February Challenge-Low Spend Month

February 2nd, 2013 — 11:02am

We’re furiously trying to save for a house. Our only debt is my student loan so we should be able to save more money than we are.  Christmas hit and so did my car.  My car is almost 8 years old but only has 70,000 miles on it.  In the last 2 months we’ve spent $1,500 fixing things that start going wrong when your car is 8 years old. Lucy has also had a medically expensive last couple of months-allergy testing, CT scan, doctors appointments, etc. I just keep watching my next egg getting smaller and smaller and it is making me sad.  With that said, I’m embarking on a low spend month!

February is only 28 days long so it should be easier, right? I’m all set on paper products, cleaning agents, etc., so all I have to worry about is FOOD.  I try to spend $600 a month on food (this doesn’t include going out).  Sometimes I hit that and sometimes I go over.  With the corn and wheat allergies that we have and my commitment to buying local, sustainable, and humane meat, eggs, and dairy, it gets expensive.  I also like to buy organic-especially with the top 20!

I do now have a 7 cubic foot freezer full of just the sort of meat I like to feed my family.  So that should cut back on my grocery bill, right?

Here’s my goal-spend $300 on food this month-that includes going out (which means we won’t be going out-ha!*). I’m still going to stick to my ideals and of course we can’t buy things that will make Lu ill.  I’m just going to try to make conscious choices and try to only spend an average of $70 at the store each week.  I know I can do it!

Here goes nothing!

*The one caveat is that my good friend is having a birthday party/girl’s night out next week and I will be using my own personal money to go out that night.


Training Plan-Week of 1/28

January 27th, 2013 — 10:37am

I did everything on my plan last week! I got up at 4:45 AM every morning and did it.  Even when we had freezing rain that left a half inch of ice on the roads.  I got up and went to the gym.  I was very proud of myself.

We move on to Week 18 of this plan.

Monday Run: 30 Minutes, Easy Pace, RPE 3
Monday Bike: 1 hour

Tuesday Swim: 4×500, Odds are RPE 3, Evens are RPE 5

Wednesday Run: 60 Minutes, Easy Pace, Strides starting at the 40 minute mark, and then every 5 minutes.

Thursday Bike: 1 hour Spin Class

Friday Swim: wu: 300 Continuous, slowly increasing pace every 100. main: 20 x 50, odds at RPE 4, evens at RPE 9! cd: 150 easy

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Skiing

I have my menu all planned for the week too.

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Training Plan-Week of 1/21

January 21st, 2013 — 12:30pm

I got sick last week and missed Thursday and Friday but I’m ready to get back to it. Up until the sickies hit, I was doing great.

I’m modifying this plan.  I’m on week 19.


Tuesday-30 Minute Run, RPE 3
1 Hour Spin

Wednesday-Swim: wu-5×50 continuous, odds are breathe every side, evens bilateral. main-2×500, 1 is RPE 4, 2 is RPE 6, cd-easy 250

Thursday-1 hour run, easy pace

Friday-Swim: wu-300, main-10×100, 2 minute interval. cd-200 alternate 50 kick, 50 swim
45 minute Spin

Saturday and Sunday: Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, downhill

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Training Plan-Week of 1/14

January 13th, 2013 — 7:23pm

I’m using a modification of this training plan. I’m on week 20.


Tuesday Run-30 Minute Run RPE 2-3
Tuesday Bike-1 Hour Spin Class

Wednesday Swim-wu: 4 x 75, last 25 in each is backstroke, main: 3 x 400, 1 is RPE 3, 2 is RPE4, 3 is RPE 5, cd: 150 easy

Thursday Run-60 minutes long run, easy pace. RPE starting at 2, finish at 3

Friday Swim-wu: 400 continuous, last 50 in each 100 is kick
main: 8 x 100 EBEH (each 100 = 25Easy, 25Build, 25Easy, 25 Hard)
cd: 6 x 25, each slower than last
Friday Bike-1 Hour Spin Class

Saturday and Sunday-Snowshoeing/Cross Country Skiing/Downhill Skiing


First Swim in Over 5 Years

January 7th, 2013 — 5:44am

It’s been 5 and a half years since I’ve been in a pool to swim laps. I did it this morning (after a run) and it was okay. My muscles were a little shocked but my body remembered what to do. I can still do 100 yard intervals every 2 minutes which is right where I was at 5 years ago. So that’s good.

