time they let me see it. (When I saw that, I kind of panicked a little, so they stopped showing me). I don't even want to tell all the gory details of awful stuff that they did to me, but I was pretty damn miserable. At the worst point, I felt like I was burning up I was so hot, and I was sure I was going to pass out any second. I asked for an ice pack, but they were covering me up with blankets and told me my temperature was down. It didn't make a lot of sense, but I didn't really know what was going on at that point. I just thought I was going to die. They had four different IVs in me with different stuff to help replenish my fluids, bring my blood pressure up, stop the bleeding, etc. I had two blood transfusions. (Karma- this is why, despite my hatred of needles, I have given blood numerous times throughout my adult life. I am certainly grateful for the two donors who saved my life that day.)

Finally, the bleeding stopped and I started to stabilize, but I was pretty much in bed that whole day. They let me feed her and hold her again around noon, but I didn't get to do much baby bonding that day. They let me get up to use the bathroom that evening, but I was really shaky when I stood up, so I pretty much stayed down. Thank God for my amazing family who kept me company, took care of the baby, and tried to keep me from losing it completely.

 Yesterday was much more normal. I spent lots of time bonding with Tiana and Vinny got to spend some time with us.

My red blood cell counts are still below normal, but I have stabilized finally, so they let me come home today, which has been very nice. I am weak, but feeling so much better, and it feels so good to be back at my own house. Overall, Tiana is a perfect baby. She loves to eat and sleep and is very tolerant of her super protective and overly affectionate big brother. She is so easy, and I am so happy, both to be alive and for my wonderfully expanded family. :-)

Monday, September 13, 2010

It is just not in the cards for my pregnancies to end smoothly...

I thought things seemed to be working out just a little too calmly with this pregnancy. Just didn't seem on par.

In case you did not know me when Vinny was born, I will explain. When I was 38 weeks pregnant with Vinny, we went camping and Marc got burned in a freak marshmallow accident (no, I am not kidding). He also somehow got something that he was allergic too (probably poison oak, maybe something else) in the open 2nd degree burn wound that weekend, because he promptly broke out in a crazy splotchy rash on his arms that also caused his face to swell. The next day, he went into urgent care, and the idiot doctor said it looked like he had the measles. Um... what? Who gets that any more? We definitely wanted a second opinion, but couldn't get an appointment with our primary care doctor for several days. Later that day, I headed into my OB to find out that I had preeclampsia. Joy. They wanted to induce right then. I cried and explained that Marc looked like quasimodo and they called another urgent care in our HMO and talked her into seeing him that night and gave me until the next morning.

The dr that saw Marc confirmed that it was not measles and gave him a shot of steroids to calm the allergic reaction, but she ordered blood work to prove to the hospital that he was not contagious, as scary as he looked. Blood work couldn't be done until the next day though, so I headed in to be induced sans husband. By the time Marc showed up several  hours into the whole process, I was in active labor and crying for him to get there to support me, and he was looking less like quasimodo from the second shot of steroids, but still freaky. At least he made it in time for the birth, although he was so drugged, he sat in a chair by my side trying to stay with it enough to be of some support to me. Seriously... Vinny's first pictures are a funny sight. Here is a picture of Marc and Vinny. Note the puffy half swollen face and the splotchy arms.

Well, everything has just seemed so calm lately. I made it to my last day at work and am now on maternity leave with no camping trips planned any time soon. In fact, we plan to stay in town all week and there are no risky activities planned at all, so everything should go just as planned, right?

As Thomas LaMance once said,  "Life is what happens while we are busy making other plans," and it just couldn't be truer. Back in June, I started to really question my decision to stick with the same OB office as I was with when I had Vinny. They have 4 doctors that they just rotate you around and you just get whoever is on call when it is time to deliver. The doctor I ended up with was my least favorite of the bunch, and frankly, as sarcastic as I am myself, I just didn't appreciate his sarcasm in the labor and delivery process. He actually said to me at one point, "Having a baby hurts you know..." when I was complaining about his lack of gentility in his frequent checks of my progress. Yeah, I am a bit of a whiner when I am in pain, but seriously... isn't he supposed to sort of expect that? There were other issues too, but I will not go into those. So... anyhow, about June I was starting to wonder, is this office really my only HMO choice?  So I started to look around. I found a doctor in Moorpark and decided to switch.

He has been fantastic. Great bedside manner, very personal, and very attentive. I felt very comfortable with the idea of him delivering my child and certain that he would listen to my wants and needs and treat me with respect in the labor and delivery room.

