Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Truly Remarkable Experience

Well, Carl and I have joined a gym. It is akin to 24 Hour Fitness out west, but it is called The Rush.

Everything there is really nice. .. except one thing. . . Patti. We decided to try out a Zumba class together last week. In case you have never heard of Zumba, it is basically a really high-energy Latin dance aerobic class. I tried this class out when we were in Utah, and I thought it was really fun. They turned the lights almost off, and they played all kinds of exciting Latin music, and no one could really see how uncoordinated I was, even though the room was PACKED with people. It was a fun class and I got really sweaty and raved and raved about it to Carl until he finally agreed to come with me to this class at The Rush.

Here are the things that were different about this class at The Rush. . .

1) Carl was THE ONLY male (which seems to be common in exercise classes here)

2) There were only 6 of us total.

3) The music was really quiet, and I could hear myself breathing.

4) The instructor, Patti, came in, and I thought she was a student.

5)Patti was AT LEAST 65 years old, about 20 pounds overweight, and REEKED of cigarette smoke. She had a smoker's cough as well. She wrapped a scarf with little chimes all over it around her hips. I was amazed by the smallness of her range of motion. If she were not an aerobics instructor, I would mistake her for a greeter at Wal-Mart. Needless to say, our heart rates never went above 70 bpm.

6) Pattie would say things like, "Now, you can try to get lower and touch the floor on this one, but it makes it real hard to get back up, so I'm just gonna stay up here." Also, she kept drawing attention to the fact that Carl was the only male, and it started to sound like she was mocking him. At one point she said, "Come on boyfriend! Flip that skirt!" She would draw attention to each of us individually and say, to the group, what we were doing that was not to her liking.

7) When it was over, we were glad.

This experience made me very grateful for my own ability to improve. If I take this experience to heart, perhaps I will not end up a burnt-out, low-energy "aerobics" instructor at age 65.

To show the beauty of self-improvement and development, I have included a video of Jude taking some of his first steps of his own volition. I give you self-motivation!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chattanooga Chatter

Well, we've been here for quite a little while now. . .not quite a month, I guess. Here's what has happened. . .
1) Jude got herpes in and around his mouth and also we thought he had a cracked tooth from falling on his mouth. Amidst his crying and whining, we brought him to a pediatric dentist who looked in his mouth and freaked out about the herpes and finally got around to telling us his tooth was fine. He also "diagnosed" Jude's snaggle tooth as a "geminated" tooth, and it is very possible he will only have 3 incisors instead of 4 on his bottom jaw. Then he promptly sent us to a pediatrician for the herpes. As I anticipated, the pediatrician didn't think it was a very big deal (and frankly, neither did we) and didn't give us any medication or anything for the herpes. This pediatrician is my kind of doctor. .. low intervention. . . let the body take care of it. . . why did you even bring him in? They cleared up on their own in less than a week.

2) I had a fever for 5 days straight, got tested for strep and flu and was negative on both. I waited it out, took an amazing amount of garlic, and got better. All's I can say is, I am SO GRATEFUL to have a healthy family again! I cannot believe how much sickness disrupts our lives and stresses every fiber in our family! Forget World War III, just give everyone a 5-day fever and whoever's left standing wins!

3) Visited and bought memberships to the aquarium, the Chattanooga Nature Center, and the children's museum. . . already the best investments we've ever made.

4) Bought a really really wonderful washing machine and dryer. . . the first ones we have ever owned, and the first ones we've ever had IN our house with us! I am SO HAPPY about these purchases!!

5) Carl and I both applied at Maxim Health Care (a nursing agency) and we're pretty sure we got hired. We find out on Thursday or Friday. Mostly we just had to take these tests and get 80% on them. Also, even though our Utah nursing licenses are under interstate compact, and TN is also a compact state, they are insisting that we get TN nursing licenses. This means, we don't have to be any more competent than we already are, don't have to prove ourselves to anyone or take any tests or anything. Do you know what we have to do?? Pay, in total, $400.00 to the state of TN, and then they'll let us practice here. Isn't that RIDICULOUS?? It bugs me SOOOOOO much!

6) Registered our car here and now we have an official Tennessee license plate.

7) A big thing here is cupcake shops. The cupcakes themselves kind of gag you because they are a very small portion of cake topped with about a pound of frosting, but they are SO CUTE!! There is one cupcake shop in particular, called Gigi's Cupcakes, that I BEG Carl to go to mostly so I can look at all those cute cupcakes lined up, glistening with sugar and little delectable toppers.
We have eaten Gigi's cupcakes a total of 3 times since we've been here. Every time we say to each other, "That really wasn't worth $3." But the cuteness just compels me to go back!

8) Most importantly, in one month, we have eaten at Waffle House a total of 3 times! That is A LOT for us! Carl highly recommends the "build your own omelet" menu item. I highly recommend main-lining sugar as an equal and less expensive alternative to eating a waffle at Waffle House.

9) Jude is WALKING!! Well, the longest stretch he's done is about 10 steps, walking from one of us to the other. I have tried so hard to get our videos to upload and I can never do it. We have 2 really good videos, but they're just not uploading. I'll work on it. He also says "Hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot" many times in succession and opens and closes his hands at the same time. He usually does this when we're about to feed him something we just took out of the microwave or cooked. He also does it when he touches the ice cubes in the freezer, and sometimes when he sees a dog. For these reasons, I don't think he totally knows what it means. He also blows on his food if we tell him it's hot. That is sooooo cute!

Just one last observation. . . things are expensive here. Food is RIDICULOUSLY expensive! We pay $3.50 for a gallon of milk, that's the cheap brand. No wonder many Tennesseans struggle with their weight! You have to mortgage your house to buy vegetables, and the cheap food is fast food. I am feeling discouraged about feeding my family good, clean, whole food because it is just SO expensive. The cost of one green bell pepper: $1.89. One avocado: $1.70. Everything is double what we payed in Utah. It's not even good quality. Carl one day came up with a very accurate and, of course, funny quote: "Sav-A-Lot: marginal quality at a premium price." It is TRUE. I am so embarrassed about this, but I have been shopping at Wal-Mart here because you really can't afford anything else. Even at Wal-Mart the milk is $3.30. The only person I know who hates Wal-Mart more than I do is Jude. He cries instantly when we walk in the door and doesn't stop until we leave. So, groceries are really expensive. Registering your car, on the other hand, only costs $35. That was a pleasant surprise.

Carl came up with another great slogan, since we've been looking for another car. He was thinking it would be great if there was a really bare-bones car company. It would produce cars with no bells and whistles at all. The slogan would be "(Fill in name of car company): Finally, a viable option for your driving needs." Well, you have to imagine Carl saying it, and then it's really funny.

Well, that's really all I have to say. Have a fun day!