Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Best Sleep Ever!

Are you kidding me? I’ve had so many women say to me, “Aren’t you getting the best sleep of your life?” NO! Yes, I’ve always had trouble sleeping, but now with having to get up to go to the restroom, training myself to sleep on my side, and maneuvering this large hump around, I’m constantly waking up and moving around. I will say that if I get to take a nap in the afternoon or early evening, that sleep is usually pretty good. However, I take few naps because I don’t want that to end up being another factor to keep me from good sleep at night.

Every year I’m surprised at how self-absorbed children can be, particularly middle school children. Of course, since I spend 8 hours a day around these adolescents, I observe this in my classroom. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that their words, actions, and even facial expressions have an effect on others. Just today there was a little incident in my room. I won’t go into it, but I will say that I really had my feelings hurt. I really had no idea what to do. I didn’t want to respond emotionally and end up saying the wrong thing; so I just didn’t do anything. It disturbed me so badly that I went to talk to one of the administrative assistants to gain some guidance on how to handle the situation. By the way, she gave me brilliant advice, and I can come at the whole affair from a positive perspective and receive, I believe, a much more positive outcome than if I had let me emotions get the best of me. Sometimes it’s good to get a fresh perspective on things.

Spring fever has definitely hit with a fury. Not only do the kids not want to engage in school, neither do I. I have just 19 days of school left. After that, my days will be filled with sporadic phone calls, mail delivery, and plenty of time to read. Working at the front desk of the school is completely low maintenance in the summer and will be the perfect job for a very pregnant me. Here at the end of the academic year, I give myself little pep talks throughout the day. Most of these occur in my head, but it’s all about only having a few days left, running the good race, and finishing well. I do so want to end the year well. I’m putting all the effort I can muster up into it, and I believe that, in the end, I will succeed.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Facing the Belly

Since I was a young girl, I’ve struggled with body image and being fit. There have been those times when I was in really great shape, and then there are those times when I just had a shape. The year before I became pregnant, I was struggling a great deal with my health and gained weight despite doing everything to move in the opposite direction. Even the doctors I was seeing couldn’t figure out what was happening. Blank, confused, unknowing looks from doctors are far from comforting.

And then I became pregnant.

And for now, we love the belly.

Just today, I mentioned to one of the office ladies that the baby was moving around quite a bit, and she immediately leaned over with her face very close to my belly and starting talking in high pitched, baby-talk. And then there’s the uninvited touching of the belly. Before I even have a chance to stop people, I receive a little pat or a quick circular rub as if the person is trying to call forth a genie or receive some sort of good luck. I thought that I would be greatly annoyed by this intrusion, this infringement on my personal space. However, it really doesn’t bother me at all. It just reminds me that others are excited about my baby, too, and that thrill is stronger than the strangeness I feel about someone touching a normally off-limits area.

Normally, I would want as little attention as possible directed towards my belly. However, maternity clothes accent the belly, and I find that I often absent-mindedly rub my tummy. You always notice pregnant women doing that, and I used to think that it was a result of more purposeful thinking, but now I think it’s because it often makes the woman feel closer to the baby without her even realizing what she’s doing.

We went to see the second hospital tonight, and now we’re leaning towards this one. The first one only allows two people to be in the room during delivery, and I really want to have Chris, Mom, and Eva with me. The second hospital allows up to five people to be with you! Also, the delivery rooms are a bit bigger, and all of the other services are the same. I don’t want to make a hasty or emotional decision, but I do think we’ll go with the second one.

For now, it’s been a long day, and I must get some rest. With a chest cold and cough that’s developed and the increasing activity of this little one, I’m quite worn out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bounce on, Baby Girl!

Have you ever listened to someone give some sort of speech and thought, "Hmmm, that sounded really insincere." Some examples are when they include the following statements: "Oh, you really didn't have to do that." "I didn't need a present; your presence is gift enough." I'm not saying that every time these things are said, the person is being false. I know I've said them myself and wholeheartedly meant them. However, there are times when the body language, facial expressions, or ton just gives a person away. There are occasions when I sit listening to people and wonder if they realize that they are betraying themselves. And then, of course, I inevitably wonder if people have thought the same thing about me, which leads me to suspect that I may be being too hard on the person I'm listening to.

Chris and I went to look at hospitals on Sunday, but we haven't made our final decision on where to have the baby. We can choose between two hospitals, and we still have to take a tour of the second one. The current plan is to take their scheduled tour Wednesday night. We'll see how that goes.
OK, on to more exciting things….

The baby has been moving so much lately. I hadn’t really felt her for a couple days, and then all of a sudden she started moving around like she was hopped up on caffeine! Last night it felt like she was literally bouncing off the sides of my stomach, and I thought it might be something like bouncing around in one of those inflatable playgrounds that people set up at carnivals. I hope she was having fun; it sure was amusing me! And Chris was able to feel her move for the first time!

While I was trying to settle down for bed last night, I wondered if she’d settle down as well so that I could fall asleep. I just talked to her while patting my baby belly, and she eventually calmed down. Then, today, while my students were taking standardized tests, I felt her kicking, and I wanted to giggle so badly. I just smiled to myself and discreetly rubbed my tummy relishing the thought of my little dancing baby and trying to calm her down a bit so I wouldn’t lose my composure.

