Saturday, April 26, 2008

Birthing Options part deux

Thank you to all who commented on "Birthing Options".

I've done a little digging and it looks like it would be pretty easy to get coverage at Best Start. That kind of annoys me because about halfway through my pregnancy with Joaquin I stopped by there when I was feeling particularly uneasy about the hospital birth. Whomever I spoke to looked at my insurance card and said my insurance wouldn't pay for it, I would have to pay out of pocket. Now I find out all I would have had to do was change my medical group to one that has a Dr that they work with. Oh well, whatever. I can't go back and change it and I still had a great birth with Joaquin. Even in the hospital.

I also did a bit of research on the Home Birth front. I emailed a midwife that is very well known amongst my mama friends. She gave me an idea of what I would deal with, and it sounds like something that could happen. At this point, I'm really leaning towards the home birth. But any further research and investigation will probably have to come when I do get pregnant.

It's just nice to know I actually do have options.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Birthing Options

Let me start this out by saying I am NOT pregnant. But I will admit that I've been thinking about it a lot.

My birth with Joaquin went fairly well, especially considering it was a hospital birth. I used the Hypnobabies technique and had a doula, both which allowed for me to have an unmedicated complication free vaginal birth. However, I can't help but feel like it could have gone a lot better. I still felt like I had to be on guard to make sure they didn't stick me with something or decide I had a complication. I felt the pressure to perform because if I didn't, I knew drugs and possibly a c-section was on the way!!! So, the next time around I don't want a hospital birth. But I really have no idea how to make that happen with my insurance plan. I have all this coverage, but it seems that all the coverage is only through a hospital. I would love to give birth in a birthing center or maybe even possibly at home with a midwife.

I feel like before we can even think about getting pregnant, I should get this squared away so I can have the same level of care throughout the pregnancy. But how? Who do I call? It's like, what came first, the chicken or the egg? Who do I call first? My insurance company or a possible health care provider? I wish there was someone I could just call with my question and they would do all the digging, like an insurance advocate or something. Or is that supposed to be an HR person? With a district this big, I have no idea who or what that person is. Any advice out there?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It would be so much easier if I didn't care.

But I do, and because of it, work is really kicking my ass lately. Most of my time at home is soaking up every moment with Joaquin along with the regular household this n' that. My time at work is just craziness. And now I am getting requests from peeps in my department to take the department chair position next year. While I appreciate the fact that they want me to lead them, I am really not sure if that's a job I want to take on. Plus, I am in the process of putting together a proposal for a new department model for next year. If that goes through I may be one of the pilot teachers. That's a whole lot on one plate! Especially since that plate gets there and leaves right at the contract times...No, I don't stay late and nope I don't take work home. I paid my dues! Believe it or not, I'm not quite sure how much time we have left until summer...8 weeks, or is it 7? Please please, let it be seven!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

This morning.

Today has been one of those mornings here at work, where it has been one emotionally exhausting thing right after another.

You all know about my mow hawk boy, well he's been pissed off at me lately. He tried ditching a few days ago again and I called him out on it, so in his eyes, I turned all mean and evil teacher on him. He has been giving me the cold shoulder and today I decided to try my luck and attempted to talk to him. He totally tried to blow me off and told me he didn't care about anything anymore. After using some humor and begging I finally got him to come sit with me outside. He started opening up a bit and I learned a lot more about his home life. It's not the worst situation I've seen, but still very hard. I can't blame him for being so pissed off all the time.

These conversations are hard. I have to hold it together, be understanding, listen when they want to talk and not take it personally when they don't. I find myself using silliness and humor a lot, so far it's a tactic that gets me the farthest with these kids. But I don't always have the energy for it.

We went back in class and I saw one of my girls grimacing while holding her stomach. She asked me the other day if there was anything, other than being pregnant, that could cause someone to miss their period. She told me it was because of her friend. Um. Yeah. Right. So I've been keeping my eye on her. After class we took a little field trip to the Health Center here on campus. She swore to me she was not having sex, but yes, she was the one with the missed periods. She also seemed incredibly unsure when I asked if she could be pregnant. She is 14 and has many many emotional problems. Her home life is a disaster. I stayed upbeat and professional, but during our walk to the health center all I could think about is "what in the hell is going to happen if this test comes out positive". I stayed with her while she was seen by a nurse practitioner and took the test. It was negative.