Then I went to my appointment this morning...

Everything is great with the baby. I'm 2cm dilated and ready to go, nst showed lots of baby movement and steady heart rate, and the monitors showed that I had like 2 small contractions in the 25 minutes I was on it. Great, right?  Oh, but, surprise. The doctor no longer has the ability to deliver at Simi Hospital. Uh... what? So does this mean that I need to switch hospitals?  No, apparently my HMO does not have a contract with the one hospital that my OB now has rights at. What does this mean? This means at 39 weeks pregnant, I need to find a new OB. Well, to be more specific, this means going back to my old OB, because they are pretty much the only OB affiliated with my HMO and the hospital that my HMO has a contract with.

To be fair...  this is not the worst thing that could happen. I like Simi Hospital and didn't want to have to switch hospitals. I like the other 3 doctors at my old OB, and the doctor I spoke to on the phone today even said that we could talk about inducing my labor some time this week on a day when a doctor I like is on call. I don't know that I really want to be induced, but I guess that is something I can throw around in my head. I have an appointment tomorrow, so we will see how it goes.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wake me up when September ends...

It has been a good month, really, it has.

 Last weekend, it was still hot enough to go to the beach.   :-)

My work threw me a totally awesome shower...

 They even all chipped in towards getting me the glider/recliner that I wanted for Tiana's room. When all was said and done, they gifted me more than half the chair, so I ordered it.  It will be here in a week. Hopefully, so will she.

So, really, September has been good.

But now I am done. I am done being pregnant, but I am not at all looking forward to the whole post-partum recovery thing. I want to just have this baby and recover and wake up and be feeling good, still on maternity leave, and bonding with my baby. That sounds good.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Last Day at Work

Today was my last day at work. I was going to try to work up until she comes, but it didn't quite work out that way. I just couldn't do it and the doctor didn't really think it was a good idea either, so I am off as of today. I felt so rushed like crazy to get everything done this week and like I could never really accomplish everything that I had wanted to, and I didn't leave everything nearly as planned out as I had wanted to leave it, but I did the best I could, and I think my sub will be okay.

What I don't understand is why I feel like I do right now. My work threw me a baby shower yesterday and I felt very  loved. It was wonderful. I normally am just gleeful when I am getting off of work for a break. Because I work at a school where I don't get long breaks (6 weeks tops), this will be the longest break I have had from working since I had Vinny 4 years ago. For some reason though, I am just depressed. I feel like just laying on my bed and crying. I think it is because I feel like I am just getting to know my students this year, and worse yet, I actually really like these kids. They are a really good group of kids, and none of them have even really been on my nerves, which is really kind of weird. I mean, every group has a few that get on my nerves, but even in my most talkative class, I actually like these ones. It feels like I am leaving them for a really long time and like nothing will be the same when I go back. :-(

It could be that there has just been a lot of pressure at school lately, and it feels contradictory to my nature to walk away from it. I am the type of person who doesn't wait for positive change, particularly in my job; I do my very best to make positive change. If a challenge is presented to me, it gets me going to overcome it. There are SO many challenges right now that it has felt overwhelming and almost disabling... and if I was staying I would probably feel sort of like shutting down, but right now I just feel like I am walking away from all of it with my hands tied behind my back, and I will just have to take whatever is there when I come back.

I feel like there is something wrong with me that I am not just crazy dying to meet Tiana too. I am sick of being pregnant yes, but, to be honest, I am not really excited about her being here yet. The people at school, teachers and students, keep asking, "Are you excited?" and stuff like that and I just don't know how to answer. I want to say yes, and sometimes I am speaking truth, but in many ways, not so much.

With Vinny, I was just dying for him to just come. I felt like I couldn't wait, like a kid feels at Christmas time in the few days between when school lets out and when it is actually Christmas morning. Not so much this time. This probably has a lot to do with family stuff that put a dark shadow on the beginning of my pregnancy, and I've never really been able to shake that shadow. It may also just be that I have had a hard time accepting reality this time. I don't feel like it is really happening. I am having trouble really believing that within a matter of hours or days or weeks, I will have a daughter in my arms. It could also be that I was just excited to be a mom before, and now I know what that is about (and it is as wonderful as it seems, but I already have that in Vinny). I also have this secret fear of sharing my time with Vinny. I already feel like he doesn't get as much attention as he deserves, and now I feel like he will get less. Perhaps this is a repressed reaction to my memories of becoming a big sibling myself. As incredible as I wanted that to be, it just seemed like all I got out of it was a screaming colic sister and some really tired parents.

