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.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Year 10 in the Bag

A couple weeks ago I finished my tenth year as an educator. And I feel tired, oh so tired. Seriously, I could nap right now (which is hugely inappropriate because I slept in until 9 this morning...thank you husband.)

Now, I have other reasons to be tired besides work, though work looms large. But allow me to catch us all up (since I just realized my last post was in

At the end of April, after a big Easter blow-out at our house, I returned to work. I'm not entirely sure why I did, but I survived okay. Right when I got back, I started working on a grant application. Writing grant applications is pretty terrible, but at least I had one main thing to focus work that is.

At home things were certainly not simple. It took us awhile to develop a two-kid-plus-work routine. Justin and I swapped baby duties at night, so whoever woke up with Eliot (he was still getting up at 3 or so) would dress him for the day. The other parent was responsible for getting Em ready for daycare. I took the kids in and picked them up.

Luckily Eliot has done really well at daycare. We have a wonderful daycare provider, and the kids at daycare were super excited about having Eliot to play with. It was nice to not have to one less thing to worry about.

The evenings proved to be rather labor-intensive. Here was a typical evening: I'd get off work at 5 or so, pick up the kids, and head home. First it would be Eliot's turn for a bath. Then we would have dinner, followed by Em's bath and book. Within that time Eliot would need one to two bottles. By nine o'clock Justin and I were pretty much wiped out.

School finished on May 20th for me and the following week for Justin. I am so happy about it, especially since my job was reinstated and it looks like Justin's will be soon (fingers crossed.)

I had a couple weeks of work to finish out my contract, which turned out to be really boring. It's not super interesting to work without teachers or kids, and it was hard for me to stay focused. But I finished up on Friday, officially, even though I have a couple projects to work on.

Justin attended a conference this week in Vegas, and I am still recovering from mommy-only duty. I had a lot of fun this week with the kids--Emerson started her first dance class and Eliot is just dang adorable. :) But it was exhausting to be the one to do everything. Needless to say I was very happy to have Justin home.

Now we have a relaxing summer ahead of us. We have planned some family visits and we are considering taking a small trip somewhere. I am really looking forward to spending time with my family. :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ah, 32...

This week I celebrated a birthday. Sigh.

While I am not unhappy about aging, my birthday just reminds me that time is moving along at a rather fast clip. This week not only marks my 32nd birthday, but also my son's first month of life and my maternity leave rapidly coming to a close.


On Sunday, my friends Janet and Amanda came over with cake, wine, and their girls. Justin and Eliot were certainly outnumbered. Eliot did not seem to notice. Justin read a book. :)

Monday I had more visitors, this time my friends Stephanie and Renee from my old district in Milpitas. They also brought cake (I have good friends), but this time it was ice cream. I cannot remember the last time I had ice cream cake. So dang good.

We chatted about work stuff, I showed off Eliot, and we had lunch. It was really nice getting to hang out with them. I haven't seen either of them since Stephanie was pregnant with her second child, who is going to turn two this year. Yeah, it's been a while.

Tuesday was my actual birthday, and I was up early with Eliot to begin celebrating it. We rang in my new year by breastfeeding and watching Angel. :) Later that day, I was fortunate enough to continue my birthday celebrations with a doctor's visit. I took Em to daycare, and Eliot and I braved my first exam post labor. Fun. Luckily, I had El to distract me.

That evening, Justin brought home Chinese food and chocolate cake. He and Emerson gave me perfume and the Rats of Nimh for my birthday, so we ate dinner and watched the movie. It was a very relaxing birthday, which is about all I can handle at this point.

Wednesday and Thursday were both pretty relaxed. I mostly hung out with Eliot, folded laundry, and napped. I am really going to miss maternity leave. :(

On Friday, Justin's parents came by. They watched the kids in the evening so Justin and I could go out for dinner. I chose sushi, which I consider an adult meal. However, the restaurant was FULL of families. Oh, well. We had a nice time.

We don't have any big plans for this weekend (I'm not sure if we are capable of big plans at this point to be honest.) I'm just looking forward to hanging out and enjoying the nice weather. It's supposed to rain soon...just in time for Easter.

I enjoyed my birthday this week, but I am ready to get focused again on getting healthy. I didn't lose any weight this week. Not a big surprise given all the cake. :) But I did exercise three times to a Jillian Michals DVD. The first day it was rough, but I felt much stronger on day two; day three was rough again. Hopefully, I am able to do it again today. We shall see...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week Four

This upcoming week, Eliot turns a month old. I know this is cliche to say, but I really can't believe how quickly it is going. I have had so much fun spending time with him and incorporating him into our family.

Last Sunday, the four of us headed to the grocery store. Eliot marked the occasion by napping. No big surprise there. :)

This last week was very pleasant, as I had no work to do. I really just got to focus on my family, and it was lovely.

