Saturday, September 29, 2007

It's a GIRL!

Kinda creepy...but she's smiling or maybe just practicing swallowing.
Here is a foot. I am starting to feel this cute like thing often now.
Isn't she cute? :) Maybe praying or sucking her thumb?

The ultrasound went well. Both of us look really healthy.
She almost ruined our party by hiding behind my belly button. It was like a censor ball.
But in the end we got her to move.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Gender Release Party

I think we've contacted everyone we know in Bellingham. But in case someone will be in Bellingham tonight that we are not aware of or in case anyone feels like making a trip to Bellingham this weekend or for all of you that like a good laugh on a Friday, the following is our invitation for the Sex Party we are throwing tonight.

P.S. If you have any funny stories related to this invitation, please post them under comments. We will be adding ours soon.

P.P.S. The creativity in the invitation is all Brian's! But we need to credit my sister Allison for the original idea.

P.P.P.S. For those of you that will not be about to make the party, I will be posting pictures from our ultrasound and the offical blog announcement tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


My sister has been knitting since she was really little. In high school, I worked at an espresso bar. Next door there was a yarn shop. Allison, my sister, would come to work with me and knit with the elderly ladies that ran the shop. As she has grow older she has kept the habit and made it a tradition to make a baby blanket for friends and family.

A few weeks ago, I started teasing her about the blanket she would be making for us (has she started, what color will it be, etc.). Smiling, she responded "How do you know that I'm making you a blanket?"

A week ago Sunday, my dad's sisters threw us our first baby shower since my Aunt Tami and Grandma were here from Georgia and Florida. We had brunch, then opened presents and played one shower game in the lobby of a hotel on the Seattle waterfront.

We opened Alli's present first, and were very surprised! Inside was the cutest, softest baby sweater and felted shoes you have ever seen! I've attached a picture but if you ever come over you need to feel it!

My mom pretended it was her baby grandchild and cuddled for quite some time.

My family blessed us with so many cute baby clothes, soft blankets, and stuffed animals. Grandma continued her tradition of buying the first high chair for each family.We are really excited about all of its features.

Almost everything was in neutral colors since we don't know whether the baby is a boy or a girl yet. All the yellows, tans, and greens mean that we won't have a closet full of blue or pink.

We moved everything in to the nursery this week. It is fun and seems strange at the same time to have all of this baby stuff in our house.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I've been waiting for weeks to be able to feel the baby move. Since I am not feeling sick any more it would be nice to have some reassurance that my baby is still alive and well. It would provide some proof that the baby is growing like he or she is supposed to be doing and I am not just getting fatter for not reason.

The nurse asked me at my last appointment at the end of August if I had felt it yet, but I had to say I didn't think so. Everything I've read has said that you start to feel the baby between 16 and 20 weeks, usually toward the end of that window for your first. I was only 15 weeks then, so I didn't worry. But as time went on, I started to pay more and more attention to every little feeling. I have heard it described as feeling like hiccups, gas, butterflies, fluttering...all of which didn't really help me know what I should be expecting.

Almost every mom has told me that feeling the baby move is what they miss most about pregnancy. Some gave me advice to help me feel it for the first time. I tried their different techniques, but nothing. Then last night in bed I did feel this kind of flutter. It was very short, but different than anything I've felt so far. I thought to myself "Maybe, but maybe I am just wishing it so hard I imagined it." Then today while taking attendance 5th period I felt it again. So I'm thinking my time has finally arrived.

Bella Bands - Five Star Rating

Just before school started my normal clothes started to get a bit uncomfortable. I think it was my friend Emily that tipped me off to this great product called a Bella Band. It is a band of spandex that allows you to transition more easily in between your normal clothes and your pregnancy clothes. I got two, one black and one brown with lace. They look like the bottom of a camisole showing below your shirt, which is currently in fashion. Boy, were they life savers! Today was the first day I didn't have to wear one to hold my maternity pants up. :)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

August Pictures 1 - Grandparents' 50th Anniversary

The great chef Louie prepares our scrumptious food.
He did have many sous chef though. This is my cousin Sam.
Grandma and Grandpa's long time friends, Guy and Joy joined the party! Joy and Grandpa went to kindergarten together, and Guy and Grandpa were good friends in high school. We had a lot of fun getting to know them and learn a lot from them!
Uncle Mike created a trivia game. This is team La Tigre. They lost, but were stylish and had a good cheer.
G.G. and Orville enjoyed watching all the games. It was great to see them again!
Grandma and Grandpa Robbins...still in love after 50 years!
Brian and Shannon Rush...still in love after 5 years and looking forward to the next 50!
My mom's family: Aunt Becky, Grandma, Uncle Mike, Grandpa, and Mom.
My family: Me, Brian, my sister Alli, Mom, my brother Jeremy, and Dad.
Jeremy and his girlfriend, Lauren - They flew in from Hawaii for the event. It was great to get to know Lauren and celebrate Jer's birthday with him.
The whole gang!

