Monday, June 28, 2010

Cage Match: Kate vs. Berk

It's been an interesting start to my first week of summer freedom.  I sit here writing, covered in slobber, probably pee, and scratches from head to toe.  Sound like I've been in a war?  More like a WWF wrestling match, Kate vs. Berkley, 9:00 a.m. LIVE at the Southwood Animal Clinic!

It was on like Donkey Kong as soon as I wrestled her into the car.  She immediately hopped over the seat into the back seat, surely to attempt an attack from behind.  But I was too quick for her.  I heaved her back into the front and was on my way.  (side note: I thought about walking her to the vet, but then quickly ruled that out.  I really should have gone with my gut on that one...)

As soon as we arrived at the animal clinic, I walked Berkley into a lobby FULL of dogs (which makes sense, given it's an animal clinic...).  I grimaced and braced myself for her immediate reaction, which was to yank me in all directions to try to play with the other dogs.  Well, imagine the look on the poor little old lady's face, clutching her tiny chihuahua in a sweet little pink carrier close to her as if they would protect each other.  I smiled graciously at the people around me and said, "It's okay, she's just a baby.  She only wants to play."  Stone faces.  I don't think they were buying it.

So Berk and I sat down, me on a bench and she between my legs.  I promptly put her into a full-body wrestling hold worthy of any "professional" wrestler - both legs clamped around her body and both arms around her neck.  Everything was well and good until lil' old lady began giving me a serious stank-eye.  I was about to tell her to step off and then realized that my shirt had come down, and I was officially showing my pregnant rack to every person in that lobby.    

After at least an eternity, Berk and I were called to the back, and as we entered the examination room, she decided to leave a urine sample right there at the door.  How thoughtful of her.  I was mortified, although the tech seemed unfazed.  Then a small-ish nurse came in to stand at the counter and examine Berkley's chart, and Berk promptly jumped up on her back to give her a happy greeting.  AHHHH!!!  The nurse then asked me to help get Berk's temperature, and she grabbed a giant thermometer and a tube of something...  Somehow I knew that wasn't going in her mouth.  "Hold her head!" the nurse shouted, and she immediately dived toward Berkley's hind end, trying to pull up Berkley's tail as she clamped it down tightly.  Berk was NOT having it.  The fun went on for a minute or two, after which the nurse said, "Well, why don't I just take her to the back and get her temperature and a urine sample?  When was the last time she urinated?"  I ducked my head and said, "Maybe 5 minutes ago.  Right about where you're standing..."

10 minutes later they came back in, and the nurse informed me that they had to catheterize Berk to get her sample, to which I replied, "Good.  She deserved it." (I thought that until I got the bill and realized that it cost $42 to do it. ARGH.)  Turns out my big ol' girl has a urinary tract infection (which is exactly what I thought), but I caught it early (YAY, me), and we now have to give her medicine twice a day in slices of cheese or globs of peanut butter (unless you have a better idea).  The vet offered to have the office assistant come back to our exam room to do the paperwork and pay, "Since we have such a... um... 'rambunctious' pup."  At that point, I just took what I could get.

Just so no one would forget Berkley, I wrestled her back through the lobby and out the back door (the front is being worked on), where Berk promptly peed on the carpeted floor in the file room.  I wanted to tell everyone that it's because she had a bladder infection, that she's a really sweet girl, and she only jumps up because she wants to lick and love them, but as soon as the nurse got on her headset and said, "Cleanup in files.  Urine.  Carpet." I was out.

And just so you know, the cheese idea works, and Berkley prefers the white cheddar.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A word on maternity wear

Now, I'm no fashion expert, but after some intense maternity clothes hunting, three swimsuit shopping experiences (two of which ended in tears), and endless hours combing ebay for good deals, I have a few words of advice for manufacturers...

1. Eliminate the word "sexy" from all marketing of maternity clothing.  I find very little sexy about large sacks of clothing, no matter how adorable they are.  Are you following my train of thought here?  There's a big difference.  And honestly,  do I ever want my child to look back and say, "Wow, Mommy, that was a sexy shirt you were wearing while you were growing me..."

2.  I suggest a separation between Motherhood Maternity and Motherhood Nursing.  Because I'm sure at some point down the road, a top with a built-in dickie so I can pop my breast out at any time will seem really fabulous, but right now it's just downright terrifying.

3.  It's okay to make my maternity swimsuit top a little shorter than the bottom of my crotch.  I promise - I'll wear the bottoms, too!

