Birthdays and Christmas

All of my life I have heard that if you have a December birthday it is terrible. According to them everyone puts their birthday and Christmas presents together. I do not have this problem since my birthday is almost exactly 6 months away from Christmas.

Dustin on the other hand didn’t get so lucky. His birthday is December 19th. Since we have been together I have tried to set his birthday apart from Christmas. By doing so he normally gets a trip for his birthday, and other presents for Christmas. The trips in the past have been day trips to Memphis to see the grizzlies play and hang out and eat all the good food that is offered there. Two years ago we went to Spokane to see Gonzaga play, and hang out with friends of mine. And yes there is normally sports involved when we take these trips. 🙂

This year there was a bump in the road. I tried to get our annual Memphis trip together since the Mavericks would be playing the grizzlies in November, but I didn’t get my life together to get the tickets in a timely manner. Which that actually worked out for the better since Dustin started driving for UPS right before we would have gone for the day/night. We also talked about going somewhere with just the two of us before baby X gets here, and well that hasn’t worked out either.

So I decided since I couldn’t get my life together and get a trip going I would let him choose this year where we went, and it would have to be after the baby is born. I put together a book and gave him the options of Nashville (staycation), Memphis, Chattanooga, or Gatlinburg. We have done almost all of Memphis together, and almost all of Gatlinburg together. I wanted to include them because well you just can’t go wrong with your favorites.

I have attached pictures for you to see the book. The first thought I had was to get brochures of all the places we could go. This back fired on me immediately. I drove over an hour to a rest stop to see what they had in the form of that, and it was not what I wanted. Next thought was to go scrap booking stickers. It would’ve been cheaper if I could have drawn things, but I am by no means a drawer. Stick figures don’t even look like stick figures when I draw them.

Once I got the destinations, activities, places to eat, and places to stay together I had some space leftover. I got to thinking that if he didn’t want to do a trip I needed to add something here. That’s when coupons and gift cards came to mind. If he wanted to do the trip then the gift cards and coupons would be for Christmas since we haven’t really discussed doing gifts this year.

On the front page I wrote him a little note stating how sorry I was I let things fall through the cracks getting his birthday present together like I have in the past. Then it went into what he was supposed to do: pick out one place to go, 3-4 things to do in the city, and 2 (or more) places to eat. Then I separated it by the cities and activities. Since we live on the outskirts of Nashville I didn’t put any places to stay on there. I gathered all my ideas from either Pinterest or google. You can check out my Pinterest boards if you are interested in going to any of the cities I have mentioned for ideas of things to do, and places to eat. I also knew some of the staples that we stop at when we go to Memphis and Gatlinburg so I went ahead and added those since we know we can’t go there without making a stop at these places.

After the pages that are about a trip ended I left him a little note that told him if he didn’t like this idea here was something else for him to enjoy. During pregnancy he has picked up a lot of slack around the house and with his job. So on the coupons I put that he gets to get out of chores, gets a free night with friends, etc. Then I gave him gift cards to area places: Dicks, Best Buy, Chili’s, Old Navy, and Lowe’s.

He ended up opening his present early because we maybe having another present arrive on his birthday. We found out yesterday that our little man is not so little, and that we will be picking a date to have him. He is currently weighing in at almost 9 lbs and we still have 4 weeks til we get to 40. If we can get next Wednesday then that will be the route we go, and Dustin and X will share the same birthday. For now I will need to get my life together and prepare for a baby to enter the world and perhaps get my messy house in order 🙂

A Day of Thanks

It has been a hot second since I have been on here, and that is all for good reason. I started substitute teaching for the biggest school district in Tennessee. It is also the most under funded school district it seems like. When I went to orientation for this they told us that 78% of the children pre-k through 12th grade were considered to have a learning disability. My mind was blown.

I have worked now off and on for two weeks. The first week I only worked two days. I had high school and elementary school. High school I didn’t really know what I was getting into. It is a school that is closest to us in mileage so I took it. I didn’t know that it was one of the worst schools in the district going in. I had freshman mostly with a few sophomores mixed in. Some of the freshmen still acted as if they were still in middle school, but they weren’t too bad for me. One class in particular stuck out to me.