I’m doing this 🙂

The amount of people at the Y at 5 am is impressive!

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January 4th, 2013 — 5:28am

While putting together my training plan for the Half Ironman, I had flashbacks to my Ironman training. I was in great shape and my runs, in particular, weren’t that hard.

As I geared up to go for my first run of the year, I had flashbacks to my first postpartum run, which was hard and defeating.

When I got on the treadmill, (it was 8 degrees, icy, and pitch black out), I set the speed to 5.0 and I ran for 30 minutes. I did walk 2 times in there, with a 2 minute walk to cool down. You know what? I did it, and it wasn’t awesome (or fast) but I did it. It wasn’t like either of the runs I was imagining but it was a run and that rocked.

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2013 Resolutions

January 1st, 2013 — 9:09am

I’ve got 2 and the first one is a biggie.

1. Train for and compete in the 2013 Boise Half Ironman. It’s on June 8th and I start training today.

2. After I finish the Half Ironman training, find another goal that will keep me active and outdoors. I’ve come to realize that if I don’t have a concrete goal like a 60 day challenge, a completion, or a race, that I am not motivated to continue to work out/stay active. The “goal” of “work out” or “stay active” is not enough.

I had a huge epiphany in December-I love and want to be a person who is outdoors working out and doing distance training. I want to be that person, I used to be that person, I will be that person again.

In that vein, we are currently driving home from a week in McCall. We were up there with all of my siblings, their wives, husband, and kids. We skied, sledded, ate, drank, and were merry. Lucy ROCKED at skiing.

One of my favorite days was when my little family went snowshoeing. Lucy didn’t feel great so we pulled her in the sled while she slept. At one point she dumped out and just continued to sleep on the snow. We tried using her scarf as a make shift sling. On the way down, I ended up pulling Shaun and Lu down while they yelled, “Mush! Mommy! Mush!” We were outdoors, playing, and just having fun. That’s the me and we I want to be 🙂







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12.12.12 The Scariest Night of my Life

December 14th, 2012 — 5:16am

What a night! Let me preface this by saying that Lucy is okay!

We were over at Danny and Sarah’s tonight for Friend Dinner and Lu was having a blast. She was giggly and silly and jumping around and just having fun. She started throwing herself back on the couch-like jumping back and hitting the back of the couch and then giggling hysterically. Shaun had just asked her to stop and she did it again. Only this time, she was on part of the couch with no back and she fell HARD, off the couch, right on her head. It was a carpeted surface but it was hard. We picked her up and she was limp, then she squirmed in such a way that I thought she had paralyzed herself, I was worried about her neck. She then had about 30 seconds of the “silent cry” followed by wailing and crying. After I calmed her down and got her ice she was acting strange. She did read us a book but she was lethargic and off. We sat down for dinner and she just wanted to lay in my lap. She then asked to go home. I was finishing dinner and at this point we were worried about concussion. We were on our phones trying to figure out symptoms and I sent a text to Dr Waj asking what I should do when she fell asleep in my lap which is totally NOT NORMAL. We woke her up and she puked everywhere.

We took her straight to the ER. They took us right back and we instantly had 5 people in the room checking her out. It was frightening. The Dr. said that she was probably fine but he wanted a CT scan (or MRI-I can’t remember which one). Immediately the lady was there to do the scan. Lucy fell asleep while getting the scan (the hospital encouraged her to sleep). After the scan, we were told that we should have results in 20 minutes. After we got back from that, the “Children’s Trauma Team” came to visit and see how she was doing. At this point we had been at the hospital maybe 30 minutes and we had seen 8 different people. Shaun and I were quietly freaking the fuck out. Lucy slept on my lap through the whole thing.