4.  A print other than a large floral would be really awesome.  I'm starting to wonder if I'm truly pregnant because obviously, EVERY woman wants to be dressed in a giant tunic of yellow, purple and red to draw even more attention to herself as she gets huger every day.  DUH.  What's wrong with me?

5.  No woman, and I do mean NO woman ever created on earth, EVER needs to torture herself even more with shaping maternity panties.  Seriously?  Just let us enjoy our big butts and giant thighs.  It's part of the package deal.  

Friday, June 25, 2010


Well, kids, the days of keeping the fact that Sarah was having a girl from her are over.  That's right - we sisters sent our mom undercover to her ultrasound appointment so that we could know what she was having, even though she and her husband didn't want to know.  It was imperative that we be able to talk about it when she wasn't around, though.  Plus we're all just a little, um, journalistically inclined? (Nate calls that "snoopy").  But who made that seem like it was a really good idea?  Because knowing and not being able to tell was horrible!

And now the wait is over.  Baby Kaylee Elizabeth arrived yesterday morning at 5:33, 7 pounds 8 ounces, 19 inches long.  And she seems just as divalicious as her big sister Lily.  (please reference photo #1)

She's beautiful! And just so you know, we're all officially smitten.  That even goes for Lily, who's now going to have to share the attention in the family.  She seems downright pleased, though, so it looks like she's going to make it just fine.

And with all this baby craze, Nathan and I are getting more and excited to know what our little peanut will be like.  Cute?  Sassy?  Dark-headed or blonde?  Heck, right now, I'd just settle for knowing whether it's a boy or a girl.  Patience is a virtue, right?  Mine will be exercised until August when I can find out.  No worries!

So anyway, congratulations Bryan, Sarah and Lily on the beautiful baby girl, and welcome to the world, Kaylee Elizabeth!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Last Day


Just to make my life interesting, one of my students is so hungover that he can't keep his head up.  He's sitting with the trashcan next to him and moaning while the other kids are trying to take their grammar final.  Ahhhh, the delight.  The principal told me I am supposed to let him go to the bathroom as much as he needs to, because the kid just came up to him and straight-up said he had too much to drink last night.  In other words, I'm being asked to cater to a student who spent all last night underage drinking and somehow managed to stumble to school today.  I guess we're rewarding him for his honesty?

I offered him a Coke and a piece of gum, and a word of advice, "Don't throw away your entire summer school grade today just because you made a stupid decision last night and are reaping the consequences."
What I really wanted to add is that I spend every morning throwing up and still have to come to work chipper and ready to go.  Being pregnant is like a constant state of feeling hungover. 

Aside from that, though, I'm almost going to miss my little class.  They've been practically precious, and when other kids at summer school were making trouble, we remained blissfully unaware (except the day I broke up that fight between some kids from another class down the hall).  They did everything I asked them without complaint, and actually came out as some decent writers on top of it.  Yesterday they told me how much they're going to miss me (most of them have to take another class for the second summer session), which was absolutely adorable.

I told them I was going to miss them, too...  while I am sleeping in every day next week.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Welcome to my world

Oh my word.  Is it possible? Could it be? Is it really... YES!  GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!  U.S. ADVANCES!!!!!

It's true.  I've failed to mention a very important fact.  I absolutely adore World Cup soccer (or any soccer, for that matter), and today I am brimming with pride for my country.  Imagine this...

Scene:  next-to-last day of summer school

Characters: one classroom of 11 students, mixed in gender and race, and one mini-pregnant teacher, all with a healthy respect for soccer but an unclear knowledge of whom to support (at least we weren't playing Mexico today...)

Mission:  to watch the United States play Algeria in full color, projected on the whiteboard in jumbo size, despite the fact that school is in session

And I am proud to say, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Oh yes, today all of grammar camp watched the game while the kids wrote essays and did a grammar review.  I found it completely necessary for their overall sense of patriotism and well-being that we support our team.  After all, I'm not just teaching grammar and writing.  I'm teaching life skills, manners, and good citizenship, and what better to do that than gather together and support Donovan, Dempsey, and the rest of the boys?

When the World Cup began, I got sucked in to the stories of the struggling host team, South Africa.  I was fond of Argentina, Mexico and Brazil.  I enjoyed the idea of these nations playing each other, and I asked Nathan what team he thought we should root for.  I don't know that I've ever seen a snottier face (much deserved) as he replied, "Um, last I checked we do live in America."

