Ok, Seriously, I Just Want This to be Over

I’m not through my first semester and I can’t seem to wrap my head around this transfer thing.

It should not be stressing me out this bad.

Just found out a commute to Urbana looks more like three hours, realistically.

So…yet another school switch…hopefully the last one.

UIC – University of Illinois – Chicago is the new and – again – hopefully last of the choice switching. I’m feeling relatively good about it, the department website is chock-FULL of yummy econ courses I’m dying to take, and I just have to make sure I take the right stuff NOW in order to transfer in where I want to be.

Which means I’ll be on the phone again tomorrow. Talking to a transfer advisor and figuring out when the right time to transfer is.

Plus, I need to get in another set of First Day to 5k tomorrow. I’m at least looking forward to that. I really want this one bike – I’m a cyclist, not a runner. I’m still reminiscing fondly about the test drive I took of the Elektra Townie at the local bike store. It was…amazing. I even downloaded the (free) iPhone app so I can look at the bikes and drool over them whenever I want.

The app reminds me I’m working toward something. Because if I can get my butt under 300lbs. – I get so close and then pop up a couple pounds for no discernible reason, I mean, you’ve seen my fridge – that bike is going to be my reward.

I can’t get it out of my head. It haunts me. The wind through my hair, my legs pedaling … it’s pure bliss, man. Pure bliss.

Classes for Spring – Decisions, Decisions

I’m over halfway through my first semester back at college. Straight A student? Yep. So far that’s looking like exactly what I’m going to be. I have an eye on a transfer college based solely on the charter the school has with the International Honors Society I want to be part of.

It’s one that has a journal for student publications, and I’m not talking about the school newspaper, either. Peer reviewed journal articles. Oh yeah, baby. This is the big leagues of academia.

But first I have to get there.

Even though I’m doing SO well in my classes, there’s one online class where *everything* is turned in (except for quizzes) at the end of the semester. So 16-weeks of NO feedback will go into my final exam and written assignments. I worry that I’ll somehow mess it up. Because I’m a worrier.

I also found out that NO honors classes are offered online. All are during the day, on-campus. Way to exclude me, people. But that’s okay because I’d much rather be part of the honor society than take a few honors classes. Even without the weighted grades I’m going to get in pretty easily.

Of course, by “easily” I mean with much fretting and worrying and scheduling and studying and freaking out and battling feelings of not being good enough. The usual. My baseline, as it were.

I need to get a cute little iPod Shuffle so I can go running. I just don’t think that looking at a watch will be as good as being able to just run until the little noise in my ears tells me to start walking and then walking until the little beepy noise tells me to run again. I can get lost in it and not watch a watch – thinking less about running – except for form and breathing – will allow me to be a more successful runner. Or so I think.

See, how people keep posts in one category is beyond me. I mean, school makes me think of success makes me think of fitness. It’s a natural progression. How am I supposed to keep that from happening?

I probably can’t. Everything is so closely connected.

PreCalculus and Preparing for Spring

I hear from so many people, “Oh…math…I’m not good at math…”

For some people this might be true, but for many, it’s just that you weren’t good at it when you were younger. I feared math. Was really scared of math. I had some very, very bad experiences with math in high school and college.

I thought I was bad at math.

But now I’m in a Physics class where math is a big part. Sure, we use calculators and sure, the equations are given to us and we don’t have to do rote memorization…but really, it’s like the real world where you are given most of the equations and are allowed to use calculators.

I think perhaps the cruelest thing that is done to high school kids is to make them memorize stuff when that is SO not the point. The point is to know WHICH equation to use, not that you have them all memorized AND need to learn which one to use in which situation.

So many people (girls and women especially) think they suck at math. Women that make budgets and own businesses and blog and track analytics and views and bounce rates and statistics. Women who use math every day.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not scared. Calculus is known for being SO difficult. So I ordered a PreCalculus book from Amazon I saw was highly recommended on a Physics forum I found online. It was one cent plus $3.99 shipping. I’m going to go through it over the holiday break in order to make sure I’m all brushed up on the basics.

If I can make working from home work, if I can be a partner in a marriage for almost eight years, if I can raise three children and give them values and morals, if I can be a friend and confidant to my real life people, if I can exercise regularly and make sure I’m eating healthy foods and get my kids to do the same…really…how hard can some little problems in a book be?

Life is way more difficult than math.

