Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pre-Prego Pants

Who is that sexy momma strutting her stuff in those nice khaki pants? Oh, yeah, it's me! It's only taken me 18 months to get back to my pre-pregnancy pant size, and I'm gonna milk it for all it's worth! Granted, I don't totally look like I did before Little Toots started growing in my tummy; my hips are wider, my feet are bigger, and my boobs are, well...let's just say they look like they had been feed bags for a year. But, today, alleluia , praise be to the treadmill! Today, I bravely stepped into my pre-prego pants, buttoned them (could it be? really? could they fit?!) and TA-DA! I don't have massive muffin top. (Ok, there is a little muffin top, but I can totally hide it under my shirt.) How did I do it, you ask? Well, the secret can be YOURS for just $49.99....or, I can tell you about it for free.

Diet: Many will tell you that "diet" is a four letter word. It's true. See? I wrote it right over there <-----. But it's not a BAD word. Diet is simply what you eat. Everyone is on a "diet". Some have poor diets. I used to be one of these people. I literally ate fast food every single day during the summer of 2003. Sometimes twice a day. It was gross. I wasn't fat, but I certainly wasn't healthy. Then, during my semester off in 2006, I got very, very skinny. Again, I wasn't fat, but I certainly was not healthy. I ate very little, and drank a whole lot. After I met Hubby J, my diet improved. He is a wonderful cook, and we had no money so we couldn't afford to eat out. We worked at a farm stand, so veggies were super cheap.  When I got pregnant, J was on me constantly about eating right. I wasn't allowed to give in to my cravings...well, ok, maybe once or twice!

I haven't had fast food in almost a year, and to tell you the truth, I don't miss it at all.  I only drink soda occasionally, and I don't snack.  I try not to carbo-load, and I eat a ton of veggies.  I love chocolate, so I will eat dessert a few times a week.  Mmmmm, cookies!  So my diet isn't perfect, but compared to most Americans I'm doing really well.

Exercise: Currently, I'm on the Couch to 10K program, and it is AMAZEBALLS.  This summer, I started running and I pushed myself too hard.  I got shin splints, and it was so painful that I thought I broke my leg.  I figured that if I went balls to the walls, I could just melt away the fat.  Um, no.  It doesn't work like that.  When you're out of shape, you have to start slowly.  I noticed that a lot of my friends on Facebook were posting about Couch to 5K, and I thought 'Well, hey now, I can do that!'  I decided 5K was not a great goal, so I started the Couch to 10K program.  I bought an app for my iPhone, and it's the best purchase I've ever made!  The app actually tells you when to walk, when to run, when you're halfway through, and when it's time to cool down.  The program lasts 13 weeks.  Here is a sample of the schedule:

Week 4: Day 1: 5 min warm up, Run for 2 minutes walk for 3 minutes 11 times, 5 minute cool down.  62 mins total
Day 2: 5 minute warm-up, run for 2 mins, walk for 3 mins 9 times, 5 min. cool down. 52 mins total
Day 3: 5 min warm-up, run for 2 mins, walk for 3 mins 10 times, 5 min. cool down.  57 mins total.

Week 8: Day 1: 5 min warm-up, run 5 mins, walk 1 min 10 times. 69 mins total.
Day 2: 5 min warm-up, run 5 mins, walk 1 min 8 times, 5 min cool down. 57 min total.
Day 3: 5 min warm-up, run 5 mins, walk 1 min 9 times, 5 min cool down. 63 min total.

Week 10: Day 1: 5 min warm-up, run 10 mins, walk 1 min 4 times, 5 min cool down. 53 min total.
Day 2: 5 min warm-up, run 20 mins, walk 1 min, run 20 mins, 5 min cool down. 51 min total.
Day 3: 5 min warm-up, run 22 mins, walk 1 min, run 22 mins, 5 min cool down. 55 min total.

Week 13: Day 1: 5 minute warm-up, then run for 50 minutes, 5 minute cool down
Day: 2 Run 10K!

Tomorrow I'm on Day 3 of Week 4, and I'm excited!  I really like running like this.  I don't feel achy afterwards, and while I sweat like a hooker in church, it still feels good!  These 4 weeks of running has made me drop almost two pant sizes!  It really is incredible.

My long-term goal is to run at half marathon.  The Lake Placid half marathon, to be precise.  Registration begins in October, and I'm definitely signing up.  I figure that if I can run at 10K by November, I should be able to keep training in time to do a half marathon by June (it's about 21K).
Me, at my thinnest
Me, at my heaviest




















Hopefully, in another month, I will have another "skinny" picture, but this time, I'll be skinny AND healthy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Teacher Appreciation

Q: What's the difference between high school freshman and college freshman?
A: Scrubby facial hair?  Because they act EXACTLY THE SAME!

