Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Who Cares About Baby Showers, Bring on the Twilight!

Today after school is Baby Shower #1 for the week. I am as "ready" as I can be. I'm hoping for the best....and knowing that it is after school, so I can truly only stay an hour and a half before I have to leave to pick up Emma. And I'm looking forward to meeting the wife of my co-worker who has only been in the U.S. for 3 weeks after finally getting her Visa approved to move here from the Philippines.

Saturday is shower #2. It might be a little more tricky. The PG gal and her hubby are our only "couple" friends left in Jacksonville. They were WONDERFUL about inviting us over when I was newly PG with Emma and she was due to have their first child (K's bday is in May and Em's in Sept.) We talked baby products. She showed me an amazing nightgown with slits for breastfeeding, we talked "new parent" stuff. It was great. I am happy for them to have Kid #2. I am just longing for Kid #2 of my own....so it makes happiness about baby stuff difficult sometimes. We shall see how things go. I think I can put on my game face in the name of friendship and make it through.

But I just heard some REALLY SUPER FANTASTIC NEWS! DH texted me to say that on the cover of "USA Today" there is an article about a new Stephenie Meyer novella that will be released on June 5th! I am STOKED! My fellow Twilight fans can click this link to read the article yourselves.

Dreaming of Edward is helping my baby longings vanish for a little while....

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pity Party and Last Disney Update

I've been in a Funk:
The past few days have been a bit difficult. Mainly due to "bump envy." I received 2 Baby Shower invitations this week. While I am truly happy for the friend and the co-worker I was invited to celebrate with, the invites were a reminder of what I don't have. Sighs. (For the record, I DO plan to attend the showers. I want to support my friends!)

Then Em and I met our friends Stacye and Adrian for dinner. Adrian quickly announced that he's going to "be a big brother." Stacye is 8 weeks PG and due the first week of November. Again---happy for her...but sad for me. And then I feel like a schmooze for feeling lousy. Sighs again.

Thus, my pity party began. I have only 3 girlfriends in Jacksonville who don't work in the school system. All 3 of them are currently PG. (Two of them have a child the same age as Em.)
Internal whining---why can't I be PG too?

My DH Rocks!:
DH was off work yesterday, as he is working today. So Thursday night I called in for a "mental health" day off. Friday after dropping Em off at school, DH and I went out for breakfast. I vented and explained my feelings. Have I mentioned lately that I am grateful to have a best friend like DH? He helped me to feel better. (And I appreciated his validating that I'm not a bitch or a raving lunatic...thanks, DH!)

Yesterday it was sunny and 80 degrees out! We finally had beautiful weather. So after breakfast and some Easter Bunny shopping, we headed home. We hung out for the day with open windows----fresh air blowing through the house. LOVED it. And I got hooked on a new show, "The Tudors" on Showtime....about Henry VIII. Cool show and correlates somewhat with the "Queen Anne is Doomed" book I recently read.

Anyway between DH and the lovely weather, I was able to pull myself out of my funk. (Thank goodness!)

Disney Trip--Day 3: Epcot:
I leave you with the last of our Disney pics (only a month late.) We spent the last day of our trip at Epcot. 5 out of 5 stars. We loved it---I love the "World Showcase" with buildings, shops, and restaurants themed from various countries. They've added a "Kidcot"area at each of the country locations----kids can obtain a diecut paper cutout which is different at each location. (A rocking horse from colonial America, a mask from Italy, a kite from Japan, etc.) Em loved collecting the items, and it made the Showcase area more fun for her. She also loved the aquarium, Nemo ride, and the ride inside of the ball (I can't remember its name). DH liked the roller coaster (can't remember its name either.)

