Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Inmates are Running the Asylum

By this I am referring to my two dogs, and the 7 month old chocolate lab puppy I'm watching for a friend. They have been doing fine...all playing together and being friends. Today for some reason, they all decided that they need my undivided attention and to be in my lap. I think all three of them are having some form of separation anxiety--the pup from his mama, and my two from their daddy. They are clingy and hyper, grumpy and tired simultaneously. All in all, this whole day has brought up the question of who's really in charge--the dogs or the human?

The answer is clearly the canines.

PS: Our pointer is on my shit list tonight. We were running (yes, literally) towards the dumpster in the complex parking lot when she decided to dodge in front of me, spin so that she was perpendicular to my path, and stop. So other than learning that the dogs are really in charge, what else have I learned today?

I still remember how to take a fall. Which soothes my ego a bit, but does nothing for my scraped side. Ah well. They can't all be A+ days.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Battle of the Bulge, II

My Wii Fit is AMAZING! Seriously, I worked out for an hour and 15 mins Tues, 45 mins Weds, an hour Thurs, and an hour and 10 mins yesterday without even realizing where the time went! It has such a great variety of aerobic workouts and combination strength/yoga exercies that I can switch it up whenever I start getting bored, which lets me go longer! I also love the balance games...they're a really great warm-up! My favorites so far: Penguin Slide, Ski Slolam and Ski Jump, Rhythmic Boxing, Super Step, Super Hoolahoop (feel the burn in the abs!), pretty much all of the yoga poses, the leg lift and ab strength exercises, and the Meditation balance exercise! So, as you can see, I have plenty of variety to fill the time. As far as progress on my weight loss goals go, according to my bathroom scale, yesterday I weighed 163.6!!! According to the Wii Fit, it was actually 162.6...and since I'm now using the Wii to track my progress (and the bathroom scale has been dropped and kicked around repeatedly) I'm going to go with the Wii Fit weight. This of course does not mean I've lost an extra pound...it just means I was probably a pound lighter when I started lol. Anyway, I am now almost back down to wedding weight...just a couple more pounds to go! I'm hoping to be back down to 145-150 by January/Febuary (my Wii Fit goal based on a good BMI).

On a personal note, I'm really glad the Wii Fit game in when it did...I'm not sure how I'd be filling the hours with the hubby gone without it! He comes home this coming Saturday evening...I can't wait! Granted, some alone time is always nice...but almost two weeks of it is a bit much! I want my husband back :-P. He's having a great time out in Flagstaff though and so far the testing's going well.

If anything this whole time with him being gone has served as a great time of self-evaluation. I have never and will never forget the lessons I learned in college concerning maintaining a sense of self and the ability to function independently. This past week has really been the first time since the hubby and I got married that we've been completely apart. Granted, for a few weeks before the testing run he was working 60-70 hrs a week so I didn't see him much, but he was still there when I woke up in the mornings (mostly). I'm pretty proud of myself for how I've done this last week. I miss him, of course, but I've been able to be ok with the brief phone calls we were able to have this last week (except for Thursday...no phone call then). There's no cell phone reception at the testing site, so we make do with what we can get. I've been an independent working woman...taking care of the dogs in the morning, going to teach, coming home and taking an hour to unwind, then taking care of the dogs, fixing myself dinner, eating, working out, showering, taking care of the dogs again, talking to the boy when possible and then going to bed. It's been peculiarly satisfying, knowing that I am fully capable of keeping my life going when the hubby's gone.

That said, it's pretty lonely even with the dogs. Cooking dinner (I love my Skillet Meals!) only to put 2/3 of it in a storage container for the next two nights, sitting down to eat dinner alone, and then crawling into a bed by myself...it makes me very grateful and thankful for my husband and the life we've built together. I could definitely pull off the life of a single 20-something, but I'm glad that my path was something altogether different--a wonderful life shared with my best friend, the love of my life, my husband.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's Amazing How Attached We Get...

Well hubby flew out for Flagstaff this morning. I'm super excited for him, but I'm going to miss him for the next 10 days. He texted me when he landed and called me while he was driving from Phoenix to Flagstaff. We talked for a bit until he went through a dead zone in the Arizona hills. I'll call him tonite before I go to bed, but he's going to be working 16 hour shifts for the next 10 days, so I probably won't get to talk to him long. Sigh. Oh well...I'll just pretend we're back to him working on a coop tour and I'm in school in CS...oh wait, I still got to talk to him then so that analogy doesn't really work...gah. Oh well.

