Sunday, January 30, 2011

kardashian reunion!!!

okay, so we may not BE the kardashian sisters, but we like to pretend we are. bananas came into town today and i am SO EXCITED to have her back!! hard to believe this was the last time we saw her:

Wow I was still so bloated. And Yes, when Baby D still looked like this:
What a little bug!
I think he looks much more squeezeable and chunky monkey handsome now. 
but maybe its just the AC/DC shirt speaking. i do love that shirt.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

there are some days

when working out and getting enough sleep are the most important things.
today is not one of those days.

please pray for emily.
she's been through so much and she is in a lot of pain right now.

if you don't know her story, you can click here for her blog.
or, in a nutshell,

bananas' roomie who got hit by a car this time last year, got her leg amputated and has been recovering from residual infections, etc for the last year, finally got her prosthetic yesterday and then tripped and fell on her knee, compact fracturing the femur. shes had surgery and they have a plate and a bunch of nails in there now, shes just in a lot of pain and i've been with her all day :/

its now about 11pm, and the past two nights i have stayed up later than i have in months... thankfully, em is hysterical when she's doped up and has kept me completely entertained. pretty much everything she says is followed by "whyyyy did i just say thaaat?" sort of reminds of david at the dentist. never heard of it? you should googlevideo it. or whatever its called.

I think emily's going to be just may take a little longer then we expected.

and bananas is coming in tomorrow morning. what more could a girl want? :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

a day in the life of a

5:00 am.
alarm goes off. hit snooze. twice.

5:10 am.
finally wake up and pump while reading scriptures for the day. change into workout clothes while still debating actually working out. clean pump, prep bottle (i usually pump right into a bottle about 9 ounces that Mr. D will use for the late morning feeding, so we don't have to refrigerate it). oh, that bed is so warm...

5:25 am.
put in contacts to help fight battle of the bed. still contemplating going back to sleep for another hour.

5:30 am.
Baby D wakes up right on schedule. feed him (i may have fallen asleep for a moment or two while feeding him), change him, put him back to bed where he'll sleep until 8 or 9 for Mr. D.

5:55 am.
race out the door. madly try to de-ice my windshield with my broken ice scraper. its usually below freezing this early (today was about 20 degrees) but i guess ice-scraping keeps me warm while i start the car.

6:00 am.
at the gym. workout: was going to be elliptical but they were all taken/broken, so i opted for my favorite go-to: 3 miles on the treadmill (with random hills, just to mix things up a little). since the gym opens at 5:30am, that is usually my favorite time to go, because then i can get access to the equipment i want (and the spots closest to the best TV's). i only go at 5:30 if baby D wakes up earlier than he did today, like at 4 or 4:30. those days are difficult to stay awake for the first little while, but they are really nice because then i can get in a 60 minute (where i'll usually do cardio and then half of a spin/weights/ABT class) instead of my usual 30 minute workout.

6:30 am.
race home (under the speed limit, of course) and immediately start simultaneously eating (a banana) and stretching (I consider my running into and out of the gym my warmup and cooldown and NEVER have time to just stretch at the gym). i think i would go crazy if i couldn't multitask. make a peanut-butter-honey sandwich and eat half of it while starting the shower.

6:45 am.
shower. try not to step on the cat as i change, fix my hair, makeup (don't get all excited. mascara. that's pretty much the extent of it), and brush teeth. prep pump (AKA throw it all in my bag) and everything else i need to take with me to work, including the other half of my PBH sandwich (which i will finish eating during my prep period).

7:15 am-12:15 pm.
work. i always have a first period and then on alternating days have either a second or third period class, the other one is my prep. first 15 minutes of whichever class i have as my prep is dedicated to pumping, then grading papers/working on lesson plans/etc.

12:20 pm.
drive home, pump in tow. first 10 minutes are dedicated to scarfing down as much food as i can find in the kitchen. oh, and talking to my DH about how his day has been with the Bug.

12:30 pm. pump... yeah, it does get old after awhile. especially because at lunch i only get about 2 ounces, compared to the 8 or so i get from each of my morning sessions. but i just put the whole pump in the fridge, so i don't have to wash it, and i will just re-use it when i come home from work.

