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Friday, February 29, 2008

too tired to think of a title...

Hey y'all! Thanks for all your comments on the crap I feed my children. :) I'm going grocery shopping tomorrow morning and I'm taking all your comments with me.

Wanna hear something that makes me feel like I'm probably a ginormous loser but is true anyway? My favorite all-time blogger, whose blog I've been reading since I was pregnant with Bek and started blogging myself, who I read every day as soon as I signed on to the computer, who has changed my outlook on life in so many good ways, has retired from blogging. Closed her blog. And I'm SO SAD about it! I feel like my best friend moved away...regardless of the whole "never actually met" thing.

Well, OK. Moving on...

I have to tell you about the mad crazy classes I've been teaching lately! Except I'm so tired! So if there are typos and bad grammar and all that, just put it up to the tired, OK?

So...

Oh. I promised I would tell you more about the studio class.

I don't really want to talk about it.

Well, OK...it's just I met with the woman the Thursday after the class and she said the response was good blah blah blah, but then she got into things like she doesn't think her liability insurance would cover me, and the 60/40 split I suggested just wouldn't really be worth it for her and I should consider that her instructors get between $20-40 per class based on experience and she needs to pay for the heat and electricity blah blah blah and the more I heard, the more it sounds like she's hoping to have the class but to hire me on as an employee, which is SO not what I want. I HAVE a job. As a matter of fact, if you count the other places I teach, plus my "bill-paying" job, I have three. And those are just the jobs I get paid for--never mind the whole "mom and wife" thing. No, if I'm going to take any more classes at this point, I'm going to do it on my terms, not as someone's employee.

So...I think I'm going to step back a bit, save the money I'm making from my other classes, and get liability insurance, a sound system, and then my certifications, so I can just rent some space somewhere where no one will care much about how I run things. You know, if I want to give out a thousand free passes a week, I should be able to, as long as I can pay rent. I shouldn't have to worry about how much it will cut into someone else's profit. Just mine. And heck, I'm doing this because I love it...not because I'm strapped for cash.

I haven't talked to her since then, so I'll let you know how it goes.

In other "I teach Zumba" news, I've been helping out at a place that will remain unnamed for now. And I guess the members really like me (which? I don't get...but I guess I won't complain...) because the director wants to let one of the other people go so I can take that class.

Huh??

Lemme get this straight. You're going to fire that person...so I can teach?

That's nuts.

But anyway, I'm excited. So in a couple of months, when their next session starts, I'll have one class and maybe even two if they get childcare extended during the week.

And OM freaking G, I have got to tell you about the kids' Zumba class I taught yesterday (right before my night adult class! It's two! two! two classes in one day!).

My director asked me to do the kids class and I was all excited because my two older girls could go and they have been begging to do it. So, OK, sure, I'll take it.

She emailed me to say there were 6 or so kids registered, and they were going to bring in the kids from childcare too.

I'm thinking "childcare" as in the room that the kids go in for an hour or so while the mmoms and dads work out so, you know, what's that like 6 or 8 more kids? No problem.

Yeah. that's not what she meant. She meant the after school program.

So I'm teaching away, having a great time with my 6 or 8 little kids, when the childcare kids start filing in. And filing in. And filing!! in!!!

There were like forty! freakin! kids! there!!!! What the heck do I do with all these children??!

And they were middle schoolers, which I am convinced is God laughing because I've always hated that age. You know, thats the age where they have to be so cool, and they're still figuring out who they are and they don't want to do anything that might be uncool or they would just die.

We actually had a pretty good class--I was pleasantly surprised. We did the Cha Cha Slide like three times. We took one break to play Simon Says. And we took one break to get in a circle and play "Show me how YOU dance."

But oh, the shuddering when they left, saying, "See you next week!!"

I have to do that again?!

So the joke is SO on me. I thought I would have it so easy with this class. Really--I'd probably hardly even break a sweat!! Sure!

Anyway, I think if we do the Cha Cha Slide 10 times in a row they might eventually mutiny, but it's the only song that really went over all that well. Anyone have any suggestions?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

the oscars are on!

No Zumba stuff tonight. No vegan stuff. No fitness, no food questions. Just random Acadamy Award thoughts because OMG! The Oscars are ON!!!

