Friday, January 28, 2011

JT's first movie!

video
Mr. Soup took this video of JT! He wasn't as active as he was before the camera was rolling, but you can see him move a little! Did I mention he's so cute?

It's a BOY



That's right! Baby Soup is a boy! We have had a busy, busy week. We started off Monday afternoon visiting our OB/GYN for the ultrasound. The first thing the technician noticed was his boy part sticking straight up. Yep! He's all boy! Mr. Soup and I both enjoyed this ultrasound more than the last one. I think it's because he actually looks like a baby (although a tiny one). It was so cool to see him moving around in there. We saw him scratch his eye, fist pump, take a quick nap and kick mommy's bladder. Right now JT (Baby Soup) is breeched, so it explains why I have to go pee more than usual. The sonographer said, "you might pee more than usual because his feet are right on your bladder." Right after she said that, we saw him stamp his feet on my bladder. I actually don't mind because I love feeling my baby alive inside of me. There have been entire days that I have gone through and totally forgotten that I'm pregnant (is that bad?). Sometimes it still doesn't seem real to me. So, I'll take the restless nights, frequent bathroom breaks and other minor inconveniences.
So, JT is definitely his father's son. From looking at his profile, I see all Mr. Soup. His feet are arched like his father and his little legs are muscular as hell just like Mr. Soup's. I didn't know babies could develop muscles like that, but I guess when all you do is kick your mom's bladder, you're bound to build some muscles! He's just such a little cutie! I can't believe our perfect (yes, I said "perfect") baby is going to be here in June! I used to want to keep him inside forever so that I could protect him from all the bad things in the world. However, I've gotten over that. I want him out. I want to cuddle!
I'm still on a high from Monday afternoon. On Wednesday, I celebrated my 29th birthday! Can you believe it? 29 years. It was pretty low-key! Mr. Soup bought me a cake and card and told me my gift was coming this weekend! I also went to dinner with friends that night since Mr. Soup had to work.
I've been extremely busy at work with getting things ready for TAKS with camps, tutoring, etc. Yesterday, I taught, tutored until 4:45, stayed at school to work, then attended a girls' basketball game. I didn't get home until almost 9pm. Next week looks busy too.
Mr. Soup is busy interviewing for new jobs. Since he graduated in December, he's anxiously looking for new work. His previous job was only part-time, so he took a full-time position within the company, but unfortunately he has to work nights....he's also overly, overly qualified for the job and it's not a job that will pay all the new bills once JT arrives. So, I know he's worried and I feel bad that I can't do anything to make him feel better. I know it's a man-thing to want to be able to take care of your family, but I know that something will come along. Good things always have a way of finding us, and I know things will change. I just want him to know I believe in him and I support him! So, keep us in your thoughts and prayers!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Halfway there!

We are officially halfway through the pregnancy of our first child! I cannot believe we are so close to welcoming our little baby into the world! I cannot wait to hold my BABY in my arms. Okay, so here are some updates. I've officially started the daycare search. Mr. Soup and I leaning towards an in-home day care for the 1st year or two of Baby Soup's life and then switching to a center (we really want to find something bilingual). We've found quite a few in our price range and one even down the street from our house! Still many sitters can't guarantee a spot for the fall, so we'll have to wait and see!
Baby Soup is now the size of a cantaloupe. This is amazing to me because last week he or she was only the size of a mango! I definitely feel the difference in size. Last week, I really didn't have a bump and now I do.
Baby Soup is very active. He or she loves to move around and I love feeling the movements throughout the day! I love it when I put on some 90's hip-hop and Baby Soup dances!
Mommy weight-gain: It was 7lbs. from pre-pregnancy weight last week when I checked. I'll find out Monday if it's more.
Cravings: Coca-Cola, oranges, veggies
Aversions: chicken, Trident Fruit layer gum
Daddy update: Baby Soup loves to move around when Daddy talks to him or her
Boy or Girl: We find out Monday if we're having a boy or girl. Both Mr. Soup and I have a feeling that it will be a boy. We'll be thrilled with either a boy or girl!
Stay tuned Monday for new pics of Baby Soup and a post about whether we're having a boy or girl!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tiger Mom