12:45 pm.
baby d wakes up from his nap, i give him a quick squeeze and kiss and its back to work for me. one last class to go!

3:00 pm. finally home for good! TGIF. baby d was being a bit of a stinker and was still awake today. so i fed him some oat cereal (kind of like rice cereal but i will swear he likes it better than rice!) and we make a fun little mess.

3:45 pm.
post-cleanup, baby d finally goes down for his nap. i pump (again) and fall into bed, exhausted, for a nap.

5:15 pm.
auntie em and jamie and johnny stop by to visit for a few minutes (em came to show off her new prosthetic! its pretty hot!), baby d wakes up and hilarity ensues...thanks to johnny of course. mr. d leaves for work (BYU volleyball tonight).

6 pm.
baby d has eaten a bit and we head over to watch the 4th quarter of the JV boys basketball game. after the game, i grab a quick bite at wendy's and eat while feeding baby d his bottle (he is still in his carseat).

7 pm.
back to the school for the varsity game! so much fun. we watch the first half with some of my co-workers, but by halftime i can tell that baby d won't be all cooing and smiles for much longer.

7:45 pm.
we head home. i swear baby d is at his giggliest right before i put him down for the night. i was putting on his diaper and he was just cracking up like it was the funniest thing on the planet. man do i love that kid.

8:15 pm.
baby d is asleep, and i am pumping for the last time today. and if you're wondering why this post is in lower case, it's because i started typing the first half of it while pumping (so i could only use one hand) then figured i would keep it the same lower-caseness the whole way through. consistency is key, right?

9:15 pm.
well, that's a pretty typical (week) day for me, except usually we visit with Granny on friday nights instead of going to a basketball game (don't worry, we'll see her tomorrow). i'm exhausted just recapping today! but while my life is so tiring and crazy right now, i wouldn't have it any other way. it is not easy, but then again, who acutally has an easy life? no one i know, at least. mr. d just stopped by to change clothes and play basketball with some friends for an hour... i'll hopefully be asleep by then :)

i was planning on laundry and cleaning the house, but that will have to wait for tomorrow morning because i am pooped out. thank goodness for weekends or my house would always be a wreck [a trapsh*t, right, mandy? :)]. today was a good day, but i really do live for the weekends. and holidays. i can't wait to sleep in until 7 tomorrow, i just know it will be heaven.

on a completely random note, i also went through baby d's wardrobe yesterday and realized that this child has some seriously long legs for a baby:
yeah, those are long pants. just about every pair he has fit him like that. now, before you start calling CPS on me (it is winter here), know that i've busted out all the 9 month old clothes... all 12 outfits or so. it's too bad the most outfits i had for him were from 0-6 months and those were the ones he grew out of the fastest! what a chunk. a healthy little chunk.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

return of the gigglesaurus (new video...get excited)

I love my little fuzzyheaded dinosaur.
Notice the tiny scratch on his right cheek? That's what he got for teasing the Kevs.... but both have since repented and they are best friends again :)

back to square one.

well, after doing so well this week (waking up at 5am for workouts monday-wednesday) I gave in this morning. something about not having enough sleep/making up for it in eating a ton made me call it quits. so, tomorrow, the two weeks of working out in the AM starts yet again. I may not get new running shoes/my BOB till summer at this rate (i can already see Mr. D cheering in the background. not because he wants me to fail but because he will be happy to keep that money earning interest in the bank for the next few months at least. and not that i blame him). also the thought of taking on a half marathon in april is slowly going down the tubes... june is looking like my best bet to hit the starting line in one piece, sanity intact, with confidence.

also on the docket? my pump just got recalled. the second one i've received has had a few minor problems (like the tubes falling out of where they belong after i steam clean them) and the one before that had a clicking sound... but what else am i supposed to get if i send it back to medela?

i am lucky that my pump is working fine for now but i do i really want to keep using a pump that will (probably) just crap out on me (again)?

is there a better pump out there?