Monday was Eliot's doctor's appointment. He has the same pediatrician as Emerson, who for the most part I like. Right after Eliot was born, the doctors said that he should be back up to his birth weight by the first appointment. Well, he weighed in at 7 pounds, 4 oz, so he is doing well. He is still a little guy when compared to his peers, as he is in the 10th percentile for weight. Justin and I make little babies. No complaints here.

Tuesday I dropped Em off at daycare, and took Eliot on my first solo shopping trip. Again, he did great. We relaxed at home, and I actually cooked dinner. I haven't cooked much this year, so I can't say my stir fry was perfect but at least the effort was there.

Wednesday I got a late start. It was pretty much a mad dash trying to get three of us ready to drop Em off at school. Luckily, I was able to head home and recover with a nap. Rough times. :)

On Thursday I kept Em home, so that we could meet friends for coffee in Sacramento. It was nice to get out and show off my little guy. After coffee we headed to a friend's house, so our girls could play. All went well until we had to leave. Then Emerson threw a massive fit. Massive fit. I was not happy, and she lost her ability to watch Barbie movies this weekend.

When we got back, I took advantage of a sudden desire to clean (these do not come often so it is best to jump on it.) I cleared out my dresser and closet of all maternity clothes and old stuff. I typically do this clearing out in August, but we were so busy in August (and I was so tired and sick) that I never got around to it. My dresser has been a disaster ever since. So three garbage bags later, I can finally close my drawers and we now have enough hangers.

Part of my motivation for cleaning out my dresser was my need to get some clothes. My maternity clothes are too big, but I am not ready for my pre-pregnancy stuff yet. However, I did not want to add more crap to my overtaxed drawers, so I made myself organize before I was allowed to go shopping.

On Friday, Eliot and I headed to Old Navy. I was not thrilled to buy size 12 jeans, but I know that it is temporary. It was nice, though, to buy pants that zip. :)

Later that day, and after a mad house cleaning effort, my dad and his girlfriend came over. Lys had not met Eliot yet, so it was nice to finally introduce them. They got us dinner, and we hung out for a couple hours. I will never tire of showing off Eliot. :)

Justin and I went to bed literally a half hour after our guests left. I was so tired that I fell asleep before I even put my head down on the pillow. I was so happy to get a nice chunk of sleep before Eliot woke up at two. We ended up needing it, as we headed to the Bay Area for my grandmother's birthday party. The trip went well, we got to see family, and we returned home pretty easily.

However, Eliot decided that he was in a funky mood, so he was up every three hours last night. I have been really lucky with him, and he normally gives me a good five hour chunk of sleep at night. Last night, not so much. He was up at 1. Then 4. Then 7. Owie. Now he is asleep. Of course. :)

Today some friends are coming over for a visit, which will be nice. That's about all I have planned. Maybe a nap. Big plans. :)

I only have two weeks left of leave, which I am trying not to think about too much. Luckily, I only have three weeks of school after I go back. I'm sure it will all work out, but I am not looking forward to getting two kids to daycare and trying to make it to work by 7:15 every day. Luckily, Justin's mom will be staying with us for my first week back. Thank gawd for that.

On the baby weight front, I have also begun focusing on getting back to a healthy weight. I have 30 pounds to lose, so I have begun tracking my diet. I hope to begin exercising soon; hopefully that helps speed my weight loss along. So far I have lost two pounds. At that rate, I'll lose my baby weight by the time Eliot starts kindergarten. :)

Well, off to take a hurried shower before little guy wakes up.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The first (almost) three weeks

I cannot believe that this Tuesday, my little guy will be three weeks old. It has been an interesting time so far.

Week 1

Eliot was born on a Tuesday morning, and we spent a relatively short time in the hospital. After the delivery, Eliot, Justin, and I got transferred to our teeny, yet private (thank goodness) room. Since it was 5 am, Justin fell asleep immediately. I was not able to, as I could not take my eyes off my new little boy, who fell asleep sucking his fingers.

A couple hours later, Justin headed home to be with Emerson and bring her to the hospital. My sister and mom came by the hospital and their arrival began the family visits. All in all, Justin's parents, my dad, my sister, my mom, my grandmother, my cousin Beth, and our friend Jennifer came by. Most of them brought some sort of sweet thing for me to eat--highly appreciated. :)

Wednesday we got the go ahead to go home. Eliot passed all his tests, and he appeared to be healthy enough to go home. We weren't quite breastfeeding champs yet, but we had a good start.

So Wednesday evening was our first night home. It was good to be home. I felt completely zonked, but it was great to have family to keep Emerson entertained. Eliot and I persevered with the breast feeding, but it became apparent to me by Thursday that things were not as good as they could be. My milk had not come in yet and his cry was really hoarse. Plus, he had virtually no wet diapers.

