Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I have a job!!!

It is with great relief that I am finally able to write that my layoff has been rescinded!! Of course, it's a very long story, one I'm sure you have no interest in hearing about considering it all ends up at the same outcome: me with a job!!!

This doesn't mean that I'll get to keep my grade level or my job site (I won't know any of that for a while), but it means that I will get maternity leave, healthcare, and a pay check each month next year!!!!

The fight in California is still not over. In my district alone, there are still over 200 teachers who need their jobs back and in California, it's a staggering 27,000. But we can now transfer some of the prayers over to the other people who need prayers!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Be Gone Planter!

In May of last year, Mr. Howard and my dad got motivated to finally destroy the planter that was taking up residence right outside our family room windows (believe it or not, I have no pictures of it!). They sledge hammered it for an hour or so and wreaked havoc on our patio. It has taken us months and months, but we have finally hauled away the bricks to the dump.


My lovely husband has been working tirelessly to get our front yard finished. You may remember that last year we remodeled the yard when we moved in (see here). This year we took it a few steps further and ripped out a few plants we didn't have time to do last year, installed a drip system to all the plants, put up two retaining walls, and planted new plants (2 Hydrangea, a Coral Bell Azalea, 6 Soceity Garlics, and 2 Dwarf English Boxwoods). After several days of hard work from Mr. Howard and an all-dayer from the two of us yesterday, we got it all completed!!

New Retaining Wall! Time to layout new plants:
Begin Planting:
Install Drip System (don't I have a smart husband?):
Yard Complete! Left Side:
Yard Complete! Right Side:

I know it looks a little bare now, but the hydrangea is supposed to be 4-6 feet and the azalea will be 3-5 feet wide. Hopefully soon we'll have a blooming, full garden!

Monday, April 20, 2009

28 Weeks

We have officially reached the third trimester and our seventh month and what better time to do this than the day that it is 95 degrees?!?

Story of the day:

Picture this: Mrs. Howard demanded that a student put his cell phone in her hand (after it went off in class), said student then refused and walked away, Mrs. Howard then darted after said student, said student continued to "run" away, Mrs. Howard (stupidly) then continued to dart after said student in 95 degree weather. Result: student was suspended and Mrs. Howard was SERIOUSLY panting and out of breath. What a sight! A 7 month pregnant woman running/waddling after a student!

Ahh I love my job!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Conversation With Baby

How You Explain to a Fetus that Lollipops are Not Good For Them:

Mr. Howard to Baby: "Hi Baby! How are you? We love you!"
Mr. Howard to Baby: "Can you hear the movie on the T.V.? We're watching the Wizard of Oz. My favorite song is..."
Mr. Howard begins singing: "We represent the lollipop guild, the lollopop guild, the lollipop guild..."
Mr. Howard to Baby: "You're our little munchkin. You know that?"
Mr. Howard to Baby: "But no lollipops for you!"
Mr. Howard to Baby: "You can have them when you're older, but not yet!"
Mr. Howard to Baby: "Sorry! Lollipops are dangerous and not healthy for babies!"
Mr. Howard to Baby: "If I could give you a lollipop, I would."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


At our baby shower, we got a Jeep Baby Carrier from the Dunns. Mr. Howard was sooo excited! Today we got it out of the box to see how it fit. Guess who got sucked into being our Practice Baby H?? You guessed it! Harley!

It's a perfect fit and we can't wait until we have a real person to try it out on! THANK YOU Suzie, Terry, Christina, David, and Kimberlee!!!!
P.S. Now Mr. Howard says he needs a jeep to go along with his carrier!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nesting is a myth! But why can't I stop cleaning?!?

Well, I am officially in nesting mode. According to the pregnancy books, the "nesting" instinct (an uncontrollable urge to clean one's house brought on by a desire to prepare a nest for the new baby, to tie up loose ends of old projects, and to organize your world) can set in at 5 months. I, apparently, am 2 months behind because it wasn't until this week (Week 27) that I felt the urge.

