Archive for February, 2011

Smells like a baby!


I love that when you are pregnant, procrastinating is called “Nesting”. I have report cards due this week, and instead of doing the STACKS of grading that I should be working on, I “nested”.  I bought a bottle of Dreft laundry detergent for the sole reason that it smells like baby clothes are supposed to smell. I bought it before Dakota was born and washed all of her clothes in it for a few months after she was born. So, now the smell is, and always will be, the smell associated with baby clothes.  On Friday, we had a snow day and instead of grading, I got out the plastic bins labeled “Newborn & 0-3 Clothes” and washed all of them in Dreft. I washed another collection of baby clothes that a friend recently gave me, and some other items that I have picked up since Dakota. I ended up with somewhere close to three loads of laundry of just baby clothes!!  Then, I went through and folded or hung up each little itty-bitty outfit. With each one, I became a little more excited that we get to do this again. I am glad that it is a girl, because some of these adorable outfits were so very hard to box up when Dakota outgrew them. I am excited to get to pull them out again.

Dakota has loved helping me sort all the baby socks and hang up all the little dresses. Last night, I was hanging clothes as she was falling asleep, and I told her that she could help me in the morning. The first thing she said when she woke up this morning was, “Mommy, it is time to wake up now? I am done sleeping because I am so excited about the baby!” Getting to share in her enthusiasm makes this pregnancy that much more fun.

So…with still 13 weeks to go until our scheduled delivery, the “girls’ room” is completely set up with clothes hanging, socks sorted, blankets folded, and crib up. The only thing missing is a pack or two of itty-bitty baby diapers (which I am really tempted to buy already). I don’t think I was this ahead of the game with Dakota. Of course, with Dakota we were still painting murals on the walls at this point, so I guess I kind of had an excuse. With this one, there really isn’t much we need to do…and I think I have already done most of it :) . I suppose at least I know that if the baby decided to come way too early, at least our home is basically ready. My classroom and lesson plans being ready for a sub….thats a whole ‘nother story. I pitty any substitute teacher that would have to find anything in there right now, or worse… figure out what to teach. Maybe that should be my next “nesting” project… and maybe tonight I should get started on a TON of grading!

Maple Sap Update 2


I think I spoke to soon in thinking that spring was here. In the last week, we’ve gone from 60F down to 20F and back to 60F with ice and snow in between. Fortunately, that’s good weather for sap collection and we’ve got nearly 15 gallons collected now. If this keeps up I’ll be boiling the first back next weekend.

Some quiet time…at the hospital!


For the last few weeks, I have been feeling occasional contractions. I talked to my family physician, and she explained that the “tightenings” that I was feeling, were indeed contractions. When I told her that I didn’t remember feeling contractions so early with Dakota, she explained that with each pregnancy the contractions get a little earlier (with her third kid they started at 12 weeks). Great!!!  A little annoyed, but at least I then knew what they were and that it wasn’t something to worry about. And I haven’t really worried about it…until today…

Yesterday we took a whole school fieldtrip. Yes…that’s right…we took every child in our school… on a bunch of buses… away from the comforts, routines, rules, and appearance of any shred of control of our school building…on a field trip…ugh! The field trip was to a musical performance at one of the local high schools, which doesn’t sound so bad, and we didn’t end up as a story on the news…so overall it was ok. Field trips are fun as a kid, but as a teacher they are a nightmare. School is really a precarious balance of control on the brink of chaos…and when you leave the school building…well…  it leans more towards chaos.  Field trips of any kind are exhausting. Yesterday, it meant that we were doing a decent amount of walking, a couple of hours of trying to get comfortable and sit still in a school auditorium, some more walking, a bus ride to and from, and an entire day with children from the minute that I got to school (thanks to a 20 minute commute that took an hour on the ice) to the minute that I drove away… other than the last 20 minutes of the school day while my little angels went to art class (while I ran around trying to get hours worth of teacher work done in 20 minutes). This non-stop pace meant that I wasn’t drinking as much water as I am supposed to, wasn’t able to “relax” much at all, and was just plain GOING all day. The baby apparently didn’t really appreciate all of this, as she was very active all day too (like mother like daughter).  As the crazy day went on the “tightenings” that started out as just annoying were getting much stronger…and closer together. But I ignored them.  By the time I got home there were some series of contractions where they were 5 or 6 minutes apart…and the feelings of worried and annoyed became a little more mixed. But, I did some online research and convinced myself that the contractions were just brought on by all the activity, dehydration, baby movement, etc. (and found out today that I was right…after a trip to the hospital).

Today was a little more “normal” as far as schedule and pace, but still pretty hectic. The contractions that I had ignored yesterday were back. Sometimes close together, sometimes very spaced out…but sometimes strong enough that I had to stop walking/talking and pause to let it pass. Very uncomfortable. Arg!  When they were still happening on the drive home I decided that maybe I should just call the doctor and have someone else tell me that it was all in my head and nothing to worry about. But, the doctor’s office was already closed. So I called the hospital Labor & Delivery and talked to a nurse. She said that probably everything was fine, but that at 23 weeks I really shouldn’t be having much in the way of contractions and that she (and I) would probably feel better if I came in. I agreed to do so.

So, I picked Dakota up from school, took her home and got dinner started, Chris came home, we ate dinner and I headed to the hospital.  Put on the gown, pee in a cup, physical exam, hook up to monitors…and sit…and wait.  Wouldn’t you know not a single contraction the entire time that I was there! But, the baby enjoyed our little field trip. When the nurse went to hook up the monitor for the baby’s heart rate, she said “ok, lets see if we can find her in there.” As soon as she put the monitor against my belly, the heart rate came through loud and clear. Apparently the baby was right there, up close and personal! The nurse was very surprised that it was that easy, and said that normally at 23 weeks it is hard to get a decent read-out, but that wasn’t the case here at all. For the next hour I reclined in the hospital bed, did nothing, and watched television…quietly… by myself.  It was kind of weird! As I said, there were no contractions (I guess all I really needed to do was sit down for a few minutes), but holy cow this kid is a serious spaz!  She was rolling, twisting, kicking the monitor, and moving from one side of my belly to the other. The nurse just kind of looked at me funny and said, “I can see where she might be causing you a little discomfort :) .”  The baby’s heart rate was right on target  through it all (although somewhat hard to keep track of because she was all over the place).

After an hour, a consult with the doctor over the phone, the lady from admissions had me fill out all my “pre-registration” paperwork, pee test results came back normal, the physical exam showed all was fine, the nurse filled out a bunch of paperwork, and they sent me home.

So…an exhausting field trip with fifth graders leads to a “relaxing” field trip to the hospital. They told me to “drink plenty of fluids, get some rest, stay off my feet, and avoid stress”…. apparently they didn’t hear me when I explained that I am a teacher and the mother of a toddler,  but ok…I will try a little harder.

Pruning Grapes


Here is a short video about the basics of pruning grapes and some ideas for propagating them as well.