19 weeks

2017/04/28

I guess it's time to write here on my sliver of the internet that I am pregnant again. It's almost as though last year's pregnancy and this have merged and I have been feeling rather meh for half my life. Which has been tough. The good part is that I am now in my second trimester and am feeling better by leaps and bounds. The fatigue is still a thing, but certainly pales in comparison to the bone crushing exhaustion of the first trimester. (I don't particularly want to expand on the first trimester more. It's just no fun, eh?) I am visibly pregnant by this point thanks to this being number three for me, and am talking about it openly with my friends and students, but it is still hard for me to 100% sink into the excitement. There are still moments and even days when I am convinced the baby has died and I'm about to have my heart crushed again. That doesn't make a lot of rational sense and this point, but it persists none the less. Due to my "advanced maternal age" we had genetic screening back at 12 weeks and everything came out perfectly so that was a big sigh of relief. It's just proving hard to not expect the worst. I have never considered myself much of a worrier but this pregnancy has certainly challenged that view of myself. The past few days I've been felling what I'm pretty sure is Baby Girl tumbling around in my belly, so that will help once her movement is obvious and regular. It will also help my mood when I no longer have to wake up at 5:30 to get Sylvie off to school :-)

New Bio

I still really like the Bio I wrote a few years ago, but I've found parts of it aren't relevant any more, or at least as much at the forefront of the current iteration of me. It used to really bother me when things I considered core to my definition of self would drop away, but I've been around the block enough times to know that many things come and go and sometimes come again and that's just fine. When thinking of the words I'd use to describe myself now, I'd say I am a mother, a wife, a teacher, and then there are a few scraps left of me to dole out to family and friends plus be angry with Donald Trump. I am too tired for many of the pastimes I once loved even though I want to want to relish them. I don't necessarily like the busy, exhausted mess teaching has made of me, but it has its hooks in me fierce. I intensely dislike the standard question of whether I "like my job". It's as though my personal feelings on the subject are irrelevant. My job is important and I don't know how to walk away in good conscience. That plus it is challenging and never boring and some days fun. 

I still love reading, I still love hiking, I still love yoga, I still love music. I have grown increasingly fond of travel and movies. But none of these things gets high priority. I often I neglect these pursuits of pleasure even though they nourish me in important ways, and it turns out I am still me and I am still okay. I find my pleasure activities fall into three main categories. I am drawn to activities that teach me about the infinite beautiful ways to be a human. Books, movies, conversation, travel even politics fits this need for me. I also need aesthetic beauty in my life. Hiking, art, music, travel - all fill this need. I think this is strongly connected to my first category, but transcends it in ways that I cannot articulate except to say that they touch my soul. And lastly I need some movement in my body to make me feel fluid. Yoga, hiking, walking, and erstwhile running keep me going although it's been a rough stretch for me on this front. 

Teaching week whatever

2017/01/11

I've purposely lost count of the weeks. We're half way through, sort of. The second semester is longer than the first and that fact seems to be sitting in my stomach like a stone. My break was fun but short and busy and I landed back not feeling fully rested. I have a healthy dose of anticipation for that long weeks ahead that is making that worse. Just having a hard time settling into the rhythm of happy. My classes are going generally fine, I just can't shake the notion that the tired will become unbearable. And soon.

Christmas part deux

We flew home early the morning after Christmas, picked up the girls, then met my family at our house for another Christmas morning. Ben and Katelyn flew in for a visit and that made the week really special. We did lots of Austin-y type activities until the allergies/colds of the winter crashed down on Nathan and me at the end of the week. Lots of games, food, and all over silliness.

I love these girls. They are my heart. Even when they're terrible.

Puppies eventually get tired! Odysseus on the right and Zephyr on the left.

We spent a glorious afternoon outside at Easy Tiger. Yay for Texas winter.



I did not photo document all of the Austin antics. But we do love taking people to our local panaderia. Such a wonderland. So glad Ben and Katelyn came to visit.

Christmas

Christmas for Nathan and I was spent in New Orleans. It was my first Christmas without the girls and it was both terrible and fine. The terrible part is obvious, the fine was due to the fact that we were planning a Christmas on the 26th home in Austin. And also because Nathan's family is so incredibly welcoming and hospitable and just fun to be around. We had a very quick trip of only two days but I was really glad to experience Christmas there. Too much good food.


Gingerbread Day

I'm not sure how I felt about gingerbread day this year. On the pro's, there's gingerbread. I love it so much I really don't know why I only make it once a year. Also there's tradition. But there's where this list starts to teeter towards the con's side. I know tradition is still good for my girls, but it felt like neither one of them super cared and the amount of work I put in certainly doesn't diminish. The equation didn't quite balance. Funny enough, their friends seem to enjoy it more than they do. Alas, I'm sure I will continue.





Oh, Tessa.

Teaching week 15

2016/12/11

It's the end of the semester and that brings good and bad. I'm done lesson planning for a few weeks and I'm not teaching new content which is a much needed respite. But there are students left and right scrambling to bring up their grade and that creates a lot of chaos for me. To compound matters, this week was retesting for students who have not passed their EOC exams which are required for graduation. The ELA 2 exam is an especially heavy hitter for the population I teach and close to half of my students were missing on Wednesday which just happened to be the day I was giving the only test of the six weeks. Blurg. So I'm at work again on the weekend, getting caught up on my grades. It feels especially important as finals begin this Thursday for students to know exactly where they stand in my class. If only they were as concerned about grades as I am.

Teaching week 14

2016/12/05

Sick. Not ready to be back from Thanksgiving break. Holding on. Counting down.

Thansgiving 2016

We road tripped to New Orleans for Thanksgiving again this year. This time with the girls and my mom in tow. It was a lovely week of sleep and delicious food.

We showed my mom around New Orleans, this being her first time visiting. We of course hit a cemetery, beignets in City Park, the sculpture garden, driving through the garden district, and of course lunch at Avery's.




We also spent a few days in Mississippi, always a lovely retreat. It was hard to come back.









Lost Maples

I thought I was majorly on my game when I booked not one, but two weekends at Lost Maples *a year ago* so we could backpack in the fall colors. But alas, both weekends I picked were still before the major color hit. We got a tease of color here and there but mostly not. Still incredibly worth it. Highlights for me would be finally getting Sylvie to nature pee and the glorious blanket of stars we saw as we meandered back to our tent. It was so nice to have a few days with the girls and no distractions (read: phones). Well, Sylvie did bring her graphing calculators (strange girl) so we were almost technology free.