Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Shopping extravaganza

What a weekend. Once again, we have to stay put for a day just to recover. My busy weekend started on Saturday, when I went out shopping all day long with my sisters and their girlfriend, kind of a girls' day out. It's been eons since we went out with no hubbies or kids. Of course, I had to horn in on their plans because historically, I haven't been their best shopping buddy. They made me promise not to mutter "crazy!" every time they looked at something expensive and nag over unnecessary purchases. I controlled myself pretty well, except towards the end, when Lynn was taking FOREVER to pick out her stuff, and I couldn't help letting out a bunch of "are you done yets?"

We shopped till the stores closed. We looked at clothes, underwear, makeup, sunglasses, everything. I mostly stuck to non-apparel stuff since I'm about to gain 30 pounds. I ended up with eyeliner and lipstick (so there Lorna). Lynn tried on every single lipstick color, even the ones you could tell were hideous, and then she moved on to try every single eyeliner color. The makeup lady must've been so tired of us, even though she was laughing at our sisterly comments. Afterwards, we all had dinner together, and by the time we got home, all the kids were asleep! It was worth it, though. We ended up with a ton of stuff, and it was just fun hanging out. Kudos to their friend Wendy because it wasn't easy hanging out with us sisters; we tend to get a little obnoxious around each other (they more than me, of course). Yeah, we gotta do it again soon, except we spent way too much money.

Meanwhile, I have to start getting ready for the baby and shop for a bunk bed. I don't suppose anyone wants to come with me?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Our little nurturer

I rarely get mad at my oldest daughter these days. She's a great helper who does almost everything you ask her to. When I get mad at my son for not helping to put away toys, she will say, "It's okay, Mommy, I can do it myself" because she doesn't want to see her brother get busted. She fetches diapers and wet wipes, washes her baby sister's hands before meals, puts the dinner plates on the table and puts them away afterwards.

Last night, while I was standing in their room, she came up to me, put her arms around me, and kissed my stomach. She said,"I love you, Baby. I hope you come out soon."

Saturday, May 13, 2006

School's out

The semester is finally over. I gave my final exam yesterday and finished all my grading today. I actually agonized over a few grades. I wavered over two students who scored consistently low (really low) on all the exams but put a lot of effort into coming and listening. They hung in there, they tried hard, and they were very nice people. I debated giving them a C or a D. I rationalized the C grade pretty well: I was too hard on them this semester; community college is more like high school than real college; if I'm going to pass this other loser who never showed up, I should pass them too.

In the end, I decided to give them D's, which was already generous. From their exam grades and talking to them, I'm pretty sure neither of them learned a single coherent concept, only jumbled bits of different ones. I can't pass someone that clueless about biology. The clincher was realizing that they wouldn't have passed even in another easier class.

I'm sending them the message that effort sometimes is enough, but more often, you need the results to back up the effort. I hope next time they won't rely on sympathy and flattery but instead take action to come up with better study strategies. And I hate the bad rap that community colleges have, that they're easier and don't really equip students for 4-year colleges. I don't want my kids going to some watered down college (and they are all going to community colleges).

So the semester ends. It's been very educational for me. I've gained new insights into the public school system here from my high school students. I've learned more about people's goals and desires and how people are drawn to different groups. And I've learned that there are rats crawling around in the space above the ceiling.

Coincidentally, with the ending of school and my first trimester, my headaches and fatigue are much reduced. It's gonna be a great summer.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

First Look

No wonder Tom Cruise bought his own ultrasound machine! Yesterday I had to do an ultrasound screening, and it was just what I needed to get excited about the baby. I completely forgot about the two extra years of poopy diapers, tantrums, etc while I watched the baby pick his/her eye and wiggle around. I'm looking forward to meeting him/her and have new resolve to take care of myself better.

I had to do the first trimester screening because of my "advanced maternal age." Well, I didn't have to. I could've chosen to do the amniocentesis later, but there's a chance of miscarriage that results from the procedure alone, which by the way is equal to my chance of having a Down syndrome baby (the chance of a miscarriage from the amnio is actually greater than the chance of a Down baby for younger moms). Yesterday's screening, called nuchal translucency ultrasound for any interested pregnant women, is much less invasive, with just an ultrasound and a blood test, and the results are 90% accurate.

I'm glad I did it because it was just what I needed. I am relieved to know that there's only one baby (the chance of twins also goes up with advanced maternal age) and that he/she is normal, with no chromosomal abnormalities. No news yet on boy or girl, but I'm just happy with the news that we do have.

Monday, May 1, 2006

Never say never

A few months back, I blogged that we were done having kids. I sold the saucer, gave away old clothing, gave away maternity clothes. So guess what happens. Oh yeah. In case you lost count, that would be number 4. By the way, no, we have nothing against birth control, and yes, we are insane.

That's why I've been in a stump lately. First because I was in denial (your shock is nothing compared to mine), and then because all the symptoms I never had for the other three pregnancies kicked in. So life has been a little chaotic, which I'm sure is just a teensy sampling of what's to come in early November.

This is my 12th week, about to enter my second trimester. I'm hoping that my fatigue and constant headache will be gone soon. The kids have gotten used to me passing out every few hours, and Kevin is finally getting the clue that just because the other three were relatively easy doesn't mean this one will be. In the meantime, we are starting to get everything ready for November, because it will take that long. Here we go again.