Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Adventures in Potty Training

I am going to be starting Potty Training Bootcamp with Noelle tomorrow! I am extremely nervous about this...and I think what makes me most nervous is that I can't leave the house for 3 days while we are in "bootcamp." Luke is on call tomorrow until 10, too, so that means we will be in the house allllllllll day. I get cabin fever really easily, but I think this is a sacrifice I can handle, especially if Noelle is successful.

I am stocked up on fruit snacks to use as rewards as well as small toys to help keep her motivated and rewarded for a job well-done. We have Dora underwear and I am ready to clean up pee all day. Well, I don't know if "ready" is the word, but I am preparing myself to do it.

I will be sure to document the trials and triumphs of this process because I know that you are just dying to know how it turns out. Hopefully, by the end of this week, we will have a potty trained little girl on our hands! Crazy!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer love!

Well, so far, the first few days of summer vacation have been great! Friday was my first official day of being home with Noelle, and it was just great. We had a lot of fun together and it was so nice to just enjoy her by myself. Luke got to come home a little early, and I even got to go to a Zumba class that wasn't horrible...so I think that was a victory.

Saturday morning, Luke went to help a friend move in Indy, so Noelle and I decided to go to Concannon's and eat some donut holes for breakfast. They were so yummy, and watching my baby girl's face light up as she eats a little treat is just so fun. Noelle was in such a good mood that we even got to make a trip to Goodwill (no success) and the grocery store before she took her nap.

Saturday evening was a cookout at Allison's house. Noelle had fun playing in a baby pool with some other kids and we enjoyed talking to our friends. Despite the sweltering heat, we all managed to have a good time. It was so nice to just relax and enjoy company.

Sunday, we got up and headed "down South" to spend the afternoon/evening with Seth & Liz & the boys and the rest of Luke's family at a graduation open house for one of his cousins. We hadn't been to New Albany has a family unit since Christmas, and we had a really great time. We stopped at the Edinburgh outlets on the way and Luke let me pick out some maternity clothes! The Loft outlet store is so awesome. I could have bought everything there! Noelle was so enjoyable and had a great time shopping with us.

Once we arrived at Seth & Liz's, Noelle quickly changed into her swimsuit to swim in the baby pool with the boys. She absolutely LOVES her cousins-- oh my goodness. She follows them around and plays with them so well, and they are so loving to her. She had some of her cutest moments this weekend with her cousins. She was chasing fireflies with them in the near dark in just her diaper and her PJ shirt, and she ended up sleeping in bed with Solomon all night, which was just so sweet. We had a great time and are so thankful for great family.

We made the 3 hour drive back today and were very tired. By 7:30, Noelle was definitely ready for bed, and my eyes are closing as I type. This week will begin the potty training bootcamp! Oh boy....I'm really scared. I know she will do well, but I think I am having a hard time letting go of my "baby." Giving up the paci made her look like such a big girl, but without diapers...? She basically isn't going to be a baby at all anymore! But...I will have a new baby to put diapers on a few months, and if we can go until then without buying diapers, then that is a good thing!

Overall, summer vacation has started off wonderfully, and I am going to enjoy each and every day.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A reflection

It's my last day of school. My room is quiet. My students have already spent a whole day doing whatever they want, and I have been working in my classroom, doing my best to clean and organize before I take a couple weeks off. Yes, I said a couple weeks, not 10 weeks, because I as well as nearly every other teacher I know continue to work throughout the summer. Just had to get that in there for all the doubters in the world.

Anyway-- I'm feeling reflective today. Almost emotional. I can blame the hormones, but really I think it's because I am filled with regret. When a school year comes to a close, you take a minute to stop and think about what you accomplished and what you didn't. I tend to focus on what I didn't accomplish-- what I set out to do, but didn't. What I hoped to achieve, but didn't. What I imagined myself doing, but didn't. This isn't the best way to think, but it is also where the biggest changes are made. Self-reflection is quite important in all areas of life, but in teaching, it is crucial. Teachers who no longer self-reflect are the teachers who are giving everyone else a bad name. Teachers who go on doing what they always have been doing just because it's easier, not because it's good for the kids. I have always been quite reflective and have never really been afraid of change. In fact, teaching is the one area of my life where I enjoy and embrace change. I love fresh, new ideas and strive to be the teacher that I would want for my very own children. 

