Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Sometimes my brain likes to do this sorting activity all by itself, and lately it's been sorting nicknames. I'm hoping that by barfing it all up here on my blog, I might be able to make some room for the more important things that need to fit in my head, like perhaps...the National Board Portfolio I'm trying to put together, or maybe something related to the new creature that will be arriving at our house in a matter of weeks. Let's hope it works. Here you go:

Religious Nicknames: Angel, Miracle, etc. Not my personal favorite category, but I know lots of Moms who call their baby girls "My little Angel," so it really deserves its own category.

Food Nicknames: Sugar, Honey, Sweetie Pie, Muffin, Nugget, Noodle, Cupcake. My favorite AND least favorite. I love to call my fourth graders Sweetie Pie, and sometimes Muffin Head when I'm feeling sassy. But as I typed the list, I also noticed that this could be called the Annoying Waitress Category. Whenever a waitress calls me Sugar, Sylvain knows to hold me back because I might just punch her in the face.

Plant Nicknames: Sweet Pea, Butter Bean, Buttercup (that's a flower, right? or does this one belong in food?)

Cowboy Nicknames: Buckaroo, Buddy, Pal, Partner. Cute for boys, I'm a big fan of Buddy.

Animal Nicknames: Teddy Bear, Birdie, Grasshopper (maybe that's just what my Mom called me, but Grasshopper sounds like a very martial artsy kind of nickname, doesn't it?)

Size Nicknames: Big John, Tiny Tim, Little Girl. I find myself constantly referring to the baby as "The Little Girl." Not sure how I feel about it.

Let-Me-Mess-Up-Your-Real-Name Nicknames: another one of my favorite categories and one that I use often. I like to take parts of people's names and mangle them. I turned Laura into LaLu, Mrs. Lop___ into LoLo, and Mrs. ____igo into GoGo (they both teach fifth grade across the hall, and I love calling them LoLo and GoGo, I think it's cute). For boys, I like to add "ums" to the end of their name, as in Pete-ums and Greg-ums. Works best for one syllable names that end in consonants - Sylvain-ums does NOT work.

Completely Made Up, Inanimate Object Nicknames: I used to be called Pocket in high school, Sylvain's college friends call him Chud, and I recently stumbled upon a blog in which a child was constantly referred to as Cloudy. Lots of blogging Moms are using these kinds of nicknames lately.

Negative Body Image Nicknames: Bean Pole, Surfboard, I know more than one guy who was called Pudge.

Sport Nicknames: Slugger, Flash, etc. Again, not my favorite.

Royalty Nicknames: Princess, Little Prince. Meh.

Wrestling Nicknames: I made this category up for Mom and Jay. They like to call my cousin (Tyler) T-bo and they tried to call my nephew (Charlie) Char-Char for the longest time, and probably still do when no one else is around. They're trying to use the name-mangling technique, but are doing so ineffectively! I don't know what else to call these kinds of nicknames, I just know they remind me of Pro Wrestlers, which are gross.

Last Name Nicknames: Popular among high school boys, especially those that play sports. My brothers always went by their last names in high school and I thought it was weird. Ironically, this category is also popular among educators. So much so, in fact, that I don't know if any adult at my school actually knows my first name, because they all call me by my last name - even though Rachael is so much easier to pronounce!

The -y Ending Nicknames: Jordy, Bobby, Robby, Johnny, etc. Works well for some names, but definitely not for others.

The Jennifer Lopez Nicknames: Every once in a while, you find someone with a last name that starts with the consonant-o pattern and is therefore ripe for the "J-Lo" reference. Example: I have a friend named Debbie who is now and forever D-Ro.

That's the end of my list for now, and I hope I can sleep tonight without thinking about categories of nicknames or anything else! And for those of you that are wondering, I call my husband Honey or Chud Muffin and he calls me Bee Barf, because that's what Honey really is.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Another Shower!