So what did I do today since he's not home? Well, I cleaned the kitchen, watched some TV, sat with the dogs, and worked out for 1 hr and 10 mins on my brand new Wii Fit! That's right, I know have a Wii Fit and it ROCKS! The hoolahooping basic and advanced and the step basic and advanced are my favorites, and I love the yoga too. The balance games are fun, and helped me to warm up and get used to the balance board. It was so easy to keep working out b/c it was fun! I was playing a video game, and getting exercise at the same time! Later, I might play Zelda for a bit, but right now Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi is on, so I'm indulging my inner nerd/geek. I should have gone to the store tonite to buy more apples, but I think I'll survive one day without an apple in my lunch.

On a completely unrelated note, I found a foster home for a lost puppy yesterday! The foster lady named her Dobie, after my high school, because that's where I/we found her. She came into the school yesterday morning, and I was the only one to actually try to get her back outside--repeatedly might I add! I actually had to pick her up and carry her out three times, as high school students apparently don't know how to NOT let a dog back into the school. She was two or three years old, and a beautiful brindle (read tiger-stripped) pit mix, and just the sweetest thing! She curled up in my lap for 10 mins and licked my chin while my principal went to find a substitute leash for her. Then one of the APs and I stashed her in the coaches' dressing room, and I spent the rest of the day (b/c we only had yesterday) trying to find her a shelter or foster home. She must have been someone's pet--she did great on a leash, is quite obviously house trained (no accidents in the dressing room, but she waited until I had her out in the grass!), and is only slightly thin with great physical composition and skin (minus the inevitable fleas of course). She needed to be "fixed" but the foster mom said she'd take care of that...I'm trying to get a donation for the vet this network of foster homes uses to help with costs (the vet does the work on the fosters for free!).

I adamantly did not want to call the pound...because of her pit blood they would have simply put her down. At the very end of the day (7th period to be exact) my last lead panned out, and a foster mom was contacted! I sped through the 30 minute drive to meet her, and handed the pup off (I'd been calling her Honey...more as a nickname than anything, and the lady's grandson liked Dobie better...I can't say I disagree!). I was so glad to not have to just turn her lose into the street, or worse! to call the pound! Seeing her go to her death would have broken my heart, but we couldn't have taken her in...we already have 2 dogs in our 1 bedroom apartment! It was still hard to see her go though. The AP and I had jerry-rigged a leash for her, and when I handed the lady the leash, Dobie leaned against my leg and didn't want to go with her. So, I walked her to the lady's truck, and had to actually pick her up to put her in the vehicle. She cocked her head at me, confused as to why I wasn't getting in the car with her, and watched me out the window as they drove off.

I got a phone call last night saying that she had settled in fine, with the exception of being terrified of the lady's other pups and trying to climb the fence to get away. That said, she's reported to have shown no aggression and to have been wonderful with people in general...all of which I already knew about her character after caring for her all day inbetween classes.

The foster mom said something as she was about to drive off and Dobie was staring at me out the window: "It's amazing how attached they get after such a short period of time."

I had to wipe away a tear as I replied: "It's amazing how attached WE get."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

RIP Rurouni

Note: This post will probably sound somewhat silly to some, but hey, it's my storage site, so I don't really care.

Rurouni was my beta fish. He was a beautiful red-maroon color, with graceful sweeping fins and a really cool neck rough that he flared whenever he was startled or angry. Hubby got him for my for our second Valentine's day together, back during our sophomore year of college. He pulled beautiful peach-pink roses out of the fridge and handed them to me along with a fish scooper. He then handed me a sack of rocks and set a bowl on the counter, and then pulled out Rurouni. This was months before we broke up for a while. During that break up time, I still had Rurouni (obviously) and he got to hear me unburden myself when my friends were tired of hearing it (not that I blame them...I talk through things, its how I cope, so sometimes my friends need a break from listening to me and I still just need to talk, even when the only one listening is a fish). Yes I know he was just a fish, but I tend towards anthropomorphizing things and critters. So to me, Rurouni was a good friend-fish and was a constant during a turbulent time. Not to mention he always watched me whenever I was talking to him...kinda creepy at first, but I got used to it, and it made me feel like I actually was talking to someone.

