the growing bump

I wasn't super good at taking cute, regular pictures of my growing bump.
I actually started to, but was so frustrated by my bump's growing process, that I stopped.
I felt like I was in the "chub" stage FOREVER.
and had a reallyyyy hard time accepting the weight gain with no real bump.
 (see older posts to read my frustrations ha)

BUT now, I look back at what I "thought" were bump pictures, and I laugh so hard.
so here are my growing bump pictures.
and keep in mind, most of these I was just sending to my sister or mom, and so they are not cute by ANY means.
and 80% of them are in the high school bathroom HAHA

14 weeks.
^I sent this picture to my mom and sister saying, "I FINALLY HAVE A BUMP!" 
HAHAHAHAH....little did I know...
(p.s. we had just moved in...hence the mess)
now, I look at that flat tummy and think, "GIMME THAT BACK"
and at the time, I actually thought I was chubby with a BUMP!! HAHAHAHA

17 weeks.
what am I even holding? this was such a huge bump to me, and now it's comical.
but just look how proud my face is of that growing bump. HA

18.5 weeks.
this was still when I was extremely frustrated with my "chub"
now, it just looks like a flat tummy to me...oh, dear me.

19.5 weeks
this was my most exciting picture to take.
I remember I was soooo happy. 
there was a BELLY
I thought I was HUGE

 20.5 weeks (a little pushed out for the sake of the picture)
by 20 weeks, my belly had officially "popped"
it still was playing "hide and seek" for the next 2-4 weeks (some days it'd be there, and other days..."where'd ya go!?")
but I was pretty proud of that little bump.

22 weeks.
just loving on that little belly when it chose to come out and play.

25 weeks
official bump status reached!!
this was also right after dinner, so probably a little bigger than usual, but YES to the bump!

 26.5 weeks.
finally feeling so proud of that bump that caused me so much freaking stress.

and after this point...every week, has been a crazy change.
I actually haven't been gaining any weight the last couple of weeks, but there has been some definite expansion in that belly of mine (considering she's gaining half a pound a week!)!
27.5 weeks!

28.5 weeks!

and my most recent...29 weeks.
at my doctor's appointment this week, the doctor said she is still measuring ahead.
nice and long.
he said he is curious to do an ultrasound and measure her at our next appointment!

baby girl moves soooo much.
her movements are starting to hurt a little, so that's fun. ha
Running and walking are the only times I'm truly comfortable...I rock her right to sleep with those movements. and then she's ready to play every other time of the day...
still not progressing on a name for baby girl, but I just keep telling myself it will come to us.
I feel like I should be more stressed about it than I am, though...

anyways, we are a happy and healthy 29 weeks--can't believe we will be meeting her so soon!
baby girl and I have a little 5k race this weekend, and I'm pretty excited!

enough said.


my last year.

Today, I officially filled out my "Employee Release of Contract" form.
Filling out this form (that I've been avoiding for months), has a sense of finality to it that leaves me unsettled with varied emotions.

Taylor and I decided a few months ago, that this would be my last year teaching for awhile, in order for me to stay home with the babe (and future babes ;)).
And while I am so grateful that we have the opportunity and ability to allow me to stay home, it wasn't an easy decision for me.
I had been battling and avoiding the decision for weeks leading up to actually making it...I think I always knew what we would decide in the end, but I just didn't want to say it out loud.
I wish I could adequately express how much I genuinely love my job and my students.

In December, it came time to actually make the decision (before the administration completed the master schedule for the following year).
I very hesitantly made my way to the vice principal's office and tried to think of all of the reasons why this decision wasn't the right one.
Could I really tell him I wasn't coming back to teach next year?
How can I NOT teach?
I sat down in the chair across from Mr. Larson's desk, and gave him a small, weak smile.
He knew immediately why I was there, and gave me a sympathetic and understanding look.
"So, what did you decide?"
I looked down at my hands in my lap, and was surprised at how much emotion was overcoming me.
When I looked back up at him, my eyes were wet, and I responded, "I won't be coming back next year."
Mr. Larson smiled softly at me and told me he understood how difficult the decision was for me.
I've been so lucky to work with Mr. Larson--possibly one of the kindest people I've met, and absolutely one of the best bosses I've had.
As a true family man (with eight kids of his own), Mr. Larson told me how much he admired my decision to stay home to raise my baby girl.
I sat and nodded silently, crying some more, as he told me that he would hire me back in a second--no matter how many years had passed--when I was ready to return to teaching.

