My Thankful 30

This Friday we completed the second full week back to school which went fabulous, but it ended in a meeting that left me out of sorts.  I allowed myself to become bitter and I brought the negativity home with me, which is never fun for my family.

Gratitude

I decided I needed to put a stop to it and take a moment to reflect on the more popular moments of the week that I’m thankful for.  A strategy I recommend for anyone looking to turn their mood around!

  1. Celebrating McKinley’s Birthday…she is officially a teenager!
  2. Hearing Mick’s team (and the opposing team) sing Happy Birthday to her
  3. Soccer, soccer, and more soccer
  4. Cole’s Cross Country Meets
  5. Messages from former students
  6. Continuing to keep up with my blog
  7. Hearing all is healthy at my doctor’s appointment and listening to his heartbeat
  8. Some amazing students…nobody will ever see or understand those little moments that go on inside my classroom
  9. Surprise breakfast sandwich from my amazing co-worker
  10. Surprising one of our co-workers with a thoughtful gift who is a first time grandfather
  11. Everyone being able to SEE the baby kick…lil guy is active and strong
  12. Hearing my Grandfather on the phone…after his stroke I was unsure if he would recover and he is slowly, but surely making improvements!  He is the most strong, stubborn, fighter I know!
  13. Going through baby names with Craig…always fun…he thinks it’s hilarious when I start yelling the name out like he’s in trouble or he’s about to score a goal…we have to know how it will sound, right?
  14. Apple Crisp with vanilla ice cream in bed…compliments of Craig
  15. Our first daycare tour…a gofundme page is coming soon…haha!
  16. Buying some more maternity clothes…having more options in the morning makes it more likely to have a positive start to the day
  17. Cole playing bass for homecoming
  18. Grandpa licking the container out of the Apple Crisp we brought him…haha
  19. Our first visit to Brighton Farmer’s Market–who doesn’t love live music, fresh food, beautiful weather, food trucks, plants, and holding hands with your man
  20. Snuggling with McKinley while she felt her lil brother kick
  21. Eating some amazing Italian food…Veal Parm is one of my favs!
  22. Cole going to his school dance
  23. Payday $$$$$
  24. A quick chat with a friend I haven’t talked to in a long time
  25. Healthy meals
  26. A man who wakes up early to make my lunch for work in the morning…all because he wants to…he even woke up extra early one morning this week to make egg salad for me
  27. Gramps feeling the baby kick again (to be honest I don’t think he was kicking at the time, but we will just let him believe he felt him)
  28. Receiving my Fabfitfun box…always fun when it comes
  29. The smell of the house as the turkey dinner is cooking
  30. Selling a couple items on Teachers Pay Teachers (who cares if I only made a dollar—still makes me happy)

Just a short list to remember all the wonderful moments from this past week.  Next week will bring even more to be thankful for!

thank you

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Share in a comment:  What are you thankful for from this past week?

 

Crystal

 

 

Experiencing the Layers of Pregnancy

I am officially 23 weeks pregnant.  I never thought I would even entertain the idea of having another child, but I fell in love with an amazing man and that plan changed.

When I met him I told him straight, “I will not be married, I will not have anymore children, and if you are still hung up on some ex or into drugs don’t bother with me because I don’t have time to play around”.

The poor guy looked at me and said, “Ummm…can we just go on a date to see where that takes us?”

And here we are now…23 weeks pregnant!  Whoa!  I think I’m more scared now than ever before!  How will I balance my life?  How will I sleep?  I want to breast feed, but will also be working…will I be able to pump enough?  And the dreaded thoughts about my body and what it will look like after I give birth…

For now I will focus on the beauty of my body as it changes and embrace the layers of change.

Today I took a few minutes to take some photos of myself to do just that…focus on the beauty of my pregnant body.

If this offends you I don’t apologize. If I wasn’t pregnant, on a beach, and in a bikini then you wouldn’t be offended at all.  It took me years to love my body, and becoming pregnant has caused a range of emotions to continue to love every part.

Share in a comment:  Did you find it easier to appreciate your body while you were pregnant?  Before pregnancy?  After?  How do you maintain a positive body image?

Crystal

Post inspired by The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Layered

What will we name him?

One of the most frequent questions we are asked after people know we are having a boy is…

What are you naming him?

It feels like we have discussed several thousand names.  Being a teacher makes selecting a name a little more challenging.  Another layer to that is one of the schools we both worked at we referred to students by their initials, so we have thought about what his initials will be as well.

