Thursday, July 19, 2012

"That's Not My Booger" and Other Family-Related Stories

Hi. It's, um, been awhile... Again, I'm not sure why I have fallen off the blogging wagon. I spend a moderate (ridiculous) amount of time on the Interwebs. I blame my phone, my beautiful iPhone. I can have the internet in my hands any time I want, but the little bugger is not conducive to typing. Yes, I still have a laptop, but it's under the couch most of the time, and that's just.too.far.away.

So I'm going to share some of the haps since January. Not all of them, mind you, since that would be oh-so-exciting. NOT.

This month's activities inspired this post's title (actually, I planned on blogging the story in January, but I got busy...oh, look there's something sparkly...)

And we're back.

 My sister and I see each other at least once a month. It's acceptable, but not nearly enough time to spend with my best friend. And we tend to spend time together at holidays and birthdays, which typically involves like 30 people. And lots of food. And ample dangerous objects for our children to harm themselves with. So when we do spend time alone together, we tend to go overboard, or as my brother-in-law put it, we "Hay-lery" it. This tends to end in the spins and massive headaches. Haley and I are thinkers, so we decided to be the captains of our own destinies and choose to spend more time together (and less time hurling), so we planned on meeting up more often and creating a "Sisters'" weekend in January. January tends to be pretty quiet, so it seemed ideal. This year we planned a trip to Napa, where I have visited often but never stayed. It's quite expensive, so to say our "hotel" was nice means that I don't think it was a recent crime scene. We met up on Friday evening, after I crawled on the 80 from Elk Grove. Haley and I went out that night and had a bit of fun. We did pace ourselves, but I will admit to feeling a little spinny the next morning. Haley got up first and took a shower. Upon exiting the shower, she informed me, "I just want to let you know that when you take a shower, that's not my booger."

Nice. Someone left us a present. And there it stayed the whole weekend. Lovely.


This month was dedicated to our new, very large t.v. My husband celebrated his 35th birthday, and all he wanted was a very large t.v. This caused me anxiety...mostly because I'm lazy and did not want to take down our gargantuan entertainment center, figure out what t.v. he wanted, and install the dang thing. So I was overjoyed when he said that he was fine getting it together. Whew! So we bought the t.v., blu-ray player (which has a netflix button!), and entertainment stand on Saturday. Sadly, Justin had to wait to set up his present because the month was February, so that means every weekend is a birthday celebration. We headed to the Bay for my mom's birthday. That evening we returned home, and Justin stayed up all night setting up the t.v. Seriously, I think he fell asleep on the floor. I was a big t.v. naysayer for many years, but I have to say I enjoy it, especially the internet-connected Blu-Ray. That thing is awesome! It's got Netflix and Pandora (plus a ton of other things I have yet to explore) right at your finger tips. Love it!


This month we celebrated my son's first birthday. As readers will know, birthday parties in my family are a big deal. Luckily, my aunt and uncle let me use the church for El's birthday. As I assumed it would be, the weather was a complete b. It was gorgeous the week's before his birthday and then nasty for his party. There's nothing I like more than planning little kids' parties. First, the food is awesome: cheesy puffs and candy, what's not to like? Second, I love picking the theme. Em and I picked dinosaurs for El's first party. What? The kids both love dinosaurs. I got party hats, goody bags, and a cake with dinosaurs on it. The only thing I didn't think through--blue frosting. The cake had blue frosting, so all of our pictures are of kids with blue mouths. Sigh...


 I ushered in my 33rd year with a bang. No, I'm lying. I ushered it in with more than a few swear words to be honest. Yes, I got a spring break, but I spent most of it writing evaluations. Ugh. Then, when I got back to school, I was in charge of state testing, which basically entailed me spending most of my time in a little conference room with 1,500 tests. When I wasn't in the conference room, I spent my time carting boxes around campus. So fun. My actually birthday was the first day of testing. And it poured. And we dropped a box. And tests got wet. Shoot me. To say that I was happy to see April behind me is not just an understatement, it's the gawd-damn truth! May I don't remember a single thing that happened in May. I blame testing. Testing is pretty much my catch-all scapegoat for everything. The economy's in the toilet? Testing! Global warming? Testing! The Kardashians are still popular? Testing! (I could make the connection...really.)

