Saturday, June 20, 2015

I figured it out.

Hey, look, I still exist. This whole end-of-school-year, bun-in-the-oven, and most-intense-grad-class-ever thing swallowed me up whole the past month and a half. Luckily, the last day of the school year greeted me yesterday, and boy, Vincenza and I rejoiced at its arrival. It could not have stepped off the jet plane a moment sooner either because this kid's and my struggle to make use of this tiny space I call a body has left the two of us feeling rather cramped at seven and a half months pregnant. I really cannot blame her for standing on my bladder; the poor kid is growing like a Chia pet, and my body is doing a shoddy job of keeping up with her. Almost like clockwork every week, my body experiences painful growth spurts during which time my belly feels as if it might pop, and I think Meany Dwarf is attacking my lower back with a pick axe. My belly finally grows enough to give the little lady some much-needed space, and then we continue the cycle the following week. I feel sorry for this poor kid. At least I don't have a gall bladder or appendix, so she has a bit of a playpen in which to practice her dance moves?

As for what I "figured out," a list that appears to shrink quicker than it grows, I think I understand this dressing the bump thing. Make no mistake that "bun in the oven" is an appropriate term because the amount of heat emanating from my body surprises even me, which means I need to sport fewer layers while still remaining socially acceptable. I would like to maintain some dignity here because urinating while sneezing or committing any other spontaneous physical action seriously diminishes the dignity I once had. Anyway, I decided that all light, sleeveless layers (like this top, sleeveless cardigans, and vests) and dresses make the perfect summer pregnancy combination. Granted, they make the perfect summer combination for anyone, but I finally figured out what I can comfortably wear. 

In case you are just need a pregnancy update (though the previous paragraphs offered some real gems in that department), allow me to indulge you.

Trimester: Third. This coming Wednesday, we will be at 31 weeks. Keep cooking, kid!

Wearing: Pretty much everything maternity that I buy comes from thredUP because you can receive 15% on Wednesdays with code HHWed15, and I refuse to spend a lot of money on accidental napkins that harbor stains of every food I consume throughout the day. I try to find non-maternity items that will fit me now and later (like this maxi dress). I have also kept a few things from Stitch Fix in the past three months. 

Reading: Oh, I am so excited to read! I want to read Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns by John Green because so many of my students suggested them. 

Eating: I have turned into my mother during her pregnancy with me. She continually craved seafood (shrimp and crabs), and here I am craving the very same things. Yes, I am mindful of my intake. This kid is eating a very balanced diet! I passed the gestational diabetes test, so I guess my sugar intake is good. Based on the midwives' suggestions, I try to reduce my carb intake and increase my proteins and greens, which hasn't been a problem for me.

Weight: Everyone asks. I don't mind sharing. I started at 122 pounds. I now weigh in at 137, which just so happens to be 10 pounds less than my 6'3" husband. His favorite part of every visit (aside from listening to her heartbeat) is seeing how much I weigh. What a weirdo. I'm not exactly sure how big she is, but maybe we will find out next week?

Baby's Movements: Our little lady is a mover and a shaker; she constantly amuses me because I feel like she already has a feisty little personality. She hates it if I lean over for too long. She hates it when I cross my legs. She loves it when I stretch out on the couch (gives her more room). She loves hanging out on the right side (I'd hang out there too since the space is missing two internal organs). She will probably love the beach because she loves pretending to be a starfish in there. She spreads out her arms and legs and just wiggles them around. She must be tall like her daddy because she seems to simultaneously kick me in the lady parts while hanging onto my ribs.

Baby's Room: Well, my husband has been rewiring her room and the room next to hers, so that project has to be completed before we can paint her room, assemble the crib, and all of that jazz. We are finishing her room and the room next to it, so the process is a bit more laborious (pun intended). Jeff has one socket left in her room, the light in her closet, and ripping down the wood paneling on one wall of her room before we can paint it. Also, when the weather permits, he and my dad will be replacing the windows in her room since hers currently whistle with the wind. (Hey, they are original to the 1971 house!) Unfortunately, the nesting phase is really taking its hold on me, so I organize what little I can for now. 

