Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bill! Bill! Bill!

It might sound crazy what I'm 'bout to say...but I want to lick Bill Nye's face. 

Let me explain... 
So...remember when I started this blog and I said that it was sort of my diary.  And I've only ever used a diary to rant or wallow? 
Well, since I've haven't had much to rant or wallow about lately, I am having to draw inspiration for posts from unusual places.  And it is feeling a bit foreign and maybe lame and maybe write about stuff that doesn't make me mad or sad.  But I'm TOTALLY okay with that because I'm happy (see video below); just bear with me as I figure it all out, okay?
Did you dance a little? 
Be honest.  It's kind of a silly song, but you can't help but dance a little.
"Alright, what's this about Bill Nye?" you ask.
Not much really.  I just had a moment today.  One of those teacher moments where you just need a break from talking to 6-year olds....just want to sit down for a minute...wish you were at home in bed...think, the educational quality of a video is far superior to anything I am capable of right now. And you don't REALLY care what the video is about, you just want it to be loosely tied to a learning target, so that (heaven for bid), someone important walks in, you can play it off like it was all part of some genius plan!!
Anyway, that happened.  Not the important person walking in part, just the moment were I needed a video.  And luckily I had a Bill Nye video about forces and motion that I was able to pop in the good ol' VCR.  The kids were loving it.  They think Bill is hilarious.  They might actually be gaining some new academic vocabulary because, if I can say one thing about Bill, it's that he is really good at repeating the science words that go along with the concept being taught.  
Well, whether or not they gained anything, here is what I took away from the video:
I want some pie.
And today, at about 1:14pm, I would have been willing to lick it right of of Bill Nye's skinny little face.   
In the video, he got hit in the face with a pie.  And then they replayed it over and over and OVER again in slow motion.  Because Bill is good at repetition, remember? And it started making me very hungry.
And I imagined it was lemon meringue.

Friday, February 21, 2014

From the Mouths...

*Sometime Tuesday Morning*

Me: I won't be here this afternoon, but Mrs. ____ will be here and I expect you to be safe, and respectful, and responsible while she is here.

Students: Why? Where are you going?

Me: I have an appointment.

Students: Again!?!

(Tuesday was the third afternoon appointment in the last 4 weeks...and I almost always tell my kids where I'll be if I have the opportunity.  I keep it general: a meeting, a training, an appointment, I don't feel well, visiting a friend, what-have-you).

Me: Yes, I know.  Sorry guys!

Student (let's call her "K") with a quizzical look on her face:  Do you have any kids?

Me:  No, no kids. 

K: You should get some.

Me: I should get some?  Where could I get some (loaded question)?

K:  Ummm, I don't know.

Me: Can I take you home?

K: (Giggle) No!

about 5 minutes pass...

K: You can ask my mom if you could take me home...

Me: Hmmm...maybe I will, but I don't think your mom would give you up.  What do you think?

K: No...she wouldn't.

It's strange...this conversation a month ago would have hurt, but now it gets me dreaming!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Our dot has a normal and visible heartbeat, and is residing in a normal sack.  I have never been happier to be average!
I thought maybe I'd be emotional at the appointment, seeing our little dot for the first time...but really I was just happy and relieved!  I think my favorite part was when my husband squeezed my hand and smiled at me with his eyes. 
I hope Dot gets his smiling eyes.

Monday, February 17, 2014


It's raining outside.  Or pouring, I guess.
I can hear the drops on the metal roof of our deck.  I can hear them slapping the pavement and bouncing off the windows. 
Something about that sound soothes me like nothing else can.  It makes me breathe slower.  My eyes relax...sometimes I close them, the tension in my shoulders and back melt away, and I find myself pausing everything else to soak it all in.  If it starts raining...hard like that...while I am teaching, I stop.  And I ask the kids to stop and just listen.  "Listen you hear the rain on the roof?  That is my favorite sound in the whole world." Even now as I write, I am stopping every sentence or two to stare out into the gray.
I guess it's my equivalent of stopping to smell the roses.
I don't know why I like it so much.  Maybe because I can relate to the gray clouds who have just gotten too heavy and have to let all that rain come pouring down.
There is something freeing about falling water.
I've been so happy lately that I am surprised at how much tension is being released by the rain.  Tension that I didn't realize was getting so heavy.  I thought I was doing a pretty good job of staying positive...and I guess I still think I am. Really, I AM VERY HAPPY!  But I also think the hope-let down-despair cycle of infertility has become so ingrained in me that, on some level, I am bracing myself for the let-down.  The scars of infertility don't just disappear with pregnancy.  And my lessons in surrendering control continue.  Seeing a little dot and a heartbeat tomorrow should be reassuring.   