Ahhhh, touche, Nathan.  Point taken.  I began to support my own country (go figure), and I decided I liked this scrappy little team of ours.  In fact, I realized that we have a few rock stars worthy of taking on the rest of the world.  So I convinced our summer school director that it was vital that all of our students be allowed to watch today's crucial match and cheer the U.S. on past possible elimination.  She, of course, agreed, recognizing the necessity for the sake of our children (obviously for no other reason).

Now, keep in mind, I did have to sacrifice a slight amount of personal pride, considering the game ended with me shouting, jumping up and down and clapping.  Good thing we turned off the lights at the end so we could see it better.  But from someone who already has the FIFA World Cup app for my iPhone (brilliant), it's already too late to claim that I'm anything close to cool.

And now, after Donovan's genius goal to end the game and put the U.S ahead, Nathan and I have decided that we must eat an entirely patriotic meal tonight, dress in red, white, and blue, and celebrate the evening away (thank you, Lord, for letting my husband love this almost as much as I).

Go USA!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The beginning of true summer

Just another Tuesday, right?
WRONG.  This is the last Tuesday of summer school, and I couldn't be more thrilled. Thursday is our official last day, and these last three days are full of writing and testing.  And to top that all off, I adore teaching writing, and my kids are just eating it up, so I'm spending the last few days just plain delighted.  Where the end of the regular school year was like a tease (knowing I had to teach in summer), this week truly marks the beginning of my official summer break.  It couldn't be more timely, especially since I am starting to feel better, so I'm ready to enjoy just being FREE!!!

Except there's just this one nasty problem.  A swimsuit.  Now swimsuit shopping is never my favorite activity, but when you're mini-pregnant, it's even worse.  I spent a great deal of (cranky) time in Target on Saturday trying on all kinds of things.  I'm in a phase where I'm just plain between sizes - not my usual size, but not quite a maternity size yet.  I tried regular swimsuits in my size.  I tried regular swimsuits in large-busted sizes.  I tried maternity swimsuits that looked like tents on me.  I tried to imagine myself swimming in the nude instead of all the fuss.  In the end, I left with no swimsuit and a grotesquely bad attitude. What to do?  Because at this point I have to find something or I'll be flashing small children inappropriately at my nephew's birthday party on Saturday, and there's no way I have the self-esteem for that.  HELP!!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Birthday Part 2

A miracle happened on my birthday, and it's called Zofran.  That's right.  Dr. Arnold was worried that I had lost weight AGAIN and did several fabulous things for me, beginning with the prescription of Zofran, which is like a wonderdrug against nausea.  I took some yesterday afternoon and spent the rest of my day feeling wonderful.  It was like a dark cloud had lifted and I could see the beautiful sunshine and rainbows and butterflies again.

On top of that, Dr. A also told me that I no longer have to take my icky, horrible, disgusting, fish-stick burp inducing vitamins.  After watching me gag just talking about them, he decided they might be part of the problem and prescribed just plain folic acid instead.  So I promptly threw all the rest of them in the trash and had a mini-celebration (while gagging a little more just thinking about them).  Speaking of which, better change the subject right now...

I also had the joy of hearing my little peanut's heartbeat at the doctor's office yesterday, and apparently we've got a mover and a shaker on our hands!  The nurse got so tickled because she had to chase the lil' peanut all over my tummy to get the heart rate.  She kept saying, "Now, don't be worried if you don't hear the heartbeat right away.  This one is all over the place!  He is so young but so active!"  And picture all of that with the most adorable hispanic accent.  It makes the story so much better.

After the appointment, I spent the rest of the day getting a haircut (badly needed trim), going to a movie with Nate and the Yanceys (fresh back from Hawaii and so tan it was ridiculous), and eating a low-key dinner.  We topped it off with a stop at the Danty-pants home and the first elimination episode of So You Think You Can Dance.  I was relaxed, pleased, and tummy ache free, and I slept through the entire night without sickness waking me up.  I am a new woman this morning!!!

To top of all of this fabulousness (I know, are you tired yet?), I get to spend today celebrating all over again!  I have a surprise with Melissa at 1 (well, surprise for me, not her - can't wait), coffee with Mer and April at 4 (which I am so excited about because I've been such a hermit I haven't seen them in weeks), and a PARTY for me tonight.  It's like a do-over of my birthday, since yesterday got off to a rocky start.

All that to say, 29 isn't turning out so bad.  HOORAY!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Birthday birthday

Well, it happened.  I threw up on my birthday.  In the school bathroom, while my kids were working on grammar.  And as I heaved over the toilet, I somehow pulled out my own earring and dropped it in the toilet.  The earring was a loss - there was no way I was going in after it.  So all that hard work drinking my smoothie this morning did NOT pay off, and I had to come back to class and teach subjects with tears in my eyes.  It's been a rough one so far.  Does that mean the rest of the day is going to be AWESOME?

