This and that

I’m waiting right now. Waiting for an email about an article I’ve submitted for publication, waiting for (hopefully) a phone call about something important for the next stage in my life (vague, I know, but alas not for public consumption yet), waiting to hear about the grad programs I’ve already applied for.

I suck at waiting.

Mr. Monkey does SO MUCH better than I do in terms of living in the day-to-day and not always looking forward and living in anticipation. I struggle with not always thinking “what’s next? what’s next?”. I think it is probably good to have a mix of those two things in a marriage, thinking about what’s next makes me a pretty good planner, I think, and helps make sure some long-term stuff gets done, but I think Mr. Monkey’s day-to-day approach might be less stressful in the long run.

Ring phone, damn it, ring.


The baby is almost 9 months old. She has almost been out in the world as long as I was pregnant with her. The out in the world 9 months go much, much, much faster than the pregnancy 9 months. She is a sweet girl with two teeth, a big grin, ridiculous speed while trying to race up the forbidden stairs before her father or I catches her, and a head full of curly hair. She is a delight and is the absolute apple of her brother’s eye. Oh, you guys. He is so in love with her. I know that they’ll get older and fight sometimes but I will always (I hope) be able to remember how they each light up when they see each other for the first time in the morning and how the sound of his voice makes her crawl at top speed to find him.


I went to the gym on Monday morning at 5am, much to my husband’s shock, I think. My husband doesn’t think of me as a morning person, for good reason. I love to sleep in and while I’m not cranky when I first wake up, it is usually pretty clear I’d rather still be in bed. He knows that I used to get up at 4:30 most mornings in high school for early swim practice but I suspect that is hard for him to imagine in a concrete sort of way.

It was interesting, slipping out of the house while it was still in the deep dark of nighttime on Monday. It felt familiar, like maybe there is still a little bit of muscle memory buried deep down that remembers how to get up that early and to start the day with exercise.

It must be pretty deep down though as I struggle mightily on Tuesday to drag my ass out of bed in time to get to work by my first meeting.


The snow outside is starting to melt. Is there anything uglier in winter than a melting pile of dirty snow? I’m thinking not.


This weekend I…

1. Went bowling and got soundly beaten by my three year old. Sure, he had bumpers and a ball ramp but he still broke 100 and I,well, I really, really, really did not.

2. Ate pork jowls for the first time. What are pork jowls, you ask? They are EXACTLY what it sounds like they are: the fatty part of a pig’s face. Are they healthy? NOPE. Are they salty and crispy and amazing over couscous and grilled summer vegetables? Damn skippy they are. We got ours from the farmer’s market, along with the veggies, so I felt semi-virtuous about eating fresh and local while still eating pig face. Yum.

3. Went to an aquatic center that had a lazy river (love) and drop slides (love love) and was reminded again how very hard it is to feel self-conscious in a swim suit when you are having fun racing your 17 year old step-kiddo down the slides or teaching the 3 yr old how to blow bubbles.

4. Did the hardest gym class ever with my 20 yr old stepson. It was called Cardio Conditioning and was all running laps, jumping jacks, interval training and other sweat inducing, puke potential high intensity cardio stuff. I was drenched in sweat at the end and sore as heck the next day. Can’t wait to do it again.

5. Enjoyed the company of the big boys and felt my heart get about 10x bigger watching the little monkey glow in the presence of his older brothers whom he looks at with naked adoration and love.

6. Felt my heart break a little when the big boys left to go back to Arizona. It was such a good time and I grieve that we don’t get to see them nearly enough.

May minutes

I just tallied my May exercise minutes and (drumroll please)…I’ve finally hit my 500+ minutes in a month goal with a healthy 617 minutes this month.


617 minutes is just over ten hours which isn’t too bad except that I was just glancing at a beginner’s training guide for Ironman distance triathlons (I’m not doing one, I’m just fascinated by the idea of them) and realized that the amount of exercise I did for the whole month is basically an easy week for people training for the Ironman. Holy cats. I am even more in awe of those people, especially the people with kids and jobs. That is some hardcore dedication.


My June goal: I want 800 minutes.

Head Above

I have a week and a half left at the current job and two weeks before I start the new job. I have much left to do on a big project that must be finished before I go. I want to finish it early so I can breathe a little deeper and have a few days off before I start the new job. Finishing it early will probably require some late nights and a lot of staying off the internet (which is sad, because I do enjoy wasting my time on the internet).