August Pictures 2 - Camping at Lake Osoyoos

Sitting around the best campsite in the park. Notice the sweet RV in the background!Keely scheming on the blanket...maybe another diaper blowout on the way home...

Playing on the beach...

Keely's first swim...a little cold.
Keely enjoys topless sunbathing much better!
Yummy tinfoil dinners!
When we arrived home, Keely got to supervise the unpacking from her cool new Bumbo seat.

August Pictures 3 - Random

Lynden Fair - Demolition Derby - Pre-show...They are trying to pop the balloons on the drivers heads while keeping their balloon intact and staying within the track. Whoever thought this up is crazy.
They lined up and then started smashing each other!
When they couldn't drive anymore they put up the orange flag. Unfortunately, they still got hit. One car caught on fire twice.
Trudy is playing frisbee at our campsite on our anniversary. She spent the entire time swimming and playing fetch. We enjoyed tin foil dinners and looking at baby names. Unfortunately our camera battery died about an hour into the trip.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Bellingham beats cross town rival

Coach Brian Rush leads his JV volleyball team to a victory Thursdsay night over rival high school, Squalicum. In the short season Coach Rush has already seen an improvement in the skill and attitude of some of his players. Being the first win of the season, spirits were high at the end of the night. The team looks forward to travelling to Everett to compete in a tournament this weekend. (Coach Rush is not looking forward to driving a van full of teenage girls at 6:30 am)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Hygiene Poll

A while ago a bunch of our friends got into a surprisingly heated debate about hygiene rituals.

It's time to settle it once and for all.

(hint: the answer is stringy and usually white)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Foster dog...almost

We got a call, recently, asking if we would be willing to foster Otis's biological sister, Annie. When his litter was found she had been hit by a car and has been spending the last few months recovering. Her jaw was broken and her skull cracked. She is on the mend, but missed out on important socialization with other dogs. The Alternative Humane Society wanted to place her in a home with another puppy her age and an older dog that could help her socialize before she was adopted. They called us first because they know we take good care of our dogs and we had her brother. We agreed, but the family that was adopting her didn't want to wait and promised to socialize her. Brian and I were disappointed. We thought it would be fun to have Annie for a little while and see how she and Otis interacted. I know, three dogs...but Brian actually wanted us to have three dogs permanently when we adopted Otis. We were really glad to learn that Annie was not the one we passed on and that she didn't get hit by a car when she could have been living with us. Otis was a little bummed too, but he and Annie do still get to play together at doggie daycare on Fridays. The staff swears they remember each other.

Don't they look similar? Otis is just about 10 pounds heavier and his ears don't stay up any more. Trudy likes her brother now (though she doesn't like to admit it), but she was not looking forward to having another puppy to terrorize her.

Friday, September 7, 2007

"High school is hard...

smiling shouldn't have to be." That's what a local dentist has advertised on a huge billboard outside my school. It has irritated many of my colleagues, because we work so hard to get kids to be positive about their academics.

But this week I was reminded that high schoolers are really mean, and maybe that sign is not talking about academics. Even in my incredibly healthy school, that prides itself on how all people are respected, its almost non-existent number of fights, etc., high schoolers can be just plain mean. Ok, not all high schoolers. But I remember hating high school (some times I wonder why I choose a career that involved going back to the place I could wait to get out of...). I have students that have thrown up in the bathroom several times this week, because they are nervous for high school. Lunch time creates so much anxiety as students, wide-eyed, try to figure out where to sit.

On the first day I overheard the following conversation:
Girl 1: Did you see so-and-so's jacket? (name removed)
Girl 2 and Boy: Yeah. (laughter)
Boy: Who would be jealous of that?! (more laughter)

It struck me. The point was to make other people jealous. They must see this modeled at home. You know, keep up with the Joneses.

I shared this story with my friend and she shared a similar story about two girls that were gossiping in the mother-baby cry room at her church during the service. They didn't stop when she came in, even when she started singing along, and they weren't whispering.

I've been thinking about this all week. Maybe they do see it at home, but really they see it all around them. High schoolers are just less subtle. Because they are still learning; learning to make it sound better, to justify, to pick appropriate times (more secretive).

My job has always been about more than teaching math. Sometimes I even hate telling people that I am a math teacher, because that immediately puts me in a box and people flash to their own usually negative experiences with math.

I am a teacher. I am there to teach students to think and learn, and I just happen to spend most of the time using mathematics to do that. Lately though I've been wondering "What else am I teaching them?" and "Is it what I want the next generation learning?"