The class that stuck out to me was the honors English class I had. One kid was leading a pretty in-depth conversation. He was talking about how because they are a predominately lower class school they were expected to become drug dealers, to use drugs, or just not do anything with their lives. Their mission was to break the cycle. They had dreams. They also got off on the subject of kids coming out of the closet, and that they knew people that wouldn’t because they needed their parents who they knew wouldn’t accept them anymore if they did “come out of the closet.”  The conversation ended with the same guy talking about how he was working on his relationship with his mother. She wanted him to become a doctor or a lawyer, but that wasn’t what he wanted to be. He had been working on putting together YouTube videos since he was 12 to build a portfolio for when he graduated to do something in that area. I was blown away by their conversation. There is adults that can’t carry on conversations and talk about topics like they were in an orderly manner even when some of them didn’t agree with the opinions they had.

The next day I got to go to an elementary school. When I was in elementary school we had less than 100 kids total in the entire school Kindergarten through 5th grade. This school had 60+ kids per grade that went there. This was also my first time having an aid in the classroom with me while subbing. This was the day that I learned that aids can be a great thing for a sub or they could be a subs worse nightmare. Elementary kids are cool because they still like to do their work. There maybe one kid out of twenty that doesn’t want to do their work, but hey there’s always one in every crowd. Until you get an aid in the classroom that is just as wild if not wilder than the children in the class. Not only are you having to take care of the children, but you are having to take care of the adult that is acting worse than the children. Thankfully that aid didn’t last that long in the class, and a new one came in.

I had an eye opening experience at this school too. I had a dad bring in cupcakes for his little girl. I asked her if it was her birthday, and she responded no. She then proceeded to tell me that he does things like this from time to time because he will be gone to rehab for a couple weeks ever so often, and it’s his way of making up for it. She was in the 4th grade. I realized that day that I still lived under a rock for the most part in my sheltered world. This wouldn’t be the first time this got pointed out to me.

The next week I ended up working 4 days. 4 days for an 8 month pregnant lady is a lot of work. Shout out to you ladies that work up until you deliver. You’re the real MVP. That Tuesday I was with high school again. It was by far the easiest I had and would have. I got lucky, and got one of my friend that used to work at the school his old classes. When I told them I was friends with him they were ready to bow down to me because they thought I could get him to come back and teach them. Sadly he isn’t coming back to them, and they have to deal with the teacher that they all loathe.

Wednesday I was at the middle school that fed into the high school I was at the previous day. I didn’t exactly know what class I had signed up for, but I quickly realized it was going to be a challenge. I had the special needs class. Luckily I didn’t have them by myself. There were two other people in their with me. If you know anyone that teaches special needs kids or helps out with them give them a hug, a high five, a shout-out, or something because they really are a gift from God. There are no words to explain how you handle almost 10 kids at one time that do not have the same disabilities. Structure is definitely key when it comes to teaching them, but with them the day is never the same. Needless to say I was mentally exhausted after being with them all day, and I didn’t even do a whole lot in my book.

Thursday and Friday I was a lot closer to home. I was also in middle school. I was the same teacher two days in a row, and I thought I knew what I was getting into. Middle school kids are the definition of cray cray, and also the definition of can’t listen. I learned that this school was in the bottom 5 of the district. The children were very interested in me being pregnant, and I even had one child ask me how I got pregnant. That question caused a very stern reaction from me when I said I wasn’t discussing that with her. I had one rule for them, and that was to go easy on the cussing. I got told that everyone cusses these days, and if you didn’t you weren’t from the 21st Century. I guess this meant I wasn’t from the 21st Century. These children worked my nerves. They couldn’t keep their hands to themselves, and some of them actually acted like animals – I wish I was kidding. They also liked to skip class. I ended up with a lot of extra children because they wanted to come hangout in my class instead of going to the class that they were supposed to be in.

Progress reports also went out while I was there. I didn’t know it was possible for someone to score less than a 30 in a subject until I saw some of these reports where it had less than a 10 in some classes. With being 8 months pregnant, and this being middle school I couldn’t just leave them and go to the bathroom. There has to be someone in the class at all times. I would have to wait for an admin to come to the classroom so I could go to the bathroom. They were more than understanding when it came to my bathroom breaks. When I left there I apologized for how crazy the kids were, and I was told that I actually had the most control over them then the other people that had subbed for them. If they were “good” for me I would hate to see how much worse it could get.

