Saturday, November 7, 2015

A Very Long Week

I spent this week in student conferences for my 1301 classes.  Some sixty students later, I'm tired!  We've been over their papers, checked in to see how things are going, and once again, I find myself shaking my head at some of the things these students have gone through and are going through.  I've had students in the hospital, students whose children have been in the hospital, students who have been evicted, who have had their books and computer stolen, who aren't sure they can keep their financial aid, etc.  I think I sent five of them over to retention services this week (which I'm sure DN appreciates, as I gave all of them her business card). 

The rest of this week has been spent doing additional things.  I've been trying to read about assessment and get through a ton of materials I have about assessment, and I've been thinking about what I might write for Emerging Dialogues, which is an online journal/newsletter (I'm not entirely sure what to call it) about assessment that our director of assessment is an editor for.  I actually didn't have any meetings this week, though, which meant that I was able to spend my Friday at home with the girl.

But by the end of the week, I've been able to get other things that have been on the back burner done.  I'm writing an article on the Anatomy Act of 1832 (which allowed corpses that had been 'abandonded' at workhouses to be sent to medical schools for dissection.  Previously, there had been such a shortage of bodies, people were grave-robbing to get them, but this law meant that poor people had their bodies donated to science, whether they wanted it or not), and I was actually able to do some research on it this week.  I've even been able to sit down and edit a couple of chapters of my book! 

Speaking of book news, I've pretty much abandoned the sequel as it is and am starting over with it.  My main character just wasn't...well, honestly, enough of an asshole.  He wasn't as nice in the first book as I was writing him in the second, and that doesn't just change overnight.  That's something we've got to see happen gradually.  But as far as the first book goes, a friend of ours is going to design the cover for me, which I'm very excited about.  Now to just talk to my brother about putting me together a website...

My sister-in-law spent a good portion of the week in the hospital, thanks to her gallbladder, which has since been removed, and I know she's glad to be back home with my brother and my niece.

And tragedy struck near my hometown, when Officer Daniel Ellis of the Richmond, KY police department was ambushed and killed.  The entire community has just been shocked by the whole affair.  My alma mater is hosting the visitation and funeral and has suspended classes (at all campuses, no less) from Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon to accommodate the proceedings.  They know precisely who was responsible for the whole thing--the man is in custody and will not be leaving...ever--but all I can think about is his poor wife and his little boy. 

Among other things, it makes you feel gratitude for what you have, particularly the people you have.

It's a grey, rainy day here in the Coastal Bend, the kind of day that makes you want to snuggle up with a book and a blanket and the baby--the kind of day that looks like it out to be cold, but is really just sticky and humid.  Right now, she's on her activity mat for tummy time and fussing about it, but she's getting good at holding her head up, and she could already pretty much hold herself upright when sitting.  And if you don't watch her while she's on her tummy, she will scoot herself right off her mat.

We taught her how to mimic us sticking our tongues out, and this week, she's started initiating it, sticking her tongue out first to get a reaction out of us.  And KC is so very, very close to laughing.  It's like she has the facial expression, but hasn't quite managed to get the sound out.  She's also had some better nights where she only woke up once--and then we've had other nights where she was up every two hours (and wasn't that fun with twenty some conferences the next day.  Gramma took her the next night so Mommy could get some sleep).   

She was also Wonder Woman for her first Halloween and was absolutely adorable.  She's growing like a weed, too.  She's outgrown her 0-3 clothes, not because she's fat, but because she's so tall.  Last week at her two month appointment, she was 23 1/2 inches long (and 11 lbs and 4 oz.).  My girl is growing and changing every day, and I look forward to what's next.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Back to Work

My girl is eight weeks old today, and it's amazing to me how much she changes each day.  She's learned to mimic people somewhat; if you stick your tongue out at her, she'll stick hers out in return.  She's gotten much stronger in the last week, lifting her head up far more, and if you hold on to her, she can straight up her whole back.  If you hold her and let her stiffen her legs out, she can put her whole weight on them (with support).

She's also smiling a lot more, particularly when she wakes up--she's just glad to see everyone.  Those smiles made it a lot easier to go back to work this week.  I felt horrible when I left for work on Monday.  I just didn't want to leave my baby, even though I knew perfectly well that she was just fine with her gramma and papaw.  But when I got home, I came in, and the moment KC saw me, she just broke out into a grin because her mommy was home.  That made everything worthwhile.  And she's just smiled more and more and more as the week has gone on.  Her hair is starting to come back in where she'd lost it--it's looking like she might not completely lose all of it and be bald until she's two (like her mama was).  Most of the time, I think she looks like me, but every once in a while, she will strike a facial expression and looks just like Dear Husband.  And she and her cousin have the same exact smile!

