Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Consequence Of Getting Enough Sleep

Thanks to my conversion to morning person status , I have been sleeping beautifully for about a month. I have been getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night and feeling well rested every day. It's really nice, I recommend it. There's only one drawback: I've been having the most vivid, unsettling dreams ever.
This occurrence started just after I started getting myself onto a regular sleep schedule. Here are a two of the dreams I've had:

First, I dreamt that I was in the attic of a creepy old house with my dad and Dan, and we were all crammed in a bathroom. We all felt worried, like something weird was going on, and Dan got a text from his brother that said, "Has the sonic gone out where you guys are yet?" to which I replied, "Has the sonic gone out? That's not even a real thing!" at which point a high-pitched sound flooded the air and the sky turned weird, thermal colors. It was clear to all of us that it was the end of the world, and I was afraid because I wasn't sure how long it was going to take, if it would hurt, etc.

Then, last night I dreamt that I was in the basement of a house with my brother, which I guess was my house, and I stumbled upon a dismembered body. I was afraid to look at the face for fear that it was someone I loved. My brother and I were hesitant to report it for some reason, and we learned that a serial killer was on the loose. Next, I was in my attic, and said serial killer was there, but instead of killing me, he drugged me and kept me in a bed in the attic. Apparently my family assumed I just didn't want to come down, because they didn't come looking for me. One day, I was allowed to go downstairs, and I saw two children who I knew immediately were mine. I asked my mom how old they were, and she said four, so I deduced that the serial killer had kept me drugged for nearly five years at least, and had impregnated me and kept me sedated throughout the pregnancy and birth. I knew he was watching me, so I covertly whispered to my mom that there was a serial killer keeping me hostage upstairs, and to please send the police because he might kill me. The dream ended with a police car driving by but not stopping.

WHAT THE HELL??? I assume that I've always had dreams like this, but in my state of constant exhaustion I wasn't able to remember them. It's weird how disturbing they all are, though. Eeesh.

While today was the blizzard that wasn't (I estimate that we got less than 5 inches here, but I could be wrong), the snow day was exactly what I needed. I was like a machine, tearing through my school work like it was nobody's business! With tomorrow and Friday to get more work done, I'm going to be in excellent shape at the end of this week. Hooray!

Snow Day FTW!

While I have yet to be impressed by this storm (or any that we've had so far this year), it did do one good thing for me: snow day! This couldn't have come at a better time, as I am inundated with work, a bunch of which was due today, and despite my diligent work, I didn't get it done. Once I get a bit farther into the semester I think I'll be okay because I'll figure out a good system for getting the massive amount of work done, but here in the second week it feels impossible.
To get geared up for my day of studies, I did 30 minutes of Blast Fat Boost Metabolism. I skipped over the "ab work" circuit because I don't like it and prefer to just keep my heart rate up, so I hit 30 minutes in the middle of the second-to-last circuit. Now that I've done it a bunch of times, I'm pleased to notice that some of the moves are becoming easier. Things that I couldn't do for the whole time (pliĆ© hops anyone?) I can now finish without too much trouble. And Jillian loves those jumping jacks, so I feel like I could do those forever at this point. I substitute jumping jacks for moves I still can't do (burpees! And this 360˚ jump spin that makes me really dizzy), but I'm sure I'll be able to do those things soon. The results from Jillian Michaels workouts are pretty amazing--I'm not taking about huge weight loss (I have been losing weight, but that's because of my overall lifestyle, not a miracle DVD) or inches disappearing or anything, but each time I do the DVD, I am stronger, which is really motivating and my goal at the end of the day.
This is what the rest of my day will look like:

The class that's really throwing me into a tizzy is Children's Lit. It's a 200 level English class, so of course I expected lots of reading and writing, but I didn't anticipate this much work. Especially because I had a 200-level English class with the same professor last semester and while there was a lot of work, it wasn't like this. There is a young adult book to read each week of varying length (last week was Stone Fox which only took me about 20 minutes to get through, this week is Tuck Everlasting which is taking me longer. I estimate it will take about 2.5 hours to get through) which we have to write a response paper for, plus we have to read a picture book each week and write a short response to that, PLUS some weeks (such as this coming week) we have another bigger paper due on top of those two things. On top of the reading and writing for Anthropology (3 chapters were due for today, plus we had to find 4 news articles and 4 things in popular media related to Anthropology and summarize each), the worksheets/translating/reading Spanish literature for Spanish class, and reading/quizzes in Music class, my head is spinning. Right now the only thing keeping me from hiding in bed is lists. Lots and lots of lists. For example, all of the things I need to get done this week:

and my schedule from yesterday. I have to have a schedule, otherwise I get really confused and overwhelmed:

I stuck to my schedule really well yesterday, and ended up working until about 5:30, at which point we went to run a few errands so that I could get out of the house for a bit. 
Well, I'd better dive in to take advantage of my lucky extra day to work. For lunch today I'm going to make lentil walnut loaf, which is like a vegetarian meatloaf. I realize this may sound unappetizing for the masses, but I can't wait to try it! Even Dan is excited (although, he has never not liked anything I've made, so that isn't saying much). 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Twice Baked Sweet Potato

Care for some vegetables with your vegetables? Well, I think technically Sweet Potato is a starch (too lazy to google it), but it's considered a superfood (according to the book Superfood Rx, which I got from the library and didn't read), and you can only feel good about adding more vegetables to a superfood and then stuffing your face with said ultra-super food.
This recipe is a good one to make if you're working from home and can make it over the course of an hour or so. It doesn't require much hands-on time, so as long as you can take several breaks from your work, it's a cinch to throw together. It's also really versatile, you can mix basically anything you have in your fridge in, so it's a good choice when you find yourself without anything planned for lunch. Here's what's for lunch for me today:
Oh, hey little guy! 

Twice Baked Sweet Potato 


  • 1 large sweet potato (or yam or regular potato)
  • Scant 1/4 cup of your favorite shredded cheese (I prefer cheddar, but due to sending my husband to the grocery store, I can't find any in the fridge. Maybe I forgot to put it on the list, or maybe it's just really good at hiding. Today I had to resort to mozzarella)
  • Approx. 1/4-1/2 cup of a mix of your favorite 3-4 chopped veggies. Today I'm using:
  • Broccoli (always a good choice)
  • Shredded Carrot
  • Frozen Peas
  • Onion


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350˚
  2. Heat potato in microwave for about 10 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until really soft. Allow to cool until you can handle it without burning your hands off.  
  3. Cut the potato in half, lengthwise, and scoop the potato out into a bowl, being careful to keep the skin in tact
  4. Mix your cheese and veggies into the potato. Scoop mixture back into the potato skins
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the top starts to brown
See? Super easy, tasty, and filling. One is plenty, so I'm saving the other one for Dan when he gets home from work. I'm eating mine with a few leftover California rolls from dinner last night (the only kind of "sushi" I really like...judge away!) and cranberry sauce:

while watching "I Love Lucy." I got season 1 & 2 in a box set for $15 yesterday at Target! I can't even express how excited I am about this, as "I Love Lucy" is probably my absolute favorite show of all time.

Did you watch Nick at Night growing up? Dan has somehow never watched "I Love Lucy" or other shows from that time! What's your favorite old show?