Friday, May 28, 2010

Did you think it would never come?

Today is the day.  The day I've been hoping, wishing, praying for...  The day that seemed like it would absolutely never come.
But it's here: the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL.

Until I became a teacher, I never realized how vital summer break is, not for the students, but for the teachers' own sanity.  It's not about the students at all!  It's about giving us teachers the time off that we need to remember that we are still good, kind, lovely individuals, no matter how many times we've had to give out an F or take up a cell phone or gotten frustrated with attitudes straight from the abyss.  It's summer time, and let me tell you, I've earned it.

Now before you get too jealous, let me tell you this.  I have 3 days off, and then I immediately have to go to summer training for two days (thank you so much, Lufkin ISD for scheduling that right away) and then to teach summer school for the month of June (including on my birthday).  Ladies and gentlemen, I'm doing it for the peanut.  After all, we're going to have some serious nursery decorating and clothes shopping to do as soon as we find out whether we're having a girl-peanut or a boy-peanut, so I'd better be hard at work earning some money, right? (I'm trying to impress you with my selflessness right now - is it working?)

Anyway, I'm just going to relish right now in the END OF SCHOOL.  So let me just say... No more pencils, no more books, no more students' dirty looks (haha - like I ever get any).  Have a fantastic Friday and enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The family car

Well, we did it!  We bought ourselves a sensible, 4-door family car.  It's a pearl-colored Mitsubishi Galant and I couldn't be happier.  Getting rid of the Scion seemed like the last tie to an old life.  Now we're well on our way to being parents.  How weird!

So it is YES, sensible, and NO, not as fun as the SUV's we were looking at, but definitely more practical.  And let me tell you, it's a lot less pimp-a-licious than the Chrysler 300 we test drove overnight on Monday.  That car was cushy and huge inside, but I felt like Cruella DaVille when I drove it, and there was no way I could have people thinking I was coming to steal their puppies or yelling, "There's that crazy woman driver!" when I passed.  Yep, this Galant is grown-up, and I fully accept that.

Now if only we could find a happy home for Berkley (sniffle).  How could anyone say no to this face?


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The bittersweet

Nate and I are making some lifestyle changes.  Well, in particular, two lifestyle changes.

Number one, we're investing in a sensible, 4-door vehicle, for obvious reasons.  I'm not trying to haul a peanut in and out of our 2-door Scion, so we're trading in, and possibly up, in size.  It's going to be okay, though.  We can still be cool, right? 

Number two, we're going to have to find a new home for Berkley.  This one hurts my heart.  A LOT. She is a precious, sweet, wonderful dog.  But she is simply too big.  She has so much energy and is so playful, and when I get home after work, all I can do is lie down because I've been so sick.  Nate is busy trying to take care of me, and the poor baby is being sadly neglected.  I want to cry every time I think about her sweet face right outside our sliding glass door, just waiting for someone to come play with her.  It's all a matter of bad timing, because had we known we would get pregnant so quickly, we never would have taken her.

All that said, it's a bittersweet time for me right now.  And that's really all I've got today.

Monday, May 24, 2010

the PERFECT weekend

Well let me just start off your Monday by telling you how divine my weekend was.  In a word - spectacular.  You see, I have this amazing husband who absolutely loves to spoil me, and he pulled out all the stops for our anniversary weekend.

Now, mind you, this was a special anniversary - our 5th, on 05/20/2010.  And Nate loves numbers divisible by 5 (one of his most adorable quirks), so he was extra excited about this one.

So we left on Saturday morning and drove to Houston to grab a bite to eat at Panera Bread, which I can never resist, no matter how bad the morning "ickness" is.  We looked at baby clothes in a posh little store called Mint Baby, and headed to our first destination - the Museum of Natural History.  I have never been there (go figure, considering how much I love dinosaurs and planets), and Nate had a special treat: a movie at the planetarium theater.  How awesome is that?  It literally looked like a planetarium, with the dome ceiling and reclining seats, and at first I was confused about how we would see the stars during the day.  But they actually project movies across the dome, so it looked like we were flying through outer space.  I gave it two happy thumbs up, especially because I got to lie down during the whole thing. 

