Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I hope this isn't a sign:

Do you know how hard it is to find something to wear to Vegas for a fancy Christmas dinner when you're 6 months pregnant that doesn't cost $300?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Scene: Your average classroom

The Assignment: Complete the following sentence, "The author's tone indicates that the setting of the story is..." (fill in with adjective).

Teacher gives the bad example of "hot" as an adjective, not wanting to take any of the *good* answers. Teacher walks around the room, monitoring student's work, and notices many students completing THEIR sentences with "hot".

Teacher interrupts, "Let's not use "hot" for your own, class. That was just a really bad example I used. Make up your own."

Groans from students.

Teacher continues to circulate and sees many "hot's" crossed out, and replaced with "humid", "very warm", and "sweltering".

Teacher proceeds to pull out own hair.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Rise and Shine:

It was tough getting up this morning, no doubt. Five days off means the body had just adjusted to sleeping in past 6:30 a.m., so when that alarm went off, I pressed snooze as many times as possible. Half an hour later, I was finally rising, feeling rushed and stressed already.
Then came the vomit. Four times in a row. As the baby gave me quick jabs from the inside, just to let me know this wasn't working for him.

I showed a movie today. It was about all I could do.

Is it Christmas break yet?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Kissing ass always works:

Last week, I had all of my students write letters to at least two people, thanking them for something they had done in the past year. They were meant to give the letters to people on Thanksgiving. It was a neat assignment, and for the most part I was able to make the necessary corrections to the letters (Except for those written in Spanish. I'm only so good.). But, just now, I pulled out one of my books to do some lesson planning and found that one of my students slipped the following into my book (no changes have been made):


I want to thank you on behalf of the class. Why because even if u were in a bad or good mood you steal came to school to teach us.
And I think u should not be coming to class because u is pregnant. But you do. Hope you like my letter I did not have much to say. But hope you have a great thanksgiving and a good day.
Name Omitted

Let's critique for a moment, hmmmmm?
First, the strong points: Used a greeting at the beginning (even though I said numerous times that they were not necessary in this letter). Also, proper closing AND sincerely is spelled correctly. Furthermore, the use of 'behalf'! Excellent.
Now, what do we still need help on? First, random capitalization. Why the first line is capitalized is a mystery to me. Also, the use of apostrophes. We won't even discuss the use of 'u' for 'you' when writing to a teacher. More importantly, if I see another letter/ paper/ writing assignment that has some useless language like "Hope you like my letter I did not have much to say" or "I am going to write about BLANK in this paper" or "I am writing this because it is an assignment", I might just lose my shit. Why do students insist on doing this?

Either way, I love the letter. Going into my "Look at when you think you can't take another day of being a teacher" box, for sure.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thank you, Crab God:

The strike is over.
Crab will be on our plates by Monday night.

Friday, November 25, 2005

I call this one 'Twenty Weeks' or 'Halfway There' or 'Now I'm Busting Out of A C-cup':


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

If only one of us had grown up in a trailer, we'd have so much more cred:

As much as we love spending time with our families (hi mom!), the posthipchick household has made an executive decision that, this being our last Christmas where Grandparents aren't harassing us for months beforehand about where the baby will be spending the holidays, we will be going away for a few days by ourselves. It's been tough to decide where to go- up the coast to a little romantic B&B, down the coast for some time on the beach, or maybe just some time alone together here at home, not running from one place to the next, feeling guilty the whole time that we're not also somewhere else.
But, then. Then I came up with what could only be the most fantabulous place to spend Christmas- Las Vegas. It is going to be lit up as far as the eye can see, we can have 5-star meals, ride gondalas, get spa treatments, walk around and see all the sights and have one last horray before we are shackled down with the wee one. So a instead of a white Christmas, we'll have a white-trash Christmas, but it's all the same to us.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

It's been awhile:


"Well, yeah, you went shopping. I think shopping for you is like sex for me. If you don't do it for awhile, you start to get antsy."

"But it wasn't just the shopping. It was hanging out with someone."

"We hang out all the time."

"I know, but this was someone else. Who I got to talk to. For hours. And have lunch with."

"I think they call those friends."

"Oh, right. I just haven't seen one in so long."

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Do you know what today is?
That's right, today is November 19th.

And do you know what THAT means?

It means crab season opened here five days ago, but have I had any crab? No, I haven't. Why? The crab fisherman are striking. It's really not fair.

Every morning I get up, hoping against all hopes that they have resolved the strike during the night and that I can have my favorite November treat for dinner that night. Every day, I've been disappointed.

