Saturday, September 27, 2008

Kid Weekend!

First of all, THANK YOU for still checking my blog :o)

Second of all, as you can imagine, things have been just as busy as I've talked about before which is why my posts are still so few and far between. I'm honestly doing everything I can and have come to terms with the fact that this year is just going to be that way. I have gotten caught up on my grading, so I've decided to use my daily planning to stay on top of that and then just plan my lessons in the afternoons when I get home (so as not to live in my classroom). As much as I hate using my time with Josh to do my work, it's better than just not having time at home. Another teacher I work with - it's her 2nd year - stays at school until 8 at night so she doesn't have to take work home, but she also never sees her husband.

And third, my sister went out of town this weekend and left her children with US! My mom took the baby but we have Lacy and Leo today and tomorrow. This weekend is also my school's homecoming. So originally I thought it would be a lot of fun to take the kids to the parade and then to watch the football game. So we got up this morning to go get them and of course there's a tropical storm coming through. Lame. I held out hope as long as I could but when we arrived at the parade and it was pouring buckets and people were racing for their cars, we decided it was a no-go.

So instead of that we stopped at Target for some milk and something to eat for lunch. For some reason Josh and I failed to prepare for this weekend in the grocery sense. We were completely out of juice in the first 10 minutes (considering we only had 1/2 a glass each of orange juice and V8 Acai berry). So we picked up some lunch things, some candy since I had told Leo there would be candy at the parade, some break-n-bake halloween cookies for fun, and this random window-cling pumpkin set. The pumpkin turned out to be a smart move because the kids were completely involved with making different pumpkin faces on the window the whole time I was getting lunch ready.

After we ate we had to play Rock Band! Leo had been asking all day if we could play his favorite song, "Carrot for you" which is really the song Dani California by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The line is "California rest in peace" but Leo sings "Carrot for you, rest in cheese" which we find hilarious. We played a few songs on Rock Band and decided it was nap/quiet time so we turned on a Star Wars movie (surprise).

Later Ben and Jenna are coming over for dinner and I'm certain there will be more Rock Band. So far it's been a lot of fun even though we were trapped inside all day. And tomorrow we are planning to go to a picnic Josh's Dad's work is having. They always have tons of stuff for kids so as long as the weather holds out we should be good.

Enjoy today's pictures below:

Lacy posing with the pumpkin face she made

Leo with his pumpkin face

More fun with the pumpkin face

Lunch time - Uncle Josh enjoys a Kid Cuisine with the kids

And you can't play Rock Band without making the Rock Band Face. Here's Leo's:

Two more funny pumpkin faces

Singing "Dani California" ~ Carrot for ya, rest in cheeeeese.....

Rockin out on guitar

Hittin the drums like a pro

And.... nap time :o)

Hopefully some more cute ones tomorrow :o)

Friday, September 12, 2008

So long, so long....

Wow, it's been a week and a half! I can't believe you're still checking this thing.

I hate to make this my big comeback after such a long break because there's really not a lot new to report. As you can imagine I've been MIA due to the overload of lesson planning and paper grading (which, yes, I should be doing right now on my Friday afternoon). All I can say is that I'd better be teaching the same exact subjects (or only one or the other of them) next year because this life is for the birds.

On top of constant lesson planning and standing in lines at the copier that rival Toys 'R Us on black Friday, grad classes have started up again. So I am in class two nights a week and somehow trying to write papers and do homework while I'm keeping up with the demands of work. It's unfortunate, but as much as I love this new position, it has also made me really realize that I'm ready to be a guidance counselor and put lesson planning and grading out of my life for good. If I could choose a faction of my job (say just the teaching part, or just the planning part) it would be comparable to what most other people do for a living. I could spend about 8 hours a day on it and go home to enjoy my family. However, the three factions together on top of graduate school means I can't even plan things on the weekend because I have too much work to do.

I am so sorry that this has been nothing but complaining. Now you're really sorry that you're still checking it ;O)

I think recently I posted about using exercise to escape my stress. That worked for a few days, but then as I realized that it was yet another commitment, I began weighing its necessity against the other tasks it was competing with. Several days so far it has lost out completely. The other day I tried Pilates instead of a vigorous cardio workout on the elliptical. Pilates and Yoga are supposed to be good for stress and calming you down while still giving you a workout. It was nice. I think I liked it better (although I know they always say you should do cardio regularly). I'm going to try alternating between the different Pilates routines on my DVD (abs and hips/thighs/butt). I did abs the other day and could definitely feel it in the whole trunk of my body. Hopefully I'll build some muscle that will burn fat for me until I have the energy for the vigorous cardio stuff again.