  • Remember a few years ago there were a lot of pregnant actresses and they all seemed to embrace their pregnant beautiful bodies? Where did that go? Everyone is all covered up!
  • OMG I have never seen Jennifer Hudson look SO beautful! That dress looks like it was made for her!!
  • I could NOT be happier about that Irish couple won for best song. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
  • When did Jon Stewart get so...attractive?!
  • Is it just me, or is Jack Nicholson a crazy dirty old man?
  • So many movies I need to see!
  • I wonder what it's like to try to smile when you're full of botox.
  • I hate when my LEAST favorite nominee wins!!
  • How do I get to go to the Academy Awards?
  • More importantly, how do I get to sit next to Johnny Depp?
  • I can't believe I've been sitting here for three hours.
  • I miss acting!
  • How talented is that 11-year-old soloist in that song?!
  • I hope I look as good as Helen Mirren when I'm her age.
  • OOh! I love when the winners get all emotional!
  • How cute is that 98 year old guy?!
  • Oh noes...I hate the memorial part! *sniff* There's Heath Ledger...the youngest by far...
  • There are some great commercials...like, Super Bowl quality! Without the heartbreaking stupid Super Bowl disappointment...
  • I want Heidi Klum's red dress! I saw it, it's hot! And my big toe would look so great in it! ;)
  • OMG get on with it already! I want Best Picture!
  • Did you read the book The Kite Runner? So good!
  • You know, the proper undergarment really makes all the difference and if you know you may be getting up on stage in front of a billion people, wouldn't you make that effort? Victoria's Secret, people.

up way too early

It's 4:30. Thanks to Bek, I've been awake since 3. My back hurts. I can't sleep. And now that I'm up, my stomach is telling me it's time for breakfast.

How are YOU doing?

:)

Hey, I have a question for you moms or dads or caretakers or health professionals or whatevers out there:

Which is best: giving your kids 100% fruit juice, giving them juice that has less total sugar but less fruit juice percentage and more high fructose corn syrup, or giving them water with those dissolvable fruity-tasting mixes, you know, like crystal light, with no calories but lots of artificial flavors and sweeteners?

Hubby and I are in a disagreement over this one. Of course I would like the kids to drink water, and they do sometimes, but mostly they want something that tastes yummy. I say that if they aren't going to drink water, they should have 100% fruit juice, with the occasional artificially-sweetened, no-calorie crystal-light-type mix.

He says things like Tropicana Twister are better because even though they have high fructose corn syrup, fructose comes from fruit anyway and because those types of drinks have a lower percentage of juice and therefore a lower amount of sugar per volume, they're better to give to our kids.

In my mind, high fructose corn syrup=fast track to childhood onset of diabetes. Can someone help me out here?

In other news...

I taught more classes last week than I have ever taught in one week ever before. It was something nuts like eight classes in seven days or something. And then I went to see some girlfriends I haven't seen since September and they were all, "Ooh, let's Zumba! Bring your music!" and of course I was all, "OK!!" because I love me some Zumba and I love that THEY love it, but ooooooooooh my legs! and my arms! and my abs! and my feet!

The good news, of course, is I swear I can see and feel the difference in myself just from that one week.

The bad news is I will be canceling all my classes for the rest of the winter.

:) OK OK, like you'd fall for that. But man! someone pass the protein shake!

Next time: an update on how things are going with the class I want to teach at the studio.

PS: Enjoy the pretty colors while they last. Normally? SO not a pastel person...but I'm thinking spring. Anyone with me on THAT? And I don't want to hear from anyone in sunny California...just kidding, Lee! ;)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

my studio class

Hi everybody! Thanks for all your emails asking how my studio class was. Sorry I haven't gotten back to you. I'm on my sixth day in a row of teaching Zumba classes, so I've been spending the time I usually spend on the computer, sleeping.

...zzzzzzzzzzzzz...

The class. It was...OK. I mean, there were plenty of people there, the space was full, and I'm pretty sure everyone had a good time, but I'm anxious about whether they'll want to actually come back and pay for regular classes. I'm sorry to say I let my nerves get the best of me, and I was way off my game. I mean, I don't think the class knew at all, but I could have--should have--done so much better. And I didn't plan the time very well. I spent too much time talking about what Zumba is, and not enough time busting a move. And I wish I picked more-fun songs. I concentrated too hard on getting one merengue, one salsa, one cumbia, one reggaeton...when really if I want to pull people in I should concentrate first on the songs that are the most fun to do.

...sigh...

