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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hot and Tired

That about sums up how I feel these days.

I'm glad I won't be preggo again throughout the summer, as I was with Norah, but even now, with 4 weeks remaining until my due date, I feel as though the outdoors are nothing but an inferno, and inside doesn't feel a whole lot cooler to me (we set our A/C at 76 during the day and 74 at night -- yes, I could lower it further, and create a meat locker in the house, but I still don't think I'd be cool enough and I'm too cheap to pay the extra $$$ for running the A/C more).  After Norah and I's walk this morning, I had to come in and lay down in front of a fan for a bit, I was so hot.

Aside from feeling as though Antarctica wouldn't be cool enough right now, I'm also battling fatigue that feels like a flashback to the first trimester when I basically felt as though I could fall asleep anywhere, anytime.

I'm actually sleeping pretty decently at night lately, but during the day, I feel as though I could use about about 3 naps to get me through the day.  When I was this far along with Norah, I actually DID have that luxury, and I think I slept about 15 hours a day then!  Now, I don't really have that option.  Still, come about 10 am, I feel beat, so I have been taking the "easy/lazy" parenting route and letting Norah watch about 30 minutes of Sesame Street while I snooze next to her on the couch.  The past couple of mornings that I've done this, I've slept so soundly for that half an hour that I've dreamed!

It's a good thing Sesame completely entrances Norah and she doesn't move off the couch as she's watching it; otherwise, Scooter may call Child Services on me.

Thankfully, I am nearly done with my classes and end of term grading, so by this time next week, I can at least sleep in the afternoon.  And even though next Friday is Norah's last day of "school" for the summer (she's again staying home with me this summer), again, I can nap during her naptime in the afternoon -- at least until Caleb is actually born.

Then a whole new level of tired begins.  But, at least I should feel a bit cooler then, right?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

  • Someone asked me the other day if I were carrying twins.  I replied with: "No.  Just one potentially GIANT baby."
  • A student asked me the other day when I was due.  I told her May 29th.  "Oh, phew," she said.  "I've been worried that you might go into labor before our final on Monday."  "I shouldn't, so you needn't worry," I told her.  "Uh, good.  Worrying about that has been weighing on me!" she said.  "I'm sorry that it's been such a burden for you," I said, drily.
  • I was walking to an administrative building yesterday to deliver some paperwork, and a student (I presume he was a college student -- I don't know him, but he looked student-ish) asked me, bluntly: "What are you having?"  Me: "A boy."  "He's gonna be a BIG boy!" Thanks, dude.
  • On Monday evening, I was kinda jogging down the stairs when I ran into a colleague who gave me the stern warning: "Don't run!  You'll go into labor!"
If for no other reasons that the conversations and encounters above, I'm ready for this term to be over!  Thankfully, I only have a week left.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Morning Conversations

Right now, Norah is very interested in cars and trucks.  Not in the way they work or in categorization or explanation, but simply in pointing them out -- "car! truck!"  So, on our walks in the morning, which take us about 30 minutes, we spend the majority of that time spotting cars and trucks (to be fair, she also frequently requests that I sing the "ABC" song or "Itsy-Bitsy Spider").  We walk in a residential neighborhood, but along a road that sees a steady stream of regular traffic, so we usually have quite a few cars and trucks to admire in passing.

So, a typical conversation between her and I may go something like this as we walk:

Norah: "Car!"

Me: "Yes, that's a car."

Norah: "More?"

Me:  "There'll be more.  You just have to be patient."

Norah: "Pay-pay."

Me:  "Yes, 'patient.'  Look, another car!"

Norah: "Car!"

In order to make things a little more interesting for myself, I also try to point out the colors of cars, but it's hard since car colors aren't always easy primary colors, and what am I gonna do, teach her the differentiation between taupe and tan?  Still, I point out color on the cars that are distinctly red, blue, green, white, etc.  Also, if the cars come in a steady stream, we count them: "One, two, three, four!  Four cars!"  And yes, I feel a bit like The Count from Sesame Street.

The highlight of our morning walk then is when the schoolbus passes us, or best of all, a firetruck or some other emergency vehicle.  Norah can distinguish the "Bus!" from other vehicles, and after the schoolbus drives by she usually follows up with an appreciative, "Wow."

I remember when a run or a walk used to be time that I spent in my head.  Even with Norah along, for a long time, our runs or walks were mostly silent, contemplative times for me.  Now, however, I'm totally caught up in spotting on-coming cars, and when a "Red Truck!" passes us, I'm nearly as excited as she.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Caution: Whining Ahead

People follow predictable patterns, and I'm among them.  When I walk with Norah in the morning, we always walk at about the same time, so we usually see the same other people who are out and about for their own walks or runs.  And, almost every morning, we see the same woman running, and she could be on the cover of RW -- she just so perfectly "looks" like a runner: tall, lean, leggy, and always outfitted in co-ordinated tops and shorts.

