Monday, May 31, 2010

Swimming Lessons: Day One

After a bit of trepediation, including many questions about what swimming lessons would be like, M took a major step to independence. She did every thing her swimming teacher asked her to do and waited patiently while he was working with one of the other students in her group. One of her best friends, GW, was in the group right beside her and a little boy she's known since she was a baby was in her group.

Practicing her kicks.

Attempting to float on her back.

Catching on...floating on her back and kicking.

After swimming lessons, we spent the rest of the day at our pool with a variety of friends. After waiting an hour for the thunder to pass, M's cousins came to the pool. We enjoyed another hour or so swimming and playing at the pool. It was a super fun way to spend Memorial Day--we certainly enjoyed the freedoms that we are afforded in this great land.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

This afternoon

I'm thankful that I'm not sick every day with this pregnancy. With M, I threw up often until I had some medicine to help. Although I threw up, it never lasted long or was very violent.

This time, I don't throw up often, but when I out world.

Every other time I've been sick, M hasn't really noticed.

This afternoon, she N.O.T.I.C.E.D.

I felt it coming and rushed to the bathroom, throwing the clothes hangers in my hand on the floor. M rushed in with me. "Mama...why are you throwing things?"

The vomitting started. "MOMMY! WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT???"

(screeching and screaming)


When I was done, "Mommy, that is completely gross. Why did you do that?"

"Honey, sometimes when babies are in their mama's tummies, they get a little sick. It's okay."

"It is NOT okay. That was so gross. Did Handsome (what she calls the baby) have to throw up? Is that why you did that?"

"No, baby. Sometimes I just get a little sick. I'm okay now. Please get me a wash cloth so I can clean all of this up."

Mumbling as she walks away, "That was so gross. That was so gross."

I completely agree.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

SOOC: Backyard Paradise

When the economy stinks and there is no extra money and you need a little get away, head to Nona's backyard. It's our own little backyard paradise.
Head over to Slurping Life for more SOOC action.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Today I "graduated" my first class of kindergartners. I absolutely can not believe they finished their first year of formal school! What an amazing thing to be a part of!

On the other hand, as with all my classes, I was a bit ready to send them off at the end of the year. There can only be so much of a good thing.

They had their wings. It was time to let them fly. I can't wait to see them succeed!

The end of the year has been difficult for everyone. As much as I love teaching and being in my classroom with my students, there was lots of junk going on within our county that resulted in lots of stress in our building. Teaching is stressful enough with day to day demands. The added external pressures (and resulting expectations and tempers) really became a burden as the school year wound down this year. I know that part of it is my pregnancy and additional hormones. I really need this summer to reclaim my passion for teaching and gather my excitement for a new year. I need time to recharge my batteries.

I hope that I was able to protect my students from the stress of the past few weeks. I'm not sure that I fully succeeded in that, so I hope they know how much I loved each and every one of them. I plan on writing each one a letter to give them at the end of their first grade year and one again for their graduation from high school. They will always be a special class for me because they were my first kindergarten class. I have the privilege of watching them all the way through their education. That is truly one of the highest privileges a teacher can have.

Friday, May 7, 2010


My precious H is having me arrested.

Yes. You read that correctly.

I know. You're shocked. We're not the arresting type of family.

But it's for a good cause.

I'm going to jail for the MDA.

My personal goal for bail if $800 so I can send a child to summer camp this year. If you feel generous (please, please, PLEASE feel generous), would you make a contribution on my behalf so I'll be released from jail?

You can click here: Natalie Benson to make a secure online donation. Any amount would be appreciated more than you'll ever know. Trust me.

Naming a Child

Kelly (one of favorite bloggers) over at Kelly's Korner is hosting a weekly time to share called Show Us Your Life. She's done some really neat ideas and I've never played along before. I just can't seem to get anything ready in a timely manner. But today's topic is explaining how you named your child(ren). Since I'm home with my sick child, I have a little "extra" time to play along.

For any visitors, I have a four year old daughter. On the blog I normally just call her M, but I'll post her entire name today.

