Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Work Sucks

Where have I been?


And it sucks.

This is week 5 of 9 between maternity leave and summer break and I am not sure I'll survive.

Bug has been very well taken care of by both of my sisters, parents, my godmother and father in law. Everyone is taking turns to make sure Bug doesn't have to go to daycare until I return to work in August. I am so grateful for the help, but miss my little lady terribly.

In addition to being sad about having to be away from Bug, work has been especially shitty. There is drama piled on top of drama.

4 more weeks.
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Monday, March 28, 2011

Hi-ho, Hi-ho, It's Back To Work I Go


Today was the start of my 9-week return to the working world.

So not okay.

Bug had her 2 month appointment and shots on Friday so she was feeling a little under the weather all weekend. Last night her nose stuffed up causing her to wake up every hour. My 5 am alarm turned into a 4:30 am cry so I started out pretty zonked.

Work wasn't too terrible (aside from the fact my boss has a permanent case of the grouchies). No one spit-up or pooped on me. I got to eat lunch with both hands and go to the bathroom on my schedule. I got to talk to grow-ups about stuff other than diapers.

It sucked!

41.5 more work days 'til summer.
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Swim Practice = Waterboarding

I haven't been to swim practice in years. 

The last time that I went to a Masters swim practice was two years ago when I got into a verbal altercation with some asshat who yelled at me for pulling on a lane line.  My old gym had a masters level swim practice daily, and while most Masters teams are pretty laid back with many different levels of swimmers, this one was hard core.  And fast.  And mean.

They had no problem running over a newbie who was having trouble keeping up.  And there was no slow lane.  So, when we did backstroke, I grabbed the lane line to help me move along more quickly.  This doesn't cause any harm to the lane line, and trust me, I know how to break them.  Having a group of high school students sit on them is usually the best way.  Pulling on it with one arm, not so much.

This wasn't the place for me.  I'm not serious, and they clearly were.

Before that... I have no idea when my last coached practice was.  College?!?! 

So, I was a little intimidated to be heading to a swim practice at a facility I had never been to before.  They have a reputation for being accommodating and helpful to newbies and people who haven't swam in ages, but they are one of the largest masters clubs in Northern California, running  6 coached workouts a day.

My sister, Bug's Auntie KIA , and her husband have been going to practices there because the main pool is down the street from their house.  Auntie KIA encouraged me to attend, promising that there really were people of all ability levels.  Of course, the perception of speed is often subjective.  She was one of the fastest girls on the team in high school, and her husband's brother swam against Michael Phelps in a prelim for Olympic Trials a few years back.  They are tall and skinny and lanky and fast.

Me, not so much.

But the only way to get better is to practice.  And I do want to get faster, and I do enjoy swimming.  And they offered to babysit. I'm not completely inexperienced, so it couldn't be that bad, right?!?

To begin, the weather was TERRIBLE!  It was 45ยบ, windy and pouring rain.  The rain, I don't mind so much.  You're already wet.  But the cold, I mind A LOT.  Here in California, they don't make indoor pools and think that you can swim outside in any weather.  The worst was swimming in the hail my Junior year of high school.  Not only was it miserably cold, but I had huge welts all over my body from the quarter sized balls of hail that poured down onto me.

I am not that young and ambitious anymore. 

I wore my new bathing suit to my first day of practice.  I'd been putting off my return to the pool because I didn't have a suit that didn't have a hole in it.  So, I ordered one online.  It was a great deal... $25 for a reversible speedo suit.  Looks harmless, right?!?!

The straps are thin, and that's not a bad thing.  It would save me from dealing with tan lines later in the year.

But I didn't bother looking at the picture of the back of the suit.

Holy back fat and side boob, Batman.  This picture doesn't even begin to show how little suit their actually is.  Did I mention I just had a baby?  And I'm tipping the scales at just over 200 pounds. 

Too bad for everyone that had to look at me.  Because I am much more cheap than modest.  And this suit was a final sale.  So..... yeah.  Just be glad you didn't have to be there.

Stop laughing, it gets worse.

Lucky me,  it was IM (Individual Medley) day at the pool.  So our workout consisted of 200's of a stroke other than freestyle.  I have a shoulder injury that prevents me from doing butterfly (THANK GOD!)  I can do breaststroke, but I often have the sensation of traveling backwards when I do because everyone else will fly by me so quickly.   So that leave backstroke.

Because it was pouring rain, it felt like this.

Do you find it as disturbing as I do that I was able to find waterboarding clip art?