Bleh... enough psychoanalyzing myself. I am going to go eat and shop and make myself feel better.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


As most of you know, my son is in preschool. His class this year is a lot like kindergarten, and it is very cute to hear him coming home and telling me about all that he is learning. Last night while we were working on my classroom, he was drawing letters on my board. He had a lot of fun with big "S" and baby "s." They must be focusing on it.

This month is a unit on manners and on the way home he tried to completely re-tell me the story they read today at school, The Bernstein Bears Learn Manners. I had a good laugh at Vinny's memory of the story. He also told me today that "boogers have to stay in your nose because they are okay there, but when they come out, they are yucky."  That was probably my favorite.

It is crazy to me how big he is getting. A friend of mine from high school tagged me in a photo today on FB. When I saw it, I thought, "Hmmmm..... what picture could she possibly be tagging me in?"  We had a lot of classes together in high school,  but we were not really friends outside of class. We didn't hang out in the same circle. Guess what it was?  Our kindergarten class picture. So not kidding. What a trip. It was funny seeing the few people whom she knew still and was able to tag. I was able to tag a couple more.... including our kindergarten teacher. (Through a weird twist of fate, Marc was a minister at her church when we got married. We actually developed a very close relationship with her and her husband. Her husband was an elder at the church and a mentor to Marc).

 What a small world... and how quickly time flies. I remember that day SO very well. I remember that dress, and lining up outside the auditorium to get our school pictures taken. My dad liked to take pictures a lot, and my parents were not photo studio people, so it was the first time I had ever been in front of a photographer like that before, and I didn't smile. I think I was just confused.

 In case you can't tell who I am in the kindergarten picture above, I will remind you that I was always the youngest and shortest kid in my class. Yup... that's me on the very end of the bottom row (pretty much the same spot I was in for every elementary class photo) in the flowery dress with the white knee snocks and black mary janes.  I was only 4 years old, same age as Vinny is now. Weird....  my baby boy is growing up.

Well, I am having really bad contractions tonight (but what's new) and bad heartburn, so I think I will go to bed early tonight.
I just can't stand this feeling any more. Bleh....


Would you believe that I got to work at 7:00 a.m. today and left at 9:00 p.m.?  What can I say... I am a determined person. Although some of what I disagreed with my administrative reviewer about is simply a difference of opinion, it is important to me that I meet her demands for several reasons.

#1) Being right is never as important to me as the bottom line- excellence. It is how I got passing grades in classes in college where I despised the professors.
#2) Nothing she suggested would be bad for my students; it could only help. While I don't really feel like giant word posters are super crucial (or really worth the hours of my time that they took to make), they certainly can't hurt... and they give me a chance to play with my scrapbooking paper and the diecutter.   :-)
#3) I need to get my whole bonus. I only have this week to show that I am an excellent teacher and then a very short time when I get back. I'd rather be seen for my whole worth now than be worried about proving myself when I get back- I mean, who knows what repairs and reteaching I may have to do when I come back. I have faith that the sub I have picked is going to do an excellent job, but I've never actually seen him teach, so I don't know for sure.

So... I spent 2 hours after school creating a word window since I don't have room for a word wall (pictures to follow- I'm actually pretty proud of it).  She requested more writing visuals, so I dug out the posters I used last year that I didn't think I had wall space for this year, borrowed a ladder, recruited a willing husband, and found ways to hang them from the ceiling (hard to explain, my room is shaped funny, but it works). I turned the simple notes I had for tomorrow's lesson plans into perfect lesson plans with SWBAT objectives and teacher/student responsibilities, and prepped my boards for tomorrow. I cleared my desk (okay, half of it), so that I can stop worrying about my desk being a mess when I go into labor (not kidding, I literally have nightmares about it), and changed my unit board from narrative writing to revolution. Thus.... all is in order. There is always more that could be done, but for now, it is as good as this 38 week pregnant woman could do...  but I must say, for being done by a tired and cranky pregnant lady, it is pretty damn good.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Male nesting

My husband and son have been going through their own form of nesting this weekend. They probably both think I am crazy, but I think honestly some psychological switch clicked in their heads this weekend. My nesting period occured weeks ago, and now I feel basically settled on the home front and am just trying to take care of my other children (my 148 students) before I leave them for a couple of months. So, while I spent much of the past two days frantically grading papers and updating my school website, Marc and Vinny have undergone a preparation process that I cannot say displeases me in the least.