Then, my fabulous husband actually planned naptime for me.  Hello?  Can you say perfect?  So I cozied up at our hotel with the air conditioning cranked and the covers pulled up to my nose and had such a delightful rest while he went out to get my gift (yes, I got a nap and a gift at the same time).  When he came back to wake me up he had brought the most amazing camera/videocamera that I have ever seen and it was all for me, ahem, I mean, all for us (wink wink).  So now I have a new toy, and I'm frantically learning everything I can about it.

After that, we got dressed and went to Whole Foods Market, which is second to heaven for me, and picked out as many yummy things as we could hold for our picnic at Miller Outdoor Theater, which was showing the opera Tosca!!!  My very first opera, and it couldn't have been more exquisite.  The geniuses who put it on figured out that a small screen at the top could play subtitles, so no one had to struggle to figure out what was going on.  Plus the weather was perfect, we were at the top of a hill with the wind blowing and our picnic in full swing, and the music was gorgeous.  I had to pinch myself multiple times to make sure it was all real.

We rounded out the evening with another picnic in our hotel room - snacks from Taco Cabana (another first) with the balcony door open to the gorgeous Houston skyline.    I wish I were back there right now instead of at work on a Monday morning...

On Sunday we got up, searched for an Astros t-shirt for me (found a cute one with sparkles) and headed to the Astros game with the Foys - such good times!  I put the new camera to good use, and Nate had his fill of ballpark hotdogs, and although we were sad about the Astros losing, it still ended up being a great time.  On the way home to Lufkin we ate at PeiWei (fabulous) and grabbed some Baskin Robbins ice cream.  All in all, I spent the entire weekend smiling.  It was perfect.

So now it's Monday, and my new pre-natal vitamins are making me burp up the taste of fish sticks.  I'm trying to remind myself that there's only a week of school left, and that I can do (almost) anything for a week.  I guess the memories of this weekend and my swell new camera should keep me busy, at least for today.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday 10

Today I spent most of my conference period lying in the copy room at work, underneath a desk, trying to get warm and to sleep off this UGH that I feel today.  Because not only am I pregnant sick, now I'm sick sick.  My throat's on fire, my head is all plugged, and yes, I am feeling quite cranky.  Thinking happy thoughts isn't helping because I'm just plain tired of feeling gross.  And it's only been two and a half weeks of this kind of sickness.  I always thought I was pretty tough, but I'm starting to realize that I'm just a big sissy. 

On the funny side, though, yesterday Ann was looking up morning sickness for me on google, but actually typed in "morning ickness."  It described how I feel perfectly!!!

Anyway, to combat my hideous crankiness, today I'm going to spend my time making a top ten list of things that make me happy.  Maybe you can add to it if I get stuck.

1.  My super fantastic husband, who has been planning our anniversary getaway this weekend for weeks, and who took me out on a hot date last night, despite the fact that I have officially given in and look permanently haggard.

2.  The fact that our grown child Ann (otherwise known as my youngest sister) has decided that she wants a baby brother, and the fact that referring to her as our child confuses the heck out of everyone.

3.  The idea of me sitting in the corner of my room sniffing an alcohol wipe like a crack fiend because someone told me it would help with morning sickness.  Just FYI, it didn't.

4.  Tomato soup and ginger ale.  Not only do I like it when I'm sick, but it makes me feel cozy every other time.

5.  People who genuinely ask me every single day how I'm feeling, and really want to know the truth.  I always want to give them a hug, even as I'm feeling bad for saying I'm not feeling too great...

6.  (insert name)  VS.  (insert name).  It's my favorite game to play, creating imaginary match-ups between people at the church, co-workers, etc.  Somewhat like celebrity death match, but with people I know... 

7.  The fact that all but 6 of my students passed the English TAKS test, and quite a few of them were commended as well, even after the dreadful Fall that I had.

