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Is this thing on?

**tap tap tap**

(blows dust off computer)

I haven’t blogged in 4 months.  And in those 4 months, I’ve made some pretty major life changes that I wasn’t really at liberty to discuss until they were in place. 

I quit my job early this summer so that I can stay at home with Lila.  Y’ALL, I was SO torn about this because I really loved my job.  I didn’t love grading papers until late at night but, that was just part of the job so I did it.  However, I have to admit that my life is much less stressful now that I’m staying at home.  I’m finding that since I am choosing to stay at home, versus not having a choice and being forced to stay at home due to lack of a job, that I’m much happier than I was years ago when I was in grad school and not working.  I fell apart for about a year as I was home all day and schooling it up at night.  Now, I find that I’m thriving a bit.  I don’t know that I necessary enjoy cleaning the house, BUT I enjoy having the time to do it.

I am still working, which makes me feel like I’m still using my Masters degree.  Alabama is still a part of a grant for the AP program, and they will be paying me to teach at Saturday prep sessions for AP students.  I am pretty stoked about this, even though the few weekends I’m working happen to coincide with the weekends Joel is either going out of town for the Auburn games or working all weekend.  This is leaving me with the stress of finding a babysitter and dealing with that, but that’s ok. 

SO, in my new job of staying at home, I’m going to start blogging more.  It really does help to clear my mind, and to be honest, I’ve missed it.

MIA

I didn’t blog the entire months of March or April so here’s what happened in those months.

March

I spent the entire month stressing out about getting my sub plans together for my maternity leave.  Having a sub come in for one day is pain but having to plan out entire days for two months?  It’s stressful.  Thankfully, I have a great sub who I knew who would be completely competent no matter where I left off.  BUT, I still wanted to have things planned for her.  I planned out my AP classes (practically down to the  minute) but then told her she could take my 10th grade class and run with it so long as a few specific items were done.  It was nice being able to give her the freedom and knowing that she’d be great.  Then Spring Break came and I said good-bye to my kids and prepped for having this baby.  I saw The Hunger Games and I really liked it a lot.  Sure, it’s not as good as the book, but I didn’t expect it to be.  The entire novel is told from inside Katniss’s head, so unless they were going to do lame voice-overs, it was going to practically be impossible to really get the same emotional depth like you got from the novel.  That being said, I thought it was a great interpretation of the novel.

April

I was due to have Lila on April 4.  My mother-in-law flew across the world and landed in Huntsville on April 2 in anticipation for the baby’s arrival.  She was fantastic in cooking and cleaning and prepping for Lila.  As the days passed on, I started to get more and more antsy and it was wonderful having another person here to think of things like dinner and eating.  Besides someone needed to take care of Joel who was apparently falling apart at the same time.  He was much better at keeping his stress under wraps and not letting me know.  As every day passed, he got more and more stressed out about me and the baby and the health of both of us.   Anyway, I FINALLY had the baby mere hours before I was supposed to be induced.  I’m going to write a separate entry on that experience at some point.

May

My goal is to spend time blogging and making sure I have my own alone time.  It’s going to be something I definitely need while staying at home taking care of another helpless human being 24 hrs a day.  SO – new goal: blog during nap time.

So is this kharma?

Damn me for saying that October would be my easy  month.  I think after writing the last post, my life became more hectic than normal.  I went and planned a trip to NYC with my husband and parents.  The next week I was gone for the state volleyball tournament – which was SUPER exciting.  Can I just say that being there and becoming completely wrapped up in everything truly makes you forget that this is high school volleyball.  In the scheme of life, none of it really matters.  But when you are there?  With hundreds of girls playing their hearts out with hundreds of their classmates watching?  IT IS ALL THAT MATTERS.  Our varsity team did an amazing job and ended up placing second in the state in our 5A division.  I am SO proud.  They played as hard as they could, but ended up losing the match to a private school from Mobile.  Now, I have mixed feelings about this.  One – they played great!  Those girls were truly a wonderful team.  There were many times where we were genuinely outplayed.  Two – BUT, they are a private school.  Those coaches there are allowed to recruit girls from all over the city, which has helped establish this school as a volleyball powerhouse.  They have won the state championship for the past 5 years, so they walked into that arena with utter confidence and pride.  Our girls knew they were in for a fight.