Friday was our first medical check, and I was not surprised when we found out he had lost too much weight. I was pretty upset, but not surprised. They gave us a bunch of formula and a pumping plan (oh, how I didn't miss that). When we came back on Saturday, Eliot had gained five ounces (the doctor had said she would like him to gain an ounce kid! You overachiever.) The new doctor on Saturday noticed that Eliot's tongue may have been causing the issue because the the ligament connecting the tongue to his mouth, so she referred us to a specialist.

Over the weekend my sister and her family came up. It was great to see her and her little boy, Owen. We just hung out and chatted most of the weekend. The weather was terrible, so there wasn't much else to do.

On Monday, we took El to the specialist, who sniped his frenulum. This was highly unpleasant for mommy. It also opened my eyes to what it will be like having a son. After performing the procedure, the doctor joked, "I have just made his future girl friends very happy." Ew. No one says dirty crap like that when you have a girl.

Week 2

Justin returned to work on Tuesday, and my mom stayed in town for the week to help out. She tends to be a night owl, which was wonderfully convenient. I have found that I start to get really tired 11 or so, which just happens to be when Eliot gets gassy and has a hard time falling asleep. Every other feeding the little guy follows the "plan" perfectly: eats, gets a diaper change, hangs out for 15 minutes or so looking at his hands, and falls asleep on his own. The feeding between 9 and 11 is a different story. Luckily, my mom was on hand to watch him so that I could get to sleep for a couple hours. For the next two feedings I would feel fine, and for the most part, he would go to sleep okay.

The rest of the week went quickly. Emerson went to pre-school and hung out with my mom most of the week. I started to get the hang of things, and I was feeling good about being on my own, when I got slammed by a terrible sore throat.

By Saturday, my sore throat was accompanied by pink eye.

Seriously. Effing pink eye.

I got a prescription and hoped to see some relief quickly. I was not so lucky.

Week 3

This past week was pretty intense. First, I paid for my procrastination in terms of not writing my evaluations. I basically wrote all week to get them done in time. (I still have one to go, but I should be able to make short work of it.)

Second, my eye infection turned out to be super stubborn. My throat killed me all week and I lost my voice. This was fine when I was at home with Eliot during the day, but not so great when Justin and Em came home.

About Wednesday, I called uncle and asked Justin for help at night. It was (and still is) my intention to do the nighttime duties on my own during my leave. Justin works really hard, he has a terrible commute to Stockton at a terrible time, and he does most of the cooking and cleaning. I think it's only fair that I take care of the nighttime stuff, which I am totally willing to do.

However, the cold and pink eye proved too much and I needed a little help from him. So Justin stayed up with Eliot until he would fall asleep at 11 or 12. Then Justin would pull his tired butt out of bed at 5 to go to work. Luckily, he only did it two nights, but it took a toll on him.

On Friday, Eliot and I had a big day. I wore something other than my yoga pants, we took Em to pre-school, and we headed to my work to turn in the evals. And do a little baby showing off. Immediately after, we headed to my doctor's appointment to deal with my stupid eyes. Later in the afternoon, my friend Janet and her daughter came over and we hung out for a bit.

I was all set for a fun weekend with friends and family visiting when I looked down and saw Eliot's eye was all gunky (technical term I know.) I cancelled the visits and called the doctor. We got a prescription and so far his eye seems to be responding, as has mine to my new medication.

Today we all slept in a little bit (our little angel boy fell asleep after his 8 am feeding, so I followed suit.) Em and I had a mommy-daughter trip to lunch and Target, and Justin and Eliot rested at home.

Tomorrow also looks to be pretty quiet. I need to finish that last evaluation and tackle the ridiculous pile of laundry hiding in Eliot's room. Monday we have his doctor's appointment, and I'll be interested to see how much weight he has gained.

So far our little family of four is doing well. I do wish we were healthier, but Eliot is fitting in quite nicely. :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hello Mr. Eliot!

On March 15th, our long wait for our son finally came to an end. Our son's birth marked the conclusion of an often-challenging, never boring, pregnancy.

About four weeks before my due date, Justin, Emerson, and I headed to Roseville for the final time for a doctor's appointment. Once there, I found out what I had thought might be happening--I had begun to dilate. The doctor decided it was prudent to begin my leave earlier than expected.

That weekend I was very excited to attend my shower, especially since I did not have a shower before Emerson was born. My mom and sister did a great job with everything. The theme was super cute--monkeys and jungle animals, and the games were actually fun. (Sometimes baby shower games can DRAG, but my sister's games were highly enjoyable.)