Now, let me mention how sweet my Nathan is to make up for that.  He already gave me a gift last night, just because he couldn't wait until today.  :)  And not only that, but he absolutely thinks that my tiny baby bulge is adorable and that I look cute in maternity jeans with a panel.  He is either the world's best liar or the most amazing husband on the planet.  I'm definitely going with the second, and I'm thanking the Lord for the amazing man he's become.

So, do me this one favor.  If you're reading my silly little blog, say a prayer right now that I will STOP feeling sick and be able to enjoy the rest of my birthday and my celebratory Friday.  And I know you've probably already done it, but go ahead and thank the Lord for blessing the earth with such a delightful child 29 years ago today...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

WARNING: cranky content to follow

Today I got up EARLY to bring donuts to my summer school class, because one of the girls had a birthday.  A few of them took donuts, and the rest told me that they don't like donuts, and wanted to know why I didn't bring brownies instead.


And perhaps it's because I'm pregnant, cranky, didn't sleep more than four hours and threw up before I got here, but I'm having a hard time being kind, sweet, and/or loving.  But you can bet something important that I won't be bringing my kids anything else for the rest of summer school.

I should end on something a little less mean, right?  Tomorrow is my birthday.  To celebrate, I'm teaching summer school and then going to the OB/GYN.  It's okay, you can laugh.  Something about growing up seems to take the magic out of your special day, eh?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

To wear or not to wear?

To wear or not to wear - that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of an outrageous afro,
Or to take scrunchie against a sea of curls,
And, by opposing, tame them?

It's true.  I came to school with wet hair today and am working on a serious afro.  My curls in the Texas humidity take on a mind of their own, and unless I wash my hair at night and sleep on it, they're usually too much for one head to handle.

But last night I was lazy, and was in bed by 9:30.  It was a great idea at the time, until I woke up this morning and realized I was going to have to deal with this mop - WET. 

To make matters worse, on the way to school, after turning my purse upside down and inside out, I discovered that I had no hair band for a quick ponytail, and I was just going to have to deal with this hair ALL DAY LONG.  There was no way that was possible.  Throwing up, dealing with summer school AND giant hair is too much to handle all at once.  After asking around, I came up with only one solution from a very sweet fellow teacher...

A scrunchie.  Something to which I am morally opposed.  One of the things that I swore I would never wear after 1994.  The only thing that is absolutely required for a truly righteous crimped side ponytail.

And so the question comes.  Is it better to wear a scrunchie or have an afro?  I'll leave that one up to you.

Monday, June 14, 2010

a side note

Just a small addendum to my earlier post:

If you tell your summer school students that you are pregnant, you will catch them staring at your stomach at odd times during class, presumably to see if they can tell there's a peanut in there.  The longer they stare, the more you realize they haven't noticed that your once flat stomach is rounding out.

Then when you let them walk to lunch and ask, "What do you think it is today?" (like you ask every day) they will reply, "A GIRL!!!!" instead of telling you what they think they're getting in their lunch bag.

Ahhh the joyous adventure of summer school.


Okay, people, there's been a false alarm.  I am NOT finished with my first trimester.  Because apparently the first trimester is 14 weeks, not 12.  And when you think about it, full term pregnancy is 40 weeks, but being pregnant for 9 months would make it 36 weeks.  And on top of that, I now like almond sweet tea from MarTeres for the first time ever, and I don't like sweets anymore.  WHAT ON EARTH?  Does anything about pregnancy make sense?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A little random

Well, I have two things on my mind today, completely opposite and equally important.  Let's start with this:

Can you believe the sweetness in this face?  The slightly sassy stance?  Guess where she's headed?  Her first sleepover.  I can't even tell you how remotely cool I think Chloe is for going to her first sleepover at the age of 5.  I also can't tell you how much I admire the woman hosting a sleepover for a group of 5 year-old girls, but that's a whole different story.

So after I saw this precious picture, I got to thinking, "When on earth did I go on my first sleepover?"  Grandma's house doesn't count...

I'm pretty sure I was at least in 2nd or 3rd grade, and I didn't go on many.  And I'm also fairly confident that on my first sleepover, my friend Mandy's grandparents rented for us Ghostbusters (terrifying to a child) and Dirty Dancing (not even remotely appropriate at that age!), fed us ice cream and sugary cereal, and left us with nearly zero supervision.  My mother would have flipped her lid had she known what was going on there!

