Friday, January 29, 2010

The New Kid at Camp

In an effort to get those Janet Jackson's abs, I decided to try the boot camp workout class at the local gym. I mean really... I can keep up with that French lady during her step aerobics class, so how hard could a circuit training class be???

*nursing sore hamstrings*

Very hard... thats how hard it was!

I walked right into that class with my new Old Navy workout pants, gym bag, and (fairly) new reboks thinking I was gonna totally dominate the class because I'm practically the youngest person in there (right along with the skinny chick on the left).


Not so much....

We broke off to our first "station" after warming up and were told to spend two minutes there- staying on beat with the music which seemed to be techno fast.

30 seconds into my first station, I could have pulled the fire alarm just to ask for an oxygen tank.

Everything from my tongue down to my lungs felt like I had just eaten hot coals.

My clothes felt like they had decided to form a mutiny against my poor body.

The aerobics room seemed to warp and widen out by 30 feet.

The clock froze in time.

The instructor counts down the last 10 seconds of the station and tells us to move to the next. After 2 minutes of agony, she moves us to the next. I looked around to see all the other women having a grand ole time while I was trying not to projectile vomit the graham cracker and peanut butter sandwich I'd eaten 15 minutes before and pass out.

I limped to my water bottle which has moved with the warped room 600 feet from my station.

What does "I" say to "myself"??? "Dangit Steph! Get yourself together! Its just 45 minutes!"

and how does "myself" reply??? "I need some more oxygen!!!"

Either way, I was able to pull it all together and work it out. I finished the class, giving up on the last 30-45 seconds of each station. When it was over, I limped to my things, put on my new Old Navy workout jacket, dug through my new gym bag, and coughed up my lung walking out the door.

I'll definitely be back next Thursday... with an oxygen tank!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Not a Spring Chicken

Teenage pregnancy...

In modern days, its an issue...

In the olden days however, I'm sure it was the way to go...

*thinking: Mary probably had Jesus when she was like 16*

I was watching the news and heard that the teenage pregnancy rate had increased. And I thought to myself, "Really?! There must be 60 gazillion pregnant teens for them to broadcast it on the news!"

... because I've always seen pregnant teens. I NEVER stopped seeing them.

Then I got to thinking some more... There are so many women who can afford and take care of babies but have the hardest time conceiving or simply can't have children. And you have these kids... KIDS... who are, in the words of my girlfriend, "Fertile Myrtles".

I realize that I'm not necessarily (in relative terms) a spring chicken, but there is just some really strange irony in that. Its just plain ole'... *getting frustrated*

Anyway, I'm going to chill out about this because I have all the things I ever wanted... except Janet Jackson's tight abs and buns of steel...

but I guess I can work on that while I'm waiting for a baby.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Buying Baby Books Before Baby

I hope you appreciated the alliteration of the title!


Zack and I was in the mall last week when we saw that the bookstore was going out of business. It wasn't hard to miss with the huge yellow and red "60%-80% off absolutely everything" signs in the windows.

I instantly became excited about the thought of getting books for little of nothing. I was also somewhat sad about the fact that a book store was going out of business. Doesn't anyone read anymore (or at least look at the pictures like I do)???

We went in and wove ourselves through the crowd of eager book buyers. Zack went to the right towards the financial books, and I mosied over to the back. I was lucky to find a stash of baby and pregnancy related books. *smile*

I looked through the books to see which ones had the most pictures (don't judge me) and pretty colors and held them in my arms like they were footballs. Because really... you never know when a seemingly simple book sale will turn into a Filene's Basement styled fight to the death... you just never know.

I gather about three books (on top of the three pre-teen books I got for my little cousin) and went to find Zack. When I found him, he was carrying about three books of his own. He was sure to tell me of the pregnancy and baby books in the back, and I showed him the one's I'd picked up. He responds with, "Are you sure you didn't want to look again and get some more?"

I shook my head and headed for the checkout because I couldn't wait to get home, curl up in the bed, and read the captions under all the pictures (just joking... but not really).

After reading a chapter or two in the "Getting Pregnant" book, I went back to the bookstore the next day and purchased 5 more books: a grammar book, a book of old school ways of remembering things, a baby book for a friend, "Schooled" (a fictional novel about teachers that I recommend for teachers), an interactive book from grandma to baby (that I plan to give to my mom whenever we get pregnant), and an ice cream desserts recipes book (for Zack and his new ice cream maker).

I probably should've bought more...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cobbler Kisses


I'm sitting at my desk during my lunch break because I ate (Wayyyyyy) too much for breakfast.