The Summer

Summer is a lovely time for me, but I have many friends who are not educators, so I will not spend too much time gloating. Yes, I "worked" most of June, but not at nearly the same pace (read Kentucky Derby speed) that I normally do. My work in June consisted of finishing large projects, getting bored during said large projects, and bugging the crap out of my co-workers. Bliss. The Harrell-Moecklis did take time to travel this summer. All four of us made our way out to Colorado for the Harrell family reunion, which was lots of fun. I love that my kids are at the age where all it takes to entertain them are rocks and water. Seriously, they love that shit. It was wonderful to see the extended Harrell family and re-connect with my California family. Yes, we had to travel hundreds of miles to spend quality time with people who live in our own state. :)

The summer is winding down, and I'm trying to finish up my established projects: workout, order and hang pictures of my second child (please ignore that he is over a year old), and attack my closet. I do the last one every summer. I hate it, but I feel so much better when it's over. That's what I keep telling myself...

Til next time. :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Time is a B


I would give anything for an extra five hours a day. I know that this is a creative thought. My apologies. I would have come up with something more clever, but...


I say that phrase so much that I bore myself.

I know that my plight is not unique, that all working mothers, heck, all parents, face this issue. But lately I am feeling ready to implode at any given moment.

Wednesday was particularly bad.

It'll all started two weeks ago when Justin told me he had a nighttime commitment at work. We were still in lazy, fantastic winter break dream world, so I didn't think much of it. Then I looked at my calendar...Em's first soccer class.


Em's class is at six, which deep-down I knew when I signed up for it was a bad idea, but it's only four classes so I thought we could at least try it. The issue is that Eliot is still going down for the count pretty early. He eats at 5:30, gets his bath, and is in bed by 7. So taking him to the class equated to flirting with disaster. Public disaster.

But I really had no choice, so I did it.

Wednesday started off with the usual rush to get the kids ready and out of the door by 6:45. At work, we had a baby shower for a friend, which was a fun start to the day. I can't really tell you what else happened. It was pretty much the usual madhouse. I told myself that I needed to leave work by 4:30 to get soccer clothes for Em, pick up the kids, get her something to eat, and get her to class by six.

I left work at 5.


This covers the hour between five and six, in which I was dangerously close to having a stroke/complete meltdown ala 3-year old/hair-eating session:

Pick up kids. Rush both into the car. Get Eliot into his new, not baby-bucket car seat (oh I miss that thing...). Drive to Target. Get soccer clothes, cat food, hair spray, all while speeding through the store, trying to avoid the SUPER SLOW PEOPLE who go to Target after work and trying to prevent my son from SUCKING ON THE CART BABY STRAP (oh, baby bucket, where are you now???) Change Em into soccer clothes in the bathroom of Target, while trying to prevent El from crawling on the floor (ICK).

The pants don't fit.

The mother-fing pants don't fit.

I try for 30 seconds (it's 5:30 at this point) to convince her that she can wear her jeans, to which she responds "EVERYONE WILL LOOK AT ME!!!"


So we go to the toddler boy section and get her boys pants. (Jeans aren't okay, but boy pants are?! Whatevs...)

We buy the pants, get her changed, and end up at the rec center at 5:55, driving behind the SLOWEST person ever.

We get the boy out of the seat, into the stroller; we get the diaper bag and mommy's purse and head to class.

The class is awesome. Em loves the class so much that all the sweating, silent swearing, panicking of the last hour is worth it. And I get totally cute video I can post to Facebook. (Yes, I am that person now.)

Then the class ends.

It's 6:45. A full hour and fifteen minutes after Eliot's typical dinner time.


So I get the kids in the car and head home. I feed Eliot and make Em's dinner. I bathe Eliot while she eats. I get Em's bath ready and do the nighttime ritual with Eliot. I get Em out of the bath, and we review her sight words.

