Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Love My Job!

Robert always encourages me to have a job, whether it be full time or part time, because he knows me better than I know myself. He doesn't want me to work just for the money (although it helps!), he wants me to work because he knows that I am NOT a stay at home mom. I have been reminded by being home that I get into a rut when I'm home all the time. I get depressed, stressed, and even lazy (although I have had other reasons this summer as well!).

I went to a conference last week, and I have started some training this week, and I LOVE my job (ministry). I can't imagine NOT doing what I do. I am going to be teaching 1st grade at a University Model School, and it is perfect. Not only do I only work 12.5 hours a week, I get to teach! I love teaching. And, teaching at this particular school is an even bigger plus. Faith Academy focuses on teaching with excellence. If the students aren't learning, we do everything we can to correct that. We focus on making learning interesting, relevant, and even fun. We focus on who the individuals are. We focus on teaching spiritual and Biblical principals through everything, and in my first grade class it will be so important (with the help of the "co-teacher") to build a strong foundation spiritually and academically. I just can't believe that God has blessed me with such an amazing place to serve Him. I couldn't have asked for this. It was totally given to me from the Lord. My supervisor(s) are amazing. I can totally be myself, and they see something in me that I don't. They expect the best from me, and that is what I desire to give because of that expectation.

If you don't know what University Model is, it's often explained as part homeschool and part private school. The teacher plans the curriculum and teaches in class, and most of the independent work is done at home (as well as some guided practice). The parents are called co-teachers and we work very closely with one another to teach their child. The child gets the benefit of being in a class and making friends, but also being at home with mom and/or dad most of the time. At Faith, the junior high and high school students go to school on M/W/F and have "homeschool" days on T/TH. Elementary (3-6) go to school on T/TH and have homeschool days on M/W/F. The early elementary (K-2), which is new this year, will be in school on T/W/Th mornings or afternoon (K is afternoon).

Last year I taught 8th grade and loved the students, but I realized about half way through the second semester that teaching 8th grade English wasn't for me. Elementary was what all my training was in, and I just missed it! I woke up one morning just feeling very strongly that maybe I should move down to elementary. I talked to my supervisor about it that morning, and she said, "we're looking for a first grade teacher!" She told me that she thought that would be perfect. So, I prayed about it, and I knew pretty quickly that I needed to move to 1st grade. And now, I couldn't be happier with my decision!! Although, I will miss my students :(. But, I wouldn't have them this year anyway... they are freshman now! I will still be able to see them on Wednesdays, and many of them go my church.

So, with this being the first year for 1st grade, I am working hard developing curriculum. We are using specific curriculum books from Bob Jones University Press and Abeka, but with the UMS model, we have to pick and choose from those books what we teach (since we have limited time). We teach for retention, not to just pour tons of content into their brains only to forget it tomorrow. So, we focus on the most important things. It's not easy! But, as the year goes by, I will have it down. I just can't wait!

Thanks for letting me share my excitement! :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

If you read my blog...

...stop by and say hello! I can see that many of the same people read often, but I don't know who you are :). I can just see what town you're in!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Great Website on Homebirth

Check out www.mybestbirth.com. This website is from the creators of The Business of Being Born (which, if you haven't seen it, you SHOULD see it!).

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Update on Pregnancy and Life

Pregnancy Update:
I am now 8 weeks pregnant (it seems like I have been pregnant a LOT longer!). The nausea has hit, but I'm trying to keep myself busy and eat often so that it's not too bad. I've been craving a lot of unhealthy foods... but I find that if I eat often, I tend to eat a little healthier. Some things that I do like to eat a lot of is crackers, popsicles, pickles, etc... Popsicles always make me feel better! :) They aren't super healthy, but it could be worse. I have also been drinking a LOT of ice water because it helps as well.

The other day I woke up and my belly has already popped out a lot. I thought that maybe I was further along than I originally thought... but I'm sure I'm not. If I am, I will find out later :). I really think that it's because this is my third baby, and I just had Ethan a year ago.
This is a picture of me 2 days ago:

Life Update:
Things around here have been pretty difficult with it being summer. Robert works SO much (about 80 hours a week), and it has been hard feeling like a single parent. We both really feel that it doesn't have to be as hard as it is and that with a few things being more organized (some rotations and shifts maybe?), it could make life much easier for everyone. I have been really struggling, and I went through a somewhat angry/bitter time because of it. But, the biggest issue is that I haven't been spending the time with Jesus that I need to because the kids are up EARLY right now, and I'm too tired to get up before them. So, because I haven't been spending time with Jesus, I have been more focused on myself and my needs/wants, and I haven't been focused on Jesus and why we are here. It doesn't help that I'm in my first trimester of pregnancy; I'm tired, I'm nauseous, and I'm hormonal. So, I'm just trying to put things into perspective, and I'm trying to figure out ways in which I can support Robert better and minister to others when I have the opportunity. We know that we are supposed to be here, so we just have to figure out ways to make it more manageable. And, I don't want to "just survive," I want to be used, and Robert wants to be used by God for His glory. So, summer is now half way over, and we have another half to go. But, it feels a little easier now... I think the first part is always the hardest. I pray that God is glorified in this place, and that it isn't EVER just about work.
I forgot to mention that a wonderful volunteer here is going to come over and watch the kids regularly (an hour a day, a few hours every few days... something like that) to help me :). My biggest goal in that time is to spend time with Jesus. I need that time. I'm so thankful for that... who else has that opportunity? Praise God :).

I've also been making some decisions about how I will continue my "natural living" lifestyle without spending as much money on it and making it my focus. I have been looking at our budget for the fall, and we have a lot of big things to pay for in the fall/winter. We have to pay our midwife (well, we want to :), we need to get some car maintenance done (timing belt, tires, etc), we want to buy a deep freeze, we have Christmas gifts that we are going to make (we are going to make a little playground thingy for the kids with swings and a slide), and we have baby things to buy (a new breast pump, cloth diapers, a co-sleeping bed, etc). We also want to put some money in savings for when I'll be out of work. So, as I looked at the fall budget, I realized that our grocery budget is smaller than it once was. I have decided that my focus in the fall needs to be on nutrition, and personal care and other products I will buy at Sam's. Because I am pregnant, my desire is to focus on getting as much protein as possible (eggs, nuts, meats, peanut butter, dairy, etc), as well as fruits, veggies, yogurt, whole grains, etc. Right now, none of that sounds good :). But in the fall (starting in August), it will be important. I plan to start baking and making more things from scratch again. We will eat in the dining hall whenever possible because it's free and we can be with Robert. But, I will be cooking more because there aren't as many meals in the dining hall (just on weekends and whenever they have Outdoor Ed).

Anyway... this is the scattered, honest update from my mind :). I feel like I have missed something, but oh well!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Appointment with New Midwife

I'm using a new midwife this time (well, she was assisting at the birth of my son, but she wasn't my actual midwife), and I LOVE her. I met with her for the first time yesterday (although we've been emailing back and forth for months), and it was awesome talking to her. The midwife that I used with Ethan just had a much different personality than me. My new midwife is very similar to me in personality. She came over yesterday and stayed for 2 1/2 hours! We discussed the things that I want to do differently this time (and she completely agreed). She also discussed how we ARE going to make breastfeeding work this time. She gave me many suggestions, and told me to basically have a plan in place in advance so it's not stressful. I think it will help me to be less stressed and just more focused. I really think it was the stress that made it harder with the last two... when it didn't seem to be working, I would get so stressed and it made my supply go down even more.

So... I am going to buy a new breastpump because the one I have is painful. She says that a good breastpump can make breastfeeding work MUCH better. If I pump every 2-3 hours, then it will help to increase my supply. Also, she gave me the suggestion of a lactation consultant that she refers her clients to, and she said usually just one visit with this LC will do the trick. She said the visits are 1 1/2 hours, and to just set aside the money ahead of time. Also, I will be cosleeping with this baby, at least at first. My plan is to buy a co-sleeper that goes in the bed, or beside the bed, because the reason I didn't do it in the past was because I couldn't sleep out of fear I would smother Ethan. I have read, and she also says, that co-sleeping makes breastfeeding much easier. Not only does it make it easier because I don't have to get up everytime the baby wakes up, but also the baby being close to mommy actually helps stimulate milk supply (and supposedly helps them sleep better). She also told me of a prescription that some of her clients use that has the side effect of increasing milk supply, and that it would be helpful to have a prescription already when the baby is born so that I can just go get it filled if necessary.
With the last two, I used fenugreek and blessed thistle (two herbs that supposedly help increase milk supply), and I never felt like they worked. As much as I would rather use an herbal supplement, it may be more successful to just go with the prescription this time. She said that with the herbs, you just have to take so much to make it work, and it can get stressful (which, she is right... I was taking like 18-21 pills a day!). And, the more stress, the harder it is to increase supply. So, we are going to have this plan in place, and she said that we even should have a pumping schedule in place ahead of time because it really helps to know what I will be doing ahead of time to increase supply.

I just came out of the appointment feeling like everything will be more successful this time around. I'm really excited and looking forward to the future of this pregnancy and when my little one will be born! I have a lot of time still, though!!