After our discussion, I walked back down the quiet halls to my classroom, as I tried not to think about what it all meant.
I wouldn't have any more new students.
I wouldn't laugh with them every day.
I wouldn't teach the subjects I was so passionate about.
I wouldn't see the light in the students' eyes as they grasped a concept.
I wouldn't get to tell them how much I loved them every day.

While I knew I was making the right decision for my sweet baby and me, the reality of having a baby was so NOT real to me.
Teaching was my reality!
How could I give it up?

Months went on, and as my belly started to pop, students started to ask me more frequently, "Mrs. Gilbert, are you coming back after your baby?"
I had to stifle a little bit of emotion every time I said, "No, I'm not."
I continuously avoided thinking about leaving, and avoided signing the actual paperwork.
In fact, I avoided it so much, that the administrative secretary finally had an office TA bring the paperwork down to my classroom. HA
I looked at the paperwork, "Employee's Release of Contract" and immediately put it under a textbook sitting on my desk.
I didn't want to look at it.
Didn't want to think about it.

Then today, I lifted up the textbook and saw the paper sitting there.
I sat back down at my desk with a big sigh and stared at the empty form.
I just stared at it for minutes.
I again tried to think of every possible reason why this wasn't the right decision.
And as I sat there thinking about the last four and a half years of my teaching career and how much I would miss it all, my little baby girl started squirming around inside of me.
She moved, and wiggled, and kicked, and I immediately was filled with a new emotion that overcame my current feelings.
I suddenly stopped thinking of my past sweet teaching memories, and starting thinking of the future tender moments I was about to experience with my little family.
The tears started to flow as I sat at my desk staring at that empty form in one hand, with my other hand atop my belly.
I realized that while I was sacrificing something that was so special to me, I was doing it all for something that was even more so.

In that moment, I felt like each hand held something that symbolized SO much.
I was holding my past in one hand, and cupping my future in my other hand.
I was suddenly just so grateful for the last 4.5 years I was lucky to have in the classroom, but my heart was overfilled with gratitude for what was underneath my other hand--our sweet little mover and shaker, our baby girl.

I'm sure I'll forever miss being in the classroom, until I one day have the opportunity to return.
But for now, I am finally at peace with the decision we have made.
I'm sure there will be lots more tears as the year comes to a close, but I feel like I can turn in this form without hesitation or regret.
Sadness? Definitely.
But no regrets.
^this picture seems fitting...me with my senior class cabinet.  Can you spot the teacher? hahah^

And today, I will pick up my tattered bag (that I've willed to last one more year...the perfect commuter bag), walk out of my classroom, and be able to be at peace with the fact that my days here are limited.

I feel like my tattered messenger bag is so symbolic of my teaching career:
it looks so sad, with its tears and holes and worn straps--it has given me everything it has.
And it has done me so good.
I am so sad, but for 4.5 years, I gave these students everything I have.
And they have done me so good.


27 weeks.

27 weeks pregnant as of yesterday!?
I never thought I'd get here. ha!
I literally just realized I am in the third trimester...what the.
Like how is this even possible?
It's funny how much the smallest compliment means when you're pregnant.
two girls told me last night, "We want to look just like you when we're pregnant!"
and I wanted to cry and kiss them right there.
and the other day, someone commented my pony tail, and I treasured that comment all day long. haha
pregnancy is so weird. ha

This week I had my first "labor dream."
I don't really remember much of it other than meeting our baby, and it was the happiest little moment ever!
oh, and also...somehow, taylor couldn't make it out of bed to come to the delivery, but my sister made it from california...sooooo, dream-taylor really needs to work on his priorities.
taylor always says, "I always know when dream-taylor has made an appearance because he never behaves himself, and then you are mad at me the next morning." HAHA

After waking up, I was suddenly just soooo excited.
I mean, we've always been excited, but before it was "we are so excited we are pregnant/can't believe we are going to have a baby" excitement.
and this week it has shifted to, "I am so excited to HAVE this baby and MEET this baby!"

We made our first big baby purchase yesterday!
stroller + a carseat!

I actually ended up finding a KILLER deal on accident.
Some girl was selling her uppababy vista stroller + carseat + with the rumble seat + scooter board + all the other pieces for only $500!!! Which was less than we had budgeted for a carseat and stroller originally!
We were planning to buy the britax because it was more in our price range, but when I saw I could be an uppababy mom!? YES PLEASE
I am seriously in love.
it is the nicest nicest nicest thing EVER
and I suddenly knew I had joined a whole new club when I was sooo excited over a stroller purchase. hahah
I actually had tried a bunch of strollers out with my sister over at the baby cubby (a little baby store), and we both were amazed at the uppababy, but both were like, "over $1000 on a stroller!? AH" once you add up all of the extra pieces, it's like $1500!
but then the heavens parted for me!
I still can't get over my luck.

