Thursday, March 30, 2006

I'm not dead...

I realize it's been awhile. I keep thinking that if I wait one more day, I'll be able to tell everyone how wonderful I feel. Sadly, it's now been about a week of "one more days." However, in the plus column, I am currently having a love affair with cashews and smoked almonds.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The 2nd trimester is in sight!

So, Wednesday wound up being this fabulous day. I went to the PT and she explained that I was doing my loosening up really early and that the two sides of my body were getting jiggy at different rates so, this was the cause of all that leg pain I've been having. She was very glad I came in now instead of waiting a couple of months, gave me 3 exercises to do, and wants to see me again next week. Also, I was finally hungry and found food appetizing again. I had an english muffin, peaches, popcorn, AND spaghetti and meat balls! It was a lovely day.

Thursday was less lovely but it does seem that someday I will actually be able to consistently eat again. I had begin to despair.

The only downside of the approaching 2nd trimester seems to be an increasing level of absentmindedness. I am still more on top of things that my dogs though, thank heavens! Every morning, Penny comes to check on me and as soon as I am in a sitting position she bounds onto the bed to inspect me and wait for my husband to call them down for their morning walk to the mailbox. He calls for them, Penny leaps off the bed and Shirley emerges from her dog bed for a nice stretch. Penny and Shirley then begin sniffing one another and sometimes make it as far as the top of the stairs before coming to a halt with no idea what it was they were on their way to do. My husband then calls then again and Penny will remember that there was to be a WALK. Shirley is a little dim and stands at the top of the stairs and listens to Allen call her for another minute or so before finally catching on. Since it's rare that I know what the puppies were planning to do when they set off on their adventures, I can only guess how many times a day they start off, only to completely forget what they set out to do. We should be quite the trio when pregnancy brain sets in in earnest.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Things are looking up!

We went to the ob yesterday and heard the baby's heartbeat- a strong 170!

My morning sickness seems to have had it's last grand hurrah on the misery that was Sunday. This morning I was able to drink coffee. Who knows, maybe tomorrow I'll get to tackle chocolate!

Temperatures are around freezing which is irritating in some ways but this has led to a rapid decrease in pollen so, I get a reprieve from sinus pain.

The ob cleared me to see a PT about my leg pain and I was able to get an appointment for Wednesday- yipee!

My pink eye soldiers on and is irritating but I managed to catch it early enough that it's at least bearable.

I have managed to sleep from 10pm until 5 am for two nights straight. Whoo!

I've also managed to reach a parenting milestone. I have reached my worry awareness limit. Someone brought up that I should be aware of my nitrates and raise my egg intake and I just didn't care. I have reached my upper limit. I am aware of artificial sweeteners, pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, listeria, salmonella, mercury, and a myriad of other potential hazards and I just can't cram anymore in so, science, you're on notice- there's no room at the inn.

In other areas, there is something I just have to get off my chest. I realize I have about 3 readers- perhaps less after my mega-whine on Sunday but, I must say it.

I was a special ed teacher. I have strong feelings about inclusion and it's many benefits for all children. It teaches all kids lots of great things like acceptance, flexibility, and social skills, among many other things. If children are encouraged to work in groups the brighter ones learn concepts better by having to find new ways to explain them to kids still struggling. If I have one more person tell me that inclusion is ruining their child's education because their child is gifted and the included kids are holding their child back, I won't be responsible for my actions. I am not saying that gifted ed in the current system is fabulous but, the problem isn't inclusion. The problem is that intelligence and achieving above the norm aren't generally valued in greater society no matter what anyone might say. Legally speaking, school systems are required to educate children sufficient to keep them at grade level, at no point are they required to educate them to their full potential. In fact, both students performing 2 standard deviations below AND those performing 2 standard deviations ABOVE the norm are theoretically part of the special education population. But, the funding, and hence the research, has been greatly focused on those students below the norm since, with the incredible scarcity of resources that comprises the educational research funding pool, the kids below the norm need the research just to survive and not be treated like livestock. In addition, implementation and best practice are two very different things so, before you slam inclusion, try to find out if your system or child's teacher is actually implementing it effectively and well. Find out who's structuring the program and what background they have. Inclusion looks completely different from one system to the next and there isn't much guidance or help given to help school systems figure out what works beyond murky and ill-funded regulations.

