Well, I am most certainly a terrible blogger. And a combination of lazy, tired and emotionally spent. Growing a baby, coaching volleyball and trying to not throw up and/or fall asleep all at the same time has made for the most difficult two months of my life thus far. Don't worry - I know that all this will A) be worth it when I meet my baby and B) be nothing compared to late nights spent feeding and cuddling a crying newborn. There's a lot to catch up on so let us get started.
- Volleyball season ended a week ago Thursday night with my 8th grade girls losing in the first round of the District Tournament. I was a little shocked by the ending of our seasons - at the beginning of the year I did not expect my 7th graders to be much good but yet they surprised me in their District Tournament and we finished in the top four of the district. On the other hand, coming into the season, I believed that I had some pretty athletic studs on my 8th grade team (they won 2nd in basketball, 4th in Cross Country and 3rd in Track last year) and therefore believed that we would have a winning record this season combined with going far in the District Tournament. This has by far been my toughest season to coach - not only with being pregnant and sick for the majority of the time, but dealing with an assistant coach who was very slow to catch on to the nuances of coaching 7th and 8th grade girls indoor volleyball. So what did I learn throughout this season? First thing, just because someone is incompetent doesn't mean that I have to take on everything myself. In mentoring my assistant coach, I realized that I really am in my job for the right reasons - I truly care about these kids and there is nothing more that I want than to see them happy, healthy and successful. I learned that I have an incredible husband who will remind me to take care of myself when I'm off taking care of the rest of the world.
- On Saturday, October 16th Craig and I hosted a "Gender Reveal" party where we invited our close family and friends over to find out if our little nugget is a "pink" or a "blue." We had lots of food and good snacks and Craig made the mistake of allowing me to go to Party City by myself - so of course the house was drenched in everything pink and blue that I could find. Everyone arrived at 7:00 pm and we ate and chatted for awhile, but by 8:00 Craig's grandmother was beside herself with anxiety and we pulled everyone into our front dining room for the big reveal. Two of my very talented friends, Heather and Amy, had created a cake in the appropriate gender color (either strawberry or blueberry) and had carefully iced the cake so that none of the color showed through. On top were two edible Converse shoes (one pink and one blue) made by Heather and on the side of the cake, a naked baby with a censored bar across it's genitals...this was courtesy of Amy. Craig and I let our mothers cut into the cake (with my father behind them for support) but before we revealed the gender, I went through all the gender guesses of our guests - most of our family thought we were going to be having a boy! Except for Craig's sister Sherika - she's a high school girls basketball coach, I think she is hoping for a 6'2 post someday. Our moms cut into the cake and pulled out the piece and there were lots of tears, cheers and laughter as it was revealed that we are having a little girl! It was a lovely party and a lot of fun to keep our secret from our families for a few days! I know there are pictures on our friends and families cameras floating around out there...once they send me some pictures, I'll be sure to get them on here. I was too busy playing hostess to take any pictures for myself.
- Since we now know that we are having a girl...this opens a whole new range of topics for the blog. First off, we do have a name for her: Natalie Teneile. I chose the name Natalie because I like how it is a classic name that a teacher will be able to pronounce when calling role, but it is also fairly uncommon these days (I've only had a few Natalie's in my five years of teaching) so she'll stand out with a relatively unique name. I also love the alliteration of "Natalie Nelson" and I think that her name will sound great being announced at the beginning of a basketball or volleyball game, but will still sound professional when she is introducing herself at a job interview. And it's easily translated into Italian (Natalia) so my mom can speak Italian to her just like my Grandma did with me. Craig chose her middle name - he was very proud of it because Teneile means "champion or passionate" which are two things that Craig pride ourselves on being. I like the idea that someday when we're telling her about our pregnancy with her, we'll be able to tell her that her Daddy chose her very special middle name because it stands for two characteristics that we would love for her to inherit. Secondly, the day after the big reveal, my mom and I headed up to Lonestar Baby and Kids in Frisco and were able to find and purchase the bedding that I wanted - the very same baby girl bedding that I posted pictures of in an earlier post. A week ago Craig and I woke up on Sunday morning feeling surprisingly motivated and we ended up cleaning out the closet of the spare room that will be Natalie's room with me dumping out a TON of trash and things that I just didn't need anymore while Craig painted the room a warm turquoise color! He worked all day and did a fantastic job - Angie even tried to help out but just ended up getting turquoise paint on her butt. I feel like we've got a big chunk of our To-Do Before Baby list taken care of and now we just need to clean out the rest of our closets, register, buy a glider and crib, take a tour of the hospital, teach Craig how to change a diaper...you know...nothing too major. ;)
Sorry for the lack of posts in the past month or two - I think with all the stress from volleyball season combined with being so sick, I was really depressed and in "survival" mode...just trying to get through the season to November when I could relax and begin to focus on the even bigger task at hand - getting ready for a baby.