On the way home from buying the stroller, I was turning to look in my blind spot and I saw the carseat in the backseat, and something just HIT me.
It felt so real all of the sudden seeing that little carseat back there.
I couldn't help but tear up for a minute...everything seemed so surreal, and yet so pure.
I don't even know how I got so lucky to be living this little life.
If I could go back in time and shake my 16-17 year old self, I would tell her so many things:
"Stop crying over that dumb boy! You're going to marry THE BEST guy there ever was!"
"Stop worrying so much about the future! IT ALL WORKS OUT!"
"Stop trying to impress people that don't matter! Just focus on improving yourself to impress that one special person that you're going to meet in just a few years!"
"Stop judging yourself! Comparison is the absolute thief of joy, and you are just fine the way you are now!"
(this all reminds me of this post I wrote a few years back)
I just really can't believe we will be welcoming our little baby girl in just a few short months.
Last night, Taylor was having trouble falling asleep.
I woke up about an hour after falling asleep myself, and asked if he was okay, and he said, "I think I'm just too excited about becoming a daddy to our little girl to fall asleep."
cutest thing ever. haha

alsoooo this has been our life this week:
we have been stuffing envelopes every day from 5pm-midnight.
it's monotonous as heck, but great money.
and I have a problem of never being able to turn down an opportunity to make more money. HA
we are putting all of the money we make straight into our "baby chick fund." more goodies for little girl!
plus, taylor's sister and some of our other friends are there with us, so it's really not too bad.
...and sometimes mama gilbert brings us yummy baked goods ;)
And they told us they had more for us to do next week...which made me want to cry with dread because NO WAY I AM SO DONE STUFFING ENVELOPES.
but at the same time...just.can't.say.no.to.money.
and so, you can find us there all next week, too.

needless to say, I'm pretty exhausted today:
1. waking up at 6:30 and teaching all day.
2. working from 5pm-midnight
3. END OF TERM is today

the other day, I snapped at taylor, and a few hours later I said something about end of term, and taylor said, "OH! It all makes sense now! That's why you are so grouchy! I totally forgive you now...just not all of your students for making me live through kelli-is-super-grouchy-and-mean-during-end-of-term-week."
HAHA but at least I get a pass on my "grouchiness" this week ;)

we are picking out paint colors for the nursery this weekend, and we could not be more excited!


baby update.

I am definitely feeling a lot better from the last time I posted!
I still have a little bit of a lingering cough, but the doctor told me to expect that for another 2-3 weeks. awesome.
26.5 week bump!

baby girl is seriously sooo active.
I guess I don't have much to compare her to, but it seems like she is moving constantly.
After a 2 week break of running (due to my walking pneumonia), I was finally back to it last week!
And it is the best thing ever. I've missed it so much!
I'm definitely slower and not able to run as far (mostly because I have to pee SO BAD once I start running...baby pushing on your bladder WHILE running is no joke), but the few miles I'm able to get in every day are the biggest treat to my day.
hoping to keep running as long as I can!
I'm also lucky enough to be able to walk the school track during my lunch and get an extra 2 mile walk in during the middle of my day. LOVE it.

the only new symptoms I've experienced are:
1. being even more limited on what cupboards/shelves I can reach.
(maybe this isn't a symptom...but definitely not something I ever thought about haha)
the belly is making me feel even shorter!
 it bumps against the counter so I can't reach as "high" as I used to...and I was already limited in that area!
sooo taylor is having fun with my requests to get anything down that is higher than the first shelf in the cupboard. HA

HOLY COW. I've literally never had one in my entire life.
and suddenly, it will happen in the middle of my sleep and I literally scream out in pain while taylor massages it.
and it's so bad that my whole calf is SO SORE the whole next day.
I've been loading up on bananas and banana shakes and it has helped sooo much.

other than those two new things, I have felt sooo great.
I can no longer have soda because of my acid-reflux issue...so goodbyeee sodalicious addiction. ha
which is so funny because I literally haven't had carbonated drinks in maybe 3-4 years, but I seriously CRAVED soda the first part of my pregnancy.
so weird to crave something that you don't even like/remember what it tastes like. haha
but now I'm back to zero carbonation because of how badly it makes my acid reflux act up.

I've also been on a zero sugar challenge.
which will last either until easter orrrr end of pregnancy if I can make it ;)
I do allow myself one tiny dessert on Saturday night (which I usually end up foregoing anyways).
but it's been surprisingly easy since I usually just want fruit all day, every day.