The most heartbreaking part about it all – and the part where you can’t say Oh, it’s just a game – happened when our girls finished slapping hands and saying good game to the other team.  They all turned around and burst into tears.  It was excruciating to watch them struggle with a huge loss – and you want to say BUT YOU DID SO GREAT!!!!  YOU ARE SECOND!!!  But second place sucks when you watch someone else take the 1st place trophy.

Anyway, the girls regrouped and we had a great bus ride back full of high spirits.

The day after I got home, Joel’s siblings all came into town and stayed with us for the weekend.  It was a FULL house this weekend. 

Oh, then today, I was oddly looking forward to my dental appointment at 7:30 am, since I had to miss my last appointment for volleyball.  I’m “on the top of the cancellation list” so supposedly I get the first call when an appointment comes up.  They called last week and asked if I wanted an appointment for today so I say YES but let me call you back after I clear it with my principal.  I cleared – everything was good to go.  Except, they claim I never called back to confirm.  I SWEAR I DID.  I left the dentist with rage and tears as I sped to school.  Because now I was late for school (which I was going to be anyway) but I still had dirty (in theory) teeth.  What pisses me off though, is that they keep harping on how I MUST get my teeth cleaned now that I’m pregnant and yet I can’t get a freakin appointment to save my life.  Who seriously books appointments for EVERY client 6 months in advance and has 90% of them keep them?!  But don’t worry – they moved my appointment from April (the week I was due to give birth – I had to explain that getting my teeth cleaned would be the absolute last thing on my mind) to a random morning in February.  Also, have no fear, but I am still “at the top of the cancellation list.”  Whoopdie freaking do.

THIS IS ALL DUE TO ME SAYING MY LIFE WOULD CALM DOWN IN OCTOBER.  Well, calendar, you win.  Let’s just hope things calm down eventually. 

P.S. – I promise to stop writing about how busy I am, because I KNOW it’s annoying.  It annoys me too.

Plus one equals 5

So while this isn’t “public” news yet, aka it’s not on Facebook yet (and therefore, according to my sister-in-law, isn’t “public” news), there is going to be an addition to our family.  For once, it doesn’t involve another animal.  As shocking as it sometimes is to me, Joel and I are going to have a baby coming this way next April.  There have been so many emotions and thoughts that frequently flood my thoughts.  Next spring I’ll be responsible for a little baby – a LIFE.  I sure hope all the other mothers out there have gone through the same barrage of emotions: shock, excitement, awe, worry, anxiety, cloud nine, etc.  Joel has had pretty much one emotion: happiness.  When I decided to tell him, I bought him a little gift with a yellow baby outfit (gender neutral of course) inside.  He was ecstatic.

First verbal thoughts, “Do you know if it’s a boy or a girl??” [pause] “Oh…I guess it’s too early.”  The smile never left his face.

It’s been kind of fun not telling people for a while.  It’s like I have this great little secret (which can quickly be exposed if you work with me and start noticing how tight all of my tops are getting).  I’m still on the fence about wanting to know the gender.  For years, I’ve sworn I would not find out.  Joel, on the other hand, is dying to know the sex.  And now that it’s come to actually dealing with this issue?  I’m so SO tempted to just find out and get everything either blue or pink.  Besides, SO many clothes are either pink or blue.  It’s almost impossible to find true gender neutral clothing in a color other than white and yellow.

Joel’s trying to convince me by using an analogy that…doesn’t quite click with me.

Would you rather have a gift on Christmas or in July?

Well, it’s the fall, so I’d rather have a gift at Christmas.  But my birthday is before Christmas, so you could give me a gift then if you wanted…

No, you’re missing the point.  Do you want a gift on Christmas or in July?