Even when I'm on top of my running, I see this woman and feel a bit of hate in my heart (I am NONE of the above), but currently, when I see her, I feel a LOT of hate in my heart.  Not at her specifically, she seems very nice and we always exchange a brief greeting and a smile, but more at what she represents. 

For the most part, I really try to never compare myself to other runners (which is tough work as a running blogger -- many of you guys are easy to be envious of): It's not productive to compare myself to what others are able to achieve; it's best to just work my hardest, get what I want from running, and be happy with who I am as a runner.  I know this.  Still, sometimes I can't help but to compare, and that's one thing when I am running.  But, when this fit, trim runner is effortlessly gliding past me everyday as I labor to push a 25 lbs kid in a 22 lbs stroller, along with lugging my own 23 extra pounds of self, and I'm WALKING...well, it kinda makes me feel like crud.

It's as though her physically passing me says, "Don't you wish you could run right now?  And with so little effort?!  Look at me!  I'm just a light, little bouncy doe!"

I know this time on the bench is temporary, and I'll be back at in no time (probably pushing TWO kids in a  stroller, but let's not dwell there on the extra effort THAT's gonna require), but it's still hard to be sidelined.  I'll go ahead and admit it: Sometimes I'd like to trip Ms. Runner McRunnerson, and sometimes I'd like to throw virtual spitballs at all of you who are running races every other weekend, and earning yourselves new PRs and AG awards.

The urge to act out in such negative ways is, of course, tempered by the fact that I know these feelings are a bad by-product of hormones, a lack of running, and a tiny teaspoon of jealousy; I don't really want to trip anyone -- literally or virtually.  Still, I'd take some degree of pleasure if that woman just tripped and fell on her own; and I wouldn't mind it if a few of you over-achievers scaled back your efforts some.  You could trip and fall too. 

I'd appreciate it, thanks.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Eve Egg Dying and Egg Hunt

Today, we had some friends and their kids over for an "eggcellent" Easter Eve celebration.  First, the kids dyed eggs.
 And Norah really liked dying the eggs, so much so that she just kept re-dying her already dyed eggs. 
 She also really enjoyed cracking open the eggs and pealing away the shells.
After egg dying and a snack, we set the kids free for an egg hunt.  At first, Norah just took off running with her basket.  She didn't notice a single egg on the ground, she just went running.  After we caught up to her and pointed out all the eggs on the ground, she began to note that the other kids were gathering the eggs and that this wasn't just a chance to run around outdoors.  Here's a very preggo me helping her "hunt" up some eggs:
She quickly got into the spirit of "finding" the eggs (they were just spread out on the grass -- not too hard to spot), but she was less concerned about putting them in her basket than she was about having us crack them open and revealing the candy contents.

It was a warm South Florida day, so even though Jerry waited to put the eggs out there, by the time the kids got to them, the ones that had chocolate were in need of refrigeration, but that didn't stop Norah -- she had a few melty Reese's and Hershey Kisses "shooters."

After the egg hunt, we had some lunch and the kids played, and then everyone went home in time for naps.  Norah crashed out as I was reading her pre-nap stories and she took a nice, long snooze.  And I confess: I did too!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Birthday! To...


Yes, today, the Earth may be celebrating its bizillionth year b-day, but I'd like to think that Starbucks is giving away free coffee in honor of my 33 blessed years on this earth!  Why?  Because I'm awesome.

So, go ahead, let the b-day wishes commence.

And for those of you kind enough to already wish me a happy b-day here or on FB, that's great, but I'm gonna need you to do it again.  I'd like to see at least 33 comments here on this post today!  Because, as my mom says, "You know those bloggers, they're all so self-absorbed." :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Knew I Wasn't Crazy!

Turns out, Norah has Roseola.

It's a common childhood virus, which consists of 2-3 days of a fever followed by a rash.  The rash is just splotchy, not raised or icky, and it's actually good to have the rash appear because it means the virus is essentially coming to its conclusion.

This time, I didn't take her into the dr's office, I just called them and spoke to the dr. since everything I read online said that basically there was nothing but symptom relief to provide (plus, after being at the dr's twice this week, I really didn't want to return once again if it wasn't necessary).  The dr said it sounded like "textbook" roseola and said there was no need to bring her in.  He just gave some further advice about keeping her comfortable and answered some of my questions about her being contagious.

It sucks that she has had such a rough week, but I'm strangely relieved to KNOW what has been going on -- it's been frustrating knowing that SOMEthing is wrong with her, this isn't just the common cold, but not having any answers.

