The Cross Training Collision

Ahhh… finally the answer to my running rut: CROSS TRAINING.

I’ve been without my fave Zumba instructor for several weeks. I’ve started working again so I haven’t been able to get to the gym in the mornings. Saturdays that were previously reserved for Zumba were turning into race training days or race days.


So today I Zumba’d like I have never Zumba’d before. My ass and the back of my thighs ached immediately after class. I forgot I even had junk back there to even ache!

The instructor even admitted that it was an easy class and thank goodness it was. I was so out of breath, panting like– well, me– in the summer. But it felt good. I can’t complain. When I finally get a chance to get back on the computer, I’ll check out classes I can take while the boy is at karate. My junk in the trunk hurting was a big sign, pun intended. Cross training wakes up the body parts that don’t get a work out when I run.

Well, alrighty then.

The Cardio Equation

All throughout our marriage, I would watch my husband eat thousands of calories of red meat and dairy and yet nary of the sweet sugary carbs I fall victim to. I would hear about which muscle sets he worked out that day. I would see his jeans get bigger and bigger around his shrinking waist, his wedding ring become two sizes too big around his shrinking finger.

Saw this at Disneyland a couple of weeks ago. Didn’t have one! Ahhh, the force is strong with me…

Meanwhile, here I am struggling to hit a comfortable weight after giving birth… only to get pregnant again when I finally reach it. Very fortunate twice over to be able to reach a goal and getting pregnant!

Don’t get me wrong. I am generally happy with the way I look but I strive towards where the pendulum swings onto the side of healthy eating and moving daily. When I do both, I am living the way I should be.

But I think I am looking at it all wrong.

My husband always said that I shouldn’t only do cardio. Lift weights. Stop eating sugar. All good advice that I follow.

When I do cardio for an hour, let’s say I burn 600 calories in Vanessa’s awesome Zumba class. I don’t know about you but when I go to the gym it takes almost an hour to get the kids ready and checked into the kids area. Then after the class, I do push-ups, abs, and then go home and shower. Yes, that’s another hour.

That’s three hours right there!

Let’s take the same three hour span of another fun activity: hanging out with friends. I could easily ingest a thousand calories, inflicting damage with a California-size burrito with all the fixings. And let’s be honest, once you wreak havoc on your body with salty and creamy and rich tastes, you’ll want something sweet to wash it all down. Soda and dessert are easily hundreds of calories more.

So the next time you invest three hours of your day for an hour of cardio, don’t think of it as burning 600 calories. Think of it as saving 2000!



I am not ingesting 250 calories of Starbucks; I am saving 500 by not having a bagel with cream cheese! Lol…

Countdown to Daddy

Tick tock, tick tock…

“When is Daddy coming home?” “How many more days until Daddy gets here?” “Can I go on the trampoline with Daddy?”

The kids and I have been so excited for R’s next visit, even more so when we booked the flight so that every day there was a new, smaller number until Daddy flew back home.

This morning L woke up and asked if we were going to the airport now.

“No, dude,” I said (yes, I sometimes address my kids as Dudes). “Tonight when it gets dark.”

I planned on letting the kids have Movie Night which is code for “the one night a week Mommy lets us pig out on junk food, sleep in the living room, and stay up as late as we want (or 9 pm, whichever comes first).”

I even sat with the kids in our unheated-on-purpose living room and watched Goosebumps to keep them awake. I wanted them to stay up late so Daddy could sleep in tomorrow morning.

“Mommy, I don’t think I can stay awake.” “I think I’m sleeping now.” Those were from the older two. The youngest passed out at 8:30 pm, a new late record for her.

“What? You guys don’t want to watch a movie? How about WII?”

They groaned.

Whoa. So they fell asleep at 9-ish, snoring in time with the dogs’ snoring. Even that damn chiweenie was tired. She gave up trying to wake the youngest after a few minutes and slept next to her.