I meet with the studio owner Thursday night to talk about the best time to have a regular class. We had the participants in Saturday's demo fill out forms indicating when they might most like to go to a class. We may even decide on having more than one, which I would be thrilled with. I just pray people actually show up.

Did I say that already?

I really beat myself up about how I did. I need to stop. I subbed a class for Tina on Monday morning, and I told them a little about my demo, without going into too much detail since it's kind of a competing class I guess, and I told them they were in for it that morning because I felt like I had something to prove. :)

We ended up having the best class I've ever given. We did something like 16 songs in the hour-long class, just going nonstop, sweating up a storm. The energy was amazing. When we were about to start I asked, like I always do, if there were any people there who'd never taken Zumba before and there were none! so I took that as liberty to just bust it out. :) Some people I didn't recognize came in a little late, but no one had any trouble keeping up. That class is so great--Tina, if you're reading, I'll sub that class for you any day! :)

Today was actually the sixth day in a row that I've taught a class.

I've already said that.

...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

So, yeah. And I teach one demo and one class tomorrow, and my normal class Thursday night. The demo tomorrow is for the mothers' group that meets at my church. We're having a gym day tomorrow instead of our normal meeting, since it's February vacation and all the older kids are off school. Then the second class tomorrow is for the Stoughton JCC (plug plug), this absolutely gorgeous facility that I may start teaching a regular class at soon. If I can find a chink in the schedule. I taught a few songs at their demo on Sunday and there were fifty-freakin-something people in the room. I've never taught for a group that big--my Y class doesn't hold more than 20 or so people, and that's pretty tight. Oh and the other two instructors are brand new. They did some older songs, and did a great job.

OK, I'm off to do some laundry--gotta make sure the UFOs are clean for tomorrow, and at this rate I'm going to wear holes in them soon--and email my friend Lee.

...zzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Friday, February 15, 2008

*urp*

I think...

I think I'm going to puke.

My Zumba demo class is TOMORROW!

ToooooooMoooooooooooorrroooooooooooooooooooooww!

I need to wash clothes! And find socks that match! and eat something healthy! and take a nap! and pull together a CD! and call the studio owner because I haven't even talked to her in two weeks! And when should I get there? An hour early? ten minutes early? Should I waltz in with the rest of the class right when it starts?

There IS going to BE a "rest of the class," right?! RIGHT?!?!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

cruddy day

Is it cruddy where you are? It's cruddy where I am. It snowed all night--enough for a two-hour school delay, which I never even heard of when I was growing up. It was either school or no school. And now it's raining and flooded. Blech. I tried taking the girls to the library to pick up some vegan! cookbooks! and a book by Anne Lamott that I have on hold but we got there, I parked on the street (the only option at the library), and couldn't get to the sidwalk without wading through nearly knee-deep water. So we just went home. For a bookworm like me, being so close to the library without being able to go was so painful! ;)

Also ix-nayed were any plans I had to go to the gym. I'm trying to get back into weight training. I hate it. It's not hateful in itself--I actually enjoy competing against myself, always getting stronger--but it's tedious and time consuming and not entirely fun. I guess what I'm saying is it's not Zumba...but really, what else is. ;)

Bus-stop time...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

new choreography...it's like Christmas!

Just got the latest issue of Zumba choreography and music yesterday. I think I've watched the whole thing--the live class and the one-on-one instruction--three times since then. It's so great--I feel like I'm being spoiled with all the excellent music and choreography I've received since starting to teach. Love it!

In other news...last Saturday I took my group exercise instructor test at the Y. Passed easy-peasy, but then so did the two chickies who were texting the entire time. Whatever, at least I have that out of the way and I feel somewhat competent. It actually surprised me--I didn't expect to really get into it so much. I came home and drilled my hubby with a bunch of stuff I learned.

Like, for example: did you know that some people are genetically better built to be runners and some are genetically better built to be, say, weight lifters? Well, you probably intuited that, but it's actually in your muscles! There are two types of muscle fiber--one for activities that require fast action and lots of strength, and one that is better for feats of endurance--and while we all have both kinds, and most of us have them in roughly equal amounts, some of us have more of the longer, leaner, endurance muscle and some of us have more of the quicker, stronger muscle.

