It’s in My Blood.

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From a teaching standpoint, March is one of my most dreaded of all months. It is the first month without holidays since November, we have parent/teacher conferences and we are all sick of winter by that point that we are begging for Spring to start.

What I do love about this month though, is March Madness (basketball). I have always played sports since I was in Elementary School. I was fortunate enough to also play when I went to college. Basketball is in my blood.

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My basketball Family ❤

I miss the “family” I was part of while I was there. I miss pushing myself athletically and physically. I miss competing and really just having this be part of my life. I’m visiting with my parents today and my father and I are watching the games on t.v. Making comments about “bad shots” being taken and “where are the re-bounders?!”

I was fortunate enough to get back into the coaching part of basketball this year. I was hired as our middle school 8th grade girls coach. I forgot how much I loved coaching as well. It was a busy time of year, having my own two kids and teaching all day. But my husband was so supportive and he knew how much this meant to me. So he helped make it work.

I will never be able to play again myself, but I am so lucky to be able to give back to the young girls who have dreams about playing basketball themselves and teaching them what I know to help them be successful! 17309623_10103808212418639_4867907257823035955_n.jpg

 

Prep the night before

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This morning I was ring to get ready for our workshop day.  I had already listened to the sound of the alarm clock go off 4 times before I decided that I should probably get up and get ready.

Running late,  I think of what I will leave.  wear today and what I can do to my hair so that it doesn’t take extra time.

My kids are still sleeping and I’m making great time! I finish my make-up, hug my son good morning,  get his breakfast and do my hair.

Yes! I have 15 minutes before my father in law arrives and I need to leave.

I start my car,  take the dog out and go get dressed.  Or at least that was the plan.. except the first outfit I wanted to wear I couldn’t because my jeans were in the wash.

No problem,  I thought.  Look through my options again.  I resort to my comfy Lularoe. Go to grab a cover up to go overt my shirt. It is no where to be found.  I look in the wash with great hesitation,  only to find my assumption to be true.

Now what?? At this point I am over the 15 minute window that I had.

I had s couple of choice words and looked one last time for something to wear.  Note to self… always check the attire situation for the next work day before you go to sleep!

There could have only been 1

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At this point, those of you who know me or have been following my posts lately, know that I have 2 kids. I have a son who is 6 and a daughter who turned 2 in November. If I had Mackenzie first, she would probably be an only child. Let me explain…

This is Carson. He is sweet, kind, considerate, funny, gentle and loving. My pregnancy with him was wonderful. I felt great. Walked on the treadmill everyday. Ate (fairly) healthy. Except for the last 2 weeks. I had ice cream every.single.day. Oops. 13775406_10103148759317939_8355506295199049069_n

Carson is also emotional and sensitive. He wants to make everyone happy and doesn’t like to get into trouble. He is so smart and absolutely loves school. He adores his sister (which I am sure will change one day). I couldn’t be more proud of who he is.

Then there is Kenzie. She, like Carson, brings me joy every single day. I couldn’t imagine my life without either one of them. They keep me busy and our lives interesting.

My pregnancy with her was not wonderful. In fact, it was the exact opposite. The first month I was nauseous. I would spend an evening making dinner for the three of us, only to sit down at the dinner table and attempt to bring food to my mouth and feel sick.

In the third trimester of my pregnancy I got a tummy bug. Fever, chills, no appetite. I couldn’t drink enough water. I ended up going to the hospital one night and had to stay to be monitored because Kenzie’s heart rate was all over the place due to my fever. That had me a little worried.

I missed a whole week of school. I was not enjoying this. As every pregnant mother feels towards the end, I Just wanted it to be over with. I had 2 false alarms when I would have contractions and think “this is it”. Only to get to the hospital and have the contractions stop and then go home again. One night after I was discharged, I hadn’t had a single contraction while in the hospital bed. As soon as my husband and I got outside of the hospital and started walking to the car, they started again. Are. you. Kidding. Me????

13882489_10103187961546359_6064736915736179750_nNov. 12th I had an ultrasound scheduled. This was also her estimated due date. I started having contractions at midnight and waited for as long as I could before going to the hospital at 5 a.m.

Baby girl made her appearance at 7:30 that night. Lots of things happened between the time I arrived and the time I had her though. For starters, I asked for an epidural and got it late morning. It didn’t seem to work like it had with Carson. I was still in a lot of pain and kept pushing the “extra” button that they give you if you need a little more to ease the discomfort. Nothing would work.

Fast forward to later in the evening. After many times asking for someone to check my back and see if the epidural was where it should be, they finally looked and saw that it had come out. Seriously?!?! I was now at 9.5 cm and they said they would do it again. I was so over this. After 15 minutes of pushing, Kenzie made her appearance.

The trouble doesn’t stop there. After I was discharged I had what we thought to be a blood clot by my knee. I had to have an ultrasound on my leg and was so emotional during the whole thing. The poor technician was so lovely and patient with me. It ended up being nothing to worry about.

