Sunday, January 1, 2012

gripes and brags

last year my mom enrolled moo in a Mommy and Me class. well... Grandma and Me. the teacher had a 'gripes and brags' session each meeting. share one thing to gripe about and another to brag about. i took this concept into my third grade class. the kiddos loved it. they held me to it every monday afternoon. it was a way to share that much needed info that doesn't fit into a normal busy, busy school day. the info they tried to squeeze in after they ask what page we were on.

"what page mrs. clifton and did you know my dog had six puppies yesterday?" {they were masters of the run on sentence. 'let's get it in before she cuts us off' sentence} and then... chaos. 23 little hands wanting to know more about these puppies and someone else's cat and someone's grandma bought a new car... chaos. i believe in CONTROLLED chaos.

i loved 'gripes and brags' afternoons. i was thoroughly entertained by their 8 year old lives. everyone had a chance. you could even ask questions. you could be skipped if you didn't feel like sharing. their stories were an excellent example of 'perspective is everything.' i learned many, many things from them during this time. things they didn't even realize they were divulging to me. it helped me understand them. understand the 'behind the scenes' lives they led.

so... being that 2011 is officially over, i thought what better than to sum up my 2011 with some gripes and brags of my very own.


i found out i was pregnant. i was working on my new year's resolution diet. i was STARVING. i got to quit.

we moved closer to town. the house is beautiful. it has hardwood floors. i love it. the pug moved outside.

we celebrated moo's first birthday. it was fun and went fast. it had a spring theme. i made garland. it forced me to unpack hidden boxes from the move.

i finished my fifth year teaching. it was a challenging class. i survived. i was so ready and so happy to see summer.

i enjoyed my last summer just the moo and i. it was bittersweet. it was emotional. it was filled with all things water. we used her baby pool every single day.

i went to work for two weeks before starting maternity leave.

my biggest and best brag of 2011 was the birth of my very own sweet baby D. he was born on september 16 at 4:01 am weighing in at 9 pounds 2 ounces and being 21.5 inches long. he latched immediately after birth. it was a huge relief. it was one of my biggest worries.

on that note... he was my second all natural delivery. it went incredibly well. i had an incredible coach. ryan and i are a good team. the nurse said we should teach a class. however, we are finished having babies.

ryan and i celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary. we stayed home. we have two babies now.

moo was a witch for halloween. we trick-or-treated in my old neighborhood.

our first christmas as a family of four was memorable. it was special. it was videotaped. i am very happy about that.

i ended the year with a husband i love. he actually texted me a message before our new year's camping trip. i was having a bad day. it said he loved me and he was going to be kind and make me fall in love with him again. (i hadn't fallen out of love with him... we were just bickering a little) he came through. i ended the year with plus one baby. two healthy babies. family. friends. a warm home. a career. health insurance. happiness.


i had morning sickness. i felt anxiety about having another baby so soon. i felt a sadness for moo.

i had the stomach flu on my 28th birthday. it hurt. we had dinner plans. they had to be postponed.

exactly one month later, while beach camping, i got the stomach flu AGAIN. i stayed in the trailer all weekend. i was miserable. baby D wiggled and turned and moved all weekend. i was worried he was starving. i couldn't hold anything down.

i had to interview for my position. i was so emotional about the chance of moving schools. i was stressed and angry and confused. i was so angry. i nearly cried when i spoke to my principal on the phone. i pulled myself together when i heard my voice get quivery. looking back i probably sounded insane. i don't care though. i would rather look insane and feisty than a push over. i am happy i fought for what i wanted.  

i thought i was in labor when i wasn't. how do you get it right on baby number one, but not on number two? i took the walk of shame... sent home with no baby.

a few pregnancy related gripes: my glucose test came back high. i had to take the 3 hour glucose tolerance test THREE times. i wanted to die during the first one. the thought of carbonated fruit punch now makes my stomach turn. it should be a form of torture... used in war... against the enemy.

my levels were not 'gestational diabetes' high, but on the brink. i had a modified diet. i hated every single day of it. i was depressed that my body wasn't functioning right. i felt a stigma. i was embarrassed by the diagnosis.

i got stretch marks. dang!

my grandfather died on 11.11.11. it was difficult to watch my mom work through her pain.

i am sleepy. despite the fact that baby D is huge... he wants to eat many times a night. it's rough. but honestly... if that's my biggest gripe regarding baby D (which it is)... then i am doing pretty well. awesome actually.

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