For Vinny, he has been excited to be a big brother for months now, but he has recently decided that he must be Mr. Independent and Mr. Helpful. He has been getting himself dressed every day, and today, he wanted to help me get dressed. He was handing me my shoes and necklace and hairbrush, and then he actually wandered around the house putting stuff away, and not even just his own stuff. He put my shoes back in the shoe rack. No, I am not kidding. I really, really, really hope this lasts.

For Marc, it has been amusing on a completely different level. I made only one request of him this weekend- that the random clutter in the garage get cleared so I can again park my car inside it. Much more than that was done. The backyard was cleaned, several loads of laundry were done (he even got Vinny to put away his own clothes.... seriously), my car was loaded with things for school tomorrow, his car was cleaned out, and dishes were done. He is definitely feeling the baby preparations too. Last time, we had the bassinet and car seat both in a box in the corner of our apartment the day the baby came, so while I was in the hospital, Marc headed home to get those ready and put together. The bassinet is already set up and ready in our bedroom, and tonight, Marc took the car seat out of the box and put it together. I guess last time, he hadn't really "become" a dad yet until Vinny actually arrived, but now he is already a daddy and he is feeling the mental need to be prepared. In fact, there are probably more mental preparations going on than I even realize, because he has been talking about various ways he could earn extra income in his spare time, and even making a mental list of future home improvements that need to be done when we get the money. He even asked me today, "Okay, so what else do we need to buy for the baby?"  I could see he was doing the calculations in his head. It was cute.

I did a little bit of research and found that, despite the physiological hormone changes that cause female nesting in pregnancy, there is definitely some psychological support for male nesting too. He even semi admitted it himself. When I walked outside to see him loading my car, I said, "Wow, how did I get so lucky?" He looked at me for a second and said, "What do you mean?"  I replied, "The house is picked up, the garage is clear, the backyard is clean, and you are loading my car." He actually said, "Well, I know the baby could come at any time this week, and I just know we will want to feel like things are ready."

:-) I like this second-time around parenting stuff. (But just for the record, that doesn't mean that there will be a third).


Friday, I wrote an entry called "discouraged" about the downsides to my job... struggles with administration. (Don't get me wrong- I have some excellent administrators that are truly supportive of me, but at a big school, there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen and it tends to spoil the broth). In my credential program, I once had a professor explain that there are three elements to any teacher's success- administration, faculty, and students. In any teaching position, if you feel like you are supported by and have a good relationship with at least 2 out of 3, then you have a situation you can sustain without getting too burned out or wanting to quit. If you have only 1, you will only be able to keep going for so long before you completely burn out. You know what... she was right.

Despite the occasional administrative frustrations, I've got some awesome co-workers, and more than that, I've got some awesome kids.

I was reminded today of why I moved my narrative unit to the beginning of the year. For one, it is one of the easier styles of writing to master, but more than that, it is the unit I most enjoy, and I thought it would be a good way to start the year (and I totally didn't want to pass it off to a sub this year- the narrative unit is mine). One student actually wrote his narrative about an activity I did in class. It was a fortune cookie game, adapted from Erin Gruwell's Peanut Game, and I used it to technically teach sensory detail, but my master plan involved them working with a partner they wouldn't normally choose to work with one-on-one too, in hopes of building relationships and breaking down walls in our classroom family as well. Apparently, it really worked. This student, we will call him Jack, writes about how, through the process of working on the fortune cookie game, he got to talking to his partner, a girl he obviously felt friendly with before but apparently wasn't a good friend, whom we will call Sarah. Somehow through the atmosphere of that activity, Jack felt safe talking to Sarah and revealed a secret he had been dying to get off his chest. This is exactly the kind of thing that I was hoping would happen in that game. Even if Jack was the only one who created new bonds in that game, it was completely worth all the planning and the $30 spent on fortune cookies.

Another little detail of his story made me really happy too. Jack is one of my established drama students; he was in the program last year and has grown as an actor much over the last year. Sarah, whom he was paired with for the fortune cookie activity, is a new drama student. She is one who sort of got randomly placed in the program because of lack of space in other classes. Well.... that's what Sarah thinks anyway. The truth is, I sort of handpicked those kids. See, the week before school started, I was told that there wouldn't be as many sections of environmental science this year, and since it was just a college prep elective, they would need to just place sophomores who didn't fit in another college prep elective or something else. Basically, the only other approved courses on campus this year are my drama class and the music teacher's chorus class, but they told me I could pick which sophomores I wanted in drama before they went through and tried to fit as many as possible into science and other courses. Seeing this as a golden opportunity to get some kids who might really enjoy theater but might not pick it on their own, I went to last year's freshman English teachers, and I asked them to list students who they saw as artistically minded who might enjoy my drama class. Sarah was one of those names who got listed. So... it wasn't exactly random.

