Saturday, May 31, 2014

Easter happened (a couple of months ago)

This past week has been even crazier than normal. Very real deadlines. Lots of grading. Finals. All of the big end of the year stuff. So, blogging isn't really happening right now, but I did have these pictures edited and uploaded from two weeks ago when my grading was a little more manageable. And since I still have a lot of pictures to post before we take off for the summer, I figured I'd better keep going, but this one will be a little lighter on the commentary.

Remember how I said that I'd missed some things? Easter was one of those things. And since the family that we spent Easter with was one of those that is leaving this year, I didn't think it was right to overlook it.

They were kind of last minute plans, but that was okay with us.

They have two teenage daughters and a pre-teen son, and the mom had been offering to take our kids for a few hours for months now. So, they took the kids right after church, giving Eric and I a spontaneous afternoon on our own. Our first date in months. I don't remember the last one that we'd had.

Then we met them at their house for an early dinner (complete with ham--shocking!) with several of the singles from our neighborhood.

After dinner, their kids were really excited to set up an Easter egg hunt outside for Cade and Kennedy. They were thrilled!

The hunt was complete with plastic Easter eggs filled with jelly beans. (Sometimes I really wonder how people pull off this stuff!) But now, we've inherited some Easter eggs, so that should make next year much more fun!

After dinner, we stopped by the park that was on our way home from their house to take the pictures for the baby announcement. That was pretty entertaining, by the way. We should have had someone take a video of me running up and down the hill and through the flowers between the camera on the tripod and where we were standing to take the pictures.

Just 2 1/2 more days of school to get everything taken care of and wrapped up. We can't wait until it's all over! Just 16 days until we leave for summer in the States! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cade Turned 5 (about 3 months ago!)

Balance. Does everybody else in the world have this figured out? How long should it take to learn to balance everything in your life? And then, inevitably, something will change and you have to figure out a new balance.

I've been feeling like a huge failure in this area lately. There are just too many plates up in the air, some of them are bound to start crashing soon (okay, I guess one did the day we abandoned Cade at the bus stop).

This point in the year is always crazy in terms of grading and prep. Keeping up with all of the kids who are failing. Emailing and meeting with parents. Then, there's the school stuff that isn't classroom-related. Going away parties. Class parties. End-of-the-year teacher gifts. And then of course, the regular at-home stuff. Dinner. Laundry. Cleaning.

Needless to say, I'm not balancing it well right now. I'm lucky if I get the absolute bare minimum done in each part of my life. I've got classes prepped. I've shown up at the party. I've picked up the kids. Then, I'm left prioritizing all that is left to be done. Regardless of what I'm working on, I'm always feeling guilty that something is being ignored.

Which, I guess means I shouldn't be procrastinating by blogging! The good news is that in 10 days many of my plates will be safely tucked away in the cupboard. They'll have some chips. Some may be glued back together, but God always grants me the energy to get through it, even if it isn't exactly how I've pictured it.

There will be new plates out; they'll be clean and sparkly at the beginning of the summer but chipped by the end of it!

Since all of my plates came crashing down around me there for awhile, I missed documenting some events in our lives. While it would be easy to move on and just leave them out, I would hate for Cade to look back on this and think "hey, what about my birthday? sure, she wasn't feeling well, but I still turned 5, right?" Yes, Cade, you did. And yes, we celebrated with you!

We took you out for dinner. We bought you the chocolate cake that you picked out (even if it did have characters from "Larva" on it). And we promised that next year, you will get to have a big birthday party because you deserve it (and your sister deserves a year off!). 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

It's a....

It has been a crazy week, but I know that some of you are still waiting to hear the news, so...

While I sat in the doctor's office (trying to distract myself from the drama), I searched Pinterest for fun gender reveal ideas.

I made some plans in my head for what the perfect reveal would look like.

And then life happened!

I still wanted a fun way to tell the kids, but most of the ideas in my head just weren't practical for the limited time we had and the lack of easily available resources.

So, this was a quick and easy way to share the news with them, and of course, they were excited for chocolate!

I had planned on putting together something else cute to announce to the rest of the world, but life happened.

