We are soooo excited to meet you! Every week it gets more and more real (and I also get more and more nervous!). To calm my nerves a bit, Andrew and I decided to take a class through the hospital. It covered so many good topics, including stages of labor, breathing and relaxation techniques, possible medical interventions, breastfeeding, and so much more. Since it was a one-day class, we were pretty exhasted by the end.
We did, however, get to tour the hospital at the end of the class. I feel like having physically walked through the hospital and seen where I will be at certain stages of labor and delivery really helped me feel more prepared. So I left the class very satisfied with all I had learned.
Andrew, unfortunately, came away from the class a little....traumatized. haha. The instructor showed us some videos, and Andrew was shocked to see not one but THREE births. He had been so happy in his blissful ignorance before this class, but now that pleasant little bubble has burst. Even so, I think he too came away from the class with important knowledge of how he can best help me through labor and in the first few weeks after. It was good for both of us.
Wow, I feel like my belly is SO BIG, yet I know that you are going to be growing exponentially in these last months. We had a doctor's appointment this week, and everything is looking good. I really haven't gained any weight (I am definitely not complaining about that), but I have wondered if you would see any negative effects. The doctor quelled any fears for me. She said that as long as I am eating enough, my stomach is measuring how it should, and I can feel you move regularly, everything is fine.
Well, baby girl, let the growing continue!
This week we finished your bedroom! I am in love with it! I love the color pop from the flower-elephant painting, the girly spunkiness of the turquoise polkadot drapes, the inviting comfort of the rocking chair, and the little blankets folded around the room that cannot wait to snuggle you up.
All the room needs now is a little baby to brighten up the space. For now, I sit in the rocking chair daily (usually to read my scriptures and then engage in a little mother-daughter, one-sided conversation). I take the time to talk to you and feel you squirm. I speculate about our future together, and I cherish these quiet moments to focus on the fact that I am a mom already!
Tis the season for baby showers!
First, some friends and faculty at Sunset Ridge Middle School surprised me with a baby shower on Wednesday. They even invited Andrew, which was a fun surprise. We celebrated with some cake, pink decorations, and presents. I really love the people I work with, and it will be tough to leave them after this school year.
Then, I was able to go to California for Spring Break and celebrate with friends and family there. My mom and sisters hosted a baby shower for me. It was the picture of perfection, complete with beautiful decorations, delicious food, great conversations, and (surprisingly) really fun games! I am usually not a "games at shower" person, but I have to admit that my mom did a great job at keeping the party fun yet flowing smoothly. Some of the activities included:
Gracey, all I can say is: We are both VERY loved. Everyone is so excited for our little family to grow. They keep telling me how your arrival will just transform our lives, and I am so excited for that day to arrive. Already, I feel like I am a different woman than I was before, and I hope to be a good mom to you.
I keep accidentally claiming that I am at week 37. Yikes! I must be excited to meet you. But let's not rush things. You stay cooking right where you are, and I'll continue to nest and prepare for your arrival. I love you!
Your Mama Bear
With all my focus (especially when it comes to this blog) going to my pregnancy, I really haven't taken time to write about work and some of the great moments I have experienced with my students. At the end of this school year, I will not be returning to Sunset Ridge Middle School. I am going to try this stay-at-home-mom thing out (not going to lie, I am actually VERY nervous about it, but more on that in a different post). I have been teaching for the past 6 years, and I really love what I do.
Yes, there are those crazy situations... like this week when the 7th graders decided to create water balloons from condoms, or when another student came to school intoxicated and threw up in my friend's classroom in the early hours of the day. But let's be honest, those just add to the spice that is the middle school life, and we just have to laugh about it (after we have put on our teacher faces and dealt firmly with the situation. haha).
But I want to especially remember the WOW moments. The moments when I was a small part in helping a student see their great potential and grow in ways they never thought possible. This last unit my honor's students completed brought many of those WOW moments, and I want to share the impact it has had on my kids and well as on myself.
What is TED?
Check out TED talks at ted.com. There are hundreds of posted videos on a wide range of topics.
As a class, we've watched many of the videos and analyzed various aspects of the genre. We looked at the content and how the speeches were written. We noticed how the presenters used elements of storytelling and information to instruct and captivate their audience. And we even discussed the presence of body language, voice inflections, and effective visuals/props in the videos. After all that, students chose a topic they felt was personally inspiring, and they got to work writing and practicing their own TED-type talks.
Wow Moments in the Process
It just brings joy to your heart to hear a student get excited about their topics and speeches.
I especially felt a sense of pride for those students who are naturally more reserved and nervous to present. One student who has social anxiety chose to research and present a TED speech on social anxiety. I saw her blossom! When I told students that they needed to write 1,000 words for their speech, this student came up to me and admitted that she had already written her ideas...and they were about 2,000 words! Haha. Researching a topic that was a personal difficulty helped her take control of her anxiety and conquer it. It was an amazing sight to see.
Another student came in one day and told me, "Mrs. Macey. I had my whole speech written, but I wasn't super happy with how it all flowed. Then last night I was having a sleep over with a friend and we were talking about our TED talks. Suddenly, it all clicked and I ended up rewriting my entire speech at midnight last night. I love it now!" Haha! Ok, let's just take a minute to realize how awesome this is:
TED day Successes!
And then the actual presentation day was AMAZING!
I can't lie, I had nightmares the night before, and I'm pretty sure my nerves even caused me to throw up in the morning (although, I guess I could blame that on the pregnancy).
But everything ran smoothly and my students ROCKED their presentations! Small groups of students (3-4) went to another classroom to present. I dropped by each classroom to snap some pictures and listen to parts of the presentation. Honestly, I wish I had been able to listen to them all. After they all finished, they returned to my classroom and we talked about our successes and things we learned. The big take aways were:
Finally, I was surprised to learn that a few students even volunteered to give their presentations again when it wasn't required. My friend who teaches Biology said that a few students later in the day offered to present, and she was really impressed with their preparation, especially since it was last-minute.
All in all, I left today with a full heart. It is nice to know that I am making a difference and leaving some powerful lessons as I end my career as a middle school teacher.
Andrew and Maichael
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