Anyways, he died this weekend while we were away. I'm not sure what to do with him (yes, he's still in his bowl) because I had hoped he'd make it to our first house with us, so that I could bury him in our garden when he died. I don't want to just flush him, but I don't have a potted plant big enough to bury him in.

So why all this fuss over a fish? Because he was a pet who meant more to me than just something to take care of. Because pets become family, even when they're only concerned with getting fresh water, food, and pooping. Because the little deaths in life prepare us for the bigger deaths in live.

And because for the past 3 years and 9 months Rurouni has been a constant in my life, and now he's gone.

And I Think to Myself

what a wonderful world.

Or at least, what a wonderful weekend! As predicted, the Aggies lost, BUT we were winning at half time and we played right with Tech for most of the game! Our two friends enjoyed the game, and so did we! Even though the hubby spilled my Skittles lol. We went back to their apartment and took all four of the dogs for a walk, on which we ran into another friend and her Border Collie. She joined us for our walk, and then we all went out to Mama Rosa's for dinner...yum! We drove around for a bit, and then dropped the friend back off at her car. The four of us then went to Wal Mart and bought some movies and the Battle of the Sexes board game.

At the apartment, we put in Tokyo Drift, opened up the game and the booze, and had a rip roaring good time! The boys polished off basically a 12 pack of beer, and we girls had about 3 BIG glasses of Arbor Mist a piece! Yeah, good times. Though I must say, the questions the girls have to answer in that game are WAY harder than the questions for boys. Example: Girls, what was the date and show on which the Beatles first appeared in America? Boys, finish this advertisement: "Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's _________ ." Yeah. Oh well, we girls at least won one!

My only sad face was that we didn't ever tag up with my other friend in CS...though she was probably in Waco this weekend anyway. But still, I miss her, and will have to call this week. All in all, it was a good time. And it was nice to feel like young 20-somethings again, instead of feeling like old married full-time employees!

Today we went to my Nannie's 71st birthday party, where everyone from dad's side attended, except for my new girl step-cousin and her boyfriend. She was sick though, so I guess that's ok :-P lol. It was a lot of fun, and little brother's new girlfriend came too. I really like her a lot...she fits in with us, she gives as good as she gets, and she seems to be adventurous and rough-and-tough enough for little brother...as well as having the girly side he likes too. So far, she's my favorite of the girls he's dated, so we'll see where that goes.

Now, I'm killing time before my shower. I watched the ending montage from our wedding video on the videographer's website (ours is an example of his best work! SO COOL!) and have been piddling around on the internet. Hubby is at his dad's shop, getting the rest of the data he needs to finish the shop's website. While I know it's important, and am glad that particular project is almost successfully completed AND I can't wait to see the shop's site, hubby leaves for Flagstaff on Tuesday, and I'm a little bummed that I don't get him to myself tonight. Granted, we've spent all weekend together, but still...it wasn't what I'd call alone time, and tomorrow I go to work. Of course, I'll get to spend tomorrow night with him so that will be nice. I'm excited for him, really and truly. This will be his first field test, and will be a great adventure for him...and he might get to see the Grand Canyon on his day off! That said, I'm a little bummed he's going to be gone until November 1st. Bleck. Oh well. Off to the shower, and the start of another week!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Just A Quickie

Hubby and I are heading to College Station to watch the Aggies lose to...sorry, I mean play Texas Tech. This season has been singularly unimpressive...but I'm optimistic about next fall. This weekend though, we're going to hang out with some friends that we haven't seen since this summer. Or at least, not since the Astros game at the very beginning of the school year. Then Sunday it's my Nannie's 71st birthday, so there will be family fun to be had by all.

My seventh period class is doing better...slowly accepting the loss of their privileges and acting like the young adults they are instead of the three year olds they wish they were. Seriously, I'm beginning to wonder if some of my kids have EVER had to think or figure out ANYTHING for themselves. Some truly expect to be spoon-fed every bite of information. And then there are my angel babies and brain children (mostly in 3rd period) who I actually enjoy teaching and talking with. I feel closer to a couple of the girls in 3rd, beyond the average teacher-student. It's more like a mentor relationship...which I'm trying to figure out if its a good thing or a bad thing. Since I'm 23 (which several students have assured me is not THAT old...thanks guys...) it's very easy to treat some of the more mature students as though they are older than they are. That's not to say I see them as "peers" or "equals"...more that I can relate to them in the same way I relate to my oldest cousin who's a junior in high school going on 25 lol. As a young and first year teacher (though my kids only know I'm a first year teacher AT DOBIE...not first year teacher period) I know I have to be extremely careful about maintain authority in the classroom. And I know there are times I react more as a grad assistant might react (tho I never was one :-P) than a teacher maybe should react.