She wasn't in much of a state to immediately go back to class so she followed me back to my office. There, I had a message from a mom. Mom is upset because her son, who is a senior, is not going to graduate because of the CA High School Exit Exam. This is the first year that students with IEPs have had to take the exam to graduate. Without the exam our graduation rate for kids with IEPs is next to nothing. This year, it's more like nothing. Well, we have a couple, but my student isn't one of them. Breaking the news to him earlier this week was heartbreaking. He has busted ass to complete all the graduation requirements. But this test, this test. He's taken it five times and he just can't get past the math portion. His words with tears in his eyes were "four years, four years...all gone because of this fucking test". Today, I got word that he will still be able to walk at Graduation in June if I move him onto another program that will continue to administer the test (with modifications) until he passes! Mom was ecstatic, I still haven't told my boy. I'm sending out a pass as I write this.

There was still more drama that followed, but I'm tired of writing about it and I'm sure you're tired of reading about it. This is a long entry and I know those can get boring. On to the rest of the day.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Joaquin has a girlfriend...

and her name is Lila.

They fight over sippy cups...






look at ducks...




and fly kites together.



They even hold hands...


while talking about the birds.


And they are just plain cute together.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Well, we survived.


Holy jeez, was this an interesting camping trip. I'm still trying to determine if it was a success or not. Either way, I have learned a lot for future trips when it comes to camping with a toddler.

on the ride out

My initial concerns and assumptions were right on. He wanted to play and touch EVERY thing that was totally unsuitable for a little person. This includes bottles of beer, cups of wine, cans of beer, lighters, percolators, cartons of eggs, can openers, cameras, bottles of lighter fluid, lanterns, bottles of propane and axes. Note to self: do not store, set or leave any of the previously mentioned items in reaching distance of little people. This is kind of hard to accomplish when the only storage space higher than 2 feet off the ground is only a 2 by 3 foot table.

deserted sand toys in the desert

We did go on a small hike and he enjoyed it while riding on my back. He also got to fly a kite, play in some bubbles from a bubble machine, play guitar, chew - I mean play with a fan, stack blocks of fire pit wood, chase the dog and play a bit with his sand toys. Unfortunately none of these things were nearly as interesting as those previously mentioned items above. Obviously.


playing guitar

For next time, I think having more tables to store the not kid friendly items would be incredibly helpful. It might also help to actually put things away when not in use. He is pretty good about not grabbing at items anymore once it is explained that it can be "hot" "ouch" or "yuck". But it's exhausting chasing after him full time shouting "HOT" "OUCH" YUCK" over and over and over and over. Plus, I'm sure it got kind of old for him too. Next time, we'll be out in the woods and not the desert so I think it will also be easier to play in nature a bit more. There is only so much a toddler can do with sand, rocks and cactus.



But, seriously, even though I was completely worn out within 5 hours of our arrival, he seemed to really be having a good time and he was never seriously injured. In all honesty, there was not a single meltdown within those 24 hours. So, I guess by just using that single assessment, I can call it a success.

ocotillo in the sun

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How does one entertain a 16 month old in the desert?

So far we've gone camping with Joaquin twice. The first time, he was about 5 months old and not mobile. No problem. The second time he was crawling. That was a bit more of a challenge because he just wanted to crawl around in the dirt. He spent a lot of time on his blanket with me, on my back in the ergo and in his stroller.

Now he is walking, running and all over the place and we're headed to the desert this weekend for a one-nighter. I am sure he will have a blast as he LOVES being outside. I also think, now that he's walking, it will be easier than the crawling trip. But I am a little worried about what he'll get into, now that he is exploring so much and if he'll get bored. We'll do plenty of walks, and he'll spend lots of that time on my back and on his own two little feet. But, back at the campground, will he get bored? What should I take, if anything, to entertain him? I imagine he will be all into the camping gear which may or may not be suitable for a child of his age. I also imagine him dragging things back and forth across the campground, but what will those "things" be? I'm considering bringing along some sand toys, but I'm a bit worried about those gnarly red desert ants. I also know that any of his normal toys will be so ho-hum to him compared to all the new "toys", such as the lantern, stove, axe, lighter, fire pit etc etc.

It should be a beautiful weekend out there, and I'm really looking forward to some great photo opportunities, but I keep getting my panties all in a bunch about this.

Please, all you wise people out there in internet me!!