Friday, December 31, 2010

Adios 2010!

You have certainly been an interesting year, you. :) There were times when I thought you'd be the death of me, and other times I thought you were the best year ever. To be truthful, you were just a little too exciting for me. Thank you for our time together, but I am happy to close the doors on 2010. :)

Let's recap, shall we.

January: This year was so busy that honestly I don't remember January. I'm sure I spent it dreading beginning my thesis. I do remember Emerson getting pneumonia, which was terrible. She got over it quickly, but Justin and I had to alternate days off to be with her and it was awful to see her so sick. No bueno.

February: This month is always a doozie. It started off really nicely with a celebration of Justin's birthday. I was quite proud of myself. I took him to a small, local restaurant called "The Boulevard" and arranged to have the chef plan a meal just for him. It was very special. I think my favorite part was that Justin's dad drove us to the restaurant (his parents stayed with Em), so that we could enjoy the adult beverages. It felt like a high school date. :)

We went to Redding the next week to celebrate Justin's dad's birthday, which is right before Valentine's Day. Justin and I attempted to have a romantic evening at home, which resulted in the worst fondue ever. Seriously. It was bad. The next weekend we celebrated my mom's birthday and then February was over. In between all the celebrations, I miraculously stayed on track with my thesis and only gained five pounds.

March: This month was a mixed bag. My thesis was full on kicking my ass at this point, and both Justin and I received lay-off notices, as did many of my friends and family. It sucked. But Justin and I also got to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary by staying in a bed and breakfast in Sac. It was a very special weekend, even though Hillary indulged too much and got heartburn. Boo. Still, we had a wonderful time, and it was fantastic that my sister and her husband volunteered to watch Emerson for us.

Also, in March, we celebrated my nephew Justin's first birthday and spent Easter in Redding. It was a very cold, rainy Spring, but it was nice to have a week off.

April: This month was my make-it-or-break-it month in regards to my thesis. My goal was to finish everything by my birthday, and I mostly made it. My birthday was on a Monday, and I sent my final draft to my professor the Friday after. I felt immensely proud that I had set a schedule and (for the most part) followed it. For obvious reasons, my birthday was not as big a deal as the year before. No trip to Vegas. No big hoop-la. Which was fine. I was just happy to finish my thesis and see the month come to a close.

May: Because my district changed its calendar, May became the last month of school. It didn't really feel like it, especially since it rained on graduation. Despite the cold, wet weather, the end of school came and with it, the end of my time at Valley High School. At the time I wasn't sure if I was leaving Valley. I was still laid off, but it looked likely that I would get my job back. However, I cleaned out my room and said my good-byes. It seemed like my time as a Viking was done.

We celebrated Memorial Day with a huge combo party for Emerson and me. For her, we celebrated her fourth birthday (yes, a little early, but it seemed as good a time as any.) For me, we celebrated my Master's degree. As usual, it was a huge party attended by most of our family members. It was a great time, but it took us about a week to recover. :) Luckily, we didn't have much to do since Justin and I had both finished our school years.

June: This was a very interesting month. I didn't have a job for most of it, so I spent a ton of time preparing job applications, running to Kinko's to scan, and interviewing. It was like a job in and of itself. At the end of the month, we took Emerson and my mom to Disneyland, which was a great trip. Emerson had a wonderful time, and it was so sweet to watch how excited she got to ride Dumbo and meet princesses. It was bittersweet that I had to leave early to interview for vice principal positions, but it turned out okay. The day Justin, my mom, and Em got back (literally the hour they got back), I found out that I got a VP job. It was a very special week for us. :)

July: This month marked the end of my summer vacation, for the most part. I started my work as a vice principal. In addition to that excitement, on July 10th I discovered that I was pregnant. We had been trying since February, so I was very happy, but also very overwhelmed.

August: As it has been for awhile now, August was a very busy month for weddings and babies. We attended my cousin Kate's wedding and our friends Alex and Drew's wedding. Also, my mom and I threw a baby shower for my sister Haley, who was expecting her first child. In the midst of all that party going and throwing, I was beginning my first year as a vice principal. Pregnant. F-U-N.

On August 17th, I received a call (well, three calls and six text messages) that would change everything. My sister's water broke five weeks early and my nephew, Owen, was delivered via c-section that day. It was incredibly hard to not be with her and her husband as much as I wanted to, but they are amazing parents and they pulled through. It was an unbelievable experience.

September: I hesitate to call this a "slow" month, but it really was all about developing a routine at work and home. It took me some time to get used to my new position, and we did travel to the Bay Area to see Owen, Haley, and Craig. But to be honest, the month was a blur. Especially since I spent a lot of it throwing up. :(

October: On the first, my third nephew, Samuel, was born to my sister and brother-in-law, Summer and Ben. This is truly the year of babies because my cousin Ben welcomed a daughter a few weeks later. We spent the month visiting family, and I spent the weekdays trying not to drown at work.