My final week at work was fast-paced and exhausting. I didn't get everything done that I wanted to, but I did the best I could. It was especially challenging that week because Emerson got very sick. Luckily, Justin's mom watched her in Redding. While I felt terrible not being able to take care of her, I was able to accomplish more at work, and Justin and I were able to go out for our fifth wedding anniversary. Part of me thought that I would go into labor that evening, but despite hard contractions, I did not go into labor.

The next two weeks I stayed at home, resting and spending time with Emerson. I will admit that I got more than a little restless waiting for my son to be born. During the second week, I pretty much had contractions all day. They were never at regular intervals, but they were annoying as heck. Also, the diabetic diet and insulin had both become seriously tiresome. I just felt ready for it all to be done.

The last weekend before my induction date, March 17th, Justin developed a begin-labor plan. We ran all over town, and even attended a kid's birthday party. One would think that being at a party with 24 kids would send a lady into labor. Nope.

On Monday, Justin begun his spring break. I tried to reason with myself, but I felt really frustrated that I showed no signs of going into labor. I didn't want to give birth when Justin was just about to go to work. However, on Monday, I became suspicious that things had begun to change. I didn't want to get too excited, but I noticed at breakfast that my contractions were more painful than days previous. After we picked up Emerson from preschool, I noticed that they had not gone away. Plus, they were 15 minutes apart.

I spent the remainder of the day tracking my contractions. Slowly, ever so slowing, they began to become closer together. We are talking about a SLOW process here. They started 15 minutes apart, then 12, then was a long day. Around 5 pm, they became 7 minutes apart. I stuck there for awhile. At 7:30, they got even closer together, so we placed a call into Labor and Delivery and they suggested I come in.

However, when we got to Labor and Delivery (with a very unhappy Emerson), the doctor told me that I was still only 2cm dilated and 50% effaced. So we got sent home. I was immensely disappointed and embarrassed, especially since our family started heading our way. Justin called them and everyone except my mother headed back home.

Once home, I tried to relax with Justin and my mother on the couch. I ate my snack, took my insulin, and watched Criminal Minds...a pretty typical evening. Then I got hit with two LARGE contractions. At about 11:30, I felt a distinct "pop" and felt a gush of water (this is a very strange sensation, by the way.) We waited a bit, but my contractions soon became unbearable.

Justin and I drove, once again, to the hospital. This time it was very clear that I was in labor, as talking and walking became nearly impossible. When we got into Labor and Delivery, a nurse checked us in. I just remember being super annoyed with all the stupid questions they have to ask: what's your phone number, medical record number, address...etc. It's highly frustrating to have to remember numbers while your body is threatening to split into two.

The nurse and doctor determined that I was clearly in labor and I was brought into a delivery room. Once in the room, I was examined and the midwife told me that I four cm dilated. My nurse administered some pain medication, which I was hugely grateful for. They asked if I wanted an epidural. It was not necessary for me to respond, and they put the order in.

Within an hour, I was 8 cm dilated. It became very clear that the epidural was not likely. When I was told this, I believe I cried. I'm a little ashamed to admit that, but the idea of giving birth and feeling ALL of it sounded highly unpleasant. However, I ended up having no choice. My transition labor (aka HELL) last less than 30 minutes, and I was pushing.

I would love to say that I was the woman who pushed twice and voila, baby. That unfortunately did not happen. I would like to say that I got quiet and focused and just pushed my kid out. Um, nope. I may have complained and whined a bit. I may have told my medical team that I couldn't do it and I may have cried.

My strongest memory is being told to hold my legs as I pushed. For some reason, that annoyed the CRAP out of me. It really hurt. I fought the urge to yell and scream, and I was helped by my nurses and midwife and Justin, who reminded me to breathe and not yell. After about 10 pushes (I lost count), I finally felt the burning which indicated that he was starting to crown. I experienced a moment of fear at the pain I was about to experience. However, it turned out that the contractions hurt so much worse than pushing the baby out the rest of the way.

During my final push, I actually pushed when I wasn't contracting. I was so ready to be done. I do remember telling him to "get out!" (Hey, at least I didn't swear.) One comical moment was when I said that I just wanted to see him. My nurse misinterpreted this as my wanting a mirror. Um, hell no. I made it clear that I did not want to see my son's entrance. Experiencing the pain was enough, thank you very much.

So I gave one more push, and my widwife instructed me to stop so she could help with the shoulders (ow), and then my son was born. He was placed immediately on my chest (after being wiped down, of course), and he stayed there for an hour. I turned to Justin at one point and told him that I would like him to include Jerome in Eliot's name (we had discussed this earlier and I had not committed to the idea. After giving birth, it seemed appropriate.)

Once he was born, Justin and I both were hit with a wave of exhaustion. I just remember holding him and shaking uncontrollably. Eventually, he was taken, weighed, measured, and given his first bath. Eliot Jakob Jerome Moeckli was born at 3:24 am on Tuesday, March 15th at 6 pounds, 14 ounces and 19 inches.

