August 24, 2013

baby griki update: weeks 26, 27, and 28!

Weeks 26, 27, and 28

Week 26
Allison and I started week 26 off by spending the day camped out by the pool while Grant studied for his LEED exam.  I got the rest of my stuff put away in my classroom and got to spend the rest of the week running errands and relaxing.  Baby is now moving around a ton.  She's kicking and rolling all the time and sometimes I feel like if my feet weren't firmly planted I might actually move!

Week 27
We kicked off the week with my glucose test on Friday and a trip to labor and delivery on Saturday.  Thankfully I passed the glucose test and don't have to worry about gestational diabetes.  But after not feeling well for a whole day, my ob sent me to labor and delivery to see what was going on.  After monitoring me for five hours and running some tests, they decided I just had an infection that a quick round of antibiotics over the next week would fix.  Grant and I decided that more than anything baby is probably just as type A as we are and really she just wanted a preview of what is to come in November.  Although the trip was stressful, it was actually probably a good thing because we were able to spend thirty minutes with a nurse while she entered all of my allergies and medical history into their computer system.  I would much rather do this now than in the middle of contractions in November.  The rest of the week was pretty quiet...just finishing up projects before the start of work! Although I did start to have some tachycardia issues towards the end of the cardiologist says this is to be expected until baby arrives.  And the week ended with New Teacher Orientation.  So so excited to be back teaching at our high school. 

Week 28
We finally made it to the third trimester!!! Can't believe our baby girl will be here in less than three months.  Week 28 was filled with more tachycardia and POTS related issues; but it was also officially the first week of work!  The first three days were Summer Institute followed by a day of Whole District Staff Development and one day of Campus Staff Development.  Grant passed his LEED exam with flying colors! We also had our first baby class...Pain Management for Labor and Delivery.  It was a good class but I could have done without the pictures and diagrams... I continued to struggle with tachycardia issues and feeling crummy in general.  I attribute a large portion of this to just getting back in the swing of things with work, but after feeling winded during even the shortest conversations when I'm sitting down, we called the cardiologist.  It looks like I'm now dealing with two issues..increased tachycardia and low blood pressure (hypotension).  The best possible treatment would be way more fluids and increasing my salt intake...fingers crossed it works!  But the best news of the week is that Gordon was accepted into Stanford Law School and will be staying in California!!! We are SO excited!

August 12, 2013

Home Tour....finally!

It's hard for us to believe that we've been back living in California for over FIVE months now.  Time has certainly flown by and we are racing towards a new school year, fall, the holidays, and the arrival of our baby girl.  Absolutely my most favorite time of the year.  But since a long, long, longggg time ago I said I would post pictures of our apartment for our friends in TN...I decided I should actually get this post together before I start teaching.  So here it goes...

Downstairs we have the half bathroom, kitchen, family room and dining room.

Half Bathroom


Family Room

Dining Room

Upstairs we have the guest room (now NURSERY!), full bath, and master bedroom.

Guest Room (nursery pictures coming soon!)
You can tell from the photos that by the time I actually took photos 
we had already started acquiring pieces for the nursery!


Master Bedroom

Both the upstairs and downstairs have balconies because we actually have a one bedroom apartment below us.  We are blessed to have a ton of storage and all we have to do to access the laundry room is walk right out our front door.  We really love our apartment and it definitely feels like home now!

August 11, 2013

Back to School: My New Classroom!

The last time I posted about my new classroom (at the time...) was in July 2011.  At the time, I thought I'd be teaching there for at least two or three years while Grant was stationed at Fort Campbell.  And although life and my body cut that experience short much more quickly than I anticipated.  I did love that classroom.  In the midst of a crazy move across country and a life change that had me shift around my job, my family, and my friends, that classroom felt like my space.

However, my new classroom is so much better.  Being back at our old high school feels right.  And although I liked high school, I wouldn't rush back to relive it anytime soon.  But Grant and I still have really great friends from our time there, and this one time, he showed up in my classroom and changed my life.  That whole down on one knee thing definitely solidifies the sentimental value this place holds for us.

We set up my room earlier this summer in order to start converting our guest room/storage room to the nursery.  So here's the new room...

The front of the right wall.

The back part of the right wall.

The back wall.

The back part of the left wall.

The front part of the left wall.

The front of the room.

Can't believe I report back to work on Friday! And that the next time I take a break from teaching will be to HAVE A BABY.

August 9, 2013

If I Had My Life to Live Over

(written after she found out she was dying from cancer).

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, 'Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.' 

There would have been more 'I love you's' More 'I'm sorry's'

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute, look at it and really see it live it and never give it back. STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF!!!  Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what.  Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.

***This draft has been sitting around for a while.  Not sure where it came from...most likely an email someone sent me***

August 8, 2013

Post Traumatic West Creek Disorder

Teaching in Tennessee was supposed to be my thing. Grant had the Army and the Army was our reason for moving to Clarksville; but I had picked a career that was available and needed everywhere. I planned and researched the transition. I had my letters of rec in, my application submitted months ahead of our move, and had passed all the Praxis tests to have my credential be valid in Tennessee.