Anyhoo, now that the rash has broken and the fever has reduced, I think she's on the mend and she should be feeling better by the weekend.  But, it does mean that daycare asked that she stay home tomorrow, which is fine because I don't work on Fridays; however...it IS my birthday and I'd planned on treating myself to some fun "me" things in the afternoon while she was at daycare. 

It's okay, though, there are worse things than being at home with my daughter on my birthday -- I suppose 12 or 13 years from now, I'll have to BEG her to spend my birthday with me, so I'd best enjoy it now when I don't have to, right?

As far as your birthday gifts are concerned, I have to say you guys have really slacked off.  After this many years of blogging, do I really need to remind you that April 22 is JESS DAY?!

No fears, rush delivery can still get me the diamonds and designer handbags I know you meant to have here by now! :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Sicks

Normally, I'm a pretty practical person when it comes to germs and illness -- people get sick.  It happens.  It's usually not a big deal, and I don't rush myself to the doctor nor do I take Norah to the doctor for a case of the sniffles.  But, this week has just been weird.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, Norah is ill and I thought it might be more than a virus, so I took her in yesterday, and they found it to be nothing more than a common cold.  After leaving the dr.'s, I felt mixed emotions: relief it wasn't anything more, annoyance at being perhaps perceived as one of "those" parents who take their kids in with every sneeze, and concern because, well, she just seemed really, really sick.  Norah has had plenty of colds and they don't generally slow her down at all -- she'll still eat normally, drink normally, sleep normally; she just does so with a steady stream of boogers.

But this hasn't been the case this week: She's had a sparse appetite, she hasn't been drinking many fluids, her sleep has been disrupted, and she just hasn't been acting like herself (lots of whining and crying and clinging to Jerry and I).  Plus, at 4 am this morning, she again woke with a fever -- 103.5.

So, worried, I again called the pediatrician this morning and went in with her.  This time, they double checked her ears and chest, swabbed her throat, even gathered a urine sample.  And? 


Just appears to be a virus.

A particularly hard one on her, I guess.  (She's never run a fever with just a cold before -- the only other time she ever had a fever was when she had an ear infection...more than 6 months ago.)  The dr. advised continued use of ibuprofen to control her fever and urged us to try and get her to drink as many fluids as possible, and in the meantime, it'll probably just pass in a day or two.  Again, I feel the same mixture of emotions I did yesterday: relief, foolish, concerned.  Plus, I feel bad because my SIL has been visiting us this week, and it seems we've done nothing but attend doctor appointments.

As for today, Norah's staying home from daycare with Jerry for the afternoon, and hopefully, with more time, rest, and fluids, she'll be over this bug soon.  In the meantime, I seem to have caught it from her -- nothing like having a sick kid when you're sick yourself!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Surprise, Surprise

Yesterday, Norah didn't seem to be feeling well, but I figured it was just a cold, so we let her be.  Then, she woke up 3 times during the night, and when I felt her, she felt like she was burning up.  I took her temp around 3 am, and it was 100.6.  Not a huge, worrisome temp, but a fever nonetheless.  At 5 am, I gave her some ibuprofen and that seemed to help, but I was worried she might have more than a cold, so as soon as her pediatrician's office opened, I called and made an appointment for her.

But, apparently, a 10:30 appointment means 11:45, and after waiting for nearly and hour and half, we discovered that she had...

...nothing.  Just a cold.

Blasted!  I told her that after that wait, she BETTER have more than a cold, but nope, just a cold.  (That, and a fairly major case of DRAMA QUEEN -- seriously, you should have seen the fuss she threw during her exam; you'd think the doctor was poking her with hot needles instead of just listening to her chest.)

Jerry met me at the dr.'s office to take Norah to daycare so that I could quick rush to work since the morning appointment threw off our schedule.  I got to my office feeling a bit frazzled and rushed.  And as soon as I unlocked my office door, the dean of my department met me and asked, "Hey, can I see you for a moment?"

I told him "sure," but was thinking, "I hope it truly is only a moment -- I have class in 15 minutes."

He leads me into the conference room, and...

...lights go on and "SURPRISE!"  My colleagues had thrown me a surprise baby shower!  There was wonderful food and a very generous gift, and I was so surprised, and already a little emotionally shaken from the roller coaster morning, that I started bawling.  Bad idea to surprise a pregnant lady ;)

It was so wonderful, but in the back of my head, I was thinking, "This is great, but I have to get to class."  But, they suggested I go, return the work to my students and let them go, so I could enjoy my shower.  So, I took them up on the suggestion -- met my class, returned their work, and then cancelled class.  Students were thrilled, and frankly, I was too.  So, instead of teaching all afternoon, I basically sat around, ate cake, and chatted.  It was great.

So, even though the day started off on shaky legs, it greatly improved!