So, forgive me if posting is a little light the next two weeks.


On a totally unrelated note, I can not stop listening to this song lately:

So pretty.


Kind of related: I am super pleased with my decision to join the Y. I have a whole list of classes I’d like to try and the facility closest to our house is really nice. I’m hoping the facility closest to my new work (where I’ll start going in, gulp, two weeks) is as nice.

I have to keep going now because A)I’m paying for it and B) they did a body fat test for me on Saturday and…uh…the less said about that right now, the better. It was officially NOT GOOD.


I went to a class at the Y tonight called “Y Pump”

(not hypothetically)

It is a good class for a not so coordinated, kind of bashful about taking classes kind of person.

(not hypothetically)

There is no dancing, just weight lifting and endless squats and lunges.

(also, again, not hypothetically)

There is, however, dance-y bass heavy thumbing pop music playing at a loud volume.

This, it turns out, is a serious blessing, especially to those of us who had a fiber-rific lunch and may (HYPOTHETICALLY) have been farting EVERY SINGLE TIME they tried to do the bicycle crunches.

(Hypothetically)(according to friend. Yeah. My friend. That’s who this might have happened to).

Things I am currently obsessed with

1. This cereal:  It is yummy and crunchy and slightly sweet. I’ve been taking it to work every morning (just eating it dry) and it has helped keep me out of both the dining hall on campus and the nearby fast food joints for over a week now, which is good for the wallet and the whole trying to eat less crap thing. The kiddo likes it too  and it is quite useful as a car snack.  (Attention any Quaker Oats people who are reading this blog: I love you. Please send coupons. ) (No, I don’t actually think any Quaker Oats people read this blog. But a blogger can dream, no?)

2. Living in the city. I walked to the bagel shop on Saturday (bliss!), we walked to Mother’s Day brunch on Sunday, we walked around a big and fabulous park on Sunday afternoon. Running out of milk is no longer a pain in the ass that involves a 16 mile round trip car ride. I haven’t even checked out the local coffee shop yet and I am already in love.

3. This series of pictures of the kid. I think this perfectly sums up life with a toddler. The working title: “Miles, sit on your bottom”

Miles, sit on your bottom on the couch

No, buddy, on your bottom.


Still not your bottom


Not even close to being on your bottom


Success! Was that so hard...

Oh, okay. See you later.

He sat on his bottom for approximately 1.67 seconds and then realized he was wasting valuable time that could be spent playing BALL! BALL! with us (note the new glove in his hand. I am such an enabler. I brought yet another ball into this household).

4. Girl names. Even though Mr.Monkey and I are not in the trying to have another baby zone, we got into quite an amusing Facebook debate on names for our fictional daughter (that we are probably not going to have). I am now obsessed with the names Mabel, Lily, and Inez. My darling husband incorrectly dislikes Mabel but likes, inexplicably, Eileen (no offense to any Eileens out there, but that is just not my style).

5. The fact that I have a specific amount of weight that I’d like to lose. I’m not sure how much I’m going to talk about it here but I’m down 4 pounds from the starting point and am very, very carefully figuring out how I want to approach this whole thing so I don’t go into a bad and crazy place about it. I need to do it though.

Time will pass

Last week I read this entry by one of my favorite bloggers and I find that I can’t stop thinking about it. Specifically, I keep coming back to the idea that time passes anyways, whether you do the scary/hard/feels impossible thing you are thinking about doing or not.

There are two things in my life that I really, really want to have happen but that are both big and time-consuming and very long-term. The first is to finally, finally get to a place where fitness is a habit and where I am comfortable in my skin and have done the training to be competitive at the athletic events that I want to pursue. Realistically, there is weight to be lost and a lot of running/biking/swimming to be done. I think, with work, I could be in pretty good racing form in a year. But a year feels long and I want to be fast and fit and strong right now. The fact that I can’t be where I want to be sort of immediately sometimes bogs me down and I find myself doing nothing instead. The thought of doing things perfectly for a year exhausts me, even though I know I don’t have to do perfect. I just have to do better.

But now I’m thinking: a year is going to pass no matter what. I get to decide if after it passes I am still in the wishful place of wanting to be fit or if I am actually there.

