Tuesday, April 29, 2008


It is the most wonderful vacation. We fly out to San Jose, CA and then spend a few days driving down the coast to San Diego. We do everything from swim in the ocean to camp among the Redwoods (yes, in a tent!) and eat hot dogs on a stick to watch sea lions and seals in their natural habitat to visit with friends and family in LA to attend a fancy weekend-long destination wedding in La Jolla. Mostly we enjoy our last vacation as a family of 2 and have fun celebrating the baby growing inside of me (who by the way is getting bigger and bigger by the day!)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

18 week ultrasound

Our baby is perfect -- 10 little fingers and 10 little toes and a strong beautiful heartbeat. We get to see it all. The only thing we don't see is the "region." I mean to try to sneak a peak but I am so focused on that beautiful beating heart, my eyes don't get there quick enough and the technician quickly zooms away. My gut has been saying girl all along but for some reason, I'm starting to think boy. When I look at this picture, I just see a "he." Who knows? What do you think?

I do have one minor problem. Apparently the placenta is a little too close to my cervix (low-lying placenta) which could potentially turn into placenta previa. She assures us that 99% of the time, the problem corrects itself. And in the worst case scenerio I would have to deliver via c-section. It's not what I've been envisioning, but I can live with it. As long as our baby is ok, I can live with anything else.

The good news is I get to have another ultrasound at 28 weeks to see if the problem has corrected itself. I won't complain about that!

Friday, April 18, 2008

for my husband

Today is our 18-week ultrasound. It is 4:30am and I've given up on trying to sleep. I am excited, nervous, anxious -- all of the above. I just can't wait to see our little one again and be told again that everything looks perfect. We could be finding out the sex of our baby today, but we've decided not to. Ok, ok, my husband has decided not to and I have reluctantly agreed. If you knew me, you'd be surprised. I am a planner to the nth degree. And patience with waiting is not really my thing.

But this is my gift to my husband.

My husband is probably the most easy-going, agreeable person I have ever known (not that we don't have our occasional arguments here and there over little things.) But with the big things, I usually get my way. It's not that he's not a push-over. It's just that he doesn't usually have strong opinions about things. He's pretty content no matter what.

Let's take our wedding for example. It didn't matter to him whether we got married on the beach or on the moon. He didn't care what colors or flowers or food I picked out or what the invitations looked like. Every panicked question I asked him was answered with, whatever you want, honey. As you can imagine, this completely irked me. Can't you just pretend to be interested??? But the truth is, the wedding details bored him to death. The only thing he really cared about was marrying me.

I can't really blame him for that.

This whole baby thing is an entirely different experience, though. He is reading the pregnancy books and watching A Baby Story on TLC right along with me, tearing up each time the baby is born. He kisses my belly every chance he gets and whips out our home doppler to hear the heartbeat just as much as I do. He tells me every single day just how excited he is. He is just as in love with our baby as I am.

And I really do think he spends some of his spare time day-dreaming about his big moment. It goes something like this -- one last push and the doctor calls out, It's a boy/girl!!!! and he and I hug and cry and hold our new tiny miracle in our arms. And then he runs out to the waiting room and shouts to our parents the type of grandchild that just entered their world. And everybody cheers and screams and cries and hugs.

It is his biggest moment and I can't help tearing up every time I think about it too. His giddiness about it makes me fall in love with him all over again. So this gift is one I am honored to give him.

Even if it means I have to suck it up and wait.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

my confession

We are currently interviewing candidates for my teaching position for next year. I will be taking the whole year off. My principal and my colleagues keep assuring me that yes, I am coming back in a year and I keep agreeing. Or at least I'm not disagreeing. Not yet anyway.

The candidates are all eager and enthusiastic and really really want this job. I can't help but answer each of the questions in my own head as I listen to these young girls spout out everything they know about teaching. There is one question that hits my core every time.

What is the difference between a good teacher and a great teacher?

I remember answering this question at my own interview here 5 years ago. I remember being enthusiastic and eager and really really wanting this job too. I was just like these girls. I knew how to be great. I had already taught for 5 years and was ready to take on 50 more.

But somewhere along the way I lost my ummph. Did my interests change? Am I just burnt out? Has this year of pregnancy/miscarriage/pregnancy been too much of an emotional distraction? Or I am just not one of those people who are meant to have the same job forever and ever?

I am a good teacher, I will admit that. My students have all learned how to read and write and add and subtract. And they all love school and I'm pretty sure they all like me. But am I a great teacher? I'd like to think I used to be. But now, instead of wanting to do better and improve and keep learning, I find myself watching the clock just wanting the lesson to be over. And at 3:00, instead of beginning my planning for the next day, there I am closing my plan book, turning out the lights and heading home. Day after day.

My heart just isn't in it.

I have definite moments of guilt. I miss feeling passionate about my job. Mostly, though, I am relieved. I have my golden ticket out. And it's a ticket nobody would question either. I can follow my gut and I don't have be a fake and fool everyone anymore. I can be true to myself. Ten years is something to be proud of anyway. And I am.

It's not that I'm not done being great either. It's just that I'm ready to put my passion and greatness towards something new.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

frequent pit stops?

17 weeks

I decided to count today my number of trips to the bathroom during my work day. Seven. That's right -- seven! This isn't an easy feat when you have a class of first graders at your hands. Not to mention that the one adult bathroom in my school is on the complete opposite side of the building. At least I'm getting some exercise though.

And each time I hit the bathroom, I, of course, spend some thorough time scrubbing the kid germs off my hands with lots of soap. And during this little routine, I find myself mesmerized by the image looking back at me in the mirror.

I'm really not that vain. Seriously. It's not even that I'm looking at myself really. My eyes are completely fixated on the belly. First I look straight on and then I turn and catch the profile. It's just that I can't believe that I am actually pregnant. Still. It seems so unreal.

I am standing here by myself, yet right there in the mirror there are two of me. There is me. And then there is the tiny version of me, living inside that bulge of my belly. A tiny version of my husband. I am actually carrying a version of my husband inside of me. It's more miracle than I ever really stopped to comprehend.

Yet the true miracle is that inside that growing bump is a person separate from either one of us. It is a person all on its own. It has parts of me and parts of my husband but it has a heart that beats separate from ours. A whole new person. A person with the potential to be anyone. It's more miracle than I can fully take in and it catches me by wondrous surprise every time sneak a glimpse.

So now you know why I really make so many visits to the bathroom.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

a toddler's intuition?

I have another nephew, Mason. He is Carter's little brother and just turned 2 a few weeks ago. He is the sweetest thing. Last night is Carter's birthday party and my brother drops Mason off at our house for a few hours. My best friend comes over with her two little boys and we have a pizza playdate. (Mason is the little guy on the left.)

Out of the blue Mason runs over to me, lifts up my shirt, points to my belly and says, "baby!" (this from a boy who only has about 20-30 words in his expressive vocabulary as of yet.) This wouldn't be so weird except that nobody has told him yet that there's a baby in my belly.

So how does he know? I can't imagine a two-year-old being observant enough to notice the subtle changes in my body. I know his parents haven't told him. And it's possible Carter is beginning to have his suspicions, but if you read my post from a few weeks ago, he clearly has more interest in goldfish than he does in babies. I can guarantee you, it's just not something he would have discussed with his little brother.

So I am convinced Mason has a sixth sense about babies. Maybe all toddlers and babies do. Maybe they can smell a fetus the way dogs can scent out one of their own. It's a mystery I guess. But I find it beautiful.