That said, I had similar relationships with some of MY teachers in high school...particularly my freshman Spanish and English teachers, and my AP Spanish teacher. And those relationships did me much more good than harm...those teachers encouraged me to be myself and I knew I could trust them if I needed help or advice. Granted, nowadays, I have to be very careful about giving "advice" to kids...like today we talked about tattoos as a cultural trend and the perspectives or "whys" of said trend. I told them my father-in-law owns a tattoo shop (he does, by the way...it's pretty neat) and went on to caution them against several of the most basic "tattoo mistakes"--boy/girlfriend names, tramp stamps, etc. I also strongly encouraged them, if they were to ever get a tattoo, to go someplace CLEAN with STERILIZED equipment.

I also made it clear that I was neither condemning nor promoting tattoos...nor was I encouraging anyone to go to the father-in-law's shop (strangely enough, several students already had heard of it or knew where it was, and one or two had actually BEEN there...that was a little weird...I'm kinda hoping I don't run into any of them at the shop at some point...that would be a bit (again) weird). Of course, the hubby worried about whether or not that was a "school appropriate" topic for me to be discussing with high schooler...but the truth is prolly about 1/3 of my kids already have a tattoo, or are planning to get one before this school year ends. Also, the majority of the conversation was concerned with the "whys" behind tattoos. I don't think giving some good advice while neither condoning nor promoting the practice itself was out of line. And maybe it will keep someone from getting an unfortunate tattoo or Hepatitis.

Anyway, today was supposed to be the first day of La Madrastra (The Stepmother), an award-winning telenovela muder-mystery. But my order from a seller on amazon.com still isn't here, despite arriving in North Houston on Wednesday :-P. So today was cultural perspectives day, and a free day for the kids. Which meant a grading day for me...I'm ALMOST caught up! One and a half classes to go! Oh, and did I mention I'm getting formally observed on Monday...yeah I'm nervous. At least its my mentor, not the principal...yet. Though he did do a walk-through during 7th on Monday......as I was dressing them down for their behavior and explaining what privileges they had lost. I talked to him later and apologized for THAT being what he observed...but he was actually complimentary and said I reminded him of himself when he taught! Score!

Other than school stuff, life is pretty good. I found a Wii Fit through amazon.com and, even though the price was higher than in stores, bought it! After all, the store price is irrelevant when I can't FIND the product in ANY store! Anyway, my Wii Fit arrives on MONDAY!!! If the delivery isn't delayed that is. The only damper on the goodness is that hubby leaves for Flagstaff for testing on Tuesday, and won't be back til Nov. 1. Sigh. So, I'll get super-caught up on school stuff, play a TON of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Brawl (which ROCK by the way!) and work out with Wii Fit. I'll have a Dia de los Muertos party for my classes, and I'll buy and carve a pumpkin for the back porch. I'll prolly get candy just in case any kiddos swing by. I'll hang out with friends when I can...but pretty much, it'll be me and the pups. Shit it's gonna be lonely. But hey, lonely can be good, once you get used to it. And hubby will be back in just under two weeks!

For now, I'm going to go spend some time with the aforementioned love of my life...and enjoy every minute!

PS: Funny how the quickie turned into quite the long post...love it when that happens!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good:
Hubby and I now own a Wii, with Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Super Mario Brothers Brawl, and two "normal" controllers.
I weighed myself a day early (yesterday, b/c this week is pre-period week which equals water gain) and I was 166 lbs! Woohoo!
I've gotten to see hubby more this weekend.

The Bad:
Still no Wii Fit...the store was out, and now I have to wait til I get paid again and then find one.
Pre-period week.
Hubby still had to work this weekend, both days, and he flies out for work stuff on the 21st. And no, I don't get to take him to the airport.

The Ugly:
My 7th period Spanish I class. I had to yell at them on Tues, after a horrible day Monday, and then they were ok Weds and Thurs. THEN they were absolute cretins to the sub on Friday (I had jury duty). So tomorrow they get Mean Me. No group seating, no bathroom passes, no tardy leniency, no games, and no Dia de los Muertos party unless they earn it back. They are going to hate me and be mad for prolly a week or two, and think I'm a complete bitch. And I don't even care. I'm not even mad anymore...just done, which is the worst possible thing for me to be as far as their concerned.