Now that I'm going to be a mom, I spend a lot of my time reading mom-stuff. Mom-blogs, Mom websites, Mom books, etc. I have this desire to be the perfect mom, but I know that's not possible. It's just a desire. While I will work hard at being a mom, I won't strive to be perfect.
Anyways, there is a lot of hype over Tiger Mom. In case you haven't read about her, she's the Filipino/ Chinese-American mother who prides herself on her strict parenting techniques. She basically parents in the traditional Asian manner while raising her kids among Western peers. Some of the things she did to create successful children include allowing and not allowing certain things. For example, her kids were not allowed to participate in many of the Western rites of passage. See below:
-hours of practice and studying for her kiddos
-no sleepovers or playdates
-yelling at her children and calling them names (i.e. calling them garbage)
-playing piano or violin only
-no involvement in school plays
-no complaining about not being in school plays
Yeah, so I read the article with a mixture of intrigue and disgust. I do see the effects of the self-esteem movement on my students. Students get by with the bare minimum and I do feel that we are dumbing down education. We expect less of kids. I can't tell you how many C students I've had arguments with because I know they are more than capable of A work. Students are not used to hard work and practice. While I do think 3 hours of piano practice each day is extreme, most students can barely plunker down for an hour.
I am saddened to see the educational achievements of American students diminish, as our Asian neighbors soar. However, the completely Western mom to be me, wonders how I can sit back and let my struggling child study for hours at a time without my help. I want my child to have the confidence that he or she can do anything, but I also want him or her to know it's okay to ask for help. In addition, I want learning to be fun. I mean, I'm a teacher. I strive to make learning fun. Honestly, I learn more when I have fun. I don't expect my child to become a doctor (but wouldn't that be nice). I want my child to think outside the box. Playdates and sleepovers are important because they are not only enjoyable, but they allow kids to learn how to work well with others, which is a skill most are seriously lacking.
Anyways, I guess I somewhat admire Tiger Mom for being able to go against the grain of mediocrity and worrying about a child's "self-esteem." However, I want to raise kids who think outside the box. Adhering to a strict schedule of study and practice, does not allow time for problem-solving, critical thinking, and team work. I also don't agree with calling kids garbage. That screams verbal abuse to me. Not because it affects the child's self-esteem, but what does it teach the child about how to resolve problems? It shows the child the parent's lack of maturity.
Balance is necessary!

Celebrities I hate

I watched quite a bit of TV over Christmas break. I think I have successfully completed my celebrities I hate list. There really is no rhyme or reason to this list. They're just people I see on the TV all the time and they really get under my skin. Some are talentless. Some are self-righteous. Most are just annoying.
Kanye West
Kirsten Dunst (she's not in the news a lot, but I hate it when she's in movies. she's ruined countless movies for me)
Oprah Winfrey
Camille Grammer
Khloe Kardashian
Shaunie O'Neal (Ex-Mrs. Shaquille O'Neal)
Bill O' Reilly
Sarah Palin
Most of the moms from Teen Mom (I don't know their names, so I can't pinpoint which ones irk me)

I have a little message for them. I found it in sign language as well....

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Where there's a will....

So we've had some ups and downs in finances over the last couple of months.
--Thanksgiving - always hard on us financially. This year we actually had to use some of our savings for it this year instead of having everything ready to go.
--Christmas - need I say more. We even lowered our budget
--one of the community college courses I was supposed to teach was canceled. This is kind of a blessing in disguise. I planned to use the money to buy things for Baby Soup and to put in savings so that I can take unpaid time off in the fall. I'm kind of bummed though. However, I don't think it was smart to plan to teach two courses this semester while pregnant. So, in a way, this will allow me more time at home to prepare for Baby Soup
--Mr. Soup is working more in his old position to help pad our savings. Which means that he's not home as much =(
--we're not going to the Superbowl. Sad that the Eagles didn't do well in the play-offs, but now we can use that money to replenish our savings and the rest towards Baby Soup
--tutoring--one of my community college co-workers tutors privately. She said I could make $60 an hour tutoring elementary school kids. I'm thinking of doing it once a week for an hour. I don't think it would take up too much time and it'd help pad our savings.
I really am impressed that we're still saving money. After saving and paying for half of our wedding, a home, and other things, I thought we'd go back to living financially carelessly. However, we've done a good job of living frugally. I think we're more committed now that Baby Soup is on the way. Ugh..and don't even get me started on maternity leave. I think I'm almost getting screwed by having a baby in the summer. If I have my baby on my due date, I'll have exactly 9 weeks off. That is not enough time off in our opinion. I can either use some of my days to take some more time off or take it unpaid. I'm thinking of taking 3 weeks more unpaid because I want to save my days for when Baby Soup gets sick, etc. I'm really hoping we can save a month's salary, so that I can do that. That was my motivation for teaching an extra class at the community college. Mr. Soup has been saving too, but I hate for him to do it on his own. Plus, we also need to put money away for day care, Baby Soup's college savings, travel savings and general savings. Whew! Sounds like a lot! Where there's a will there is a way though. We always find a way to make things work. For example, the private tutoring fell into my hands. And we decided not to take a Babymoon, but instead make it a Staycation at a hotel in downtown Dallas or something like that. We are very blessed and I love that we both have the same commitment to our future family!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Why my husband is an awesome dad (to-be) and husband