We have grade level meetings at the school and today just so happened to be the day where teachers from a specific curriculum area bring in snacks. I ate a banana and 6almonds in anticipation of the goodies I knew they'd have at the meeting.

I show up and there on the table is....





PEACH COBBLER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah... so, if you know me... you'd know this was a huge deal!

I freakin flip for cobbler (or any sweet treat, for that matter)

I think its from me growing up in the south and my maternal grandmother having been a sweet little old lady who expressed her love in the form of cakes and cobblers.

My aunts became cobbler making experts and carried on the tradition of showing love with food.

Needless to say, I ate some... fell in love... and after the meeting, I went back and got a plate full to take back to my room.

I took it back to my room, sat at my desk, and tore that cobbler up! All the while I was thinking "you know you need to put this down." (but obviously I didn't since I'm writing this blog)

As I'm finishing it up, I hear a tap at my door and see my co-worker standing there. I burst out laughing because I KNOW she had to see me almost licking the plate to get off the extra syrup (but luckily, she didn't).

I keep telling her that I need to get this sweet fetish (read: addiction) under control.

I'll never tell Zack what I ate... I can see him now raging about me not getting my body prepared for a baby and how he will NOT allow me to feed our baby all the garbage I feed myself. I'm sure he'll put me on an extremely strict food plan once we get preggers...

But... GOODNESS... I love cobbler so much!!!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Just Like New Shoes

Z and I have been sleeping in separate rooms for about two weeks. Not by choice, but by necessity.

The bed in our room just so happens to be about 10 years old, and Zack can't sleep on it. He wakes up several times during the night because his back aches so bad. I suggested that we try sleeping on the new bed in the guest room to see if it the problem is our mattress or something else. Of course, the guest room mattress is perfect for him.

But it is hella uncomfortable for me, so I decided to remain sleeping in our bed on the old mattress.

I was talking to my mom on the phone the other day about how we were sleeping in separate rooms, and she (as I can imagine) starts pointing and shaking that disapproving mom finger. "Now Nikki... you KNOW you need to get a new bed."

Later that day and after taking a scolding from mama, Zack and I go out in search for a new mattress set. (thank goodness the Mattress Firm was having a sale)

We walk into the store and get the introduction from our sales associate and bed expert, Paula. She takes us over to the high-tech bed fitter machine so that we can find out which type of mattress works for us.

The results are plush for me and somewhat firm for Zack.

yep... almost completely on opposite ends of the mattress spectrum.

Long story short... I ended up taking one for the team and agreed to purchase a Simmons that is more firm than plush... but actually pretty comfy.

Paula informs us that buying a mattress is like buying new shoes... "It will take some time to break it in."

She told us that the bed we laid on had been on the storeroom floor for 6 months and had "relaxed", and that our new bed will be stiffer.

She was ABSOLUTELY right... They delivered the new bed the next day and I was unable to sleep on it because it was too firm. I will keep it for the 30 days she suggested and hope that it becomes like its sister bed back at the store. I ended up waking up at 2am and going downstairs to watch recorded shows on the DVR.

I was super thankful that, just two days before, I'd scheduled a couples' massage session for today. What a treat to work out that sleepless night I had! The massage has at least given me the energy to blog while Zack is knocked out behind me on the bed... can you hear him snoring?!?!

What Time Is It?

I received my OV Watch in the mail a few weeks ago, and needless to say, I was crazy excited.

Zack walked in the house with the boxes while I was cooking dinner, and I totally stopped what I was doing in order to receive my package. Zack reminded me that I was cooking dinner and that the mail could wait until after we'd eaten dinner. I expressed my difference in opinion but went ahead and finished dinner.

I immediately read the quick instruction on how to put the sensor in the watch and how to set it. The instructions say that I MUST wear the watch on days 1, 2, or 3 of my period. With impatient excitement, I set the it for day 3 of my period and put on the watch.

Then I'm hit with the realization that my period stopped just two days before.

I pray that maybe... just maybe it will work regardless of my inability to exercise some patience and follow clear (VERY clear) instructions.

I faithfully walk upstairs and put on my watch at 9pm every single night... then I pray again that my user error won't affect the results although I believe it will.

In the mornings, we would wake up and check the results of the watch... and ever day read "NF" (Not Fertile).

Then....... (*excitement building*)

We get our first "Fertile Day 1"!!!!!!!!!

