Wednesday, August 13, 2008

10 years

is a long time to be with someone. My husband and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary on the 25th and our 6th wedding anniversary on the 24th. When we first met we were babies (okay, so 19 years old is a baby to me, looking back at it now!), and it's hard to believe it's been 10 years. 10 years of sometimes bliss, sometimes struggle (both in our relationship and financially), and moments of joy we won't forget, like when our daughter was born. It's hard to put into words how I feel about my family- it's indescribable, and yet, we have faced some tough challenges this year with my going back to full-time work. So far we have trudged through, but you just never know. Making it to 10 years is a huge milestone, and while my husband says we should wait to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary in 4 years from now, we'll have a scaled-down version of this one.

My hope? For another 10 years, even with the drama and challenges.

I will admit that sometimes I tend to take my work and put it above everything else, like my dad did as I was growing up, but that's the way I was raised. Of course my family is in the picture, but work is also important. I guess you can call that ambition, as I have heard that specific word come from at least two different people in the last three months when they were describing me. I am still trying to learn how to balance ambition with family life, and it's hard. It's easy to lose sight of what is important when you're trying to put your focus and energy into other outlets.

That said, my daughter and husband both have supported me 1,000% throughout my job changes and my lifestyle change with the diet and exercise, and that support means more than anything in the world to me.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Hip hop culture

This one was almost titled "Hip hop culture and the lack of it in Whatcom County" but I thought I'd just label it otherwise. There is a major lack of hip hop culture in Whatcom County, it's more like country or rock culture, but where I grew up, it was a strong hip hop culture. People say the word hyphy and if you're from Nor Cal you know what I'm talking about. Not that Monterey is necessary Nor Cal, but we always considered it Nor Cal because it's in close proximity to San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland. When I was in high school New Jack Swing was popular, as well as Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. Tupac died in my junior year and Biggie died in my senior year. The funniest part of this all is, while I listened to the hip hop that my friends and classmates listened to, I was more into the alternative scene than anything. Not exactly Nirvana, but Elastica (remember them?), Offspring (ohhh the Offspring...they are currently in my truck and it brings back some memories!), and No Doubt were a few of my favorites.

In my junior year, I took a dance class after school (Modern Dance) and realized that I was not into the stiff and technical side of dance). We had a substitute teacher one day, and she told us to just freestyle to Michael & Janet Jackson's "Scream". I let loose. It was then that I realized that maybe hip hop dance was the way I wanted to go, and despite living in an area that had a lot of hip hop culture, we did not have a hip hop dance class! I ended up taking a Jazz dance course at the local community college the summer before my senior year (taught by that substitute teacher, mind you!). To this day, I have yet to have taken a hip hop dance class and I am hoping to get to the point where I'm strong enough (and regain some balance because my balance SUCKS) to actually take a Hip Hop Dance class for fun.

My daughter has expressed interest in Hip Hop dance, so in the spring of 2007 I enrolled her in a local Hip Hop dance class through the local Y. It taught hip hop and ballet and my daughter absolutely hated ballet. I chuckled when she told me this, because my dad made me take ballet in 6th grade and I, too, hated it. I had to laugh at the "hip hop" that was taught, it wasn't really hip hop but again, this is coming from someone who grew up with the hip hop I realize my expectations are a bit biased. Plus the teacher was ballet-trained, so it was not really her style. Yesterday I lamented to some co-workers how I really wanted to enroll her in a quality hip hop dance class. One told me that if she becomes serious about it, and I'm willing to shell out money and time, Vancouver (British Columbia) has some really good dance studios. I think I'll wait to see where it goes, but in the meanwhile I am looking for closer alternatives. This child of mine loves break dancing and b-boys, for some reason, and has tried on her own to break dance (it's cute!). We watch America's Best Dance Crew on MTV and she is always amazed (especially when it comes to the tricks the b-boys do, such as Supercrew). Personally, I'm more of a dance person, but some of the tricks do amaze me as well.