Monday, April 18, 2011

34 Week Dr. Check Up and Some Gushing

Everything at my dr. appointment this morning went well: When I go back in two weeks, they'll be doing another ultrasound to estimate the baby's size since the doctor is somewhat apprehensive that because I measure big I might be growing GIANT baby in there.  I'm still not concerned that he's gimongous, but I would appreciate it if he'd get his left foot out of my rib cage; sometimes I feel a little short of breath because of that limb kicking me in the lungs.

At the doctor's office, the nurse chirpily said, "Getting close!"  And that's a phrase a lot of people are saying when they look at me these days even though I still have 6 weeks until my due date.  So, even though I still have what I think of as "plenty of time," as I was driving today, I was thinking about how near the end I'm getting with this pregnancy, and to be honest, it makes me a little sad.

I know I joke a lot about the discomforts and inconveniences of pregnancy, but truth be told, I do enjoy it -- in my own way.  Granted, I'm not the sort to gush over the "beauty" of pregnancy, nor am I the sort to sit and marvel over the intimacy of the growing baby within me.  However, that doesn't mean that I don't enjoy certain aspects of pregnancy, so I figured today I'd highlight a few things I like about being pregnant:
  • My "spidey" senses.  Especially my intensified sense of smell.  For some preggos, this is annoying as it can trigger nausea, but for me, I find scents -- even typically unpleasant ones like gasoline or car exhaust -- to be intoxicating.  I'm especially obsessed with cleansers and cleaning products.  If there were a way for me to just sit and sniff the Bath and Body Works foaming hand soap in White Citrus all day long, I would.  I also seem to really delight in brushing my teeth.  It's weird, I know, but there's something really awesome about both the taste and the texture of my toothpaste that makes me LOVE brushing my teeth!
  • My hair.  It's usually a little on the fine side, but during pregnancy, because fewer hairs are shed, my hair is thicker.  Which is great.  But, it also, I swear, feels softer and healthier.
  • My skin too.  I'm not going to claim a "glow," but my skin is softer during pregnancy and clearer.  I don't normally have many issues with blemishes, but it seems that during pregnancy, I am even luckier than normal in that I don't even seem to get a blackhead.
  • My baby belly.  As much as I joke and sometimes mock-complain about having to heave my giant self around, in a lot of ways, that's just hyperbole.  The truth is that I really like having that belly out there.  For some reason, I guess, it makes me feel both healthy and feminine.  Does that make sense?  I'm not sure if it does, but to me, I suppose there's a certain amount of pride in being pregnant -- there's just something about it that says "I'm healthy and strong enough for this."
  • Feeling the baby move.  And seeing him move, since, at this point, his movement is visible on the surface and he reacts to touch on the surface as well.  Sometimes, it looks as though he's just wiggling back and forth within there.
  • Having Norah cuddle my belly.   We still don't think she fully grasps that I'm pregnant despite the fact that we talk to her about it, but she does seem to "know" something is up, and she's been extra cuddly with me lately.  A week ago, while we were watching Sesame Street, she climbed in my lap, grabbed my arms and wrapped herself up while saying "cuddle, cuddle!"  And often times, if we're lounging together, she leans against or hugs my belly. 
So, even though I'm excited to meet Caleb in less than 6 weeks, I know that once he's here, I'll miss having him inside me and I'll miss being pregnant.  I don't really know that we'll have more than 2 children (we aren't ready to definitively plan one way or another), so a big part of me is trying to savor these remaining weeks.

But you may have to remind me of how sentimental I was in this post when, in a short time, I'm bitching and moaning again about being uncomfortable.  I'll try to remind myself, but as is typical with a preggo, forgetfulness is a plague.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday, Funday

Today, my principle form of exercise came from walking around the zoo for a few hours.  In 90 degree heat.
Thankfully, there's the water play area for kids, which helped to refresh Norah, and it felt pretty good on my barefeet as well.
The zoo was fun, but we only spent a few hours and didn't even try to do the whole thing.  It was just too hot, and the sun quickly wore us all out.  Once in the car, Norah didn't even make it out of the parking lot before she was asleep.
And, honestly, I didn't last much longer and I was snoozin' too.  After nap time, Norah got to enjoy a new treat: A water table for the back porch.
Thanks to our HOA, who determined that the gas grill we had on our back porch was suddenly a fire hazard -- a fire hazard that had been out there for 6 years with no hazardous problem -- we had recently freed up a lot of space on the porch, so we figured there was plenty of room for "something fun."  Within seconds of it being out of the box, assembled, and appropriately filled with water, Norah had soaked herself, a nearby Scooter, and the porch.
As Jerry was examining the box, he asked: "Hey, how come the kids pictured on the box are dry?"

I don't know.  How can some people keep toilet paper on the roll or keep their kids from scaling the built-in bookshelves?  Some things are just a mystery.