All that said, I now know that I have a lot of work to do this summer on my own mental perspective. I spent the largest part of my school year counting down the minutes, hours, and days until it was over. I dealt with "mommy guilt" so much that I missed out on opportunities to grow and challenge myself as a teacher. I spent the better part of 9 months complaining to anyone who would listen about how tough my job is. My job is tough, and I know it is...but that should be good enough. I shouldn't have to paint a billboard that reads I WORK HARD. My hard work should speak for itself. 

Though I consider myself a good teacher with new ideas and a fresh perspective, I also consider myself to be a really great pity party thrower. This needs to stop. My dad congratulated me on finishing my 5th year of teaching and told me a rough estimate of how much money I've "made" since college. I quickly laughed and said that I have nothing to show for that. What a foolish statement that was. Aside from the material possessions I have accrued, such as buying a home, buying a car, buying a new camera, getting Noelle anything she could ever want, going to nice restaurants, having meals and clothes, putting gas in the vehicles, taking trips, and purchasing other luxuries that many people would really want, I also have achieved and experienced so much in my 5 years since college. A wedding, pregnancies, watching Luke graduate medical school, great memories with friends...the list goes on. When I look at it all in black and white, I feel quite rich, and quite stupid for making that comment.

Next year, I give myself permission to ENJOY my job and not to feel bad about being a working mother. I don't know how long I will be a working mother. I don't know how many years of teaching I have in me. I don't have a crystal ball and cannot predict the future. I don't want to pay for two in daycare. I don't want to be away from my babies. But this is a choice I am making-- yes, a choice. I could stay at home. In fact, I am only one of two wives in the entire residency who work outside the home. I could make it work on Luke's salary. We made it work on mine for 4 years. However, I am choosing to work because of the fact that I am  good at what I do, I enjoy the adult interaction, and I enjoy (when I let myself) teaching children. Of course I love being with Noelle, and of course I am dreading leaving my new one, but I know that my relationship with Noelle hasn't suffered because of me working. I know that she loves me and she knows that I love her. I know that as a mother, I have a really great career-- there are 365 days in a year and I work 185 outside the home. Not a lot of other jobs allow you to work half the year. This is a blessing, and why I have been overlooking it for so long is beyond me. 

I have been afraid of enjoying working outside the home because it feels like I should just be at home. It feels like I am making the wrong decision by being away from her and allowing "someone else to raise my child." It used to be that stay at home moms were judged because people didn't think they did anything all day except watch soap operas and do laundry (which of course I know that isn't true!), but now I feel like it's the working moms who face criticism because we're not home with our children and breastfeeding all day and blah blah blah. Why can't we as women just support each other? Why can't women who stay at home and women who work outside the home just recognize that we are all humans who contribute to society in our own ways, and we should be valued and respected because of that?? I'm guilty of it all, too...I'm talking to myself...but it's got to change.

I was searching the Internet for some classroom ideas just 20 minutes before starting this entry, and I came across a cute blog that got me all excited for teaching again in the fall. I  then saw the picture and the bio and realized it was a girl who I had known in college and am still Facebook friends with today. She is married and has a little girl, but she still had time to create a cute blog with all kinds of great ideas and sound really excited about her life and her career and her decision to teach despite having a little one at home. I was suddenly inspired by her to be that way-- to embrace everything and realize that I could be like that, too. I could still be head over heels in love with my children and husband, but I could also be a damn good teacher and it's OK to be both. It doesn't have to be either/or. 

So, I have a challenging road ahead of me. I know that my mindset will not change over night...but I know that with positive thinking and positive steps in the right direction, I can turn this around and look forward to a school year full of new ideas, new successes, and a new baby. :-) 

Monday, May 14, 2012


Hi Blog Friends!

