March 16, 2018

It's a.....?!?!?

Jett and Scout are (going to be) thrilled to be getting a brother! (I'm sure of it.)

We found out that this little one is a boy at our anatomy scan last week and it was a relief to know that everything seems fine so far.  It was also nice to complete our registry with boy clothes instead of just gender neutral, but the nursery will be gender neutral-ish anyway with gray walls and some woodland animal-themed accents. That was the plan, boy or girl.

It's been a long and twisty week in these parts (not shocking as we prepare to move and sell a house and Scott has been roadblocked..sometimes literally..on so many projects) and I was legitimately having trouble coming up with something "favorite" to post today. This is a good compromise :)

March 15, 2018

Stuff and Things 3/15

+Jett turned 4 over the weekend.

Picture quality is skewed because we were away from the windows and I had to lighten these up. 

And a windblown selfie after a walk. I can't even explain how much I love this dog (mostly because he's so loyal).

+I've been more or less struck down by round ligament pain. I can't believe people don't talk about this more. The spasms, the stretching, the burning, the itchiness: I've really been barely able to function this week. It's honestly why I didn't post on Monday...we had a fine weekend, but it was eclipsed by me being in pain. It messes with my appetite and all productivity goes out the window. In fact, I've gotten nothing done this week because of it. I can barely do my job well at school and then I come home and just sit. Not that sitting helps. I'm doing all the yoga, and all the Pilates, and all the stretching, and all the walking, and taking all the Tylenol, and nothing actually makes it better.
It's really a shame that, now at 22 weeks, I can't call this the easiest pregnancy ever anymore.

+I cried at this for awhile. One of the many reasons we'll never fly with dogs. Other than the fact that United should be strung up and sued (I would sue), we just won't fly with dogs. I think that, when we got Scout almost 5 years ago, we just silently agreed that we'd have a lifestyle change. Dogs stay home or go with us, but they never go with us on an airplane. This is also why we will never voluntarily live "overseas" again, unless it's back to Alaska because you can drive there (and Scott would love nothing more).

+To brighten your almost-Friday:

March 14, 2018

2018 Goal Update

2 1/2 months into the year, I can say that I've not *quite* been on track with these goals I set. And they're pretty low-bar to begin with. Here's the original post, but I'll copy/paste the details for the sake of recapping thus far.

1. See one new movie each month.

Sure. I half-watched parts of Allied as I graded papers and Scott watched it on Amazon. But I thought it was dumb and wasn't invested.
I did go to see Game Night in February and it was good. Also, I watched The Girl on the Train on Hulu, but it was also in February, so does that count? I suppose it can as long as I see 12 new-to-me movies in 2018.

2. Write one in-depth book review each month.

I did this in January, but not in February. 1 out of 2. 

3. Really dig in to writing about teaching.

I have actually been doing this! Here's everything tagged Teaching and Teacher Stuff and I'm attempting to get something up every few weeks. 

The interesting thing is that I know not everyone is interested in this and not everyone reads them and probably skims over them in blog-readers the same way I skim over most link-up/reintroduction posts. But this is a huge part of my life, so I want to have it documented to go back to later. This is one of those "this is for me, not for you" blog post topics. 

4. Try making macarons.

No. I actually don't anticipate this happening soon, if at all. With a move, a baby, and alllll the things that go with those two things, I don't think baking will be my outlet in 2018. 

When I originally wrote these goals, I knew we'd have some big changes coming with a move, trying to sell the Colorado house, etc. To set some shorter-term goals, I would say that I'd love to get a couple of rooms painted in Wyoming over the next few weeks and I'd like to get a lot of things packed up in Colorado so they are ready to move to Wyoming.

March 13, 2018

February Books 2018

I am a serial did-not-finisher (DNF) when it comes to books. I will try almost any book because I know I don't have to love it. My DNF issue presents in the way of me WANTING to like a book, so I will attempt to push through, even if I dislike it a little bit or am bored by it or never want to read it. I know that when I never want to read the book, it's time to quit. I will not be interested in a book if I can't feign an interest.

I read two great (or, at least really good) fiction books in February and then I wanted more fiction, but I wanted it for free. I didn't want to actually buy books because I hate spending money on books. I'm on the library wait list for a few books I suspect I'll like, but this weekend I listened to a book (Overdrive is an amAzing app) and then I'm in the middle of another hardcover. Both non-fiction.