Sunday, we took her to church for the first time.  This lead to what is one of my favorite pictures of her so far--and definitely my favorite that I've taken.  Her Bunny had bought her a new church dress when they were here, and she looked positively adorable. We took her into church, and she was so good.  She just looked around at everything, and listened to the organ.  I had to take her out and change her and give her a bottle, but she never really fussed loudly.  We took her up to the altar rail, and Father M blessed her--he was tickled, I think.

And, as mentioned, Monday, I went back to work.  There have been a few bumps in the road, but they have either been smoothed out or are in the process of being smoothed out, and they weren't really unexpected.  I'm slowly getting caught up, and getting to know my students again, since I only saw them all twice before KC came along.  (I did show them the picture of her in her church dress, and they were all suitably impressed, as they should have been.)

My world lit class remains amazing.  They're so invested, and I barely have to do any work, because they go back and forth in discussion.  On the other hand, getting my American lit class to talk is like pulling teeth, and I'm trying to figure out how to really get them going.  I'm thinking about breaking them up into groups and giving each group a discussion question, and seeing what happens.  We're doing more poetry on Tuesday, rather than short stories, so we'll see if they do better with that.  And my 1301 classes are moving along, and they all seem to be pretty well involved in the class. 

Friday, there were meetings, and I took KC with me to the department meeting so my colleagues could all meet her, and again, she was so good.  I had to take her out to change her diaper twice, but she behaved so well, just snuggled with me, and looked over my shoulder at two of my colleagues while the meeting went on around her.

We were expecting a huge rain 'event' this weekend, and much of Texas did get it, something on the level of 12 inches of rain in spots, caused by the remnants of Hurricane Patricia and a low pressure system, but the clouds parted over town much like the Red Sea, and all the rain really went around.  It is windy today, but the high is a balmy 70 degrees, and I have the windows open.  (The cats love that.)

Saturday morning, my FIL left for home.  He'd driven down with my MIL, and then flew home.  He will be back at Thanksgiving, and Gramma will be taking care of KC, which makes me feel so much better.  It's wonderful having her here.  Saturday was also DH's birthday.  It wasn't celebrated with great fanfare, but DH said that it was amazing how different his priorities were.   It's yet one more example of how much things have completely changed in the last two months. 

I'm preparing for next week right now.  I've only had homework to grade this last week, and this upcoming week will see my first week with major assignments and work to deal with.  I'm also taking on some additional responsibilities at work, which I'll be able to talk more about next week.  This week, I was also honored by the college with a Disability Advocate of the Year award.  I don't know who nominated me--and I wasn't able to make it to the ceremony, but it made me feel pretty good about the impact I'm having here. 

And that's been the week.  There's no telling what the next week holds, but if it goes as well as this one has, I'll be pretty happy. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015


I've been having weird dreams in the short spans of hours that I sleep at night.  I've had weird dreams fora while, since before KC came along--probably starting in my second trimester.  They've continued since, often with some reoccurring themes.  (A tunnel space created by trees and plants?  At least I'm not dreaming about my teeth falling out again.)

Sunday night, however, I had one of those dreams that was so incredibly real and vivid that it's stuck with me all week in its entirety.

I dreamed I was at my mom and dad's house, and I came around the corner from the hallway to stop in front of the front door, because standing there was my Mamaw Ree.  It was a full stop, an almost jolting one, because all I could stammer was, "But you're dead." 

Mamaw just shrugged and said she had to see that baby.  So we settled her in to the chair in the front room, and I pulled up the piano bench to sit next to her, and she held KC and made over her and loved on her, and KC smiled and babbled at her.

Finally, Mamaw gave KC back to me, and told me that she had to go, and I began to cry, because I knew what it meant.  She was going, and it really was the last time I would see her.

And then I woke up, not because KC was making noise, but because the dream was over.  KC was asleep in her basinette next to me, and I looked up at the ceiling, but instead of wanting to cry, I felt an almost overwhelming sense of peace.