Since my mother-in-law couldn't make it to the NKY showers a few weeks ago (Blizzard of '10!!), she decided to throw her own shower at their house for us tonight! She invited another family that has been very close to Sylvain and their family for a long time, so it was nice to sit down and visit with everyone for a while. We played games, ate a wonderful dinner, opened presents, and had some beautiful dessert (yes, I let myself eat dessert. My blood sugar numbers were perfectly fine all week long, so I ate a piece of apple tart. And I LOVED it, thank you very much)!

Here are some pictures of the highlights:

For the game in this picture, everyone had to guess how long it would take me and Sylvain to change a baby's diaper with one hand each. We did it in 2 minutes and 30 seconds. The closest guess was 3 minutes, everyone else was WAY over. We're a good team! We also played the game where you had to wear clothespins around your neck and give them away to anyone who heard you say the word "baby." I lost, but I hung in there for quite some time. Sylvain had quite a few of them, until this little guy heard just about everyone say it by the end of the night...

I might have given him some extra clothespins so he would win, but whatever. It was fun!

And here's the table setup before we ate. Those little bath toys were a gift for us to take home and the straws were fun to use at dinner. At first, Mike tried to make us all think we had to eat dinner with the baby spoons in the cup on the table, but then he brought out real forks and knives. Thank goodness.

And here's my favorite gift! Brigitte crocheted it for us TWICE because their dog tore up the first one she made! Can you believe that? He was in big trouble. Anyway, I think it's the cutest thing I've ever seen and I can't wait until baby girl is big enough to wear it!

Ack! Look at those booties! Have you ever seen anything so precious? And it's really soft and wonderful to hold. I love it, just LOVE it!

So it's been another lovely Saturday for the Fasciotto Family. We're finished with our birthing classes, I have a little bit of National Board work left, I still have another shower in Lexington (am I the luckiest Mama or what??) and then the wee little girl will be here before we know it!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Not So Hot List

I love being pregnant, I really do. However, if a fairy godmother appeared in my bedroom and told me I could be unpregnant for 24 hours, then pick up again right where I left off, I'd probably take her up on it, if for nothing else than for the ability to sleep on my stomach for 24 hours in a row. Here's my list of not-so-great things about being 33 weeks pregnant:

1. Gestational Diabetes. I hate it. I'm getting better at it, but I still hate it. I want my OJ back. And I wouldn't mind a piece of cheesecake every now and again.
2. Swollen Feet. It really only happened once, to the extreme, but every once in a while my shoe gets too tight and that's annoying.
3. Hips. For some reason (perhaps the giant belly protruding from my midsection) my hips are always sore! If I sit too long, they hurt. If I stand too long, they hurt. And I wake up about every two hours to roll over onto the hip that's not sore, just to wake up two hours later to roll back over. And that brings me to...
4. No sleep. I cannot find a comfortable position for sleeping. I've tried everything short of buying a ridiculously expensive "pregnancy pillow," which I'm convinced I can recreate with the thousands of pillows I have in my house already. I'll get it right eventually. And if not, it's only seven more weeks. It's not like I'll be sleeping much for the next 18 years anyway, right?
5. Strangers. No one has asked to touch my belly, but while I was looking at a wall of peanut butter in the grocery store, a lady said, "Excuse me!" while she tried to get past me with her cart. There was no one else in the aisle and I was standing six inches away from the Jif. After she passed she said, "I didn't want to hit that belly." WTF??
6. Peanut Butter. I don't love it, but I eat it every day because I don't know what else to eat. I'm starting to hate it. I'm about to switch to hard boiled eggs for breakfast, which I'm sure I'll get sick of in another three weeks.
7. Exercises. These pregnancy exercises, like all exercises, are stupid and I hate them. They do make my hips feel better, but I still think they're stupid and I hate them.
8. Hormones. Now that I think about it, everything is stupid and I hate it.
9. Internet baby websites. Today I read a "Tip of the Day" on a website where a woman wrote in to say, "Whenever I start feeling like I'm bored with my pregnancy, I just lay down for a while and rest my hands on my belly. Soon enough I feel my baby moving and it's all worthwhile." Please, lady. Give it a rest. Bored with your pregnancy? Get a life.
10. Abstaining from alcohol. I'm really starting to miss wine. Really. I miss it a lot. I take sips of Sylvain's drinks every now and then and ooooooh, how I miss it. If we were in France I wouldn't be having this problem. I'm just sayin'.