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Our name we picked out for a girl is Lyndon and I’m still absolutely in love with it, but we are having a boy.

Some of the names for our little boy we have discussed are…

Joseph:  Craig’s father’s first name.  Since Craig’s father has passed away we thought about using part of his name for the baby, but we aren’t too fond of other people we know with that name.  Even more so, we don’t like the idea of him being called “Joe” or “Joey”.

Lawrence:  Craig’s father’s middle name.  We liked it for a little while, but again, we aren’t thrilled with the thought of him being called “Larry”.

Cayden:  Craig keeps circling around back to this name, but I’m not sold on it at all.

Laxton: I like this one…Craig does not.  He prefers Paxton, but Cole had a friend with that name and I just can’t.

Jaxson or Jackson:  Craig likes this one, but it’s way too popular.

Max/Maxwell:  Craig is into this one too—as I write this I realize how open he is and how resistant I am.  Maxwell reminds me of coffee and Max sort of sounds like a dog…I’m just not so sure about it.

Maddox:  In case you haven’t noticed, Craig likes names with an “x” in them.  I’m not a fan of this one…uggg will I ever like a name?

Lennox:  Family name which would have a lot of meaning, but not sold on him being called “Len” or “Lenny”…as an English Teacher all I can think of is Lenny in Of Mice and Men.

Isaiah:  I like this one, but Craig accuses me of being a closet Celtics fan and thinks that’s why I like the name.  I do like the player Isaiah Thomas a lot, but since he is now on the Cavs this name is off my list (I’m not a Cavs fan).

Josiah:  This name we both like, but are not in love with it.  Since Craig’s father’s name is Joseph is has that connection, but again we don’t like the idea of him being called “Joe” or “Joey”.

Pierce:  I like this one, but Craig does not—since it is a former Celtic player (I swear I’m not a Celtic fan).

Craig Jr.:  Craig doesn’t like the idea because he feels a lot of men who name their son after them are controlling and he doesn’t want to be that dad.  He wants him to have his own identity.

Do we select a name that is popular?  Unique, but not too unique?  Family name?  A Jr?  So much to think about, but I know when the time comes we will have the perfect name for our little one.

When we have decided on a name we have agreed not to share it with anyone until he is born…now if we can just agree on a name for the lil guy!

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Share in a comment:  Which name do you like best?  Any suggestions for us to consider?

Crystal

 

My Top 10 Unexciting Moments of Pregnancy

After writing the Top 10 Best Parts About Being Pregnant I thought it might be fun to think about the struggles.  I am beyond thankful to be pregnant, but there are some moments that can cause some frustration.  This is what I came up with…

10. Doctor Appointments:  I feel like I’ve been to the doctor’s more than Wegmans lately.  I was going more than usual so he could monitor me a little closer, but it is worth it to make sure everything is in order and baby is healthy.

9.  Zika Virus:  We wanted to do some traveling over the summer, but Doc said no due to the risk of the Zika Virus.  I’ll usually go against doctor orders without batting an eyelash, but I’m not going to put my child at risk—maybe we will plan a weekend babymoon close to home instead.

8.  Maternity Clothes:  Ok, it has been years since my previous pregnancies and maternity clothes have improved quite a bit, but they still have a long way to go!  What woman wants to look like they are wearing a tablecloth?  Enough with the stripes! And what is with all the bows and ties—just because I have a child growing inside of me does not mean I want to look like one!

7.  Weight Comments:  I have never had so many people feel like its appropriate to comment about my weight!  A “family member” recently felt it was appropriate to address me by saying, “what’s up fatty” (just one of the flavorful comments she made).  For one I’m not fat, way thinner than her (not to mention I have a full mouth of my own teeth), and I’ve only gained nine pounds according to my last doc appointment.

6. People asking when the wedding is:  If we had a dollar for every time we have been asked this we could have a destination wedding and pay for our entire family to come!  Just because we are expecting does not mean I’ll be waddling down the isle!

5. Shaving, clipping toe nails…anything involving bending over:  Things are difficult to reach, see, and it can be incredibly frustrating.

4. Sleep: I toss and turn quite a bit!  When a comfortable position is finally found it only lasts just a short time.  I’m too hot!  No, too cold…where did I kick that blanket?  Where is the Pepcid?  Ohhhh…not a leg cramp….not now!  That can’t be my alarm—I just fell asleep!

