Saturday, January 14, 2012

The best laid plans of mice and men

This past year has been full of me making plans and then having to sit back and watch them change. All of that change has been for good, some of it still hurts (I had a moment the other day when I was driving to work and the Grease Megamix came on. Ashley loved to sing to the Grease Megamix and I found myself crying a hoping that she is happy and safe and healthy.), and all of it has been suprising. A year ago, I was going through fertility treatments and waiting to know if Justin and I would be employed this year. Home and work were the most stressful they had ever been and I wasn't sure if I would survive. I did and it was one of my best years, personally and professionally.

The last year was filled with a lot of grace. Grace to improve relationships, grace to learn that marriage is hard and wonderful at the same time, grace to be loved by friends and family who hurt and celebrate with you, and the gift of students who somehow keep reminding how amazing your job is even when you aren't sure if it will be there in June. There were several times last year when giving up seemed like a good option, and yet God faithfully provided reminders along the way to keep me moving. At some point I gave in and I could not have imagined that I would be where I am now.

The past month, I have felt more change coming. Professionally things are moving and changing, and instead of feeling fearful and angry about it, I feel ready. I feel ready for whatever my job may turn out to be. Part of this is pregnancy, having a baby means I won't be the same teacher I have been. I feel it now, my relationship with students, what I am willing to take on, and what I worry about has shifted. The other part is a readiness for a new challenge, I have taught the same thing for awhile and am trained to do other things, maybe it is time for those?

Justin and I are debating if I will begin and admin program in the fall. The pros and cons are equally rational, but at the end of the day I am ready and I do think it would the best thing for my family. I do still love teaching. It is a hard and often thankless job,but there are amazing moments. This week I gave my 7th graders a very hard assignment, and I was not sure they could do it. They were given a historical article that college undergrads would read and asked to read it and write a paper on it. I did this because I believed that with the right strategies and support they could do it, but they would have to want to. I expected whining and complaning, I expected an uproar that the other classes were watching movies. I received hard work, multiple questions, and "I can't believe I read that" and "My brother had to help me, but he said it was pretty hard and he is in high school" and "Are you getting me ready for college? Because I appreciate that". Who could not love their job after comments like that. I love my 7th graders.

So, I am waiting for the change. If I learned anyting in 2011 it was that my plans don't work out, but an acceptance that I am not in charge can lead to amazing blessings.  The biggest blessing of all is currently moving around and reminding me that they are there and getting more active every day. I would relive the stress and pain of the last year a million times over just for that.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


1. Sometimes I want to solve my problems by screaming and crying.
2. Sometimes I amazed at all the weirdness occuring to my body.
3. Sometimes I wish I lived in Ventura and it was sunny and warm again.
4. Sometimes a donut is the best breakfast of all.
5. Sometimes I am pretending to listen when I am off in my head doing something else.
6. Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to be a stay at home mom.
7. Sometimes I think if I stayed home I would go crazy.
8. Sometimes middle schoolers are the funniest people I know.
9. Sometimes when I am having a really bad day a coworker will magically appear and make it better.
10. Sometimes I am amazed that Justin and I actually worked it out.
11. Sometimes I wonder who else would have had either of us.
13. Sometimes I am freaked out about all the freedom we will lose in June.
14. Sometimes I imagine what it will be like to have our baby with us while Justin reads us to sleep and freedom doesn't seem important.
15. Sometimes I need a little Garth and Reba to make my day brighter.
16. Sometimes  I wonder how people can be so mean and selfish.
17. Sometimes I am so mean and selfish.
18. Sometimes when I am teaching the baby flips around and I am so enthralled I forget to keep teaching.
19. Sometimes I have a panic attack about something going wrong.
20. Sometimes it is just nice to comes home and watch Jeporady with Justin.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Food, Fat, and Pregnancy

I recently listened to a podcast where they discussed the growing issue of pregnant women who suffer eating disorders during their pregnancy. Almost 20% of pregnant women will suffer from some form of anorexia or bulimia while pregnant. Most experts feel that this growing phenomenon is a result of the "Hollywood Pregnancy", where a movie star gives birth and than discusses how they only gained five pounds for their entire pregnancy. I don't doubt that this is a factor, but as a pregnant woman I have had all sorts of people come out to warn me about gaining weight and getting fat. I willingly acknowledge that 99.9% of those who have spoken to me about weight are doing it from a place of love and desire to help me be healthy. However, what I often hear in my head it "don't eat to much fatty".

Based on discussions with other pregnant women, and my obgyn, I know I am not the only one who stresses about weight and food and weight gain. I recently had a pregnant friend tell me they are freaking out about gaining too much weight and yet are so exhausted they can't seem to workout. This woman is clearly not alone, everyone feels that way.

My personal struggle revolves around the fact that I worked to lose weight in 2011 and it was this weight loss that led to me being pregnant. I have huge fears about gaining back all the weight and more. My first trimester it was impossible to find the energy to workout. All I wanted to do was sleep and the rest of the time I was nauseous. Now I have more energy and have done some workouts, but am still struggling with taking rests and not going full bore.

It feels completely insane to worry about getting fat while pregnant.  My husband constantly points out the insanity of this entire conversation. However, somewhere in this growing issue is the fine line between a healthy awareness of what you are putting in your body, and an unhealthy obsession with calories. I do think this is the time to eat the most healthy unprocessed foods that I can. For the first time in my life, I am aware of my Omega 3 and Iron consumption. I am leaving soy milk and returning to hormone free cow's milk (hardest change of all). I want to eat as healthy as possible, because I want my child to be as healthy as possible.

Healthy is the mantra I keep chanting to myself. I feel like if I eat healthy and stay comfortably active than I won't have to worry about weight. The scale still looms out there. I don't suffer from an eating disorder, but I understand how other pregnant women could tip toe toward that line. Most pregnancy sites or books discuss weight gain right of the bat. A lot of them do it with a sly "don't be a fatty".

Wouldn't it be nice if we celebrated all women, pregnant or not, by their level of health and not by the size of their jeans? I would love it if I went 24 hours without hearing a friend, colleague, or student discuss how fat they are, but instead spoke about how great they feel. Healthy choices didn't make me a size 0. What they did do was help me manage my anxiety, have more energy, and feel better about myself. I want to spend the next 4 and a half months feeling healthy and happy and not worrying about the number on the scale.