At 8:30 Justin gets home and puts Em to bed.

At 8:30 I sit down.

At 8:30, I want to cry from exhaustion.

But I don't. Because it would be too tiring.

Don't get me wrong. I love my life. I love my work. It's perfect for me: always interesting, always exciting. I love my kids beyond belief.

The issue may be that I love everything too much. There's just too much to do. Always.

Luckily, I have days like today to counter balance those "Wednesdays" out there. This morning I took El to meet a friend for breakfast. I'm blogging right now while Em watches a movie, and I'll head into work for a little bit. I'm not bummed about that; I'll actually get some crap done.

Then I'll have a relaxing evening at home, which I am sure will entail some playing with Barbies, with some extracting god-knows-what from Eliot's mouth, and maybe some exercise.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Muffin Top Runneth Over

Brace yourselves. This is another blog about weight loss.

I cannot promise that this post will be a whole lot different than the probable 90,000 blogs about weight loss this month. But it comprises a lot of my energy right now, so here we go...

I had a baby almost 10 months ago. I was on a controlled diet. I got no candy. No potato chips. I had to watch my portions fanatically.

I gained sixty pounds.

I think.

I stopped looking when the scale reached 175.

I'm gonna blame it on water weight.

So after I had the baby (he was only 7 pounds...not sure about the other 53...), I gave myself a month to enjoy the things that I couldn't while pregnant. We're talking some real exciting stuff--cereal, lowfat ice cream, fruit. Go crazy.

Then I weighed myself to establish a starting point. I had 35 pounds to lose. Okay. I've done it before; I can do it again.

I started a moderate exercise program and watched what I ate. But with the exception of a couple pounds lost here and there, I've pretty much stayed the same. I think the most I lost was ten pounds (and honestly that was due to the flu...lovely weight loss plan, btw. No thank you.), and after the holidays, all the weight has returned.

It's time for me to face the facts.

No, my dryer did not shrink my clothes.

No, I am not just retaining water.

No, my scale is not broken.

I need to lose weight.


So I took the return to school as a return to health. While I do not necessarily make resolutions, I have decided to do a couple things. They are revolutionary.

1. Eat vegetables
2. Banning white wine from my house
3. Avoiding my boss's candy dish (It's more of a candy grand canyon...)
4. Trying to exercise

I did not do any of these things prior to winter break. Well, a couple of vegetables may have snuck in there but only because I'm responsible for 0% of the cooking in my home.

After week one, I'm pretty happy with myself. I brought veggies to work, and anytime I got "snacky", I avoided the candy canyon and ate vegetables. I can't say that I was entirely happy about it, but I dealt. I only exercised once, but I am willing to give myself some latitude on this front. Time is of the essence.

This weekend was the true test. I tend to go a little wacky with the extra calories, especially the liquid variety. To eliminate temptation, I gave up white wine for January. That stuff is crazy high in calories (but oh-so delicious.) I did have a beer on Friday and Saturday, but if I still seem to not be losing weight by next Friday, then I'll give that up too. The thing is that I can have just one beer; white wine...not so much.

So I'll keep you posted. We shall see...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 Wrap-Up

I'm not quite sure what has happened with me on the blogging front. Yes, I now have two kids and things here are CRAZY, but I still spend a fair amount of time on the good ole Internets.

But blog I have not.

Apparently, now I blog like Yoda. Whatevs.

So lots has happened since July. I've actually had several things I've wanted to blog about, but I can't seem to stay focused. Maybe ADHD comes with your second child.

Let me begin where we left off--July, specifically the end of July.

I decide to be super spontaneous in July and travel to Maryland. This was not as random as it sounds, as my sister and her husband spent most of the summer in Maryland. I'm not quite sure what came over me, but I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to travel to DC.

So Eliot, who was four months at the time, and I flew to Dulles Airport. The little guy was a super trooper and slept most of our red eye there. I did not. The most fun part of the trip was going to the bathroom. It was at some point in the middle of the night, and we hit a bad patch of turbulence. Eliot and I just hung out on the toilet until it was over. I'm really glad he can't remember this.