Zack walked into the bedroom yesterday morning and found me reading the instructions to the pamphlet. He asked what I was doing, and I told him the results of the watch.

The rest is something right off "Animal Kingdom".

No... just kidding-lol... however, that whole morning could've been a clip from a new TLC show about getting knocked up.

hmmm.... maybe I should write them and pitch them my show idea!!! It could take Jon's and Kate's spot or the time slot of that crazy lady who's at 18 kids and is STILL counting... I mean really... other people are capable of populating the earth!

Friday, January 15, 2010

All Babies Need Love... And I'll Give it to Them!

As I was running out the door for work this morning, I was stopped by an image on CNN. Dr. Gupta, who was reporting on the devastation of the earthquake in Haiti, was holding a teeny-tiny newborn baby in his hands, and he was talking about how she'd been hurt.

She had a gash on her head, and he was trying his best to bandage her precious head. Silky black hair curled around her chocolate face. He continued to position the bandages, and another pair of hands moved into the shot to help him.

I stood there wanting to be there to comfort her and him as he tried so hard to patch her up.

At that moment, Zack told me that her mother had died.

My heart sank. A baby without a mother?!?! *heart sinks further*

I immediately said that I wanted her. "I want her! I can love her! Zack, don't you want her?! If we can get her, I could be her mom!"

Zack, who is cooking breakfast, says, "Sure baby. But she has a family!"

"But I can love her!"

"Steph! She already has a family. They brought her to Sanjay Gupta so he could help her."


I look at the screen. Confused.


Of course she has a family! What was I thinking?

I say, "Yeah. But if she didn't and needed a home, I would have wanted her here."

I continue into the kitchen to see if Zack would give me some of his cheesy grits... he doesn't (because I'd insisted before he started cooking that I didn't want breakfast). I leave for work.

I've always been into adoption. Even after I have two biological children of my own, I would love to adopt one or two young children.

All babies and children need love! And all they want is a loving, stable home with responsible, caring adults. Pregnancy isn't everything, but loving another human is!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Mama for Boys

I have taught for about four years. When I first started working in schools, I worked at alternative schools, and all of my students were boys. Now that I'm in a "mainstream" school, I have had to widen my student demographic to include girls.

Girls are ok...

But boys are my niche.

I tend to be a "tough" teacher who is not into warm and fuzzies.

Girls usually doodle in class... drawing hearts, stars, names, and other stuff that looks cute with glitter.

Boys, on the other hand, like activity.

Girls don't take sarcasm well, and boys (many of them) do.

I tend to teach to boys because the thought of glitter makes me gag... which is very good because most teachers teach to girls.

It is for this reason that I can totally see myself as the mother of boys. Rough and tumble boys. Boys who climb trees, play sports, and eat their parents out of house and home (because I can't seem to grasp the concept of "cooking for two").

For now, my students are my sons, and I love them! I found a Christmas card from the 5th grade boys I taught three yeas ago, and I cried. I loved them, and I hope they are doing well. I cry (even now) when I talk about them in conversation because I so desperately wanted to shield them from whatever tragedies they experienced in their homes.

This motherly love is probably the reason why my professional goals include opening an academy for inner city boys. I could totally be a mama for boys!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


I was just browsing the internet (procrastinating on going to bed) and saw that Keyshia Cole is pregnant!


by a player for the Cleveland Cavaliers....

WHO... IS... 23... YEARS... OLD!!!!!

She can't be serious!

She's 28 and is pregnant (and engaged to) a 23 year old ball player. Really?!

I guess it doesn't take much, hunh?

But seriously... look at this dude! He looks like he's just graduated from "Straight Out the Hood University".

Tattoos, backwards cap, cliche platinum chains... he definitely wouldn't have been my choice for a baby's daddy, but then again, I'm not Keyshia Cole. I see another show in the making... maybe one in conjunction with Monica and her kids?


I haven't had a steady/regular doctor since my pediatric days. My doctor was Dr. Phillips, and my dentist was Dr. Curtis, and I loved them both.

I loved Dr. Phillips because of her smooth, dark chocolate skin and because her voice sounded like midnight jazz. She was always calm and everything about her was soothing. Dr. Curtis, on the other hand, reminded me of Santa Claus because... well, he looked exactly like Santa Claus... except his beard was shorter. He always gave me candy and praised me for taking such good care of my teeth. Those were the days when doctors saw their clients as more than clients. They integrated themselves into their clients' lives and became a part of their families. I loved them.