Thursday, February 13, 2014

How are you feeling?

“How are you feeling?"
It seems like this is the first question out of everyone's mouth when they hear I am pregnant.  Apparently people want to know.  And that's cool.  I'll tell ya!  But, I've got to wonder: do people really want to know?  I mean REALLY really?? 

Well, I figured I should record how I am feeling because I don't want to forget it.  So, I'm going to tell you for real...even though you may or may not care/desire the TMI I am about to bestow.
A list of things I am feeling...
  • Elated
  • Grateful
  • Tired.  Very tired.
  • Sore?? Don't know why...maybe because I am trying to train myself to sleep on my side...or maybe from that wet snow I shoveled and, like my husband said, I might be out of shape.  It's true...I stopped exercising about a month prior to starting Clomid in hopes it might help me ovulate.  It's true, but I don't think he should say that again.  It made me a little ummm,...
  • Unstable? 
  • Stunned (Still can't quite believe this.  In fact, I can't seem to get rid of the HPT.  I keep it in the medicine cabinet and smile in bewilderment each time I see it.)
  • Busty...which is really exciting!!!  I've always been a bit adolescent in that department...I wonder if they'll get big enough to touch each other without assistance??  A girl can dream!
  • Hungry
  • Not queasy per say...but "un-good" throughout the day
  • I've been sucking on a bunch of dirty pennies
  • Happy to not be living in the parts of Europe where you have to pay to use the restroom.  I'd be broke. 
  • Extra phlemy (left over cold/flu??)
  • Bloated
  • Constipated
WOAH!  Stop the bus!  Did I just say that?  So maybe that one is an's not terrible, but things are definitely moving slower than normal.  See...I don't think people REALLY want to know how I'm feeling, just whether I am puking or not.  So when they ask, I typically respond with "Good, but tired," or "Pretty good, but always kind of hungry," even though I think the grammatically correct response would be "Well" or "Pretty well."  Who talks like that though?  Sorry, not me.  And neither will the future because I am teaching them.

Anyhow...I am doing very well, thank you.  I have a few early symptoms, but I am so elated and grateful that not a one of them is "bothering" me.  Bring it on, I say.  Bring on the pregnancy!! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

So about that egg...

It seems like not too long ago I was in utter (or should I say udder) shock that I ovulated.  I guess it seems that way because it was not that long ago that I found out the angry bird on the right finally got the job done!  Not long ago at all.  Like a little over a week.

Well, once again,

Except this time it's a Mackerel instead of a cow, because "Holy Cow" is just too ordinary, and I am still trying to refrain from the profane.

So, Holy Mackerel you guys!!!  Guess what?!?!  

I've been wrestling with how to post this.  So, let me just say I saw two blue lines last Tuesday.

You can leave me forever if you need to and I won't blame you one bit, but I hope that somehow everyone, no matter your circumstances, can have a little slice of this magic...because this pregnancy feels nothing short of a miracle.

I typed a few sentences shortly after taking the HPT, but they sadden me now because the excitement, joy, disbelief, awe, and giddiness I felt in that moment was clouded with apology.  It was like I was begging forgiveness for my body cooperating with me...begging forgiveness for not putting in the same amount of time, money, and tears to reach this milestone I've been dreaming of...begging forgiveness for a miracle??

After a week of sitting with the news that I am pregnant, though it still doesn't hardly seem real, I have decided I have nothing to apologize for.  I am sorry that there are people who have to deal with one disappointment/set-back/road-block after another after another in their journey.  I am sorry that some people may not reach their dreams...or at least in the way or time-frame that they had hoped for.   I am  sorry, but I do not need to apologize for myself.  I can have empathy for others while still embracing joy when it comes into my life.