So the fact that I love to Zumba but hate to run? Totally not my fault--it's all my muscle. That's my story, and I'm stickin to it. xD

And oh! I never realized what a spiritual experience the 8-hour class would be--no kidding! We were studying a cross-section of muscle and it showed a muscle, with a close-up of part of the muscle, which was broken into smaller parts, which was broken into smaller parts...and then they showed how, when your muscle contracts, it's actually sliding into itself--kind of like a telescope, I guess--and it just had me amazed. To think that we are SO complex, and the extent to which all our body systems work together, and how...just...everything...and we were like that even when we were the tiniest little embryo, before anyone even knew we existed... At one point I was so overwhelmed by it all I had to stop thinking for a second. Kind of like if you look up into the stars and start thinking about how huge it all is? Yeah, like that.

OK, it's getting late and tomorrow's probably going to be a snow day so I need to be all rested so I can build a snow army with the girls. But I gotta add just a couple more things:
  • 162.5!!!!! I've lost a two-year-old and still going! ;)
  • Tofu tacos: pan-fry some extra-firm til it's dry-as-a-bone-cuz-mushy-tofu's-nasty, throw some taco seasoning on it and prepare like a taco. Yum. Hubby actually suggested that one--he may be a carnivore but I love him anyway.
PS--Have you ordered the new Zumba DVDs?
PPS--Have a nice Valentine's day! May you spend it with the person you most want to be with--even if that's YOU. ;)

Friday, February 08, 2008

new class! and lunchtime

I got a new class! Starting Thursday, February 28, I will be teaching a Zumba Kids class! Yay! I can't wait, especially since Jo and Devy can come too. I told them a while back that this might happen, and they were all kinds of excited. I haven't had a chance to tell them that it's actually on the schedule. Can't wait to see what they say!

So um...any ideas just what to do with a bunch of 5- to 14-year-olds? Gah!

Oh, and I just had lunch. I know, I know, no one cares what you had for lunch, but it was really good! Birds Eye frozen foods now has "Steam & Serve" frozen veggies, and the last time I was in the store I saw "Asian Vegetables with Roasted Cashews (with pasta in a sesame ginger citrus soy sauce)," and thought, "Mm, sounds good to me, but I bet my family will hate it! Let's get it!" totally expecting to force them to eat it for dinner one night. But I was hungry just now, and I cooked it and opened it and it smelled so good so I ate it all up. I practically licked the plate clean. So--it's good. And only 330 calories for the whole thing! Although I do have to say there's no way that's supposed to feed three people. :)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

because i know you are so curious...

Hey, you know what happens when you decide to go vegan so you go for a month without eating any meat or eggs or fish or chicken or dairy or anything like that and give up other bad stuff like soda and sugar and then one day you get really really hungry only there isn't anything in the house that you can eat because you need to go food shopping only you can't go food shopping because the baby is sleeping and you think your stomach is going to implode from hunger so you eat some rice but it's not enough so you pop some almond slivers in there and it's still not enough so you say "screw it" and just eat an entire single-size Pizza Hut Hawaiian-style pizza with tons of cheese and ham and wash it down with a ginormous cupcake leftover from your kid's birthday and a diet coke??

You get really sick.

Sick enough to know that next time? Your stomach can just go ahead and wait until the rest of you gets to the grocery store.

Ugh.

*edited to add--OOoH! I just thought of a great song to play at my funeral!! You know that song by Pink, where she's singing, "IIIIIIiiiiiiiiii'm coming up so you better get this party started!" That's what song needs to play at my funeral so all of heaven knows to get ready. ;)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

and now for something completely different

Tagged be Alanna:

  1. Do you like blue cheese? I LOVE bleu cheese, especially on buffalo chicken wings. But I don't eat either of those things anymore.
  2. Have you ever smoked heroin? No.
  3. Do you own a gun? No.
  4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? What is this "Sonic" of which you speak?
  5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Doctor? No. Dentist? Hells yes.
  6. What do you think of hot dogs? They used to be a guilty pleasure, but now they're another one of those things I don't eat.
  7. Favorite Christmas movie? I have tons of favorite movies. I love thoughtless fun fluffy blockbusters.
  8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Starbucks soy latte.
  9. Can you do push ups? Yes.
  10. Why is there a missing questions here?? I don't know, but there is.
  11. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding set, my multistrand turquoise and wood bracelet from Jeanne, my silver cross necklace, my star necklace, my metal ball neckclace, my jade bracelet from Laura, my spiral ring, my star earrings, my nose ring...I'm really bad at pickinig favorites.
  12. Favorite hobby? ZUMBA!!! No one would have guessed that one!
  13. Another missing question, whoever came up with this one can't count! Even thought that's really not a questions, I agree (LOL)
  14. Do you have A.D.D.? No but if I go too long without eating I feel really spazzy...
  15. What's one trait you hate about yourself? The way I procrastinate everything
  16. Middle name? Ann
  17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment... I wish my kids would get over this bug; how long before I can reasonably go to bed; when is hubby going to offer me a drink?!
  18. Name 3 things you bought today... nothing, nada, zip
  19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? water, diet coke, soy milk
  20. Current worry? I don't worry. I do what I can about what I can (or procrastinate doing so) and leave the rest up to God.
  21. Current hate right now? Stomach bugs that travel back and forth through my family.
  22. Favorite place to be? Anywhere where I can be alone and do things like pee without toddler escort. I do love to sit in a coffee shop, reading or writing, sipping a latte while it's pouring outside. Especially in Panera Bread, they have fireplaces.
  23. How did you bring in the New Year? I slept.
  24. Where would you like to go? SO many places: Australia, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Hawaii, Paris, Africa, India, the movies... ;)
  25. Name three people who will complete this? I'm not tagging anyone; if you want it, take it. BTW, the girl who tagged me called me Zumba Kim. I love that! :)
  26. Do you own slippers? No, but I do wear these really fantastic sweater socks I got from a great friend. ;)
  27. What shirt are you wearing? A white hooded tee.
  28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? I have to say I have never had that experience--but I'm not a huge fan of satin pajamas so I'd have to say satin sheets wouldn't go over well either.
  29. Can you whistle? NO, and I've always gotten made fun of by my brother and sister for it. My eight-year-old whistles better than me.
  30. Favorite color? PURPLE! Then orange.
  31. Would you be a pirate? Nah, I'm all talk with the pirate stuff, but when it comes to actual pillaging I am sorely lacking in experience or ambition. ;)
  32. What songs do you sing in the shower? Usually praise & worship stuff.
  33. Favorite girl's name? Besides my girls' actual names, I like Koren, Neorah, Linaeve, Morrigan, and Zipporah. Hubby would never go for any of those, though, so I save them for when I'm writing a book.
  34. Favorite boy's name? Jeremy, Donovan, Joseph, Jonathan, Asher, Tobias, and Avery. Those are for my books too. ;)
  35. What's in your pocket right now? My punch card for work.
  36. Last person that made you laugh? My husband...he called work and pretended to be a bad customer--and almost had me going for a second!
  37. Best bed sheets as a child? Floral, that I really hated.
  38. Worst injury you've ever had? Broke my foot.
  39. Do you love where you live? II wouldn't say I LOOOOOVE it, but it's nice enough.
  40. How many TVs do you have in your house? Two...the living room and the playroom (for the wii, of course!).
  41. Who is your loudest friend? Shell.
  42. How many dogs do you have? none
  43. Does someone have a crush on you? I don't know; I don't imagine so.
  44. OK, ANOTHER one mising - someone messed this meme I think. Hmmmmm interesting, I wonder what those questions were? I think the missing questions should be: If you were a type of cereal, what kind of cereal would you be?
  45. What is your favorite book(s)? Erg, I hate these questions. SO many, so many. Any Harry Potter book or Stephen King book, Anne Lamott's memoir-type stuff...and that's just the top-of-my-head stuff. I recently read The Kite Runner and LOVED that.
  46. What is your favorite candy? Hm...I dunno. Junior mints? Butterfinger minis?
  47. Favorite Sports Team? Red Sox!
  48. What song do you want played at your funeral? That's a great question, but I don't have an answer. I'll think about it.
  49. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Sleeping!
  50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? "Five more minutes..."

Saturday, February 02, 2008

up way too frakkin late

It's quarter of three in the morning and while there is so much more I could be doing right now, I've finished the most important things on my to-do list, I can't quite see straight for sleepiness, and if I don't go to bed now I'll never make Tina's Zumba class in the morning.

But! I took a pretty picture of the quinoa recipe for you--this time with mango mixed in. I'm not a huge food-porn addict but this was too pretty to not share:



Oh, and here's another picture, just while I'm uploading. No food this time--just me and Devy. Good shot of the nose ring, yay!

(...must...sleep...)



One more thing before I go: I'm starting a newsletter for my fellow Zumbadors y Zumbadoras. If you could ask one thing for an FAQ section, what would it be? OK, you can ask more than one if you want.

OK, good night. Or good morning?