I haven't had a relationship with doctors since, however there was a short period of time that I actually developed a relationship with the dental hygienist at a dentist office I went to while in college. I went in one day and there was some new chick in Stephanie's (the dental hygienist) station. I stopped going shortly after.

I went to an OB/GYN office that had a network of doctors. I never saw the same doctor twice and I went there for five years. I somewhat liked the anonymity of letting a complete stranger take a look at my cervix and check my breasts for lumps then never having to see them again. My visits were like one night stands.

I finally decided (with the decision to start a family) to get a doctor in my area. I settled on one doctor at a hospital 15 minutes from my house and 5 minutes from my job. Perfect, right?!?!?!

Well, the visit was less than stellar. The doctor was a complete space cadet traveling somewhere on Mars. Our conversation at the visit in May went something like this:

Me: My husband and I are thinking of coming off birth control and starting a family!
Dr: (one hand pressing on my stomach and another hand somewhere inside or around my uterus) Really?! You should have come off your birth control in January.
Me: Oh.
Dr: I need you to relax. It feels like you might have fibroids.
Me: Its probably the gallon of water I drank before I came. I REALLY need to use the restroom.
Dr: (still pressing) Ok. Well, relax.
Me: I can't because I have to pee... like really badly!
Dr: (pressing even harder)
Me: How about I go pee before it starts running down your arm and onto the floor?
Dr: I think we should schedule you for a sonogram so we can get a better view.
Me: Probably not. I just need to pee.
Dr: (withdraws hand) Ok. Well, you can get dressed. I'll get your paperwork and get you scheduled for that sonogram. (leaves)
I get up, get dressed, go to the restroom, and pee for a very long time.... she totally forgot about the sonogram.

Anyway, it is almost time for another annual visit, and I'm looking for a regular doctor. I've taken references from friends, but i've also been researching the internet for other OB/GYNs...

I came across this website and I think I'm sold on their family of physicians. The website makes them look like they really like each other! I like the fact that most of their physicians are women, and the women are from various cultural backgrounds. Their office even has an internet cafe!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Prayers and Automobiles

I stayed at work a little longer than usual today to take care of paperwork and such for the new semester... and by "a little longer" I mean "a whole lot longer than I should've stayed but had to stay that long because I procrastinate too much." I ended up leaving at six.

The sun was nearly set. I'm still driving. The thermometer in my car reads "31" degrees. The sun sets. It is dark. I'm almost home.

I'm literally within walking distance of my home. I stop at stop sign and look in the rearview mirror. I see the huge truck behind me. I think to myself, "Wow! That is a really big truck. It is much bigger than my little civic." I look straight ahead to see if the traffic has moved. It hasn't. Then.......


My body lurches forward. I scream and reach for my face. I stop.


I look down at my hands, and my chest, then out the windshield.

I'm ok!

My brain goes into autopilot. I put my car in park, open the door, walk to the back of my car, and hear "We should probably pull to the side."

I get back in my car and pull off to the side then get out and walk to the back of the car. Mr. Hummer pulls up, gets out, asks if I'm alright, and apologizes... a lot.

I smile a genuine smile and tell him I'm fine.... but what I really am is shocked that I'm not crying.

"Why" you ask??????

Because thats what I do. I'm a cryer... I cry all the time... for any reason... at any given time.

But not now.

I call 911 and speak with the operator then I call Zack. He walks (literally, because thats how close we live) to the scene of the accident.

We sit in the car and wait for the deputy. I tell Zack that I'm not mad and I'm happy. I'm happy because this is the type of situation we pray for every single day.

"Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for watching over us and bringing us home safely. Please continue to watch over us, our family, and our friends."

EVERYDAY that is our prayer, and it was answered this day as it is every day.

And one thing I know (besides God answering my prayers) is that my civic took being rear ended like a CHAMP... like...a... freakin... CHAMP!!!!! Sure, I can't open my trunk and the bumper is practically falling off, but I barely (on a relative scale) even felt getting hit!

I definitely know now that Honda is the car I want when I have babies in the backseat.

Honda for life!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Yes Sir, Sergeant, Sir!

My husband is a former Marine and was in the Corp for seven years. No, he never went to war. Yes, he carries a subtle drill sergeant attitude with him at all times.

We talk about the number of children we want (I'm want 3, and he's suggesting 4) and the ratio of boys to girls (I'd like two boys and a girl, and he'd probably like all boys). I can imagine having four boys.... and I can also imagine Z running those four boys like a group of recruits in Parris Island.