Yes, I know I can get crab from other regions but 1) it's expensive and 2) I don't want crab from somewhere else. I want MY crab, fresh out of the local waters that day and 3) I don't want to cross picket lines.

I don't know when I'll ever get my tasty treat, but this whole thing has made me very crabby (irresistible pun).

Friday, November 18, 2005

You'd think I'd be used to speaking in front of people now, given my profession:

Last night I got up in front of the District Board and a roomful of people to protest the rising cost of health insurance in our district (we currently pay a disturbing 45% of our healthcare costs). I told them my story- about how I actually take home less now than I did when I started three years ago, and that after our costs rose so drastically this year, I wanted to get onto my husband's plan and I was told I was locked in for the year. My husband can get me, himself, and the baby, when it's born, onto his better health insurance for 1/2 what I pay for my crappy insurance alone. But I am not permitted to discontinue until June.

I sort of knew what I was going to say once I got up there, but I regret not preparing anything. I turned bright red and stuttered a bit, unsure of where to go next during my speech. I figured it wouldn't be an issue- I get up and improv in front of large groups of people all day, every day. Turns out a roomful of adults feels a lot different. Now I know.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Those Who Critique:

I understood when I began this teaching endeavor that there was a quality to it that was different from other professions. Teachers are never happy just being good teachers- they always strive for more. Theoretically, I like this idea. Hell, theoretically, I agree with this idea 100%. But reality comes quick. While I like the idea of constantly improving upon my skills and striving for more, there are some days when I just need a break. There are some days when I don't want to do something creative, or when it's simply not the most effective way to teach, or when I- God forbid- need to sit down. I cannot be a theatrical show-stopper every single day of teaching, especially when I'm say, pregnant and about to throw up. Or pregnant and uneasy on my feet. I don't want to turn this pregnancy into some big excuse, but I'm paying very close attention to my body these days, and I do what it says. When it says to sit down, I listen.
Once again, it has come to my attention that someone has been complaining about my sitting down. Mind you, with the second trimester, I sit a lot less and move a lot more. But being on my feet ALL day is just not going to happen right now. In the last two years of teaching, I can count on one hand how often I've sat down during teaching. But this year is different and I am, quite frankly, sick of people discussing it. Sometimes I just want to teach without having people looking over my shoulder all the time, critiquing. Especially this year.
The Alien Inside Me:

I can feel the baby move and it's REALLY. FUCKING. WEIRD.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


The first time I took Ativan was after I was startled awake at 2 a.m. one morning, gasping for breath, with a heart beating 140 beats per minute, and unable to walk because my legs were buckling beneath me. Before this time, I loathed drugs, legal or illegal (they are fine for others, but not my cup of tea), and my experiences with them were limited at best. After the lovely beausband got me to the E.R., and the symptoms persisted, they declared me anxious and gave me a strong dose of Ativan, which I only accepted after they promised me it would not cause a seizure (in fact, it stops seizures).
An hour later, I was happily leaving the E.R., thanking the staff profusely for my lovely visit, and returned home, where I swore I "didn't feel the effects of the drug", and then slept for about 15 hours.
The next day, I felt the effect of the drugs. I remember walking around and saying, "Oh! So THIS is how normal people feel." I was finally relaxed for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long. Why it never occurred to anyone to give me drugs before this remains a mystery. Sure, there was that 3 months spent in bed, sleeping 20-hour days and crying the rest of the time, but clearly that was just a "phase". Sure, there was the manic behavior, the sometimes excessive drinking, the inability to sleep for months on end. But drugs? Nobody ever even MENTIONED them.
The lovely hospital staff, however, and a further psychologist, helped me overcome my little fear and I got on a regularly scheduled drug program, which I've happily buzzed along with for the last few years. Say what you will about Ativan, but I popped those babies every time I wanted a cigarette when I was quitting, and here I am a year and a half later without ever even taking a drag. They probably saved my life.
Of course, the minute I found out I was pregnant (actually, a bit before, when I had a little suspicion), I stopped the Ativan altogether. I thought it would be hard, being that I'd had a daily relationship with them for almost three years, but my dose was so minimal, and the reason for quitting so great, that there was no problem at all.
But I was still on the SSRI, which is fine during pregnancy, but which I still wanted to get off. I planned on going off during the first trimester, but then morning sickness began, and when I was able to stabilize my body a bit, I wasn't really ready to start fucking with it again. The doctors again reassured me that it was fine to take during pregnancy, so I left it alone.
But the time has come for me to wean myself, now that the bliss of the second trimester has set in, so that's what I've been doing the last few weeks. I basically was taking a whole pill, then 3/4 of a pill, then 1/2 a pill, and now I'm down to 1/4 of a pill. I'm not too worried about how I'll feel off the meds- I feel pretty good emotionally right now and my understanding is that pregnancy and breastfeeding often keep anxiety at bay naturally, but I am concerned about how I'll feel getting off the meds. So far, all I can tell you is that I feel dizzy. Really dizzy. All the time dizzy. It probably doesn't help that the 2nd trimester is already the "dizzy" trimester, as your blood pressure plummets, but this is insane. Every time I get up, I feel like I'm going to hit the ground. EVERY TIME. I know it's worth it, I know I have to do it, I know I want to do it, but that doesn't mean I won't complain about it. Thank god I'm still on a half dose of the anti-nausea medication or I'd really start to feel like a straight arrow over here.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Further things they just don't tell you about pregnancy:

