Friday, August 31, 2007

My Brain Hurts!

Well, the first week of school is behind me, and I am still alive. I can't remember ever being this tired before, and it's not because I'm not sleeping at night. Thanks to my friend Ambien, I've been getting eight solid hours of rest.

Teacher work week was nothing exciting; we had meetings at school, a half-day of staff development on a topic that didn't relate to what I teach, convocation with all the district employees, and Meet the Teacher night. It was fun to see my friends again, but having to be somewhere for eight hours at a time is so tiring! Most of my kids showed up for Meet the Teacher, and I sat on a stool in the hall. I did have a few parents who seemed concerned about me being pregnant, but I expected that.

Mom and Dad came back last Thursday and brought Zach home. It was his birthday, along with his Meet the Teacher. Darren and I took him to his school that evening, and we really liked his teacher. Afterward, we took him to dinner at a Japanese place for his birthday. Mom and Dad watched Zach on Friday, then went home that evening. Last Saturday, we went to school for a while to work, then hung out on Sunday.

Whoever decided to start school on a Monday needs to be shot! It is so hard for both the kids and teachers to settle back into a routine, and five days is WAAAAYYY too long to have to do that at once. Our bus situation was horrible, as it always is the first week, so kids are coming in halfway through class in the morning, and some buses aren't leaving until almost 5:30 in the evening. That's a long day for a child who is not used to that kind of schedule! We had our usual collect supplies, tour the school, set up binders, and deal with paperwork first day, then spent two days teaching the school rules and procedures to the students. That went smoothly, then I started actually teaching yesterday. One of my classes has some REALLY low kids in it, and they are very hard to teach. It's going to be a rough year with them, simply because I am not experienced at teaching those kind of kids, and I feel sorry for the ones who are on grade level and will have to sit and wait while I slow down the pace for the others. I am not the most patient person, so I hope that I don't do a disservice to those kids this year. I brought tons of stuff home to work on this weekend, but I can't even think about taking it out of the car until tomorrow. I need a mental break!

I went to the doctor yesterday, and I am measuring at 36 weeks. I lost weight again, even though I am eating like crazy. She did an ultrasound, and the baby has settled into position. I am scheduled to be induced on Friday, September 28th, which is my doctor's birthday. I plan to work until Friday the 21st, then stay home until December 17th. I have my sub, and my leave has been approved. All that's left to do is write twelve weeks of lesson plans, and wash the baby clothes. My sister-in-law is giving me a shower next Saturday, and it sounds like there will be a lot of people there.

I'm too tired to write any more. Further bulletins as events warrant.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I MIght Have a Date!

After too little sleep and much heartburn, I went to the doctor this morning for my weekly visit. I had to wait over an hour, because she had to leave and do an emergency C-section (I was sorta jealous). When she finally came in, we discussed my insomnia, for which I got an Ambien prescription, going back to work tomorrow, for which I got a note saying that I can't ride school buses, lift anything over ten pounds, or stand up for long periods of time, and how long she is going to let me go before inducing. Three of my friends who are currently pregnant, and due after me, have already gotten dates, and I am jealous! I am such a control freak that I even want to plan when my baby's birth will happen. There are so many things to coordinate: Mom and Dad coming in, a substitute for my classroom, Darren's vacation time, etc.

The doctor said that I can pick any date after 38 weeks to be induced. If I manage to work until September 21st, I will be able to take off work until January 2nd. That is what I REALLY want to do, but I know these things don't always go as planned. 38 weeks falls on September 24th, my birthday, so I was thinking September 26th or 28th. I wanted to make it to October, but I don't care anymore. We can't make it official until a week in advance, so maybe I'll change my mind before then. Who knows.

I guess I need to go and use my last day of freedom to its potential. I feel like I have wasted so much time already today, and my body is telling me to go and lie on the couch and watch some TLC. I will try very hard not to give in to that, and instead make sure the house is picked up, laundry is done, and there is food in the kitchen. Wish me luck!

Missing my Little Buddy

Zach's birthday weekend went well. We survived the party, and during said party, I realized that there is no way I could ever teach first grade. Those little boys are ever-moving bundles of energy! Do their desks come with seat belts? This was before they had sugar! Anyway, I think everyone had a great time, and Zach seemed to be pleased with all of the new toys that he received. After the party, some of his cousins came over to play, we went to dinner, then came home and started assembling all of those new toys. Four or five hours later, I had his new MP3 player loaded with the soundtracks to High School Musical and High School Musical 2, and we had explored the world of Webkinz. Zach wore my dad out with his requests of assembling Legos and Transformers, and I realized that boys' toys just don't appeal to me. Zachary then stayed awake until after 1 am; I have no idea how he was able to do that. He was so excited to have an "iPod" like Mom and Dad's, and he laid in bed, singing along to the songs.

