There’s a Dolphin in My Room!


I feel like I’m getting my balance back ya’ll!

It’s been a long time coming. The past two weeks I’ve worked 12 hour days while battling the cold from hell. I also managed to share that cold with my entire family. This nasty cold seemed to result in some strange behavior at our house. During nap time Penelope ended up having a conversation with a dolphin in her room. She was super snotty and beyond tired so Brent was sure she would sleep well. This was until he heard her screaming in her room.

“Get. Out…. Get out NOW!!!”

Brent walked in to check on her and found her looking in the corner. Brent asked her who she was talking to and she said, “Dolphin.”

“Why are you yelling at dolphin?”

“He told me to listen… and I said, Get. Out… Get out NOW!!!” The last part was said in a shrill scream.

She seriously doesn’t like it when people tell her what to do. I’m pretty sure this frustration was meant to be aimed at Brent and I because we are constantly telling her she needs to listen. When she yells at us she gets put into time out, but when she yells at a weird dolphin in her room we laugh. It’s a win, win situation if you think about it. You get out all of your frustrations AND you get the attention you were seeking.

I should try this tactic in my classroom.

Having a mutant cold at the beginning of your first year of teaching could very well kill a person. One night during the week I felt so miserable that I couldn’t sleep. Finally at midnight I gave up trying and busted out the laptop. I planned and graded until 2:30 and was up at 5:30 the next morning.

Each evening when I got home from work I felt like I was going to collapse, but I missed the girls so much that I always looked forward to bedtime when I got to read stories and bath time when I got to play with bubbles. Except for one particularly rough night…


That night someone pooped in the bathtub before she could get her hair washed and then while it was getting cleaned up proceeded to run around the house naked with a towel on her head screaming “I’m Batman! I fly to the moon!”

It was me…

Just kidding.

But it very well could have been if I just so happened to drink as much wine as I was tempted to drink that particular night. I was on day two of Brent being at work and was at my whits end. Poop in the tub was the thing that almost through me over the edge.

For the past two weeks I’ve been waiting for this darn cold to go away so that I could have the energy to do everything I needed to do during the evenings. I hardly cook anymore, I’m too tired and Penelope is too crazy when I get home. Last weekend I couldn’t take it anymore I was convinced that the only thing that could ease my aching throat was some old fashioned chicken noodle soup. Real soup. Not the canned kind.

I didn’t have a recipe but I had a garden full of goodies so I went outside, picked some carrots and herbs and set to work in the kitchen…


Doesn’t the carrot on the left look like it’s saying, “No! Don’t eat me!”?

I sauteed some veggies, reduced some wine, poached some chicken and ended up making the best soup I’ve ever had. While I was out in my garden I was wading through mounds and mounds of rotting apples from my apple tree. I kept feeling bad for the apples that never got eaten. So I decided to pick a few…


It was the first fall like day of the season, a perfect day to make apple crisp with the girls…


Slowly as the week progressed things started to get better. I caught up with my “to do” list for work and I was finally beginning to feel like myself again. This meant more energy to frolic outside during the evenings with the girls. We went on bike rides and hung out in the garden some more. Penelope was super excited to see that the pumpkins in our pumpkin patch were ready to be plucked.


She played with them for the rest of the evening because they were her “best friends”. She even invited them to come inside to watch a movie and eat some popcorn. They politely declined.


But that didn’t stop her from cuddling with them until the sun went down.

This weekend I feel like I’m finally back to my self. I’ve been looking up healthy recipes, planning which days I plan on running and getting super excited about Fall. Balancing the whole work life thing is harder than I thought it would be but I’m pretty sure, with practice, things are going to be great!

Powering Down


Have you ever been so tired your eye balls hurt?

When I feel that way it reminds me of when I was a kid when I would try to stay up past 9 to watch the Golden Girls. I wasn’t really particularly fond of the Golden Girls but I knew that once it came on it was officially past my bedtime. Therefore, if I found myself sitting in front of the TV while the Golden Girls was on then I knew I was getting away with something and felt compelled to partake in this act of rebellion by staying up and watching it.