Norah played with the water table both before and after dinner, at which point, we felt it was pointless to keep her clothed (her dress was absolutely soaked and she kept leaning into the water to submerge her whole head in the pool of water), and when it was time to come in, there were lots of tears and protestations.

Now, she's in bed, and quite frankly, I feel as though I'm not far behind.  Today wore me out!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cleaning Should Count as Exercise

During the week, like most families, we kinda let the house go.  Sure, we get the basics done: dishes, trash, laundry, maybe sweeping the floors mid-week, but for the most part, cleaning gets put on the back burner in place of the more important, and busy, day-to-day tasks.

So, come Friday, I feel as though we're just living in filth.

Thankfully, I don't teach on Fridays, and in the afternoon, I take Norah to daycare, so that's when I get the house cleaned (if I'm fast, I also try to squeeze in a nap or something relaxing before Jerry and Norah get home).  But, lately I've been afflicted with that terrible compulsion in the 3rd trimester of "nesting," meaning that I feel the need to clean really, really well.

So yesterday, I spent 3 and 1/2 hours cleaning.  Sure I did the regular stuff -- wiping off every surface that is goobbered with handprints, boogers, and drool -- but I also did some "extra stuff."  I cleaned out the fridge (I hate this task, there's always some scary forgotten item in there that you discover and that makes you gag), I moved the couch in the office and cleaned behind and under it, and I cleaned all of our glass doors.

By the end of my cleaning spree, I felt pretty spent.  3+ hours of cleaning would be tough physical work no matter what, but when you're 8 months pregnant and cleaning floors with a basketball sticking out in front of you, it's even tougher.  Still, it's so satisfying to feel like things are clean and orderly, even if it is always temporary...

...as soon as Norah gets home she sets to work at re-dirtifying the house.  Case in point: about a week ago, I washed the curtains in the house, and they had been sparkling clean for about 2 days, when one morning Norah decided to use the curtains in the office as her personal napkins and she rubbed her slimy little mitts all over my WHITE curtains!

As for un-doing yesterday's hard work?  That little monkey took a red crayon and scribbled on the kitchen wall.  Thankfully, the Magic Eraser really is magic!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

Today, I failed a student for plagiarism. 

I'd discovered that his essay was essentially a conglomeration of copied materials from about 10 different websites, so it wasn't a direct copy of one essay; instead, it was a patchwork of plagiarized material.  So, even though my syllabus is VERY thorough in my definition of plagiarism and its consequences (failure of the course), I still like to conference with students whose work is plagiarized before determining my final verdict.  This helps me more fully understand what happened and to best determine if I should carry out my policy on cheating to the full extent.

So, in the course of speaking with him, he went from claiming complete innocence, to claiming that he'd gotten "some ideas" from online, to fully admitting that the work was not even his -- he'd contracted a "friend" to write it for him and the "friend" had obviously copied and pasted the entire essay from the Internet.  So, plagiarism two times over. 

It's always disheartening to discover students cheating, and I never like to fail them, nor see them cry (which I did choose to fail him and he did cry), but this case has bothered me throughout the afternoon and evening not just because I felt discouraged at seeing a student undermine his chances at success (especially just a few weeks shy of the end of the semester), but because of some of our follow-up conversation.

He asked me: "So, what should I have done?  Just not done the paper?"

"Those were the only 2 choices?"  I asked, "Either have your friend do your work or not do the paper?  There was no option in there to do the paper yourself and give it your best effort?"

"Well, I have to work 40 hours a week and I have 12 credits, and it's just impossible for me to do it all, so I didn't have the time to do the work myself."

I told him, "I think, then, you will need to re-evaluate your schedule.  If you don't have the time to complete your academic work, then maybe you need to work less."

"I have to work.  That's how I pay for school.  I don't qualify for any financial aid."

Aside from the fact that I KNOW there are students who work 40 hours, take a full course load, and care for a family, and still managed to do their own work with dignity and responsibility, I still sympathize with students in this kind of situation, I do -- for many, they feel they're trapped in a Catch-22.  However, what bothers me, and what I tried to convey to this student, without sounding too "preachy," is that paying for an education is worthless if you are unable to spend the time to actually learn the material. 

I'm not so naive as to believe that everyone will appreciate "learning for learning's sake," especially when they're young and many are still immature, but they should be able to comprehend that paying their tuition does not entitle them to passing grades, and thus, a degree.  If that were the case, college would simply be about purchasing a transcript.

Paying the tuition just enables a student the circumstance to pursue and, hopefully, successfully learn the information vital to the degree.  An education is not a product; it's an opportunity.

