Guess what!? You aren't going to be the only new arrival in 2018. You have two other cousins on the Mayans side who are also on their way, and we are sooo excited for all of you to enter our growing family. From one Christmas to the next, my mom will go from being Grammy to one granddaughter to being Grammy for 4 grandbabies!
Grace will join the family in May.
My brother, Ben, and his wife, Vi, are expecting a little boy at the beginning of August.
And my other little brother, Jacob, and his wife, Danika, just announced that they, too, are expecting a boy in October.
So many babies!!! So much love!!!
Alright, Gracie-girl. You and I were spoiled with so much love this weekend at another baby shower. My friend, Rachel, really went above and beyond as she planned this baby celebration.
First of all, check out those invitations! Wow! I had multiple awestruck friends text me and tell me that these were the most intense and beautiful invitations they had ever seen. I totally agree. Plus, they were tasty ;)
Then the actual party was so fun! Friends from college, old and new wards, work, and roommates came together. We ate some brunch and played a game to guess what you might look like. (My face was mixed with Andrew's face and then with various celebrities. We had to guess which one was the Maichael-Andrew mix. It was so entertaining, but there are definitely some celebrities that I would not mix well with!...Luckily, it looks like Andrew and I would make a cute baby, so let's hope that prediction is correct.)
You daddy and I were able to see you this week! Mind you, it was just through an ultrasound, but still! I find it amazing that technology can tell us so much. According to our doctor, you have already turned into the birthing position and you are sitting nice and low. Great news! (Although it does mean you seem to be pressing constantly on my pelvic bones and causing me to run the restroom every chance I get). Because of your positioning, we weren't able to get a great look at your face, but we could see your already chubby cheeks and full Macey lips. Don't get too chubby; we do need to get you out of me at some point, and I'd appreciate it if you don't make that even more difficult by weighing 10 lbs. ;)
We had our final baby shower this week. The Macey side of the family showered us with all their love by sharing their favorite mom tips, tricks, clothes, and products to help you and me better transition into this new life.
I am so lucky to have such great family on both sides. I loved spending time with them and predicting when you might arrive. Most of them guessed you will make your debut some time between May 17 and May 24. (Psss, I'd be ok if you wanted to surprise us and come a bit before those dates. I am so anxious to hold you in my arms.)
I was pleasantly surprised by our doctor appointment this morning. My body is definitely getting ready for baby girl to arrive. I'm about 80% effaced, dilated to almost a 3, and my doctor stripped my membrane (so we will now see if that starts anything). It is crazy to think that Andrew and I will hold our baby in our arms in no time.
(This next paragraph is written 4 days later)....IT HAS BEEN THE LONGEST 4 DAYS OF MY LIFE! Those dang numbers I mentioned in the last paragraph are just a tease. Every day, I think, "Today is a great day to have a baby!" and I know that I have a pretty good chance of going into labor. And yet, after walking all day and teaching and feeling the tightening of Braxton Hicks contractions, nothing happens and I end the day exhasted and feeling like I've been hit by a truck, yet no baby. :( So frustrating!!!!
(insert Jeopardy waiting music here)
We had another doctor's appointment this week, and Dr. Black said, "With how your body is progressing, I would be really surprised if you didn't have this baby before your due date."
Don't get my hopes up, Doc! That is just cruel!
The video "Just a Mom" really touched me, especially since I wont be returning to teach middle school next year. Often, the world hyper-focuses on job success, yet it forgets to see the importance of the tireless work in each individual home. I think it is so important to never downplay the essential role mothers have in raising the future generation. I am a part of that as I raise Gracie, and I don't want to forget it!
As a teacher, I work really hard to do.....well, everything.
I spend time thinking of creative and effective units, writing lesson plans, setting up my classroom for our daily activities, teach my heart out, manage classroom distractions, assess student engagement and mastery over concepts, answering questions, responding to emails, conversing with students about their lives, attending faculty meetings, grading endless piles of student work.......I'll stop there, but I could definitely keep going.
Yeah, I'd say we teachers are pretty busy. And the hardest part of my job is that I truly put my heart into everything I do. I care so much for my students, for their happiness and their success. I am pleased to say that I am 97% sure my students KNOW I love them. I work hard to make my classroom a fun, safe place to learn, communicate, and experience a tiny piece of their crazy teenage years.
You can't please 'em all...
So this week, it was tough when I received an email from an angry parent complaining about a practice in my classroom. (Truth is, she was mad about something that is a school-wide policy, but for some reason she thought that I was particularly terrible for "rewarding the slackers in [my] class instead of those who work hard to do what is expected".) Honestly, I was able to look at most of the email with an level-headed outlook. But of course, this parent had to end with a personal attack: "I am saddened to see that [my child]'s love of Language Arts has diminished because of your teaching methods."
Really?! This parent and student are going to overlook ALL of the amazing things we have discusses and learned and accomplished throughout the year because of one little policy?! (One, I might restate, that isn't even something I personally believe in; I am required to implement it because of our school culture and school-wide policies.)
But, so many of them still love you !
While it is tough to swallow criticism or complaints, I have to say that I am grateful that I am always able to improve. I know I have made a difference in many of my students' lives.
How do I know this? Well, let me just outline a few of the bright moments of this week:
"[My daughter] really looks up to you and has enjoyed learning in your class. I asked her what she will miss about Jr. High...you were her response. Thank you for being such a great role model for her - especially during what many kids see as the toughest time of their lives thus far."
And THAT, folks, is why I have loved teaching. :) So while I can't make everyone happy, I feel pretty proud of the job I have accomplished this year.
Andrew and Maichael
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