The Livingstons

The Livingstons

Friday, October 24, 2014

Student Teaching and Baby Thoughts

I only have 7 weeks until I graduate!

7 more weeks of teaching. 7 more weeks of college.

And that means 10 more weeks until our little baby girl is due. That just blows my mind.

Here are some of my thoughts on my life recently.

I have been EXTREMELY busy. When am I not? I have absolutely loved student teaching, but it has been a very crazy and nonstop experience. I have loved the things I've learned and have enjoyed the time I had with those little cute 6 year olds and my mentor teacher, Cortney. I have had the best experience as a student teacher, and I will miss these past 7 weeks like crazy.

That being said, I am also excited that this past 7 weeks is over. I know that sounds like a complete contradiction, but it's true. I loved it, but I am ready to move on. 

The part that I will not miss about this past 7 weeks is the dreaded Teacher Work Sample. 74 pages, about 17,000 words, and many long hours later, I have finally turned it in to the department for review. I have never written or done anything like this before, so I am actually extremely proud of myself for the hard work I put into it. But it was the absolute worst.

My next 7 weeks of college consists of me being in the BYU Preschool as a student teacher. It's going to be a VERY different experience than the one I just had. The BYU Preschool is the complete ideal: 3-4 teachers in the classroom at all times, 20 students, seemingly limitless resources, seasoned and amazing teachers... I have some mixed feelings about it, but I'm sure it will be a great experience.

I will say one thing about this whole student teaching experience. I've talked to a lot of people, especially other teachers and faculty members, about my pregnancy and teaching. I've had a lot of people ask me what my plans are after student teaching and having the baby. It seems like a lot of people (not everyone) kind of just look at me being pregnant and assume that I'm just jumping through student teaching hoops to graduate. It's true, I do just want to get through this and graduate and have my baby. But let me just say, after this first 7 weeks of student teaching, I had such an amazing experience. I can say with 100% absolute positivity that I WANT TO TEACH. Whether that happens one year from now, 5 years down the road, or more, it doesn't matter. I'm not going to just forget about my degree and move on. I desperately want to have a family, and I'm so excited to be pregnant and have this little girl in January, but I definitely want to be a teacher as well.

Anyway, enough about that. Let me fill you in on this pregnancy of mine.

I am just about 30 weeks along. I think my favorite part about the pregnancy is seeing my stomach completely shift to one side because of how she is moving around in there. We've been very busy trying to get ready for her. Last weekend, I got a nice rocking chair for pretty cheap, Greg went and picked up an awesome jogging stroller (Diane got this for us), changing table, and high chair. A few weeks ago we got a baby dresser from my aunt. My mom and grandma have gotten us a really awesome Pack and Play for her. We have gotten some really cute clothes from some women from my home ward and from some family members. We've gotten an awesome baby carrier from one of my good friends. Not to mention all of the countless things my amazing sister-in-law Meagan has given us: bottles, a pump, maternity clothes, tons of baby clothes, blankets, etc. Things are really coming together. 

There are lots of things that have been great about this pregnancy, but let me tell you some struggles I've had. 

I never realized how uncomfortable it is to have another human being living inside of your body. I'm starting to kind of get over it, honestly. I am excited to meet our little girl, and I am very ready for my body to stop being physically shared with her. Pregnancy is a very special miracle, and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to carry this little one, but it's no easy task. Sleeping is uncomfortable, I have to pee every 5 seconds, and I have aches and pains in my back, legs, and abdomen. Not so fun.

I also never realized how much my changing body would affect me emotionally. Obviously, I knew going into this that my body would change: my abdomen would get bigger and I'd gain some weight. Mentally I knew this, but emotionally, it's been hard. I haven't gained a ton of weight, just the normal amount you are supposed to by this point, and my abdomen isn't huge yet. But I am noticing the weight gain and changes. It's hard to see other girls or women who are skinny and beautiful and then look at my own body in the mirror. I try not to have pity parties about it because I know these changes are normal, but it's really hard for me for some reason. I guess I just need to remember the little miracle that I have the privilege to carry and be a mommy to.

I've realized how much people like to comment on your body when you're pregnant. Normally, I am not super bugged by it, but I guess it depends on my mood. People don't say mean or offensive things (like "Wow, you're really getting big!"), but they do like to say things to me about how my body looks. I think my emotions are just on overdrive sometimes. I'm already pretty self-conscious about my body, and even if someone says something not offensive, I still start to think about my body and get emotional. Haha. I am such a baby.

Here are some really awesome things about this pregnancy: 

It has flown by. I have been so busy with student teaching that the past 8 weeks have come and gone so quickly. That's been nice.

I feel this baby kick ALL the time. She is so active! I usually just love it; it makes me feel reassured that she is just fine.

All of my tests and screenings have come back completely normal. This also makes me feel really reassured that the baby and I are and will be ok.

We have had so much help with our preparation for the baby. Most of the help has been financial (people getting or giving us important essentials for the baby). We really haven't had to buy very much stuff yet, and we have most of the most important things.

Despite all of the aches and pains that I've been feeling, I would have to say that I have been pretty lucky this pregnancy. I've heard of women feeling sick their entire pregnancies or just getting really big or their feet getting swollen or getting bad stretch marks. I am lucky enough to not really have any of these symptoms. That doesn't mean it's been easy, but I have had it a lot easier than other women.

I do have to say that even though I am very excited to have this baby, I am EXTREMELY nervous. I sometimes get sad about how much my life is going to change and how hard it's going to be to have a child. But then I just think about how much happiness she will bring Greg and me and just how cute she is going to be, and I realize that it will be all be worth it. It will be hard, but I'm sure I will be so happy.

Well, those are some of my thoughts on my life lately. It's been crazy and exciting and busy and awesome, all at the same time. 

Here are some pictures of some things that we've been up to these past few weeks.

A few weeks ago, my parents came to Logan to see some of Ann Marie's games. We were fortunate enough to be able to go up and visit them and Ann Marie for about a day. They sure came at the perfect time; the fall leaves were absolutely beautiful. We all took a drive up through Logan Canyon. Ann Marie showed us some really pretty areas, and we took some cool pictures. It was really fun!

Ann Marie being a dork.

I sure love my dad!

I love how vibrant the colors are in this picture.

I love my little sis!

A great photo bomb.

I love my mom and sister!

Greg shook some trees to get the leaves to fall. It was awesome.


We also went to the Utah State homecoming football game together. It was fun!

I really do love to be with my family so much.

Here are some picture of some baby stuff we've gotten. This is the dresser that we got from my aunt Debbie. My grandma's mom got it for my grandma when she was little, and then my grandma used it for her daughters. Then she gave it to my Aunt Debbie, and she used it for her daughter. Now, she's giving it to me for our little girl. We are very excited to have it. We painted it gray with the drawers mint (as you can obviously tell).

Here's the Pack and Play my mom and grandma got us. We just love it! It comes with a baby bassinet on the top and a small changing pad.

Here's the high chair we got.

And the changing table for when the baby grows out of the one on the Pack and Play.

A couple days ago, we carved pumpkins with Shaun and Wave. It was fun!

And here are the finished products. Shaun and Wave did the Olaf one, I did the Little Mermaid in the middle, and Greg did the Boba Fett on the right. It was great.

Here are some pictures of my two awesome classes who I got to student teach. There were two groups, each had 32 first graders. I just love them to pieces! This is the first group.

And here is the second group.

Life is wonderful, despite how hard it can sometimes be. I'm very grateful for the life I live and for the blessings I have been given. I really do have an amazing life.