November: This year both Justin and I got a whole week off for Thanksgiving, which I was immensely thankful for. To describe me as exhausted was not adequate. While we were insanely busy, the month went by very quickly.

December: It feels weird to recollect about this month, given that it is just now coming to a close. However, it has been a good month. I have begun my third trimester and now my focus is really on becoming prepared for our new son. I am actually not sad to be finishing winter break because I really just want him to be here. I've said this before, but I am not a patient person and I'm dying to meet him. :) Unfortunately, many not-so-pleasant things need to be accomplished first. Sigh.

For 2011, I hope for many things. I hope for the continued good health of myself and my family. I hope to give birth in March (seriously, people, February is crazy) with a quick and uneventful labor to a healthy (small) baby. I hope that my daughter enjoys her new role as big sister, and I hope that I haven't completely forgotten how to change diapers. :) Most of all, I am so thankful for my kind and wonderful family and friends. While 2010 had its not-so-great moments, at least I always had people to laugh with.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Third Trimester

Last Thursday marked the beginning of my third trimester with my little seahorse. Except now he's not so little, and he's making quite the impression...on my rib cage.

I'm very excited that I'm two-thirds done with this pregnancy. Mainly, I'm dying to meet him. To a lesser extent, I am excited to be almost done with the whole insulin/blood sugar testing stuff. I feel a little guilty saying this because I know that pregnancy is not meant to be easy and that I am incredibly lucky to be pregnant, but still I will be happy when I can stop sticking myself.

Despite my excitement, I am experiencing a constant low level of anxiety. When I realized it was the third trimester already, I began to feel very overwhelmed. First, there's my looming deadline of needing to complete my teacher evaluations. Ugh. Second, there's the non-baby-ready baby room. Big ugh. Third, my last trimester with Emerson was a little more eventful than one would like. I would really like to finish my pregnancy without early contractions, the inevitable cervix checks they lead to, and bed rest.

I'm really trying to make smart choices right now to prepare for going back to work next week. I would love to spend more time with family and friends, but I'm still feeling wiped out, even though I've been on vacation for a week. It's my goal to stay at work as long as I can, so I'm trying to build up my energy stores after a depleting October and November.

The rest of the week looks pretty calm, which is fine by me. I'm hoping to get a hair cut and much needed eyebrow wax (seriously, had them done in JULY!) Other than that, I need to finish my evaluations (I'm really starting to hate that word), and tackle the baby's room. In between all that fun (sigh), I plan to nap excessively.

We just got back yesterday from Redding, and it was a pretty relaxed Christmas. Justin and his family made a delicious Christmas Eve dinner (turkey mole) that was very diabetes friendly, and his sister made sugar-free chocolate whoopee pies. (She is a very special lady.) On Christmas Day, Summer and I took the girls to see Tangled again, and we relaxed at my in-laws, watching movies on their new HUGE t.v. (no Justin, we are not getting a new t.v.) Sunday we went to Summer and Ben's church for my nephew Samuel's name blessing, and then we headed home.

It was great to be with family, especially since this was probably my last trip to Redding before the baby is born. I know March seems far away, but January and February tend to go by very quickly. Plus, sitting in a car for over two hours is no bueno and I'm not even at the end of this thing yet.

So I'm going to park my behind on the couch for the rest of the evening, enjoy my sparkling water, write up another glowing teacher evaluation, and finish it all off with my new foot bath.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Today marks the second day of break and it is a blissful thing. Yes, I have work to do. Yes, the house is a disaster and needs some major attention (especially the spare room that will become the baby's room.)

But still, it's break. It's nine o'clock and the house is silent. Em and Justin are asleep. I'm drinking my one cup of coffee and blogging. Not bad.

Friday, the last day of school, was a bit of a blur. It was a minimum day, and those are interesting. One has to get the same amount of work day, especially if there is a fight, but one just has half the time.

I got home at a reasonable time, and we considered going out for dinner. Unfortunately, my sweat pants won and we stayed in and ordered a pizza.

I was in bed by 8:30.

And slept for 12 hours.

I'd like to blame the pregnancy for that, but I've been known to do that on the night before a break when I'm not pregnant.

Saturday was the definition of relaxed. I got up before everyone, made coffee, and watched a romantic comedy. I haven't done that in ages.

Eventually Justin and Em joined me, and we were pretty much couch bound until noon. We decided to go see Tangled, so I got Em dressed and took a shower. That exertion tuckered me out, so I took a quick nap.

Later that afternoon, we went outside for the first time that day and went and saw the movie. While the movie was clearly not intended for adults or boys (Justin was a little bored), Emerson LOVED it. I don't think she blinked the whole time. I love taking her to movies because she just gets so excited.

After the movie, we went out to dinner and got a little holiday shopping done. Then we were home (and couch) bound for the rest of the evening. I actually made it until 11 before retreating to my bed. Even though I'm a week away from the third trimester, I'm not terribly comfortable at night. My feet hurt constantly, I have terrible heartburn, and last night my ribs were killing me. Good times.