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Jott Blog Post

Well, I don't know how practical it is for my everyday blogging purposes, but it is pretty stinking amazing. I am writing this post without touching a keyboard. I am simply speaking into my cell phone. I am singing! Pretty cool! You can use this service Jott to write yourself e-mails too or take foot notes or you can blog with it. Crazy.
Click here to listen

Powered by - Try it at 1 (866) JOTT123 -

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I love September!

For me, September represents fresh starts, new beginnings. It is the time of year I do my New Year's resolutions. There is an excitement in the air as kids prepare to go back to school. The air is crisp and the world full of color. I love how it can be rainy in the morning, but then we can have a beautiful (and warm!) evening. September in the NW is a little bit of everything.

This year my New Year's resolution is to pray before I go to school every morning. So far so good. This year is going to be filled with challenges, personally and professionally. I would like to head into each day focused on what is important.

I will be teaching two classes this year with students on nearly opposite ends of the spectrum. One class is primarily made up of students that have had little success in school, especially in math. For the most part, their life outside of school is pretty hard. The other class, Algebra 2, is primarily students that are trying to prepare for education beyond high school, since this math class is now an elective. The rest of my day is spent in a professional development role supporting teachers in our building and planning various learning opportunities for teachers. I think it will be a good year.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Your Grandma takes 2nd!

We ended a great outdoor soccer season tonight, finishing 2nd out of 10 teams with a record of 7-1-1. I say we, but really I was only allowed to play a few games. Since mid-July I have been sidelined, cheering and taking pictures, and occasionally keeping one of Your Grandma's children from running on the field. We celebrated after the game at a BBQ in the dark on the Eltriches great deck! Sunday Your Grandma will split into two teams for indoor soccer: Your Grandma will remain in division 4 and My Uncle Doug (formally named Your Great Aunt) will take on Division 3. It should be a pretty exciting season.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Where did August go???

This has been a whirlwind month! Sorry for our lack of updates. Now that school is starting, we should be back on a better routine. I will attach pictures soon, but for now here is how we rushed through August.

August 1 - 5th - Brian and I enjoyed being back together, getting "settled" at home, and in between working on a final paper Brian read Harry Potter 7 aloud.

August 6th - Brian was able to attend his first OB appointment with me. No ultrasound, but we did get to hear the baby's heart beat. Everything was looking good except the doctor wanted me to gain 5 pounds as soon as possible and see a thyroid specialist. Then Brian and I drove all day and into the night to Idaho.

August 7th - 9th - We spent a couple of days with my extended family for my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary celebration. My brother and his girlfriend were able to come from Hawaii. It was great to see them and celebrate Jeremy's birthday in person. My dad made some amazing food and I was able to play sous chef. Brian played golf for the first time since he was a kid. Lots of fun family memories.

August 10th - We drove back on the 9th, which was our 5th anniversary, but decided to celebrate on the 10th. We celebrate using the traditional gifts for anniversary and this year's theme was wood. Brian gave me a frame with our wedding picture in it so we could have one up before the baby is born. I gave him some money for some wood for the art storage he has been wanting to build. Then we camped with our dogs at South Cove at Camp Firwood, the summer camp where we met.

August 11th - Brian had his 10-year CIT reunion at Camp Firwood. It was fun to meet people I have only heard about and for them to catch up. Some had not been back to Firwood since they were CITs.

August 10th - 14th - These days were filled with appointments, unpacking, laundry, the Lynden Fair, soccer, job applications and repacking.

August 15th - 18th - We headed to Lake Osoyoos with our good friends Eric and Emily (and of course Keely) Frazier and Mike Couto. Eric borrowed his mom's RV so we could all ride together. We had great weather and lots of fun! One last hurrah! On our way out of town, Brian turned in his application, had a phone interview and was offered the job as Bellingham High's JV Volleyball coach.

August 19th - 24th - Brian and I spent long days at BHS; he was in volleyball tryouts and I leading math curriculum training and getting ready for the school year.

August 25th - 26th - At my family's request, we headed to Seattle to start our baby registry. We spent 4 hours as Babies R Us trying to figure out what half of the stuff was and what we might need for our little one. Then, exhausted, we headed to my sister, Allison's house near SPU for the night. The next day, Brian and I fit in a visit to the Henry Art Gallery before heading to Everett for a quick visit with my parents. My mom took me to a spa for a massage for my birthday present. It was such perfect timing after a long month and before the start of school.

August 27th - 31st - More long days at BHS for both of us. Brian is now building his team, getting ready for a jamboree on Wednesday. I spent my time in meetings and organizing my classroom. We had another doctor's appointment this week. The heart beat is still good and my weight is where it should be. I am slowly starting to show, which is exciting, and my energy level is up. Just in time for school!

If you are still reading, you are dedicated! Thanks for making it through the story of our month. Thanks for those of you that bugged me for an update. Keeping up this blog is refreshing for me, like journaling. But it is great to hear from any of you. So if you haven't updated us for awhile, it's your turn!