Anyhow,  so in Jack's story, he mentions that Sarah commented that she wished she wasn't in drama, because she didn't want to act. Funny thing is, no one HAS to act in drama if they don't want to. There are a lot of crew positions available, but someone must have talked Sarah into auditioning, because she did, and she did a fantastic job. I gave her probably the biggest, strongest female role in the play. Although I could tell she didn't have any experience, it was just a good fit. The beautiful thing is, she is GREAT. Sure she doesn't have all the terms down and learning blocking is new to her, but she is a good student and a quick learner, and she has a ton of natural ability. We will have to do some work on diction and volume, but she is owning the character and is definitely one of the strongest actors in the play.  Who knew?  I think I have a certain 9th grade Honors English teacher to thank for that one.

I love my job... at least right now anyway. I am going to try to hold on to this feeling all week.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Last minute grading

Why am I blogging at 10:30 on a Sunday night of a three day weekend? Tomorrow is a wonderful, non-work day, with which I can do whatever I want, and Marc does not have swim practice, so I will even get to sleep in tomorrow. So what have I decided to do?  I have decided to grade more narratives...

I spent my whole afternoon (literarlly, from like 12:30-6:00pm) finishing preparations for the week and then grading narratives. The 5 week grades are due this week, and I made the narratives due at 11:59 pm on the last day of the marking period for this report card, and I'm pretty sure that the cutoff is at the end of the school day, so it is technically not really required that I include this assignment for this report card, but I would like to for several reasons. First of all, a lot of the students really need it to boost their grades (it is worth a lot of points). Second of all, I'd like to leave the sub with a clean slate. I promised the kids I would grade these stories whether or not I was on leave, but if I have a baby before getting them done, it could be nearly the 10 week before they all get a response. I really like to give much more immediate feedback, so this is certainly not ideal.  Thus, I would like to get them all graded this weekend.

There are about 90-100 of these essays. I have graded 18. That makes me nearly what, 20% finished? This is not really the best statistic ever, but its a start. I did spend time doing other work stuff today too, and I did go to church this morning and have lunch with the in-laws, so I can't say I spent the whole day working on them. But can I finish the other 70-80 of them tomorrow? I do not know. We shall see.

I do really enjoy reading some of these stories though. In this unit, I have students write narratives to submit to the publishers of Chicken Soup for the Soul for consideration. One year, a student even got published. This year's batch of stories so far seems relatively strong, particularly the honors students, and I would not be at all surprised if it produced another winner. Some of these stories are better than half the stuff I have read in those books. They really are talented kids.

You know what is really odd about me?  When I left work in a rush Friday to get to my doctor's appointment, I thought to myself, "Wow, I really hope I don't go in to labor this weekend."  You know what my number one reason for thinking that was?  Not these papers... not lesson planning that was still rather ambiguous...  not even the fact that my parents would be out of town. I couldn't get my mind off the fact that my desk has two big piles of paper on it that I need to sort through and take care of.  All weekend, as I was having braxton-hicks contractions and hoping to myself that I would not go into labor, the number one thing making me crazy is the thought of a sub walking in to two big piles of paper and thinking I am a disorganized slob.  I'm seriously insane if that is my biggest worry right now.

Friday, September 3, 2010


My school does observations and evaluations much more regularly than most schools. Part of our salary is a semi-annual bonus that comes from these evaluations. It is a very complicated system, but basically, good teaching gets bonus money, substandard teaching does not. I have always gotten near perfect reviews on everything, so these have never stressed me out before this year.

The past two years, I have had our high school curriculum coordinator as a reviewer. She was great and we had a great relationship. Her feedback was always right on and was always about things I had also noticed as personal areas for growth  as a teacher. The curriculum coordinator left at the end of last year to spend more time being a mom. I certainly can't blame her. I would never want to be an administrator and a mom at the same time. So, this year, I have an elementary administrator. I have not completely agreed with her feedback. Because it is not really a score and just general feedback, it is hard for me to know where really I am falling with her. Some of it is stuff that just doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me and is easy to fix. More visuals, etc. I just don't have a lot of wall space to hang stuff up. I had a lot of posters last year, but a lot of them are in the closet because I have all windows now. But whatever, I will figure it out. However, some of her comments are pretty serious stuff, like stating that my objective and lesson do not directly align. Eek. That's a pretty serious allegation. That's like, not get my bonus kind of stuff. Not good.