Today was a teaching day, and as you can probably guess, it went swimmingly (they really need to make a "sarcastic" font).  Half of the kids were asleep, the other half were talking to each other, and the one or two that actually care earned major brownie points.  Granted, today's topic (How to Write a Thesis Statement) was a tad dry.  I dare anyone to show me how to make that subject fun.  As I was sitting there in front of a captive audience (captive in the sense that they couldn't leave class for another 40 minutes), I started reminiscing about teachers that I've had throughout my school career.

Mr. Turner - My 12th grade English teacher.  He actually created a class for a friend and me so that we didn't have to take Spanish 4 with some crazy lady that expected us to read Don Quixote in the original Spanish.  Um, no.  Anyway, Mr. Turner let us write the Senior Murder Mystery in lieu of a foreign language.  I must say, it was the most brilliant production ever to be put on at the H-town Elementary cafetorium (that's right, folks, a cafeteria/auditorium HYBRID!)  In our regular English class, he made even the most menial tasks fun.  It's probably the only class from high school I remember vividly.  Thanks, Mr. Turner.

Dr. Coleman - While he would never win a popularity contest at good ol' Potsdam, he was one of my favorite teachers.  I have a new found respect for this PhD that was stuck teaching Freshman composition, now that I'm faced with a freshman class of my very own.  Dr. Coleman expected a lot out of his students, and I think that's why I learned so much from him.  I enjoyed Renaissance Lit. so much I seriously considered going on to earn a PhD of my very own.  It was the first 4.0 I felt I worked really hard for.  Totally worth dealing with Dr. Cs breath (ew).  Thank you, Dr. Coleman.

Dr. Maus - The quintessential "cool" teacher.  I took as many classes as I could with him.  Simply knowing what he was talking about made me feel like a genius!  He's one of those guys that standing alone, wouldn't be much to look at, but add intelligence to the equation and BOOM - salivating sophomores line up outside his door for office hours.  He really encouraged my academic writing, and I discovered my "voice".  True story: In our folklore and mythology class, we had to present to the class.  My topic was the 8-fold path to enlightenment.  Dr. Maus, being enthusiastic, kept interrupting the presentation, and pretty much stepped all over what I wanted to say.  So, in my evaluation of the class, I just suggested that he not interrupt presentations. Fast forward to next semester, day one of some upper division lit class.  Dr. Maus is doing his first day spiel and he looks right at me and says "Megan, let me know if I'm talking too much."  AHHHH!  I could have died right there!  Those damn things are supposed to be CONFIDENTIAL!  He didn't hold a grudge, though.  Thanks, Dr. Maus.

Dr. Kenny - Take him, or leave him.  Dr. Kenny is who he is, no apologies about it.  You had to be interviewed to enroll in his poetry workshop.  He told everyone that he only let in pretty women and ugly men (alienating the entire class on the first day, that's just how he rolls)  He even kicked everyone out once when we didn't have an assignment done - that he never got around to assigning.  At times, he made you want to bang your head against the desk and burn every single poem you ever though was worth something, because, according to Dr. Kenny, it's absolute rubbish.  It was like the Gordon Ramsey approach to writing.  "What is this?? You'll bloody KILL SOMEBODY!!!!!!!!"  However, when I was in my grad program, he asked me to be a part of an "old timers" poetry reading - basically, his favorite students.  I was incredibly touched.  Thank you, Dr. Kenny.

Teaching isn't easy, and it doesn't always feel worth the time and effort.  But, if you're lucky, you'll reach someone and change the way they feel about themselves, school, or life in general.  Thank a teacher today!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Daddy's Girl

I was in labor for about 22 hours, 16 of which were spent in the hospital.  I pushed for around an hour and a half, drug-free at that point.  And as soon as my little girl emerged from the nice, warm home I made for her, everyone exclaimed "Oh my God, she looks just like her daddy!"  The nurses teased that at least we knew for sure who the father was (hardy-har-har), while I scanned her face for some similarity between us.  Nope, nada.  She was definitely her daddy's daughter.

I expected her to grow and look more like me.  Wrong again!  She has his smile, his frown, his concentrating gaze, she even gives me the same withering stare when I do something silly.  Except for the red hair (which comes directly from my dad, thankyouverymuch) she is alllllllllllll J.

Little Toots also prefers her Papa to me.  If I try to kiss her, she pushes me away and declares "No!"  If I pick her up, she squiggles and squirms until I have to put her down for fear of dropping her!  She wants Daddy to change her (that I don't mind), Daddy to take her outside, Daddy to push her on the swing.  Daddy Daddy Daddy.  Excuse me, I was the one in labor for TWENTY TWO HOURS, kid, not to mention the permanent damage done to my bladder, the stretch marks, and the saggy pancakes that were once my perky boobies!  Seriously folks, I used to have a figure, and now I look like one of those tribal women in Africa that have never had the pleasure of a Victoria's Secret in their village. 