 The Outfit:
Top: The Limited (not maternity)
Dress: Old Navy (not maternity)
Headband: Target
Earrings: Francesca's

Also, please take note of the adorable handmade gifts two students gave to me for Vincenza. She is already cooler than I am! We will both cherish these keepsakes for years to come. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Circle of Life

Today, my family and I are driving to attend my Pop Pop Ted's memorial service. What my mind struggles the most to wrap itself around is the fact that all of my grandparents have now passed away. Granted, he lived to be 93 and full of his wits, so I take comfort in the longevity that projects for my daddy. (I still maintain that he and Mom will live forever because if it can happen in movies, then why not in real life?)

Presumably, this little lady of ours will inherit some of her great-grandparents' wonderful traits, so their memories live on in us. Her kicks, tumbles, and frequent dances remind me that the circle of life continues to rotate. I can only hope she gains the strength of the remarkable people who came before her. Most of my close friends tell me she will be strong like her momma (despite my inability to bench press the bar in high school), and I pray for her sake that she develops a strength of her own. My bladder, sciatica, and round ligament will tell you one thing: her kicks sure are strong. Keep growing strong and healthy, Vincenza. You have a world just waiting to see all of the wonderful qualities you have to share with it.

Oh, by the way, here we are enjoying 6 months pregnant on Wednesday.

Cardigan (old): New York & Co. 
Flats: Aerosoles
Top: Gap Maternity
Jeans: Old Navy Maternity

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pregnancy is...

Pregnancy is...

* Mapping out the locations of the nearest bathrooms and realizing that you will eventually stop caring whether or not they're clean.

*Assuring every male who works with you that the grunt that just emanated from your entire being was a reaction to a head in your ribcage, not an S.O.S. requiring immediate medical attention.

* Accepting the fact that you might end up needing someone to wheel you to your destination in a desk chair because a tiny dancer is holding a recital on your sciatica.

* Learning how not to pee when you sneeze...or at least learning how to pack another pair of pants...or how to own the wet spot. (Billy Madison tells us only cool kids pee their pants.)

* Consulting webMD to verify that your strange symptoms are frighteningly common and normal.

*  Engaging in pep talks with your closet full of clothes that now pose creative obstacles.

*  Embracing the ugly cry. On an hourly basis.

* Pregnancy is realizing that those familiar spaces you once navigated with ease are now riddled with obstacles in the form of your increasing klutziness and growing belly. Seatbelt? Torture device. Student bookbags and computer cords? Land mines. Shoe buckles? Pointless inventions. Couch? Quicksand. Bed? HAHAHA, SUCKER.

Dress (recent): Old Navy
Shirt: The Limited
Cardigan (recent): Old Navy
Sandals: Franco Sarto via DSW

Monday, May 4, 2015


Our neighborhood makes very little noise. Considering most of our neighbors have reached the "it does not matter what the age minimum for a senior discount is, I get one anyway" age, all is eerily quiet on the home front. In fact, one of our adorable elderly neighbors jokingly called out to my husband this weekend, "you know, Jeff, it was quiet around here until you moved in." I think he appreciates the young blood livening up the place. That's what happens when a spry, young guy who likes to climb trees (for the purpose of trimming them, not building forts...yet), crawl under trucks, lean under car hoods, and tackle just about any home improvement project moves in across the street.

This weekend, we also realized that our house, situated a short distance from the major concert venue in our state, allows us to hear concerts. For free. We stood on our porch last night and listened to The Offspring. I might be a total dork, but my house is super cool. We took a walk to the pond in our neighborhood, and we could really hear the music. Who wants to come visit and go fishing while listening to live music for free? 

We started playing a lot of music in the past few weeks because we want Vincenza to appreciate it as much as we do. Since she has turned into quite the tiny dancer recently, I guess our plan is working. We stopped watching TV during dinner and decided to turn on music instead. (We even have her seat at the table all figured out; she'll sit across from the window so that she has a nice view of the outdoors while she munches.) I stopped watching TV while I get ready in the morning and put on iTunes radio instead. Jeff also sings songs to her on a regular basis. Enjoy the tunes, tiny dancer.