While I had been trying to get as many jobs I could get, I forgot that my immune system was not prepared for children. Especially children that want to touch you all the time, that always have a runny nose, that sneeze on you, or cough on you without even thinking twice about it. I started to feel a little bad so I started taking over the counter items that I can take due to pregnancy. You are limited in what you can take when you are pregnant, and a lot of things they offer over the counter do not work for me at all. I thought I could fight it with shoveling OTC’s into my system, but that was wishful thinking.

I was hanging on pretty good until Saturday hit, and I lost my voice. It randomly hit out of nowhere. I already had the runny nose, a sore throat, and a little cough. I knew what was coming next, a full blown sinus infection. Monday of this week I broke down and went to the Dr to get antibiotics which is the only thing that will ever help. I was told previously by the baby Dr that while in your third trimester your immune system goes down for yourself, but it takes care of your baby because that is it’s first priority. It took forever for me to get some drugs that would work for pregnancy and also not interact with my seizures.

The antibiotics are finally starting to knock out the snot, but not doing a whole lot for my voice and my cough I still have. I have finally cut back on the amount of tissues I am using. I did try Robitussin last night to see if that would help with the cough – it took my entire voice away. At maximum volume for me it was barely a whisper you could hear when I was talking, and I don’t whisper! I decided to not go that route, and hopefully between hot tea and cough drops the voice and cough will get better.

Today is Thanksgiving, and I have had two weeks to be ultra thankful for all the good that I have in my life. These last two weeks have also brought about some eye-opening experiences as well as a lot of prayers for children that I probably will never see again. I hope that some of these children do find their own path and march to the beat of their own drum instead of following in the steps of those before them. Little man has also made his presence more known this week, and is starting to get super active where you can see it if I am just sitting down. It really does look like an alien is in my stomach! I hope you guys got to enjoy some time with your loved ones, and put your “Thanksgiving pants” on and feasted like Kings and Queens!! Until next time 🙂

Confessions of a Pregnant Lady

I got to admit it’s a little scary being pregnant. My morning sickness and the craziness that comes with pregnancy has been at a bare minimum compared to other women. What I mean  by that is there is a tiny human inside of me that I am responsible for taking care of before it is even out in the world.

It is strange how a child that you are growing can sense/feel what you are experiencing yourself. When I found out that I was pregnant the first thing I did was tell my bosses. I worked with controlled substances, and no longer wanted a part of handling those so I told them up front. I was 5 weeks pregnant when I told them. They ended up cleaning house, and it was just two of us working there. This went on for 5 months with just two of us working – getting all the day to day things done, and doing extra jobs when we could find time for them. It got to the point between months five and six of being pregnant that I was so stressed out about just going to work that my son was in overdrive in the kicking department. It was like he was sending me a sign that said “yo! take it easy, you’ve got me to take care of!”

This went on for about a month of him continuously kicking me every day non-stop. One day things finally hit the fan, and I was done. I couldn’t take the stress any more. I left for lunch, and never came back. Little man still kicks me periodically, but nothing compares to the beating I was taking during that month.

Now that I have had a month off of working, and my house is somewhat clean most of the time it is time for me to go back to work. The hubs is really excited about this. I was the breadwinner when I quit. He is working part-time currently at UPS for insurance, and is waiting for his call to the “big leagues” of full-time. Not my best move on quitting my job since bills don’t stop, but it was the best thing for our child and to keep him healthy.

I am a nervous wreck. I am going to be a substitute teacher. I have done this before years ago for a school that I graduated high school from, and I was already employed there while I was going to college. This is different. I am not going to know any of the teachers, and for the most part it will be a different school every time. At least starting out it will be. Next week I have high school and elementary school. Then I work in middle school in the following weeks.

If I sleep Tuesday night it might be a miracle. School starts for high school at 7:05 in the mornings, and I have to be there early. It also takes me over an hour to get ready now to look presentable to the world – most of the time I rock the I’m pregnant and can’t get my life together look. Being pregnant in the third trimester has been hard in the exhausted department. On a “normal” day I get up around 6:30-7:30. If I don’t have anywhere to be that day then I am good without taking a nap. If I have somewhere to go I am ready for a nap about 2-3 hours after I have been awake just from taking a shower and getting ready. This next week is going to be a big shocker to me.