This was what I officially finished in February, though.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn A

I went back to Audible at a discounted rate for the next couple of months and I thought this might be a good time to try to get back into audiobooks. I have the time to listen right now, so I might as well.
This was a good story. I suspected the first twist pretty early on but kept at it. I did not see the second twist coming because it seemed pretty layered into the story. This was hard to turn off.
If you'd like a mystery or suspenseful story, this is for you.

Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo A

Heather was kind enough to mail me a copy of this that she had already read because I couldn't find it at my library. It's the first in a series and my library has other books in the series but not this one.
I really enjoyed it. It moved quickly. It didn't lag or drag like a lot of other mystery series I've found (i.e. Louise Penny). I am looking forward to tracking down the rest of the books (I'm thinking I'll visit the UW library again when I go to Wyoming for my spring break). It's pretty graphic, but in a way that, I think, lends to the story. If you like police dramas, this is worth a try. I gave it to my coworker to read. I LOVE it when books can just get passed from person to person with no expectations. It just seems like that's what a book's job should be. (Thank you, Heather!)

In Due Time by Caroline Harries
This is a devotional, but I'm going to count it because I finally finished it this past month. I bought it as soon as it came out in the fall of 2016, because I'd been following the author's blog. The devotional is one of the best I've found (and written by a blogger, really, so there's that to don't need to be some sort of proselytizing professional to reach people), and I've been jumping around through it over the last several months. I took a systematic approach of working through it in January and I will say that if you're waiting for something, anything, this is a good one.

Linking up with Jana and Steph!

What was the best book you've read in February?

Are you a DNF'er or someone who must-finish-a-book??

March 9, 2018

Arie is *officially* the worst: After the Final Rose

Honestly, I knew this was coming, so I don't really have much to say about Arie, Becca, and Lauren. This is more just general commentary I came across during the last few days.

1. This picture of Emily Maynard side-by-side with Lauren B. 

2. Every recorded word Lauren B. has said to Arie, up until the finale.  A snapshot:

3. When Sean Lowe won't endorse it or make a joke about it, it's bad.

4. I haven't been a fan of Kelly Ripa in years (something about her...), but I appreciate her commentary and using her platform to put Arie on the spot. This is her grilling him. 


6. I liked seeing some of Becca's guys at the end.

Honestly, I think we're onto better things now. I don't know that Becca is ready to be engaged twice in 8 months, but I think she can find someone great and I think she dodged a huge bullet when it came to Arie.

I'm seriously considering going unspoiled for this Bachelorette season. Thoughts on that? I'm just so used to reading/listening to Reality Steve. (It's sad that this is an actual decision that I spend time contemplating.)

Something that's also a little sad: my plans today include some parent-teacher conferences and then going to buy the dog a birthday cake.

March 8, 2018

How we found out we were pregnant + first trimester recap

I'm 21 weeks at this point and we've had our anatomy scan and it seems quite official now... and I figure it might be worthwhile to post about what the first trimester was like for me at this point. 

Spoiler alert about the first trimester: I've had an easy go of it. 

+We found out I was pregnant the week of Thanksgiving and the only symptom I had was an achiness in my abdomen. I remembered that the embryologist I met with last year had told me that the achiness you feel from the effects of IVF injections (it's like a swelling feeling) is the same as what you feel during the first trimester.

That was the only reason I took a test to begin with and I bought it at the Laramie Wal-Mart (a sentence I never thought I'd type). While I expected it to be positive (because I felt like there'd be something seriously wrong with how I was feeling if it wasn't positive), I didn't expect it to result in an actual pregnancy because nothing in my medical history told me this would be easy to come by.

We were in shock because we had been told this would never happen for us. That's why we did IVF last year. When IVF didn't work, we assumed we just would focus on other things for now and then this just...happened. It was 4 1/2 years of not being able to get pregnant. Completely unexpected. The clarity you can get in one moment proves that, quite literally, God can do anything he wants whenever he wants. I'd never had a positive pregnancy test, ever. And I've taken a lot of pregnancy tests.

After another test at the hospital on base, they confirmed it and then I had an appointment with an ultrasound at the very end of November. I was going day to day at this point, never really expecting to make it to the next week. Each day felt different.

+Morning sickness hasn't existed for me. I had exactly two days where I felt unexplained dizziness and it was awful, but most people seem to know they're pregnant when they feel sick. I never had that clue, and was 6 weeks along before I even took a test. A lot of women seem to count on it as a reassurance of being pregnant in the first trimester, so I just had to rely on the fact that they told me I was pregnant, so I must be.