Once we actually got to Maryland, we had a great time. I haven't spent that much time with my sister in YEARS, and it was great to get to know my nephew better. We lugged the kids to a ton of really cool places--Capitol Hill, the White House, the Washington and Lincoln memorials, and the Smithsonian. It was amazing.

And hot, freaking hot. I'm a delicate California girl, and I have never experience humidity like that. Humid weather is particularly bad when you are hung over, as I discovered after an impromptu night-on-the-town with Haley. A new term has arisen from that experience, coined by my brother-in-law--"You're gonna Hay-lery it." It was fun, but we paid for it the next day.

After my trip to DC, it was back to work. Literally, the next day.

August was all about beginnings. I began my second year as a VP, but this time I was not pregnant. So.much.easier. Justin got his job back. Plus, this year he gets to teach AP English.

The biggest event was Emerson starting Kindergarten. To say I was nervous is a complete understatement. (It turns out some of my concerns are valid, but I will get to that later.)

There was some drama at first. Emerson got the teacher that I have been warned about, but I am real sensitive about not coming off like a blowhard administrator, so I didn't fight to get Em out of the class. I told myself to have an open mind.

Justin and I accompanied Emerson to her first day of school, did some silly activities, and got to know her teachers. I had some concerns, but it seemed that the teachers knew their stuff. Plus, Emerson is one of those kids who might not know she has a mean teacher. She can sort of just float about it all.

So Emerson started school. Sigh...

As September is every year, this year it was all about balance. Justin and I work wacky hours during the school year, and it can be exhausting. I think we struck a good balance this fall, but it was a lot of work.

First, Eliot started crawling at five months. The term crawling may be an exaggeration since it was more of a pulling himself around. But that little guy got around fast. This was a huge shock to his parents, who can be quite lazy about baby proofing. We didn't have to do it with Em because she didn't move until 11 months. Well, Eliot is bound and determined to give us a run for our money.

Second, Em's transition to Kindergarten was not as smooth as I hoped for. She seemed to like it okay, but preliminary assessments revealed that she didn't know everything she should. Her teachers reported that she got really frustrated very easily. Now, her mother also got frustrated because these reports were made to me only after I emailed the teachers to follow up on comments that Em made to me. For example, Em got put on time out, so I emailed to find out what happened. At that time, the teachers let me know that she was having trouble.

Which brings us to October...

October was all about Emerson. I started to feel a lot of anxiety about her school experience, which was heightened by the fact that her school is on a modified traditional schedule, so they do not have school from Thanksgiving to January 3rd. Ugh.

We had Em's first report card and parent teacher conference. I was a little shocked. I knew that she was not showing her teachers was she knows, but according to her teachers she is very behind. They marked the box on the report card that they may possibly retain her.

Not gonna happen.

So I got clearance from my boss to spend a day in the class room. And I did. Lucky for me, they did three art projects that day. And I was in charge of that one. Yikes.

Now, some kids would behave differently if they knew their parents were in the room. Mine...not so much. I know for a fact that she behaves exactly the same for me as she does for her teachers. This is not a positive thing by the way.

But I was super impressed by Emerson that day. She played well with others, participated fully, followed directions, and tried her best. And I got to spy and check out the other kids' work. Em is right smack dab in the middle of her class mates. So I felt better.

Kind of...

November and December
These two months are really a blur of long work days, holidays, and child care. Em ended school on November 18th, so we spent a lot of time working with her on her letters, numbers, words, and patience.

Thanksgiving we spent in Redding, and Christmas we spent at my mom's in Concord. I really enjoy having a son and having him experience everything with us. However, I do not enjoy the travel. After this holiday season, it has become clear that we need to rethink our holiday travel plans. It is simply too difficult to lug around two kids and all our crap to other people's houses. Justin and I are thinking of ways to make it a little easier. We still want to spend time with family, but we do need to streamline our holiday experiences. The idea of spending next Christmas in Disneyland has been discussed and I think that is a great idea--no present wrapping, no shopping, just fun.