Here are some of the things I Google’d while they were sleeping:

– “piano sheet music free adele someone like you”
– “b-52s love shack video”
– “freddie mercury”
– “starbucks 24 hour drive thru locations”

Starbucks is not open 24 hours in our town and I was exhausted. Drive thru closed at 11:00 pm. R’s flight does not land until 12:05 am. Yes, AM.

Yikes! It was 10:30 pm!

I recently realized that I have always had “senior moments”; they were just called “dumbass moments”. How hard could putting three sleeping kids in a car be?

The tallest one went first, still wrapped in his blanket. I realized that if he comes up to my nose in height it will be extremely difficult to maneuver his long limbs.

Then the middle went next. And finally the baby.

All strapped in. All wrapped in the blanket they fell asleep in. Yes, the car was in the garage and the garage was still closed.

Doh, gotta put the dogs in the garage.

Came back to the youngest wide awake, doing the potty dance in her carseat.

Double yikes.

Luckily she took care of business and we were off with twenty minutes to spare at SB for a delicious hot venti soy peppermint mocha, no whipped.

Only they ran out of soy milk (who is lactose intolerant? this gal) and had only enough to make a tall one so would it be alright if they made me a smaller size on the house?

Ooh la la! Thank you!

So now I am sitting in the car with the sound of three snoring children and the clickity clack of my laptop with about fifteen minutes before R lands.

Yes, I have been eating Nutter Butters like they are going out of style. I made fifty reindeer cookies and thirty-five pilgrim hat cookies so oops. (I’ll post pics soon.)

Yes, I have 25K words to write in the next 12 days.

Yes, I will probably skip Zumba tomorrow morning.

But you will not hear or read any complaints from me. This is exactly where I want to be right here at this very moment. Even if I was having a senior moment and wore flip flops instead of Uggs in 40 degree weather. Even if the oldest woke up to complain that his sister’s head kept leaning on him for twenty minutes.

If you’ll excuse me, there’s a sailor waiting for me at Terminal A…

In real life

I’ve been thinking about doing a 5K for a couple of years but have always had enough excuses to put it off. Summers are too hot. Who would watch my kids? Those races are too expensive. When would I train for one since I can’t miss Zumba three or four days a week?

Always had enough excuses until now.

There is a 5K coming up in our town. In November. While R is home. (He ALREADY ran a 5K a few months ago!) And the registration fee is only ten bucks.

Vanessa the esteemed Zumba instructor has seriously sprained her ankle and will not be teaching for quite a while.

L’s preschool is a couple of blocks from the gym but I didn’t go this morning. With iPod in hand, I decided to skip the treadmill and actually walk outdoors, in the sun, without air conditioning. In real life.

Had I not, I would have missed all of this:

How wonderful to have this exist, to be able to enjoy this scenery, and to look forward to doing this again on Thursday.

You don’t know

You don’t know…

… how good a hot bath feels on a random school night, reading the newest issue of Entertainment Weekly, and playing NKOTB softly in the background.

… how fast my feelings for Mr. Schuester have changed in a year. No longer swoon-worthy, sorry to say. I have a new love and he is Blaine.

… how much I love Idina back on Glee. FAAAAABULOUS!

… how disappointing Zumba was this morning. One should not hear the phrase “bow-and-arrow” in any fitness class, let alone a Zumba class!

… how silly Quinn’s storyline is. REALLY?!

… how adorable Puck was when he saw his daughter for the first time.

… how hard it is not to write about Glee when it’s on right now.

… how frickin’ pitiful I am when I try to quit sugar. I think about it all the time. It should be an indication of how stressful life is and I should find other ways to cope but dammit, sometimes I need a handful of chocolate chips and I’m good.

… how my junk drawers became junk-y again, do you?

… how difficult it is to wake up some days and force myself to think happy thoughts. Usually it works. Usually.

… how fast our kids are growing up.

… how many plans the kids have already made for Daddy when he gets out here in November.

… how many times a day each kid asks about Daddy. When is he coming home? Can he stay a long time this time?

… why my dog is chasing her tail and in the meantime scratching my arm, do you?

… how odd it is to celebrate eleven years of marriage when the number of years actually spent under the same of your true love is less than half that time!