i just don't know. maybe i'll just call this whole pumping thing quits.
then again, that (like "just" quitting my job) invites a whole new slew of problems, mostly financial. and i'm not sure i am ready to deal with starting formula.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

wordless wednesday: what really happens when you drink and text

bless you, la jolla groves

you do make the most heavenly chicken marsala.
even the kevs can't resist!
and the chocolate mousse? didnt even make it home. the thing they fail to mention to you in childbirth classes is the ravenous appetite that accompanies breastfeeding/pumping. this is the first meal in way too long that hasn't been accompanied by a bowl (or two or three) of cereal. mostly because i was eating it (with my fingers) all the way home... mental note to Mr. D: anniversary dinner. yum.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

three tangent tuesday

tangent #1: i love shoveling snow. i don't even really like snow but i do like cleaning it off sidewalks, driveways, and yes, even grass with a shovel. when we were little my sisters and i would have little competitions (or maybe only i thought that's what they were) of who could clear the most snow off the driveway first. since i was the eldest, i would get the largest shovel, bananas would get the medium sized shovel and poor surah would get the smallest shovel. poor surah. guess who never won that game?

Tangent #2: i love mr. d's dorky missionary pictures. mostly due to his sideswept part glued together with massive quantities of hair gel. (he was in AZ and kind of sweats a lot). every time his hair gets long i wait for him to part it again...i think it makes him look about 10 years younger :) and kind of like charlie brown. hilarious.

Tangent #3: my very first pet was a cat named "Gatito." my parents let us adopt him my senior year of high school and pretty much as soon as i went off to college they wasted no time in getting rid of him. i will never let them live it down. also we dressed him up in christmas outfits and we later found out why he was so obese/pre-diabetes: little brother DK was feeding (sneaking) him cat food daily... even though that was my responsibility. yet he still mastered acting famished every time we would feed him. whoops.

And I know you are just waiting for another pic of baby d after all this blast from the past business so here he is in all his rollie-pollie glory:

Let's make a deal.

Oh, were you looking for my belated Scrumptious Sunday post? It will have to wait until next week, when I'll do a Super Scrumptious Sunday with two yumminesses... I am trying not to spend money on groceries till February kicks in, and it takes a little more creativity/time to figure out what to make out of random leftovers.

Anyway, ever since my little meltdown this weekend, I've been trying to find some more inspiration to work out in the AM... okay, maybe just to get out of bed when my body and brain are screaming for me to curl back up in my down comforter with Mr. D for "just 5 more minutes" (sound familiar? story of my life!). Well, back in the fall/immediately post-baby time, I promised myself two things: 

1) I could buy a (long overdue) new pair of running shoes once I ran a race [and I have run two since then], and 
2) I would buy a BOB jogging stroller once I lost the baby weight/got money from parents and in-laws/sold my extra Medela pump [sold for just over $240! I was thrilled!].

So.... I still have no jogging stroller and haven't stepped foot in a running shoe store in over 18 months. So I am making a New Deal with myself. Starting today, for the next two weeks, if I can make it to the gym before work EVERY morning for 30 minutes or more, I can buy a new pair of running shoes.

After February 7th, if I can continue in that habit for one month/4 weeks (whatever comes first), I am going to buy myself that BOB. (because I honestly wouldn't put poor Baby D out to run with me and to brave the elements until March, anyway).

We'll see how it goes.... If I miss a day, I start over on the 2 weeks/4 weeks countdown. One weekday down, 9 to go!
In other news... I've decided to start making my own baby food. Buying it is just too expensive! I would much rather spend that money on good food for Mr. D and I (no offence to Baby D). Any advice/tips/suggestions would be appreciated :) I already have a food processor and I am buying a babyfood cookbook online tomorrow (Annabel Karmel's Top 100 Baby Purees).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

why today was so much better than yesterday:

1. Although Baby D still had his 4am feeding, I got to sleep in until the glorious hour of 7:45am. Did you know the sun is up at 745?! I envy people who get to wake up every day to sunlight (and not in pitch-blackness like myself).
2. I got a 90 minute workout in to makeup for missing Thursday and Friday workouts. Man, did that feel good!
3. I actually cleaned my house for the first time in THREE WEEKS!! No wonder I was going crazy.
4. I got all the laundry done from this and last week. Yup, I have this nasty habit of leaving clothes in the dryer/hamper that are clean and not getting around to putting them away until a week later. Well, not this week!
5. I got to spend time with Mr. D at work (and then we had lunch together), since he was working a tennis match. Baby D found a tennis ball and absolutely loved it!