So, today's case of plagiarism made me feel pretty discouraged both because of this student's particular choices and for larger, more philosophical reasons, I guess.  Probably I feel this way because I'm at the peak of two stressful crossroads: the end of the term (and the never-ending pile of grading) and being 33+ weeks pregnant. 

Hormones + hundreds of papers do not = a happy Jess. 

Monday, April 11, 2011


Actually, a more realistic title for this post would be something along the lines of "Restless Sleep" or "Unsatisfactory Sleep," but neither of those titles would do the poor quality of sleep I'm experiencing right now the justice it deserves.

I experienced the same kind of 3rd trimester restlessness when I was preggo with Norah, so this is not unexpected, and I think it's typical for many pregnant women in the 3rd trimester to toss and turn.  For me, an example's night's sleep often adheres to the following routine:
  • Feel tired and like I'm ready to sleep, but after shutting off my light and my Nook, I can't seem to find a comfortable position, which I only get the choice of two -- right or left side.  (Which, supposedly, you're only supposed to sleep on your left side, but if I sleep on my left, I face Jerry.  And, I don't like facing Jerry if he's facing me.  Call me a terrible spouse, I don't care.  But I don't like to sleep facing him when he is facing me.  So, the only way  I feel comfortable sleeping on my left is when he too is sleeping in on his left.  Why?  Because I feel as though I'm inhaling his exhalation, and that, frankly, feels like warm, stale air.  Which, in turn, makes me feel like I'm suffocating.)
  • Usually, during this uncomfortable shifting back and forth -- accompanied by the necessary re-adjustment of supporting pillows and kicking Scooter out of my way -- I also end up complaining to Jerry to shut his reading light off (he tends to stay up later than I, and even though he reads with a tiny book light, it still bothers me -- as you can deduce, at this point in pregnancy, I am nothing but a joy).
  • Finally, I fall asleep.  Although, sometimes, I make the choice to move out to the office to sleep on the couch in there -- being able to lean against a firm back is nice, and our office couch is comfy, but ultimately, I like being in my bed, so this choice has to be preceded by a great deal of discomfort first.
  • From there on out, I will typically wake up every 2 hours because I have to pee, and when I wake up, I also feel thirsty, so I drink water (thus perpetuating the pee cycle -- it's a Catch 22).
  • Or, as was the case of last night, I am awoken at 2 am by Scooter standing on the edge of the bed retching.  That dog can never puke at a convenient time or in a convenient place.
  • Morning arrives sometime between 6:15 and 6:45 when we hear Norah in her bedroom going, "Hi!  Hi!"  And as it is with any alarm, whether it be child or bedside clock, I am always at that point where I am seemingly the most comfortable and most deeply asleep, so the chirp of "Hi!" feels like a disturbance from what is finally satisfactory sleep.
People argue, anecdotally, that the reason Nature gives you poor sleep in the final months of pregnancy is because you're being prepared for the interrupted sleep that you have to get used to with a newborn.  But, this is baloney.  Even with the restless nature of the sleep I'm getting now, all I do is briefly wake up, and then I'm back to sleep; even when I get up to pee, I barely open my eyes.  Now, with a newborn, there's usually a lot more awake time with the whole business of getting up, nursing, changing a diaper, etc, so I'm not deluding myself by thinking that this sleep now isn't better than what I'll get in a few months.

Still, I think Nature could cut the preggo a break in anticipation of the poor sleep the mother of a newborn is about to get.  How about some good Zzzzzs now before the real sleep deprivation begins?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up: Water, Water, Water

Spring in South Florida should really more accurately be called Pre-Summer since we don't get typical spring weather.  Instead, we just get the early signs of summer: Increasing heat and humidity.  It's not unbearable outside; it's just that the time spent outdoors is best enjoyed when water is involved in some capacity.

So, we basically spent the weekend in or near water.  Yesterday, we went to a park that Norah and I got introduced to on Friday when we went with some friends and their kids.  Norah had such a blast there, I thought she'd like returning on Saturday.  It's an awesome park: It has some great playground equipment, wonderful, big shady trees, and most glorious of all: A water area -- and, best of all, it's all free!  Can't be beat!  So, here she is, below, enjoying the water park feature.

Then, this morning I managed to convince Jerry that we should go to the beach.  We haven't been in about 6 months, and I've been itching for some sand and surf before it gets too hot out.  Jerry, however, isn't a big fan of the beach, and he has good reasons: It's a lot of stuff to pack, load in the car, haul back and forth, and parking down at the beach is never fun.  I understand all of those reasons; I just also think that, hey, we live 30 minutes from the ocean.  We should go a few times a year.

So, we went, and it turns out that in the time that Norah last made a beach voyage, she developed an intense aversion to the sand.  She wanted NOTHING to do with it: She didn't want her precious little feet to touch it, she didn't want to play in it, and she didn't want it on our blanket.  It turns out she also wasn't a big fan of the waves.  Being in the ocean was fine, but being on the edge where waves meet beach was unacceptable; those waves were too scary.