After 30 minutes of waiting (the longest wait of my life) the Dr. came in to let us know that her scan was normal and she just had a slight concussion. He told us to sleep with her and monitor her breathing. If her breathing changed or she puked to bring her right back in.

Dr. Waj was away from his phone during the ordeal. I texted him after the scan and then after we got the results. He texted back after the results and apologized profusely for not having his phone. The ER doctor did hear a murmur in Lucy’s heart (unrelated to the concussion) so we’ll be going to see Dr. Waj soon to get that checked out. I apologized to Waj for bothering him and he said “Oh gosh no bother at all- sorry for your scare!” What an amazing doctor, eh?

Shaun and I commented the whole time that we were happy that we were in Boise when this happened. We got amazing and prompt care. We were headed home when we probably still would have been in the waiting room in San Mateo. I know that if something had been wrong that we don’t have a pediatric neurologist but I’m friends with a woman whose sister is one and is in the interview process to come to Boise. If one had, god forbid, been needed we could always get Lucy to one relatively easily. The ER doctor was even calling Waj by first name and wasn’t surprised in the least that I was texting him. It was really an amazing experience.

It was also a really scary one that I never want to repeat again!!!

Lu is doing great! She had a headache yesterday and was more tired than normal but other than that, you wouldn’t even know anything had happened. She went to school and had an awesome day.

I was asking her about the scan and if it was scary (I was right with her the whole time) and she said it was fun and she wanted to do it again! She also said that the hospital was fun and that she wanted to go back. Crazy girl!

That really does speak to the amazing care we had. I am SO thankful for St. Luke’s and the amazing medical care we receive in Boise.

Here’s a picture of Lu with “Teddy”. Aunt Marci and Uncle Richard sent a balloon bouquet and Teddy was part if it. Lucy keeps saying, “Teddy, I LOVE YOU!” Teddy is sleeping with all of us right now. 🙂


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Big Decisions in the Titus Household

September 1st, 2012 — 4:30am

The beginning of this week was difficult. There were many tears, countless conversations with knowledgable people, and anguish. Oh the anguish! As a parent you just want to do what’s right and sometimes what you think is right is flipped on it’s head by your amazing child.

So…school started and Lucy is in the same class as last year. She has a September birthday so she misses the cut-off to move up by 22 days. MANY kids repeat the 3s class for this very reason and it’s not a big deal. We knew that she’d be the most advanced kid in her class but we thought it would be great for her confidence and that she would have fun. We are adamant about the fact that Lu is a kid and needs to be a kid. She has her whole life to be in school-she should just have fun. Well school is fun to Lucy. We come home from school and she plays school-it’s one of the only things she plays-that and Farkle or board games with us.

At Challenger we do assessments to see where kids stand at the beginning of the year, in November, March, and June. We ask about numbers, colors, shapes, letters, sounds, words, etc. it lets us and parents know what they’re learning.

Lucy had her assessment and maxed out her points. After that and a week of being in the new class with Lucy, her teacher (who I have a great deal of respect for) went to our director to say that Lu shouldn’t be in room 3. There is nothing left in the 3s curriculum to teach her. At Challenger, we teach to the highest with the belief that the others will catch up (we also throw easier things in there to build up the lower students confidence). They had been trying to teach to the highest (Lucy) in room 3 and it was turning out that it wasn’t challenging enough for Lu and it was majorly confusing all of her other friends.