Moving on.

Yes, so the baby looks like my husband, but does she act like him?  Yeah, because I'd be that lucky!  No, no, she acts just like me!  As much as she resembles J physically, emotionally she is me!  She has a screaming fit if she can't do something right the first time, and all hell brakes loose if you try to help her, because she HAS to do it by herself.  Sheesh!  She hates socks, and she is an incredibly picky eater.  Yup, that's me in a nutshell.  But she has some of my good qualities, too.  She loves music, and bops along when I sing in the car.  She seems to like books, although at this point she just turns the pages and call it a day.  She's a talker, which I think is good (but my father might disagree!)

I can find a bit of J and a bit of myself every time I look at Little Toots, but I'm more excited to see who she is going to be - a beautiful, red-headed, unique, and brilliant little girl.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Aa-choo!

Busy day today!  Mom-in-law was up visiting Little Toots, and she brought me a TON of yarn! Expect to see my latest project soon. No time to write anything witty, so I thought I should just share one of my favorite videos of the baby.

I submitted this to America's Funniest Videos, but I don't think we got on :(


video
Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Intervention


Hi.  My name is Megan, and I'm addicted to butter.  Sweet, glorious butter!  Whether generic or Lake o Lakes, with the Indian lady's knee/boobie peek-a-boo trick, butter is amazing.  Without it, toast would just be crunchy bread, and butter-cream frosting would be non-existent!  And poor Paula Dean would be unemployed!

My love affair with butter started at an early age.  I was an anti-sauce kid, so I ate my pasta with butter.  Rice with butter.  Veggies with butter.  My mom tried to switch to margarine for awhile, but I staged a coup and butter was quickly reinstated at the family condiment of choice.  At restaurants, we would always have to ask for extra packets of butter for our rolls.  I mean, do they really expect that one tiny square to sufficiently cover a roll?  Really?? It's not like my excessive butter use was harming me; I was an active child, and skinny to the point of awkwardness.  Butter wasn't slowing me down, not one bit!

However, when I arrived at college, I stopped my normal routine. I usually had a dance class or play rehearsal every day after school - at college, I had way too much free time, which I normally spent bumming around with my friends.  A sedentary life style, along with my love of butter led my down the path of the dreaded Freshman 15.  And Sophomore 20.  It was not a pretty picture.  Did this stop my buttery obsession?

No!

I still smear it on bagles, bread, pasta, pastries, everything.  Today, I decided to bring leftover spaghetti and meatballs to work for lunch.  Hubby watched as I added a few pats of butter to the spag before scooping up some sauce.  He shook his head in utter dismay and said "Megan, we need to have a butter intervention."

"What, why?" I asked, wondering if I should lick the buttery knife clean.

"Butter is ruining your life!  I don't want to come home one day and find you covered in butter!  Think of the baby!!"  I could see his mind swimming with images of me, sitting on the kitchen floor, shoveling sticks of butter into my mouth a la Homer Simpson.

I know I should cut back, or even quit.  Not just for my health, but to set a good example for Little Toots.  Butter is a sometimes food.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Key to a Happy Marriage; or Where the BLEEP are my Shoes?!


I’m not what you would call a “morning person”.  In fact, I’m the antithesis of a morning person.  Each morning, I crack open my eyes just wide enough to view the alarm clock so very rudely pointing out that I had, in fact, five more minutes to sleep.  Grumbling, I turn off the alarm before it sounds, swing my feet out of bed and tip toe to the bathroom, because if I walk like a normal person, Little Toots will hear me and immediate demand a diaper change.  Inevitably, she’ll wake up just as I plop myself on to the (freezing!) toilet seat.  I tinkle faster than humanly possible, and rush to her room only to discover that my husband has beat me to it.  Hmrph.  So, I wander into the shower, which spitefully switches from cold water to hot water erratically.  Goose bumped or second-degree burned, I brush my teeth, throw on an “outfit”, slap some make-up on and head downstairs.  At this point, I just want to get in the car and head to work, because at work I have one hour to myself before anyone comes in.  One full hour, in which I can check my email, listen to music, take my shoes off, and just breathe.

My husband is a morning person.  He’s annoyingly cheery, and somehow finds time to feed Little Toots, pack her bag, drink coffee, listen to NPR, and fiddle with his computer.  I look like a soppy wet rat, and my clothes don’t match, but he’s sitting there playing some MMORPG called Doom or Slash or something. He drops Little Toots off at daycare while I scarf down some grown-up cereal (i.e Super Colon Cleanse Bran Flakes, the off-brand) and try to get organized.  Today is a teaching day, and I’m super stressed because my kids are uncooperative little *expletive deleted*.  I look at the clock and realized that I should have left five minutes ago, but I can’t find my shoes.