And I must have been making some pretty nasty choking noises because the coach came over and told me it was fine if I wanted to do freestyle.

So, I did.

I was left with my thoughts.  Swimming isn't the most mentally stimulating sport, and my mind tends to wander.  I thought about a nice hot shower, what we'd be eating for dinner, and what Bug was doing.  Bad idea.  When I'm not with Bug, my boobs start getting hard and leaky.  I was very thankful that I was in a pool where no one would know that my boobs were leaking.

I didn't die, and I did manage to get in a 1,500 yard swim before I scurried out of the pool at the end of practice (both to hide my fat and to rush back to Bug). 

Now, the real challenge is convincing myself to go back.

Weigh In Wednesday

Date:Wednesday, March 23rd
Current Weight: 202
Change from last week: 0
Total challenge weight loss: -2

So, this is a little late. Miss Bug was a little under the weather today and consequently we were both grouchy.

This week had its ups and downs. DH was out of town from Wednesday to Sunday, making me the solo parent in charge. My family visited, which helped, but it was still a crazy week. And, when my family is here I tend to not pay any attention to what I eat. There were many days where I didn't track.

The good news is I used the free time they gave me to workout. I got in a run and a swim. Obviously it wasn't enough to overcome my poor eating habits, but it did prevent a gain.

This week... I need to track. It's going to be rough, especially since I am going back to work on Monday, but I can do it.
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Free Circo Newborn/Infant Socks at Target

I think you guys know what a cheap bastard I am. So imagine my delight when I discovers that the only socks that stay on Bug's long skinny feet were free at Target right now.

Here's how:

Go to and print the coupon for $1 off any Circo brand clothing or accessory. These socks are $1/pair. $1-$1= FREE!
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Friday, March 18, 2011

How I Became A "Runner"

In high school, I was a "swimmer" and "water polo player".  I put those in quotations because, despite the fact that I was the captain of both teams my junior and senior year, I was one of the worst swimmers on the team.  I am SUPER aggressive in the water thus my alleged prowess in water polo. I also have a knack for remembering swim times, so people think I'm ultra supportive when I tell them how much time they've dropped.  Neither accomplishment had anything to do with real talent.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that the only reason I made the varsity swim team is because captains were elected by the team prior to the first swim meet.

Still, because I spent the better part of my high school years in the pool, I am a better than average swimmer.  I swam at least two miles a day 5 times a week between January and May every year, and was in pretty great shape, despite the fact that I ate curly fries from Arby's every day for lunch.  I could swim at my snail pace for hours, but if anyone asked me to sprint or even speed up a little, they were likely to get the finger.

In college, I'd swim once every few months, but it just wasn't the same. At some point in my relationship with the Dreaded-X, I started doing the couch25k program, but was never consistent and never made it past week 4.  I finally realized that it wasn't swimming that I enjoyed so much in high school and something was less that satisfying about running on the dreadmill.

I was missing a team environment.

I started looking at Team in Training. I wasn't a runner, I hadn't ridden a bike in years, but I knew I could swim.  Somehow, that made me think I could probably do a triathlon if I tried. Quite a leap, I know.

Of course, I was always too chicken to join a team.

In January of 2007, I lost my beloved brown grandmother to multiple myeloma, and all of my reasons for not joining TNT no longer made sense.

DH (DBF at the time) and I had recently relocated, and I didn't know anyone in the area.  I was substitute teaching at different sites everyday, making it nearly impossible to make friends.  It was incredibly lonely and I started to slip back into depression, which had been an ongoing problem for me throughout my childhood, teen years and early twenties.  On top of it, the loss of my grandmother was DEVASTATING.   

TNT was just what the doctor ordered.  I got to be outside, meet people and put my atrophied muscles back to work.

I started "running" the 2.32 mile loop around my neighborhood a few times a week.  I'd start with a 5 minute walk and then try to jog from one light pole to the next without stopping.  I'd rest and then go again.  Each time I went, I tried to jog a little farther before resting until finally I could jog the whole loop.

My current running shoe, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10.  This is my 4th pair... almost time to try out the 11's.

Now, I still consider myself a "runner", not a runner, because I know I'm slow and I haven't yet gotten to the point where I want to take it too seriously.  My PR in a 5K is 35 minutes exactly.  Its not exactly a break-neck pace.

But... it would be nice to set a new PR.