That morning sickness doesn't actually end with the first trimester (as evidenced by this morning's unfortunate mango juice experience).

That your veins will have so much blood in them that they will begin to protrude from your skin, especially around your chest and stomach.

That every time you look down at your ever-expanding stomach, you'll think "Nah, that can't be happening to me."

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Things My Husband Doesn't Like to Hear:

1. "Puuuuumpy" or "Pumps" (my abbreviated version of the pet name, Pumpkin), especially in public.

2. "Honey, I need you to sit down. We need to talk. Something serious has happened. Family Ties is out on DVD." (This is apparently really not funny when you are carrying his child).

3. The crinkling noise of the unwrapping of a cereal bar at 3 a.m. in bed.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Too much for 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning:

The girl at Starbucks in a full-on poofy white wedding dress getting coffee. I felt like I needed to pick up her train or something.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Why I'm A Teacher:

Because of days like today, when we have Veteran's day off.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Finding My Religion:

There are few things I feel are signs of impending doom in our society, like genetically modified food, for one, or flu shots, for another.
Now call me crazy, but it seems that getting a shot with a bunch of virus loaded into it (yes, I am a doctor, why?) is somehow unnatural. I'm sure this isn't a strange sentiment for my pagan and Christian Scientist friends, but I'm a girl who's pretty fine with the medical profession. When people ask me my birth plan, I am quick to respond that it involves a lot of drugs and a hospital. I take meds for a variety of different reasons, and don't worry all too much about it. Better living through pharmaceuticals is the motto I stick with. So, why the aversion to flu shots? What's the worst that could really happen- you actually GET the flu? Would that be SO bad? No, of course not.
So, with this aversion to such an unnatural event, you may wonder why I opted to head down to my horrific HMO and get myself shot up today. Well, apparently pregnant women are one of the top priorities, since your immune system is so low anyway and a flu could really set you back physically. Throw in that I work with 100 children every day, and it's pretty self-explanatory. I still couldn't help feeling weird about it, though, almost enough to make me proclaim my pagan roots and get out the hell out of there. I can't wait to see how I feel about immunizations!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

From the girl who doesn't like fun:

Do you know how annoying it is to end a long day of teaching with a class? It's pretty sucky.
Now, do you know how annoying it is if you can't just sit there and take some notes and be bored and call it a night?
Do you realize how completely infuriating it is to have to play a "silent game" that is meant to simulate how different cultures feel in our classrooms?
Can you begin to imagine doing this while one total fuckwad in the class insists on acting out and making hooting noises and whistling and being a general fuckwad attention-seeker?
Can you then imagine getting together in a circle to discuss how you felt during the game?
Can you imagine having to do this while you're hormonoly imbalanced AND getting off your anti-anxiety meds? IS IT NOT A MIRACLE THAT NOBODY WAS KILLED TONIGHT?
One more semester of this CRAP ASS "EDUCATION", thank you God.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

It's Already Starting:

Apparently on my completely clueless path to parenthood, I've given someone our address and now we are getting "things" in the mail. "Things" like diapers and diaper wipes and formula. All coming to us.
"WAIT!", I want to scream, "WE DON'T HAVE A BABY!"

And then it hits me. Oh yes, we do. We are going to be changing diapers and pumping milk and sterilizing bottles and buying diaper wipes FOR LIKE THE NEXT THREE YEARS (ok, maybe not pumping milk for that long, thanks for asking).

It seems that most times I don't have a lot of connection between my ever-growing belly and the fact that I am supporting our new roommate inside of that belly. But when it does hit me, it hits me like a ton of bricks and I can't believe it's actually happening. Almost every day, I completely forget that I'm pregnant, and then when I remember again it's as if I've forgotten where I'd lived and have been driving around for hours looking for my house and then suddenly remembered- sheer relief.