We spent the next day and a half at the hospital, and then headed home. We've spent the last almost two weeks getting to know our sweet little boy. So far he has been a very nice baby. He likes to snuggle and he sleeps pretty well. He does get a mean case of the hiccups a couple times a day, which is cute but sad for him.

I still marvel at the fact that Eliot is actually here. It is odd to no longer have him kicking inside me. I am super excited to finally have met him, and I feel so blessed that my pregnancy and labor went well. I am a lucky lady. :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Three-day Weekends=Bliss

This one has been particularly nice.

First, the weather on Saturday and Sunday was gorgeous. We had the windows open; Justin barbecued. It was good stuff. Today it's raining, but I okay with that. I hope it stays that way this week, as middle schoolers plus too much sunshine equal not fun.

This weekend has been especially nice because it has been all about the three of us. We had no plans, no place to be, etc. Now, we weren't slackers. Getting the baby's room ready took up much of the weekend.

On Saturday, Justin cleaned out Emerson's room and rearranged her furniture to incorporate the desk. The desk also had to be cleaned out. All of this cleaning resulted in about five garbage bags worth of junk. Seriously, I don't know how three people produce so much crap.

I ordered a dresser online for Em, which makes me a little nervous. But we shall see when it arrives later this week. It came with good reviews, so I'm hopeful, but I've never ordered anything like this online so I am a little nervous.

On Sunday, Justin found the screws to the crib (whew!) and set that up. Amazingly, this took place with no audible swearing. (Justin swears he did under his breath, but I heard nothing, so I am good.) He also moved one dresser into the baby's room and attacked that bad boy with a sponge. I think it looks pretty good, but he still wants to paint it. Sigh.

While the room is still pretty bare (no decorations yet), I feel loads better about it. If our boy comes early, we will at least have things in place for him. This gives me comfort.

My shower is next weekend. My plan is to purchase decorations and related items next weekend, so that we can get those into place before our little guy is here. Luckily, that stuff is fun and relatively easy. Most of the stuff I like from Target is only online, but I may swing by Toys R Us. It's a little more expensive, but they had cute stuff too. We have chosen a jungle theme again, but this time we are going with darker colors--reds, browns, greens, blues. Luckily, there is a ton of jungle stuff to choose from. I am partial to elephants and monkeys. :)

Today is Valentine's Day, and our plans include making cookies with Em (pink of course) and hanging close to home. This will be my final holiday without sugar (thank goodness), and I am very happy that I have made it this far without going completely nuts. Right now I am battling some serious juice cravings, but at least I can see the light.

In addition to family time, I need to work on Advocacy lessons (the final for the year...whoo-hoo!). I also need to rest up so that I am focused this week. It is hugely important that I go to every one of my evaluatee's classrooms this week as soon as possible. I have done all their formal observations, but I need to get walk throughs done. If I am put on bed rest, I can easily write evaluations from home, but I need the data.

Well, I'm off to make a sugar (sigh) cookie dough. :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

35 Weeks!

According to some, I'm on my 35th week of pregnancy. There is still some disagreement about my due date, which really doesn't mean a whole lot. If I get to March 19th, which is my due date according to my numbers and my original doctor, they will induce me anyways because of my diabetes.

So I'm 34/35 weeks now, depending on who you ask, and I'm pretty excited (not too much because I am huge and tired.) At this point with Emerson, I was placed on bed rest. While I didn't exactly pass my stress test this Thursday with flying colors (the nurse got very quiet), I was not sent to labor and delivery. No bed rest for me and sea horse; at least, not yet.

I was feeling a little guilty last weekend because I overdid it on Saturday. First there was the birthday party, then I took Justin out for dinner. Dinner was lovely, and it was very nice to dress up and go out with Justin, just us grown-ups. That hasn't happened since the summer.

However, the night got long when we had to go pick up Em from her friend's. She was just too scared to sleep over at someone's house, and she needed to head back home. I knew it was a long shot to have her sleep at a friend's house at this age, but I thought we could at least try. Oh, well. We'll try again later.

So I started Sunday pretty tired, and then we headed to the store, which completely wiped me out. I had a ton of contractions all day, and I spent most of it in bed. I started to feel anxious about not being ready for the baby, so I sorted baby clothes to see what sizes I have and I updated my registry.

(By the way, the clothes are still on the floor of his room.) :)

Monday, however, I felt great and my non-stress test went really smoothly. Tuesday and Wednesday were both a blur, as we spent the week getting ready for my boss to leave on her vacation. I remember planning for February a couple months ago and thinking how far it seemed. It blows my mind that we are already here.