Sometimes I marvel at how much technology has enhanced our lives. Other times I cringe at how much a part of our lives technology is. It invades our lives. Sometimes I'm amazed at how much I know about other people's lives thanks to facebook and other social networks. Sometimes (like now) it really reminds me how lucky I am to have married my ultimate life partner. I don't pretend that my husband is perfect. He's not romantic...at all! He smells sometimes. He's very impatient. He can lose his temper easily. However, with that comes passion and excitement. I married a man who loves with all his heart! So after a week of reading disappointing relationship statuses and just disappointing statuses in general, here is an ode to my husband! Okay so really it's the top reasons why he rocks as a dad and husband.
1. he's super excited about Baby Soup! Everything related to babies is like a new puzzle for him to solve. He's constantly reading books, websites (he frequents the Bump) and articles. That article I put on the refrigerator about raising a child in Muslim/Christian household sat up there for months. Now that we're pregnant he's read it and was prepared to do an hour long book study last night. Not kidding! He's there for every doctor's appointment (he missed the last one, but that's okay)
2. he works extremely hard. After graduating with his master's he's been on the search for a better paying job. In the mean time, he's working horrible shifts and a job he doesn't like to help save for the baby. He could take his time and work his regular schedule, but he's not.
3. he appreciates travel, good food and good times as much as I do. Even on the days where money is tight, we find ways to have a good time. he loves to travel whether it's by plane, boat or car. Together we always make each other laugh and we comfort each other when things go wrong. We both want travel to be an important part of Baby Soup's life. We both want to eat good food and continue to have good times with friends and family. We both want to continue living life, so that our children see how great life can be!
4. he's accepting. I know that no matter what happens to Baby Soup, he will be there to love and support him or her. As an expecting mother, I worried about all the things that go wrong developmentally (thankfully, there are none!). Mr. Soup did too, but his confidence that we could get through it and strive to be the best parents possible really helped calm me. It helped me remember that God doesn't give us more than we can handle. Thinking to the future: We discussed how we would react if one of our children was homosexual (not that I think anything is "wrong" with homosexuals). He was so calm and accepting. He said, "it may be hard to accept at first, but I'd get over it. Plus, it'd be fun to go hang out in the Gayborhood with them." One of his favorite restaurants is in the Gayborhood, so we head over there some. Lots of nice eateries and lots of fun bars. Isn't he great? Very few men are that open and honest about homosexuality and that comfortable with their own sexuality.
5. he's already a great dad. have you seen him with Maya and Sam? He's on the floor every day with them, playing, rolling, and biting (yes...biting)them. He truly treats them like man's best friends.
even though he could've abandoned my stepdaughter when things got tough, he didn't. there have been multiple times (including when he first found out about her), that he could've thrown in the towel and it would've been so much easier. however, he didn't. someday I hope things work out so that she can fully experience her awesome father.
so yeah, my husband rocks pretty much! Can't top him!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pop!

Well, at 4 1/2 months I have finally popped. Well, not really. It's just now it's very obvious that my baby bump is showing. So obvious that a few girls in my 4th period class noticed today. Now the word is out among my students. My boys could really care less. I think they're probably grossed out by it all. However, my girls are all excited. "Will you name the baby after me?" "I think it's gonna be a girl!" "When is the baby shower?" Typical girls, I guess. One girl assured me that my bump is only showing because, "you're so tiny, Mrs. Soup!" I definitely don't feel tiny. I was kind of bummed that I didn't lose the "love" weight I gained when Mr. Soup and I married before getting pregnant, but now I don't really care. I actually lost weight during pregnancy. I'm pretty sure I gained a few pounds (and boobs) while sleeping last night...at least it seems that way. This will be motivation for me to really lose weight once Baby C arrives. I've also been really good about working out and walking during the pregnancy.
While I've had some minor inconveniences (I won't go into them because they're kind of gross), my pregnancy is going very well. Mr. Soup and I are really enjoying the baby right now. The other day we listened to the heartbeat and Mr. Soup talked to the baby and there went baby. He or she had moved away. I feel the baby move a lot more. I don't think he or she is kicking, but definitely swimming around in there. It feels like butterfly flutters in my belly.
We're also really trying to revamp our diet which means we'll have to revamp our budget. Now that Mr. Soup is preparing to be a father, he wants us to cut out all the bad stuff we eat (high fructose corn syrup, etc). It's virtually impossible to do that while shopping at Wal-Mart or Kroger (if you've found a way, let me know). So we'll be frequenters of Whole Foods and other small markets from now on. I'm excited that he's involved, but sometimes it's oh so much. I just feel like we have so much to do: nursery, register, hospital tour, birthing classes, etc. Lots!
Oh well, this is our new year! Welcome 2011 and baby bump!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Good-bye 2010 and Pop2K