… how wonderful it is to have kids who are okay with going to bed at 7 pm for the girls and 8 pm for the boy. Hence my bubble bath and Glee!

… how incredibly lonely it is some nights when you think of something seemingly important or hilarious right before you go to bed but then realize your spouse has been asleep for three hours… three time zones away.

You DO know…

… I get sad sometimes but I get over it eventually. It might take a few thousand calories but oh well. What are ya gonna do?

… I’m thankful and grateful for everything and everyone in my life, for my past experiences and even past mistakes, and excited about what tomorrow may bring.

… I’m going to get a bowl of rocky road ice cream before New Girl starts!

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #17

The school year is in full swing and while I am grateful to be working a lot, I’m going to be completely honest and say…

AAAAAAAAARGH! I’ve reached my limit!

I think subbing three days a week is my limit. Any more than that, I miss out on the endorphins of Zumba, the benefits of stay-at-home such as being able to kinda keep the house clean, down time whenever I need it and eating right.

When I can’t do those things above, things happen: Starbucks moves back into my life. I’m not exercising. I am not motivated to eat better. Making poor carby choices. I can’t stop to take time out for me!

Today I hit a teacher milestone that I am sad to admit. I am so sad I will probably cut and paste into its own post to truly feel the full effect of guilt.

I kicked a student out of my classroom.

Not literally, of course. But I had to.

Earlier that morning a VP came to warn me about a student who may need to be placed in a different environment and gave me her number to call if I had any problems.

Well, fast forward a few hours and I am teach teaching math with all fifth grade classes. I have the lowest students in the grade level. As you may or may not know, some come with behavior problems. EXTREME BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS.

Three boys gave me the impression that they thought they were badasses and I’m thinking, HMMM, not a prob. Just get through the lesson. No biggie.

I separate a pair of boys who I have already warned to stop talking. They do and one in particular is, when you get him away from his friends, the sweetest kid. The other not so much. He couldn’t concentrate on his math to save his life because he was so busy trying to see what my reaction was to the head honcho. We’ll call this head honcho J.

So J mocks me, constantly mumbles through the test even after several warnings, whistled loudly, and eggs his neighbors on to join in his behavior so finally I couldn’t stand it anymore. I called the VP.

She gets to the classroom and I said, “I need you to take a student but you never told me which one it was.”

She said, “I NEVER SENT HIM.”

Right then and there my heart, my world, my spirit stopped. I was kicking a child out of my class. I could not reach this child no matter what I did.

She began to escort a student out but it wasn’t the one I was referring too.

I know, right?

I don’t think I’ve ever felt that deflated before in my entire life. And here I was, chuckling because yesterday I saw a substitute teacher make his students go back and line up, taking up his own lunch time.

All day I’ve just sighed at myself and wondered what I could have done differently. I didn’t want to be a substitute, a teacher, a parent, a PERSON who gave up so easily but I also needed to give the other students a chance to learn.

I read in a staff room bathroom (of all places): “Every child deserves to be loved, especially those who don’t deserve it.” And isn’t that the truth? How much was this child at fault for his own behavior? Was it ANY of his fault? Or was any or all of it learned?

I was truly sad to know that an eleven year old could have so much disrespect, defiance, and just utter disregard. But I don’t know his story.

And I know he’s got one.


So over on Wife of a Sailor, Wife posts questions for other bloggers to answer on their own military spouse blogs. (Still with me so far?) And since my brother freaked me out by telling me he killed the neighbor’s rotweiller because the dog tried to bite him earlier (HE SAID HE WAS KIDDING AFTER I FREAKED OUT IN FRONT OF THE GIRLS’ GYMNASTICS STUDIO! AAARGH!), I thought this might be fun to fill out because I haven’t posted in forever. Then I’m going to zzzzzzzzz…

1. Right now, our weather is STILL IN THE 90s AND 100s, but what I’d really like is FALL WEATHER TO GET HERE ALREADY.

I was born and raised in the Monterey Bay and went to college in San Francisco so I’ve been spoiled with mild temperatures. I wore shorts and flip flops with a sweater tied around my waist all my life. All my life until I married my sailor then moved to the DIRRRTY SOUTH, that is! I miss fog!