I suppose I could go on, but those are the things that bother me the most right now. And when I look over the list, none of them are really that bad. I also like to think about how I'm not doing this all by myself, like millions of other women my age might be doing at the moment. I have a husband who cooks dinner every night and rubs my back when my hips start to hurt. I have friends I can call when I'm about to burst into tears for no good reason. I have parents who have been through this before and know exactly what to tell me when I'm freaking out about something. I really have it pretty good, don't I? And in seven more weeks, I'll have a beautiful baby girl to show for it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Snow's Pretty, But Flowers Are Prettier

Well, we're buried in another four inches of snow today with more on the way, and I'm telling you...I'm so DONE WITH SNOW!! So I changed my layout and banner picture in the hopes that spring will be here soon. I know, who am I kidding, right? It's only February. FREAKING FEBRUARY and I can hardly stand it. I have all of these cute, springy decorations to pull out, not to mention that baby that's supposed to show up in the spring. This whole winter thing is really cramping my style!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Little Girl's First Party Trick

Last night I came home from work to discover that I had one swollen foot. Just one. The right one. Swollen like a balloon! I know that swollen feet are common during pregnancy and I know that my right shoe has been a little tight before, but last night when I took off my socks, I got a little scared. It wasn't discolored or anything, it was just really swollen and it was only ONE foot, which I thought was weird, so it caught me off guard a little bit. After I looked up swelling in my pregnancy books and Sylvain looked it up in his giant Family Medicine Bible or whatever the heck he looks things up in, we deduced that it was nothing to get excited about and I just needed to elevate my feet for the evening. I put my pajamas on at 7:00 and climbed into bed with a pile of pillows under my right foot. It was really kind of nice!
Anyway, while I was snuggled under the blanket watching the Opening Ceremonies (thank goodness there was something good on TV), I layed the remote on my belly and started cracking up when I noticed that it would bounce and glide all over the place when the little girl was moving. Usually I just stare at my belly, but when you put something ON the belly, well....then it's a party! I took a video with my camera, but for some reason I can't upload it to blogger, so I'll have to work on that. If you're like me and you've never really watched a pregnant belly move around, it's really weird. Four years ago I would have flipped out if I saw someone else's belly doing this kind of stuff, but now, it's just a normal, everyday occurance at our house. How things have changed!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'm Dying of Cuteness Over Here!

Over the weekend, my Aunt Dar gave me the curtains she made for our baby room. I picked out the fabric a couple months ago and told her what I wanted, so I was really excited to get them and hang them up! But I have a "thing" about curtains...

Curtains are kind of...the world's most awful and terrible thing, in my opinion. I have a bad track record with curtains and window coverings of all kinds. When we moved into our house, the previous owners had these really fancy, mechanical, floor length, super complicated, not-so-lovely-but-very-practical curtains all throughout the house. I hate them. I've painted every room in the house and have yet to replace the curtains because I CAN'T FIND ANY TO MATCH THE PAINT! Plus, the ugly ones are very high quality and I don't want to just throw up any old shabby curtain I find at Target, although I have bought many a shabby-Target curtain only to take them back later. So, having said that, you now understand how anal I've been about the one, huge window in the baby room. It had to be PERFECT! I wanted to tear down the old curtains and sheers and put up some clean blinds and beautiful curtains. In my head, it was all planned out, and last night - thanks to Aunt Dar and Sylvain - it actually happened!!