Me: “Where are my shoes?  The black ones?”

Husband: “I don’t know.”

Me: “I left them by the door, did you move them?  Or did Little Toots move them because you know how she likes to carry my shoes around.  Or they under the couch?  Did she leave them in the middle of the floor, so you put them somewhere else?

Husband: “I don’t know.”

Me (getting angry): “They are my ONLY pair of black shoes, and I’m late!”

At this point I’m crawling around on my hands and knees to see if the baby stashed them under the couch, but all I found were two board books, a plastic number “3”, and a remote control.  My husband has gone upstairs to look, and returns empty handed.

Me: “I’m late, what am I gonna do? You always move my stuff, you never leave it where it is!  Don’t touch my stuff…” I’ve gone from speaking English to speaking some other worldly, screeching dialect.  I am completely irrational, rant and raving like a lunatic.  If this were Homer, I’d be tearing my hair and beating my breast.  I marched up the stairs, and lo and behold, under the pile of dirty clothes, I discover my shoes.  Now, obviously, I wore them upstairs and left them there, but it’s the morning and I’m a banshee.  I swoop down the stair and hoist the shoes into my husband’s face and say “I thought you looked upstairs?! I didn’t leave them there!  How did they get there?  YOU must have moved them!!”

I think, at this point, any normal male would be like, Woman, you are insane and I’ve had enough of this.  But no, not my man.  He just looks at me, gives me a hug, and sends me out of the door.  I have been screaming at him for literally ten full minutes and he just scoots me out, and goes about his business.  After I’ve been at the office for a while, I give him a call and apologize.  He tells me it’s ok, and we chat for a bit, ending the call by saying “I love you”.  This isn’t the first time that this fight has happened, and I know it won’t be the last.

The key to a happy marriage, or our happy marriage at least, is to let the crazy person come to their own realization that they are a crazy person, and never, EVER move their shoes.


Reflection on Summer 2011


This summer is special to me because, well, we’re broke.  Behind on the mortgage, disconnect notice, eating Ramen broke.  Not broke, as in “Aw, man, I’d love to go to your lake house for the week, but I’m broke” broke.  Broke as in “Honey, help me scrounge for change so we can buy diapers because we’re down to the last one” broke.

How is it that we find ourselves in this dilemma? You see, my husband and I had this crazy dream.  We wanted to be teachers!  We were going to change the world, one eager student at a time.  We were going to read poetry, and inspire young minds to think original thoughts!  We were going to write lesson plans, and grade papers.  We were going to eat terrible cafeteria food, and chaperone the middle school dance.  But, the great state of New York had other plans for us.  These plans involved seven college degrees, and six partial jobs.  Yes, that’s right.  Even working six jobs between us, we still can’t afford to put gas in the car.  My husband works at a bike shop, managing the web site and working the floor.  He also teaches classes at the local community college, as well as a State school and a private university.  I also work at a private college, tutoring and working with students with disabilities.  This summer, I also signed on to work as a library technician, and took a part time job at a clothing boutique.

Summer is always a hard season for us, because as teachers, we don’t have work.  My husband occasionally teaches a summer English class, but alas, apparently students were somehow proficient enough to not need summer help this year.  Once upon a time, I dreamed of having summer vacations with my family, driving down the coast, or seeing the Grand Canyon.  Now, I have night terrors of having the car repossessed, or not having anything to feed my daughter.  I find myself wishing for the day that I might have a salary of $30,000 with (dare I even write it?) benefits!

We keep on truckin’.  I wake up to a beautiful, intelligent 18-month-old, smiling and bouncing in her crib.  She doesn’t know we’re broke.  She doesn’t know that I want more for her, that I want to take her to Disney World in an outfit that was purchased, NEW, from a cute little shop without a “mart” at the end of its name.  All she knows is that her mommy and her daddy adore her, and while we can’t give her stuff, we can give her more love than any kid could need.  And honestly, she’s made me feel rich every day this summer.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Well, hello there!

That's right, another blog.  I have a half dozen abandoned blogs floating about the internet.  Sad little blogs, I didn't love you the way that I should.  So, I figured that since I can't commit to one type of blog - photos, crafts, motherhood, writing - I'll just make a go of all of my hobbies in one awesome blog.

Well, maybe not awesome.  Not yet.

One hobby I've always had is writing.  Even when I was a little kid, I would write stories and poems.  Recently, I discovered a website called Stage of Life  They have essay writing contests about different stages of life, like high school, college, marriage, baby etc., so I decided to write a little essay.

And I won!  Hooray!  Here's the link to my essay.


I'll repost it later, as well as other essays I write.



I'm looking forward to keeping this blob!  I hope it sticks!!