6. Baby D was in a fabulous mood, making these sweet little noises on the ride home ...I just can't believe how much I love him!
7. We stopped by the Redbox to rent The Social Network, one of many movies I have yet to see!
8. The Redbox happened to be at a McDonald's...which made me think about something a student told me yesterday... apparently when you put a McD's burger and Spicy Chicken sandwich together to eat, its called a "McB*tchin'." True story. Still cracks me up every time I see a McDonald's.
9. Mr. D is actually done with work before 8pm tonight... so that means DATE NIGHT!! Can you tell I don't get too many of those? I love that man so much, it is quite a wonderful thing that he still tolerate my silliness.

Oh, and here are some pics of Baby D celebrating his half birthday... by getting to eat FRUIT!
Baby D is so excited for Bananas!
Good thing the Kevs is there to clean up mashed banana spills.
I. Love. This. Child.

Friday, January 21, 2011

that's my boy.

I've had so much going through my head the last few weeks I hardly know where to begin.
My life has never been so full/crazy/stressful/wonderful/exciting/terrifying all at once before. Every morning when Baby D wakes up at 4am (or earlier!) I want to kiss him, love him, and cry at my lack of sleep and the fact that I have such few precious hours of sleep before work in the morning.

To say my life the last two (okay, six) months hasn't been a roller coaster would be a lie. That balance thing continues to haunt me and I'm only able to do so many things half as good as I want to and nothing is 100% where I want it to be. Last night I was a real monster (go ahead, ask Mr. D). Baby D wouldn't go to bed till 9, then proceeded to wake up at midnight and 3am by which point I had just hit my tipping point. I completely lost it. And I am not a hot-headed person by any stretch of the imagination, but there is something about wanting to get "x, y, and z" done and being so far from attaining that that just drives me (regretfully) into boiling anger/frustration. Being the type A that I am, I HATE not being perfect in one aspect of my life.... much less ALL of them! It is so frustrating. Sometimes I will punch my pillow or channel that energy into a good run. Most of the time I just sit there, pumping, completely numb and unable to shed a tear, I am so tired and feel so lost. 

Balancing a job and a baby is the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. I should be more happy that it only took me (officially) 6 months to shed the ridiculous amount of baby weight I gained, but I will be honest and say at this point, I would rather have a solid 9 hours of sleep a night and be able to spend all day, every day with my little bundle of love instead of go to work. I am never frustrated at Baby D, mind you, and every time I see him (even when he is waking up at all hours of the night) I fall in love all over again. I am frustrated with my situation in life. My weekends are heaven because I love being at home and living by Baby D's schedule (when he naps, I nap...or at least get a break to do laundry or chores) but when Monday rears its ugly little head and I realize that Baby D's schedule never chooses to be compatible with my working one, it is HARD.
Today I took a much-needed half day off of work and did a lot of thinking (and a fair amount of napping, of course!). There are plenty of people in my situation, some much worse off (where they have to work at a job they hate that pays minimum wage or doesn't have vacation days and weekends) and I need to change my attitude about my station in life. 

I don't HAVE to do anything. I could just let Baby D cry (even when I know all he needs is to hear my voice and see me and he lights up like a christmas tree), never show up at work (and get fired), never work out (and get fat) and completely ignore the trashpit my house is becoming (and ignore the smell).
But, of course, I won't.
Today, I, Mrs. D, CHOOSE to look at my glass half full.
I GET to work out and keep my body healthy.
I GET to work a job I like.
I GET to spend time with my little boy.
And I GET to clean my house.
Mr. D has been so patient with me and my ever-increasing number of breakdowns, and I am so grateful for that. But truth be told, I need to find happiness in what I am doing NOW. It's not easy, but one of the motto's I have in life is that I can do difficult things. I am not a quitter and while I cannot be the best, I will be the best I can be (cheesy enough for you? your welcome). And that will start by getting my darling, screaming child out of bed right now to feed him, snuggling with him, and calming myself in the knowledge that I am making a better life for him by bettering myself.

Because while life may never be easy, and we all have things we struggle with, if I can look at my situation positively it makes it FEEL a whole lot easier.

And a little (lot) bit of praying can do wonders as well. :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

wednesday "Whoa!" moment...