I would like to squeal with unbridled excitement because...

I am getting a new camera! Well, it's a new, used camera! But it's new to me! And barely used! In fact, so barely used that it has only taken 6,000 photos. To put it in lay terms-- I take 1,000 photos in a session. So, basically this person did 6 sessions and called it a day.

And now it's MINE!

And now I'm POOR!

But it's MINE!

Luke was so kind to let me just dive in head first to an eBay auction that was too good to pass up! Not only do I get the camera, which if you want to hear the nerd talk, it's a 21 mega pixel Canon 5D Mk II...but I also get an extra batter, two wireless remotes, and some other fancy upgrades with all the original manuals, cords, and software.

I am sooo excited! This is perfect timing because I have plenty of summer sessions as well as my real life to photograph, and I am just dying to step my game up in the photography process. I'm so happy!

In other just as important news... three weeks from tomorrow, WE FIND OUT IF THE BABY IS A BOY OR A GIRL! :-)

OK... I'm done spreading my rainbow fairy dust and giggle powder throughout the Interwebs...for now.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I made a decision today. I made a decision that I have made over and over and over and over and over and over and OVER again...time and time again...time after time...

You get the point.

I say this a lot.

"I'm going to work out! I'm going to eat healthy! I'm going to lose weight!"

Now, before you gasp and say, "BUT YOU'RE PREGNANT! YOU CAN'T LOSE WEIGHT!"

Oh yes, Rookies. Yes, you can.

You see, the misconception is that you eat for two when you're pregnant, you give into every craving, you laze around and make your husband rub your feet, etc, etc, etc. End fantasy.

What really happens is if you follow this philosophy (like I did with Noelle), you end up 40 pounds overweight by the end of it all, you hate yourself in all the birth pictures, and you can't get the weight off to save your life. Or your child's life. And that's saying something.

And don't forget everyone tells you that breastfeeding will help you lose the weight faster. Not for me!

I was super active the last time. I did Zumba all the time, but my eating sucked and it showed. I still don't know how my face got even rounder than it is when I'm normal, but it did, and it was scary.

I vowed before I got pregnant again that I would shed the last 10-15 pounds, and that never happened. Now I am going into this pregnancy extra chubby, and I am refusing to let it get the best of me this time.

So....I took the first step and went to the gym. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and then walked 15 minutes on steep incline. It's no Zumba, but it was something, and I felt accomplished when I walked out of there.

I have made some vows for dietary changes and am looking forward to seeing the results. Before anyone goes all CPS on me...just know that this is FOR the baby. I am making a decision to be healthy, and the weight loss will be an added benefit.

Here we go...again...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Can't Hardly Wait

Oh hai....

Who has 2 thumbs and a baby with a heartbeat in the 160s? This girl! We had the 15/16 week appointment today, and 2.0 seems to be doing pretty well. I think next time I am going to make my doctor earn her pay by asking some weird questions and coming up with some crazy complaints because as of now, she barely has to do a thing! We go in, she puts the doppler on, we hear the baby cruising, and then she says "Any questions?" I never do...so...see ya in 4 weeks!

This next time, however, in 4 weeks....we get to have the BIG ULTRASOUND! Yippee!!!! I technically could have it in 3 weeks, but Luke made me wait a week so that our regular OB appointment and the ultrasound would be on the same day so as to save on the trips to Indy. Boo! I kind of wanted to punch him for making me wait another week, but I decided to take one for the team.

So, June 5 is the day! I am so excited and ready to know what this little human is inside of me. I feel like I am a total monster with this pregnancy-- obsessing over the sex of the baby and just acting like my arm will in fact fall off if I don't find out. I was so cool, calm, and collected with Noelle and we didn't even find out!

Anywho, that's about all that's newsworthy here. School is wrapping up, life is winding down, the baby's growing everyday, and I ate a giant baked potato for dinner. See...allllll that's newsworthy.