Turns out, she mainly wanted to play on the blanket and eat snacks.

Which was fine, I suppose, but I had wanted to build sand castles with her and splash in the waves.  Oh well, maybe the next time we journey to the beach -- probably in another 6 months or so -- she'll find those things fun.  On our way home, she made it approximately 30 seconds before falling asleep in her carseat, and she even made the almost-impossible-car-to-bed-transfer, and here we are an hour post-beach and she's still napping!  Thus, proving, I suppose, that you can sit and snack on a beach blanket and that ocean air will still make you tired!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Foto Friday

For a little shower-shitter, she cleans up nice, doesn't she?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

10 and 2

*First off, the picture below does NOT feature Norah after consuming poop!  Goodness, what kind of parent do you think I am?  Wait...maybe don't answer that.  I thought you guys would all note the label on the post, which specified that this was her "post-fingerpainting."  That's not food or shit covering her -- it's a very washable combination of green, orange, purple, and teal paint.  Paint, people, PAINT!

Now, on to my discussion for today, which according to your comments, is right up your potty-brains' alley.

No, not poop.  I'll give you a break from that.  Potty.

Me and the potty.  Or, more specifically, 8-months-pregnant-me and the potty.

Yeah, everybody knows that pregnant women pee a lot.  It's a cliche, but it's true -- throughout pregnancy, a preggo pees.  A LOT.  This is for a variety of reasons: hormones, increased circulation of nearly everything, and the volume of water that is recommended (the growing uterus is apparently VERY demanding in terms of its water usage, but a large volume of water consumption is also necessary to avoid other potential complications: high BP, swelling, and UTIs).  But, in the 3rd trimester, a preggo has the urge to pee a lot because the size of the uterus is literally crushing the bladder.  And it's this kind of peeing that I'm here today to discuss -- because peeing, you may not know, is not always satisfactory.

See, at this point in pregnancy, I may have the URGENT need to pee; it may feel as though my molars are floating, and I will rush to the bathroom, and then...tinkle, tinkle.  That's it?  That's what sent me hurrying in here?  That ounce of liquid?  So, then, I resume doing whatever I may have been doing, but about 15 minutes later, dear GOD!  I have to pee again!  Right now!  And, yes, again...tinkle, tinkle.

The issue, of course, is that because the bladder is compressed, it can't hold much, so you feel the urgency to pee, but there's really not much in there to empty out: Sensation says you have to fill the toilet; content suggests otherwise.  Thus, the lesson all pregnant women learn is how to get a good, satisfactory pee, and it boils down to this: 10 and 2.

No, you can't just plop your ass down as you used to, legs straight in front of you, and have a good pee.  Doesn't work that way at this point.  Instead, you have to position your legs at 10 and 2, and then, lean forward a bit.  Thus, it feels as though each visit to the bathroom is some act of perfected positioning, an art form, if you will, and this is something that NO pregnancy book will inform you of.  You can read ALL ABOUT pregnancy from whatever trusted sources, and no one but your pregnant friends will tell you some of these truths about how maneuvering your cumbersome, enlarged self in the 3rd trimester is required to fulfill that simple task of emptying your frequently filled bladder.

And the irony?  You end up having the best pees in the middle of the night.  I don't know why; I just know it is: For some cruel reason, Mother Nature thinks it's funny that while you are barely conscious, you will be driven from comfortable slumber to regularly visit the bathroom throughout the night.  And that, THAT is when peeing will be easy and fruitful.  So, while it sucks being awakened every 2 hours, at least there is a satisfactory reward!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Inappropriate Gear

As runners, we have all made mistakes in selecting the right gear and/or clothing for ourselves, and we've all seen "those" runners on the streets or at a race who are running in, or with, something questionable.  And you know you have fought the urge to lean over and say, "Hey, cotton sucks.  Your life will be better without it!"  But do you actually say it?  No.  But you want to, right?

Well, last night, as I was on my way home after my night class, I saw a woman out running with her child in a stroller.  I've seen this woman a few times previously on my way home from night class, and aside from it being past 9 pm, and a questionable hour to have a small child out (for all I know, the run makes him or her fall asleep), what astounds me about this runner is her "running" stroller:

Yeah, a basic umbrella stroller.

I'm just dumbfounded about this choice as a running stroller.  Perhaps she knows no better, maybe this is what she has and so this is what she's made work, but I can't imagine how hard she's making it for herself, not to mention how uncomfortable a ride it would be for the child.  And ultimately, running the mostly-dark suburban streets at 9 pm, with a 4-wheeled, collapsible stroller, just seems like a recipe for disaster -- you hit a divot in the sidewalk (and trust me, there are plenty -- she was running in an area that I run all the time), and BAM!  Kid is face first in the asphalt.