When I work housework tends to go to the wayside. Going to admit I am not very good at keeping a clean house anyways, but it is even worse when I do work. Dishes don’t get done, the laundry piles up, you can’t see the counter tops or the kitchen table because it is used to house items that don’t belong on them, cooking dinner is out the door. Perhaps this will be a sign of things to come when the baby comes – dirty house, exhaustion, and barely making it through life. I hear these are some of the things you experience with a newborn.

Wednesday we reach single digits with the pregnancy. I will be 31 weeks. The next nine weeks are going to fly by especially with the holidays coming up, and all the running around we do with that. Not to mention we have other obligations that were already in place before we found out we were pregnant. I will more than likely survive, but I have a feeling it is going to be a bumpy ride. 🙂

 

The Best of the Best Flea Market Edition

When I was younger my parents would take me to various flea markets, and I hated it. Nothing interested me, but since I was along for the ride I couldn’t complain. I remember being in middle school and we went to one. We came home with guineas. Not the pigs, but the fowls (birds). The idea was that these birds were going to help with the tick population that we had in our yard. They didn’t last long at our house – the other wildlife we had decided they were good to feast on. And the ticks prevailed.

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During my early twenties I moved out of the house to live with a friend that needed help with bills, and I needed to get out. She was the one that first introduced me to the flea market in Nashville. Prior to this I don’t think I had ever gone to the state fairgrounds. She decided to take me to the “big one in October.” It was a group of us, and it was tons of fun. I got all of my Christmas shopping done on that trip to the flea market. I am one of those that LOVES to get my Christmas shopping done before November 1st if I can help it. Currently I have accomplished that except for Dustin’s immediate family – we get theirs on Black Friday.

This year at seven months pregnant I decided to go again. This has been dubbed the best one to go to if you are going to go to the flea market. There has to be over 500 vendors at this one with them being inside and outside. They pack the grounds. Brittany decided so that we wouldn’t have to walk far up the hill that we would get there when it opened. We got off the interstate around 6:45 AM, and once we got closer it was already backed up a little bit with people trying to get in to park.

Going in I didn’t know what I was looking for or if I was looking for anything at all. Dustin had given me a budget of what I could spend. When we arrived we went to the first set of vendors that were closest to us, it was at that point my bladder decided to stop working for the day. The good news is that Brittany knows where all the bathrooms are located so it wasn’t too terrible.

We make our way through all of the buildings. Brittany had to get some cups made that they do on the spot, but she has it down to a science as to what time she needs to hit them up so the cups will be ready when we leave. 5 hours later we are ready to hit the road. 5 hours later and this pregnant lady was exhausted.

I ended up getting items for dirty Santa that we do with one side of the family. I go back and forth every year with nice house items and funny gifts. This year was the nice house items. One of the ladies I purchased from was super sweet. She was talking to me about the nursery and what I had planned to do with it. We are doing baseball and American flags because well baseball is America’s favorite past time, and we love baseball. She said that when she was able to move into a house she was going to use her late husband’s fireman’s gear and memorabilia to set up a room for her grandsons. (Insert a few waterworks) It’s people like this that make going to the flea market also fun. I love talking to people that are personal, but then again I am super extroverted. Below is what I got for dirty Santa. I may play my cards where I get the TriStar to hang up in our home 🙂

The other things that I purchased was some items to be used for little man’s newborn photography session. I have been going to Pinterest to get some ideas of what I liked. The ones I like use an old coke crate, and I was able to score one of those for fairly cheap. The best purchase of the day was a blanket that we will use for newborn pictures, and also use it as one of his blankets. It has all the old school NFL logos on it, including the Titans who were the Houston Oilers back in the day.

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I made it out of the flea market with a dollar to spare. There are some items I didn’t get pictures of, and the food that I purchased. When we left the amount of people that were there was about the same as the amount of people that were waiting in line on the interstate to go. There is three entrances to get in, and they were all crazy backed up. I am thankful that we got there when we did.