I don't believe in ghosts or astral projection or any of that nonsense, but if there ever was someone stubborn enough to bend time and space and dimensions to get to visit their great-great-granddaughter, Mamaw would be the one.

I may not have cried then, but I've felt like it now and then since, thinking about it, but I have a very firm picture in my mind now of Mamaw--as I remember her from when I was a kid--holding KC and calling her a piss-ant (just like she did me). 


I did update this blog last week, but as I finished it up, KC began fussing, so I never managed to put a link to it on Facebook.  This week has had its ups and downs, like any other week.  I go into my office tomorrow to meet with my substitutes and do my return to work paperwork, and I will be back in the classroom on Monday.

I am not suited to be a stay-at-home mom.  I know that.  And in academia, I couldn't take ten years to be a stay-at-home mom and then return to the field.  It doesn't work like that, even if I wanted it to.  So here I am, getting ready to go back to work...and I so desperately don't want to.  The Modern Mother Guilt Cycle (TM) strikes again.  It's not just that I feel like I need to be home and won't be.  It's that I know good and well that I would go nuts if I was, and therefore, feel guilty over that. 

Already, I know that the idea of 'having it all' is a myth.  You can have a lot, but something will always get missed through the cracks--and it's probably sleep or health or social life or something like that.  I'm seriously terrified of trying to figure out this work-life balance thing.  Balance?  What's that? Even on maternity leave, I've been constantly checking my work email--and been right to do so, as things would have slipped by me.  (Crap, I've got to get my book order for spring in tomorrow.)

The last year, I've always worked really hard not to have to take work home.  That meant more time in the office, but what time I spent at home, I was able to spend at home with Dear Husband and actually be more than just physically present.  I'm not going to be able to do that now.  And that means that I'm going to be working a lot from home, and I worry about KC growing up to find her mama always with her nose buried in her laptop, grading and working.  (I worry about KC growing up with her mama and her daddy having their noses buried in their phones, too, but that's something we're actively working on.)

I know I'm not going through anything any other mother hasn't gone through.  And hopefully, others will be able to read this and say "Hey, it's not just me!"  But for right now, the fear and anxiety are still kind of at the forefront, but I suppose I'll eventually figure it out.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Weekend of Home

My parents were finally able to come in this weekend to meet KC for the first time.  Mom's medication has been really putting her through the wringer, but for all the side effects, it seems to be working somewhat--well enough that she and Dad flew down Friday to spend the weekend. 

Despite the fact that my dad had told us that we did not need to meet them at the airport because we didn't need to have KC out, we did anyway, which was obviously the right choice.  I don't know that I've ever seen my parents so excited.  Mom went straight to find the Purell so she could hold KC right away while they waited for the luggage and Dad got their rental car.  We went to the hotel with them so they could spend some more time with her Friday evening.

Saturday morning, Dad and I performed our weekend ritual that we've always done and went to the grocery store.  It wasn't quite as early as we usually go--it was 8:30, rather than 5:30, and believe me, HEB would probably be bearable at 5:30.  Then he came to the house and spent some time with KC while Mom was asleep resting from the flight at the hotel.  Then we went and got Mom, and they came over for a while.  Mom was pretty worn out, so after spending some time with KC, she went back to the hotel to rest some more, and Dad and Dear Husband and I had dinner.

Sunday, Mom felt much better, and she and I went shopping.  She got KC some new outfits--including a dress for her to wear to church, which is completely adorable, and a Halloween costume/every day dress up.  I'm not telling what it is, because it should be a surprise for people, but it's completely adorable.  Mom also bought her some baby toys--the ring stacker that every kid has and a bucket with the different shapes that go through the lid.

Mom may have also bought me these.  I've wanted the Wonder Woman Chucks since I first saw them, and I LOVE THEM. 

She and I came back to the house, and she snuggled with KC.  DH made dinner again, and I think my parents might be impressed with his cooking skills.  I'm glad, because Lord knows I'm not much of a cook.  (My rolls were good, though, because I *can* bake.)

Monday, KC and I went back over to the hotel when DH went to work, so we could spend a little more time with Mom and Dad.  I mostly managed not to cry when I left.

KC has done a lot this week.  I think this is going to be the last package of newborn diapers we use, as she's growing so fast.  She's grown completely out of her newborn sleepers--both because her feet are too big for the footies, and because she's so tall that she's stretching them out too far.  So she's been sleeping in a onesie and her swaddler, but since fall is coming, it's getting chilly in the mornings, so I have some long gowns that she can wear with her swaddler too.