+The only true food aversion I came across was veggie burgers. There were a lot of things I just didn't want to eat, though. Candy lost all of its appeal. Vegetables were completely out the window and meat wasn't happening. Fruit is something I would force myself to eat, but I didn't really want it either. It was basically all carbs, all the time. Toast, bagels, chips, pop-tarts (that craving lasted two days), crackers, etc. I also went through a pretty intense hashbrown phase.

+We had a second appointment right before Christmas that Scott was also able to go to, and they found the heartbeat with the doppler. The midwife said that was a very good sign because once you can hear it, it's pretty strong and they like to find it that way, instead of with a sonogram, if they can. That was at 10 weeks. (Side note: did you know that too many sonograms are actually bad for the baby? I had looked all this up and it turns out that's why they really just schedule a big one for 20ish weeks.) Also, they gave me the option of a doctor or a midwife and said I was low-risk (ha ha ha) but I could have an OB if I wanted. We really liked the midwife, so I stuck with her.

All of my bloodwork was fine and they even did a glucose test extra early and ran a kidney function test, all because of my history with PCOS. I kept asking if I was high-risk and they kept insisting that I was not: trouble getting pregnant and trouble staying pregnant are apparently very different things to obstetricians. Though you can have both issues, one does not guarantee the other.

+We drove home for Christmas when I was 10 weeks and drove back to Colorado when I was 12 weeks along. We had planned this trip before we knew I was pregnant and I knew that still attempting it would be dependent on whether or not I felt okay. Oddly enough, I felt better traveling and moving from house to house and hotel to hotel than I did when I was going to work each day in December so that's something with deeper meaning to be considered. It messed with my sleep schedule (I could not, FOR THE LIFE OF ME, get a good night's sleep during those two weeks) and my exercise routine, but I was very aware that most people can't exercise during the first trimester anyway because they feel sick, so it was nothing I couldn't get back to once I returned home.

+Most of the first trimester was a mental mind warp for me. I never expected this. I expected IVF to work last summer and I expected to have a baby in Colorado in April 2018. When that didn't happen, I expected to not have a baby at this point and we'd move onto other things (like another puppy...those plans have been pushed ahead a year now). Instead, we will have a baby this summer, in Laramie (which will likely be an insurance/Tricare nightmare), while trying to sell this Colorado house, and will have moved away from my friends in Colorado and any support system that we have here. We will move to our next duty station with a 6 or 7 or 8 month old, depending on what/when those orders say.

Have I missed anything? 
-More than one cup of coffee. I realllly miss over-caffeinating myself. It's obvious that this has been my crutch for years now.
-Ab workouts.
-My clothes fitting (Since we're moving this summer, I packed up everything I know I won't wear until next fall,'s just better to get all that out of my way when getting dressed for work is somewhat challenging as is, because I've basically been trying to disguise this since December.)
-Also, candy. I don't want it. One day, I "forced" myself to eat some SPKs and they tasted awful. I end up with horrible headaches and usually a stomachache at some point after eating candy or too much sugar..for awhile, it was like candy literally had no flavor; it was just "sweet"... even candy bars. So sometimes I'll have ice cream or something for dessert, but most nights there's no dessert at all. Which is completely unlike me.
-Meat? I want nothing to do with it. I wish I did because it'd be easier and I wouldn't have to bother with iron supplements then. I can get chicken at restaurants or as take-out but I can't actually remember the last time I had red meat.

These are second trimester photos because in the first trimester you just look and feel like you ate too much.

March 7, 2018

Currently (a link-up): March 2018

Planning...on going back to Friday Favorites (and gratefulness) now that The Bachelor is over and The Bachelorette doesn't start for a few months. My thoughts on the finale(s) are many, but that's coming up on Friday. 

Seeing...these shoes that look like something I might want to wear this spring/summer. Thoughts?

Also, I really like these:

Making....some variation of this sheet pan dinner every other week or so. I usually do chicken sausage, a sweet potato, red potatoes, and chickpeas. Sometimes green beans, but I've noticed I buy green beans and then don't use them before they start to go bad so I've stopped buying them. Also, broccoli has given me nothing but heartburn for the last few months so I just stopped trying with that. 

Pretending...We're not moving, having a baby, trying to sell a house, and somehow I also need to pack up my entire classroom and get all the boxes home...all within the next 3-4 months. This is such the definition of unsettled and I try not to think about it. We also have to get a storage unit, sell one or two vehicles, and start deciding what furniture we want to sell (we have some extra couches, etc). And I need to paint some rooms in this new house because yellow walls are a deal-breaker and no one (out of Scott and our dogs) seems to take this yellow-wall-problem seriously, so I'll have to do it myself. 

