Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sugar and Spice

So, I haven’t posted in over a week, but last week I was on spring break and hardly went near the computer at all. It was both a restful and busy week, and there just wasn’t much to write about. However, the last couple days have been pretty exciting.

All day yesterday I had the hardest time concentrating. I was lost in the anticipation of going to have the big ultrasound. Our appointment was at three, but we had faulty directions and were lost. By the time we finally made it to the right place, I was flustered and a bit shaken. I was so nervous that they’d tell us it was too late, and we’d have to come back later. Thankfully, they were totally understanding, and within a few minutes all the paperwork was filled out, and we were in the dimly lit room watching the monitor. The lady checked every possible angle on the baby and declared that each part of our little one was developing normally and looked great. She paused for quite a while and chatted with Chris about computers and cars while I patiently waited for her to finish the examination. She was just waiting for the baby to move in order to finish checking out everything. Finally she started looking around again and confirmed that all was well. And then the time finally came for us to find out the gender. She asked me what I thought the baby was, and I replied that I thought it was a girl. She exclaimed, “Well, you’re right. It’s a girl!” I was so overwhelmed with joy that a few that I giggled and started to cry a little at the same time.

Last night, after the appointment, we meet our parents at O'Charley's for dinner. We stopped on the way there to pick up little gifts for our parents in order to break the news to them. I found little gift bags with animals on them that said "It's a boy? It's a girl? It's twins?" Inside them, I had stowed little pink bunnies, and we gave those to our moms to let them know what we were having. They opened them up at the same time to squeals of surprise and delight followed by hugs and congratulations. Of course Chris had to call his brothers right away while I phoned Eva and my sister-in-law. Everyone was thrilled with the news.

And the excitement continues….

Thursday, March 15, 2007


A babymoon is like a honeymoon except for the fact that the trip is taken before the big event!

I’ve been reading about them in the pregnancy magazines and books and really wanted to take one, but finding the time and resources isn’t always easy. However, we finally were able to book ours. In a couple months, Chris and I are taking our friends, John and Christina, with us to a resort in Gatlinburg for a weekend getaway. The resort was built in the last year, is beautifully decorated, and complete with indoor/outdoor pools and Jacuzzis, a spa, and a billiard room. Our setup is much like a condo with two separate bedrooms, a fireplace, full kitchen, DVD player, and a washer/dryer combination. It’s quite nice, and we can’t wait to relax with our friends, watch movies, swim, walk along the strip, and visit the aquarium. We really need a mini-vacation.

To add to my list of strange pregnancy phenomenon, lately I’ve been having the strangest, most bizarre, and disturbing dreams. Really, it’s sci/fi or horror channel kind of stuff. I could not even think of recounting even one for you here, but the baby books assure me that this is quite normal. Another strange occurrence has been the presence of random leg cramps in the middle of the night. I’m sure I gave Chris quite a fright a couple nights ago when I awoke both him and myself with hysterical screaming when I was seized by a sudden and severe calf cramp. He tried frantically to help me, and I was finally able to stand and walk around a bit in order to work it out. The feeling has lingered for the last couple days, and I plan to do lots of stretches each night before I go to bed in order to hold off these painful sleep interrupters. I suppose I didn’t have enough interrupting my sleep already!

Spring break has now officially started. I don’t have to work tomorrow, and I have all of next week off as well. Before you get too jealous, I do have a box of research papers waiting for me to grade, and I will be spending a good deal of my time trying to accomplish a little spring cleaning. However, I do plan to rest a bit and maybe even get a little sun on my pasty white winter legs. Normally, my skin would have a nice brown glow at this point in the year from weekly trips to the tanning bed. However, with my “delicate” condition, I just don’t think going to the tanning bed would be a prudent decision. Anyway, I am super excited about the change of pace and location for a week. I’ve been extremely tired as of late, and a week that affords me a little extra rest is more than a welcome respite.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sweet, Frustrating, Exhausting

Sweet: Yesterday morning, I was busily getting ready for my school day when two of my students, girls, came through my classroom door. They were holding a small plate covered in aluminum foil and smiling a bit sheepishly. One of them spoke up, “Mrs. Reed, we made you some strawberry bread.” A slight tinge of pick colored their cheeks as they passed off their little gift to me, and I gushed with thanks. What sweet girls!

Frustrating: After a long day of classes and an afternoon tutoring, I had decided to meet Mom out in Rivergate to go to the Old Navy there. Yes, there are Old Navy stores which are much closer to me; however, I had checked online and found that this particular store had a maternity section. I had been looking at their sundresses and really wanted to go pick up a couple. The one at Opry Mills has a maternity section, but I hadn’t been very impressed the last time I went, before the new spring line came out. Anyway, I drove nearly an hour to get out there and discovered that the website had been wrong! They do not have a maternity section! So, I just bought a couple of larger dresses with room for a growing tummy, and I’m going to wait to wear them or remove the tags until I check the maternity section at Opry Mills. I really want some cute, roomy sundresses without looking like I’m wearing a muu muu! (I actually had to look up the spelling for that word.) It’s easier in our modern times to find cute maternity clothes, but I can still be rather picky and have a difficult time finding things that work just right. Both Mom and Chris know to never buy clothes for me; gift certificates are much safer.