When I heard that they wanted to move her up to Pre-K, I burst into tears. Here’s the thing, if she moves up, it basically means that she goes to Kindergarten NEXT YEAR (and that she’ll be a 13 year old high school freshman and 17 year old college freshman). I’m so philosophically against this, I can’t even tell you. This meant that she wouldn’t be in the same grade as Tessa :(. I also taught Pre-K last year and know how much we expect out of those kids. I’m ok with Lu being “babied” a little bit for another year-she’s only 3! (well almost 4!)

I start talking to every teacher in the school, and to Megan who used to work at Challenger. Everyone said to do it-hands down. They all started throwing words at me like “advanced” and “gifted” and “genius”. I was like “ok, whatever.” Sure, she can read one-vowel and two-vowel words, tell you short and long vowel words, count to 100, identify most numerals up to 100, do simple algebra (she told us the other day, “If I had 6 and I wanted to get to 10, I’d add 4.” Shaun looked at her with his mouth agape). Can’t all Challenger kids do these things? I thought so. Evidently not. She’s also playing Sorry! with us and beating us fair and square. This summer, Aunt Marci and Uncle Richard taught her Farkle and she turned around and taught it to Gram and Pop in PA CORRECTLY while Shaun was gone one day. Anyway, I thought these things were normal for a bright kid to be doing but then I got all those loaded words thrown at me by teachers and my sister. “Advanced Placement” and “Gifted Program”. Huh? She’s 3.

Add to that, Lucy. Ever since school started, I heard everyday some form of, “Mommy, why am I in the baby room?” and the kicker, “Mommy, I’m sad.” “Why Lu?” “Because I’m not in room 6 and I don’t know why.”

Obviously I’m not going to let her make this huge, life changing decision but I had to take her feelings into consideration. I had thought that keeping her in the 3’s would build her confidence but it seemed to be doing the exact opposite.

I didn’t think she was mature enough for Pre-K and then I looked at the kids in Pre-K-she is right with them maturity wise. I looked at the kids in Room 3, they were not with her maturity wise. I was afraid I’d see a backslide in behavior, and truth be told, we were already seeing it.

After calling the Boise School District (I really didn’t think I’d be making a call to them any time soon) to see if a 5 year old could start 1st grade (if they test into it-yes), we moved her up. She does have the option to repeat Pre-K but we’re 99.9% sure that won’t happen because she’d be bored-again.

She was a little unsure when I first took her to Room 6 but by recess she was smiling and excited. By the end of the day, I had my kid back. She had been whiny, clingy, not sleeping, weird, and kind of bratty since school started. At first, I thought it was from missing me while she was in PA for a week and being overtired. And then I assumed we had entered the Fucking Fours-a stage I had heard horror stories about. Nope. Since we made the move she’s back to her happy, independent, awesome self. She loves learning and LOVES to be challenged.

Here’s the kicker-they did the Pre-K assessment and she got the highest score in her new class. Well, alrighty then.

We know this could level off and we know we have to watch things. We also know that even though she’s a smarty pants and is very mature for her age, we owe it to her to treat her her age. My director stopped me on the way out last night and reminded me that she’s still 3 and that we’re probably going to experience 3 year old behavior. We’re committed to doing what is right for her and right now, this is the right thing for Lucy.





Honesty and Self Sabotage

August 24th, 2012 — 7:47pm

Remember the body transformation competition I did at the beginning of the year? Well, I didn’t win. I got second. And…I took it really hard. I kept saying that I had already won because I was fitting into my pre-Lucy clothes and that it didn’t matter but deep down, it did matter. I adopted a total “eff it” attitude and sabotaged all of my hard work.  As of Monday, I had gained back all the weight I lost plus a few more pounds for good measure.  It kills me to write that but it’s true and I need to say it.

As I was stuffing my face with food that I know my body doesn’t handle well (including copious amounts of alcohol) AND slacking on my exercise, I KNEW what I was doing but I continued to do it. Every week (heck every DAY), I would promise that I would do better, but I didn’t, and that made it worse.