I would try to revel in the moment but every time I would become so tired that my eyes would start to burn and water causing me to blink a million times. Eventually somewhere in the midst of a blink I would pass out.

This was exactly how I felt last week in the middle of a class… that I was teaching.

Only I didn’t fall asleep, instead I just kind of powered down in the middle of a sentence

“The books on my book shelf are not for shorrrr teeeeerm looooaan.”

I tried to play it off like it didn’t happen but then I heard a little voice say, “Uh… Mrs. Chapman? What was that?”

Then I got the giggles and I bent over and laughed until tears welled up in my eyes while my students sat there perplexed, trying to determine whether it was safer to stay quiet and let me have my episode or to laugh along with me. Fortunately, they chose the latter which made things a little less awkward.

All day on Friday I kept blinking my eyes because they really wanted to stay shut for a nice long nap. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Why was I so tired?

Sure, I had to work late several of the nights and yes I had woken up early to prepare lessons but this level of tired was weird. I passed out around nine on Friday night with the allusion that by Saturday I would feel well rested and ready to enjoy my weekend. When Saturday came around I woke up with a long list of things I needed to get done in order to have a successful week ahead but by mid-morning I was ready to go back to bed again.

I kept thinking this exhaustion was just all in my head and I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t just snap out of it. Then I got my answer in the form of a sore throat… and then a runny nose… and then headache.  I had flashbacks of the week before of all of the students with hacking coughs and runny noses who had come up to my desk asking if they could “borrow” a tissue.

“You just go on ahead and keep it.”

Thinking back on it, it was inevitable.

So that’s basically what I’ve been doing lately… trying to pretend like I’m not sick while I simultaneously pretend like all aspects of my life are in perfect control. In the mean time I’ve been having dreams about tornados and falling off cliffs.

Of all of the things I wanted to accomplish this labor day weekend the only thing I managed to do was finally take my monthly pictures so that I can honestly show you where I am with the whole weight loss business. (Hint: there isn’t a lot of weight loss going on.) I felt like it was time to get back into my routine of doing monthly progress reports. The plan was to post it on Sunday but then I felt like crap and I also looked like crap so I decided to wait to post the pictures at the end of the month with my new pictures for comparison. (I wanted to give myself a chance at redemption.)

In fact, at this very moment I feel like crap and I’m desperately trying to figure out a way to end this post so that I can go to sleep. So that’s what I’m going to do now. I’m powering down once more… in the middle of a thought. Because that pretty much sums my life right now.

The end.

One Lucky Girl

Welp… it’s been a big week around these parts.

It was the first week of school. My first official week as a teacher and Bridget’s first week as a middle schooler.

Add to that list my birthday, Brent and my tenth wedding anniversary, two doctor’s visits and Penelope’s first “Back to School Night” for preschool. It was madness.

Monday had been the day we had been waiting for all summer. We woke up early and spent extra time fixing our hair while Brent and Penelope made breakfast. That morning Brent had made his signature “McDaddle Sandwiches” per Bridget’s request. (For those of you who don’t know, a McDaddle is like a McDonald’s sausage McMuffin only this one is made with turkey sausage and is prepared by a guy named Brent… aka Dad.) After breakfast we took our annual first day of school pictures.


Sweet girl… nervous but excited.


A failed attempt at a photo in the sunshine…


Ahhh… much better. The last mommy snuggle of the morning.

I can’t believe how big my baby girl has gotten. She was all lovey dovey while we were home but as soon as we pulled into the parking lot she instantly morphed into that kid who couldn’t stand to be seen with her parents. As soon as we let her out of the car she fled from us as fast as she could without a second glance… far from any chance of being embarrassed. Later on when we passed each other in the hall I tried to play it cool and not make any sudden movements for fear of doing something wrong. Surprisingly she pulled away from her new friends, gave me a big hug and kiss and said, “Hi Mommy”.

It melted my heart.

