Sunday, April 29, 2012

Oh What Do You Do on Maternity Leave?

Remember that old primary song, "Oh what do you do in the summertime..."? I have been singing that to myself this week, but I changed the words. Here's my version:

Oh, what do you do on maternity leave
when the baby has yet to be born?
Do you waddle around, and look at the mound
that is your growing belly?
Is that what you do? So do I!

Actually, this past week has been great (though I am flabbergasted when I look at the above picture and realize how big this baby is getting). I've had time to clean, shop, and otherwise get things ready for the baby. I have even found the energy to complete on several projects that I had been planning. Here are some of my recent successes:

Car seat cover for our little guy! I love that the lions on the fabric say "ROAR" and the giraffes say "Hello down there!" So fun!

Nursing cover...practical and cute!

And...the biggest accomplishment of all...I finally finished the quilt that my sisters & I have been working on for almost a year for our nephew. Hooray for online video tutorials that taught me how to bind a quilt, and hooray for endless episodes of Monk that kept me company while I hand-stitched the binding on the back side. It was a really neat project to see come together in the end, and I hope Damon gets some good use out of the quilt. It's in the mail and on its way to him as we speak!

I have more projects in mind for this week, but we'll see how far I get before baby boy decides it's time to come. Five days until my due date. This is starting to feel real...and surreal...and exciting. Wish us luck. I think we're going to need all we can get. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It Was the Best of Times. It Was the Worst of Times.

But, mostly, it was the best of times.

As I make the transition from full-time teacher and wrangler of teenagers to home-maker and soon-to-be-mom, I have reflected back on all of the adventures I've had with my students. Teaching is by far the hardest thing I've ever done, definitely harder than I realized as a bright-eyed student at BYU. Still, it's been one of the most rewarding things I've done, and I can't imagine a better career to have spent my time and effort pursuing over the last six years.

There are times I have wanted to pull my hair out, moments I have shaken my head in disbelief at the words that come out of my students' mouths, and instants where I haven't been able to help laughing out loud. Many days, all three of these happen, and that's one of the reasons I love being a teacher. It's never boring.

I learn so much from my students each day. Here is some of the "wisdom" that I have gathered from their writing...

A friend will walk away from you when you get annoying. A true friend will tackle you and duct tape your mouth shut.

The more I learn about boys, the more I like my dog. (I hope she changes her opinion on that, but not for a few years...she's only 12).

On a scale of one to Prussia, I'm Prussia.

Hopefully, I've taught them something, too. I've gotten some interesting questions over the years, such as...

Are there elephants in the Mojave Desert? (not naturally)

Can we skateboard in your classroom? (no)

Is Mexico in the United States? (not yet)

What's that thing called with the dot and the comma? (a semi-colon)

Last week, I found myself laughing as I considered the question I had just asked two boys in the hall (I only laughed after I was out of their presence, mind you):

"What possessed you to think that picking someone up by the legs and swinging them upside down in circles in the middle of a crowded hallway at lunchtime was a good idea?" 

His answer: "I don't know."

And I know he was telling the truth. If I have learned only one thing from six years of teaching, it is that seventh grade boys often don't know why they just did something idiotic, dangerous, or otherwise completely unhelpful. Is it bad that I'm getting used to it? 

So, here's to the over 1100 students I've had walk through my doors over the years. I've certainly learned from you, my scholars. I hope I taught you something worthwhile in return. And if you didn't learn what a semi-colon is, I hope you learned the far more important lesson that learning is always possible, often important, and can be fun if you let it be.

Maybe I'll be back in the classroom someday. Until then, I'll be teaching (and learning) in a whole new setting.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The View From Here

Here's what I've been looking at recently:
Actually, the funny part is that I had to lean over so you would be able to see my feet in this picture. I definitely feel like a big, round ball of baby these days. We're making final preparations for our bundle of joy, and the view around our apartment has changed a bit.

Until last weekend, this was our office/guest room/storage room. Now, the computer is in the living room and our storage has been cleaned out (or at least redistributed). The room is still not fully decorated, but it's at least functional for now.
It weirds me out to see a stroller and car seat in our apartment. It weirds me out even more when I realize that in a few weeks they will be occupied!
And, just for added cuteness, can you say, "Helloooo cute owls"? After examining the picture, I questioned whether the eyes make them look a bit creepy, but I've decided they're still adorable.
Ready or not, here we go!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Dear Baby Boy,

I am sorry Daddy and I still haven't named you, but do you have to get back at me by doing hand stands on my hip bones? Also, in case you haven't figured it out by now, you will not be able to escape through my belly button. You're just going to have to be patient; in due time, a better way out will present itself.

Good news, though: Daddy and I finally bought you a crib last week, and (after much research and discussion) we've decided on a car seat and stroller, too. That means the hospital will actually let us take you home! We even promise to name you by then.

I'm not sure I can promise that your room will be completely cleaned and decorated by the time you come, but I'm working on it. Really, it's up to you. If you wait until your due date like a good little boy, I'm more likely to finish all the projects on my list. Daddy keeps trying to tell me that you really won't care if there is artwork on your wall or if the decor is color-coordinated, and maybe he's right, but I sense that you have an appreciation for aesthetically appealing spaces. You are going to have some cute clothes and lots of books to read, too, thanks to the generosity of a lot of people. I hope you remember to thank them someday.

My big (and growing bigger daily) boy, I'm so excited for you to join our little family. I can't wait to see your face and snuggle you tightly. Most of all, I can't wait to see your daddy hold you. Oh, and I'm sorry about the earthquake he created for you yesterday; he just likes to see and feel you move.

I'll see you soon (but let's not jump the gun)!