I did all the measuring and purchasing of blinds and hardware, which included three trips to Lowe's and numerous returns to Target and World Market before I was finally satisfied. Last night I had all of my ducks in a row, so my wonderful husband spent hours hanging the blinds and curtains for me. He had to go down to the basement at one point and cut three small wooden blocks to mount behind the curtain rod brackets because they didn't stick out far enough thanks to our wonky window frames, and heaven forbid I go out and buy ONE MORE curtain rod that might work better. I was done buying curtain rods. This was the only possible one I could ever want in that room and he just had to make it work - so he did. Because he's crafty, and he loves me....or he loves not getting his head ripped off when I go hysterical over stupid curtains. Helllooo pregnancy hormones! Makes perfect sense to me.

So anyway, without further ado, I would like to present you with, what I beleive to be, the cutest baby room window in all the land. I'm telling you, brace yourself. It's truly the cutest. After you see it you're going to want to spend all of your time at my house rocking my baby to sleep. But you can't. Because she's mine. And I live here. Ha! Too bad for you.

Look at those tabs and those bows! And the brown and pink goes so well with the green and white stripes, don't you think? I'm in love. With curtains and a wall. Weird how that works.

And there are the lovely blinds and chair rail underneath. If you look close enough you can see the wooden blocks behind the brackets. I'll eventually paint those green to match the walls, but for now just pretend they're not there, okay? Keep your eyes on the curtains, people.

And here is my complete little rock-a-bye baby corner. I love it. The white blanket was a shower gift and it is one of many fuzzy, fluffy, snuggly, oh-my-gosh-I-want-to-rub-it-all-over-my-body blankets that I received last weekend. It's the only white one, though, and I think it's just precious.
So there you have it folks. Don't be jealous. If you ask very nicely, I MIGHT let you come over and rock my baby. Or just come hang out in her room. One thing's for sure, I'll be spending lots of time in there, so I'm happy it's all turning out so well. Last on our list - hanging pictures and washing bed linens and baby girl clothes. Then we'll be............"ready!" (As if, right?)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Power Showers

Well, it was quite a weekend up in Northern Kentucky. I had two (count 'em TWO!) showers planned - one for Saturday and one for Sunday. I decided on these dates a long time ago for two reasons: 1. I would only have to make one trip up there, and 2. I wouldn't take two weekends away from my National Board work. However, because of the impending blizzard and hazardous driving conditions on Saturday, my Aunt Dar moved her shower to Sunday night, which meant I had two showers in ONE DAY! It was fantastic. I don't have a lot of pictures, but I'll do my best to describe the wonderfulness of my shower-filled baby extravanganza!

My stepmom, Sally, threw a beautiful shower at her house early in the afternoon. The dining room table was beautiful (wish I had a pic!) and the food was delicious! She had my old Puff-a-lump stuffed animal sitting on the table, which was perfect, because he was PINK as were all the other decorations. Here's the cute punch bowl and M&M counting jar.

I should not have had that cup of punch before lunch, because my blood sugar was too high afterward to eat a piece of cake. Don't worry, though, I took a piece home with me and ate it when my numbers went down. And, surprisingly, they stayed down all day! Hooray! Speaking of cake, here's the prettiest cake I've ever seen:

...and it tasted really good, too! I almost forgot to mention that between lunch and cake we did the best shower activity of them all - presents!! It felt like the presents just kept on coming! Every time I turned around to grab another one I thought, "Surely this is the last one," but it never, ever was! We got lots of adorable clothes, fluffy blankets, our pack-n-play, our lamp, a stocking that matches the ones Sylvain and I already have, an adorable handmade pillow from my cousin and lots of other goodies that I can't remember at the moment. Tons of stuff. Tons.