Oops...I'm realizing some of these pics are actually from Hollywood Studios, not just Epcot. Anyway, here goes:

The giant Epcot Ball

Em and I with our rockstar wigs (in the shop outside the Rockin' Roller Coaster) (Hollywood Studios)

The Tower of Terror Ride (Em and DH went---I HATE this ride, as I'm afraid of heights and also feel claustrophobic.) (Hollywood Studios)

Another feature at Hollywood Studios Em loved was the Disney Playhouse show---included puppets with favorite characters from current Disney shows (Handy Manny, Mickey's Clubhouse, My Friends Tigger and Pooh.)

A long time fan of the "Singin' in the Rain" movie, I had to pose with this umbrella on a Hollywood Studios back lot.

Em also loved the Little Mermaid show at Hollywood Studios (sorry for blurry pic.)

A worker helped Em with a Chinese yo-yo in the Epcot World Showcase

Em with her mask and paper diecuts from the World Showcase (I love the eye lashes she drew on her mask.)

Em and I with viking helmets (gift shop in Norway area of World Showcase.)

Family pic outside of the Nemo ride with Epcot ball in the background

Em and DH on the Nemo ride

Happy weekend, all! I'm slowly catching up on blog reading and commenting and WILL be caught up by the end of the week----spring break time! Whew!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Ruminations

School: Had my yearly evaluation signature meeting with my principal this week. She wrote that I'm "a joy to have on the faculty." She said that even if I don't win the award she nominated me for, she knows that I make a difference every day. She also said I need to keep the nomination in my professional portfolio.

--Due to the post-FCAT reduction in stress, and the recent positive feedback from my principal, I'm okay with staying at my current school next year. However, I will NOT be taking on as many roles within my department----at the very first meeting of the school year, departmental duties will be assigned if no one volunteers. (My principal okayed this---yay!)

Emma: --Spring break is right around the corner...I signed Em out from her school for her "vacation week." (She gets 2 vacation weeks per school year.) I'm hoping the weather warms up again, so that we can go on some fun outings. I'm longing to go to the beach for some shark-teeth and shell collecting, if we have a warm day.

--And we'll look into enrolling her in...GULP...Kindergarten. (One of the perks of teaching in my county is that our contract allows teachers to have their child/ren attend schools near where they teach (or at the school where the teach, if age-appropriate.) Therefore, next school year, Em will be attending the elementary school directly across the street from my school. I have colleagues whose children currently attend there, and haven't heard negative feedback from anyone I've talked to. We drove by the schools today, and Em seems pretty excited about being "right beside Mommy's big-kid school."

TTC: Had myself convinced I was PG this week. I had sensitive ta-tas, increased smell awareness, and was super-duper tired. When I made it to 12 DPO according to my ovulation monitor, I finally caved and bought a HPT. Yes, I know it was super early, but....AF wasn't timely and I was hopeful. My pink-line test was a negative right away. More expensive digital test showed an "error" sign, but I didn't bother re-testing. AF arrived the next day dashing my hopes of a baby-on-board birthday present for myself and DH. (Our bdays are April 6th and 16th.) Sighs. Totally disappointed. We purchased new ovulation monitor pee sticks today, so the TTC saga continues...

--One perk of TTC, is taking pre-natal vitamins. I've had amazing fingernails the past few months. I treated myself to a manicure today. Previously, the only mani I've ever had was for my wedding, and involved acrylic nails. Check out MY nails! (And the nail tech convinced me to get the cute flower drawing on my ring-finger. I was tickled with the look, and can't believe my whole total was only $12!)

This is a self-nail job I did last week. The wine color is darker than I usually use, but I received TONS of compliments on it. :)

TV: DH and I are stoked! We had the U-Verse system installed this weekend. Due to DH's work discount, we got an awesome deal. And our monthly bill is less than $5 more/month than we were already paying. Now we have TONS of channels. "Tru Blood" is recording right now, I can't wait to catch up...

Drat!: Have you ever had a scent that you really enjoy, but then the store that markets it discontinues the scent? When DH and I were first dating, I wore perfume and lotion called "Peach Hyacinth" marketed by V.ict.oria's S.ec.ret. I LOVED that scent soooo much! Shortly after we were married, they discontinued it. A few years ago, I found "Sparkling Peach" by Ba.th-n-body-works. It was similar enough to my original peach scent that I really liked it. After my manicure today, I went into BNBW to buy some more....they've discontinued their peach line too. Dag nab it! Guess I'll revert back to my non-scented Joh.nson's lotion.