8.  Scrabble, bananagrams and moxie.  All word games that I adore.

9.  Did I mention my super fantastic husband, who is kind to me ALWAYS, even when I don't deserve it?

10. The fact that today is Friday, and in an hour and a half, I get to go home and take the biggest, fattest, happiest nap I've had all week.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

5 years and counting

Once upon a time, a boy

met a girl

and fell in love.  They were a perfect match - silliness and smiles, music and dancing.  In their world, they were like a prince and princess.  Of course, most of the people in the kingdom were delighted to see the pair, but of course, as in all good fairy tales, there were lots of ogres and witches who tried to block their way.  Nothing can really stop true love, though.  So after all the hard times, they're on their way to living happily ever after.

Happy 5th Anniversary, baby!  The adventure is just beginning for us, and it will just continue to get better all the time (and next year there'll be a peanut in our picture!).

I love you!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A green day

Every day is a new day.
Today is an especially green day, and by that I mean I'm alternating between extra pale and a strange shade of olive.  And I can't figure out why (well - duh, besides just having a peanut).  That would make things too simple, though, right?  I'm taking this as another lesson for my future as a mommy.  Pregnancy sickness follows no pattern, no rhyme or reason, somewhat like the behavior of teenagers.  Brilliant correlation, right?

I've spent the morning listening to country music, and not on purpose.  I assigned my students a project to analyze song lyrics as poetry, and they all had to bring in a song for us to study.  Somehow my first period, which is a remarkably diverse class, ended up with almost entirely country songs.  How do these things happen?  I mean, I guess a country song tells a story better than anything else, but goodness.  No more trucks, no more whiskey and six packs, no more sad tales of angst and love lost.  I'm officially exhausted at this point.

In other news, Berkley is getting HUGE, and Nathan and I are seriously considering letting her become an inside dog.  It's sad to let the two little dogs in and make her stay outside.  However, do pregnancy and fifty-pound puppies go together in any weird world?  It's worth a shot, I suppose...  

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Conner

Oh my WORD, look at this little nugget.  He just lost his first tooth.  If I were the Tooth Fairy, I'd leave him a hundred bucks, just for being so perfect and adorable. 

Can you believe I was in the delivery room when he was born?  Where has time gone?

The Peanut Part 1

It's official!  I have been chastised.  I have been a sorry blogger, and it's come to someone's attention.  And I have been given this suggestion - "write about your pregnancy woes." 

So there's my first bit of info - I am with peanut.  In fact, Nate and I saw the little peanut just yesterday at our first ultrasound.  And while it was a very uncomfortable experience (internal ultrasound, anyone? it's a new level of humiliation and discomfort), it was also extremely exciting.  Did I cry?  No.  Did I beam?  Absolutely.  Because I'm delighted beyond belief to be pregnant, and will be even more so when I stop feeling so sick.

I've been given a lot of advice about morning sickness.  Anyone have any advice on sickness that lasts all morning, all afternoon, all evening, all night...?  That's right, I am SICK.  All the time.  And to add insult to injury, I'm supposed to be delighted about this sickness, because it apparently means that my baby is extra healthy.  Seriously?  What kind of perverse joke is this?  My pillow is full of crackers, because I eat them before I roll out of bed very sloooooowly, so as not to make any sudden movements.  I'm sucking preggie pop drops like they're going out of style and rubbing some sort of medication on my wrists that eases the nausea enough for me to stand up straight, all the while attempting to eat every two hours even though it makes me throw up in my mouth a little every time.

Pregnancy is a delight.  Truly. 

On top of all this, I'm still zookeeping my students for the last 9 days of school, and they're making life a little more interesting every day, and I'm seriously kicking myself for agreeing to teach summer school.  But it's money for the peanut, right? 

So, here's what I'm learning.  Pregnancy is a lesson in the selflessness required to be a fantastic mother.  Because I am desperate to be this fantastic mother, I will accept all the above mentioned "woes" with a smile on my face and still attempt to like my students and the people around me.