Okay, probably not the way it was supposed to be answered but hot damn! I’m tired and this is what I’d rather be doing all weekend.


If anything, this whole experience has made them grow up faster. There has been a lot of heartache and sadness and fear in the past year but there has been so much love and understanding as well.

4. It’s a weird combination, but I swear MY HUSBAND and I are a perfect pair!

Our interests are so different like night and day. He’s so mellow and easy going while I kinda like being the devil’s advocate when we “discuss” various issues. He keeps to himself a lot (but still as friendly as can be) but I don’t know. I have word vomit and will probably talk to anyone and every one if you give me the chance. We’ll probably never agree on a honeymoon or a getaway since I’m more five-star where he’s more into roughing it.

Despite all of these things, we’re a great pair! (Usually.)

5. Some may see the glass half empty and others may see it half full, but I SEE TWO GLASSES BECAUSE SOMEONE LEFT THAT SHOT ON THE TABLE SO I DRANK IT.


Good night!

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #15

So over on Wife of a Sailor, Wife posts questions for other bloggers to answer on their own military spouse blogs. (Still with me so far?) And since I’m multitasking (waiting for a pocket of time to shower for tomorrow’s sub job while cooking tomorrow’s lunch, letting the dogs run around indoors for a change, squeezing in a couple of loads of laundry), I thought this might be fun to fill out while the chicken poaches in onions, garlic, and chicken broth. I’ll thrown in a couple cups of spinach and cherry tomatoes in an hour and voila! Our lunch (and dinner) for tomorrow!

1. My plans for this weekend include Zumba followed by all day at the pool, but what I’d really like to do is…

GO SHOPPING! Oh, how I’ve missed scouring end-of-season sales and stocking up on kids’ jeans at Old Navy during their $10 jeans sale. I’ve missed sauntering from Nordies to LOFT to MAC, my perfect trinity of bathroom and closet needs. I’ve missed hunting for bargains at TJ Maxx and clearance racks at Ann Taylors, LOFT and regular (even though between you and me, I can’t afford regular without a full-time job).

Budgeting is A MUST and even though we may see better financial times in the next few years, I hope that I will continue to be thrifty and a bit more conservative with spending with still the occasional spree at the end of each season.

2. I consider the Labor Day holiday…

as a reminder of a new school year even though our kids have been in school since July. I get all goofy like Meg Ryan in “You’ve Got Mail”, waiting for fall to arrive and excited over back-to-school stuff like sharpened pencils and an empty bulletin board.

3. My favorite meal for cookouts is NOW HUSBAND’S HONEY DIJON CHICKEN, but HE wouldn’t agree.

He is a “red meat” person and loves slow and low burning brisket on the grill though since the accident and our impending mid-life crises (I know, I know. We’re only in our late thirties but we’re trying to eat healthier when we remember) he has a new appreciation for chicken and fish. Still, give him the choice and we know what he’d pick.

4. So far, my favorite part of summer has been SLOWING DOWN.

I pulled the kids out of gymnastics when we went to Virginia in April and when I got back, I was called in for jury duty for a two month criminal trial! In that time, everything ended. I’m talking about sub jobs, catechism for our oldest (that’s Catholic Faith Formation or CFF; kinda like Bible school), Girl Scouts for the older daughter… all those ending with the school year. It was really nice to have evenings free and even nicer when they weren’t in school.

Another great thing about the summer (or maybe life in general) is that all of us as a family are beginning to look at what’s important. Saving money is a huge priority to us so we’re finding ways to save without noticing such as finding the FREE DAYS to museums or attractions around town and taking advantage of the pool at our gym since it’s a necessary expense for me. Spontaneous play dates at the park or pool have been great as well. This summer I’ve started to really let the kids be in charge in meal prep and clean up in general. My sanity may be returning. We shall see…

5. When it comes to deployments, my philosophy is DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO.

Every deployment was different for me. I was very tempted to move back home for R’s first deployment and could you blame me? I was a newlywed for six weeks, left a career, left my family, and moved to the opposite end of the country.