That might seem like a big "duh" for most people, but it's hard for me.  It always has's why I avoid watching the news.  It debilitates me...How can I feel happy about X when I know there are people out there struggling with Y?

Well, I'm not doing that anymore.  Or not for this anyway.  I'm taking Brene Brown's advice and leaning hard into this joy for however long it lasts!

So, for those who are in a place to hear it, let me tell you the tale...

Awake.  Wide awake.

Above anything else, "awake" was how I felt when I saw the second line appear on the test.  (If I had been more awake to begin with I probably would have started freaking out at the first line...because that's the one you really want!)

But it was 4:30am and I had gotten up to let the dogs out, so I was pretty groggy.  I am in the habit of needing the midnight potty break too since I get up with them nearly every night.  I fumbled around in the bathroom cabinet searching for that left over pregnancy test I had told myself I was going to take.  I wasn't looking forward to it.  I have failed every one of those dang things I had ever taken and wasn't expecting the result to be any different this go around.  But, I was prepping for my follow-up appointment with my doctor later that day.  I had prepared a page and a half of notes and questions for my appointment and was gearing up for an assertive approach that does not come natural to all.  Discussing my options (which felt financially restricted), making a plan to move forward, and considering a second opinion or specialist were all on the agenda.

It was day 39 of my current cycle.  No biggie to me.  My cycles prior to Clomid ranged from 56 to 74 days.  Though they got shorter with Clomid (38-42 days)...I was still well within the range of my "normal."  Since this was a non-Clomid cycle I was expecting it to be long.

But, my new take-charge approach told me to test.  Not because I even hoped it would be positive, but just so we could move on with the conversation at the appointment.  I assumed my doctor would hear "Day 39" and ask if I had tested.  Better to be able to answer, "Yes, and it was negative," than to have to say, "No, but don't worry." 

Well, I finally found the box, unwrapped the darn little pee-stick, and by the dim glow cast by the nightlight, did my thing...hoping I hit the stick, but hell if I cared.  I suppose I could have waited a couple hours, but I figured I'd use the first morning urine and just get it over with.

One line.  <Yawn>

Two lines. <HOLY ....!>

I think I laughed at the dogs.  Well, not at them, but to them.  And I think I must have looked something like Macaulay Culkin in the after-shave scene of Home Alone.  And I literally rubbed my eyes like some cartoon character and got about an inch from the test to be sure I wasn't seeing things.

"Oh my...holy...what?...thank way...ho...ho...holy...oh way...thank you God...what the?...kidding me?...oh my..."

I don't know who I was talking to...the dogs maybe?  Doesn't matter I guess, I couldn't get out a single complete thought.  And then I hugged myself...and I think I kissed my hand and touched it to my belly.

I was flooded with emotions.  All kinds.  Emotions wonderful beyond belief and those of the guilty, apologetic variety I mentioned earlier.  And every so often, ever so briefly, the good stuff was punctuated with terror.  Fear that it wouldn't last.  Fear I was dreaming. Fear that the timing was terrible.  I still get those fearful moments, and I expect I will continue to...but I think it's totally normal and am trying to keep them at bay and soak up the magic of it all.

I managed to make it until 5:15 before I woke up my husband.  I was going to try to do something clever to break the news to the year and a half I'd spent fantasizing about this moment I had about a hundred ideas.  I knew I wouldn't be able to contain my excitement long enough to pull off something elaborate, so I was going to leave the HPT on the bathroom counter with a "Hi Daddy" note or something like that.  But even that was too much.  I tried going back to bed and snuggled up next to JT. 

After five minutes I think I whispered, "I can't sleep," to which he mumbled, "mmm, sorry."  And then I whispered, "So, about that egg...I guess we caught it after all.  The pregnancy test was positive!"

He was as wide awake as I was and the last week has been like we are stumbling around in a dream.  We haven't been able to keep it a secret from our family and closest friends...and haven't had the patience for clever "reveals" of the news.  I've heard you should wait until you are through the first trimester before announcing...but screw the rules!  I want to share this

Currently our due date is October 3 and we are scheduled to go in for an early ultrasound and initial pregnancy consultation next Tuesday. 