Adjusting to my new working mom schedule has been crazy but luckily for me Brent was home for most of the week. Every time I got home from work the house was clean, the laundry was done and dinner was ready. Brent and I both agreed that he is a much better housewife than I am.

When Wednesday rolled around he got up early to get me coffee for my birthday. After school I came home to see that Penelope had picked out a bouquet of balloons and Bridget had bought me a shirt that coordinated with the shirt she picked out for herself for picture day.

“That way when we look in the year book we’ll match.”

Unfortunately, my boobs were too big  and couldn’t fit in it so I couldn’t wear it but I was still touched by the fact that she wanted us to match. (Hopefully once I shed a little more weight I’ll be able to surprise her by squeezing into it for the spring pictures.)

We made plans to go to The Cheescake Factory for an early dinner but made an exit when we discovered the traffic was standstill in the direction that we needed to go. So, instead we headed back toward our house and ate at the nearby Texas Roadhouse where I chugged down two margaritas. The atmosphere was perfect because it reminded me of home. I’ve been really homesick lately and it just seemed to hit the spot.

After our dinner we were too full to order dessert but as soon as we got home Brent insisted I get ready to go for a bike ride. If you’ve been reading this blog long enough you know that I love my bike rides. But I was so full I wasn’t sure if it was such a good idea. Brent was very persistent about it so I changed into some stretchy pants and obliged. Bridget offered to stay home with Penelope so that we could go alone. I missed both of my girls from working so much lately and almost insisted that they just come along with us but changed my mind when I saw them snuggling together in the living room watching The Little Mermaid.

Brent and I took off on our bikes giggling like two sixth graders in love and headed toward my favorite bike trail


As we were riding along Brent kept complaining about how his bike felt weird. He said that he thought something was wrong with the chain. I was starting to get bummed out because I was really enjoying myself and didn’t want to have to turn around. At one point on the trail he had to stop to tend to his bike. I was riding ahead of him and he called me over so that he could compare our bikes. He wanted to see if the chain on his bike looked like mine. I got off of my bike and walked it over to him. Instead of turning it around on the narrow bike trail I just backed it up which proved to be trickier than I thought it would be. Once I managed to finagle my way over I looked up to see him down on one knee with a jewelry box in his hand. Inside was a ring to replace the one I had lost at the beginning of the summer and he looked up at me and asked me if I would stay married to him.


It was the sweetest thing ever!

You see, Brent hasn’t always been so romantic. In fact, my first proposal was awful. We were in a long distance relationship and on one of his visits out to see me we had bought the ring together. When he left to go back to Colorado he took the ring with him and I had pleaded with him… “Do something special with it.” The next time I went to visit him we were at his parents house where we had just stuffed ourselves on chicken enchiladas. We talked about the ring we had bought and he decided to show it to them. After they all looked at it he turned to me and nonchalantly  said, “You want this?”


He repeated, “Do you want this?”

I shook my head pleading with my eyes… do something special. “No.”

Then he gave me his puppy dog look and I realized that he was serious. “Do you want it?”


His mom said, “Is that it? Are you engaged? YAY!!!”

Then he tried to make out with me in front of his parents, and promptly went downstairs with his little brother to play video games.

He has never heard the end of it… until now.

Ten years later I got the proposal I had always hoped for and what made it even better was that Bridget was in on it.  She even helped him pick out the ring which has little hearts on the sides hidden within the intricate design. The only problem is that it doesn’t fit on my fat finger. This would have embarrassed me beyond belief ten years ago but after being together for ten years it didn’t even matter, nothing a quick trip to the jeweler couldn’t fix. (Plus, I found it rather endearing that my family doesn’t seem to register the full capacity of my girth… #vikinggirlproblems.)

Later on during the bike ride Bridget couldn’t stand the suspense any longer and texted Brent to see how it went.