I probably won’t make it back to another flea market until next October. I have basically made this flea market my one and only time to go. The new fairgrounds are undecided since we are getting a MLS stadium at this location, but if you are ever in Nashville when it is time for the “big one in October” I highly recommend going to it. Just remember to get there early.

Master Closet Makeover

Does anyone besides me hate wire racks? I despise them. Our builder put them in when we first built our house, and it saved us a ton of money. I opted out on having a door put on our closet. So as soon as you walk into our bathroom you can see straight into our closet.

After about a year of walking into my bathroom, and looking at the wire racks I finally had enough of it. I couldn’t look at them any more. So I did what any “sane” person would do, I took them all down. I do not recommend doing this when you are disgusted with them – perhaps do it when you are calm. Lesson learned now.

When I pulled the wire racks out I had some massive holes left in the walls. I knew that drywall putty would help with that, and I wanted to paint the closet anyway. Off to Lowe’s I went to get paint, drywall putty, and something to sand with. This was my first time using drywall putty, and it will be my last. I am not a professional by any means. I got it patched, sanded, and painted. And then it set for some months, and we lived out of the closets in the front of the house.

I had a general idea of what I wanted when it came to making over my closet. I have a ton of makeup from where I used to sale Mary Kay I had also started a nice little collection of jewelry that a friend of mine sales, Plunder. I wanted a way to have them organized, and not be a hot mess all over my room, bathroom, and closet. So where did I turn? Pinterest of course!

I saved ideas from how I wanted the layout to look, and the way I wanted my jewelry and makeup to look. While I was looking at ideas for that I started looking for ways to organize my husbands hats that were hanging on the bathroom door. All of our accessories would be in the same location.

My father-in-law is a carpenter by trade so we enlisted him for help. He would build our closet, and everything would be organized more than it was. I showed him what I had found on Pinterest, and he ran with it. I am thankful that he went his way because I would not have enough room if we went my route of what I had pinned.

It took him a day to finish. The only thing we lack now is we have to add the hooks for the necklaces and the hats. Please do not judge on how the clothes look (ha!).

The baskets all came from Walmart. The bigger ones are Pioneer Woman, and the other ones are just regular wooden crates. I was able to move our dresser out of our room (which made our room more open), and use it for the little man as a changing table by using these baskets. We each have a big basket for our under garments, and the two wooden crates house our winter and summer items. I got the tin oval bucket that holds my earrings at dollar tree. The two little wooden crates came from Walmart hold my bracelets and my most used makeup. I am not sure if you can see it, but I also purchased at the dollar tree a little decorative cup that has little accent gems in there to hold my makeup brushes.

By putting my jewelry and makeup in the closet it has freed up a ton of space in my bathroom! I am already looking at ways to take out the wire racks in our laundry room, but that won’t happen until our washer and dryer die. If you are interested in what I have in mind for the laundry room coming up follow me on Pinterest!

Shots, Shots, Shots

Yesterday I went to the doctor for my 28 week checkup. I knew going into this appointment what was going to happen….well sorta. When I arrived I knew I had to drink the goods for the glucose test. I got the orange flavor. I have heard horror stories of “the drink” and I was a tad bit nervous.

I apparently was either thirsty or ready to get it over because I chugged it. I am talking about less than 5 minutes to get the whole bottle down. Not gonna lie because I had chugged it I was a little nauseous after the fact. I do not recommend chugging looking back. The downfall to this is when you finish it you have to wait an hour before they can draw your blood to see if you got the diabetes.

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Once I had finished the glucose drink I got called back immediately. They asked me about the flu shot – I said no. I have never had the flu shot, and to my recollection I have never had the flu (knock on wood). When the doctor came in she told me I would be getting my RhoGam shot.

I am Rh-negative. This means that I am O negative when it comes to blood, and they aren’t sure if the baby is going to be positive or negative when it comes to their blood type. If my blood was to mix with the babies while in the womb I have the potential to kill the child or have the child become extremely anemic which would result in a blood transfusion as soon as he was born. This shot is to protect my antibodies from building up a defense against the baby. I was told that if I fell before I made it to 28 weeks then I would need to go to the emergency room ASAP to get the shot earlier.