I take pictures of KC every day to send to her grandparents/post on Facebook for family to see, but I'm trying to be mindful about how much time I spend on my phone or looking at her through a screen.  I don't want her to grow up thinking that my phone is more important than she is, and I want to actually live my experiences with her, rather than simply record them.  So I am trying to be not always be taking pictures. But when it comes to pictures, this is one of my favorites that I've taken of late--her daddy talking to her last night.

I officially go back to work on October 16th.  That's a Friday, so while we don't have any classes, I'll be meeting with some of my subs to get records and discuss the class with them so I can get back into the classroom on the 19th.  My mother-in-law will be here that weekend, and she will be watching KC while I'm in class.  I am a little worried by how much work I think I'm going to have to do at home.  I've spent enough time in my office in the past that I was usually able to leave work at work, but I think I'll be grading at home again.

I've got my schedule for next semester set, and I should be home each day by about 2:30, so KC won't have to spend the entire day at daycare.  

And she is waking up, so this post will have to end. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Mama Life

It's not that I haven't had time to write a blog post.  KC sleeps a good bit, being not quite a month old (and how she's almost a month old, I have no idea.), but when she's asleep, I spend my time either asleep myself, doing some basic housework, reading, or--to be honest--just rocking in the chair with her asleep in my lap.  This is the first time that I've really opened my laptop, though--I've been checking Facebook and email via my phone more than anything else.

I don't feel the last bit guilty about the just rocking with her in my lap either.  I don't remember exactly how my great-grandmother put it to my mother, but I remember the general gist of what she said, as I've heard my mother repeat it many times--don't wish for them to grow up.  They will anyway, and you need to enjoy the time they're little.

So that's what I've been doing--enjoying this time that won't ever come again.  I understand why my mother also says that this is so special with your first child.  Any siblings that come along will have to share my attention with KC (and vice versa), so I won't get to spend all this quiet time just looking at them.

Yes, I said sibling, because even though I swore to Dear Husband that I was Not Doing This Again the day that KC was born, it didn't take me long to decide that I could, in fact, do it again, because I've experienced a joy I've not known before--even when KC is crying in the middle of the night.

And it's not just joy--it's fun, too.  Case in point--KC's first bath in a tub.  She was so mad!  And DH and I were laughing so hard, we could barely wash her.  I ought to feel awful about that, but I don't.  (Bathtime tonight was much less traumatic.)

I've learned a lot of things about babies in general, and KC specifically over the last few weeks as we keeping getting to know one another.   In general: babies get acne (!), their skin peels a few weeks after they're born (they've been floating about in water for nine months), and projectile pooping is totally a thing that no one warned me about.  Also, little boys are not the only ones who sometimes pee the moment their diaper is off.  (The changing pads Gran bought us have saved both couch and bed from unfortunate incidents.)

KC specific: She makes a certain sound when she's hungry, and if I don't get her bottle fast enough, she starts banging her head against my boob, even though she's not getting anything to eat out of there.  She hates baths and being undressed in any capacity.  There is no keeping socks on her feet at all, and her feet are so large that they're, honestly, too big for her sleepers.  She has certain facial expressions that she repeats--like this one to the right, which we call her 'ooh' face.  She also sticks her pouty lip out and while I realize her smiles right now are really just gas, she does have a definite frown sometimes!  If I'm not moving fast enough, she shakes her head and gets frantic, which makes you get frantic.  She likes her rocking chair that Gran bought for her, and can sleep in it for a long time.  She also eats like a horse, but mostly at night time.  During the day, it's almost like she grazes, but at night, she eats a lot and then sleeps pretty well.  Generally, we sleep between 3 and 4 hours at a time, and that's not too bad.

Some people have asked me how the cats have adjusted to having a new member of the household, and the answer is pretty well, actually!  Cat, pictured left, doesn't seem to mind, so long as she can still share me.  As you can see, she was sharing my lap with KC in this picture.  Ding could really care less.  Sometimes she'll come give KC a sniff, but then she wanders off.  Mostly, she sighs a lot, especially when she hears KC cry--she sighs and goes off to sit on her pizza box.