As soon as we got home we were greeted by the girls. Bridget made sure that I knew that she helped pick out the ring and Penelope made sure that I knew that she had picked out the Balloons. “I pick out balloooons… HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”

In fact, every day this week when she passes my wilting balloons she repeats the same phrase and then dramatically runs to me for a big hug and a slobbery kiss. I think it’s adorable, therefore, I refuse to throw away the deflated balloons dangling from the banister of our stairs.

Thursday was our actual anniversary. Brent and I had agreed earlier on that we would actually celebrate it this coming Sunday since we had to attend Penelope’s preschool open house that day. I cried later that night because I felt bad about it.  Here he had done this grand gesture and I didn’t even buy him a card.

Brent was sitting in the basement playing video games when I went downstairs to try and get his attention.  I wanted to let him know how much I loved him and how grateful I was for him and how sorry I was for not doing something super special for him. He wanted to let me know that I was in his way and that if I really loved him then I should simply move so that his fake baseball player could get a homerun.

Some things never change I guess…

To be honest I don’t think I would want it to because I am one lucky girl ;)


“Do Ya’ll Even Know What That Is?”

It’s the Saturday before I go back to middle school… for good.

I’m sitting in my living room pondering which movie I should choose to watch on Netflix. I’m in my pajamas wearing my old man glasses. The glasses that I picked out prior to the realization that I had gotten so near sighted that when my actual lenses were put in place I no longer looked like a hipster but like the old guy from The Neverending Story.


I was sorely disappointed to see my beady eyes staring back at me. I would prefer to have the opposite prescription. Personally, I think I would make a better Professor Trelawney.


(Side Note: If you don’t know who these people are you should leave.)

Here I am writing up my long overdue blog post in my jammies with a glob of toothpaste on my nose. I’m not quite sure why the toothpaste is sitting there other than the fact that I have a pimple trying to make an appearance and it felt like the right thing to do. It’s probably some puberty trick I learned back in the day when I read Cosmo Seventeen Magazine. Seventeen Magazine was where I got the zit advice. Cosmo was something that my friends and I would steal from an older sister so that we could be thoroughly confused by the sex advice.

“Uhhh… they want you to stick your finger where?! Do ya’ll even know what that is?”

(I grew up in Texas- hence, the ya’ll.)

I was super relieved to later find out that things were much less complicated than Cosmo had made it out to be. On the plus side, I stayed a virgin for a long time due to the fact that I was completely freaked out by what I had read…

Hmmm… I’m not quite sure how I ended up talking about that. Weird.

I think the point is, I’m officially a middle school teacher and yet I feel almost exactly like I did before the first day of school when I was a middle school student.

Apparently not much has changed in twenty years. (Let’s not tell 7th grade Nina that, she would be sorely disappointed).

Anyway, Bridget is on a sleep over tonight and Brent has been at work seven of the past nine days.  I don’t mean the usual 9-5 gig, I mean seven 24 hour shifts. (He has to cover for the firefighters that were called for a wildland deployment.) This means when I get home from work overwhelmed to the max I still don’t get a break for another four hours until Penelope goes to sleep. And even then I can’t complain because Brent has it way worse than I do.

Why do you always have to be a one-upper Brent?!

It could have been worse. I was this close to being summoned for jury duty during my first week of work. That would have been awful. Luckily my number wasn’t called.

Instead, I spent this past week juggling two schools and setting up all of my classes. I teach at one school in the morning and at another school in the afternoon.  I had twice the information to digest, twice the emails to sift through and twice the staff lunches to attend. Other than the staff goodies I had been given I can’t even tell you what I ate this past week. I was too busy to eat my feelings.

Initially, I had planned on having Bridget take my monthly pictures for me last Sunday so that I could get back into weight loss blog mode. But when Sunday rolled around I realized that she was still on her Girl Scout Trip and wouldn’t be back until later. I decided it was all for the best because I wasn’t really ready to face the music. I really would rather pretend like I didn’t gain weight this summer and I’m really dreading posting my weight up again.

I curse myself for writing this blog and inviting you to join me in my struggles. It’s only fun when I’m winning. The honesty that is required for writing this blog is killing me!