She also talked to me about getting the flu shot. I told her the same thing I had told the nurse. I didn’t want to start getting the flu shot when I was pregnant. She then had to go into detail about what could happen in the third trimester if I was to get the flu. It’s kind of scary. She said while she was in school and rotations she had one person die from the flu that was in the third trimester, and then two people that were in ICU on a vent in their third trimester. One of the ladies ended up going into labor while on the vent, and she said that caused some major panic within the ICU. I am going to pray for the next 12 weeks I don’t get the flu.

I went ahead and told her I wanted to get the Tdap shot out of the way. I knew from talking to people previously that I would need this shot. I figured this would be the best time to get it since I was giving blood and already getting another shot. The Tdap shot is to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. The one I am most concerned with is pertussis (whooping cough). I have known some adults to get it, and they have had a hard time getting rid of it.

Once we discussed everything that needed to be gone over, and heard the beautiful heartbeat it was time for the nurse to come back in and give me my shots. The nurse came in, and said alright the first shot is the Tdap and you are going to curse me tomorrow. I told her I had previously had a cortisone shot in my shoulder and that it wasn’t pleasant and I could handle this. The second shot (RhoGam) would be going into my rear. I think that’s the first time I have ever had a shot there, and hopefully it’ll be my last.

When I got home I had noticed that my arm was a little sore and swollen where I had gotten my Tdap shot. No big deal. I went to bed, and I sleep a lot on my left side right now since that is the most comfortable position for me. Every time I rolled to my left side it felt like someone had punched me and left a massive bruise. Needless to say sleeping was a lot of fun last night. This morning it isn’t so bad. The swelling has gone down, and it doesn’t bother me as much. I still will take this shot over a cortisone shot any day.

Consignment Sales

Twelve years ago I got the news my sister was pregnant with her first. And like any cool aunt would do I went looking for the best clothes money could buy for him. I also went a little overboard. The cool thing about twelve years ago is that Hecht’s was going out of business. I was able to go and buy all the name brands for dirt cheap. I sort of knew how fast kids grew so I spaced out the sizes that I bought him.

I gave them to my sister, and she put them away. She forgot about all the clothes I had bought him, and ended up selling them in a consignment sale. This was the first time I had heard of a consignment sale. I apparently lived under a rock. Fast forward a few years, and my friends are talking about going to consignment sales. I tune them out because I don’t have kids why would I need to listen.

Then it happens. I become pregnant. A church that I have spent many years of playing church league softball, volleyball, and just hanging out with a few of their members put up an ad that they are having a consignment sale. I decided now was the time to figure out what a consignment sale was all about. I learned that my best friend was going as well so we arranged to go together.

I have to say I am thankful I decided to make this one the first one I went to. It was all in the gym. Clothes on one side and toys, books, and other things on the other side. I was still a little overwhelmed with having to go through the clothes. It was also very helpful that Kristin was there to help me out with what would come in handy (she’s got three little boys herself).

Two weeks later I saw an ad for a local consignment sale. When they advertise they advertise right. I decided I was going to tackle this one alone. I had also decided before I went to grab sizes of clothes from newborn to 9 months. I went on the first day it was opened. They had posted pictures and videos of what they had for sale, and I had a few items that I wanted. By the time I had gotten there those few items were gone. So I headed straight to the clothes.

This building is massive. All of the clothes were in the gym, the toys had their own room, and the strollers and play items lined the hallways. I’m telling you it was something else. I get to the clothes and I am in heaven. Most of the stuff is $1 or $2. Before I know it I am racking up, and  I finally called it quits after about 45 minutes.

When I was checking out the lady was telling me how their consignments worked. She said they do one in the fall and one in the spring, and that everyone just trades off their clothes. They will tag the old clothes, and then purchase what they need for the upcoming seasons. It saves families a ton of money doing it this way. Her explaining it to me opened my eyes to see the beauty of a consignment sale.

I went a little overboard on the clothes (see picture), I admit that. But as a woman when you see a good deal, you just can’t turn it down.

IMG_20180927_190654498 I have also turned into this person recently that will accept any donated clothes for our child. We have had three people give us their hand-me-downs from their children. The most recent one gave us clothes ranging from newborn to 3T. Our child is going to be one blessed little man!

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Until he is old enough to buy his own clothes he will be rocking the consignment sale clothes, and the hand-me-downs.