This post was really special to me because not only did we say good-bye to 2010, but to a decade! Wow! Pop2K is the name of the radio station on my XM that plays music from 2000-2010. Okay, so here's a run-down of the highs and lows of 2000-2010.
2000--celebrated the new year with my HS friends. A friend's parents hosted a drinking party (a big no-no in the book of parenting). Nevertheless, it was a blast and lots of memories were made. In May, I graduated from high school and headed to KU in August to begin my freshman year as a jayhawk! I lost my uncle (May 2000) and grandma (December 2000)
2001 -- said good-bye to my 1990 Ford Thunderbird and received a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee. This started my love of red vehicles and to this day I still drive a red(dish) car. I'm already eyeing my next car...Red Honda Odyssey....yep...I'm getting a mini-van in this new decade. In November, I started dating my first (and only) college boyfriend. In December, my future stepdaughter was born (I had no idea). my favorite place to hang out was The Hawk. My favorite place to eat was Quintons
2002 -- got my first on-campus job as a Writing Consultant. received my fake-ID. got dumped by my boyfriend (jerk!). This was also the year we discovered my dad had a brain tumor. In August 2002, he had the tumor removed.
2003 -- turned 21 (and got schwasted and kicked out of a bar!) worked as an Orientation Assistant. traveled to Colorado with OA friends. lost my grandfather (August 2003) my favorite place to hang out was Brothers. My favorite place to eat was Einstein Bros.
2004 -- went to Padre Island for spring break with friends. graduated from KU with my degree in Education. moved to Kansas City to begin my master's degree and internship. new car: Red Volkswagen Jetta same one I have today! student-taught at a middle school in the suburbs of KC.
2005 -- interned at a HS in KCK, graduated with my master's degree in Education. Stepped out of my comfort zone and moved to Dallas, TX. began teaching junior high English.
2006 --met my husband at an airport. served as a bridesmaid in 2 weddings (and attended numerous weddings)...one in the Cayman Islands and one in KC. Mr. Soup moved to Dallas. My favorite place to hang out was Greenville Ave. (blah) and my favorite place to eat was Fireside Pies
2007 --turned 25! got engaged! took my first trip to meet my in-laws in NJ (also my first trip to that area), began my 2nd master's degree (a degree I'll never use), made new friends at work
2008 -- lost my cousin Philip (November 2008)
2009 -- got married, graduated with my 2nd master's, mr. soup graduated with his 2nd bachelor's.
2010 -- 1st anniversary cruise to nowhere (supposed to be Mexico, but it wasn't) (March), bought our first home (May), started teaching Developmental Writing at a community college (August), found out we're expecting our first child (October), Mr. Soup graduated with his master's (December).
What's in store for 2011?
-Well, if the Eagles go to the superbowl, so will the Soups. Luckily Dallas is hosting this year. If they don't go, we'll watch the superbowl on TV with friends!
-welcoming our first baby together (June)
-who knows???

Vacation

Mr. Soup and I really wanted to go to Vancouver before Baby Soup arrived. However, that's not going to happen. So, we're thinking of going next year.....with Baby Soup (like when he or she is closer to a year) Anyone been to Canada with a baby? Anyone have some great vacation spots for babies? One thing Mr. Soup and I want to do with our kiddos is travel. We want to start that early on because we want them to see the world (well maybe just the US and islands with us and the big countries later on).
Here are some I was pondering. Let me know if you've vacationed to any of these spots with kids or if you have any ideal baby friendly vacation spots:
Canada--we've always wanted to go here. I can't see why it would be bad to bring a baby
San Antonio--we can drive. there's a beach. seems ideal
Cruise--I hear cruises can be nice for babies. However, I'm worried about the shore excursions. Honestly, Mr. Soup and I's favorite part was the nightlife (ie: drinking and dancing), so we would miss that with a baby. We have 20% off our next cruise until December 2011. Not sure if I'd want to bring a baby that young on a cruise or leave my baby when he or she is that young.
others?
Since we won't be able to take any full vacations alone (at least not in the 1st year), we're thinking of taking a long weekend trips alone. any ideas? I'm thinking we won't get to KC this year since Mr. Soup is being inducted in the South Jersey track coach hall of fame. Maybe we'll take a trip to KC to see old friends...ooh...I like that. We could even bring Baby Soup? Oooh! I'm so smart! Okay, thanks for your help fellow bloggers!