Leaving my job in California was the hardest thing about moving behind leaving my family and friends. I was lucky enough to have a full time Special Education teaching job at the only school I had ever wanted to teach at. It's where Grant and I met. It's where he proposed. It's where I first stepped into a high school classroom as a teacher, not a student. It was the best place to start my career and I never would have left if life had not had other plans for me.

But life did, and in July I finally got a phone interview for the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System. After that interview, my application was released to all principals with open Special Education positions. Basically it's first come, first serve. Whichever principal can contact you, being you in for an interview, check your references and offer you a job has the best chance of you choosing to work at his or her site.  When West Creek High School called me in for an interview I was beyond excited.  I had heard good things about the school from two different people in Clarksville and I knew it was basically brand new.  The interview went great and a few hours later I was hired.  You can read about that day here.

We set up my classroom, I went through all the training, and I survived the first week.

From there, the whole experience was a complete and total let down.  In retrospect, I think the experience was largely tainted by the fact that I was incredibly sick with my still to be diagnosed POTS...however, the other two young women I was friends with left the school after that year...and as of this summer both Emily and I could have reapplied for our jobs since those positions were once again open...

I never thought I'd be teaching at a school where students were trying to fight and/or make drug deals in my classroom. I never thought I would walk into my classroom to find the campus police officer (who was covering my class) discussing the legal amount of drugs that could be found on my students instead of making sure they were on task. These are obviously extreme examples of what my life was like, but they did happen, and they were reported to my administration.  On one day in particular, when students were making drug deals in my class and I called the administration to have someone come down and remove the students, no one ever came.  At the end of the period, I walked down to follow up and my principal started laughing. She thought the whole situation was entertaining.  I could share many more examples, but they would only further highlight the miserable situation I was in.

While I was devastated to have to medically resign my job, I am extremely thankful I got out of that situation before it presumably got much worse.  When we moved home and I started long term subbing this past spring, I was actually anxious about going back in the classroom.  It didn't matter that I've been in a classroom since West Creek; I still kept thinking about that horrible experience.  Fortunately, I was quickly reminded about how much I love teaching and that my time at West Creek was really just a horrible situation.  But it certainly did make me appreciate my teaching situation here even more.  I couldn't be more excited to be back home about to start a new school year.

August 5, 2013

baby griki update: weeks 23, 24, and 25!

 Weeks 23, 24, and 25

Week 23:
Week 23 started off with a kick! Actually lots of powerful kicks.  We can now see my whole stomach move when baby kicks.  Grant's hopeful this means she'll be a soccer player.  With baby moving around so much, we were motivated to build the last piece of furniture for her room...her crib!  But when we opened the box, we discovered that the crazy Ikea people in Sweden only sent us half the parts we needed.  I guess after having a bagillion pieces of Ikea furniture in our apartment, it's pretty surprising that this was the first time we had this happen to us...but still frustrating.  So off to Ikea we went to pick up more parts...only when we got there...they were out of some of the parts.  So we had to call the customer service hotline and have the parts shipped from Sweden.  One more trip to Ikea during week 23 and we have almost everything we need for the nursery!

With the summer heat my fingers and feet have been swelling, so I'm just wearing my engagement ring for the time being and finding lots of great excuses to prop my feet up!  No crazy pregnancy symptoms this week except for the most ridiculous case of Restless Leg Syndrome.

Week 24:
Baby was still moving around lots this week.  So far her most favorite meal has been french toast for dinner.  She was dancing around like crazy for about 30 minutes after we ate.  Our parts from Ikea FINALLY ARRIVED!! So the crib is built...most of the decorations are complete.  Can't wait to share the nursery with all of you in October when it's finished! My family surprised up with our stroller this week so now it's feeling like we have actuallll baby things in our house instead of just decorating a room for a little girl to come live with us.

Still craving lots of sweet things...peaches, plums, cinnamon sugar...No restless leg syndrome this week, but maybe must have been growing lots because I was exhausted! And baby got herself all twisted around on Wednesday which left me with the most horrific lower back pain.  Thankfully she moved around and by Thursday morning I was feeling much better.  I'm obviously looking pregnant...but the man at the Dry Cleaners asked me if I was having twins since I'm "so big!".  For the record, I'm measuring exactlyyyyyyy at 24 weeks thank you very much.

I finished my lesson plans for the year so it was off to Lake Tahoe for a few days of rest and relaxation...

Week 25:
Week 25 was spent mostly relaxing in Lake Tahoe.  Baby had her first trip to the beach and loved relaxing in the sun.  Once my stomach got warm she would start moving around...she enjoyed the cold lake water much less and stopped moving each time I went in the water.  Grant and I had fun watching all the little kids at the beach, knowing that baby will be old enough to try and eat the sand while playing on the beach next year. I finished the week off by spending a little more time in my classroom getting ready for my students!
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