On a state and local level, kids far above the norm, are neglected through lack of funding for programs. In addition, identification is a nightmare with the many difficulties of deciding what means "gifted." Is it kids who have a high iq? What about cultural biases in testing? Do you include children who can barely read but are artistic prodigies? How do you deal with the politics of placating parents and teachers who are convinced a child is gifted when they might not be? How do you control for kids who's parents exposed them to all manner of cultural enrichment and look fabulous at 5 but not so great at 10?

At the same time, every parent feels that vocational prep is the death knell to their child's future when, in fact, a good number of plumbers make far more than my husband with the doctorate. In one of the great societal contradictions, we don't like anyone to get too far ahead of the pack but we don't want anyone to think we can't keep up either. So, every child winds up doing college prep and I had to fight tooth and nail to be able to teach some of my students pre-vocational skills like how to write a check instead of what a rhombus was. And, even if your child is gifted and might make a fabulous researcher, if he wants to be a fabulous carpenter instead, is that the end of the world? There's at least one carpenter that had a late career change and revolutionized the world.

Pulling your kid out of school and homeschooling doesn't change anything. Complaining doesn't change anything. Being at war with other parents doesn't help anyone. Being at war with teachers turns your greates allies into your foes. If you want better gifted ed vote for people who went to colleges you couldn't get into and use words you have to look up. Push for funding for the NSA over the NSF. Give the math team a pep rally and let the football players fend for themselves for a night. Fight for music programs. Give the kid wearing the weird clothes a job. As long as we're a country that votes for the plain talker and the good ol' boy on national, state, and local levels, gifted education will suffer. There's no reason why both forms of special ed can't be funded, studied, researched, and improved, but we have to stop loving toeing the line and fitting in first. I've heard lots of parents complain but, I also know who they voted for, and it wasn't the gifted candidate...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Shoot me now...

I decided to start substitute teaching again. I accepted 2 jobs. Both afternoon only. Both fairly light assignments. I told the student teacher I worked with on Thursday to keep an eye on one kid who had a pink eye. I wasn't sure if it was pink because of pink eye or if it was pink from him rubbing it or what. I then proceeded to silently curse the lack of sink in the portable the class was in and make a mental note for some quality Purell time ASAP. Guess what I came down with last night...

Pink eye!

My more effected eye is my right eye which is my "good" eye as I have an astigmatism. So, I'm actually legally blind at the moment without my glasses (lacking my good eye) but, if I wear my glasses, I get a headache from all the weirdness my brain experiences getting all it's input from my weak eye.

Over the course of the night I also discovered that I had "slept wrong" and it totally hurt to lie on my left side. But, my right leg was having some sort of sciatica issue which led to it being really painful to sleep on my right side or my back. Allergy season is kicking off and is showing a definite preference for my right sinus. I also developed a really fun fixation at about 5 am on how much I hated the color we decided to paint the master bathroom. Sleep was rather elusive...

Then, while my husband was taking the dogs to the mailbox and back there was even more fun. I had begun to feel rather nasty but decided that as I was at 12.5 weeks I simply refused to continue experiencing morning sickness on top of all the other misery of the past 8 hours and deduced that I must just need to burp. I was wrong. I was wrong on the bed, floor, trash can, and, finally, in the sink. Not only was I wrong but I was too blind to figure out which items needed to be washed as I had only had ginger ale thus far which is convienent for clean-up but clear and thus not so convenient for the blind to find.

So, I wound up sitting at the top of the stairs, a weepy, pink, itchy, nasty, sore, sleepy mess waiting for my husband to come back so he could help me on a puke hunt.

