Saturday, September 29, 2007

Working on the Nursery

On Thursday, Jason's mom and sister came and painted the walls of the nursery. Months ago, I had wanted something a lot simpler than what we did for Gracie's room (my friend Jill and I spent A LOT of time painting Gracie's room!), but in these last few weeks, I've been envisioning something completely different. So, we still have quite a bit to do. On our to-do list for this week is adding a chair rail around the room (Jason), and painting some jungle animals on the walls (Jane). We're trying to include Gracie now in as much stuff as possible as we get ready for our new one's arrival. This morning, Jason put the crib (back) together, and Gracie got out her tool set to help. What a great little helper! I think she'll be a good gopher when the baby arrives. I can see it now- "Gracie, go get Mama a diaper," or "Gracie, go throw this diaper in the garbage..." I'll post pictures of the baby room when it's done!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fun Outside

The weather has been so nice. Gracie loves spending time outside. Here are a few pictures of her playing in her sand/water table.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

This Past Week

Sorry- I haven't blogged at all this week. Nothing to really share! My first week off of work was somewhat boring. At the beginning of the week, I was completely motivated to clean out our 3rd bedroom so that we could start turning it into a nursery, but before long, I got so exhausted moving things out that items finally just sat in piles and spilled out into our hallway for the remainder of the week. Our 3rd bedroom has been our junk room/guest room/storage room for years, so you can imagine how much stuff was in there. In order to clear out that room, the items had to have another place to go to... Which required clearing out other spaces such as other closets, the garage, etc. AAAGHH! I was forced to do a lot of purging! Later this week, Jason's mom and sister are going to come and help me paint the room. There's still quite a bit to do, but the room is just about ready for painting. I will definitely post pictures when we're done.
On another note, I have continued to have contractions despite not being at work. One of my non-stress tests this week recorded several of my contractions, and the nurse was surprised that despite it registering "high" on their scale, I was unaffected by it. Those weren't painful, but I've had plenty that have been really painful! One night this past week, I thought I was going into labor because for 4 hours, I had a contraction every 20 minutes. Anyway, the contractions that registered were enough for the doctor to examine me. Nothing's changed. Just like with Grace, I guess these contractions really are just my body's way of preparing me for the real thing and building up my pain tolerance. My doctor mentioned how surprised he was that I haven't gained any weight in the last three weeks... That's not a good thing. Usually, most of the last few weeks of pregnancy are when the baby gains his/her weight. Hmm... I'm probably not gaining weight because I'm on such a regulated diet!!! Anyway, he commented that maybe we should just let the baby go full-term since it's probably not going to get too large. To that, I exclaimed, "Uh, I don't think so! My mind set since I found out I had gestational diabetes has been that I'd have this baby at 38 weeks. 40 weeks now just seems so far away." He just smiled and said that we'd aim for October 10. I have three appointments this week, but the next time he "examines" me won't be until next week. We'll go from there!
Let's see... What else have we been up to... Well, tonight, we went to visit with Jason's sister's family. They just bought a house in the foothills outside of Coarsegold so we went to see their new place. We're very excited for them!! We really don't know how some people do it though- choose to live so far away from every convenience. Jason and I definitely love being close to everything. We're such city people.
In the past, our nephew Noah has been the one who Gracie has followed around. She adores him and every time she sees him, she breaks out into a huge smile. Our twin nieces haven't typically paid a lot of attention to Gracie. In these past few months though, we've noticed that she's been starting to keep up with them. Tonight, they actually played together. It was fun to watch her get silly with them.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


At my last diabetes clinic, I was jokingly complaining about how hard it was to go to Coldstone twice last weekend, and to sit and watch everyone enjoying their ice cream. I had to ask, "Are you sure that I can't even have sugar-free ice cream?" My doctor said, "Well, if you have ice cream, just make sure you find one that's really high in fat because the higher the fat, the less sugar it contains." My response was, "IF I have ice cream?! Are you saying that I can have ice cream?!" He said that since I've been doing really well on my diet, my blood sugar numbers have been pretty good, and if I could resist the temptation to have more than just a little scoop, it'd be ok if I had one scoop of ice cream every few days. He recommended Ben and Jerry's. Sweet!! I went out to Ben and Jerry's on Friday night with Christa and Jill and I savored one scoop of "Chocolate Therapy." It's not like I'm fanatical about ice cream like Jason is, but I am definitely going to enjoy it a lot more now, since I know what it's like to be without it.
Even though my blood sugar was a little higher after the ice cream, it wasn't enough to be concerned and I didn't need to call in (I have to call in to the diabetes center whenever my numbers reach a certain point). That was such a special treat!
After an incredibly busy week, Friday was my last day of work. Earlier in the day, my staff members had a staff get-together for me after school. The two people who had organized the shower went to all the trouble of finding a sugar-free cake that I could eat. How thoughtful! So, in just one day, I got to have TWO special treats! I was so excited!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Almost Ready...