Well, my brief quiet time is over. Eliot has woken up, and Emerson needs help finding something. I should probably consider taking a shower...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

If the Laundry Doesn't Kill You...

The dishes probably will.

I have been waging a war this week. A war against my house.

I'm seriously out-gunned.

I've always known that being a stay-at-home mom is not really the job for me. It's not that I don't like being at home with my children; it's just that the job never ends.


For the most part, I enjoy working. I'm a highly social person, and as much as I rock at making peanut butter and jelly (I really do excel at food for the five-year old set), and as much as it THRILLS me to talk about ballet, and glitter, and unicorns all day (it does actually, but it is nice to break it up with a little non-glitter chatter), I can't help but feel a bit isolated at home.

Now, the balance part is not easy. I did feel envious towards the moms who were able to drop their kids off at pre-school every day and then head off to the gym. But then I would remember that they do it EVERY DAY and they can probably predict what their days will look like. I cannot predict my day, and I love that about my job. One day can be all about discussing data and the next can be about finding which stinker spray-painted a wee-wee in the boys' bathroom. (That's my professional life in a nut-shell--data and wee wees.) But as much as I love my job, I do feel pangs at how much I miss. I don't take Em to school, and I probably won't be the one to help her with most of her homework. (That's probably not a TERRIBLE thing...)

But every so often I am given the opportunity to remember how much I like working outside my home as I take on the temporary role of "stay-at-home" mom.

Like this week for example.

It was a little on the rough side.

First, there was the dishes, the non-stop dishes. Load the dishwasher, unload the dishwasher...repeat five time. I swear my forks and knives were copulating.

Then, there were the Barbies. And the princess dolls. And the markers. And the dress-up clothes. I endeavored hard to keep all of Em's stuff in her room, but it was like fighting the ocean. A very pink ocean.

But the true dragon in the house was (heck, still is) the laundry.

I cannot express the depth of my hatred towards laundry. It was pretty bad before Eliot was born, but now it is the true lord of our house.

And as a lord, laundry is an a-hole.

As I mentioned, prior to baby number 2, we Moeckli's already generated a sizable pile of dirty clothes. With Eliot, it's just plain ridiculous. God love him, but the boy drools like an old man with a bad Scotch habit and ill-fitting dentures. So pretty much every diaper, we change onesies. Add that to the baby blankets, towels, and swaddles, and it's just overwhelming.

This week I felt like I never sat down, I never stopped, and I never got anything done. I just don't know how people do it. True, my work at school is never done, but every day I get to leave. Yes, it may be at 9, but I do eventually go home.

So at the conclusion of this week, I feel a renewed gratitude for my life. I know when the school year starts that it will be a flurry of activity, and I will be exhausted by the end of most (all) days.

But at least I get to go to a place where I don't hear the washing machine. :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Running (does not) Give You Energy

It has been over two years since the last time I ran.

And it shows.

Now I have several good reasons for not running. They are as follows:
-Grad program
-100 degree weather (um, no thank you)
-Became an administrator
-Got pregnant

I also have several not-so-great reasons for running. They are not worth a list, but most of them involve my desire to sleep and/or remain on my ass.

I have been a "runner" for a significant chunk of my 32 years. I first started (was forced to start rather) at the tender age of 14. I lied about my mile time (ru-roh), and I think my dad thought that my running would be a character building exercise. I just don't think he realized how hard it would be to get me to run. Eventually, he won, but there were tears involved (mostly mine...just kidding...I think...)

Running took a back burner in college since I was so busy, you know, studying. (More like I was busy having a love affair with ranch dressing and fried chicken.)

25 pounds later (who ever said "Freshmen 15" can bite me), I decided it might be time to try running again. So I plugged along for about a year and eventually lost weight and even discovered that I, ack, liked to run.

Throughout college, off and on, I ran. I would occasionally take a break and try something new like hip-hop aerobic classes or swimming, but I would always come back to running. It's a relatively cheap form of exercise and you can do it pretty much anywhere.

Then I had a baby.

