Alphabetical Blogging Challenge

I participated in the “Blogging from A to Z April Challenge” a few years back. I thought it would be an opportunity to get me writing daily. The problem I found when I did it last time, was that I didn’t have a plan. I barely had a theme.

I have been considering this challenge a lot as April approaches, and I feel a lot more prepared. I have a plan, and more importantly, I have a theme.

This year, as the name of this blog (Living, In Action) suggests, I will be focusing on action. The things we do, mostly with Tucker, that make our lives fun, exciting, and worthwhile. I do have 26 pieces planned, so I think this year will be more FUN than work. Check out Living, In Action all throughout April for new content!

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A-Z April 2018

 

Countdown to Kindergarten

As a family who values education and languages (living abroad makes you very aware of the benefits of multilingualism), tomorrow marks the day we get to begin the countdown to kindergarten. For the last few years, I have been focused on enrolling Tucker in one of our area’s “90-10” schools.

For those of you unfamiliar, a 90-10 school is a bilingual school. In kindergarten, students are instructed 90% of the time in Spanish and 10% of the time in English. There are a few schools in our area that use this philosophy. As students advance, they are are instructed less in Spanish and more in English. The idea initially was to help children who had limited, if any, English proficiency. But more and more families are enrolling their native English-speaking children in these programs. The school we’re wanting to have Tucker go to says, “our distinctive curriculum facilitates the acquisition of Spanish and English academic language proficiency through immersion, along with core content instruction in the students’ native and target languages.”

So tomorrow, the school I have been following on Facebook since well before Tucker was eligible for kindergarten, will be opening enrollment for the 2018-2019 school year. Tomorrow, incidentally, is also 7 months from Tucker’s 6th birthday.

My little man is “growing upper” and while I am excited for this new chapter in our lives, I am also apprehensive and a little sad.

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Tucker at 5 Months
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Tucker at 5 Years, 4 Months

 

Looking Back…

I should have stayed in gymnastics… or ballet, or tap, or jazz.

I should have chosen a smaller instrument to play; the flute, clarinet, or since I HAD to play a double-reed instrument, the oboe.

I should have saved more of my toys…Right, Barbie?

I should be more positive.

I should have tried to make more friends.

I should have been nicer to my family…not calling them ‘sickly’ one day in high school…

I should have written A LOT more

I should have listened to more music…”Nirvana who?” seriously until 1998-ish.

I should have tried out for cross-country my senior year.

I probably should have stayed in band, even though it felt like I was cheating on my old band.

I know I should have continued playing the bassoon.

I shouldn’t have said that.

I should have been more open to trying new things A LOT sooner.

I shouldn’t have done that.

I shouldn’t have dated that guy.

I should have applied to more colleges.

I should really finish Tucker’s baby blanket.

I should have tried a little harder to make Purdue work.

I should have tried a little harder.

I probably shouldn’t have gotten that extra BA.

I should have taught more than just summer lit.

I should forgive.

I should eat more vegetables.

I should travel more.

I should lose weight.

I should read more books.

I should get outside more.

I should have suggested looking at more houses.

I should buy more cloth diapers. We have 20.

I should be a better kitteh mommy. They need play time and cuddles just like Tucker.

There’s a lot that I should have done and that I should do. While, obviously, I cannot change the choices I’ve made in the past, they can help me to adjust the way I am doing things now. If’ I’ve learned anything, it’s that everything you do and everyone you meet, you do so for a purpose. I wouldn’t be the person–wife, mother, daughter, niece, friend–I am today without my experiences. And with those experiences, I know that I need to be a better person–wife, mother, daughter, niece, friend. I’m trying. I will continue to do so.

With all my ‘shouldas’ I need to mention that:

I’m GLAD I married this guy.

I’m so happy to have this baby.

I love the friends I have, the family I have.

I’m glad I went to Korea; even though it was tough. And scary. And unfamiliar.

I’m lucky for the jobs I’ve had and the one I have now.

I value my education.

Yeah… these lists could go on and on…

My Plus-Sized Pregnancy

I have struggled with my weight my whole life. However, when I think back to my childhood and adolescence, I was very lucky. Nowadays we hear about bullying and there is definitely a stigma in our society about being overweight. Or maybe the stigma is about fitting an ideal that is only possible with the aid of technology.

I say I was lucky because as an overweight kid, I can’t recall a single incidence of bullying, ostracizing, name-calling. Perhaps I just never heard those things being said by others, but I think I was lucky to be spared the turmoil of body image-related teasing.