3. Hearing “you’re crazy” or “are you sure you want another?”:  I’ve never been one to walk to the beat of the drum society is playing…and I don’t intend to now.  I’m fully aware that I am in a sense “starting over” as some say, but just because you are afraid to live your life, doesn’t mean I am.  People have called me crazy for all kinds of decisions—being a teen mom, going back to college, wanting to teach students with disabilities, wanting to teach in the school I’m in…all of which make me incredibly happy and proud, so how is that crazy?

2. FatigueAt the end of the work day I am spent!  I’m on my feet the majority of the day, then it’s picking up from practices, cooking dinner, cleaning up the house, and I do try and make time in there for a nap or at least some couch time with my favorite blanket!

1. Mood swings:  These hit me off guard (pun intended)!  They have finally seemed to level out, but they were quite intense earlier in my pregnancy.  One second I was fine, next crying over a nothing, and then the temper would come out of nowhere!  I’ve never experienced such a range all at once—my family deserves an award for putting up with me through them!

mood

Share in a comment:  What is/was your least favorite part about being pregnant?

Crystal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Best Parts About Being Pregnant

top ten best parts about being pregnant

Pregnancy isn’t always full of positive experiences, but I took a moment to reflect on what my top 10 best parts.  This is what I came up with…

10.  More to blog about:  With all the excitement I have more to write about…I just have to commit to taking a specific amount of time to write per day/week.

9.  Organization: I’m a pretty organized person, but now I have stepped it up a notch and started to update my lists of birthdays of family and friends–I used to be a lot more thoughtful and send cards for special occasions and now I want to make it a goal to do that again!

8.   No period:  Does this one need much explaining?

7.  Another excuse to take pictures:  I enjoy taking photos, and another reason just makes it even better!  I have very few photos of my previous pregnancies, and this one being my last means I will take tons!  I’m sure I will drive some nuts with them all, but I’m excited and proud of my growing, healthy baby…and body.

6.  A reason to buy new clothes…and shoes….and bras:  Even if I’m not a huge fan of maternity clothes I do like buying new clothes…I have been able to find quite a few items that I like to wear, and I will be needing to stock up on some winter items too!  Since I’m on my feet all day teaching I *had* to go shoe shopping too.  I’ve found that sketchers have some really comfortable shoes and some of them are cute!  I did have to break down and buy new bras which I didn’t want to do at first, but I’m much more comfortable now—that could explain why my moods have leveled off lately?!?!

5.  Learning more about my body:  I have learned more about my body by being pregnant this time around than I have ever.  I have more of an interest in learning about what is going on, so I research everything.  I now realize that the cramping I  usually feel mid-cycle is actually ovulation, I know the difference between an ovary and follicle,  what the placenta vs. uterus is, and even the various theories of gender swaying and prediction—I became a bit obsessed with reading all about those!

4.  Presents:  Who doesn’t love presents?  I have received maternity clothes, a mani-pedi gift certificate, a homemade blanket, packages in the mail of goodies for our little one, and bags of baby clothes that will be a huge help!  I’m a lover of those fun types of surprises, so they are definitely one of the best parts of being pregnant!

3.  People (including students) are generally nicer:  Maybe I’m imagining it, but students and co-workers seem a lot more friendly.  Even strangers spark up conversations and smile more than usual.  Who can be mean to a pregnant woman I guess?  Friendly people means one happy pregnant momma!

2.  People are more likely to go out of their way to give you what you want…cravings:  Not that I abuse the perk, but I do enjoy being given what I want, when I want it…man I have a penchant for those Tim Horton’s blueberry muffins!  Craig is picking one up on his way home from work as I type this.  Now if I can convince my mom to make her lemon poppy seed bread…hmmm…is she reading?

1. Realizing there is a little life growing inside…beyond amazing:  Taking a moment to really think about the life growing inside, the miracle of it all, how I’m chosen to carry this tiny life, wow…God is great!  Feeling his movements is precious, but most moms know there is that uncomfortable feeling my cousin Brittany describes perfectly when she said, “the worst is when he will literally feel like his foot is coming out of your va-j!”

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On that note…my next post just might be about the struggles of being pregnant.

Share in a comment: What is your top favorite part about being pregnant or having been pregnant?

Crystal

 

 

Update: 22 Weeks Pregnant

My goal was to keep up to date with the pregnancy updates, but again I find myself slacking.  My grandfather experienced a stroke and gave us quite the scare, so we have been spending as much time at the hospital as possible—maybe I will dedicate a blog post all about him because he is one amazing man!  He was moved to hospice, but has been making positive improvements and will be moved soon to begin therapy.