I tried to get back into running after having Emerson, but it never quite felt the same. I found I could run for longer periods of time, but I had a hard time getting myself motivated to run faster. So when I got serious about losing weight, I focused on my diet and weight training. Running fell by the wayside.

Then I had a second baby.

And I never have a second to myself. Seriously, if I am not fixing a ponytail, discussing Barbie, or searching for GD shoes, I'm changing a diaper, making a bottle, or folding an enormous pile of laundry. Then, Justin and the cats'll get in the mix and want some attention too.

Running has become an appealing option.

Or, at least it seemed to be. Until I went out for my first "run" yesterday. Then I remembered.

Running sucks.

Now, I know I just had a baby (well, "just" might be stretching it a bit...he is almost four months old...shhhhh.) But I'm not actually in terrible shape. Yes, I still have 30 pounds to lose, but I have been exercising regularly for the past month. I can do a ton (read 10) of push-ups and jumping jacks are no sweat (actually, they are a lot of sweat, but at least I live through them.)

That's the thing about running. No matter how strong or in-shape you are, running will literally kick your ass. Because here's the essential truth about running--you are fighting gravity with every step.

And gravity always wins. Always.

So yesterday, I headed out on the creek path by our house and went for a low-key 30 minute run/jog/ritual rite of humiliation.

As I was plodding along, I thought of a couple truths about running, nuggets of wisdom (ha!).

Running "Truths"
-The first day back to running always seems like a good idea. It is not. It will be terrible
-The first run will eventually be over. Thank gawd.
-There will always be something for one to obsess over while running: a droopy bra strap, itchy socks, a shirt that keeps rolling up (real sexy by the way when you've had two kids)
-No matter how tired you are, if you pass another runner, you will try your hardest to look like a "good" runner--no slouching, no feet dragging, no drooling, etc. Once you pass the runner, you will immediately go back to your Hunchback of Notre Dame posture.
-Midway through your run, you will discover any or all of the following thoughts--you should have peed before you left, you should have used your inhaler, you should have had more water, or running sucks.
-Nothing feels better than when you have finished running. (Some would say it's the feeling you get of accomplishing something that is purely healthy. I would say it's that your heart is no longer in failure. You say potato...)

So I did it. I "ran". I'm not sure if I'll do it again. I would like to say I plan on it, but I'm not 100% committed to the idea. It is nice to have 30 minutes to myself though...

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Bitter-Sweet (well, mostly sweet) Milestone

Five years ago today, I had just finished my last gestational diabetes dinner (pork, bell peppers, and wild rice...unfortunately I experienced it twice). I did not know it was my "last supper", as I was not due for three more weeks.

Emerson had other plans. :)

Well, fast forward five years later, and I am the proud mama of an adorable, eccentric little five-year-old girl.

For weeks, we have talked about her party, her Barbie party. Every year this girl has a theme--year two it was Dora, then Cars, then princesses, and this year it is Barbie. Oh, how she loves Barbie.

Last week we headed to the party store and carefully picked out the decorations and favors. It probably is as much fun to plan the party as is it to have it.

We were all set for her party this Saturday, which is her actual birthday.

Then, four days ago, she coughed.

She wouldn't stop coughing.

I played it off as allergies, a simple cold, etc.

This morning she woke up with 103.5 fever.


A visit to the doctor's confirmed my fear--pneumonia. Again. (Yes, I had to use spell check; you would think I could spell it by now.)

So now we have moved the party until next week, so we can spend a quiet weekend at home helping Emerson recover. She has been a trooper, but she is super out of it and can barely talk without coughing. Just not at her party best.

Unfortunately, very few of her friends can make it to her party next week (so glad I bought so many party favors...oh well.) Luckily, Em seems okay with it. At least her cousin Elizabeth will be there. Whew!

Tomorrow I have a quiet, fun day planned. I got Emerson a bunch of super girly gifts (mostly Barbie), a cake, and I plan on making strawberry/chocolate pancakes for breakfast. Hopefully, she has a good day and feels loved.

Because, really, that's all a person's birthday should be about.