On that note, I think I'll get my workout taken care of and then grade some papers until Josh gets home. Tonight we're having dinner with Jennie (Josh's sister) and her bf Michael for Michael's birthday. We love hanging out with them so it should also provide a fun break from all my work stress.

I hope you're willing to keep checking my blog even if my posts slow down. And I hope everyone has a great weekend :o)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

You Know You're At Your Wits' End When.....

Pardon the dramatic title. I'm not quite at my wits' end... yet. However, I did plan a workout and look forward to it all day (?!?!?!). Have I lost it? I really am not that fond of exercise, yet I found myself thinking about this workout all day.

It started with my realization that if I wanted this "diet" (yes "") to work, I was going to have to work out. Lame. So much for the easy way. It turned out that the diet was NOT easy. I've always gone back and forth about which I'd rather do and which was the more effective way to get/stay in shape: was it to watch carefully what I eat without being a super-strict maniac, or was it working out regularly? After two weeks of strict phase 1 on South Beach, I decided once and for all that working out was the easier way! Anyway, this weekend was the one month marker of the start of our diet: 2 weeks of very strict phase one, and 2 weeks of us being very not strict on phase two. Josh and I both hit a "plateau" (surely a term some man thought up to describe a situation relating to your body -- no woman would ever use LANDFORMS for this purpose) around the end of week one. We had both lost about 5 pounds, and by the end of week two it was around 7 for both of us. After ending the strict phase, we both still hovered right around the same weight. I thought... if I've stopped losing weight while still on the strict phase, what exactly is going to happen when I add back in the whole grain & berry carbs? I was afraid I would gain but fortunately my weight just stayed the same. Two weeks later I'm still at a 7-pound loss from the very beginning. Josh on the other hand recently added in a workout routine mostly consisting of strength training. Now he has doubled his loss and is down by 15. Seeing this I decided it was time to get my butt in gear and start working out as well.

There are many reasons I haven't exercised in the past. The two biggest are time and sweat. Exercise requires you to set aside time for it, and sometimes I just don't have it. This might be due to working late, errands, social plans or appointments after work, and let's not forget cooking dinner. Schedules fill up and we only have so many hours in the evening, and so many evenings in the week. So anything that needs to get done has to get scheduled during that time. All that aside, there is the sweat factor. If I have class or anything else to do in public in the afternoon or evening, I can not work out before hand. I will not go places in my sweaty workout clothes, and I will not shower, put on a fresh outfit, and re-do my hair and makeup just for 2 hours of class, dinner w/friends, or any other evening shenanigans. It's not worth it. So those have been my excuses.

Today was some freak of nature (or act of God). I had decided I was going to start working out. I planned on 45 minutes a day on the eliptical during Dr. Phil, Oprah, or the news depending on when I get home. I thought about it all day. I left work early with a blinding headache and an empty stomach but never even considered cancelling my workout plans. I popped some excedrine when I got home and had a snack (I won't mention that it was a little piece of cheesecake that I've been working on for a few days now). I even threw in some laundry to run while I was on the eliptical. In the past I've had a lot of difficulty getting the downstairs TV to work (it's hooked up to various dvd players and speaker systems - you have to push a lot of buttons to get sound AND picture, particularly the sound and picture you WANT). Today, it came right on with my first try. I stuck it out for 36 minutes and decided to cut myself a break since this was the first time in a long time that I'd exercised.

I thought about it and realized how important today was. Not only to break the long streak of non-exercise, but that if I could do it today in the condition I was in, I can do it any day. Granted I didn't have class or anything else to go to tonight, but I felt awful when I got home. I was proud of myself for just doing it anyway. I also thought about the combination of factors that pushed me. First, I know, was that I wanted to lose some more weight. But I also realized that I wanted to escape my lesson planning and paper grading. I actually got fed up enough with the recent deluge of work that I turned to exercise as my escape. At least it wasn't alcohol! Hahaha, and not that I want the stress of work to continue to burden me, but I hope I will continue to turn to exercise for stress relief. It was somewhat out of character for me, so I'm all impressed with myself.... sorry :o)

Ok and as if this post isn't long enough, I'll talk a little about how the school year is going. I had a surprise visit from one of the Central Office people today. That was a little awkward and stress-inducing. I didn't show it outwardly though, which was nice. She came in during my World history class and they aren't very enthusiastic about the 14th century. So unfortunately she really got to watch me pulling teeth. It worked out ok though. The class is overall really good. I also have my first official observation for the tenure process on Friday. I had to meet with one of the APs this afternoon to discuss my lesson. He's a really nice guy so I'm not concerned, but you always worry a little about things going well. Other than that I'm very much enjoying my students and the topics I'm teaching. I am very very happy with this job :o)

I'll leave you with that. Don't forget to watch Sarah Palin's speech tonight!