I’d like a gift right now.

What makes a gift more special – getting it on Christmas or in July.

It depends on what time of year it is.  Right now I’d say Christmas, but if it was June then I’d answer July.

[sigh] You aren’t getting this.

Nope, didn’t think so.

Christmas is already its own special day – kinda like the birth of a kid.  Getting a gift before Christmas is even more fun – kinda like finding out the sex before it’s born.

Why didn’t you just say that in the first place?

Communication at its finest right there.

Plus, naming a kid?  Holy cow.  Talk about a big deal.  It is so hard being a teacher and trying to name a kid.  Every name has some sort of face attached to it – and usually it’s one where I dread my kid being named after him/her.  I don’t think Joel will actually take naming a kid seriously until/if we find out the sex.  Whenever I ask him what names he likes, he starts naming characters from either ridiculous television shows or video games.  Now I’m just thinking that he’s screwing with me on the whole thing.

So earlier in those posts when I was moaning about being tired?  Yeah…I’m pretty sure that was also baby related. YES, it had something to do with the 14+ hr work days but when I feel like I needed 10+ hrs of sleep a night, working that much was draining in so many ways.  It’s been amazing that I survived this fall/volleyball season so far without a glass of wine.  Last year, it was a constant in my life: Come home late. Joel hands off a glass of wine.  He commands me to sit.  And I gear up for the next day.

It’s exciting to think that next year, all of us, dogs included, will be adapting to this new little force which has yet to be reckoned with.  I’m going to start placing bets as to who freaks out the  most about all the changes.  So far, my money is on the dog.

…and I’m still here

I hate hate HATE that it’s been 3 weeks since I last blogged.  School is killing me.  I’m the JV Volleyball coach again this year, and I swear we are playing more games and tournaments than ever.  3 days a week we have games (usually involving at least a 30 min drive outside of town) and every Saturday we play in tournaments.  This has been going on for the past 2 months and I kid you not when I say that I can’t do this for much longer.  I am gone from the house about 14 hours a day, which (along with some other things) is leaving me in a constant state of exhaustion.  It all ends at the end of this month.  Dear October, I’ve never yearned for you so badly.

Enough whining.

Joel and I are attempting to go organic.  Geez, I feel like a snob just writing that, but let me emphasize the attempt of it all.  We buy green cleaners, organic milk and eggs, organic chicken, and usually aim for hormone free meat all together.  But I still can’t make myself truly give up all the yumminess that involves high frutose corn syrup.  I don’t drink soft drinks with it in it, but after watching Food Inc. so many times, I KNOW HFCS is in everything.  Literally – everything.  It’s almost scary.  But the thought of completely switching to shopping only at Earth Fare overwhelms me in many ways – not just dealing with the prices either. 

For so long, we stayed away from sugar and usually involved some sort of artificial sweetner (Splenda or Sweet-n-Low – which YES I know is bad for you but I cannot help nor will I deny how much I like it).  I keep reading how this sweetner is terrible for your body and then a few months later, it seems like the sweetner that was deemed acceptable is now going to end up killing you with cancer.

We eat a lot of simple meals involving fresh meats and veggies with some sort of carb (because I literally cannot function without carbs).  I want to make sure I’m putting the best nutrients in my body.  I’ve never been great at watching everything I eat, mainly because I’ve always been a smaller frame so I focused more on my size instead of actual food.  In college I could eat junk all the time, but I worked out enough to burn all the calories.  I didn’t really care what I put in my body as long as I fit in my jeans.

But now, things have changed.  So we need a little guidance.  What do you do to continue putting healthy food in your body?

Huntsville Bloggers at it Again

Hey!

So I’m a part of this really cool group in Huntsville named Rocket City Bloggers.  We are having a carnival with some awesome posts from bloggers in the community about why we love our town.  I love reading all of the different posts because it reminds me of WHY I have fallen in love with such a wonderful place.

Check it out!

http://heathershints.com/2011/09/07/the-best-of-huntsville-a/