Thursday was a doozy. First, I got handed a project that needed to be cranked out quickly. Luckily, I enjoy working under the gun like that, but it kind of sent the rest of my day into a tail spin. Thursdays always feel crammed anyways because of my NST in the afternoon.

So by the time I got to my appointment, I knew my blood pressure was high and the contractions were pretty intense. This was the first time my nurse seemed to take them seriously. Luckily, my blood pressure went down after I relaxed a bit. However, the contractions kept coming. She seemed ready to send me to Labor and Delivery, but instead she sent me home with the directions to rest and pay attention to them.

Pay attention I did. I had about six an hour, but none took my breath away and eventually I had less. I never really stopped contracting all evening, but they slowed down to about four an hour. Amazingly, I slept through the night and I felt so much better on Friday.

Friday evening was a little rough, but I think I'm just getting used to (again) how uncomfortable the end of pregnancy is for me. Uncomfortable may be too harsh a word. It's just that I can't really get anything else done because of the contractions. They kind of take all my focus. With my first pregnancy, that was okay because it was the end of the school year, I had little work to do, and I did not have a four-year-old to take care of. Now, I feel immensely guilty that I can't devote the time I want to to my family and work. It's pretty frustrating.

This morning, around 4, I woke up contracting, which annoys me to no end. I get that at the end of a long work day, my body will respond to stress by contracting. But in the middle of the night. Um, no thank you.

Thankfully, I drank a glass of water, had my oh-so-cheerful husband rub my back, and I was able to go back to sleep.

I am hugely grateful that I have a three day weekend to spend with my family, getting the baby's room more ready, and working on projects for school. I really think having two back-to-back four-day work weeks will help me hang on at work until my boss gets back.

While I anxiously await the "big" day, I am simultaneously amazed how quickly this pregnancy has gone. I am so excited to meet my little boy and complete our family. I just have a couple things to do first. :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Moving along

Slowly, yes, but we Moeckli's are moving closer to meeting our baby boy. I really just have one long (so long) check list in my head. I wish I was getting things done faster, and I basically live in a constant state of low-level anxiety because of all the work stuff I have to do. However, I feel myself entering that end-of-pregnancy numbness mindset. It's a nice place to be.

On the work front, it was a loooooong week. Monday took a lot out of me. My boss and I discussed my priorities for the rest of February and her expectations for my performance. I find it funny that the easiest, most straight forward part of my job--supervision--is the aspect that really wipes me out. We discussed how I would pull back on that part so that I can focus on what I really need to do, what only I can do--evaluations and Advocacy.

Monday I had a non-stress test. I was a little concerned because I had a lot of contractions during the day, but the test went fine. I headed to Target afterward, and it became very apparent that simple things like shopping on my own are just not simple anymore.

Tuesday and Wednesday went fine. I actually felt really good and my energy was relatively high. I spent a lot of time getting my second round of observations done. I have two more to do next week, and then I need to do walk-throughs once for each person. I'd like to start writing the evaluations up next week; luckily, they are much abbreviated than last time. I can't believe that I will actually finish up my second round of evaluations. I'm pretty sure I will cry when I do the last one. :)

Thursday was another quick day because of my NST test. It went quicker than the other two. These tests are beginning to feel rather routine and a little more than tiresome. I like getting confirmation that the boy is doing well, especially when I get to see an ultrasound, but I could really use the time to get work done. We're talking about missing out on two hours of crucial work time. It's a bit frustrating.

On Friday, my replacement administrator shadowed me for a day. I felt a little sheepish because I didn't have things completely prepared for him, but we had a good day. It was a little exhausting because for the first time this week I did my supervision to show Shack what my routine was and our procedures. It was a long day.

On the home front, we are celebrating Justin's birthday this weekend. Emerson and I went to target last night and got him a birthday present. She insisted on getting him a pillow pet, a dog to be exact. I'm not sure how thrilled he was about it, but she was very excited. To her, a pillow pet is the ultimate. :)

Last night, our brother-in-law Ben came from Redding and took Justin to see a movie. I went to bed--I'm dang exciting. Today I took Em to a birthday party, and tonight Justin and I are going out for dinner. To a restaurant. With cloth napkins. And no high chairs. And no children's menu. I hope he enjoys it. It may be awhile until we can do this again...a long while.

Emerson is sleeping over at a friend's house. I have my fingers crossed that everything goes well, and that she doesn't experience one of her delightful meltdowns (those have been happening at higher frequencies lately.) She seemed in good spirits when I left the party today. We shall see.

Tomorrow I will probably head into work. Sigh. I also would like to look at a dresser for Em, move the desk into her room, and get her dresser into the baby's room. The crib may have to wait because we have a screws situation. Meaning, we can't find the screws for the crib. So.Freaking.Annoying.