I'm not the sort who would intrude on a stranger while she is running (not to mention the fact that, good lord, how scary would I be pulling over to the side of the road in the dark -- or worse yet, shouting out the window at her as I slow down) to inform her that an appropriate running stroller would make both of their lives easier and safer.  But, the runner in me would really like to!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Bigger and Bigger

This morning, at my dr. check up, the dr. gave me one of the best compliments a pregnant lady can receive: "You're one of those women who people can tell is pregnant only from the front.  You just have a little basketball out front!"

I laughed and thanked her for the compliment, which felt nice since I've been feeling like I'm about the size of a killer whale.

But despite how I may appear to just have "a little basketball out front," I continue to measure on the big side (I'm currently 32 weeks, but I'm measuring at 35 weeks).  This has been true throughout this pregnancy; I've consistently measured a few weeks bigger than I am.  This could mean I'm growing GIANT BABY, but it could also mean nothing.  I'm thinking it means nothing.

I measured big throughout my pregnancy with Norah too, and at the end of my pregnancy with her, the drs. were making a big deal about how she was going to be GIANT BABY, and the ultrasound suggested she was, indeed, GIANT BABY, but it turned out that the u/s over-estimated her size, and she was an average size at birth (7 lbs, 10oz).  My theory, and the dr.'s, as to why I measure big is that, conversely, I'm a small person.  I'm barely 5 feet tall (and Jerry will make a snorting noise of derision when he reads that sentence because he thinks "5 feet" is my exaggeration -- on the tall side), and I have a small torso, so I think babies have no place to go, but OUT.  Thus, I measure big.

Labor with Norah was hard, but it's not called "labor" for nuthin', but she didn't require any intervening methods, such as forceps, during delivery, so I'm not worried about Caleb being any bigger or more difficult to deliver.  I may be small, but I'm built with sturdy dimensions.

And on the plus side, measuring big at least ensures that he's growing at a healthy rate!

In all other regards, the appointment was unexceptional, which is good because it means I'm healthy and he's healthy in every way.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

April Showers...

Bring May Babies!

So, today, my friend Erin hosted a "sprinkle" (mini-version of full-scale baby shower -- although, I don't think she minimized her efforts in any way) on Caleb's and my behalf.  We enjoyed some great food (I do believe I ate about half a dozen cupcakes), some fun games, and some great girl chit-chat (however, those of us with kids may have scared the bejesus out of those who don't have children with our pregnancy and labor/delivery stories; but hey, they're like good war stories, and women seem to revel in sharing in the blood and guts, literally).

Plus, Caleb got a helluva lot of loot!  So, I can safely say that he will be handsomely outfitted for the 1st year of his life.

Here I am pre-gift opening. 
I feel as though I'm just awkwardly standing next to those gifts, so forgive the goofrific pose.
And, below, are a few shots of some gifts.

Jerry really likes this last one; he's just hoping there actually IS football this season!

This evening, I got all of the clothes we got as gifts washed, dried and put away, and there's just something weirdly fun about doing that before a baby arrives.  I remember how much I liked washing and organizing all of Norah's clothing before she was born.  Maybe because it's so clean and so orderly at this point, and I know that in a few months time, I'll just by shoving things into drawers, and the clothes will get stains and outfits will get mismatched.  So, I think it feels fun right now just because everything is so pristine, and I know it won't stay like that.  Which is fine; messy kids means that they're having fun, right?  I hope so.  Norah is often downright filthy by the end of each day!

Anyway, great shower, and I appreciated everyone who attended, as well as those who couldn't but sent their thoughts and gifts along.  We're so lucky to have the friends and family that we do.

And, now, I find myself wondering: It's Sunday evening already?  Where did the weekend go?

Friday, April 01, 2011

They Like Me! They Really Like Me!

This evening, I got the news that I have been named "Professor of the Year" for this academic year!

It's pretty dang awesome news.

I had been nominated about a month ago, and part of what made March a busy month for me was that I had to prepare my teaching portfolio for submission to the committee, and had a teaching presentation and interview with the committee as part of their consideration.  I felt like I had a strong chance at the award since I felt as though I nailed my teaching presentation and interview, but I also knew that there was a lot of competition for the award, so I didn't want to get my hopes up.

But I got it, and they swear it's not an "April Fools," so I'm dang stoked!

This is an award that is born through student nomination, and their recognition feels particularly meaningful to me this year, and like anyone, I like knowing that my efforts have been appreciated and valued.

Anyhoo, now I get to brag for the next year about being "Professor of the Year" and, best of all, I get a designated parking spot next year, which anyone who's ever parked on a college campus knows: That alone is priceless!