But for some reason I didn’t want to move back. Even now it’s hard for me to articulate why. Perhaps it’s because we were living a life together and I wanted to hold onto what we had together which was our small two-bedroom apartment in Augusta. Maybe it’s because I knew what I was getting into when I agreed to marry this wonderful, caring, selfless man so I should suck it up.

I didn’t think it could get any worse during deployment than having two young children in preschool, teaching first grade, and being pregnant! OH BUT IT DID as you all know…

Have a great weekend!

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #14

So over on Wife of a Sailor, Wife posts questions for other bloggers to answer on their own military spouse blogs. (Still with me so far?) And since the kids went to bed early, I thought this might be fun to fill out while I put off folding laundry for another night. At least the pile of clothes in my room is clean!

1. The first thing I think of when I get up in the morning is…

OH MY GOD DO I HAVE A SUB JOB THIS MORNING??? I am a substitute teacher with the district and now that the school year has started again, I’m starting to get booked with jobs. Still, it is nerve-wracking because I either have a job or I don’t; if I don’t, I still gotta get out of bed to: get the kids up/dressed/fed, remind kids to take care of pets, remind kids to empty dishwasher, and get ready for Zumba! Sometime in that mess, I have to get myself ready!

2.Lately, I’ve been craving RICE because…

I’ve been trying to cut out refined carbs and sometimes Spam/scrambled egg/mushroom/garlic fried rice really hits the spot!

3. Whenever anyone says the word SMURFS, it reminds me of my childhood because…

duh, they were so smurfy.

4. The happiest word I know is LEAVE, but…

only because it means something different to military families as in ON LEAVE. When we lived outside of Gate 5 at JEB Little Creek (yep, we were the lucky one on the corner of Juno Road next to the park and yes, I was the milspouse who ran after you with a plastic bag if I saw you letting your dog take a dump on the grass in front of our house and who ran around the area listening to Shakira and Nine Inch Nails on my cell), it was so hard on all of us. When my husband wasn’t deployed six (but we really know it’s seven) months of the year, he was away at out-of-state trainings for weeks at a time. The only time we spent together then and now is when he’s ON LEAVE. Thanksgiving cannot come soon enough.

5. My spouse may hate it, but I absolutely love…

sugar binges. I honestly hope I don’t love them now since changing the way I eat but how many times did I hear him tell me that it would be easier for me to lose weight if I cut out Starbucks and sugar? Dammit, I hate it when he’s right.

Update on my diet/exercise: Zumba 2-4 times a week. Fluctuation in number of days because I’ve started to get more sub jobs so I’m hoping to accept sub jobs on non-Zumba days and fill up the week from there. Right now we really need the money so I’m trying to make up for it by eating way way way less. I eat about 1800 calories a day which I know is still too high for my shortness petite frame but trust me, it’s WAY less than before and the calories are better quality as in protein for snacks, less starch/refined carbs, way less sugar (notice I didn’t say NO SUGAR; let’s not have unrealistic expectations here), no SB OR SB-meal-replacement-plan (I know it’s sooo bad for me but hey, not getting the petite vanilla scones!) and smaller meals in general.

I brought the spicy Cup-O-Noodles for the past couple of days to work because it’s cheap and easy. Surprisingly pretty tasty too. More surprisingly that I’ve paired it with a protein bar or cheese and am actually satisfied.

Of course, don’t ask me what I had for dinner because it was a chicken bowl from Chipotle, no rice, hee hee! Added a couple of mini cookies from Panera next door and I’m good.

Thinking of the east coast as they prepare for the hurricane, especially military families who have to do this without their spouses.

Have a great weekend!

Lies I Told Myself Today

1. It’s okay to spill accidentally cat food on the floor and not pick it up right away or at all. Cats will eat off of any surface and dogs will eat anything, right?