Holy Mackerel...this is happening!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

More from the Mouths of Firsties...

"Will there be atomic concoctions?"
"Will the puppy sleep for all eternity?"
Yes, both of those questions came out of the mouth of one first grade boy, lets call him "Tommy," who has kept me smiling all year with his astounding vocabulary and the unique way he constructs spoken and written language. 
I suppose these quotes maybe aren't the funniest things you might hear in a first grade classroom, but they certainly rank way up high in the "rare" category.
Let me provide you with a little context:
This last week we had our "Science Fair and Extravaganza!"  The first graders don't do any projects, but everyone is welcome to come to the family night that includes local professionals who use science in their daily careers.  Each community partner set up shop in various classrooms and had information and hands-on activities to share with the families in attendance.  We had an astronomers association, the aquifer folks, people from the solid waste department (eww..but kind of interesting), rock rollers, a gardening club, an orthodontics office, a local kids' science museum, and more.  The older students had their science projects/experiments on display in their classrooms for viewing too.  I got the awesome job of walking around with "Aqua Duck"...apparently some sort of local celebrity/mascot??  I had to make sure he (who was really a she inside) didn't run into anything or anybody because the duck suit didn't have any peripheral vision.  I guess it wasn't so bad...but pretty awkward.  I kind of wish I could have been in the suit instead of walking along side it.  One student asked if the duck was my husband.  Funny side note:  Aqua Duck looked a lot more like an angry bird.
ANYHOW, prior to the extravaganza, I was trying to talk up the event to my kids in class one day.  I was telling them all the cool things they could do and see if they brought their families back that evening.  That's when Tommy pipes in with..."Will there be any atomic concoctions?" 
Where does he get this stuff?!?!  "I'm not sure, better come back tonight and scope it out," was the only response I could muster through suppressed laughter.
Later, before heading to a third grade classroom to view their projects, I was telling the kids to be thinking of questions to ask the third graders, "What they did? Where they got their ideas? What they discovered?"  Things of that nature.  We've been learning about asking and answering questions (CCSS RL and RI 1.2...for you teacher folk).  Sometimes the answer to our questions can be given to an author or a scientist, etc., while other times the answers require deeper though, further investigation, and inference.  It might sound like a silly thing to have to teach, but trust me...the distinction between questions and stories is not naturally apparent to a six year old.  Ask a room full of six year olds if they have any questions and you will be met with countless "One time my cat..." and "This one time, I ..." stories.  I promise.  Every time. 
So, Tommy pipes up again, "Can we ask them if they made any atomic concoctions?"
I told Tommy that was an excellent question, but he needed to be prepared to explain what he meant...and everybody smiled their toothless smiles and laughed in their cute little first grade belly laughs. 
I love my job.
Now, as for the puppy question....
As I mentioned before, we are working on asking and answering questions.  I was reading the students a story (High-Wire Henry) about a family that gets a new puppy...and the arrival of said puppy totally miffs the family cat, Henry.  So, Henry spends the book trying to impress his family and win their attention back.  He teaches himself to walk on his hind legs...on the clothes-line.  One day a squirrel runs across a power line and onto the roof of the house...well, the puppy is looking out an open window in the room upstairs, sees the squirrel and goes on the roof to chase it.  Henry tries to get the family's attention, but again he is ignored.  At this very suspenseful point in the story I stop and ask the kids what they are wondering.  They turn to their neighbors, mouths moving a mile a minute with lots of great questions.  Will the puppy fall?  Will he get hurt?  Will he catch the squirrel?  Will the family notice in time?  How will the puppy get down?  Will Henry walk across the power line to save the puppy?  Etc. etc.
I asked the students to write down their biggest, most important question on a sticky note and add it to our class chart of questions from the story.  And what does Tommy write? 
Not Will the puppy fall?
Not Will the puppy get hurt?
Not even Will the puppy die? 
But Will the puppy sleep for all eternity?
In addition to his question he has a picture of a tombstone with "RIP" inscribed on it.
This kid...I don't know why...has a way of making me smile on a daily basis.  And I am so thankful for that!