Today looks to be pretty quiet again. The kitchen needs a little TLC and I have some presents to wrap. Also, we will have to venture outside because we have no food. Sigh.

We aren't leaving for Redding until the middle of the week, so I'm hoping to spend some much needed quiet time at home. I will need to head to work, but that's not entirely a bad thing. I know I will feel better when my evaluations are done.

Justin and I are planning on seeing Harry Potter (finally) this week, and finishing up present buying and wrapping. We are keeping things simple this year, partly for financial reasons, partly because we are exhausted.

Well, I can hear Em babbling in her room, so it's probably time to wrap this up and see how she's doing. :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Making Lists

I think it is an odd human thing that when the year comes to a close, people feel the need to make lists. Top 50 songs of the year. Top 10 movies of the year. Most popular words (I love that list. It's put out by the OED and it's nerdy fun.)

Maybe it's just an American thing. I don't know. I never leave America (sigh), but this list thing cracks me up every December. And makes me a little sad. When I start watching t.v./listening to the radio, etc. and those top-fill-in-the-blank-with-whatever-number-seems-appropriate lists come out, I really feel that the year is over.

This year the sadness seems a little more profound, and I'm not quite sure why. There could be lots of reasons. First, the economy is in the tank and many families don't have much to celebrate. Second, I have huge, looming deadlines and it feels like I will never finish my evaluations. Third, for the first Christmas in recorded history, I will consume zero sugar. (That's a reason to sob in your splenda cocoa, let me tell you.)

But I have noticed that I have less zeal for the top of 2010 lists. It could be that I really felt very disconnected from the outside world this year. Since January my focus has been very self centered. First my masters took a huge amount of my attention, then getting a job, and then the job. Terribly enough, I was so focused this year on what I was doing that when the miners who were trapped were finally rescued, I had no idea what was going on.

I guess my melancholy comes from feeling very disengaged. I have spent so much time in my own head, trying to figure out my own work-and-pregnancy-related problems that I have really pulled away from humanity. It's been kind of lonely, actually.

It seems a little silly that I feel lonely, given that my job includes non-stop interaction with people, I have great supportive friends who actually care about my issues, and I live with a lovely family. However, my interactions at work require much care and they are exhausting. I don't have nearly the time I want to spend with my friends, and I haven't seen my friends from the Bay Area in years. Finally, I have now established permanent residence in Mommy Guilt Land because of how little time I get to spend with Em.

I have five days left of work, which makes me happy but also fills me with great anxiety because of how much I have to do before the 17th. But this weekend I will try my best to focus on the two weeks I have off for winter break. I know it will go too quickly, but I'm actually okay with that. (I did mention the no sugar thing, right?)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

So Thankful

That this week is over. The week after a vacation tends to be doozie-rific, but this one was especially challenging.

First, and a little bit too late, I came to the realization that I am six months pregnant. While I am still in the second trimester, it became very clear that I need to slow down a bit.

It was such a busy week that I don't even remember Monday. It was pretty much a whirl-wind of preparing for an expulsion (boo), writing clerical evaluations (unexpected boo), and helping a teacher return to work after an extended leave (big surprise boo.)

Tuesday was a big day for me. I think there will be certain moments for me as a VP that will allow me to demonstrate whether or not I can really do this job. Tuesday presented that moment in my first extension of suspension meeting. This meeting is a part of the expulsion process. Hearing officers at the district level meet with school administrators and the student and his parents to determine whether or not there is enough evidence to move forward in the expulsion process. It takes an unbelievable amount of work (and paper) to prepare for this meeting, which is entirely necessary given how serious an expulsion is.

My meeting went okay, but of course led to me having to do more work. That's just the nature of my job. I'm never done. At least I can say that I learn something new from every experience. Sometimes the learning is exhausting, however. :) I would like to just know.

After Tuesday, the week was just a bunch of running around trying to finish tasks that I had to put off because of my expulsion issue. It's the end of the term soon, so students and parents are starting to become worried. This translates into panicked phone calls to the vice principal. I talked so much on the phone on Friday that my ear hurt.

This week also provided me the opportunity to work with district staff, which I always enjoy but which also makes me very nervous. I am, and always have been, very aware that my career is a journey. I plan on being in education for many more decades, and it is important to me that I keep my future options open. I am sensitive to the fact that my interactions with district personnel are an important factor in my ability to be promoted to other positions in the future. It's all a little nerve wracking. Luckily I survived with all my parts intact. :)

Today is Saturday (finally), and I am looking forward to some family time. Em popped up at 7:30, but we've had a pretty relaxed morning. We are planning to get a Christmas tree, and I look forward to buying a couple more ornaments and decorating with Emerson. She is very excited about Christmas (which is a gift after her discomfort with Halloween) and we have enjoyed planning for the holidays and singing songs and such. I am concerned that the tree will look a little drag queenish, but I know we will have fun.

I do have to do some work this weekend (of course), but I am not planning on going in. I want to stay home with my family, hang out by the fire, and drink my sugar-free cocoa in peace.