Anyway, that's an update in a nutshell. Now hubby is home from work, and he, to quote, "loves me, and wants to kiss me and take me out for dinner". So, I'm off to enjoy a wonderful weekend evening with my love :-D.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Or rather, Wii!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tomorrow my wonderful husband and I are going to buy a Wii and Wii Fit. I'm hoping we can find a bundle deal. If the store doesn't have what we're looking for, then we'll order one online. All in all, I'll have my long-wished for gaming system within the next couple of weeks at most, and a great way to work out that will give me variety, unlike the static (both literally and figuratively) workout that I get from the bike in the gym.

I'm so excited!!!

PS: I will also be buying Zelda, Mario Party, and Soul Calibur (I don't remember which number). Not all at once, mind you. Definitely Zelda will be first of the three, but right now the priority is the Wii Fit. Woohoo!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Battle of the Bulge, I

Well, last week wasn't as successful in terms of an exercise schedule as I had hoped it would be. Why? I got a fever blister. And not just one...the initial morphed into three big bubbly blister clusters on my upper lip. Which means I spent the week with a mixture of various OTC salves spread on them, and got to listen to my students ask constantly "What happened to your lip, Ms.?"

Yes, they call me Ms. I apparently don't rate a name.

Anyway, I might write a rant blog about the educational profession later this week, but for now I'm going to keep the focus on my weight...fun right? So, I didn't exercise consistently last week because sweat tends to irritate and encourage the spread of fever blisters. And in my humble opinion three clusters on my face at a time is MORE than enough. So, instead, I focused on watching what I ate. I must admit, I'm pretty proud of myself for how I managed that! Here's my general menu:

A granola bar or light yoplait yogurt for breakfast (YUM boston cream pie and double cherry! OH! and the pineapple upside down cake! Yes, I know...I sound like the commercial:-P).

For lunch, I pack myself half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a cut up apple, and sometimes another granola bar. I also throw in a Fresca: all the carbonationy goodness of a soda with 0 calories, sugar, or carbs and only 35 mg of salt! I generally drink the Fresca during my 6th period conference time...it's relaxing and makes me feel as if I might possibly be ready to take on my seventh period class (heh).

After school, I go one of two ways. Either I get home by 4 and have a yogurt or apple for a snack (because my standing goal is to leave school by 3:30 at the lastest) OR (like today) I don't get home until 5 and figure I can wait til dinner.

For dinner, if the hubby comes home from work, I make a Skillet meal (surprisingly healthy frozen food) or we go grab a quick bite (and I try to make a healthy choice...or at least not force myself to finish all the food once I'm full). If hubby doesn't make it home in time for dinner (a common occurrence of late, since they're on cruch time at work with testing in almost 2 weeks) I either wrangle up a salad, make a Skillet and put most of it up as leftovers, or do what I'm doing tonite and go get dinner with a friend!!! There may or may not be drinks involved ;-).

All in all, I've been watching what I eat very closely, and trying to make healthy choices. So, what's the result?

I now weigh 168.2!

That's right! Almost 2 pounds in a week! Yes, I know it is a lot of water weight, but hey, it's still weight! I haven't been weighing myself in the morning...my research indicated that the time wasn't as important as consistent timing. So, I generally weigh myself upon getting home from school, which means between four and five pm. Once the fever blister finishes healing (SO CLOSE!!!) I will start working out again, and I can't WAIT to see the results! My weighing time will also be before I go work out, and is now before any snack I might have.

All in all, I'm highly encouraged by this last week, and am hoping to see continued progress this next week. Oh, and I'm hoping to soon buy a Wii for both gaming purposes and for the Wii Fit application, which from what I've seen is pretty snazzy! I would really enjoy the ability to work out in my living room with a variety of exercise options rather than going to the gym to ride the same bike for the same amount of time every day. Don't get me wrong, the bike is awesome, but a girl likes some variety.

In summation, go me for having lost 1.8 pounds this last week, and please keep thinking happy thoughts for me as I continue trying to get back down to 160 (the current goal...I'll reset that number once I reach it!). On that thought, I'm going to go play with the pups and get ready for a Girls' Night Out!


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