Today, my parents went back home to Louisiana, and took Zach with them. He had been somewhat apprehensive about it all week, because we have been together non-stop since we all returned from vacation on June 9th. Zach wanted to know why he had to go to Gammy and Poppa's without me, and why I couldn't just get a baby-sitter for him. He's always loved going to their house, but I guess with a new baby on the way, he's unsure about a lot of things. I go back to work on Tuesday, and don't have childcare this week, so Mom and Dad offered to take him to Lafayette with them. They'll be back on Thursday, which is his actual birthday and "Meet the Teacher" night, so it won't even be a full week.

We packed up his suitcase this morning, and I managed to convince him to leave some of the new toys here. He had a little fit right before they left, but by the time the Suburban was loaded, Zach had his DVD player going, had some gumballs and his blanky, and was ready to go. He did request a picture of Darren and me to take with him, and wanted to know our phone number in case he got lonely and wanted to call.

Darren and I didn't know what to do with ourselves this afternoon. Should we take a nap? Go shopping? The possibilities were endless! In the end, we sat around and read for a few hours, until we decided to go shopping for a new computer mouse and go to dinner. It was so strange, not having anyone asking non-stop questions and demanding my attention. Darren and I were able to go to a restaurant and sit down and talk. Weird. By the time we returned home, we were both missing him. I am so unused to being alone, but I am sure I will enjoy the quiet time this week. I can't wait until Thursday, though.

Tomorrow, or later today, I have my weekly OB appointment, then I can't decide if I should go to school or not. I don't have to be there until Tuesday, and I should make the most of my last day of freedom. I'll probably end up cleaning or doing some laundry, and not anything fun. If I don't stay home, there's a meeting at school at 2:00 to discuss a new program that we are trying; a "boot camp" of sorts the first week of school to get the students familiar with our procedures. I'd kind of like to be a part of that, so maybe I'll come home after the doctor, then only go to school for the meeting. Decisions, decisions...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Update on Previous Post

I went back upstairs an hour later, and not much progress had been made in the room. The TV was on, as well, which was a MAJOR no-no. I disconnected the TV, then sat down to watch Zach clean. I finally caved in and helped him, and amazingly, he got it done. It took all afternoon, and pre-empted any other plans I had for today, but at least that room is clean, and he has room for new toys this weekend.

Now, who wants to buy a set of metal (pre-lead) Thomas trains and accessories, and a Geo Trax set? I'll make you a great deal...

Going Psycho

If you're one of the two or three people (thanks for your support) who has been reading this blog this summer, you know that I have been working really hard to clean and organize my house. It seems to be getting smaller by the day, and a major contributor to that feeling is my son, Zachary. He has an art desk in the corner of my dining room that I have organized, toys in a metal bucket in our den, a bookshelf in the hallway upstairs, and his room and closet full of toys. I would rather everything be kept upstairs, but we just don't have that kind of room, nor do we have an extra room to turn into a playroom. Zach watches way too much TV, and doesn't play with most of his toys. What he does play with, he drags downstairs in the den, and plays with them in front of the TV. When I ask him to take his things upstairs and put them away, he either throws them in his closet, or in the middle of his room. I don't clean in there often, because I get too angry.

Zach's birthday party is this Saturday. I am sure he will be receiving many more toys, so I decided that this was the week where we would make room for those new toys. I sat him down this morning and explained that we cannot possibly keep everything (since a lot of his stuff is junk like Happy Meal toys), and if he wanted to be able to get new toys for his birthday, he was going to have to be willing to sell or give away some of his toys. I've had this bad habit in the past where we pack outgrown toys into plastic tubs and store them in the attic, but we just can't do that anymore. Since I am having a girl, she will probably have completely different interests from him, and will want brand-new toys of her own.

Zachary was pretty understanding, and we started out by cleaning out the metal tub in the den. We got rid of about half of its contents, and sorted the rest of the stuff. We then moved upstairs to his room, where things took a definite turn for the worst. I got busy by cleaning out the drawers of his built-in desk, and asked Zach to straighten the books that were all over the floor. We got an empty laundry basket, and I told him to put anything he was willing to get rid of in that basket. I also convinced him to sell all of his Thomas the Train pieces, since he no longer plays with them, and they take up a lot of room. We have several playsets, lots of track, and about 40 train pieces. I'll have to take pictures of them later and post them on one of the local auction sites, since we are not allowed to have garage sales here.