Up All Night – Moving Baby from Crib to Bed

So for the last time in my adult mommy life I put a mattress in a room and put a 1-year-old on it and gave her a bottle and snuggled her and covered her up in a lightweight blanket and said goodnight.

Overall, it was the easiest of the three moves. D has been having problems in her crib lately because she’s so long and has this crazy arm-span and has been sleeping through the night ONLY in my bed. As much as part of me would love to think it’s because she needs to be by her mommy and daddy, the face slaps during the night remind me she just needs room to stretch out and sleep comfortably.

So we put a mattress on the floor of the girls’ room. I don’t use a box spring because she can’t even walk yet so expecting her to not fall out of a bed is just silly. When she fell off of the mattress it didn’t cause her an ounce of badness and we checked on her to find her curled up sleeping on the floor. So. Cute.

But that means it’s time to sell/donate the crib.

Which makes me all “awwwww” and at the same time makes me want to jump for joy because I almost have my life back. The one that does not revolve around diapers and immunizations and bottles and mommy guilt that I could be doing more. The part where I get to have a life and let my kids take the lessons I’ve taught them and start applying them in a real-world setting.

There are a few pangs of regret at our decision not to have a fourth. A worry that my little D won’t have someone so close in age like her sisters are to each other. A fear that she’ll be odd-man-out and that will give her anxiety. But if it’s my youngest feeling a little left out or me going through another nine months of pregnancy, well, little D will have to suck it up, because I’m done being the human incubator for awesome kidlets.

So this is me signing off after a night that had a few interruptions but not caused by little D. I feel groggy and my brain wants more coffee while my tummy says “Oh, hell no.” So I’ll just have a granola bar and water. Because part of this overall life change is continuing my commitment to health and fitness. For me.

Panera and Studying

I’m here. Studying my butt off and getting things done.

I always wonder what everyone else is doing here when I’m working.  Then I realize that what I’m really doing is staring at people to distract myself from what I’m doing and then I’m writing a blog post about it instead of researching my communications speech.

Oopsie. I am kind of a slacker. Back to work with me!!

U of I … who’d a thunk it. I’m so excited, and all I have to do now that I have a plan is to keep getting those As and keep getting those honor society invitations. Easy peasy, right? LOL Here’s hoping.

Updated Spring Class Schedule

After talking to some really nice people from MIT, University of Chicago, and Prairie State … I ran across someone who is at a school that has exactly what I need. She even gave me advice on what classes to take for my remainder of time where I’m at now. So yeah. Illinois State University it is!

The revised Spring schedule is now being referred to as “the final schedule.”

Online

  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Statistics and Probability

In Person

  • Calculus with Analytic Geometry I

Yep, you’re reading it right…TWO math classes. I think I’m in heaven.

Education: Sometimes you Need a Plan

But, more importantly, you need to figure out who can help you with your plan.

I need to know if taking economics courses at my current school is pointless. I need to know where to be taking the four semesters of calculus that needs to happen.

I called MIT today and found out that they don’t have any night courses or online courses. I’d have to move the family to Massachusetts or live apart from them for a few years in order to get that degree.

When I live so close to the bastion of Economics that is the University of Chicago, well, I could hop a train and be there so maybe it wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to go ahead and go there. But they also don’t have night or online courses. So I’d have to find a way to go during the day to classes. Five classes I could maybe squish into three days if I was lucky. I don’t know how that is going to affect my workload from my current employer.

So now I need to look long and hard at the choices I’ve made so far and how those choices are going to affect my future. Do I transfer from the community college to the University that will finish up my degree with no muss and no fuss – giving me a Bachelors of Social Sciences (nice and well rounded) – or do I go straight to U of Chicago and dive into Economics in a focused, dedicated way. Stopping for nothing until I’ve reached my goal of world domination getting not only a degree but entry into Phi Beta Kappa and all the other honors societies that will then help me get a fellowship for a graduate degree.

Because once I’m in graduate school, I don’t seem all that old anymore. Which will be a nice change. I just wonder if my credits will transfer. *sigh*

Update: Aw YEAH! Problem solved. Will be transferring to Illinois State University next year. I saw the course offerings and drooled all over my keyboard. Other than Game Theory they have EVERYTHING and then some! And really, if I want to learn game theory…it’s available from MIT online on iTunes. I love technology.