Then, Mom and I headed back to her house to unload those gifts into my car and we took off to the NEXT shower at my Aunt Dar's house. This one was equally beautiful and every bit as nice as the first one! My cousin Carrie made everyone play "Baby Project Runway" as the first game. She dumped a pile of fabric and accessories on the floor, passed out glue guns, glue and pins, then instructed everyone to work together in teams to design a baby outfit and I had to pick the winners! It was hard. There were lots of laughs and some surprisingly impressive outfits. I think Mom and Lori won, and Aunt Sherry came in second. I should have picked Abby's outfit, though, because she's a kid and she worked really hard on hers. Oh well.

The decorations at the second shower were fantastic! Flowers everywhere, everything drenched in pink. It was just lovely! The cake was super cute, too. It was cheesecake covered in frosting and I almost cried when I watched everyone else eat it.

Dar gave me the leftovers, though, and I had a small piece on Monday night before bed. It was every bit as delicious as I thought it would be. Now I have to take the rest to school and make the teachers eat it, which shouldn't be a problem!

Oh, and guess what? This shower had presents, too!! Tons of them! We got more cute clothes, our bottle sterilizer and drying rack, our humidifier, more fluffy blankets, plenty of books, diapers and other goodies that I can't remember at the moment. After this trip, my car was sufficiently packed to the brim. We could not have fit another gift in the trunk or the back seat if we tried. It was fantastic!

So, overall we made a haul at the Power Showers! I made Sylvain come with me to NKY because I was too nervous to drive up there by myself, which means he spent all afternoon sitting at Mom's house watching TV and all evening at Game Works playing pinball by himself. What a trooper. He officially wins the husband of the year award - again.

Thank you to everyone who came to the showers! It was so nice to see some family and friends that I haven't seen in a long, long time. I realized about halfway through the first shower that this baby is so blessed to have all of these people who already love and care for her, and they haven't even met her yet! As I unpacked all of her things into her room, I got really excited about finally getting to meet her myself and bring her home to all of her treasures. I have no doubt that we'll have the best dressed, most snuggable baby in the whole, wide world!

Everything is ready to go, so as Grandma Neltner would say..."All we need now is a baby!"

Friday, February 5, 2010

On How to Be Lovely

"I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that loving is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles." ~Audrey Hepburn

As the soon-to-be mother of a girl and a life-long Audrey Hepburn fan, I just melted when I found this little gem of a quote today. I used to hate the primping and the pink-ness of being a girl, but in the last few years, I've really come to appreciate these fine girlish things and now I know why! With two showers coming up this weekend, I get to take my little girl and hang out with other girls, all of whom I love and adore. I'm ready to be pinked out, but more importantly, I'm ready to celebrate our little, happy, pretty miracle-on-the-way!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Look at My Babies!!

Here is the news segment, filmed a couple weeks ago, about our Pennies for Peace Program! Today we are top story number 7 and part of the "Hot Topics" section, but if you go to the "Education" link, you can find it under "School Cribs." As much as I want all of my blogging friends to go watch the segment, I want even MORE for all of you to go there and VOTE FOR OUR SCHOOL as your favorite School Cribs! You can vote once a day per computer for the whole month of February and it takes all of 30 seconds. PLEASE go vote for us! There are some schools that haven't even aired yet and they have over 100 votes. Most of our kids don't have computers at home, so, while other schools can rely on families to get the job done, we have to reach out to anyone and everyone we know with access to the internet. Help make our school the best, people! Come on!

My kids worked so hard on the program and we only had about one and a half minutes to show all they've been doing around the school. So not cool, WLKY! SO NOT COOL! Alas, here they are - three girls from my class who have marvelous speaking voices (but are totally and completely nervous, bless their hearts), and the rest of my class behind them, plus one of my students walking the halls and collecting pennies. They don't have the footage of one of my boys doing the "teaser" right before the commercial break prior to our segment. He exclaimed, with an ear to ear grin, "HI! My name is I____ and I'm a student at Engelhard Elementary! Stay tuned to find out why our school is the BEST!" It was adorable. I've never been more proud of my students in my life!