I continued to run because its convenient.  I only need a pair of running shoes, and I can go as long as I want.  When we got Daisy Dog, she had so much fun that it was hard to schedule a rest day... I felt like I was torturing her.  Now, this is one of the only workouts I can do with Bug in tow.  She, Daisy Dog and I love the opportunity to get out of the house.

Now if it would just stop raining.  Babies don't like rain. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Two Days of Work and a Hot Date

Unfortunately, maternity leave doesn't last forever, and my six weeks are up.  I can still take 6 weeks of unpaid bonding time anytime before Bug's first birthday, but we figured that we'd take full advantage of our relatives while Bug is new and exciting.  My six weeks ran out two days before spring break, so I gladly agreed to come in for those two days and am now enjoying the hell out of my two week spring break.

After spring break, we have an extensive schedule of relatives coming in, one week at a time, to provide in home daycare for us for the 9 weeks until summer vacation comes and I can't wait.  Somehow, spending time with other people's children doesn't seem quite as important now as it did pre-Bug.

Luckily I had a BIG present waiting for me when I got back to my classroom.  One of mind boggling realities of working in public education is that money allocated for one thing can't be used for anything else.  So, my school laid off one of our 10 teachers last week, and the district pink slipped 90 elementary teachers after pink slipping 270 teachers last year, but my school got 2 SMART Boards.  One of them was mine.

Now, my kids are not little and cute as the little buggers in that video, but I'm sure you can imagine the implications for a high school science classroom.  I didn't even have an overhead projector before I left on break so this new toy was not only practical, but proved to be a good distraction.  I spent 2 days figuring out how to use it so that I can spend my spring "break" rewriting all of my lessons so that I can use it.

DH took the two days off of work to be with Bug.  This was the first time that Bug spent the day with him, or anyone but me for that matter, so I didn't expect that it would go well.  But when I got home, the house was clean, the laundry was done and Bug was happily snoozing in her daddy's arms.  She didn't even look happy to see me.  I have no idea what was going on ten minutes earlier... but I was very impressed.

DH spent quite a bit of time muttering something about how he'd set the bar to the appropriate level, but I reminded him that I was still responsible for all of the night nursing and that I'd spent days pumping ahead of time and several hours the night before I went back to work pre-measuring bottles and setting him up for success, but still... kind of amazing.

I decided that he we really needed a night out, and since I'd been cleared for take-off at my 6-week a few days before, we called my youngest sister... now known as Auntie KIA (Know It All... I'll explain later) and asked if she'd mind watching the baby for the evening.  She was thrilled, but since this was a last minute plan, she couldn't get to our house to pick up the baby until 7 that evening.

Maybe you can see where this is going.

I'd purchase movie tickets from Fandango through a  LivingSocial deal that we hadn't used yet (of course), so I let DH pick a movie for our dinner and a movie hot date.  My sister told us to take as much time as we needed, so there was no rush to get back.

He chose a 7:50 showing of Battle: Los Angeles, not giving to eat before the movie.   Oh well... we'd be done by ten and have plenty of time for a quick dinner, a drink and who knew what else.  It didn't matter... as much as I missed Bug, DH and I needed time to reconnect.

I vowed long before I got pregnant that I wouldn't allow a baby to come between me and my time with the hubs... and I definitely wasn't going to be one of those anxious moms that called the sitter 3,000 times on the first night out.

Now, let me tell you a secret.  I knew Battle: LA was going to be a suck fest, but DH rates movies based on the number of bullets that are fired and that meant he'd love it.  So, I could grin and bear it.  But for the record, it was pretty damn terrible.  The dialogue, which thankfully was limited to the seconds between attacks, was beyond painful.  It unfortunately wasn't entertaining enough to keep my mind off of my phone, which I checked 3,000 times, but didn't make a single phone call.  DH didn't seem to notice as the bullet count was among the highest of any movie we'd ever seen.

The movie let out at 10:30... how did that happen?  We agreed that it was too late to squeeze in some private mommy and daddy time and it would make sense to grab a quick bite at a restaurant near Auntie KIA's house.  Unfortunately, Auntie KIA lives in a college town, and on Saturday night all of the restaurants are filled to the brim with drunken college kids.  Not my idea of a romantic evening and finding a table would be next to impossible.  How did we not think of that?

We were at Auntie KIA's by 11 and by the time we had Bug packed and ready to go our dining options were limited to the BK (yuck!) drive through.  Thus, our evening ended not with a BANG (don't be a pervert!), but a whimper.

Being a parents definitely changes things.  It was still a nice to just be alone with DH, even if it was brief.  Next time, we'll plan a little better and make it happen more often.