After the books, I asked Zach to go through the set of bins underneath his window, make sure all of the items in the bins were alike, and choose some of the things to get rid of. He looked through them for about 30 seconds, then sat down on his bed and said that he was tired. I began to lose it at that point, but kept it under control. I went and helped him with the bins, pulled out items that didn't belong, and told him he had two minutes to get the things put away correctly. He took about half of the toys, walked over to his closet, and threw them in. Then, he sat down on the floor and began to play with something. I threw the rest of the toys in my laundry basket, then started tossing everything that was out of place to the center of the room. There was a 2-foot pile of trucks and assorted plastic pieces piled up in a corner, which went to the center of the room. Zach continued to stand and watch me.

At this point, I really became angry. Why should he get new toys for his birthday if he doesn't play with or take care of what he has already? There is no room for anything else, and that really became apparent when I went to the closet. The floor was so full of toys that you cannot walk in the closet, so I tossed all of that into the room, as well. I found food on the floor under all of the toys, clothes balled up, and toys that he had begged me to keep from earlier in the summer, just thrown in there.

OK, here's where I go psycho: I told Zachary that he cannot leave his room until it is clean, unless it is to go to the bathroom or eat. He didn't argue or complain, just sat there and looked at the mountain of toys on the floor. I know it's a lot to expect of a first-grader, but I am not going to keep doing this every couple of months. Maybe he'll see this time that I am serious, and that he has to take better care of his things. I just want him to keep pieces of toys together, and put them back when he is done playing with them. I don't think that is an unreasonable request, do you?

Friday, August 10, 2007

I can't get a break!

This week started out well, but has gone downhill since Monday. The good news is that my classroom is pretty much ready to go, and my house is clean. I still have to do lesson plans, but I have all of the materials to do them at home with me. Since I am going from one to two subjects (well, basically four, if you count spelling, grammar and writing) in a 65-minute period, it's going to be a little tricky to plan for that and all the extra things we have, like assemblies. My goal is to get all of my plans written through Christmas before the beginning of September. I know it's early to start thinking about these things, but at the rate my pregnancy is going, I don't think I'll be working very long before I have this baby.

That brings us to the not-so-good news. I did work pretty hard on Wednesday in my classroom, but not hauling heavy boxes around or anything. Yesterday, I really took it easy, sitting in a chair and reading for most of the day. Since the housekeepers were coming this morning, I planned to spend some time in the afternoon clearing the boxes from the hallway upstairs. I planned to put them in our already overcrowded office, and sat down on the floor in there to clear out some room. Around 5:00, the doorbell rang, and it was UPS delivering some clothes that I ordered from Kohl's. I took them upstairs to try them on, went to the bathroom, and realized I was spotting. I've also had some menstrual-like cramps the past couple of days, but didn't get too worried about them.

When I saw the blood, I called my doctor, and the nurse told me to go and lie down for the evening. She said to go to the hospital if there was any more, and if not, to call the office in the morning. I called Darren and told him my wonderful news, and he was a little miffed, because he planned to work late last night. He ended up coming home and cleaning up all of the boxes, then working from home. I didn't have any more bleeding last night, just cramping, and slept OK last night.

We went to the doctor at 9:15 this morning, and I have gained a whole pound, bringing my grand total up to 9. She checked me, and my cervix is starting to soften. She doesn't seem to think that I will make it to my due date, and I agree with her. She is not worried about the baby, but wants me to make it at least another month. I hope that I get to go back to work, at least for a few weeks, but we'll have to wait and see what happens. I would be really disappointed if I had to go back to work before Christmas, but it's kind of looking like things might turn out that way. I have a shower scheduled for the 8th of September; we may be doing that in the hospital!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Fighting with Health Insurance

Does anyone else out there hate fighting with health insurance companies as much as I do? It seems like we switch companies immediately before any major medical event takes place, and then I have to make a zillion calls to prove that we did have prior coverage, and no, we don't still have coverage with another company. What a pain!

The year that I was pregnant with Zachary, Darren's company switched insurance in April, and I had to find a new OB, since my old one wasn't in the new company's network. I hated it at the time, but have come to love my doctor. I will miss her when I go back to seeing her once a year! Anyway, that July, his company switched to a benefits administrator, which meant yet another insurance change. If I wouldn't have been so far along in my pregnancy, it would have been great for us, because it would have cost us a whole lot less to have Zachary. Because I was so far along, we had to get on the lower coverage insurance, and then make numerous phone calls to prove coverage once the bills started rolling in.

The following summer, Darren's company went through a massive layoff, and I got on my school district's insurance. It was crappy coverage, but fairly easy to deal with. There were high copays, high costs of prescriptions, but no deductible. I knew they would cover everything without a fight, but I would still have to pay a portion of any of my claims.

Fast forward five years, and Darren gets a new job. That was this past May, and his new insurance is wonderful, and costs us next to nothing for premiums. I dropped my coverage, and went on Darren's. So far, Zach and I have both been to the dentist, and had to pay nothing, and this baby hasn't cost me anything so far.