That being said, I can’t keep pushing it off forever. But I’m still alone and I don’t have anyone to take my monthly picture for me tomorrow. I’m tempted to do it on Monday but that is the first day of school and that’s the day I’m supposed to be taking pictures of Bridget as she makes her transition from elementary school kid to middle school kid. It seems a bit self involved to make her take pictures of me so that I can post them on my blog on that day.

In fact, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t even be my own friend if I did that.

So, I’ll just have to figure that out later. Maybe I’ll do it on Wednesday because that’s my birthday. You’re allowed to be self involved on your birthday.

But… just because I can’t take my monthly picture it doesn’t mean I can’t start making strides. My first line of business is to look up make ahead recipes that I can freeze that involve humongous zucchinis. This sucker got a little out of hand while I was tending to my classroom instead of my garden.


Apparently, I have a little bit of a zucchini problem…


I have about ten mutant zucchinis that need to be prepped and cooked in one form or fashion… preferably in a manner that will help me lose weight.

I’ll keep you posted on how that goes. In the meantime, I’m going to go wash this toothpaste off of my nose because it’s starting to burn. Then I’m going to see if I can stay up late enough to finish a movie. I’ve gotta live it up while I can!  There is only a day and a half of summer left as far as I’m concerned.

OMG… You Are Not For Real

You know how I got that teaching job? Well, things got crazy around here… real quick.

I’ve been going to trainings and meetings. I’ve been researching and planning. Oh and don’t even get me started on the shopping- shopping for my classroom, shopping for my wardrobe, shopping for Bridget’s school supplies. The only thing I haven’t been shopping for lately is groceries.

I’ve been trying to spend some good old fashioned quality time with my kiddos before things get even crazier at work but Penelope came home from her vacation with a whole new attitude…

“No! Don’t talk!”

“No! Don’t look at me!”

“No! It’s mines!”

“No! I’m the boss!”

All I want to do is snuggle her but she’s been so sassy lately I’ve spent more time clamping my lips together between my teeth and putting her in time out. When I resort to physically biting my lips together I have found that I am physically trying to hold my temper at bay. Having this whole to attitude pop up right before I put her into day care has me a little concerned. I don’t want her getting away with it during the day. I want it to be nipped in the bud.

Bridget on the other hand has been a complete anxiety attack waiting to happen. In fact, we went to her school’s registration today where she got to decorate her locker and explore a bit. Before we showed up she gave us guidelines for not embarrassing her.

Apparently it didn’t work…


(Brent and I practiced our best middle school selfie faces because selfies didn’t exist when we were in middle school)

Bridget was only a bit embarrassed by our behavior. Fortunately for her, I’m just down the hall if she needs me. Or… if she wants me to show her new friends my Beyonce moves all she has to do is knock.


She told me that wouldn’t be necessary.


I’m sure she’ll change her mind… and when she does I’ll be ready.

The only problem with that is, I don’t think they’re ready for this jelly.

Let’s just say that I finally stepped on the scale this week for the first time after my ectopic surgery. It wasn’t pretty. In fact, it downright hurt my feelings. I was a bit of an emotional wreck after losing the baby and I tried to eat and drink my way through it.


The funny part is that I wasn’t even all that hungry. I didn’t eat all that much but when I did eat it was complete crap. Then that made me feel like crap so then I ate even crappier. I knew it all had to end at some point. But I had some sort of mental block about doing a weight loss challenge because the last time I tried to do that I was pregnant (but didn’t know it). I’ve been avoiding it because it reminds me of my tubal pregnancy.

However, after stepping on the scale I’ve decided that’s just something I’m going to have to get over. It’s so bad in fact, I’m not even going to post the weight just yet. I’m going to do an official weigh-in with pictures to show you just how downhill I’ve gone. Then I’m going to come up with a plan and implement it. I know things are crazy with my new teaching job but I think it’s the perfect time to change habits.

That being said, I better go! I’ve got a classroom to get together and a meeting to go to!

*WARNING- I didn’t edit this post because I didn’t have time. Don’t judge me!*