Next week will be the last before my principal goes on her vacation (anxiety level rising...), and it will be the last weekend before my family shower. I would like to get the room done next weekend, or at least looking somewhat like a baby room. :)

Again, we shall see. :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Familiar Territory

I was nervous and excited when I got pregnant for the second time. This was due to several reasons, but I was also very curious about how this pregnancy would go. I've heard from many women different accounts of their second pregnancies and there doesn't seem to be any consistencies. Some had a very different time with their second child while some experienced similar symptoms, timelines, etc.

I was not sure what I would get.

There were a couple things I wanted to be different. For one, I had a moment thinking maybe I wouldn't be diabetic. Ha! My diagnosis was confirmed so early that it was almost funny...almost.

I also hoped that I wouldn't feel as sick my first trimester. So much for that. However, how I felt sick was very different. I didn't realize that there were different kinds of nausea. Now I know. Ugh.

There were a couple things that I wanted to stay the same as the first pregnancy. I had a really nice 2nd trimester with few symptoms. I wanted that again. Luckily, I got it. Also, I had an intense, yet short labor. Yes, sir gimme another. While it was scary to dilate early and go on bed rest, I was super grateful that I didn't have to go past my due date like some poor, tortured women do. No thank you.

So as I wrap up this pregnancy, I am noticing some similarities. First, I began non-stress tests this week at 32 weeks. (Sidenote: the doctors think I'm 32 weeks even though my old doctor corrected her original due date, so I should be at 33 weeks. Unfortunately, she didn't tell anyone apparently. Doesn't really matter, but I was still bummed to lose that week.)

When I went to my NST last Thursday, I was curious to see if I was right about two things: baby boy dropping, and my contractions. Luckily, they did an ultrasound (so fun to see the little guy), and sure enough he is headed south. Emerson did that last time too around this time.

I also wanted to see if I was contracting. I'm pretty sure that I am, but it has been five years since my last pregnancy. I had what I thought was my first contraction at about 28 weeks (that was a nice difference; I started contracting with Em at 20, but that was due to elevation and dehydration.) Since my third trimester started, I have about 3 to 5 contractions per evening, especially later in the week. They don't hurt, but sometimes my back aches.

On Thursday, they hooked me up to the heart and contraction monitors, and sure enough I am contracting. Most of it is just irritability. However, I did have three while I was there that qualified as real contractions because they were longer than 40 seconds.

The NST went fine, and the nurse reminded me of things to watch out for. So far, I seem to be on track with what happened last time. If Em's pregnancy is any indication, I hopefully shouldn't have to worry about being put on bed rest for 3 weeks or so. Hopefully, I can take better care of myself this time and make it a bit longer. I think it helps that I don't feel as scared and nervous about contracting as I did the first time. I feel like I know what to expect.

I do feel annoyed that my nurse seems so quick to discount my first experience with pregnancy. Medical professionals seem open to using past experience as an indication of what will happen in the future in most situations, excepting pregnancies. I don't get it. Maybe it's just my nurse, but she is really insistent that I will have a different experience this time. She keeps insisting that I will have to be induced. It's not that I'm unwilling to consider that possibility; it's just that so far, I seem to be following a similar time line. Also, she doesn't seem to believe me when I say that I would LOVE to be closer to my due date. The closer I can get to it, the less time I have to work at the end of the year.

Really, most of this is much ado about nothing. Baby boy will come when he wants to. It's just my job to make sure that things are as ready as possible. Still working on that, but we are definitely making progress. We still need to get his room done, and he needs some clothes. I still have a ton of work to get done at school, which is no fun at all.

However, it astonishes me that we are almost done with this part of the journey. I had a baby shower yesterday, and it was so fun to open baby gifts and talk about meeting my boy. I really can't wait, even though I wish I could press the fast forward or video montage button at this point (look at Hillary completing her evaluations and setting up the crib.)

Is it March yet? :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A California January

It's January 22nd.

It's 65 degrees.

I'm sitting on my bed in short sleeves with the window open. Birds are singing.

I love California.

This week was pretty good for a couple reasons. For one, it was only four days long. For another, the weather was fantastic. No ice patches to worry about on campus. No rainy lunches to deal with. Vice Principal bliss.

Those who are familiar with middle school students know that nice weather is not necessarily a nice thing. Sunshine can bring out the wild side of pre-teens. There was a fair amount of giggling and sneaky hand holding this week at my school.

However, I imagine that this nice weather is temporary and that we will be back to cold and wet soon. February and March tend to be rainy months here in Sac, but we get a little break in January, which tends to be dry and sunny.

I'm not sure how much of the pleasant weather we will get to enjoy today outside, as we have been cleaning up around the house and we are about to work on the baby's room again. I am hoping to take Em out at some point today or tomorrow, but we'll stay close to home. I cannot express how much I love the weekends and our quiet time at home. Work is fine, but the break is entirely necessary.