Brought to you by 182 days of life
x pumping 6 times a day
x pumping 5 oz average
= over 5,475 ounces
or 342 pounds of milk.

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yesterday was fifty degrees.

And we went on a family walk and it was delicious weather.
Although, it hard to imagine walking around with 50 extra pounds like I was almost 6 months ago... 
just walking around with these extra (adorable) 18 pounds can make my back soo sore!
but totally worth it. I can't wait for daily spring walks (runs?) soon enough...

Any ideas for (baby-friendly) winter activities to do until that blessed day (you know, when the snow melts and all the birds being to sing..)?

Scrumptious Sunday....two days late

The "poor college student's" Crunchy Pecan Chicken
Throw a few whole pecans with a lot of corn flakes into the food processor.
(hey! pecan's are super expensive!)
Dip cut up (thawed and uncooked) chicken breasts in egg substitute, then in pecan/corn flake mix.
Place chickens in foil-lined 9x13 pan (saves you on the cleanup later!).
Bake at 375' for 25-30 minutes.... yum. Serve with ranch.
And then I made Banana Bread. I won't bother with the recipe, since it was just the Better Homes and Garden version, nothing special, but I have this thing with mashed bananas... I can't stand them. Seriously. I think I have maybe made banana bread twice in my whole life (this being the second time, of course) and I even made Mr. D open the bananas for me because I just couldn't touch them... gross. But oh, do I love banana bread. I guess the last time I made it and it turned out all mushy is because the recipe is supposed to make TWO loaves, and last time I poured the whole mix into one pan. oooh. Double yum because I can eat it for breakfast for the next few days (assuming it lasts that long).
Then I remembered it didn't have chocolate chips (and Mr. D probably wouldn't eat any unless it did) so I sprinkled some on the warm bread, stuck it in the over for a few minutes, then spread the chocolate chips like frosting and put it in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden. Nothing like Grandma Patsy's frosting.... yum yum yum yum yum...

And of course, what would a proper meal be without a side of rolls?

A waste of $20. My BIG FAT GIANT ASTERISK 5k

I ran the Frigid 5k on Saturday morning and have never been so disappointed in a race (and I've run quite a few races). To start off, of the "goodies" they gave us, the coupon from the main sponsor was about 4 months expired. And one of the pamphlets was a list of races for 2010-11 (oh, kinda nice...) but it listed races all over the country (oh. so...not the ones in Utah? wouldn't that make sense since we live here??).

Then there came the actual race. I was excited to be running outside in the snow/ice for the first time since we were in Boston over Christmas break... yeah, it was below freezing but that was sorta the fun part! And there were only about 30 people participating (which I think is actually pretty fun to have such a small group) but then once we got started running... everyone in front of me disappeared within about 5 minutes. Thankfully, there was a guy and two girls by me, so at least I knew I was on the right path. Well, about 17 minutes into my run on this "clearly marked course" (or so they said), we were meeting up with a group who were most certainly ahead of us!!! What?! We must have accidentally taken a shortcut, because as I half-heartedly crossed the finish line at something like 23 minutes (yeah, RIGHT), I knew, I could FEEL that I hadn't run a 5k. So they took my sticker (yup, no race bib, just a sticker), marked my time and off I went inside with Mr. D and Baby D (first time he hadn't seen me cross the finish line at a race, since he was just getting there) and ate my weight in crusty donuts and drowned my sorrows in warm cocoa.

NOT a good race. I even took to the treadmill yesterday to see how fast I could run my fastest 5k?
28 minutes 35 seconds. Not even close to the 23 minutes they had me at.
Like I said, waste of $20. Not even the race shirt could cheer me up. I sorta feel like I deserve a refund. But I guess that's my fault for picking a crappy race. Don't worry, I won't make the same mistake next year. Even if that means skipping a January race in favor of two June ones or something.

Augh. How frustrating. Put me in a funk all Saturday.
Now to focus on my February race...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

These are my confessions.

I was bemoaning my stressed out state earlier this morning as I groggily snoozed the alarm a fourth (fifth?) time and rushed over to Baby D to feed him and then get myself ready for the schoolday for another workoutless morning. Thanks to a family-shared cold (thank you, Delta Air) this has NOT been the January I expected, and my resolutions have never seemed farther from my grasp.