First we moved and when you move, it’s very difficult to eat well.  Then it was the end of the year and all the well meaning parents brought in all sorts of treats.  Then we went to Yellowstone where we were incredibly active but I ate lots of chips and sugar. Then summer school started and in order for me to make it to the gym, I had to get up at 4:45.  Yeah, that didn’t happen very often.  I also hated teaching summer school.  I was absolutely miserable (different kids, different skill levels, different behavior levels, different kids every day, changing dynamic=TOTAL SUCK). Then I went on a mini-vacation where I attained that very unattainable goal of staying tipsy the whole time but never getting totally sloshed. Achievement unlocked…but not so great for my waistline. After I got back, my aunt and uncle were here for a month and there was lots of good food and LOTS of great margaritas (my weakness-especially my aunt’s margs) and wine. I know that these are all excuses and lame excuses but it’s plain to me exactly how I ended up in this situation.

School started on Monday and so did my determination to get back to where I was and better.  I went to boot camp 3 times this week and plan to add weightlifting in on Tuesday and Thursday next week.  I also ate really well this week-I had NO SUGAR (my biggest issue) and I didn’t feel deprived.  I’m proud of myself.  I was “rewarded” with a 3 pound loss this week.  I’m sure most of it was water weight but it was nice to see the scale at my pre-Lucy   weight. I really am trying to focus on the way I look, not the scale and my clothes are looking better again.

I’m pretty much following the paleo lifestyle and it’s going well.  It’s what I did for the competition, so I know it works.  I feel satiated and I drop fat, so that’s good. I eat eggs  lean meats (and bacon on occasion!), lots of veggies, some fruit, nuts, and healthy fats.  I’m not going to totally deprive myself though (I did this during the competition and it backfired in a major way!). For example, I know that I’m running the Dirty Dash tomorrow-a 5 mile run/obstacle course, all in the mud, and Lucy and I had a date since Shaun had to work late.  We went to a new Cuban restaurant (Casa Blanca Cuban Grill), and I got rice, beans, ground beef with olives, and 3 slices of fried plantains.  It was delicious and I don’t feel bad about it-which I think is the right way to approach this. I do not want to feel deprived and it’s usually only when I start eating sugar that I start feeling deprived and resentful and go off the rails.

Here’s what my eating looked like this week:

B-2 all natural chicken sausages, brussel sprouts
S-Handful of almonds
L-Salad with tuna, half an avocado, olive oil, and balsamic
S-Sliced turkey and carrots
D-Chicken breast and roasted okra

B-3 eggs, brussel sprouts
S-Handful of almonds
L-Chicken breast with roasted okra
S-Sliced turkey and carrots
D-Meaty marinara over spinach

B-Paleo Grapenuts with coconut milk and fruit, workout drink
S-Handful of almonds
L-Meaty marinara over spinach
S-Chicken breast and carrots
D-Broccoli Beef

B-2 eggs, 1 chicken sausage, brussel sprouts
S-Handful of almonds
L-Salad with canned chicken breast, avocado, olive oil, and balsamic
S-Chicken breast with carrots
D-Meaty marinara over spinach and half a peach (Lu stole the other half)

B-Paleo Grapenuts with coconut milk and fruit, smoothie with almond milk, stevia, frozen cherries, and egg whites, workout drink
S-Handful of almonds
L-Meaty marinara over spinach
S-Turkey slices and carrots
D-Cuban delight mentioned above Smile

I’m having a hard time eliminating stevia, almond milk, and sugarfree gum (I chew a few pieces a day at school-never at home). I figure there are worse things out there! I also need to get a bit more variety-especially for snacks. For now though, I like what I’m doing and I’m going to stick with it. 

I am so tired of yo-yo-ing and it’s not a good example for Lucy.  I have no clue if she notices but I’d rather just get somewhere that I’m happy (I was so close!!! UGH!!!) and then just maintain.  I KNOW that maintenance is HARD but I’m ready for that challenge.  Bring it.


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