This past week, the letters regarding my hospital stay in Lafayette began to roll in, and they are denying my claim, due to the fact that my gallstones are a possible pre-existing condition. After three phone calls today, I have a letter coming from the old company to prove that I did have insurance before, and the new company is going to look at the claim again. There's an hour of my life that I am never going to get back!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Growing Up, and Out!

I still can't believe that Zach has a loose tooth! I don't know why this milestone of childhood bothers me, but it just does. I got over him starting school last year, but this is one that will alter the way he looks, permanently. He's growing up so fast, and won't be my little boy for too much longer. He still can't ride a two-wheeler, doesn't care what I dress him in, and enjoys snuggling with Mom. He still kisses me at the bus stop, tells me he loves me in public, and sleeps with a blankie. One change I have noticed lately is that he is starting to watch more grown-up TV shows. Even though he still likes Little Einsteins, he has really started to like Hannah Montana and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody on Disney. I want him to always be my little boy, but I guess I can't hold onto that forever.

As far as growing out, I feel like my belly has really begun to expand. Some of my maternity shirts are starting to be too short, and it's hit me that, wow, I will have a baby sometime in the next two months. Darren has been painting away all weekend, and we are hoping to set the crib up later today. I can't wait!

I am very nervous about going back to work on the 21st. I am going to have to give up my afternoon nap, and I am so sore all the time. I've started to have some mild contractions, and I can't stand up for long periods of time. Maybe I'll assign a student to roll me around in my chair. That could be fun! I will just have to train them to do a lot around the classroom, which will be a good thing when I am gone for 12 weeks. I started working in my classroom last week, and need to get moving on lesson plans this week. The good thing is that Zach enjoys going to school with me; he gets to draw on the board, use all of my art supplies, and watch DVDs on my TV. He's good company, and I can get a lot of work done with him there. Also, it gets us out of the house, and he doesn't complain that he's bored. It would be nice to get finished with all of the stuff in my classroom this week so that I can have the following week to scrapbook. I am finally up to last August, and our trip to Chicago. Only one more year to go!

I guess I should get dressed, and get my child dressed, since it's after 2:30 in the afternoon...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Mean, Cruel, and Horrible

I think I have just won an award for being a bad mother. We've been struggling lately with Zachary's behavior, particularly the way he treats me. He yells, calls me names, covers his ears when I talk to him, or tells me no. What's scary is that he can switch from being a sweet, lovable little boy into a monster in about 2 seconds flat.

Today started out just fine. He was happy when he woke up, came and snuggled in bed with me, and was so excited that he had discovered his first loose tooth. He knew that he had been invited to play with a friend today, and was really looking forward to that. We went to swim lessons, and he did a great job. He swam across the pool by himself, and told the teacher that he wanted to make her proud. We came home, he took a shower, got dressed, then came downstairs to ask me when he was going to go to his friend's house. I informed him that I had just talked to his friend's mother, and we were going to go to a pool with them at 12:30, so we should probably have lunch.

At that instant, he was displeased, because he wanted to go and play at the friend's house, not go to the pool. I explained that the invitation was for swimming and not playing at the house, and we were not going to call his friend and ask to do that instead. He started screaming and throwing a royal fit, and telling me how horrible I am for not letting him play at his friend's house. Then, he demanded his lunch, and covered his ears when I tried to explain that he could choose to calm down and eat, or go to his room. I told him that I was not going to allow him to talk to me that way, and I was not going to reward his rude behavior by letting him go and have fun with a friend. Zach then went and started bouncing on the couch and screaming at me, and I somehow got him to go upstairs, where he continued screaming insults at me. In the meantime, I called his daddy for a second opinion, and we decided that, no matter how much he started sucking up, there was no way he was going to go and do anything fun this afternoon. I locked myself in the bathroom, talked to the friend's mom and explained the situation, and prepared for round two.

Darren called to check and see how things were going (no better), and Zachary came downstairs to fight some more. He laid on the couch and yelled that he wanted to do something fun for about ten minutes, and I calmly left the room. When he realized that he no longer had an audience, he turned down his volume a bit, but didn't stop yelling and crying. I explained to him that we were both being punished by his bad behavior, and that maybe next time he would choose to be nice and not treat me poorly. He started screaming at me again, so I walked out again.

I heard the door to the garage open, and when I went to investigate, Zach informed me that he was going outside to ride his scooter. I told him that he was not going outside, because riding the scooter is fun. He ran upstairs, where he still is, and I can still hear him crying. It's going to be a LOOONNNNGGGGG afternoon! Wish me luck. I have errands that need to be run, but that would be suicide. Instead, I guess I can straighten up the house and try not to dislike my child too much.