#Mamavation and How it has Changed My Fridge

As we all know, one of the biggest hurdles to eating healthy is what stares at us from the recesses of our refrigerator. Sure, there’s fast food to avoid and healthy choices to make at restaurants…but the worst choices are the convenient ones we make in the comfort of our own home. You can usually find an overweight person in a restaurant to remind you what you are trying to change about yourself and that can spur you to make a better choice. Or you just think people are looking at what you’re eating and maybe you shame yourself into making a better choice. Whatever you do, most people are just more likely to make a better buying decision in a restaurant, where others are also making food choices.

At home, there’s no one to tell you what to eat, no one to look at and think, “Wow, I need to keep it in check or else.”

I’m not sure how most people get unhealthy food from the store to their homes. I don’t shop. I’m actually phobic of grocery shopping. I have panic attacks in grocery stores. I’m DEAD serious. My husband has done the grocery shopping during the entire almost-eight-years of our marriage. The number of times I have gone grocery shopping in the last eight years can easily be counted on one hand.

Which means I can tell him what to get. I can inform him of the label on bread that lets you know it’s really whole-grain. I can dictate my wish-list of healthy foods. Then, he just gets them. I’m not tempted to be lazy and just pick up a couple of “just in case” Lunchables for the kids. Thanks to him we discovered Amy’s Chocolate Graham Bunnies the kids adore.

And because he doesn’t mind shopping a couple/few times a week, we can keep lots of fresh veggies in our house. Buying the right amount of veggies has taken a while. People always OVERbuy veggies and then throw them out and think it’s a waste and too expensive to buy fresh. The key is buying enough and no more. Then you have to go out and do it again. Sure, it’s not as convenient as shopping once a week, but in most countries people buy dinner the same day, every day, so it’s really just a matter of making a small commitment. Just because your fridge is there doesn’t mean it should be packed.

This is what my fridge looks like immediately after grocery shopping:

The beer on the top shelf of the fridge and the top shelf of the door of the fridge has been there for probably six months. My husband likes it so it stays. His one vice is Pepsi, and since I don’t shop I really don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to telling him he can’t have his ONE thing.

You might notice there isn’t one bottle of water in there. I drink my water room temperature. I heard it was better for you, but really I do it like that because it’s easier to drink more at room temperature. The meat drawer actually freezes meat that’s in the back so this weeks meat is ground beef (80/20) and Polish Sausage. (Again, you try telling my polish husband he can’t have polish sausage. I dare you.)

We will go through that yogurt on the yogurt shelf in a week or less. Probably less. The girls and I decimate yogurt at a rate of approx. three a day. I’m totally ok with this because we don’t really drink a whole lot of milk, and I drink NO milk because it makes me horribly ill (the same way eggs and cottage cheese do) so I avoid it.

If you have any questions, let me know.

Oh, my weight this morning was a whopping 304.8  -bah humbug – bloated much? Why yes, yes I am. So, I’m just hanging on to how awesome my eating has been and honestly not worry about being a hormonal, bloated mess. It’s a marathon, not a race.

Note: I am not advocating judging others in public places. If you do, please don’t openly stare at them or say something. Shame will not keep you on your weight-loss journey and self-hatred will not help you sustain it. Putting yourself up against others may work in the short-term, but you always need to make choices for YOU. Not because you’re sitting across from a thin girl eating salad or a fat man eating steak. This has been a public service announcement from “Jen’s Super-Special Hug Yourself Because You’re OK Foundation” – now go hug yourself.

I Almost Called This One Blogger’s Anonymous

It started as just a little header change. I was trying to do something adorable and Fall-related when I had that overwhelming feeling of just being done blogging – again.

I can’t seem to shake the feeling that if I just used a different domain name and started over I could start “fresh” or something. A thought that I realized was silly even as I was thinking it. But still, I entertained the thought.

Because I’m so many things. Really. From being smart to kind to giving hugs to people to understanding how to talk to shy people in person without making them feel overwhelmed and trapped – and that’s just the short list.

Flaws? Heck yes I have flaws! Oodles of them!

From my short tempter to my tendency to think people mean things more harshly than they do, I make all kinds of mistakes and errors and just get things wrong sometimes. I’m 100% Grade-A flawed human!

But I want this blog to be something better – something deeper- than it has been. Something I want to go back and read later. I keep having these weird growing pains and talking about them, but eventually I’ll find my voice and my groove and I’m going to start writing things I want to write.

So sit back and enjoy the ride. I’m not going anywhere.

Even if it does ruin my chances for a kickin’ graduate scholarship down the road.