Twilight: Anyone else purchase the "New Moon" movie this weekend? I didn't attend a midnight selling event, but I did buy the film yesterday. I enjoyed the accompanying behind-the-scenes documentary. :)

Books: One of these days I'll update my sidebar... I'm in the middle of book 3 of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. LOVE this series. The humor integrated by the author is superb. And the integration of Greek mythology within his novels is really neat.

Guess that's it for now. Hoping that the next few days I'll post the last of our Disney pics and will get caught up on blog-commenting.

Disney Trip--Round 2

The 2nd day of our 3-day getaway we went to Hollywood Studios. Rating: 4 out of 5. Plenty to do, (including an amazing playground) many shows and rides. Em was entertained the whole day. Here are some pics...

The Sorcerer's Hat is to Hollywood Studios as the Castle is to Magic Kingdom and the giant ball is to Epcot. (A+ for analogies! ) :)

One of our favorites was the new Toy Story ride. A carnival style ride in which riders use a laser to pop balloons, break plates, knock over ducks, etc. The 3-D effects were superb, and the ride itself was lots of fun. We experienced something we had never encountered before----having to wait in line to obtain a Fastpass. But, we were still able to ride the ride 2X during our visit---score!

I loved the Barrel of Monkeys monkey-link toys outside of the ride.

Em and DH outside of the Star Wars ride.

Love this pic, it's my new computer background. :)

Em and I pose in a convertible on one of the Studio lots.

Though DH and I found it cheesy, Em enjoyed the HSM3 show.

The menu items outside of this restaurant cracked us up and led us to our choice of lunch place, The Commissary. We waited outside the door for them to open for lunch at 11. Just before opening, a worker came out and said we'd be treated to "red carpet lunch" because we were the first customers of the day. When we entered, they literally rolled out a red carpet for us! Employees surrounded the carpet and applauded as DH, Emma and I entered, as a worker shouted, "Introducing the A. family!" We were then led to nice table with table cloth, glass dishes, and silverware. (The restaurant has baskets/disposable cutlery ala fast-food style.) We were waited on, whereas all other customers had to stand in line to order at the counter and then take their food to their own non-fancy tables. It was awesome! We also received free desert!

Mickey shaped mustard cups on our table...

Emma's Kid's Meal plate...

Our nice table. See the megaphones? Em was tickled when the waiter told her she had to place her order using a megaphone.

Em and I LOVED the Beauty and the Beast show. We watched the show, while DH rode the Rockin' Roller Coaster. Beauty and the Beast is one of my all time favorite Disney movies. It was released when I was a senior in high school. I have fond memories of seeing the film in the theater with my Mom and sister, and going again to see the movie multiple times with some of my Show Choir buddies. Not to mention that Belle is a book lover and wasn't born to royalty....makes her a "princess" that is more realistic. Em was riveted by the show. It was great to see her so into something that I love as well. :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Disney Trip--Round 1

One month ago today, we were attending our 3-day get away at Disney World. How I'd love to go back! I'm finally posting pics....

The "Mickey" towels on our bed when we checked into our hotel (The "All Stars Music Resort.")

It was an amazing 2-room suite....here's a portion of DH's and my "room."

And the living room area/Em's room (The green coach, red chair, AND ottoman ALL could unfold into beds...Em found this amazing.)

The resort was divided into different areas. We stayed at "The Jazz Inn." This large drum set was outside our building.

Front side of drum set.

