Sunday, October 31, 2010

Adios Octobre!

As a teacher, there are two months that I tend to not enjoy--October and March. It's not that they are necessarily BAD months; they're just loooong. No holidays. Lots of work. Kids start to see the results of their actions...or non actions.

When we moved to Elk Grove, I was happy to discover that our Spring vacation moved according to Easter. In Milpitas, our Spring vacation was always the third week of April. It was nice that it was predictable, but it made for a very long March.

Now this year, I don't need to be as concerned about March, as I will be giving birth then. Babies are wonderful distractions. :) And there's the added benefit of me not being at work. Good deal.

I had concerns about October. It is with considerable surprise that I have discovered that October is over. Where did it go?

First, our nephew Samuel was born and we spent a weekend in Redding. Then we enjoyed the pleasant weather with a trip to the zoo with my father and Em. The next weekend we had our friend Jerome over. He's from France, but somehow we are able to see him every six months or so.

Last weekend my mom came over for dinner and we went out for Sunday breakfast. This weekend, which is sadly almost over, we headed to the Bay Area on Friday. That night we stayed with my mom. Saturday we headed over to my sister's for some baby Owen time. After a couple hours of catching up, we caravanned to my dad's in Hayward for dinner.

Yesterday, we watched some World Series (I swear I will never see a game in which the Giants win...), and we had a diabetes-friendly and low-sodium dinner (low sugar for me; low salt for my grandma.) It was a really nice time to catch up, and I especially enjoyed dressing up Em and Owen in their Halloween costumes (Em is Ariel and Owen is a hamburger.) We have cute kids.

Now, I know that it sounds like we did a lot, but it was all at a very relaxed pace. I'm actually ending this month feeling pretty good. Work has had its lows (check out my last post), but I've ended the month feeling more competent than I did at the beginning. That's something.

Also, we are about to head into November, which has both Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving week. Now, Veteran's Day is on a Thursday, which is weird, but a day off is a day off. Plus, both Justin and I get a week off for Thanksgiving.

We do have some traveling in our near future. Next weekend is our niece Elizabeth's birthday, and we will be heading for my mom's for Thanksgiving.

I'm not sure how energetic and enthusiastic I will feel as we head into the winter holidays. And I'm sure I will tire soon of my diabetic diet. (Though I did just make an apple sauce cake with Splenda and it's not horrible.)

I'm trying to not adopt an attitude of just making it through these holidays. I do want to enjoy myself, and my time off. But it is weird that food is not a major focus for me. My goal is to turn my attention to working on crafts and projects with Em. She has become such a big girl recently, and she loves baking and decorating.

Well, I think Justin and Em have finished their pumpkin carving. It's about time to change Em into her costume and take my little mermaid out for her first trick-or-treating.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I Knew It Would Happen Eventually...

Crying at work that is.


Now, let's be clear. I commemorate most big issues (and many small ones) with crying. It's a tradition between my sister and I--cry first, think later.

I cry when I'm mad, sad, and glad. I cry at sappy commercials and love songs.

It is why I will never wear mascara on my lower lashes.

But lately, my work has been the biggest causer of tears. Which frustrates me to no end.

Here's why:
1. I knew how hard this job was.
2. I really, really, really wanted this job.
3. I like the fantasy I've built of myself in my own head as a badass.

I don't want my work to make me cry. Mostly, I feel this way because I don't want my job to win. I tend to view everything as a battle of wills. This is why Tai Chi has never appealed to me. I don't want to move the wind gently from the mountain. I want to blow the effer down.

Charming, huh?

Anyhow, work has been taxing. First, I can't get anything done. District lectures me about how I'm supposed to do things. My boss has very clear and high expectations. The two set of expectations are not often compatible. Second, I work mostly with seventh grade parents. The majority of them are wonderful. They may not be happy when I call them, but they are willing to work with me.

Then there are the others. Those who tell me I hate children. That I just want to make an example of their child. That I don't know what I'm doing.

While it may be true that I don't know what I'm doing, I do know one thing very well--kids. I know what they need to be successful in school and beyond. I know that they need limits and clear expectations.

I also know what they don't need. They don't need to be told by their parents that their vice principal hates them. They don't need to be told that their punching of a child was okay because he did it first. They don't need to be told to fear me.

The thing is, none of this is a surprise. I guess that's why I feel like I shouldn't be sad or stressed or worried about whether or not I'm doing my job well.

Still I can't wait to get this year behind me. I know that gaining experience is important, but this would be a delightful time for a movie montage.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Season Of Babies

When I was growing up, I had a lot of cousins around my age. I kind of took it for granted. While I only have one sister, I always felt a part of a larger family because of my three cousins on my mom's side and my six cousins on my dad's side.

So when it was my turn to start having babies, I hoped that my child would have a lot of cousins too. Justin had a different attitude about it because he didn't grow up around his cousins. His family is constructed more around his immediate family and close friends of the family.

Since Em wasn't planned, I wasn't sure if she would have a cousin around her age. Luckily, my sister-in-law and her husband decided to have a child around the same time we did. Voila! Emerson and Elizabeth!

It was just the two girls for awhile, and then my sister-in-law became pregnant with her second, Justin. Three kids certainly made things more interesting, but Justin was a really easy baby.

Then, this year things got wacky.

Really wacky.

First my sister announced she was pregnant in January.

Then my cousin Ben announced his wife was pregnant.

Then in March, Justin's sister surprised us with the announcement of their third pregnancy.


Justin and I were planning on becoming pregnant before all the baby madness, and in July we discovered that we would be adding to the fun.

So now it's October, and there are three new beautiful babies in our world: Owen Davis Blythe (my sister's little, chunky wonderful boy), Samuel James Shettell (Summer and Ben's delightful new son), and finally Andrea Katherine Harrell (my cousins Ben and Carrie's little girl.)

Additionally I have lots of friends with babies; my best friend from college, a couple people from high school, a friend from work, a friend of Justin's. Seriously, I'm expecting a bump up in the economy with all the new purchases of baby stuff.

Now, I am not by nature a very patient person (to those of you reading, no eye rolling or snorting, thank you very much), but all these new babies are making me a wee bit impatient. I am trying to enjoy my second and last pregnancy (so help me god, this better be the last time.) But I would really like to meet my baby too.

I am dying of curiosity. What will he/she be like? Will we have another blue-eyed wonder? Will he/she be dark like me and Justin? So curious...

At least I will hopefully be able to find out the gender soon. November 3rd is the big ultrasound date. Hopefully our little one behaves and shows us its little bits. I really can't decide if I think it's a boy or girl. Most of the time I think it's a boy, which I admit makes me a little nervous. But that's just because I have a girl, I am a girl, and I know how to deal.

For now, I wait. I focus on taking care of my self and trying to manage my stressful new job and family life. Luckily there are lots of cute babies to play with as I wait. :)