Later in the week (haha, yes there is more), I had discovered that the doctors didn’t get all of my placenta after delivery. I was back in the ER and having ultrasounds to make sure medicine would take care of the possibility of infection. On top of all of this, I had a newborn at home and a 5 year old who needed their mom. And a husband who was so super supportive and helpful during the whole thing. I couldn’t imagine having to do it alone.

Thank goodness for a pleasant experience the first time around because I don’t think I would be blessed with two kids if Kenzie was first. 🙂

39 is Just a Number

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Last night we celebrated my husband’s 39th birthday. After leaving school in the treacherous weather we were getting, we stopped to pick up a cake and joked about getting 39 individual candles to have Daddy blow out. We settled for just a “3” and a “9”. Silly us…we forgot the card.

Carson to the rescue. When we got home he made his own card for Daddy. After watching him work so diligently, I was curious what he wrote and asked if he would share it with me. He hesitated and seemed a little embarrassed about it but I could tell he really wanted me to see it. I couldn’t believe that my “little boy” would produce such a heart-warming card. It brought me to tears.

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“When the perfect days are sunny and bright the most thing I like is to spend time with you.”

My husband and I talk about how Carson can whine about little things or antagonize his sister and laugh when she gets in trouble at times. And on long and hard work days those behaviors seem to be more noticeable.

The reality is that those behaviors are typical for a 6-year old who has a naughty (sometimes) 2 year old sister.

On days when he does something so sweet like the card he made for his Dad, I stop and think “Boy, I sure am lucky”. His first grade teacher politely reminds me that he is young for his age and these are things he is going to do. (Thanks Maureen) And she is right. On the one hand I don’t want him to whine when he doesn’t get his way or to help by not laughing at his sister when I put her in time out.

But these are the memories we will look back on when he is older and laugh about together. These are the stories we can share with his wife and his children. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Being a Mom is the best job in the world. And I am so glad they are my “story”. 17310178_10103797421209309_2469281544091337698_o

Oh Mother Nature

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I love Maine. I love the seasons that we get to experience. Though I have to admit, I hate snow. Let me rephrase that, I hate what the snow has the potential to do to driving conditions. I recall many weekends when I have wanted to head North to take my kids to visit my parents but haven’t been able to because the roads were too dangerous or because there was a chance of a storm.

I think the snowfall is beautiful when it first falls from the sky. There is also something about being outside at night while it is snowing and there isn’t a vehicle in sight. It is such a peaceful sound. Quite calming actually.

I have had my “fun” of snow for the season though. When looking back on moments on this day, you know, the ones facebook so generously posts for you, we didn’t have any snow at this time last year. I took my kids to the park without thick jackets on and let the cool air run through their body after a season of being cooped up inside.

Here we are, March 14th, and Mother Nature is blessing us with another round of snow. Not just a beautiful dusting either, but a significant amount that could possibly lead to another snow day tomorrow. I have a love/hate relationship with snow days.

I love the 5 a.m. phone call telling me that I can sleep in a bit longer and snuggle my babies. But there is limit to the joyous feeling when you are going into a new week for the end of the year due to snow. I hope that this is the last “hoo-rah” for mother nature and that after this we can start dreaming of spring flowers and warmer days to come.

For those affected by this upcoming storm, stay safe and warm!

Ready, Set, Go!

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As I sit here awaiting for the upcoming week I can’t help but think of all of the “to do’s” on my list. These next two weeks are going to feel really crazy. This week I need to document data for a piloting program I have been doing for the past 2.5 years, start and finish report cards, send out reminder slips to my parents for conferences, remind my students for our leprechaun traps, but also forewarn them about the upcoming storm we may have that could possibly put a damper on bringing traps to school by Thursday before our early dismissal that day! Phew.

Thursday afternoon is a workshop for teachers and all day Friday is another workshop. The following week starts conferences for me. I have them before and after school Monday, then bowling Monday night (Yes, I am in a league… haha), IEP Tuesday followed by a conference, IEP Wednesday, Grand Jury Duty on Thursday then back to school for a full night of conferences.

I am exhausted just typing it all out. During busy times in our year like this we must remember to breathe and relax. I like to think of myself as being pretty good with time management. But I find that in some cases, it just isn’t possible to avoid crazy schedules. This too, shall pass! Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday Snuggles

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4 a.m.- dog starts whining to go out. I pull the covers up by my face a little more in hopes that perhaps the soft cries will wake my husband and he will get up to do the morning duty. No.Such.Luck.

I take her out then feed her and give her water to wet her whistle. I notice slashes of blood spots all over the walls. They just so happen to be at the height that Lexi’s tail hits when she is on a mission and throws her tail from side to side. She starts to bite at it. I push through her beautiful black fur to find cuts on the end of her tail. Poor thing. I wipe down the blood marks and Lexi goes back to bed. Not sure what happened to her but today we need to get her looked at.

I, too, head back to bed. I carefully pull back the covers and snuggle in with my youngest, holding her close to me so that I can gently kiss her forehead and listen as she sleeps peacefully.

6 a.m.- my oldest son comes down the hallway and squeezes his way between my daughter and husband. “Hi Mom”, he whispers. “Morning Babe”, I respond. Then he turns over and rests his eyelids a little while longer. Sunday morning snuggles are the best. Who am I kidding- any day for snuggling my babies is the best.