 

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“I felt him kick” (Grandpa in hospice)

 

I am also back to work now that school has started.  I have so many new ideas for my students that I have been spending a lot of time planning creative lessons for them!  Being pregnant while teaching is a first for me, so this semester will be interesting.  Hmmm…I went into labor in school with my eldest daughter…will I go into labor with this little one?  I guess we shall see!

How far along: 22 weeks, 1 day today

Baby is size of a: according to my Ovia App he is the size of corn on the cob, but he sure feels like he’s the size of a watermelon already!

Total weight gain: my last appointment I gained 9lbs which was a huge change from losing weight…Doc was happy!

Maternity clothes:  I am wearing them every day…winter will be here soon though and I do need to decide if I’m buying a maternity coat or not…hmmm….thoughts anyone?

Sleep:  I toss and turn quite a bit because he is quite active mixed with the fact that I can’t sleep on my stomach!  Pillow between the legs is a must too!

Best moment this week:  Grandpa feeling the baby kick…he was so excited!  My boyfriend was also finally able to feel and witness our lil guy practicing his jump shot…he has been incredibly active!

Symptoms:  Heartburn like crazy…I’ve never been one to experience heartburn, but now I can drink water and all of a sudden the burn is on!

Food cravings:  Tim Horton’s blueberry muffins (warmed up, cut in half, with butter)….yummmmmmmmmm!!!!

Food aversions: none

Gender: Boy

Name: None set in stone yet…it is difficult to name a child when you’re a teacher.  We are waiting until after he is born to share the name though.

Labor signs: None, but I swear with all the movement he might break my water soon!

What I miss:  Being able to clip and paint my toenails without contorting myself

What I look forward to:  maternity photos…yes, more of them

Milestones:  today marks my first day starting a full week back to work…I can no longer squeeze between the clusters of desks in class and have to take the long way to reach certain students

Bump:  growing and noticeable, healthy

 

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Happened this week

 

 

Any advice you would like to share?  

Crystal

 

 

 

 

Guess What?

Well I have been gone for some time, but for exciting reasons…we are expecting a baby January 2018.  One of my goals was to keep up with blogging while experiencing various stages of pregnancy, but I slacked a bit on that.  Below is a letter I wrote the day I found out along with a few photos we took to create an announcement.

May 13th, 2017

Today I woke up early and went to work to teach Saturday school. I felt different, but couldn’t quite figure out why. I wrote a blog post and prayed and told God that I’m ready for what He has in store for me next. I listened to church hymns on youtube and stumbled on a video of Oprah explaining her disappointment when she was told she was not selected for The Color Purple…I was balling my eyes out listening to Oprah’s story and asking myself what was wrong with me—I don’t usually cry that easily. Then the hymn’s I listened to made me weepy and I thought my period must be arriving today!

I was starving when I arrived home, so Craig and I went to lunch and I ate and ate and ate! Ohhh and we left one restaurant because I wanted soup and they didn’t have any.  When we returned home I decided to try and see if my period was due today or where I was in my cycle. Usually my period is right on target, but I broke my phone a couple weeks ago and because I use it to track my period I was off on my dates. Today I re-downloaded an app to see where I was in my cycle and found out I was over a week late! I’m NEVER late!

Craig went to pick up some groceries at Wegmans, so I decided I would take a test. Immediately I saw two lines…PREGNANT!!! We are having a baby!!! Whoa!

I thought of ways to tell Craig, but I just can’t keep a secret from him. I just couldn’t wait to tell him!  He came back from Wegmans and we went out shopping. He stopped at Dunkin Donuts and I asked if he still had his mug from them (years ago, when we first started dating he accidentally bought a “This Dad Runs on Dunkin” mug and it has been a joke since). He said, “Yea why”. I replied, “Well maybe you should buy another one”. He stopped, looked at me, and said, “wait….are you pregnant”….hahaha!

Now all the moodiness, weepiness, sore boobs, and dreams make sense. We recently went on vacation and I had the worst motion sickness ever—makes sense now! Last week I had a fish fry and became incredibly sick after eating it—makes sense now!

We are ridiculously excited, already went shopping to look at maternity clothes, baby clothes, strollers, blankets, and have talked about how to tell people. We don’t have anything set in stone yet, but have a few ideas that we like. We are thrilled and hope others are as well.

A post about our gender reveal adventure is coming soon. 

Check out my Instagram for a sneak peek.

Crystal