But they can keep coming with the formula- I've decided it's a good supplement for the dog.

Monday, November 07, 2005

This is not in our regularly scheduled program:

I can't do it, people. I am supposed to teach some stupid grammar book where the students learn things like what a predicate nominative is and then underline it in 20 sentences and then write a paragraph using a predicate nominative and DO YOU KNOW HOW BORING THAT IS? DO YOU KNOW THAT I CANNOT DO IT FOR ANOTHER DAY, AND I DON'T CARE IF IT IS ON THE "TEST"? I have lived 30 happy and productive and successful years without knowing what a predicate nominative is.
Eighth graders want real life, tangible, what actually effects them. They are happy to underline 100 predicate nominatives as they chat it up with their friends, but ask them the next day what one is and they will give you the famous teenage blank stare.
But do you want to silence them with attention? Do you want them to write and write and write? Do you want them to care about what they're doing and then actually remember it the next day? Yeah, me too.
So I decided to have them follow along with the real-life story of Alicia, a 23-year old who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and is writing a column about it for the Chronicle. I tell you, silence envelopes the room now. We have only read the first two installments, but the kids are so engaged in the story. It's really wonderful to watch. And it's really fun for me to teach (if reading about such a depressing subject could be considered "fun"), in that the students talk and write about such interesting and thoughtful subjects. Let me be clear, we are not going to spend the rest of the year doing this and this alone. But a day per week or so, just to shake things up a little, makes everyone, including this weary teacher, a little more enthused.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Yes, I am about to post totally ugly pictures of myself on the Internet:

I knew my skin might be erratic during pregnancy, but what is currently going on is truly bizarre. My jaw line and neck are stealing all the moisture from the rest of my face and overproducing oil, causing huge and painful pimples in the area. The remainder of my face, however, is as parched as the Sahara, wondering where all the moisture went as it sloughs itself off constantly due to extreme dryness.
Today, I had to do a two-part face mask. Out Of Trouble along the ridges, with Drink Up in the middle (doesn't it almost sound like a Jamba Juice?).

The good news is that for reasons unbeknownst to anyone, my eyebrow hair now grows about half as fast as normal. Good news for me, bad news for my waxer.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Minimum Day:

Wouldn't you just hate to have a minumum day that ends at 1:20 and a class at 4:00 not far from school so 3 hours to kill and a million little things to do but none of them that are really pressing so none that you really want to do?
And then wouldn't you hate it if you decided that it would be fine to just lie down on the floor for a few minutes, since you're so exhuasted, and then hear knocking at the door, but ignore it because who could it be? And then wouldn't you hate for your phone to ring and it be the office who says it's a parent with an appointment at your door and you have no idea what she's talking about but you put on your shoes and try to wipe the sleep marks off your cheek and go and have her say she left you a message to make an appointment today and you look at your phone and there is no red light blinking but you discuss her son's disappointing "B" grade (these are the only parents who ever come in, and there are a grand total of five per year, until the last week of school) and then haul your ass up and go on with the rest of the day?
I would HATE for that to happen.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Last Time We'll See Him Until We "See" Him (or Her):

Here he (can you tell I think it's a boy, even though we are NOT finding out?) is, in all his glory. He was asleep at first, but as soon as Dad walked in the room and started talking, he woke up and started waving at us. It's clear he's a genuis, with superhuman powers.

Even though I peed a minute before beginning, the technician was like "Oh, your bladder is filling up." I'm telling you, people, it is uncontrollable.

Can you see his little spine in this one? Heartbreaking, in the best way. We also got to see his brain, and heart. I love him.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I think I just invited the Grim Reaper to dinner:

In my life, I thought had learned the lesson of saying "I never". Because anytime I say "I never...", it takes about a week to come and bite me in the ass and I look like a raging hypocrite. So long ago, I swore off any statement with "I never", and just move on along my little karma-free life. But something about impending parenthood (the ultimate lesson in "I never", to be sure) has me back at it again. I keep thinking about things I'll never do, but today I let something slip. "I'll never let my child eat fast food." Why, oh why? You know the kids going to end up 300 lbs. and working at McDonald's or something. Or that we will frequent fast food on a daily basis. I take it back, Karma! I didn't mean it! Of course I will allow my child to endulge in the occassional fast food! I TAKE IT BACK!
Last time I checked I was as old as their mothers and pregnant:

File under- Notes You Never Want To Find.

"Ms. J is HOTT!"
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by