Meryt Sherrill Benson
Several years before we became pregnant, I read the book The Red Tent. My favorite character in the book was Meryt, a midwife who trained the main character and was a mentor to her. There was something so compelling about the character that I told H if we ever had a daughter, I wanted to name her Meryt. He agreed and we never really discussed a girl's name again. Fast forward a few years when we were expetcing our first child. We were both completely convinced we were having a boy, so we didn't even discuss our girl name. Thankfully at our 20 week ultrasound, we found out we were expecting a girl. She immediately became Meryt. After several weeks of discussion about her middle name, we settled on my mother's maiden name.
Naming a child is something we both took (and will take again soon!) very seriously. I want our children's names to be important to them and to know that we seriously considered the name we gave them. After struggling with infertility for over 2 years (we're almost 13 weeks pregnant now), I want our baby's name to honor the path the Lord has set before us. I really want his/her name to be meaningful, perhaps meaning, "Trust in the Lord."
I can't wait to read through the posts at Kelly's Korner! I love reading about baby names!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How do you know?

How do you know a pregnancy is going well? Let me give you a few ideas:

Spontaneous vomiting.
Extreme and complete exhaustion.
Frequent urination.
A strong heartbeat of 156!!!

We had our 12 week appointment today and heard a beautiful heartbeat. "He" didn't really like being poked and prodded by the machine and kicked a lot, which sounded like thumps. M was with us and really enjoyed hearing "his" heartbeat. She even told our doctor that she's having a baby brother and his name is Handsome. We've actually all taken to calling it a him because she's so convinced it's a boy!

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Alternate Title: My Life

Today, I am 12 weeks pregnant. Only 7 days to go before I enter the beloved second trimester. Honestly, I'm counting down the days. I know that just making it to the second trimester doesn't promise a healthy, happy baby in 27 weeks, but it's the closest I've gotten in a long, long time and I can't wait! I'm still in regular clothes, although I happen to be more partial to my maternity under clothes than regular ones. I just have more room to...breathe.

M will tell anyone who stands still long enough that she's having a baby brother. I get interesting looks from the stranger in the grocery store that just got a bottom pat and an announcement from a 4 year old, but what can I say? She's so excited she can't stand herself. We do not know yet if it's a boy or a girl and won't for several more weeks.

H is out of town this weekend playing golf with his buddies. Last night was Relay for Life, so M slept over with a friend for the first time and completely loved it. I got some good rest when I got home at 2 AM last night and took a good nap today. M is on the couch now watching Olivia (yes, it's 9:39 at night and my kid is still up). We're going to have a "spend the night party" tonight and sleep together in my big bed. We just finished our "midnight" snack (grilled cheese and chocolate milk because that's what preggo mama wanted) and we'll head to bed in a few minutes for story and snuggles.

This morning, our precious Gretel (who is having Jekylle and Hyde type episodes) knocked over Freddy the Fish's bowl, spilling water, rocks and the fish behind a huge, heavy speaker. I panicked because I couldn't think fast enough about what to do, so the comedy ensued. I grabbed a coffee mug and filled it with cold water, only to think that cold water might kill the fish (who is on the floor SOMEWHERE at this point), so I whirl around to pour the cold water out and spill cold water ALL.OVER.THE.KITCHEN. I refill the cup with lukewarm water from the tap and rush back into the den. I look all over the floor for Freddy, but still can't see him anywhere. At this point, I start throwing things around, desperate to find M's beloved beta fish. I spot him on the floor, as still as...well, he wasn't moving at all. I tried to use a spoon to scoop him up (touching a fish: GROSS!), but he would have none of that and projectiled himself around the floor. I finally got him in the lukewarm water in the coffee mug and in the kitchen. As I was filling up his fish bowl with tap water, I remember H telling me that you have to treat tap water for fish and somewhere he'd filled up an empty bottle with water for Freddy. After slipping around the kitchen, still wet from my cold water spill, I found Freddy's water and filled his bowl up with treated water. At this point, Freddy is still swimming, so maybe he'll make it. Not a fun way to start the day.

I'm pretty sure I had some other randomness to share, but my mind is running blank at this point. M and I are heading to bed for a story and some sweet snuggles. A perfect date for Saturday evening, if I do say so myself.