Cardigan: Old Navy
Scarf: Target, I think
Top: Gap Maternity
Jeans: Motherhood Maternity (Jeff picked 'em out and brought 'em home.)
Shoes: Sole Society

I also wore the pants this way:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dearest Vincenza (letter #2)

Blazer: Lauren Conrad
Tank: Liz Lange maternity via Target 
Necklace: Old Navy
Jeans: Gap Maternity
Flats: Audrey Brooke via DSW

Our Dearest Vincenza,

We have hit 23 weeks today, and people now exclaim that I "have a belly!" What they really mean is that "oh, there IS a baby in there!" (That baby is you, by the way.) Since you enjoy dancing on my bladder and high fiving the inside of my belly, I can assure everyone that you have been our tiny little dancer even before my belly grew large enough for strangers to realize you are hanging out on the inside and enjoying all of the watermelon I eat.

Since your daddy and I have stayed the same size since high school, we do not own a scale in our home. (Always remember that the number on the scale is never as important as how you feel, and you will have every reason to feel wonderful about yourself.) To make sure you are growing, I weigh us at the acupuncturist every week and then the midwives (Tammy is our favorite--we hope she helps bring you into the world!) weigh us every four weeks. On Saturday morning, the scale showed me that I gained 7 pounds total since you started your dance party in my belly. Lucky number 7, little lady. Your daddy weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces and measured at 22 inches long when he was born! I weighed one ounce more than your daddy, and I was one inch shorter. We wonder if you will be around 7 pounds like we were.

When I was in college, a car accident left me with a bad back, and it is trying to rain on the parade we are having about meeting you in August.  Your daddy is a kind man, so he is buying me another sleep pillow and a support band today. I think the jungle gym that is our bed (SO MANY CONTRAPTIONS) will prepare us for all of the contraptions that will come with you. Daddy and I picked out a lot of them this past weekend, and we hope you enjoy them. Your grandpa (my daddy) will help install the new windows for your room soon so that your daddy can fix the wiring in your room, and I can paint it!

We love you so much already, and I hope you are enjoying your stay in my belly. Make sure to get nice and healthy. Your momma can handle any discomfort that comes as a result of your good health, just remember that.

Your Momma

P.S. Daddy wants to write you a letter or two, so that will be coming soon :) He is e-mailing me right now and wants you to know that he can't wait to drive home one day just to look at you. You and I sure are lucky, little lady. 

Other letters: #1

Friday, April 24, 2015

Do not be deceived.

I wore this outfit on a much more spring-like day. Today, despite the sunshine, requires a sweatshirt and a jacket. The poor thermostats must all be suffering right now. I understand now why mercurial means what it means.

I have little with which to amuse you today; however, several things amused me today.

1. A student tried to fix the printer on our mobile computer lab cart. When the "fix" he tried based on a Google search did not work (twice), he grumbled, "This really grinds my gears." Ah, man, I am still chuckling.

2. One of my students wrote a vocabulary story about how she prohibited farting in her car once she got her license yesterday. Her younger brother said he was "going to blow," so she made him stick his butt out the window. I made them write these stories as comic strips, so the accompanying pictures made the tears that streamed down my face from laughter all the more inevitable.

3. When my sixth period was completely silent, my intern decided to pop a mini rice cake into his mouth. What he did not realize was that another rice cake had accidentally adhered itself to it, so he literally bit off more than he could chew...quietly. The look on his face as he realized that the crunching would be deafening in such a quiet room sent me into a fit of laughter, which I had to contain as quietly as possible, a nearly impossible feat for someone with a laugh as boisterous as mine.
Dress: Express (found it in clearance section for $20)
Vest: Lauren Conrad via Kohl's
Necklace: Old Navy
Sandals: Franco Sarto via TJ Maxx (honestly, Franco Sarto makes THE best sandals.)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Edgy and Classy?

Who needs an iron when you have a hair straightener? The hair straightener did the trick to smooth out wrinkles at the bottom of this top today, and I did not need to lug the ironing board out of the laundry room. Hooray.

Custodians came in after school to replace a bulb that blew above our desks. I remarked that it smells AWFUL when those things burn out. The cologne of the one custodian lingered in the room after he left, and I swore he smelled like my brother who's worn the same cologne for over 20 years. Naturally, I followed him into the next room and asked him if he wore Eternity. He said no, but it does smell like Eternity. As my intern and I walked out of the building, I complained that the trashcan reeked of fish. I'm both impressed by and disappointed in my nose these days.

This outfit, of course, impresses me.  Most impressive of all? I managed to pick it out this morning instead of last night.

The Look:
Jacket: via thredUP
Pants: Motherhood Maternity
Flats: Sole Society
Necklace: J.Crew Factory
Headband: Target