2. Mark Ruffalo is cute in every movie. Watching “The Kids Are Alright” and he’s kind of goofy in a dorky way, not in a cute way as in “13 Going On 30”. It’s still early in the movie though…

3. It’s okay to be naive and say, “Really? I have to pay for parking at a baseball game?” Was going to try to use that excuse at the next game in a couple of weeks but then I’d be lying. In front of the kids.

4. It’s okay to have ice cream and two brownies a brownie on the same day because I didn’t have them at the same time and also I am going to Zumba tomorrow to repent in the House of Vanessa-Who-Kicks-My-Ass.

5. It’s okay to slightly push our kids. In our case, gymnastics. ALL THREE are on Preteam, meaning as soon as they are ready and/or seven years old, they will be going to gymnastics meets and competing.

I put the kids in gymnastics as a distraction. After R’s accident I wanted the kids to be in something they could enjoy together, especially after everything they/we were going through. And what do you know… they were good at it.

So good that within the first couple of months both the girls were asked to join preteam (though L would wait until she turned four this past July) and after the boys’ coach turnover, M was asked to join as well.

While M had reservations about competing (nerves, didn’t want to wear a leotard, etc.), A keeps asking me “When am I going to win medals already?!” The other boys’ moms said they were in the same boat but we all agreed we’d put up a united front because

(1) our sons should try it for one year just so the boys can say they’ve done it and

(2) we already paid the club fee.

Alas, the boys’ coach came through: CASH PRIZES. Ahhh… now he’s speaking their language.

Slap me when I start to sound like one of those Dance Moms on TLC. Well, maybe you should offer me a brownie first and then break it to me gently.


Yesterday was surreal. For the first time in a long time, I felt alive. I felt invincible.


I got up like I did every Saturday to meet my friend at the gym for our favorite Zumba instructor’s class so what was so different about yesterday?

Yesterday’s class was my fourth Zumba class this week. Crazy, right?

I’m telling you, this instructor is amazing. She used to be a dancer in Mexico and she likes her music loud. Really loud. She said she likes for it to feel like a club in her class except I don’t scream “OOHT OOHT!” randomly. Oh wait, I do.

Not to take away credit from Vanessa for she definitely is inspiring and encouraging, but this new and welcome feeling of being powerful went beyond Zumba. I ate better this past week, still feeling good about my recent decluttering week. Less refined carbs, less sugar, less diet soda, way less Starbucks. I was mindful about the way I worked out, doing more than what I usually could but also keeping my ego in check and knowing that a wrong landing could seriously reinjure my knee.

I was living life mindfully. No, I AM living life mindfully.

Life shouldn’t be like a view from the train, watching it fly by. I ran into roadblocks this week and felt so sad that conversations with my husband were quick and didn’t offer band-aids to my aching heart.

I cannot appreciate the good if there is no bad. There will be bad, bad enough to feel like it ran up to me out of nowhere and suckerpunch me in the gut. Perhaps even strong enough to knock me off of this endorphin-fueled, sugarless horse.

Then I heard about the helicopter crash in Afghanistan and last April’s feelings washed over me quicker than maple syrup over warm chocolate chip pancakes. I didn’t want to call my husband this morning; SEALs were killed and though he isn’t one, he works with and knows many.

That was a crummy feeling to feel the power, the light, the life just sucked out of you. I was afraid about how he was feeling knowing that being a geobachelor takes his toll on him, how truly helpless we all are in matters of war, and how I was fully aware of how much I wanted to hug him right then and there.

Then a warmth rejuvenated in me. This is my husband. Talk to him. Connect with him. Not just over the phone. Tap into the part of my brain that housed every memory of us and unlock it. Use it.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I think this rings true for everything else in life too. We all have the power within us; we just need to find our own keys to unlock it.

I derive strength from my marriage, my family, my sugarless and carb reduced diet, memories of everything I’ve ever accomplished in life, and the drive to do more. Those are my keys. Sure, I lose them every so often but it is an exhilarating feeling to try again after failure. Despite failure.

And life goes on.