The second thing I want is…well…not to be annoying but it is still a secret for the moment, something that feels too personal to share right now. But it is big and time-consuming and there is a high potential for it to not work out. But there is a 100% chance for failure if I don’t start.

So, I’m gonna start. With thing one and thing two and I am going to not let perfect be the enemy of good, because time will pass, even if I’m not perfect.


In a related note: I went swimming today, which is the third day in a row this week that I went to the gym. I have not done three workouts in a row since, um, October, maybe? So yay me.

The sun! The sun!

After a very, very, very long winter, the sun is finally starting to shine here in the formerly frozen tundra of Iowa. The snow is melting and, from my lofty 3rd floor office window, I swear to God I can see grass. Amazing.

When Mr.Monkey and I decided to move to Iowa, I knew I was in for rougher winters than you get in Arizona (uh, duh) but man, this winter was terrible. I am so glad to be at the tail end of it.


It is spring break week at the college where Mr. Monkey and I both work, which is one of the best weeks to be on a college campus. Obviously I like the students and all, but it is so nice to have ample parking and a sense of quiet peacefulness on campus.

It is also nice to go to the gym at lunch time and not have to fit for a machine. I met up with a friend and spent some time with a treadmill and an exercise bike today. The snow is finally melted enough that I should be able to take the bike out for a ride sometime this week, as soon as I get my tires inflated again.

In another 10 degrees it will be warm enough to put a bike seat on the mountain bike and take the baby monkey for a spin. I think he’ll love it.


Finally, I am working on a spring/summer racing schedule, which I shall post soon in order to shame myself in to getting back on track.

A few goals for this week:

swim at least 1X

kettlebells 1X

run 2X

Pilates video 1X

bike 1X

Two in a row

Feeling very bad ass today as I managed to:

1. Run on my lunch hour again. It is sad, but I can’t remember the last time I managed 2 training days in a row. Clearly I am awesome.

2. Brought my lunch to work for a second day. I have been terrible about this since I started this job, largely due to the fact that there are no immediate negative consequences if I don’t bring my lunch…I just go to the cafeteria and for $3.97 I get all the Diet Coke, soft serve frozen yogurt and other food I want. It is easy and fast and, despite the incessant moaning on the part of the students here, generally pretty tasty.

The down side is that I generally eat too much (unlimited dessert bar= bad, bad, bad) and financially that $3.97 per day adds up, so I am resolved to try to bring my lunch at least 3 times a week.


I am officially counting down the days until I leave for Arizona. Can not wait for some warm weather.

10 Pounds of Pain

So, on a whim the other day (and by “whim” I mean retail therapy expedition I engaged in while my husband was out of town and I was bored and lonely) I bought myself one of these:If you have not had the distinct horror of doing a workout with one of these before, allow me to introduce you to the kettlebell. According the eye-poppingly fit woman on my instructional DVD, these were invented by Russian athletes who felt like they weren’t suffering enough under the communist regime (I might have made up that last part). The idea is to use these to do a variety of throwing and holding movements and to build muscle strength and explosive power. The throwing movements are also, if you have sweaty hands, a good way to start ridding your workout area of any pictures, knick knacks, mirrors, etc that you don’t like (10 pounds+slippery hands+throwing= bye-bye ugly Precious Moments figurine).

The local big box store sells them in sizes from 4 pounds to 20 pounds. I, feeling optimistic, got the 10 pound one. Ha.

After securing the baby in another room (because, whoa, such potential for disaster doing it with him walking around. Like he needs another head injury after all the flinging himself off of furniture he does), I finally got my ass in gear and did the DVD for the first time today.

It is kind of a miracle I have enough strength to type.

It was hard. No. Really. Haaarrrrdddd. My heart rate was up, my muscles were shaking, and it was obvious pretty quickly that I should hustle big to ye olde big box store and get a 5 pound one because I can not hang with the 10 pounds. I usually think I have better strength than cardio fitness, but wowzers, this was tough (have I mentioned it was hard?).

I think Mr. Monkey is going to try it as a way of working in some strength training to his running plan. I’ll be curious to see if he likes it. He usually isn’t a fan of strength work but I think he might like this better than just lifting weights.

Speaking of Mr.Monkey, he is out running right now. The temperature is -3, not counting the wind chill. He is officially a stud.