But don't be surprised if I'm in bed by 7.  Jen told me that growing a baby requires a similar effort to climbing a mountain, and I'm believing her more and more every day.  Happy growing!

Friday, May 14, 2010

It's Friday, it's Friday, it's FRIDAY!!!
And it's also nearing the end of the schoolyear, which means my job has become part zookeeper, part sunshine maker.  Think of me, giant, fake smile plastered all over my face, trying to coach kids to keep working on clauses when all they have in sight is summer.  Woops...  Apparently they forgot that finals stand in the way of their impending freedom.

Anyway, my classroom is quiet, my kids have all left for the week, and next week is the last official week before finals.  Help me, Jesus.  We can do this.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wedding of the Year

Okay, I'll write on my blog.  I'll be a good girl and tell you all about Sarah's wedding, which I know you've been holding your breath waiting for...

It was beautiful, busy, a little bit hectic. I did Sarah and Lily's hair and makeup while Ann and Jen headed up the decoration committee. And believe it or not, it took all of us much longer than we assumed. In fact, we three girls were left with about 10 minutes to throw together our hair and makeup, and zip our ample bosoms into our very fitted dresses...  Let's just say there were some safety pins involved, as well as some frantic hair-straightening, and in the end, it was a beautiful team effort that got us all to the aisle.  But look at my beautiful Sarah's hair.  It's my finest creation, and she looked exactly like a princess. This is a testament to the power of prayer, because I spent quite a bit of shower time praying over this updo.

I also got to do Lily's hair, and she was just beyond cute. Mom bought her a huge lily (what else?) for her hair, which was both adorable and completely appropriate.  Surprisingly enough, she sat still long enough for me to french braid the sides of her hair back, and curl the entire back of her head in ringlets.  I topped it off with some tiny blue flowers and that giant lily, and she was immediately the cutest thing I've ever seen.  The child is truly a wonder, and she made it through most of the ceremony without throwing (too big) a fit.  I will admit, though, that at one point I looked down and she was lying flat on her face in front of my mom, screaming because she couldn't come stand on Sarah's dress while she was saying her vows.  It's hard to be two...
The ceremony itself was simple, and probably my favorite outdoor event to date. At one point, a wasp crawled up Michael's jacket as he performed the ceremony (his first wedding ever, and he did great!), and then flew and attacked the maid of honor and poor Ann, who literally took off running before she realized that it wasn't necessarily appropriate for the occasion. After the wasp wreaked havoc, he flew off in peace, and I think I saw him click his heels as he left. That was the only glitch, though, which amazes me.  The weather was perfect, the reception went well, the plates of veggies and fruit that I devoured were delicious, and I heard good things about the rest of the food. What more could they have asked for?

All in all, Sarah and Bryan should be proud. Their wedding was gorgeous, and they have a lot to look forward to in the years to come. As for all of the rest of us, we were both exhausted and happy when it was all said and done, and I now have a lovely blue dress that shows off my cleavage and makes Nate smile. In the end, everyone was happy. And Lily was asleep.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Awwww.  Remember the days of TGIF? I used to look forward to Family Matters for the entire day, and I spent just about every Friday night devouring pizza, glued to the tv. Those were the days.

And so it is finally Friday.  I'm thinking of hiding out in my bed for the rest of the evening after work and not coming out again until the wedding tomorrow.  I am that tired!  But girls' night was a blast, The Backup Plan was just as cute the second time, and I was seriously tempted to stay for the midnight showing of Iron Man 2, but where would I be at this moment had I done so?  OUT on the copy room floor, napping the heck out of my conference time. Instead, I went to bed at the respectable hour of 12:30 and am just yawning my way through the morning.  I don't even have the energy to bring a hot Cheeto to my lips, and you know that's really saying something after the last few days...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A wedding to remember

Well, how have I failed to mention this up to this point?  Sarah is getting married.  This weekend!  I think it's one of those things that has been on my mind so much that I assumed I had already talked it to death.  Come to find out, I haven't mentioned it yet.  How weird!