Well, until I came across this article from Oprah's magazine.
Bob Greene had written a brilliant article about getting moving, and had even included a three-step plan that absolutely inspired me. Simple, but to the point.

Step 1: The Why List. There are 10 reasons listed, and you are instructed to pick at least one. As Bob says, Until you have a reason to be physically active—a reason that matters, and matters deeply—then you are not going to stick with exercise.
It is SO true! Here are the ones I picked as my favs, in order of (what I consider) importance...
4. You're always annoyed and sapped of energy. (can I get an "amen!")
10. You love your kids.
3. You want to look better. (and feel better!)
8. You don't sleep well. 
7. You have a bad back. 
2. You want to lose weight and keep it off. (mostly the latter)

Step 2: Scrap the Excuses. My two dominant ones? "I am too tired" and "I am too busy."
Like I tell my students, no excuse is a good excuse.

Step 3: Set your goals.
1. What is my exercise goal? Set an objective you can achieve—nothing overly ambitious. 
I am going to work out 30 minutes a day, first thing in the morning, before .

2. What's the most positive outcome of achieving this goal? This is crucial. Think back to the reasons you chose to exercise.
I am going to do this so that I can have more energy throughout my busy day, feel better about myself, and keep myself in shape.

3. What's the main obstacle standing in the way? 
I am too busy and usually don't have the energy/am too lazy to lose sleep over working out.

4. How can I overcome the obstacle? Give details about the changes you're going to make. 
The night before, I can set out my workout clothes and ipod and get to bed by 9, so I can wake up 30 minutes earlier. 

5. How should I achieve my goal? This means focusing on the when and where. 
Between 5:45 and 6:15 in the morning, before I get ready for the day, I'll go to the gym (I know, I'm a freak... I love love love going to the gym).
So I've posted this Bob Greene article on the wall next to my bed, along with a copy of my Resolutions and some inspiring pictures (hello, Jillian Michaels abs!...ha, someday). I know I'm a nerd but I need a constant reminder that I will (for sure) see daily. And I needed a way to make sure I stuck with my (most important) re-resolution. What better way than to see it in print, and make myself (officially) accountable to the two (three? including my mom and sisters) readers I have.

So what do you say? Are you ready to take the plunge with me, in the middle of the most resoluting-ist month of the year and (re-)resolve to make yourself a better person in some way?? Lets do this!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

SAD and 3 things

First of all, I would like to admit that I have Seasonal Affective Disorder... January and February are my LEAST favorite months (thanks a lot, Utah) and I would like nothing better than to load up on hot cocoa and hibernate in my down comforter for the next 60 days or so. Unfortunately, I will never have that luxury, so I'll just have to grit my teeth and pray that spring (or at least springlike weather) comes sooner than later. So consider that your disclaimer for anything negative I have to say before Daylight Savings lets us Spring back.

Today was hard. Pretty much ever since coming back from Winter Break it has just been REALLY stinking hard. I find myself getting frustrated more than ever over the silliest things and overall I am usually in a rotten mood (if you haven't noticed, its because I am really trying to get out of it). I was reading something, (probably in Oprah's magazine that MIL gave me) that said you can only really do three things extremely well at any given time. THREE?!?! That's it!? (And come on, lets admit that if anyone would know about doing something really well, it's her).

Well, here are the three things I wish I were doing extremely well (in the order that I wish they were being done):
1. Being a good wife
2. Being a good mommy
3. Taking charge of my health (working out, cooking healthy meals, etc)

Okay, then here is what I am guessing (based on time spent doing it) I am doing well:
1. Teaching (7am-3pm, 40+ hours a week)
2. Mommying (3pm-8pm M-F and 24/7 weekends, 40+ hours a week)
3. Sleeping (I try to get 7 hours a night so I can fully function during the day)

So now it makes sense why I am so frustrated. I am pretty proud of how much quality time I am able to spend with my Bug when he is awake (sort of out of default since Mr. D is usually at work), but I really wish I had more time with Mr. D and more time for myself. And more time to keep my house from looking like a pigsty. Okay, maybe just more time...

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Scrumptious Sunday.