Remembering this sleepover has led me to this conclusion.  My child will not be able to attend a sleepover until he or she is at least 21.  In fact, we'll probably still need to hold hands in public until at least age 16.  Now I haven't discussed this with Nate, but I'm positive he'll agree... Well... Maybe?  And this holds especially true if our child is even half as cute as one of the little Dantlets.

And this brings me to my second thought today, and it's one that's been troubling me for some time.  Is anybody ever going to stop the oil leak in the Gulf?  Because I'm watching more and more reports of sea turtles and birds washing up dead on the shores, and hearing more and more about the spill spreading across the Gulf, and by golly, it's really starting to make me frustrated.  If I knew what to do I'd march down there myself and take care of it, but surely, in this age of technology, someone could put aside thoughts of money and just focus on solving the problem?  I won't turn this into an EPA-style rant because it makes my blood pressure go up, but I'm really thinking that if we can't conserve the resources God gave us, he's just going to take them away...

Friday, June 11, 2010

And by the way, what do you think of the re-design?

The Secret Weapon

Well, I've found it.  At least for the next week or two, because everything changes pretty quickly when you're carrying a peanut.  But I've got a secret weapon that gets me through the mornings at summer school and keeps me from puking up whatever breakfast I've attempted.

The Angel Food Smoothie from Smoothie King.  Extra protein.  It's a miracle in itself.  It happened quite by accident, but I discovered it not too long ago, and it's making life so much easier.  Because as I write this, I'm on my Friday off, and I can proudly say that one week of summer school is DOWN, two more to go.  I survived!  And with only one emergency run to the bathroom all week!

On top of that, I'm almost completely finished with my first trimester of pregnancy.  WHAT?  How awesome and bizarre, that I was carrying around a little peanut for nearly six weeks without even knowing it!  And then when the peanut made his/her presence known, it was definitely known.  Judging from the non-stop sickness, I'm guessing this peanut is going to need a lot of attention.  There's been no forgetting that the little treasure is there.  All.  The.  Time.  Maybe the lil' bit is just in there getting a good workout all the time?  Or chattering to his/herself and disturbing my tummy's delicate balance?  Or spitting out everything I feed us and wishing we were eating steak and ice cream?  There's no telling.  But I'm seriously getting excited to find out whether we're having a girl or a boy.  And even more excited to stop feeling sick all the time.

But as previously mentioned, I have the secret weapon now.  So could someone please come pick me up and take me to Smoothie King?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A dose of common sense

One day my older sister Jen expected my mom to stop over, but had to run an errand with the kids.  She left mom a note, something to the effect of this:
"Dear Mom, we ran to the store, but should be back in a few minutes.  Come on in - the door is open!
Love, Jen et al."

Now, Jen obviously meant by et al Chloe, Conner and Alex, but just didn't have the time to write out all the names.  She was in a hurry, after all!

My mom, bless her heart, was slightly confused, and when Jen got home from the store asked her sincerely, but with a touch of horror, "Sweetie, when did you start calling yourself GENITAL?"

Here's to my family.  Smart.  Beautiful.  Not a lot of common sense.  Love you guys.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Well, in case you've been holding your breath with anticipation, waiting to know what I've been doing the last week, here it is...

I've been puking... And puking... And puking and puking and puking.  Yes, pretty much all the time.  This peanut does not really care for anything I eat, which leads me to believe that he or she is going to be as picky an eater as I am.  And if that's the case, we're both in trouble!  Nathan already made me promise that our child would not be a vegetarian, but it seems this one may have a mind of his/her own.  All I know is that I'll have to be careful with the junior foods, because my mom swears that's what screwed me up for life! To this day, I have a terrible time with funny textures. 

I've also been trying to pretend that summer school does not exist, and that it is not starting tomorrow.  The problem with that?  By golly, summer school is indeed starting tomorrow, whether I like it or not.  We've been working at the school today to get things ready, and at the very least, my kids are going to be busy from the time they arrive until the time they leave.  I'm choosing to ignore a few of the horror stories I've heard on kids in my class, and am instead focusing on the delightful noun and pronoun posters we're going to make.  Good times with grammar arts and crafts, right?

In other news, Berkley is STILL AT MY HOUSE.  Why doesn't anyone want a gorgeous, sweet, extremely high-spirited and non-potty trained dog?  I can't even imagine...  But it's starting to look like she's here for good.  I can't say I'm too upset about it, although I'm overwhelmed beyond belief when I remember the poo smoothies in the house and the massive amount of pee that she makes at one time.  My poor living room carpet will never be the same.