What's been most surprising--and what I was hoping most for--has been Bergie's reaction.  Bergie has not hidden from her.  In fact, the cowardly lion seems to have found his courage.  When DH and my in-laws were moving furniture, he put himself between KC and the noise.  He walks over to the playpen when she's asleep and sits up on his haunches so he can see her, then walks off when he's checked on her. 

That's not to say that we haven't had non-KC adventures in the last few weeks.  Someone tried to steal the wheels off the Jeep--I figure they saw the light go on when I got up to feed KC in the middle of the night, and they scurried off, but because we didn't know that someone had tried to steal the wheels, we pulled out of the driveway, and all the lug nuts fell out, and the wheel was essentially destroyed.  Cue a two and a half week mess trying to get it fixed, which has once again convinced me that I am never, ever dealing with the Jeep dealership down here again.  It is fixed--well, mostly--the tire pressure sensor was apparently damaged and since the insurance didn't know that, the dealership won't fix it without charging us--again, not dealing with them anymore, we'll get it fixed when we go home for Christmas--it's not a big deal.  Of course, on our way to pick up the Jeep, a rock hit the windshield of the Focus and put a chip in it, but that's going to be fixed on Monday.

That's been the main adventure.  I'm going to go back to work October 19th.  Won't lie--not looking forward to it.  I never wanted to be a stay at home mom, but I can certainly understand the appeal now. At the same time, I don't think I could do it long term, so going back to work is probably a good thing. 

And next weekend, my parents should be here to meet Katie for the first time!  They are flying down Friday to see the girl, and I'm so excited.  I hope they have a good trip down and it doesn't wear Mom out too much.  I'm looking forward to it.  :)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Best Day Ever

I meant to write an entry last Sunday.  It was going to be about the first week of school--chatty notes about how classes were going, the 'we survived the first week' faculty party, and an incident in which I put the smackdown on some students talking about me in the hallway.

The last had actually really ticked me off.  Today, I couldn't care less, because in less than a week, my life has completely changed, all because of last Sunday.

I'm sitting here writing this while my daughter sleeps in her bassinet.  That sentence alone doesn't cover the enormity of our lives right now. 

I have a daughter.

I'd been having some contractions Saturday night--nothing too bad, and fairly far apart, so I went to bed as usual.  Contractions woke me up about four the next morning, again, nothing too bad, so I dozed until about 5:30--when my water broke.  Contractions started coming faster, so we got up and headed to the hospital.   The contractions had stopped by the time we got there, but my water had definitely broken (unlike the week before where I wasn't entirely sure--now I know exactly what it feels like), so they admitted me about seven.  Over the course of the day, I discovered that there are lots of things they don't tell you about labor that they probably should ahead of time--and then discovered that none of that mattered.

At 11:59 pm, Katherine Carroll made her appearance in this world, at 7 lbs and 19 1/4 inches.

They laid her on my stomach for a brief moment, long enough for me to see her before whisking her away to the warmer for her Apgar scores, etc., but the thing I remember most about that very moment was the look on her daddy's face--wonder and awe, like he couldn't believe this had just happened.  He was completely breathless.  He went over and trimmed the cord--the doctor had already cut it, as we had a brief fright because the cord was wrapped twice around her neck, though everything was just fine.  They finished tending to me, and he brought her back over to me, and I got my first good look at her.

She was--and is--without a doubt, the most perfect, beautiful thing I've ever seen. Dear Husband and I just looked at one another, and he whispered, "Look, Emmy.  We made this."

I don't have words to express the enormity of that emotion--looking down at her, I felt what must be the most pure, all-encompassing, terrifying love that exists.

I also understand my own mother a little bit better.

Monday, her first visitors were our priest and his wife.  I'd asked them to come, and Father Phillip leaned over her and gave KC her first blessing, brushing the shape of the cross on her forehead.

Suddenly, I understand Mary, the mother of Jesus, a little better as well.  I've prayed more in the last week than I have in a very long time--thanking God for this precious little soul that's been entrusted into our care, asking for strength and guidance to raise her, and asking for every blessing He can bestow on her. 

My mother and father-in-law arrived Monday night.  They'd packed up the moment DH called to tell them I was in labor and spent the next two days driving down to see her.  Having Papaw and Gramma here has been such a blessing to us, especially as we get used to having a newborn.

