July So Far and Goals Check-In

The first two weeks of July have just blown by, and our little family has been thoroughly enjoying!  We have had two guests come to meet our little guy: my SIL and best friend.  Cliff fell in love with them both, and the feeling was totally mutual.

Cliff has been thriving and developing new skills so quickly these days!  Wednesday night we started feeding him some rice cereal from a spoon, and at first he wasn’t so sure what his crazy parents were up to.  He sort of let the liquid pool around his lips and tongue, then would let it seep further into his mouth.  The next night, he started catching on halfway through that he was actually being fed, so he opened his mouth each time I brought his red spoon to his mouth.  it was adorable.



Cliff had the same emotional reaction: rice cereal in formula is blaaaaaaaand.

What little boy’s life, whose name is Clifford, would be complete without these???

Exactly!  Three months old is the age when you start wearing backpacks anyways, right???

I was asked to run a two-week, SAT Reading tutoring session, which has been a great opportunity for us, not only because of the extra income, but also it forced to met get to know the updated test.

July is already halfway over, and before I begin to think about August, I thought it would be a good idea to check in with the progress that I’ve made with my July goals.

Books/Reading/Curriculum Planning:

Goal: Review the following books & create “Lists”

  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Goal Update:

I have reread both The Great Gatsby and The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and have reacquainted myself with the specific motifs and themes from both novels.

I wouldn’t say that I have created specific lists, by chapter/section, that I want to have the students focus on, but I am definitely closer to having my first units completed.  Luckily, the texts and strategies are familiar to me, so I can easily outline the curriculum.

As for The Scarlet Letter, I have decided that I want to put that title on hold because I am not using it this year.  Instead, I want to spend more time organizing my first two units for English III and AP Literature.

Health and Wellness:

July Goal: Workout daily & fit into my black and khaki capri pants.

Goal Update:

There is definitely more room to breath in both pairs of these pants.  I wouldn’t call them wear-ready at this point, but I still have 15 more days.

A friend of mine asked me how I was able to get back to my pre-baby body so quickly in comparison to some other women, and I told her it was all through hard work and dedication.  I still go to the gym daily, but the harder part is monitoring my food.  I’m an “all-or-nothing” person, so I can’t nibble on things or feel successful with portion control of what I call “heavier foods.”  These include: ice cream, chocolate, fries, chips/crackers, “salads” that contain a creamy dressing that is mixed throughout the ingredients, and breads.

Instead of fighting to be the person who can indulge now and again, I figure it’s better to embrace who I am and just avoid those foods that may taste good for a moment, but make me feel bloated and deflated beanbag-esq.  So that means I have cut out most unnatural sugars and increased my water intake.  It’s not easy this time of the year, what with all the BBQs and appeals to eat ice cream on a hot summer day.


Thoughts about Spin Class

Happy Midweek Posting, Fancy Oatmeal readers!  It may not be the weekend, but I’m darn glad that I’m still around and cogent enough to make this posting!


I am on the outside of the insanity bubble because after taking back-to-back spin classes, for the first time ever in my life, I am about to get my tender tush back into the gym for an AM workout with my dear friend.  My workouts are very skitter-scattered for the next few weeks because, as I told you on Monday, one of the reasons why I agreed to join our new LA Fitness gym was because they offer a wide variety of group workout classes.  This also means that I haven’t been getting in as many miles in the running column of my life, however I have logged over 40 miles in the two spin classes that I’ve taken.


Now that I’ve tried spinning, and gone back for more, I feel as though I’m quite qualified to be able to give you a full assessment.  A few things that you need to know before giving you my thoughts about the classes:

  • I’m brand new and have only these two classes on which to base my assessment.
  • I had two different instructors with a slightly different approach to teaching and encouragement for the students.

Thoughts about Spin Class

1.  First Impressions

Here is a quick photo that I took while warming up before my first class:


It was a little bit intimidating, at first, walking into a 25% filled classroom and not knowing a sole, or what to do really.  This played on my childhood insecurities BIG TIME.  I chose a bike in the 2nd-row-from-the-front.  I knew better than to choose front row based on the comedy club rule of thumb: closest to the comedian are the first to get called out.  Both classes were completely full by the time the class started and I was certainly not that only beginner.

2.  Instructors


I had no idea who the instructor was, so even thought I had followed the advice that I had researched and arrived early enough to let the spin guru know that I was totally clueless, I didn’t know who to direct my ignorance to.  Both classes, the instructor arrived about 7 minutes before the class started, but thankfully their first step was to ask if there were any newbies in the room.  The first night, our instructor came over and really was helpful.  She helped me adjust the height of my seat and handle bars, walked me through some of the jargon that she would be using during the class, and what resistance levels would be appropriate for first-timers and people of varying fitness.  THANK GOD for that because the second night, the instructor did not.  The first night’s instructor was less motivational than the second night’s;  Instructor Two threw out a lot of encouragements, she got up and walked around the class a few times to check on us, and called people out for not working hard enough!

3.  Impact


Just because I decided to do two nights in a row of spin class doesn’t mean that the first night’s session was any less strenuous than the second.  Both nights I was struggling, both nights I sweat enough to drown an elephant, and both nights I left feeling like I do after a 10+ mile run.

4.  More Than Just Spinning


The first class’ instructor had us doing some upper body activities while we were on lower level gears.  She had us hold our arms up at eye level and twist from side to side to engage our cores.  Both instructors had us do these awful amazing variations of sitting on the seat for two counts and then standing for two counts for series of up to 20 repetitions.  Man did those kick my butt!

My overall impression of spin class is that I love it, now that it’s over.  I’ll definitely try and incorporate two sessions a week into my schedule, but probably not two nights in a row anymore.