Today we were able to get pick up some stuff from our many friends that are leaving this year, so we're feeling a little more prepared now for baby #3!

And yes, it's official, the boys will outweigh the girls in this household come October!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Just one of those days...

Friday was one of those days. The kind that looks like it's going to be great and then suddenly falls apart. And there's nothing you can do but watch it fall.

I was really looking forward to it, actually. It's one of my favorite days of the school year. I had a guest speaker--a young college student from Afghanistan. We're in the middle of reading The Kite Runner, and my students have been doing research on topics related to Afghanistan. I love watching their faces as our speaker talks--as they make connections between what they've been reading and what he's saying. Or as they realize the disparity between the two. The fact that no news source can really give you a picture of what life is like in Afghanistan for a woman or a member of a minority ethnic group.

That part of the day went really well. Sure, I was crazy busy, running around trying to get everything done, but I had two 80 minute blocks where I listened to him speak and watched my students really learn something. It was good.

Then I had to rush out to get to my doctor's appointment. Eric and I decided the night before that I would drive down to the hospital and try to get in and out, so that I could pick up Cade. For my last appointment, he and the kids had gone off to the park for lunch with friends and then my appointment lasted no more than twenty minutes. Literally. I was in and out. But here's where things fell apart on Friday.

I did my best. I arrived early, managed to park (double parking about six cars and immediately being double parked myself), and headed to the doctor's office. It turns out that one perk to taking a taxi to the hospital is not having to walk by quite as many people walking around outside with their IVs and cigarettes while in their hospital gowns. Usually, I go in the front and only see a couple of those.

I checked in and was weighed and had my blood pressure taken. Then I sat. Nearly alone in the waiting room. I sat some more. People started filling in all around me. I heard one of the nurses say my name (which they awkwardly pronounce Che-shee), so I got a little excited, but she only came over to tell me that there were five people ahead of me. Lovely. I'd shown up early, it was now past my appointment time, and there somehow there were now five people ahead of me. Perfect.

I had already texted Eric letting him know that it wasn't looking like I was going to be able to pick up Cade. Now, I knew that I wasn't going to make it. I had already been waiting longer than my entire appointment last time. I called him. He didn't pick up. I texted him. He didn't respond. I called again. He didn't pick up. I called his classroom. He didn't pick up. I texted him again.

The doctor called me in and let me know that there was a test she wanted to do. I told her (again) I wasn't interested. She asked me if I'd had my ultrasound yet. I said no. She sent me back out to wait for it. Great. At all of my appointments I have had an ultrasound, and typically I have it before I go in to see the doctor, so I was really confused this time. And really unhappy that I had to wait again. I texted Eric again. He still didn't respond.

Moments later, Cade's school called. It was now 10 minutes past his normal bus stop time. I'd had no choice but to assume that Eric had gotten my texts and was just too busy (or angry with this upset to his schedule) to respond to me. But no, now the school was calling, and I knew that couldn't be good news. They were at the bus stop and there was no one to pick him up. I had failed. Big time.

I told her that Eric was supposed to be on his way and that I would call him again. This time, he answered the phone. We've had this conversation before (though thankfully never as a result of anyone not picking up our son!
Me: Where are you?!? (sounding completely panicked, trying to whisper because, as it turns out, there are actually English speakers around me, and trying desperately not to cry because I already know the answer)
Him: At school. Where else would I be?
Me: YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE PICKING UP OUR SON!!!! Haven't you gotten my texts? Or my phone calls? Where have you been? (now, definitely crying, but still kind of trying to whisper while I scream)
Him: I assumed you were getting him because I hadn't heard anything from you. (trying to pretend like it's the phone's fault, like none of my text messages or phone calls went through)
Me: What do you mean you hadn't heard anything from me?????? The school bus is there, and there's no one to pick him up! I'm still waiting for my ultrasound! I haven't even seen the doctor! I can't leave now!!!
Him: Okay, I'm leaving right now. I'll go pick him up. He hangs up.
I'm still talking. Me: Okay. I'll call the school. I don't know if they're going to wait for you.

