Wednesday, November 02, 2005


I noticed that some people have added me to their blogrolls - all the more reason to update this! Unfortunately, it's not going to happen right this second :-D

Monday, September 12, 2005

Belly Belt - haha!

I recently saw a product called the Belly Belt on a UK website.  It's an extension for the front of your pants/skirts so you can wear them throughout pregnancy.  Haha!!  What a funny joke!  As if your rear or your legs would fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes!!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Volunteering at the Reliant Center

I wish I was a talented writer so that I could do justice to the stories of those I met today.

At church this morning, Melissa, a mom of 6 young kids, said she was going to drive down to the Astrodome to volunteer. Two other moms (Tara & Debbie), a husband and wife (Vaughn & Claudia), a teenage girl(Kaylie), and I asked if we could go with her. We got there at 2:30 and were told that all volunteers were being turned away until 7:00 pm. Melissa parked anyway and we walked over to the Reliant Center, where we saw a check-in sign for volunteers. A man from Harris County Citizens' Corps said that they appreciated our help, but no more volunteers were needed. He said there were 3000 volunteers waiting upstairs at the Center to get down on the floor to help out. He said that if we chose to go in, it would be 3-4 hours until we would be assigned a job. Our group milled around, not sure what to do. I thought we had tried our best and should just go home and avoid making nuisances out of ourselves by trying to help where we were not needed.

As we talked, we heard someone call from the door, "Exxon-Mobil - over here!". Vaughn had worn his Exxon-Mobil community involvement shirt, and someone from Exxon-Mobil saw the shirt and assumed we were with them. We used the opportunity and went in. We got volunteer wristbands and Exxon-Mobil shirts. An Exxon-Mobil lady told us that we had to be 16 to go in. We all looked at each other like, OK, no problem, and just stared back at her. She kept accusing Debbie of being the mother of "several of these children". She refused to believe that Tara and I were over 16 (we are 28 and 24 and each have two children). I guess I should've just shown her my ID. She didn't stop us from volunteering, but she clearly thought we were lying about our ages.

The Exxon-Mobil volunteers were trying to help with a project to move the elderly, handicapped, and sick from the Astrodome to the more accessible Reliant Center. While we waited for approval to use a bus for the project, they gave us a tour of the operations at the Center. By the time the tour was done, approval had not come, so they told us to disperse ourselves and help wherever we could. There were plenty of volunteers manning the stations (food, clothing, baby supplies, registration, showers, restrooms), so we simply talked to the survivors.

At first I was too shy to approach anyone, so I followed Tara over to a woman. The woman wanted us to get her some food, so I went off to fill a plate while Tara talked to her. We had been given latex gloves. I put the gloves on while I dished up the woman's food. I brought the food back and we took the woman to a table.

I was no longer hesitant to talk. Tara stayed with the first woman and I went over to an elderly woman sitting on her cot & reading a newspaper. I asked her if she needed any food or supplies or if she would just like someone to read the newspaper to her, and she said she was fine and didn't need anything. I thought I'd just move on, but instead I waited. Soon her story came pouring out. She was separated from her sick husband and her brother. She didn't know where they were or if they had made it out. I sat with her on her cot and held her hand, put my arm around her shoulder, and listened to her talk until she was finished.

I went to another elderly woman and again asked if she needed anything and how she was doing. Again, at first she said she was fine, but soon she began to tell her story. Her name is Floy and she is 77 years old. It sounded like she had the ability to evacuate (financially), but she had thought this storm would be like others in the past - it would come through, cause a little damage, and everything would be fine. She was in a hotel during the actual storm and then went back to her house. Then the levees broke and the water began to rise. Once it reached the stairs to the 2nd floor of her home, she climbed out onto the roof and was eventually rescued by a helicopter. She didn't really mention violence or lawlessness, but rather the way that the New Orlenians helped each other out in every way they could. I was glad to hear her stories after seeing the terrible things on the news.

The only negative she mentioned was that the pushing and shoving to get on the buses to leave the Superdome was terrible. Families got separated very easily. She eventually made it to the Astrodome and ended up in the stadium seating. She made friends with the survivors around her and they took care of her - getting her food for her, etc. She was given the option to move over to the Reliant Center where she would have a cot, rather than having to stay in the stadium-style seating. She didn't want to leave because she had started to feel secure and comfortable with the people around her and with the situation she was in. She wasn't sure what she would find at the Reliant Center. She was glad she made the move because the conditions were better - less crowded, less noisy, and she was in an area specifically for elderly/single women, so she didn't have to be around so many rowdy kids.

Floy worries that all her pictures and scrapbooks will be gone. She worries about the memories tied up in those pictures. She told me about the trips she took with her husband, a New Orleans jazz pianist, to Singapore, Malaysia, & Indonesia. She told me about her collection of U.S. coins and paper money. She told me about a little suitcase full of crayons and coloring books that she keeps for the grandchildren. She understands that the pictures and coins and coloring books are not important compared to family, but they are little things she thinks about. She plans to go back to her home to see what she can salvage and then she'd like to relocate. Maybe to California. She has a grown daughter, grandchildren, and great grandchildren there. She loves the California weather.