Wearing...I did order this shirt (it's on sale) in two colors and it was a great purchase. I recommend it. I'd size down.

Linking up with Anne!

March 6, 2018

Worthwhile Articles About Teaching.

I've spent some time recently cleaning out my bookmarks. I was saving so much. Much has already been shared and a lot is just useful information (like the plug adapter for our cell phone booster should I need to reorder one in case our current one gets struck by lightning for a fourth time).

I save a lot of articles about teaching. Here are the ones worth a share or a repeated share.

Why so many teachers leave-and how to get them to stay

When Finnish teachers work in America's public schools

Telling another teacher how to teach? It's a sin, says leading academic
(The best part of this ^ is that my district relies on Hattie's philosophies, yet they've ignored his viewpoints.)

How we pronounce students' names and why it matters. One of my biggest pet peeves (because while I don't have a hard to pronounce name, it always makes strangers stumble). I've found myself often apologizing to kids and parents if names were mispronounced at assemblies, over the intercom, etc.

Positive reinforcement doesn't work in the long run

The upshot of this is that we're giving kids something for nothing and we don't expect enough in return. I'm all about incentives, but training them to expect things, no matter their own actions, isn't going to help them.

So here's me, keeping to my 2018 goals, and posting more about teaching. 

March 5, 2018

This weekend I...

...took no pictures, even though I initially promised myself I would.

...did not turn on my computer at all.

...let my phone die and didn't answer texts. I checked Instagram once.

...attempted to organize some parts of the Wyoming house and made a master list of what I need to take with me next time (when I go there over my spring break). Had only two crying fits when I considered how much work is ahead of me when it comes to setting up a new house the way I'd like it.

...watched almost two full seasons of The Last Man on Earth. It's such a better version of an apocalyptic virus than The Walking Dead, in my opinion.

...tried three new-to-me restaurants. I'd go back to all of them. A diner, a vegan cafe, and an ice cream place.

....took a few windy walks with the dogs.

....also tried out Scott's new truck. He traded in the Tacoma that we loved dearly for a Ford Super Duty something-or-other. It'll come in handy as we start moving things to Wyoming.

....had to leave the dogs in Wyoming with Scott (I had wanted to bring them back with me since I have a 4-day week) because the fire danger in this God-forsaken state is so high that I don't feel right leaving them alone and worrying about them all day while I'm at work.

....finished an audiobook I initially started in October-ish, and realized I really enjoyed the second half of it. I Found You by Lisa Jewell.

...saw this article posted on Facebook last night. It happened at my old high school this past week, and we actually had a similar situation at my elementary school here in Colorado this past week too. I have a very strong opinion that, juvenile or not...10 years old or high school...your name should be published and your parents' names should be published and you should be able to be publicly shamed when you do something like that. The public has a right to know when you're stupid and reckless.

Anyway..that's a depressing way to end a list, right?

Here's some motivation for Monday...

I've always been meaning to read more C.S. Lewis.

The Bachelor ATFR is going to blow up tonight AND I have tomorrow off AND I have a work day on Friday with no students. All good things.

March 2, 2018

"Ross is likely a better choice", Week 9

1. I understand that Becca doesn't ever need to go back to an unhealthy relationship but this guy has a lot on Arie, just by glancing at his IG profile. Sure, you can't always go back to an ex and you shouldn't, but Arie is no prize. Like, not even a consolation prize.  This should've been a sign that Becca needed to just get out, whether she gave Ross another shot or not.

2. And then we have Lauren...

To be honest, I couldn't even watch Lauren's date. She's a lot like a housecat...just there, not showing any emotion toward any situation. 

3. A lot of people want Kristina to be the next Bachelorette. While she most likely won't be, I do like her. 

4. If you listen to podcasts about The Bachelor, one of my favorites is Popcast's Friend of the Show. Knox and Jamie always compare Arie to white bread, oatmeal, and potatoes, and say that Lauren is the perfect match for that. It does actually make me LOL, the way they say it (and I say this recognizing that I am the whitest person I know.)

5. I might have to go unspoiled next season. It may be more fun to guess who wins? The only other time I didn't know who won was waaaay back when I watched most of Jake Pavelka's season and thought there was no way he'd pick Vienna. 
I didn't watch another season until Ben Higgins. 

Ugh, Lauren. But Becca's dress was amazing.