I also had my first experience with a pregnancy comment from someone that seemed a little less than considerate.
I've always heard stories of people saying things to pregnant women and not considering how it would come off...and I hadn't experienced it myself until this last week.
I'm sure it was not intentionally mean, but it was my first "ouuuuch...uhhh okay?? how do I even respond to that?" experience.

taylor and I have sooo much fun talking about baby girl, feeling her move, and dreaming of what our future holds.
we feel so so so lucky to be in this stage in our lives.
the other night we were having dinner in our kitchen (in the house we still find sooo dreamy) and taylor and I just couldn't stop talking about how we have been so blessed.
we are in love with our little life!

alsooo two high schoolisms:
1. I was passing out tests the other day and said, "okay kiddies, here are your testies!"
and of course...they immediately started giggling.
second set for a few of them, and a first set for others. HA
i've actually made that exact mistake a few years ago...you'd think I would learn.

2. Today, I was trying to think of the word "dictatorial" and I said (to a group of 16 year olds), "What's that word...dic-dic...dic something?"
aaaand helloooo giggles.
they seriously keep me on my toes...but I somehow still manage to make mistakes on the daily with my words.
man, I'm going to miss these kids.

Happy Monday!


such is life.

sooo, in my last post I talked about little phillip being sick.
looks like he shared that little virus with me (HELLOOO walking pneumonia...whiiiile pregnant, aka NO medicine relief). HA
I've been sick as a dog for the last 2 weeks.
The first week was marci's second week here, so it was kinda the worst timing ever.
I tried soooo hard to still have fun with her and enjoy her visit, but I was so miserable.
I pretty much lied in bed all day and then pushed myself to do things with her at night.

The Saturday that Marci left, Taylor (who was also sick) and I literally did not leave our bed for 24 hours. 
we binged watched on fuller house and were even those gross people who ate all of their meals in bed.
it was bad, people. ha

I also thought I was getting the flu on top of the pneumonia.
I FINALLY figured out that the cough medicine I was on was making me nauseous and making me throw up every two hours after taking it.
so dr. said no more cough medicine because of baby.
once I stopped taking that, I at least didn't have "flu symptoms" anymore.
but that was a pretty miserable 2 days.

since I missed 3 days of work last week, I couldn't bring myself to miss anymore this week.
So I was finally back with all of my students this week...which was great, because I missed them...but also reallyyy hard to make it all day when I felt so horrible.
After dinner every day this week, I went straight to bed and slept for 12 hours.
And then I would wake up, and be upset about still feeling horrible.
aaaaand twice (TWICE) I threw up on myself in the car on my way to work from coughing so hard.
So that was reallyyyyy great.
TENDER mercy was that my hair was in a ponytail both times so I didn't have to wash my hair out after already having to turn around and race home to change.

so yeah. it's been a really, really fun 2 weeks.
I miss having a life and doing real things. ha
but, a few updates on things other than being sick!

on valentine's weekend, we found this little treat on our garage door!
so, taylor read a few of them and came inside and said, "I think your students heart attacked our garage."
I went out and started reading them, and thought, "yep, definitely some of my students."
but then...it started to become clear that it was actually from people in our ward.
and I was SO confused because the first hearts I read were legitimate inside jokes with some of my students...so I still feel like it's kinda an unsolved mystery haha
But I finally brought myself to take them down yesterday--they were just so cheery to come home to, I couldn't bring myself to take them down any earlier!

and let's talk about how uncle taylor is seriously the best uncle there is!
he loves these little guys sooo much.
I found footsie pajamas at Macy's (of all places!) for $85 and they were on sale for $11!! 
So I jokingly asked taylor if we should get them and he immediately jumped on the idea so he could match with phillip's footsie pajamas. HA
^and here are my three little loves, all eating peanut butter by the spoonful.^

AND he crocheted this beautiful blanket for little zoe!
taylor pretty much masters a new hobby every month...he has hobby-lust (if that's even a real thing).
The funny thing is I bet that there will never be another blanket made...aka little zo got one, and our girl probably won't. HA
because we allll know she isn't getting a handmade blanket from yours truly.

I'm really really really hoping to feel 100% after this weekend.
If I don't, I might cry some more.
being sick while pregnant is seriously the absolute WORST!
luckily baby girl has kept me company and been so nice to me.
and my sweet taylor has taken care of me and cuddled me and put up with my "all-night-coughing."

here's to a relaxing weekend in hopes of getting better real soon!