***Fast forward***

This morning, I woke up (as I went to bed) feeling like CRAP. Not your everyday, tired crap... but the type of CRAP that makes you want to detach your head from your neck and set it in a dark closet for three days (I have a sinus infection). Z walked up to me, gave me the sweetest hug, and asked how I felt. I told him I felt bad and sunk my head in his chest. He hugged me tighter, kissed my forehead, and told me he hoped I felt better soon.

I'm sure you're thinking, "Awwwww..... How sweet!"


He rounds up all that sweetness with, "Because tonight we have to get back on it. This really can't be an excuse."


I look at him and ask, "What are you talking about?"

With all sincerity, he looks at me and says, "Steph, we both have a duty to fulfill. We're trying to have a baby."

He made it sound like I'd just enlisted in the Corp and was being sent to battle. I thought about it... and realized he was right. Thank goodness I'm feeling better!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Vitamin, Schmitamin

I think the company who makes birth control pills should go into business making vitamins. Seriously... I don't understand how one daily pill can be soooo tiny and another be the size of a muscadine. It is for this reason that I usually don't take vitamins.

When I started talking about pregnancy, a good friend of mine informed me that I should be taking prenatals about a year before I expect to get pregnant. That was a great piece of information except I expected to be pregnant about three months after that conversation.

I remembered telling Zack about the vitamins, and after he fussed about the three new bottles of almost expired Women's One-A-Day vitamins in the kitchen, he ran out and bought an industrial sized bottle of prenatal vitamins from Costco even though I had already splurged on the GNC pregnancy vitamin kit (Fish Oil caplets, calcium pills, and vitamins).

At first, I was super serious about taking the vitamins and took them everyday. Then we didn't get pregnant, and I stopped. Zack would ask me every two days if I was still taking my vitamins. I always responded with, "I'm gonna start taking them on Monday."

He even lectured me on how I was diligent about taking BC when I didn't want to get pregnant but will not get serious about taking something that would help our baby. I'd feel bad and take the vitamin for one day then stop.

I've talked to women at work who have given me suggestions like taking it with orange juice to mask the taste or grinding it into powder and mixing it in juice.

With this new year, I've actually been taking my vitamins every day. I am on day 5, and it hasn't gotten easier... maybe I'll do for me what I used to do for my dog...

hide the vitamin in something I like to eat... maybe a piece of chocolate!

Get Your Tail in the Car!!!

Let me tell you something about my husband. Zack is an AWESOME nurse for me when I'm sick. As a matter of fact, it is a big part of why I married him. When we were dating and on my 25th birthday, I caught the worst case of strep throat, and he drove downtown to pick me up from work (after my boss demanded that I go home), purchased a Carvel icecream cake and some fancy schmancy soup from Whole foods, and took me back to his apartment so that he could care for me until I was better (about three days later).

With that being said... My husband is THE WORST at being sick.

I woke up this morning, cooked breakfast, and told him that I was taking him to the Walgreens clinic to get some meds. Without looking at me, he moans and groans and says that he doesn't feel like going. He can't breathe, he's snotting on all our towels, and he looks like crap.

Trying to use the patience I resolved to use on December 31, 2009, I responded with rolling my eyes and sighing loudly, and followed that with an obvious silent attitude.

He finally says, "Whats your problem? You mad at me now?"

I tell him that the clinic opened at 11 (it was 12:35 and we were watching "Moving up") and closed at 4pm.

He sighed and said he didn't feel like moving because his body hurt and maybe he'd be ready to leave the house at 1:30.

I try to muster up another round of patience and fight down the urge to go berserk. Instead, I don't.

I "calmly" say:

"See! There you go! I'm trying to be a good wife and take care of you, and you won't listen! You're hard headed, and you'll be sick forever! You claim you want to get me pregnant, but how can you when you can't even breathe through your nose. My period will be over, and I'll be ovulating, and you'll tell me we can't have sex because you won't feel good. We're leaving at 1. When this show is over, you're gonna go put your shoes on and we're leaving. That line is gonna be long! Or... you know what? Don't go! Don't go and get medicine and be sick forever. People die from sickness like this because they're too stubborn to go to the doctor! What do we need insurance for anyway if you're not gonna use it?! Do what you want!!!"

Shortly afterwards, we were upstairs getting ready to leave for Walgreens. We got there at 1:38, they told us that there was a two hour wait.

We got home at 7 after wasting the two hours at the mall, spending another 1.5 hours at Walgreens, and going to dinner at IHOP.

And to top it all off...... I think I'm coming back down with the crud! I feel like crap!