She told me about the jobs she'd had over the years. Fifteen years in a retail store, 22 years filing letters into "pigeonholes" at the post office, and 10 years at Head Start. She still works 4.5 hours every day for Head Start. She sits in a rocking chair and rocks and feeds fussy babies when they cry. Her husband passed away several years ago, but she has kept herself busy and "alert" as she says. She's a very smart, well-read and well informed woman. She brought one of the coloring books she keeps for her grandchildren with her. Sometimes she colors in it to help pass the time. She says that coloring keeps the mind active. I think it also comforts her because it is something familiar, something from home. She writes in a journal every day.

Floy is separated from her family (a second adult daughter, adult grandchildren, and young great-grandchildren) but is hoping to see them soon. I sat and listened to her talk for over an hour. She just wanted someone to listen and hear her story. I still had my latex gloves on as I listened. They got sweaty and I took them off. I was embarrassed that I was wearing them in the first place. How humiliating for these people to come here and people have to wear gloves to even touch them. I understand that we need to protect ourselves, but it seemed like I was saying they were filthy and unclean by wearing the gloves.

After I talked to Floy, I saw Debbie, Kaylie, and Tara over at the food area. I wasn't too hungry, but they suggested I sit down and eat with some of the survivors (they call them residents, actually). I saw a thin young man who looked distracted and a little distraught and Tara and I sat down at his table. He really seemed out of it, and I wondered if he was "all there" mentally. He soon grew teary eyed. I moved over and put my arm around him. Tara asked him something and he said he had no one. He said he was completely alone. As we tried to comfort him, he broke down in tears. He wasn't sure how long he'd been at the Reliant Center, but he thought it had been a day and a half. He had no idea where anyone in his family was. We found out that his name is Derek, he is 34 years old, and he was missing his mother, his aunt, several cousins, and his two children (13 and 12). He had never been at the Superdome and had hitchhiked his way to Houston. He had a cell phone with him but the battery was dead and all his relatives' phone numbers were in the phone. Tara and I had working cell phones, but Derek had no numbers to call. He ate his food, but he didn't look at it. His eyes were wild, constantly darting around the building, searching for a familiar face. Suddenly he realized he had his cousin's phone number in his wallet. He used my phone to call his cousin Roger, who lives in Virginia. Roger had heard from Derek's mother and aunt. The mother was in Dallas and the aunt was in Houston. Roger gave Derek his aunt's phone number and he was able to call her. He got a hold of her right away.

He tried without much luck to find out what building they were in. Many of the survivors aren't even sure of the name of the building they are housed in. At one point when Derek's cousin couldn't even answer his question if there were stadium seats in their building, he said "can I get someone with a little more sense on the line?" He had hardened up a little as soon as he found out his family was alive and in Houston. You could tell that he was starting to pull himself together and his personality was coming out. We eventually were able to figure out that his aunt and her family were in the Reliant Arena. Derek was in the Reliant Center. Based on Derek's prior absent-minded behavior, we weren't sure if he'd be able to find the Arena, so we walked him over. As soon as he had been able to call his family, he had changed though. He was much more calm and sure of himself - back to the tough-guy attitude that I'm sure was his usual demeanor. On the walk over Tara and I told him that we each had two kids ourselves, and he told us we didn't look old enough to have kids at all. We didn't tell him, but neither did he! As we got closer to the Arena he saw his cousin. He put on his tough-guy attitude and acted as if he didn't care if he saw her or not. Once we got inside the Arena he called his aunt. He told us that once he found his auntie he would be all right. We eventually were able to find his aunt and uncle and he was reunited with them. He sure was anxious, making sure to keep his eye on them as they and he tried to navigate a maze of barriers to reach each other. He still had the tough-guy attitude and there were no joyful hugs, but Tara and I knew that inside he was crying out with joy at being reunited with them. I was shocked that Derek had been in Houston a day and a half and no one had done the simple things we had done to help him find his family. Possibly he had been putting on a tough-guy act and had only broken down when we first found him - I'm not sure.

Tara and I headed back to the Reliant Center to find our group. We found Debbie holding a tiny little baby, one of a set of twins. She handed the baby off to Tara. The little guy had been premature at birth and was now only 1 month old. Tara tried to feed him a bottle, but he kept getting more and more upset. I finally realized that nothing was coming out of the bottle. The baby's grandma got him a new one and then he was much happier. This was a family of a grandma (who looked like a young mother herself), a 21-year-old mother (had her first baby at age 12), and her 6 children - ages 8, 5, 3, 1, and the 1-month-old twins. Tara and I held the babies while mom went to shower and grandma went to eat with one of the other children. Two teenaged girls who had been volunteering for several days had taken the family under their wings and helped them find food, clothes, & baby supplies. The girls told us the family's story. The mother and grandmother had waded through the floodwaters, each carrying a newborn and a toddler. The 5-year-old and 8-year-old had to fend for themselves and swim/tread water. They eventually made it to a bridge that was out of the water. They were stuck there for two days with no formula for the babies. They eventually resorted to feeding the tiny babies applesauce because they had no other options. A man even died on the bridge and nothing could be done. His body was pushed to the side. The grandma finally realized where they were and remembered that she knew a family with babies that lived in the area. She swam to their house, broke out a window, and got formula and bottles for the babies. The babies didn't sleep the entire two days - they just cried. Eventually they somehow made it out of the city.