Every time we see her on an ultrasound she’s bouncing around, and I know that we’re going to end up with a little energy ball on our hands. She’s going to keep us on our toes!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Busyness of Spring

Life’s gettin’ busy! It always happens that the later in the school year it gets, the more I have to do. It’s not just with all the stuff we do to wrap up the year (conferences, awards programs, fine arts productions, graduations, etc.), but there’s also all the showers and parties and weddings and things that inevitably come with the onset of spring. This year I am adding to the busyness with my upcoming showers, and in a few weeks we finally get to go on our babymoon. This weekend, I have a Body Shop spa party on Saturday and a bridal shower on Sunday. Next weekend, there’s the Baby Fair at Baptist Hospital on Saturday to which I’m going with my friend Ralanna who is also due on August 9th and having a baby girl! Then on Sunday afternoon we’re having our community group picnic. Every weekend from now until the end of the beginning of June has something extra tacked onto it, and those June weekends will not doubt be filled soon. I’m not complaining at all; I like my life to have special occasions sprinkled throughout. I’m just noting that in the spring it’s more like a steady rain than a sprinkle; I suppose that’s appropriate given the general weather patterns at this time of year.

We’re studying poetry right now in my class. I used to write quite a bit of poetry in college and for a bit thereafter. However, times being what they are, I haven’t felt the inspiration or had the time to let the muses do their work. Creatively I’ve been dry, and I miss the thrill of putting pen to paper and spinning a tale or weaving words into patterned fluidity. I wonder if a time will ever come again that I’ll be able to think of myself as a writer. I also haven’t picked up a paintbrush in months, and that too brings me a small dose of grief. Perhaps with the awakening of the world in spring, something will also awaken in me enabling me to produce something beautiful.

Speaking of things that are beautiful and inspirational… Chris and I attended the funeral of a family friend’s mom yesterday. She was 87 when she passed and had raised 7 children as a single mother when her second marriage didn’t work out. She worked very hard well past retirement, volunteered at Baptist Hospital, and followed the Lord closely. Truly she was a remarkable woman. It was a life well lived. I remember thinking while I sat there listening to her life being recounted that I hope that someday people will be able to say such honorable things about me. As I studied her face, I was struck with how brief life is and how we have such a limited time to truly make a difference. With each day I hope that I am leaving behind me traces of grace and dignity and kindness. I hope that even now when people remember me it’s with warmth, and those thoughts of me lead them to thoughts of Christ.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Nursery Duty

Last Saturday I met Eva in Rivergate at the Babies R Us store. There’s also one on Nolensville Road, but Rivergate is about half way between her home and mind. Five and ½ hours later, we had finally finished registering. Seriously, if it hadn’t been for her, I probably would have left the store in tears. It was so overwhelming, and she helped me so much. Thanks Eva! We choose the colors, theme, and furniture for the nursery along with all the other things I baby needs. At least, I hope that I didn’t leave anything out that a baby needs; I’ve asked a couple of moms to look at the registry to inform me about any essential I may have left out. We’ll see what their verdict is. I’ve changed quite a bit online since I did my walk-through on Saturday. I have a feeling that it may morph a bit more.

By the way, I’ve chosen sage green and antique white (cream) with baby pink accents for the nursery, and the theme is the Hundred Acre Wood/Winnie the Pooh. Chris and I went through two other themes before we settled on the last one. First, we thought we’d do an underwater theme, but it just didn’t really suit us. Next, we decided on a fairy tale theme, but I just couldn’t find exactly what I wanted for the d├ęcor. Finally, we choose the Winnie the Pooh. I seriously don’t know why we didn’t choose that one to begin with. Prior to getting married, I had always thought that I’d do the Hundred Acre Wood for my nursery. It’s amazing how much Winnie stuff you can find that has the colors I’ve chosen. It’s perfect.

The only problem with all of this is the fact that in our current living situation, we don’t have anywhere to put a baby. We do have a two bedroom apartment; however, the second bedroom, our office, has our dog crate where Bella stays while we’re away from home during the day, treadmill, computer table, my easel and painting supplies, two bookcases full of VHS movies and books, tons of random computer parts, and a plethora of other stuff that really should go in storage (if we had extra storage). There’s a small open area in the middle of the floor, and that’s about it. Though we could find some way to adjust and figure out some place to store the things, it just doesn’t feel like a welcoming place for a baby. The apartment is in need of many repairs, is very difficult to keep clean, and desperately needs new carpet. We have been house hunting for quite a while now, and we hope that something will work out for us soon.

I am so longing to begin preparations for this little one. I don’t know when nesting typically begins during pregnancy, but I would really like to be working on this now while I have some energy. The further along in the pregnancy I get, after working all day, I don’t know how much I’ll have left for home chores. I’m doing good to get a couple things done each day when I get home now. I’ll be working up until the day my baby is born, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I may go into labor at work though I hope that doesn’t happen. I would much rather be home with Chris for that particular event. Why don’t we just plan on that?