Our penny drive is over and we're waiting to find out how much we've collected, but these kids put their hearts and souls into this project and I couldn't be more thrilled with the outcome, no matter how much money we have or how many votes we get. The point is, these kids learned how to help other kids halfway around the world. It might now show in the video, but they know exactly where this money is going and exactly why they collected it. Their enthusiasm for the project gives me goosebumps. I love teaching fourth grade!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hip Hip Hooray!

We went to the doctor today to find out that all is well with the baby girl. I don't know exactly what I was expecting. I think something along the lines of this...

When we arrive at the office, they slap a giant sticker on my forehead that says "THIS LADY HAS GESTATIONAL DIABETES!! MAKE WAY!!" Then they weigh me and all the nurses murmur to each other about how fat and unhealthy I am. They ask me about my blood sugar numbers and I show them my records, then they all gasp in horror and run off to find the nearest doctor with an insulin needle. No one will let me even look at the midwife, because clearly I'm in need of a much more serious doctor, and you know what, while they're at it, they're just going to cut me open right there in the office and take this poor, forsaken baby OUT...just to be safe.

So, that's NOT what happened at all! It turns out I've only gained one pound in the last three weeks (gee, I wonder why), but my belly has grown exactly the number of inches it's supposed to have grown, which means the baby is exactly the size she's supposed to be. When I told them about the three times my blood sugar was high, they almost laughed at me. Apparently I consider high to be, oh...I don't know...ANY points above where they told me to be (i.e. 121 is too high if you're supposed to be at 120)! Turns out, this is not the case, especially since I was able to tell them exactly why it was high. I was very apologetic and I promised I would try to figure out what I'm really supposed to be eating (I discovered that an apple for lunch makes my numbers higher than strawberries - now I know!) and the nurse said, "Honey, by the time you figure it out you'll have already delivered that baby. Don't worry."

Phew! So it looks like I won't have to go on insulin (thank GOD) and I won't have to see the doctor every week quite yet. I'm still good with my bi-weekly appointments for a while. All is well in the world of diet and finger stabbing. I might even have a small bite of cake at my shower this weekend...who knows?!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Girl's Got Moves!

I made sure that when I left school tonight I didn't bring any work home with me so that I could have an entire evening dedicated to me and baby girl. Now that we're getting closer to "go time," I'm starting to lay off the work and take it easy as much as possible, for fear of going into labor too early. And for me, "too early" means one minute before my due date! If it were up to me, I'd just stay pregnant forever because I love it and I know she's safe and sound in there, so really, why mess with success? In fact, I wouldn't even mind giving up cupcakes forever if it meant I knew that she'd always be happy and healthy and nothing could ever, ever hurt or upset her. That would be soooo worth it!

Anyway, I'm so glad I didn't lug home all that work that's been piling on my desk because tonight I did all kinds of relaxing baby-related things. First the little girl and I did some yoga. I love my new yoga video - not too hard and not too wussy either. Lots of squats and strength poses. Really good stuff! Then we ate dinner and read a book on the couch for a while. Next, we took a bath, which turned out to be the greatest bath of all time. Usually I read in the tub, but tonight I just laid there and stared at my belly. This was the first time I actually watched her move! It was incredible! My belly would bulge and distort like there was an alien inside! She's definitely hanging out on the right side, but every once in a while she'd kick over on the left and it would balloon out to the side then twitch back. After a while she was really getting rowdy and I just sat there and laughed. It was almost too weird to watch, but I couldn't stop! I kept thinking There's a tiny person inside of me...and she's MOVING! Amazing.

I also kept thinking This is fun and all, but I can't wait to see her face (and her toes...and her knees...), I bet she looks like her daddy! I guess I don't want to be pregnant forever. Having a kid around sounds like a lot more fun!