Pud is getting smarter!  His brain used to be kinda smooth, but he’s told me to eat fish (and really enjoy it)- so guess what?  His brain’s been wrinkling as a result, fitting more brain matter in that sweet skull of his.  He’s somewhere around 3 pounds and has started to shed his downy soft covering called lanugo, as he can now do a much better job of regulating his own body temperature.  The other big news in his world is that his bone marrow has taken over producing his red blood cells.

He’s an active little guy.  I’ve said that so many times to so many people, but when the nurse practitioner at our doctor’s office couldn’t find his heartbeat for all his movements on Friday, she pretty much confirmed it: he’s an active little guy.  No, there were no stimulants to help increase his activity for his Doppler Review- I hadn’t even eaten or had anything to drink before the appointment, because I was having a rushed morning.  My blood pressure was very low and there’s no evidence of any problems with my health.  Still on track for staying low risk!

All his movements, while very reassuring, are causing some new “fun” for me.  Sometimes he stretches and holds his stretches and suddenly, I can’t breathe or I have to pee… pronto.  B says that I have finally reached a point where I am “outsnoring Callie”- who has a very loud snore.  Embarrassing, but there’s not so much I can do about it, because he’s definitely compromising my breathing- and the extreme humidity/heat these days doesn’t help much.  Just as much as during the day, I sit up at night sometimes with that panicked “I can’t breathe” feeling, but once I get up and move, Pud moves, and I can reclaim my lungs again.  It has something to do with his stretches putting pressure on my diaphragm.  Anyway, the irony is that he’s carrying fairly low.  It’s gotta be those long legs…

We have been working through the mortgage application process and we have paperwork going in Monday, once a few errors are fixed, and we will hopefully hear then that we can have a closing date sometime very soon.  I’m anxious to get in the house, so that B can be painting after work every night, starting with the nursery, and be getting decent sleep, with NO commute to dread every day.  I’m looking forward to playing with the pups in the big backyard and setting up my kiddie pool in the driveway, where I don’t have to worry about it killing the grass.  The knowledge that someday soon, things will be a little less stressful in some important ways is what keeps me (and B) going through this patience-trying process of trying to move to a new place.

Jobwise, I am applying for several.  I have applied for my job with our new fiscal agent, Thorn Hill Education Center Foundation.  I think they will be announcing officially if I have my job or not, soon, or possibly hiring me in the interim, so that they can continue to provide services.  The difference I know of right now will be that I will be working solely for the family literacy program, with the children, and not teaching in the adult education program.  This would be because of budget concerns- the actual grant money doesn’t arrive until September, so the program will be living lean for the summer, because we still have to/want to provide services to the adults in our community.  As of now, plans are progressing as if I DO have my family literacy job and will be working with the little ones until August.  Until I have an official contract, though, as this week marks the end of June, I will be heading towards the unemployment office Monday to get more information from them.  Just in case.

One great work celebration occurred this week, when several of our students passed their GED tests- and, as I ended up working with a small group of students on their math hurdles, I am pleased to say that as of Wednesday afternoon, 3 of the 6 in that group had passed.  Whoo-hoo!  They worked hard.  The other 3 are scheduled to test at different sessions than the first 3, so I should hear some great news about them soon.

Friday, I had an interview with another prospective employer, who is closer to my new home.  It went really well, but I also think they are still figuring out exactly what they want to do with their program and what they would want from someone teaching in their program.  The advantage with that job, in addition to being closer, is that there is a possibility of being able to take Pud to work with me immediately after maternity leave, but this possibility is still up in the air. 

In two weeks, I get to start the process of registering for fall classes for grad school.  In a month, I have another PRAXIS test to complete, early in the morning.  If I pass it- no more PRAXIS tests for me!  I will only have to worry about the last classes and my portfolio.  About that time, I will feel more comfortable with putting Pud in childcare so that I can complete my KY certification process.   

Last week’s birth class was great.  We talked more about what to expect at each stage of labor and which kinds of strategies would be the most helpful when.  We practiced some relaxation/visualization techniques in which B sat against the wall, and I got to sit leaning my back on his chest, (and Callie in my lap, doing “relax”- ha), and do some relaxation through visualization.  Our homework for this week was to make a list of some of the unique things/characteristics we have that we can put in our “Labor Toolbox”.  There are some pretty generic strategies, like massage and breathing, but this is our opportunity to think about what uniquely works for us to help us (me) to relax and stay calm.  We quickly came up with several: our relationship itself and the trust we’ve developed, our shared odd humor, signing, the dogs, and playing with my hair- my mama has this gift naturally, and I’ve spent the past 5 years training my husband into the master he now is.

Foster pup Bailey doing relax in my lap. Pud was still God's secret when this picture was taken in January.

Doing “relax” with the dogs is actually a relaxing thing for me, B, and the dogs, which is why Callie got to be a part of the exercise in class last week (Bandit got to snuggle up next to his dad’s legs during it, too).  The more I relax while holding her, the more she relaxes, which relaxes me further, and in turn, relaxes her even more.  My goal everytime I do it with her is to get her tail all the way to the floor, and that gives me something to focus on as I force myself to keep breathing and keep releasing tension.  How perfectly this unique aspect of our service dog/handler relationship will fit in with helping me during the early stages of labor, when I need to be focused on reserving my energy!

Approximately 68 days left to go…