So far today, alone, I have washed all the baby clothes we own, hung them in their place, swept and vacuumed the floor, assembled the high-chair and the basinet, lined all the drawers in both bathrooms with Grip Shelf Liner (It's been on my to-do list since we moved in a year ago), grocery shopped, bought simple green & scrubbed the shower doors with it, bought tubs, labeled the tubs, sorted our laundry room miscellanious items into the tubs, done laundry, scrubbed the bathroom, weeded the front garden, put away our stuff from our trip, uploaded the photos from the trip, emailed my mother-in-law, met Luke for lunch, caught up with Jen, called my sister to thank her for the dogs, and am about to start dinner.

Now, some might argue that this is pretty normal for me. Truth: I am an organizer. Truth: I enjoy having a clean house. Truth: I love to keep busy. BUT the difference today is that I feel a burning NEED to do these things - like there is a timeline that is quickly ticking down and I have to get it all done before tomorrow (truth be told, there is a timeline that is quickly ticking down - but I still have 10 weeks, not 1 day). :-)

The Birmingham Zoo

On Thursday, Mr. Howard, Kathe, Tim, and I went to the Birmingham Zoo. We were able to see everything from lions to tigers to anteaters (my favorite) to snakes to kangaroos. What a fun trip!!

Mr. & Mrs. Howard with our Lion Souvenir Cup:
Kathe and Tim with the Giraffes:
Tim, Kathe, and Mr. Howard eating lunch:
Mr. Howard excited about the Kangaroos:
They wouldn't jump around for me!!!
Mr. Howard with the Alligator
The Anteater (Zot, Zot... A UC Irvine Alum at Heart)

Huntsville Space Museum

On Wednesday Kathe, Mr. Howard, David, and I all loaded up the car and drove to Huntsville, Alabama to the Space Museum, which is the most comprehensive U.S. manned space flight hardware museums in the world. It was a lot of fun.

Mr. Howard with the Saturn V Rocket
Mrs. Howard with the Lunar ModuleI can't remember what is behind us:
The exterior of the Center: The Saturn V Mock-up
We also got to visit with Mr. Howard's cousin John (who is an engineer and lead design specialist for NASA) and he took us on a behind-the-scenes tour of the new technology NASA is using to fuse the metal for their Spaceships. It was a little intense, as we had to submit our social security numbers, undergo background checks, and get picture name badges before we could even enter the NASA grounds, but it was cool to see the actual technology they are going to use on a spaceship!!

Here's John explaining to Kathe, Mr. Howard, and David what he's working on:
Here is one of the machines created to fuse the metal used on the spaceships:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Rock Band

Last night Mr. Howard's second cousin, David, brought over drums, two guitars, a microphone, and his wii. Mr. Howard started practicing and by the time we got downstairs he was pretty good. He and his second cousin, Christina, "rocked out" while we all watched. Look how into it he gets (can you tell he was a real drummer?)!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Baby Shower

Kathe and Tim put on a beautiful Winnie-the-Pooh themed shower for us in Alabama yesterday. We had such a great time talking with family and new friends and got such beautiful presents. We can't wait to get home to unpack them all and admire them again!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Alabama Here We Come

This week is my Spring Break and really the last time I should be traveling on a plane (considering I'll be in my third trimester in a few weeks). So, we decided to celebrate by hopping on a plane to visit Mr. Howard's family for the week in our last trip to Alabama sans baby.

Thankfully in March, Mr. Howard earned 3 weeks vacation annually, so it worked out perfectly. We can now take a smaller vacation in the Spring or Winter each year (during my breaks) and then a bigger 2 week one in the Summer.

I might be able to blog while I'm gone, but if not, I'll be back on the 11th. Burglars beware: our neighbors have a key and my sister and Denny will be staying in the house for the entire time we're gone!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Modeling Session

A really wonderful photographer in the Sacramento area asked me if she could photograph me early on in the pregnancy and then again later when I'm a little bit bigger with my husband. I happily obliged for a number of reasons: (a) She's a phenomenal photographer and I always love her pictures (b) Obviously I'm game to document the pregnancy (b) I hate that there are no pictures of my mom pregnant anywhere and I'd love for my little one to be able to see the first photos of him/her. So off we went to McKinley park last Saturday to take pictures of Baby H.

P.S. Did I mention that the phenomenal, talented photographer is my sister and future Aunt of Baby H.?!?

Check out her photography myspace page!!

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