They are only little once…

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Everyone has their own parenting opinion. So when you are a first time mother, you get advice, whether you are looking for it or not. So you have to take it with a grain of salt and do what you think is best for you and your family.

When my son was born, I would hold him on my chest each night before he went to sleep. And after he fell asleep I would keep him with me. I felt like I couldn’t get close enough.  A pattern started that perhaps some parents or adults would frown upon. He slept with my husband and I. I don’t believe in letting my child “cry it out” in his crib while I listen to him with such desperation in his scream. I gave it a try once but that was the first and last time I would do it.

My daughter was born 4 years later and we did well laying her down in her own space for the first 6 months. Of course, she was right next to our bed so that I could easily reach her if she needed me. When she got to the point of sitting up, we had to change her routine. You guessed it, in bed with us. At this point I am assuming some of you are shaking your head right now. Though I can understand your point of view, please understand and respect the choices we made as parents.

One of the most frustrating things is to hear others comment on how you are raising your child, the food you let them eat, how much screen time they get, etc. To each their own. My children are respectful, kind, loving, everything I would hope for them to be. There will be a day when my son doesn’t want me to give him a kiss at school in front of his friends or when my daughter rolls her eyes and tells me that she hates me. For now, I am going to soak up every minute I can. If that means sharing a bed with them so they can be close to me, so be it. They are only little once.

 

Thankful for my Health

slice-of-life_individualEarlier in the week I stayed home from school to care for my sick 2 year old. We all know how that usually ends up- well today was my turn. It had started last night and I tried to talk myself out of it. Like if I said, “You are not getting sick. You are not getting sick”, it was going to magically disappear. Wishful thinking!

It has only been one day. But it has been awful. I don’t need to go into detail because we all understand how the tummy bug feels. I asked my husband to stay home from work today too so he could bring our son to school and tend to the dog who would need to TLC today as well. He graciously stayed home and did whatever he could for me. I was so thankful for him.

It made me stop and think about those whose life consists of sickness and doctors visits, chemo, whatever the case may be. My heart goes out to them. I couldn’t handle just one day of feeling like this, let alone battling a disease such as cancer.

I heard on the radio yesterday after school that they were raising money for the Barbara Bush Hospital. There were children talking on air about their experiences. They sounded so strong. I am sure there are lots of feelings they encounter, but to be able to speak publicly about what they are going through amazes me. They are the bravest people I know.

Here’s to my health and reminding myself that it could always be worse.

A Best Friend

slice-of-life_individualMy son has always loved seeing animals from a distance. He enjoys going to the zoo, animal kingdom, whatever it may be. However, when you would get him face to face with an animal that is a pet, he would freak out. It would get so bad that he would grab his father or I and try to climb up us.

Sometimes when we went to the park someone would have a dog on a leash. My husband and I would look at each other and pray that Carson didn’t notice it, otherwise he would want to leave or he would worry that somehow the dog would get loose. Other times we would prep him and say, “Look, there is a dog coming but it is on a leash and it isn’t going to bother you. Please don’t scream and cry.”

He is now 6 years old. So it went on for a while. Last year a friend of my husbands posted about her cousin selling lab puppies once they were born. We always talked about getting a dog so that maybe it would help him overcome his fear. It would have to be a puppy though. We wanted him to see it small and then have it grow with him.

The puppies were born June 1st and up until that day we had talked to him about getting a dog and he was really excited about it. He loved watching videos of the puppies running around and playing together. Since I have the summers off, Carson and I were usually together and when we had our chance to pick a puppy, it was up to him and I since his dad was working during the week.

We picked up Lexi on Swan Island on a hot summer day in July. My father-in-law came with us so that she could help with the ride home. It took us about 2.5 hours. It was an all day event. I was surprised how well my 1.5 year old did riding for so long.

The next morning when we woke up, the kids would not walk with the puppy running around. My daughter was scared, which I understand because Lexi wasn’t much smaller than she was. And Carson, well I kind of expected it to be a little challenging at first, but I didn’t think I would have to carry my kids around the house for the first day. I was not excited. I called my husband and told him I couldn’t do this all summer. I wasn’t going to have my kids petrified of walking around in their own home. But Carson got so upset when I brought up the idea of giving Lexi back. “She is the best dog ever. I love her so much and I will never love another dog!” he said. Oh boy.

So we kept Lexi. And it has done wonders for Carson. He is no longer afraid of dogs. He doesn’t run and scream or try to climb up my leg anymore. He is even able to go to a friend’s house with a dog and not have to play in one room so that the dog doesn’t bother him. He approaches the dog and pets him. And Kenzie… well she is just as much in love as Carson is. Lexi is so good with her. She lets Kenzie grab her around the neck for hugs and tries to get comfortable when Kenzie thinks she has to sit right on top of her.

I am so glad we decided to stick it out with Lexi. I am thankful for the words Carson shared with me so that we didn’t get rid of her and actually gave it a chance. I can’t imagine our life without Lexi now. My heart is full.