I call the school. Tell her Eric is 15 minutes away still (if he finds a cab right away). She says they can't wait. I'll have to pick him up at the school. I hang up and get called in for my ultrasound. I try to breathe and remember this is big. I'm watching my baby move inside me. It's a wiggler and keeps waving at us with its hand in the air. She asks if I want to know the gender, and of course, I do. But, instead of focusing on this miracle, all I can think is: we can barely take care of the two we have! How are we going to juggle three?? Someone is always going to be left at the bus stop now!!

I try calling Eric again. He doesn't pick up. I get called in to see the doctor. I'm trying to text Eric as I walk and talk to her. I'm fine, the baby's fine. I schedule my next appointment; I'm running out of the office and down the stairs.

I call Eric again, and he picks up. I tell him that the bus won't be there (seriously! the time spent with dr. and ultrasound tech were so fast!) when he gets there. We have to drive to the school to pick him up, but I still don't know the way and I won't be able to park and I don't know what to do. He says I should just pick up him and Kennedy at home and we'll all go. Okay. That will work.

I manage to get my double-parked car out and get on the road, still shaking. I call him again. Tell him it will take me forever to get back home to pick him up, he needs to meet me outside the school and we can go from there. He has just gotten out of the taxi that turns around in our parking lot and then they get right back in it. And go right back where they'd come from. That was 8 bucks we'll never see again.

I'm still a little stressed, but we eventually meet and head to the school. Things go fairly smoothly. It always takes awhile to get there, though. By the time we arrive, Cade should've been off the bus and at home for more than an hour, but I try not to think about that. Eric runs up to get him, and he's in a great mood when he gets in the car. He got to play Go Fish with his teacher. Man, I love that kid.

I had already made plans with friends to go see the movie "Moms' Night Out" and boy, did I need it after that day. Cade chose to have pizza for dinner and go see the 5th grade musical at school as our way of making it up to him. The day ended on a high note for all of us. The kids enjoyed the musical, I loved the movie, and I was reassured that I'm not the only mom who hasn't picked up her child. All is well that ends well. (And yes, I am fully aware that this is, in no way, Korea's fault!)

These pictures are from Cade's "football training" this spring. I brought my camera the first time, so that I wouldn't feel pressure to take pictures every time. He was the first kid to arrive, and he was right at home running around and getting some one-on-one time with his new coach. He really enjoyed it, and it was so nice to see him get involved in a team sport--with kids his own age, rather than middle school or high school girls!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


I was determined to do everything "right" with this pregnancy. I was going to work out, eat my daily fruits and vegetables, watch my calorie intake, and count how many ounces of water I drank. Guess how long that lasted? Yup. About three days. Okay, maybe a week.

After about the first week, around the 6 week mark, I started feeling sick. Really sick. Running to the bathroom every twenty minutes sick. I was throwing up at least once a day. I couldn't stand the taste of water. In fact, all food was abhorrent to me, yet I had to eat every 30 minutes to prevent myself from feeling even worse. Not surprisingly, it wasn't long before I outgrew all of my pants.

With Kennedy, I distinctly remember throwing up once. There may have been one other time. With Cade, I distinctly remember throwing up once. There may have been one other time. With this kid, I was throwing up once every day. I stopped keeping count. I didn't care what I ate, as long as there was protein and carbohydrate to keep me going for a bit. I only drank water if it was mixed with a steep ratio of cranberry juice. So much for doing everything right!

Thankfully, around 10 weeks, I got a miracle drug in the mail from Vitamin B6. My life turned around within a few days. I stopped gagging, I stopped throwing up, and for the most part, I was able to eat like a normal human being. Still every couple of hours, but that was a huge improvement over every couple of minutes. Eric brought back maternity pants from Singapore after his spring break trip, and I was ready for them (embarrassed to be, but ready nonetheless).

I was still exhausted--coming home after school to take a quick nap before soccer practice--but at least I was feeling better! The second trimester, however, has turned things around. My body is certainly not normal, but I'm back to fully functioning--eating like a regular human being. Only napping once a week instead of every day. Cooking when I'm not buried in grading. And I'm even starting to feel this little jellybean wiggling around in there. With any luck, we'll find out this week whether Jellybean is a boy or a girl!
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