The doctor's office opens at 1. I am considering taking 1/2 a phenergan and just letting my pitiful self sleep until then.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

What Not to Wear

Today's first melt down came while I was trying to find some maternity clothing on-line. I've decided that I would like 1 pair of cargo pants, 1 pair of capris, and 1 pair of slightly nicer pants appropriate for teaching or church. I then looked at Motherhood Maternity, Gap, and Old Navy. I rapidly discovered that the stuff I like at Gap is either expensive or not in my size or only available in weird colors- what's the facination in dressing pregnant women in pink and lime green? Is khaki really that much to ask for? The Gap has a roll waistband that looks really comfy and will work for at least most of the pregnancy but they only offer it in a fraction of their pant offerings. Old Navy specializes in waist bands that apparently are only going to work for another 3 months and they don't have short in capris. Much trial and error has proven to me that if I can't get the capris in a short size, no amount of rolling and heel height can make it right. Motherhood Maternity has a good selection but a horrible return policy. Am contemplating becoming a hermit...

In other news, my body seems to be trying very hard to get me ready for never sleeping through the night. Starting since before I actually knew I was pregnant, I've had sleep issues. First, I was waking up at 5:00 every morning. I would eventually get back to sleep around 6. I then switched to needing to visit the potty 4 times a night. The newest alteration to my sleep schedule is that sometime between 2:30 and 3:30, I will wake up and be awake until 4:30 or 5:00. My body cycles the reason for waking. Some days I have mild cramping (always quickly goes away as soon as I prop my legs up). Some days I am super hungry. Some days I feel sick. It's a fun time I tell you! I then get to entertain myself be trying to decide if Shirley (11 year old beagle) or my husband is sniffling, snorting, snuffling, or snoring louder. Occasionally, I do manage to sleep through the night. I can't for the life of me figure out what's different on those rare occasions. It doesn't seem to have to do with nap or no nap, how much I ate before bed, my activity level, or any other discernible variable. Am contemplating becoming a hermit with her own, quiet bedroom with a queen size bed.

Friday, March 10, 2006


So, every time I tell anyone that I'm experiencing morning sickness (only after being specifically asked, generally) I'm given the same pieces of advice.

In random order:

Have you tried oyster crackers?

Eat saltines before you even sit up!

Drinking ginger ale can really help.

Just don't let yourself get hungry.

Less frequently:

Ginger/peppermint tea is helpful.

Have you tried the ginger altoids?

And, my favorite:

Just go for a walk and let the exercise help you through it. (Notably, this is from a woman who never actually had morning sickness and is having great difficulty understanding the struggle which is walking from my bed to the kitchen to get some nice, raisin bread in the morning.)

When given these suggestions, I have, thus far, tried to be polite and thankful for their suggestions. But, I've really almost reached my limit. I have been having morning sickness for 5+ weeks at this point. I have bought stock in gingerale and stock piled ginger tea. Ginger altoids have a permanent home in my purse. I have strategic soda deposits throughout the house so that I am never more than 10 steps away from bubbly goodness. I had a very close relationship with crackers until the doughy, nasty texture sitting in my mouth first thing in the morning revealed itself to be a "bad plan." While the suggestions may have been helpful if I had been raised in a land where no one had ever been pregnant before, during the first 3 days, at this point I just want to say "Duh!" Do people really, honestly think that they would be the first ones to suggest these things?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

We're Pregnant My Ass

I have noticed that as I experience pregnancy for longer and longer my feelings about the phrase "we're pregnant" are stronger and stronger as are my feeling about anything which suggests the non-carrying the baby person has a due date. I have actually snapped the head off of a young man who was telling me about his Uncle's due date. I had to ask how I could transfer delivery duties to my husband.

While I am fine with saying that my husband will be a father, we're expecting a baby, or we're expecting the baby to come at the end of September. However, I am very emphatic about the fact that my husband IS NOT experiencing mood swings, morning sickness, bloating, constant peeing, or dry eyes (yes, it's a pregnancy symptom). While he is very cognizant the distinction, I'm having a lot of trouble conveying the idea to many people who haven't actually been pregnant. Interestingly, those who have actually been pregnant understand the very clear distinction between pregnant person and not pregnant person. I rather feel that if the other party in the pregnancy can't feel attached to the pregnancy and baby without engaging in grammatical gymnastics then, perhaps more than a pronoun change is needed.

In other news, I have begun to preface any conversation with "I'm pregnant." I find this extremely helpful when I burst into tears for no discernible reason or completely lose track of the conversation.

And I have decided that one upside of pregnancy is that I always have someone to talk to. Somehow, I think this won't seem nearly as nice when the baby is 3 and following me into the bathroom.