On Friday, we went to Animal Kingdom. Our overall rating: 2 on a 1-5 scale. DH said, "It's like they tried to do a Zoo and an Amusement Park and they didn't do either one well." I agree completely----minimal animals to look at; few rides/attractions; and not many shows. This was also Em's least favorite park, as there weren't many characters out-and-about like in the other parks. (She's still bummed she didn't get to meet Pocahontas...we waited and waited and they kept changing the time Pocahontas was going to "arrive," sending Jiminy Cricket instead. Until we finally got bored and left the area.) They did have a nice playground area. Verdict: If were could only visit one Disney park, this would NOT be the park of choice. It did have some lovely features...

The amazing "Tree of Life" is the focal point of the park. Close-up you can see intricate carvings of many different types of animals. (Though, my humorous DH pointed out that it is "totally ironic that the Tree of Life is the fakest thing in the park.")

Em had fun playing the drums in an African-themed area of the park.

DH and Em riding a train.

Em helped a worker unroll this giant snake skin, while we waited for the no-show Pocahontas.

We all enjoyed the Lion King show.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patty's Day

Thanks to those who voted, I came in 2nd in Lori's annual limerick contest!
Big congrats to Erica at Parenthood for Me, the winner. She's won 2 years in a row...ROCKSTAR! :)

My Emma turns 5 1/2 today. Where does the time go?

FCAT testing is over and went really, really well.

My principal nominated me for a national reading teacher award! WOW! SOOOO excited. Don't know if I have a chance in Hades of winning....one of these days if I can get the meta-tag crap figured out (see prior post) I'll post the essay I wrote which she submitted with my nomination packet.

Finally starting to dig out of my March-is-very-busy hole. Whew! Think I can catch up on blogging by the end of the weekend. (At least that is my hope and goal!)

I leave you with a random St. Patty's Day limerick found via the Internet...

A lass one beautiful morn,
Fell in love with a male unicorn,
She purchased a spell,
Recited it well,
Now she's with him hooves, tail, and horn.

Happy Day, one and all! :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Help: Meta Tags??

Ack! Sooooo frustrated! Just wrote a post explaining some exciting things that have been going on with my job. However, when I try to post I get an error message which states,

Your HTML cannot be accepted: Tag is not allowed: META

Anyone know how the frack I can fix this?

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Foiled Attempt at Limerick #2

First, my apologies for being behind on commenting. This is always the busiest time of year for me, as we are in "crunch time" in the final days before state FCAT testing. (My students test on March 9-11.) Additionally, we just finished 3rd quarter midterms and progress reports, which meant I had to keep my grades up-to-date. DH, Em and I did have a wonderful Disney get away last weekend....hopefully I'll get pictures and an update posted soon. I devoted my "spare time" last week to watching the Olympics. And did anyone catch the gold medal hockey game between the U.S. and Canada yesterday? Despite the U.S. losing, it was an AMAZING game!

I was hoping to create another Limerick for Weeble's Contest (see my prior post or the link in the left sidebar for further details.) My hope for Limerick #2 was to send a "shout out" to as many of my readers and blog buddies as I could as a "thank you" for the support I've felt since finding the ALI community. I'm still bummed I didn't find you sooner, but this is far surpassed by the gratitude I feel for the knowledge, insight, and love you've shared. I'm tickled with myself for being able to mention 12 of you and still maintain some type of rhyme scheme, even if I lost the Limerick schemata (which is why I'm not entering this in Weeble's contest.) If you aren't mentioned, I'll try to catch you another time...please don't feel less loved. Thank you, dear readers! I love ya!

(Note: I'm having difficulty linking the blog titles to the blogs....all names in caps below are listed in full on my blog roll.)

A Non-Limerick of Thanks
By: Alana Mar. 2010

I'm a WISTFUL GEEK, a SALVAGEABLE pregnancy is my quest,
I've "met" amazing online DREAMERS who support my ADVENTURE with zest!
They cheer me through my joys, and virtually hug me when I'm numb.
Though my EXPECTED END remains unseen, your blog comments are one reason I'm BLESSED!

Whew! I loved the limerick contest, but incorporating names of blogs was difficult. SOOOOO fun! Happy March, everyone. Xoxox