Easy+healthy Breakfast Muffins
1 c oats
2 c whole-wheat flour
1/2 c ground flaxseed
tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
8 Tbsp canola oil
2/3 c applesauce
2 peeled and shredded apples
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, whisk together bran, flour, flaxseed, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and oil until smooth. Stir in applesauce, shredded apple, and sugar. Combine mixtures and fold in pecans. Bake in muffin tin 20 minutes. Makes 16
SUPER moist, yummy muffins.
Perfect for a weekend when the whole family's sick with a cold and spends all day Sunday eating and sleeping. 
Yup, Baby D was the only one who changed out of his pajamas today.
True Story.

Friday, January 07, 2011

800th Post

Yeah, that's f'real. 800 posts in 3 1/2 years.

I started this blog April 2007, aptly titled "Identity Crisis," since I had so many interests at the time (still do) and was trying to figure out what I wanted to do that would make me happiest. Since that time, I graduated and got a job teaching art, did a lot of running (and by consequence a lot of thinking) and had a baby.

Today I had a student tell me, point-blank, that my class was not that important.
The scary part about that? I know its true.
There are certainly a half dozen things off the top of my head (politics, social justice, religion, math money, family issues, the obesity epidemic...), that I could list that are far more important and vital to a teenager (or anyone for that matter) than ART, with reference to my drawing, painting, or sculpting classes.

Don't get me wrong. I love art. Always have, always will. The act of creating something that didn't exist before is a sense of wonder, pride, and satisfaction I have only ever felt after hitting a PR in a race.

Today I came to the conclusion that I will probably not be satisfied teaching high schoolers perspective/shading/color mixing for the rest of my life. But that's not the point in art. Not really, anyway. The (Performing, Fine) Arts can teach other lessons that most other subjects just dabble in:

  1. They are languages that all people speak that cut across racial, cultural, social, educational, and economic barriers and enhance cultural appreciation and awareness.
  2. They integrate body, mind, and spirit.
  3. They provide opportunities for self-expression, bringing the inner world into the outer world of concrete reality.
  4. They are an opportunity to experience processes from beginning to end.
  5. They develop both independence and collaboration.
  6. They provide immediate feedback and opportunities for reflection.
  7. They make it possible to use personal strengths in meaningful ways and to bridge into understanding sometimes difficult abstractions through these strengths.
  8. They merge the learning of process and content.
  9. They improve academic achievement -- enhancing test scores, attitudes, social skills, critical and creative thinking.
  10. They exercise and develop higher order thinking skills including analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and "problem-finding."
  11. They provide the means for every student to learn.

I will forever be grateful for the job that I have. I love the subject I teach and I love the students I teach. I wouldn't trade my current job for anything. But 5, 10 years down the road... I just don't see myself doing the same thing.

So I wouldn't say I'm going through another Identity Crisis so much as an Identity Re-evaluation.
2011 is proving to be an interesting year.

In other news... have you started watching The Biggest Loser?? If you haven't, the first episode only aired this week, so you should really go watch it. That show just gets better and better every season. It inspires me in more ways than I can say... mostly little things like realizing that if a 300 pound guy can run a marathon, then heck yeah so can I! and switching from eating ice cream/cookies while TV-ing (terrible habit, guilty as charged!) to noshing on healthier things that take awhile to eat anyway, like carrots and oranges.

You never realize how long it takes to eat a handful of carrots or peel an orange until you have a baby and suddenly if it can't be nuked in 5 minutes or less and shoveled into my mouth in less time than it took to cook, I probably won't get eaten. True story. That's why I am in love with Healthy Choice and Lean Pockets.

And on another completely unrelated tangent for those of you getting frustrated with all this writing and not enough pictures to go with it, here is Baby D who refuses pacifiers or (for the most part) finger/thumb sucking, and I swear this is how he falls asleep pretty much every nap/night: sucking madly (and usually loudly) on his left sleeve, using his right hand to keep it in place. I love my strange little boy.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

hangin with baby g

 "Its okay to be jealous. I'm taller than you and I can eat pureed carrots."

"Oh, right. And I can touch my toes. Betcha can't do that!"

"Didn't think so. Maybe in 6 weeks..." 

Haha... who new Baby D would be so fascinated by another baby
(that wasn't his reflection in the mirror?)
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