Yes, my little Sarah is getting married, and I almost can't believe it, but it is indeed happening.  We have a girls night planned for her tonight.  Nothing raunchy (and thank goodness), just dessert and a trip to see The Back-Up Plan, which sounds like a lovely and cozy idea to me.  Good planning, Jen!  Now make no mistake.  I fully intend to give her a pair of GIANT granny panties to celebrate her upcoming nuptials, but that's as far as I go.  Let's hope her friends don't have other plans...

And let me just tell you this.  I have already seen The Back-Up Plan, and have been scarred by several scenes in it (first ultrasound?  birth in a kiddie pool?  anyone?  anyone?).  So why am I so excited to watch other people be scarred by the very same scenes?  My twisted mind.  I'm smiling just thinking about it.

Anyway, here's to you, Sarah!  I raise my hot Cheeto (yes, I'm at it again) in celebration and say, "GOOD LUCK!" You deserve all the happiness in the world, and I love you, lil' sis.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de mayhem

Well here I sit, celebrating Cinco de Mayo by eating hot Cheetos during my conference period.  They are quite possible one of the world's most amazing foods, so I'm feeling quite perky and delighted at this particular moment.  But what is it about the end of the schoolyear that makes me not want to come to school? Because, honestly, at this moment, these Cheetos are the only thing keeping me going...

Could it possibly be my students, whose determination not to work comes from the practice of other classes, who stop working after the TAKS test?

Could it be that I'm teaching clauses (and not of the Santa variety) to some kids who still look at me cross-eyed when I ask them what a verb is?

Could it also be the knowledge that at least 80% of the rest of the building is watching movies for the next 3 1/2 weeks?

Surely not.  It must just be me

But enough of my whining.  There's a rainbow on this cloudy day!  We took Berkley back to the vet last night, and she is free and clear of any and all traces of mange.  Well, besides the somewhat patchy coat she's sporting right now.  But hallelujah, her hair is growing back, and now we need to decide for sure whether this mini-monster is going to be an inside dog.  Get this - the baby gained 15 pounds in the two weeks she spent outside.  15 pounds!!!!  The vet is estimating her to end up anywhere between 70 and 100 pounds, which means she will more than likely be able to beat me in both a footrace and a wrestling match.  Holy cow!  I'm sure there will be stories galore in the next few months...

And I'm finished with my Cheetos, which means it's time to go make some more lesson plans.  Wish me luck, and happy Cinco de Mayo!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Back from HOTlanta

And yes, it was an interesting trip.  For so many reasons that I could only tell you in person.

But let me just chronicle the kind of people I saw:

No fewer than 3 professional women at the conference with full beards and moustaches.  UNACCEPTABLE.

2 people wearing white pants with absolutely no undergarments (and it was obvious). 

1 female wearing a pair of jeans with a rip across the butt.  And absolutely no undergarments.  Seriously?  Who needs to see buttflesh while waiting for a flight home at the airport?

I also saw Martin Luther King, Jr.'s historic site, which was extremely humbling.

I ventured inside the Atlanta Aquarium and stood in a tunnel underneath assorted types of sharks.  As you know, a year ago I would have never set foot inside, but I'm learning to face my fears and realizing that they are normally quite unfounded.  I've faced some of the worst things life could offer and WON, so why fret about a shark or two?

And I took a lovely run through the Olympic Centennial Park, during which a man wielding a leafblower doused my eyes in dirt and I had to wear my glasses for a full 24 hours because my eyes were too irritated for contacts.  Therefore I was quite irritated as well.  CRAZY.  Anyway, those Atlanta hills made me feel like I had climbed stairs for several hours non-stop, despite the fact that I had only run about 3.5 miles.  Oh well.  Old age must be chasing me down.

So that's the trip in a nutshell.  Interesting sights and sounds, beautiful (and ghetto) city.  One tired Kate on a Monday morning.