It is frustrating because I disagree; I think that my objectives are just much more big picture/end goal type objectives, and she wants to see simple daily objectives. I don't think it is important for students to know the simple daily objectives. I think that makes them think there is a different goal every day, when I just want them to see where we are going with this so that they have their sights set on the end zone, if that makes sense. I don't really know how to remedy that other than just do what she asks, regardless of if I agree with all of it or not.

The funny thing is... despite the fact that last year's group of sophomores came to me way behind as a result of not having consistent English teachers their freshman year, last year my students were, I think, the only class in the whole school (elementary through high school) to perform above the state average in Language Arts. Doesn't that speak for something? The way that I teach may not be exactly what she wants to see, but I still feel like it is high quality and very effective.

Anyhow... as a result, I am finding myself very discouraged, with very little I can do while I am going on maternity leave for the next few months. I feel like the stuff I have prepared for the students to do this year is going to be amazing, and the students are going to learn so much- and HAVE, even already. Yet, despite the fact that today was a minimum day ("buy back" time for the fact that we worked a Saturday in July), I find myself wanting to rush back to campus this weekend just to hang up a bunch of freaking posters before I go on maternity leave. I have always found so much joy in knowing that I am good at what I do. It is really discouraging to have someone tell you that you aren't as good as you think you are. Instead of making me want to work harder (which I honestly don't think is possible), it makes me wonder why I want to do this at all.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Losing it...

Okay, I officially have pregnancy brain. This morning, a service learner brought me the roster for detention to remind me I had detention duty today. By the time the bell rang 10 minutes later, I forgot I had detention duty. Not even kidding.

After school, one of my co-workers called while I was in the middle of something at rehearsal, and I told her I would call her back in a few, but I totally forgot until rehearsal was totally over and then it was too late. Oops.

This weekend, I got a card in the mail from one of my out-of-town relatives with a check for me to buy something for the baby. I was very excited about shopping for me few leftover needs, especially since I got this great "registry leftovers" discount coupon from Babies R Us, but tonight, I can't find the card or check for the life of me. I looked all over for it. I can't find it anywhere. I would normally never forget something like this.

I got an idea for something to help a teacher friend and went looking for a pack of DVD-Rs around my house that I remembered seeing a while ago, but they weren't in a logical place, and I couldn't remember for the life of me where I saw them.

I am probably making it sound like my house is a disaster, but that's the thing- it's not. I have totally nested like crazy lately, so it is actually really tidy. I am just losing it, I guess. Oh wonderful baby girl...come soon so mommy can have her brain back.

Photo by J.Costea

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bleh, it hurts...

So, I promise I will not be that pregnant woman who does nothing but complain about how much she is sick of being pregnant, so this will be my last pregnant rant I promise.

But seriously.....  we are on night #6 of rather painful contractions. They seem to get worse each night. They go away when I go to sleep. But seriously, they hurt so bad that when I actually go into labor, I am not even going to know it is real for a long time. It is probably better that way, since I want to do most of my laboring at home. At least this way I will be less likely to rush to the hospital and end up stuck in bed on an IV longer than I have to be.

This didn't happen with Vinny, so it has been an unpleasant surprise of this pregnancy. I think it is because I wear myself down so much during the day. My sub came to observe me today to get an idea of how my classroom runs, and he informed me he was "in awe" of how much I do (meaning during each class period, during each day, etc., I guess). It doesn't feel like I do that much while I am doing it, but by 4:00 in the afternoon, I feel like I've had by butt kicked. As I was making copies today (for like an hour from 4-5pm, trying to have a whole month of copies done for the sub), I really thought I was just going to fall over. Plus, then every night when I come home, I want to flop on to the couch and not get up (literally), but somehow there is always stuff to do. Marc does the dishes now and stuff, but I just feel like I don't want to help with ANYTHING, and I can't really expect Marc to function like a single dad every night until the baby comes.


Tonight, my wonderful son is not getting dessert because he lied to us about finishing his dinner. That made me sad. He told us he ate it all, but when we looked on the floor, the dog was having a feast. Grrr.....

Two more days. Tomorrow is going to be a tough one. I have to get to school early to move desks into testing rows for a quiz, it is block periods so I have to teach all day without any break, and I am being observed by two different people. Being observed is always stressful. No matter how perfect I try to be, it always feels like they find what is not perfect, particularly this year for some reason.