It's been five years since we moved up here and I still cannot get into country. I don't think I ever will be able to. Now, when I say "country" I mean the new stuff, or the extremely twangy stuff. Elvis and Johnny Cash I do not mind...but the rest of it, I just do not get it. I know that is how some people feel about hip hop, but I have tried to like country. Okay, so I like the Dixie Chicks but really, that's about it, and even some of their stuff I can't stomach (it's the twangy sound, no offense meant to anyone). However, I love rock- especially classic rock, and most recently we watched a Led Zeppelin concert on one of the VH1 channels. How my daughter can know the words to Immigrant Song is a mystery to me. Give me rock and hip hop any day (and I love the collaborations- like "Walk This Way" with Aerosmith and Run DMC, or the more recent Linkin Park and Jay-Z collaborations).


Friday, August 08, 2008

Finally, some good news

I had my weigh in yesterday and found out that I have dropped 13.6 lbs in the past 2 months! I was overjoyed and felt like I finally found something that is working- calorie counting does work along with re-training yourself on eating (well, and exercise, of course!). The nurse told me that because I am eating 4-6 small meals per day it is helping to boost my metabolism, which helps with the metabolic syndrome (Insulin Resistance). It just pushes me to continue to do what I am doing and continue to work hard for what I want.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

One step forward, two steps backwards

What am I doing blogging at 4am? I am up because of work obviously, but really, just frustrated with my health lately. Right now I'm dealing with vertigo (right now, not so bad, yesterday, terrible) as a result of a double ear infection and sinus infection. So I'm on the antibiotics and nasal sprays to try to get it under control but I still feel like a bobblehead. I did not work out at all last week, and ate terribly over the weekend. Okay, so I'll move past that- I had every intention of going to work out yesterday but ended up at my doctor's office trying to figure out what was causing this vertigo. When I got home I went to bed because everything was spinning. No workout. Last week no workout because I was not feeling well either.

Thursday I have a weigh in, first time since early June and I'm freaking out! I know one shouldn't obsess about their weight so much, but the truth is, I really have worked hard and I know my body- weight loss is hard for me, inch loss not so much. So while co-workers and other people say they are seeing changes in me, I have to wonder if that scale will budge. What I fear is that it will have stayed at the same or have gone higher. If that's the case, I don't know how I'll react. I have been doing everything right (minus the last week because of illness), and it would be so frustrating to find a weight gain or have stayed the same. I'm hoping for at least 10 lbs in the past 2 months, if not, more. We'll see. Of course, I'm sure that'll be when my endocrinologist intervenes with the Byetta, which I'm leery of taking. What are my options? If it can't be controlled via diet and exercise then what? My insulin is out of control, but lucky for me, my blood sugars are great. It's just a matter of time until it turns into full fledged Type 2 Diabetes though, and that worries me. This weight HAS to come off.

I honestly try to stay optimistic because I am optimistic at heart. I believe in the good of things- I believe things get better, even if life throws you a curveball. Maybe that's why I have survived this crap for so long? I don't know.

Anyhow, off to work for me, and I hope this dizziness stops soon.

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Saturday, August 02, 2008


On Animal Planet they have a series called Growing Up... which is based on showing how animals are brought up by humans. I've watched many of these during my time as a stay-at-home mother, but there is only one episode that brought joy to my heart, and it was regarding the walrus, Nereus. Nereus was found on an Alaskan beach all alone. It is not clear on whether his mother died or abandoned him, but he was just a baby when rescuers found him and took him to the Alaska SeaLife Center to try to save him. He struggled to survive, but later on he was transferred to the Indianapolis Zoo and was "raised" by humans. He's still at the Indianapolis Zoo today and if there's only one reason I'd ever go to Indiana, it would be for this walrus (seriously!).

Something about him captured my heart. He has quite the personality which you must see, and if you can get a chance to watch it on Animal Planet, it's well worth it. They have it on DVD as well, as the Growing Up: Arctic DVD, which I just purchased on eBay. If you do a google of "Nereus the Walrus" and look at the image section, you can see plenty of pictures of him.

And whoda thunk I would have blogged about a walrus? Hey, all I can say is, life is stressful enough and busy enough, but when you find something that brings you joy or brings a smile to your face, you try to hold on to it, and Nereus does that for me.