Exhausting: We’re working on research papers in my class. At CPA, 7th grade is their first experience with research papers. I feel really good about that because our new student teacher told us today that she was teaching a juniors’ honors class to do research paper for the first time at the high school where she just had her first assignment! Anyway, I told my students today that the week after we finish these papers is spring break, and by that time, after all the craziness with these papers, we (and by we I mean me!) will have earned a good break! If you’ve never gone through this process with a room full of seventh graders, there is no adequate way to describe just what a delirious process this is. At the end of my classes every day I feel like I’ve had a full mental workout. I drag myself to lunch and try to decompress and fuel myself up to finish the rest of my day with some amount of humor and willingness to tackle the rest of the tasks before me. I am desperately hoping that I can finish grading these papers before spring break so that I can rest. I do so need to relax.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Weekend in Review

We had a rare treat on Friday afternoon as Chris finished work about the same time I did. We decided to take ourselves to an afternoon movie and went to see Ghost Rider. Afterwards, we stopped by Bed, Bath, and Beyond to look for new pillows (which we bought but now don’t really like.) The rest of our evening, we spent having a leisurely dinner and resting.

On Saturday, Chris, Bella, and I journeyed to Pleasant View to spend the day with John, Christina, and their dog, Marley. Everyone had a friend. While John and Chris busied themselves with video games, Christina treated me to a few hours at the spa. I had a steam that I could not long endure – too hot and cramped. Afterwards, while Christina received a manicure and pedicure, I had an hour-long prenatal massage. I love the prenatal pillow they had me rest on. It had a hollowed out place in the center for my belly, and it was so comfortable! I really want one for home so that I can lie down on my stomach. I used to always fall asleep on my stomach, but that doesn’t really work now. I can still lie comfortably on my stomach, but that would not be good for the baby. Anyway, back to the spa…. After my wonderful massage, I had a quickie pedicure and manicure while Christina had her own massage. We were so relaxed afterwards that we practically floated back to her house.

When we returned to the men, they went to the grocery store for us to pick up dinner and some snacks to hold us over until then. (We have the best husbands!) Next, Christina and I watched Facing the Giants, which I highly recommend, while the men resumed their game play. After the movie, John and Christina made us steaks, corn, baby glazed carrots, and rolls. We all ate our fill and then went to the bonus room for the four of us to watch a movie together. As soon as I was reclining and all curled up with a comfy quilt and Chris as my pillow, I fell fast asleep and remained so for most of the movie. I woke up intermittently but only because of the others’ laughter and then went right back to sleep. Around nine or so, we decided to call it a day and make our way home. We felt like we’d had a mini vacation and were so grateful to our sweet friends for their hospitality.

On Sunday, Chris and I went to church, ran a few errands, and spent the afternoon at his parents’ house celebrating our sister-in-law’s birthday. His mom made a delicious lasagna and sent a couple pieces home with me for my lunch this week. After being there for about 2 ½ hours, we realized that we should have returned home after church to take care of Bella but had neglected to do so. We had to cut our time there a bit short and go home to her. She was a bit crazy and seemed very grateful to see us. The rest of the evening we spent looking through the Sunday paper (one of our favorite activities together), watching The Incredibles, and eating sandwiches for dinner. I retired early last night, around nine, as I had been feeling pretty ill all day.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Just a Little Update

As the school year begins to wind down, I’m looking forward to my summer answering phones at the school and preparing for the baby. Hopefully, by that time, we’ll be in a new home. While this year has rushed past, we’re starting the fourth quarter, and it really starts to pick up momentum. It will be over before we know it.

It seems that I’ve been limiting my postings to once a week. With the end of the quarter closing in on me, I’ve been so busy grading papers and trying to get make up work from the twenty students who have been sick lately. I can’t remember when we’ve had so many students out all at the same time. I’m trying to stay well. Anyway, most of my “free” time is spend grading... or resting.

Most days I do pretty well getting through the school day, but by afternoon I’ve used most of my energy. Still, Chris and I decided to start walking together again last night. We did a couple miles and felt great for it. I’m so excited that we’re going to be doing this together; it’s always a wonderful opportunity to talk about serious issues or to recap our day or just to laugh together. Plus, there’s the health benefit.

On Monday, I had another checkup. It seems that everything is still going quite well. We were able to hear the heartbeat, and it sounded just like a horse galloping. Even before we heard the heartbeat, the doctor said, in observing the baby on the ultrasound monitor, “The baby’s heartbeat is strong. Look how active it is!” The baby was moving around so much – stretching, reaching, and rolling from side to side. I love the checkups because it makes everything seem more real. I can’t wait until our next appointment. We’re doing the major ultrasound with the big machine. We’ll be able to see the baby much more clearly, and we get to find out the sex of the baby! So exciting!

We’re still house hunting. We’ve been looking, off and on, since before we were married, but nothing has been quite right. For a while, we were starting to become quite discouraged, especially when so many friends and relatives were getting great houses. However, we’ve come to see that God is preparing us for the right place for us, and we need to be patient and wait on His timing. It’s difficult when I think about my growing belly and the fact that I desperately want a house in which to bring the baby home. However, it’s about trust and patience and faith. God’s working on us!