Next week should be a challenge. First, there's five days of work. Sigh. Second, I really need to get a move on with my second round of observations, and I need to get my office ready for my replacement. I have a doctor's appointment this week and my first non-stress test. I'm not pleased that from this week forward I will begin twice-weekly non-stress tests. I really wish they would just have me do one a week and build up to two if they are necessary. It's ironic that something with the word "non-stress" in it can cause so much stress. :)

For now, Em and I will continue bird watching from my bedroom window. Ahhhhhh....

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I Heart the Weekend

I really do. Especially the three-day ones.

It's not that I don't like my job. I have an interesting, challenging, ever-changing job as a school administrator. I have worked very hard for this job, and it is the realization of a dream to have it.


It is quite literally kicking my ass right now.

I'd like to blame the pregnancy. Yes, I feel huge. Yes, my feet hurt. Yes, the CONSTANT doctor's appointments in Roseville hamper my ability to get things done.

However, January and February have never been months in which I experience high levels of energy. Despite the two-week winter break, I'm always pooped. By the time I get to March, I'm pretty whiny. Then the weather starts to warm up (typically) and I can begin to see the end of the year.

The last two weeks have gone by fine, but I've noticed that my "battery" seems to wind down by Friday. Take my work arrival times, for instance. Monday--6:55 (really not sure how I did that.) Tuesday--7:10. Wednesday--7:15. Thursday--7:20. Friday--7:30 (um, yikes.)

Thursday was really the only bleak day of this week. I felt really sorry for myself and really wiped out. It was the whole typical "No one appreciates one understands" bull-crap one can go through at times. Thankfully, I left at 2:30 for a doctor's appointment (yes, in f-ing Roseville), so I got to have some much-needed time to myself. I chatted on the phone with my sister, took myself out to dinner, read a book, and went to book club. It was a necessary change of pace.

Friday the sun came out and I felt much more optimistic.

Especially since the weekend had finally arrived.

Yesterday my big task was to go to Old Navy to get some baby clothes for my new cousin Andrea (so cute) and some yoga pants for myself (I LOVE them). I also too scored some cute tiger clothes for Owen. Yes, I went a little crazy with the shopping, but it was fun.

My sister and her family came up yesterday and it was great to see them for the first time since her birthday in December. We also got to see my cousin Ben and his wife and daughter, which was a nice treat. Even my aunt Linda stopped by for a visit.

Today a friend is taking me to a fancy baby store to check out strollers. Sadly, that will probably be all I do today. :) Tomorrow I think I need to head into work to get some stuff done, but I'd like to only be there a couple hours. It's a four-day week, which is nice, but I have learned that I am still expected to get the same amount of work done in fewer days.

But now it's the weekend, and I'm my yoga pants, and all is well. :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

1 Week Down...

7 to 10 to go. :)

I had a shocking (and rather silly) realization on Thursday. As usual, I got my little reminder on Thursday from Baby Center what week in pregnancy I'm in, how big the baby is, etc. (This week is a cabbage.)

This Thursday I hit 30 weeks.

For some reason that freaked me out.

All of a sudden the birth of my child, which before had seemed like it would NEVER happen, seemed very close.

If my first pregnancy is any indication, I could go (yes, like a bomb), in seven weeks. Ack! Hopefully, I've learned some things since my last pregnancy and I can hold him in for at least 8 weeks. (By the way, he just kicked me. That better be a sign of agreement.)

First, I'd like to delay birth until at least March for his health. Emerson was born healthy at 37 weeks, but she was small and not really interested in eating. It made things a little tough for all three of us.

Second, I like the idea of a March birthday for my little one. Our February is wacko with birthdays and anniversaries. March is pretty clear.

Third, my boss will be gone from February 11th to the 23rd. Her son is coming back from the war in Afghanistan and she will be flying to Tennessee to spend time with him. While I know that there is very little control that women have over when their children decide to arrive, I would love to be able to support my principal. Now, I don't know how helpful I will be at that point, but I would like to try.

This week back at work went well. I was pretty tired by the end of the day, but I got everything done that I needed to and my energy levels felt pretty high. It actually turned out to be important that I felt okay. The other vice principal stayed out on Thursday to take care of her daughter, and yesterday my principal had to leave to take care of a health issue. Luckily, everything went smoothly both days. But I'm not gonna lie, I was happy to leave on Friday.

This weekend should be the definition of relaxed. We slept in this morning, and we are starting to get moving. Today will be all about staying at home, hopefully getting some cleaning done. I'm not looking forward to cleaning out the spare room, but it really is necessary. Plus, I know I will feel better when the baby's room is ready. That'll take awhile...sigh.

But again, 7 to 10 weeks. :)