I'm almost ready... not to have this baby, but to go off on disability leave! My last day was supposed to be last Friday, but I begged my doctor to let me work this week since I didn't have a long term substitute teacher in place. Jason would probably say that this is one of those times that really shows my stubborn side. Here's why, though: I just started with my brand new 5th/6th combination class last Tuesday, and to leave on Friday would've made me extremely overwhelmed and stressed out to try and get everything ready for a sub that I didn't have yet. My doctor thinks that I'm overdoing it, and well, I am finally going to have to agree with him. I've continued to have several contractions every day, am completely exhausted, and totally uncomfortable. Even with this extra week of work, it hasn't helped that I have an appointment of some kind every day except today. Until the baby is born, I now have to go for non-stress tests twice a week, see my doctor once a week, and go to my diabetes clinic once a week. The appointment times for this week had to be scheduled for early afternoon, which means I have to leave work before the school day even ends. That's not exactly the preparation time I was hoping for with this extra week of work. I was hoping to stay at school later to get stuff done, but so much for that. Thank goodness, though, today my principal and I were able to interview 2 more candidates for the position. We both feel confident about one in particular, and she's agreed to commit until I return after Winter Break. She's going to come and observe me for the remainder of the week (on her own initiative), and I really feel that this will be so helpful! I hope all of this will work out- it'll be a huge weight off my shoulders!

Sunday, September 9, 2007


This weekend, my close friends flew from Edmonton to San Jose to visit with family. I was supposed to drive to meet with them today in San Francisco. However, the idea of being 8 months pregnant, driving 3 hours there, and 3 hours back in one day wasn't something that I was looking forward to. It's not often that they come this close to where we are though, so I really was stuck with a dilemma!
I am so fortunate because they called yesterday morning and decided to drive here instead. Binh and Thao (both were in my wedding), Linda (their sister), Binh's husband, Neil, and Thao's daughter, Sammy, took about 3 hours to drive from San Jose, and they couldn't stay very long while they were here. I was so excited to show them our house. Then, we took them to Fig Garden Village since it's in our neighborhood to walk around for a little bit. I asked them what they wanted to do and guess what we did... Well, Neil and Jason went back to our house so that Gracie and Sammy could go swimming in our pool. The girls? We spent about an hour and half at Target!!! There aren't any Targets in Canada (in the western part, anyway)! It was certainly my pleasure to spend that much time at Target. I easily can spend that much time there on my own, and I can go any time I want.
After our Target spree, we ate dinner at Chipotle and parted ways after dessert at Coldstone (that's twice we've been there this weekend and I didn't get any!). I kept thinking to myself how surreal it was to have my friends here. It's been many, many years since they've seen my "neck of the woods." I am truly grateful that they sacrificed an entire day to drive way out here to Fresno to basically do nothing except see our family. I was just so filled with joy to see them and spend some time with them. It took Gracie no time at all to once again cling to Sammy. She cried when we told her Sammy had to go home on an airplane. She kept insisting that we go along as well. The very first thing she said when I woke her up this morning was, "I see Sammy and Uncle Neil." I had to sadly remind her that Sammy had to go home already. Thank you, dear friends, for coming to see me! Love you guys!
Thao, me, Binh, Linda
These two bottom pictures are for those of you who haven't seen me in a while-
Yup, I'm huge.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Papa's in Heaven

Today would have been Jason's dad's 64th birthday. While at the hospital during one of the last days of his life, one of the last things that Jason's dad told Jason was how he wanted to "go to that place where they cook the food in front of you." So in accordance with that wish, we decided that we'd get together every year to remember his life and celebrate his birthday at a Japanese restaurant. We had a delicious teppanyaki dinner at Yoshino's tonight.
Earlier in the day, Jason had told Gracie that it was Papa's birthday. She kept asking about balloons and cake. Later on in the day, she began saying that Papa was in heaven. We got the idea that it would be symbolic if we released balloons to Papa in heaven as another way of remembering Papa. After our meal, we went to get balloons, sang Happy Birthday, and released the balloons to Papa in heaven. There was a slight breeze outside, perfect for the release of balloons. We couldn't think of anywhere to go for cake, so we went to Coldstone instead (as hard as it was to watch 8 other people savor their ice cream, I didn't have any). It was a very special evening- Happy Birthday, Dad- we love you and miss you.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Update about Jason and Gracie