I am doing well and recovering fairly quickly, though I'm still in some pain, particularly if I move around the wrong way or try to do too much, but I can do a little more each day.  Mostly, though, I just want to sit and hold her and look at her little face and watch her little eyes look at everything around her.  Those dark blue eyes have a special wisdom in them.  My mother always referred to Youngest Brother as having an old soul, and I can see that in KC's eyes. 

Little one, your mommy has so many hopes and dreams for you--not about what you will do when you grow up, and not just for you to be healthy and happy.  I want you to love deeply and be loved deeply.  I want you to choose happiness always.  Be merciful, even if you feel like mercy is undeserved.  Be kind, even when it's difficult.  Look for the stories all around you--in books, movies, and in people.  Be a godly woman who follows Christ's laws of love and accepts all, just as He did.  Remember that your mommy and daddy are always here for you, no matter what.  You can always come to us for anything, and we will listen, and we will always, always love you.  You should know, always, that for your mommy and daddy, the day you were born was the best day ever.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Year 2: Back to School

The last few weeks have been eventful and interesting.  My summer session finished two weeks ago, and to be honest, I was sad to see that class go.  There were only six people in it by the time we finished, but they were a great group of guys who worked really hard and did a great job.  I had a lot of fun with them, and it was neat to see the Northwest Center, which I'd never been to before.  And a couple of the guys have signed up for my lit classes this upcoming semester, which I'm also looking forward to.

Last week was what I refer to as as my "in-service" week, though that's not an entirely the proper term for it.  Monday was convocation and our division meeting, Tuesday was my day to work express registration, Thursday was our professional development day, and Friday was our department meeting. 

In the meantime, I've been working on finishing up schedules and syllabi--and perhaps most importantly, lesson plans, as I've got substitutes coming in to teach while I'm on maternity leave during part of the semester.  I've almost got everything for my 1301 classes finished, so I just need to complete that (about two weeks of lesson plans more for there), and then get my lit classes together.  I'm teaching three sections of 1301 this semester,  American Lit II and World Lit I.  That said, I'm not entirely sure that American Lit is going to make, but we'll find out tomorrow--people can still register tomorrow, so it may yet make. 

We had a childbirth class Thursday on caring for your newborn.  Saturday, we were supposed to go to a getting ready for childbirth class.  This was complicated by the fact that yesterday morning, I spent most of the morning and part of the afternoon in the Labor and Delivery ward getting checked out to see if my water had broken.  It hadn't, but we missed the childbirth class entirely, and there's not another one until after Little Bit is born, so I'm bracing myself for some YouTube research, because surely, there's a video about it on YouTube somewhere. 

In the meantime, we've been preparing quite a bit.  The playpen is up, Dear Husband put together the crib yesterday, and the car seat is ready to go in the car and the stroller is together, which he is going to take care of later today after the weather has cooled off a bit.  Ninety-six degrees is a bit much to be fiddling with things out in a hot car.  I've got all Little Bit's clothes and blankets, etc. in the washing machine right now,   It's hard to believe that she might be that tiny....

And the truth is, she may not be!  I had an ultrasound on Wednesday, and she's already weighing in at 7 lbs, 2 oz., and the doc told me that we are going to have the biggest baby in the nursery, and there's some concern that her head, which in the best family tradition (on both sides), is quite a bit bigger than might have been expected--like a whole month ahead. 

I was disappointed yesterday that we weren't going to have a baby this weekend, but it's just as well.  I really need to get through the first few days of class--preferably the first week--before I go on maternity leave.  I'd like for my students to actually be able to see my face before I disappear on them for a while! 

I have been having contractions off and on, though.  Nothing regular, and generally not particularly strong, though they were stronger last night than they had been.  But baby is still a way off, and in the meantime, she's wiggling about almost all the time now.  So she and I sit in the recliner (which DH bought for me last weekend because I've been having heartburn so badly I can't sleep) and put my feet up and rest as much as possible right now.  I have a feeling I may be spending some of my office hours in the faculty lounge, where I can sit on the cough and put my feet up there.  It's not that I don't have my nice big comfy chair in my's just that I can't really get in and out of it by myself right now! 

This does not mean that we are ready for Little Bit's arrival, by any stretch of the imagination, but I don't think we're ever really going to feel ready for her, so we're doing the best we can.  So we're on baby watch here--and at home, also waiting for Little Bit's cousin, and I'm going to be sitting back trying to rest as much as I can before she gets here.  It's going to be an exciting semester here, and while I'm not sure I'm ready for it to get started, it's here.