This is not to say that I didn’t notice that I was bigger than most of my peers. I knew I was big. It’s an uncomfortable feeling, being fat. In middle school I would wear clothes that were excessively too big. I think at my biggest in middle school I was wearing a size 20. I was wearing a size 20 when I could have easily fit into a 12-14. I did eventually grow out of that and started wearing more appropriate sizes as I entered high school.

According to the American Heart Association in an updated fact sheet, over 70 million women are overweight or obese. With a BMI of more than 30, I am definitely included in this statistic. And this is cause for concern as I am now in my 17th week of pregnancy.

However: I’ve taken precautions. Discussed this with my OB. To start, my general physician had me on pre-natal vitamins a few months before Jason and I conceived. I’ve been having monthly check-ups with my OB since March, during which my blood pressure and weight are tracked, and a urinalysis is done to make sure my glucose, pH, leukocytes, and other substances are normal. So far, my blood pressure is fantastic, my weight is increasing as it should (I’ve been told I should only gain about 20 pounds), and my urinalyses are coming back normal.

I’ve heard the baby’s heartbeat 3 times, all normal and within the range of normal for the age of the fetus. Because we’ve been able to hear the heartbeat, my OB has said that the chances of miscarriage have significantly dropped to just 1%. This has given both Jason and me a sense of security. While we’re not quite at the half-way point, we try to keep things in perspective and keep our fingers crossed that things continue to go as well as they’ve been.

During my pregnancy, I want to ensure that both the baby and myself are healthy. It’s been difficult with morning sickness (a real misnomer as I’ve not had this symptom in the morning, but usually in the afternoon or evening), vomiting, and food aversions to eat the very best foods for us. But I have been able to ease the effects of these by eating something, be it bran cereal, yogurt with granola, or chicken and provolone sandwich on a plain bagel heated (to kill off any potential listeria-carriyng bacteria in the deli meat), every two hours or so. I try to eat fruit that doesn’t cause indigestion, which is now limited to golden delicious apples, grapes, and canned peaches and pears. For veggies, I stay with my trifecta–corn, peas, and green beans. I eat baked chips instead of fried, air-popped popcorn instead microwaved. I haven’t had but 3-4 cups of coffee since mid-February.

Exercise is harder. Because of the randomly-occuring morning sickness, it’s hard to set a concrete exercise regime. Especially during my first trimester, queasiness and fatigue took precedence over exercise. But now that I am feeling better, I am starting to look into fitness programs like prenatal yoga and working up to longer-than-15-minute walks. Our cable provider does have a free prenatal yoga program for beginners and intermediate practitioners which I just started this morning.

In the weeks and months to come, I would like to use this blog as a sort of sounding board for my pregnancy-related issues. I’ve got loads of topics already whirling about in my blogger brain. Things to come: maternity clothes, shopping for baby (aka “nesting), dealing with weight gain, personal care during pregnancy, pregnant exercise, and more.

**Question: What other topics would you like to see presented here?**

Cluck

So it has been a VERY long time since I last wrote a blog. Just over a month, in fact. But I have good reasons.

For those of you who know me, know I work in publishing. And I’ve had loads of work come in the last several weeks. Including a few massive edits and starting up a new project of my own. After spending a few 12-hour days reviewing content, generating work schedules for writers and editors, as well as updating budget proposals and contracts, the last thing I want to do is writing (sit at a computer and do anything really). This job, which I’ve been lucky enough to have for the last three years, has also killed my reading bug. I’m quite happy to veg in front of the TV in my downtime.

On top of work, I had a little bitty wedding to plan and participate in. As the day drew near, I found myself not stressing necessarily, but generally overwhelmed with getting everything finalized and paid for.

Weddings are expensive! Now that it’s finished we can finally get back to saving for more exciting things like furniture and a tricked-out Prius. This is not to say that the wedding wasn’t a memorable experience. It really was; thanks to our parents, bridal party, amazing friends and family, and fantastic venue and vendors.

But, I have to say, probably the biggest reason for my blogging hiatus and a big distraction among other distractions has been this one,
little thing:

Jason saw this other image, and has since referred to our tiny fetus as a chicken. I think it looks more like an Ood.
We are due sometime around the second week in October. And we haven’t found out the gender yet, it’s still a little too early at about 16 weeks. But we definitely want to know so we can start picking out more gender specific (instead of neutral) awesome baby clothes.