Okay, I've been blogging so much about the stuff that's been happening in my life that I haven't shared anything about Jason or Gracie for a while. Jason's doing great- his volleyball season started up the first week of school and he is always so excited about that. He has some tall girls on his team this year. Hopefully, that'll be an advantage. There have been a few years where he's gotten tall girls but they're pretty much on the court for their presence and not much else. Also, his team has done so well in these past few years that he's gotten moved to a much tougher league this year. His team is going up against girls who play club volleyball and have had experience playing the sport. A lot of girls who play volleyball at Wawona are learning the sport for the first time. It's pretty amazing to see how much he's able to teach them during their season. As for teaching, well, he still says he'd quit teaching to coach full-time if that really were an option. Once again, he's teaching 8th grade US History this year. It's really interesting to hear about some of the things he does with his class.
Gracie is also doing really well. She was with us almost every second of the day for 6 weeks during the summer, so when we had to get back into the swing of things, it took her a while to adjust. In fact, she still cries when we leave her in the church nursery. What is up with that?!
Quite a bit has happened over the last few months of Gracie's life: 1) her vocabulary is growing by the day; 2) she now enjoys being in the pool; 3) she isn't terrified of the bath tub anymore; 4) she's been potty trained since our Edmonton trip (how is it that I did not blog such a momentous milestone?!); 5) she can spend an incredible amount of time playing by herself with her puzzles; 6) she can count up to 12; 7) she doesn't swallow her toothpaste anymore; 8) she's beginning to remember a lot of things that we never thought she would; 9) she's really good about cleaning up her toys and play areas; 10) she prays for our dinner meal (it sounds like this: Dear Jesus, Loves me I know, Bible says so, a few gibberish words, Amen); . I can't believe she's turning 3 in October! I wonder how she'll interact with a new sibling... It won't be too much longer of a wait!
Gracie can now carry on a conversation with her Ba (Vietnamese for Grandma)... Well, actually it's pretty one-sided. My mom tries to ask her all kinds of questions, but her response is always the same. She just sings some of the songs she knows, ends by saying "Wuv you, bye," puts the phone down in any random spot and continues doing whatever she was doing.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

More to Stress About!

Okay, here's a continuation of the crazy stuff that's been happening! Our district's 5th grade enrollment is unusually low this year. My grade level partner, David, and I each have 20 students! It sounds great until you take into consideration that schools don't get funding for lower class sizes in upper grades. Most districts try to fill up their upper grades as much as possible. This past week, we found out that our school is receiving about 100 new students on Tuesday morning. All of these kids are from other schools around the district. Their schools don't have room for them, so they're being sent to our school. None of those 100 students are 5th graders. 18 of them though, are 6th graders. Our 6th grade classes are completely full, but not our 5th grade classes. So how does a district save some money? They combine the two! We will now have one 5th grade class, two 6th grade classes, and one 5th/6th combo class. Originally, my principal wanted David to do the combination class since I'll be leaving on maternity leave pretty soon. The more I thought about it though, it just seemed to make more sense for me to do the combo class. So, I volunteered to do it. Here's why: First of all, I just felt really bad that David was being assigned to the combo simply because I was going on maternity leave. The two of us have spent many, many hours planning for this year, and we both feel like the year is "ready to go." He's a 2nd year teacher, still involved with BTSA (beginning teacher stuff), and he coaches after school. It'd be a lot to ask, having him completely switch gears now to do 6th grade. Also, since we've put so much time into getting ready for 5th grade, it would be nice for at least one of us to see how it all turns out. I won't get to anyway since I'll be on maternity leave for 3 months. In addition to thinking about how all of this affects David, I couldn't imagine leaving my long term substitute to teach an entire grade level completely on his/her own- with no grade level partner, with no help (since we're a new school, programs are slowly being implemented), no deployment... Teaching 6th grade would mean joining a team of two other 6th grade teachers. In October, we will begin deployment for Language Arts- all 6th graders would be leveled by ability levels, receiving Language Arts instruction at their level. Each teacher would focus on one area. As well, in 6th grade, Science, Social Studies, and Writing would all be departmentalized. That means that my sub would not have to learn Social Studies or Science, instead focusing only on teaching Writing to 3 classes. In the end, I decided that this was the best way to go. This decision was so incredibly hard to make. I was extremely overwhelmed when reality finally hit and I realized what I had gotten myself into. Fortunately, I now have two grade level partners who have already helped me out a great deal. Thank goodness!
I had to say goodbye to my class on Friday. I was so sad to let them go- in such a short time, I have really connected with them. I had scheduled to visit 13 of them at their homes this weekend, but since most of them won't be in my class after all, I ended up only visiting 4 homes. I was able to keep 7 of my students, and I will be getting 18 new 6th graders on Tuesday morning. It won't be a 3 day weekend for me- I'm definitely going to school tomorrow to get ready! You could pray that I'll be able to find a good long term substitute... especially if on Tuesday, my doctor tells me I'm going on disability leave at the end of the week. There is much to do from now until then. Sorry for these long posts! I promise to try and post about Gracie and Jason in this next week.