I didn't help hundreds of people, and I didn't even work hard or provide physical services, but I hope I helped in some small way the few I talked to.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

If It Wadn't For Texas

Recently I have noticed an interesting feature of the local Texas accent - "wadn't" for "wasn't", "hadn't" for "hasn't", "idn't" for "isn’t", etc.  I work in a well-educated field (engineering), and those pronunciations are quite prominent here.  This is solely a pronunciation (accent) thing rather than a grammar (dialect) thing.  I should mention that we live near Houston. 

George Strait's song "Texas" has been getting a lot of air-time on the radio recently.  Every time the word "wasn't" occurs in the song, George pronounces it "wadn't".  He pronounces the 'd' sound so forcefully that I thought it would cause a small stir on the internet (humor columns, blogs, music reviews, etc.), but I haven't been able to find anything on it.  The only thing I can think of is that it's such a common feature of the accent that no one thinks it's anything special to write about.  This has led me to some very interesting research on accents and dialects. 

I'd love to get my own speech analyzed and see what exactly my accent includes.  Before March 2004, I lived in Utah my entire life.  My dad lived in Utah his entire life, and my mom grew up in San Diego, Virginia, and New Orleans, but both her parents were native Utahns.  So I am sure that my accent is entirely Utahn, but being from Utah, I'm not exactly sure what that means (it's difficult to identify your own accent).  I know that I drop t's, such as "moun-ain" instead of "mountain".  I leave out some of the L sounds.  It's actually hard for me to make my tongue to form a proper L (at the end of a word), so that must be part of the accent.  (I can say L's at the beginning of a word just fine, although I bet I slur/drop those a bit too.)  I read that people with western accents pronounce "caught" and "cot" the same.  No matter how hard I try, I cannot pronounce those differently from each other!  I don't even know how you would pronounce them differently.  So I guess my accent includes that too. 

I've thought about allowing myself to pick up the Texas accent, but I'm not sure yet.  My family would mock me.  I guess it may happen despite my best efforts.  I did catch myself saying "y'all", but only once (so far).  I learned that people often change their accents and dialect based on who they are talking to.  The time I said "y'all" I was talking to some landfill employees.  I realize now that I subconsciously altered my dialect based on my apparent prejudices about the people I was talking to.  Fascinating!  I read in one place that the military even has its own accent, similar to the Texas accent.  My sister is in the Air Force and is dating a guy from Texas, so maybe she will pick up the military Texas accent, and I will pick up a Texas accent and our poor parents won't even know us.

SO Tired

I am SO tired.  I can barely concentrate on what I am supposed to be doing.  Last night BigGuy slept in his own little bed, but usually both kids sleep next to me.  Like Dr. Sears says, they are like "heat-seeking missiles" and they sleep jammed up against me or with arms and legs entwined in mine.  Since I am not with them during the day, I really love to cuddle with them at night.  I also nurse Baby on demand all night long.  I'm starting to wonder if all the cuddling and nursing is affecting my sleep.  I don't really see any other option at this time though.  Baby is still far too young (15 months old) to reduce breastfeeding so drastically.  If I was with him during the day, I would nurse him on demand during the day and night wean him. 

I don't exercise, and I'm sure that makes a huge difference.  How can I exercise if I'm too exhausted to even open my eyes, lol!?  I'd bet that I have some vitamin and mineral deficiencies too.  I haven't been too great on the vegetables lately.  Maybe I should start taking a prenatal vitamin again.  I've seen studies and articles against vitamins, but it can't hurt too much, I'd guess.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

See My Insanity?

Well, what do you know.  I already wrote an entire post about the Phantom of the Opera.  So much for writing interesting, original posts.  At least I'm only plagiarizing myself. 

Current Reading - The Phantom of the Opera

I am currently reading the Phantom of the Opera, by Gaston Leroux.  I have no idea who translated the version I'm reading, so I don't know if it's a good translation or a bad translation.  I haven't taken the time yet to research the differences and find out which one I have.  I'd like to read it in the original French, with an English copy and a French-English dictionary for reference (I can guarantee I'd need it), but that would be a lot more scholarly and involved than reading while nursing on the couch :-) 

I have watched the 2004 movie adaptation of the Broadway musical, and I have technically seen the musical twice (once in San Francisco, once in Salt Lake City), but I slept through it both times.  I am going to see the musical on Saturday with my friend (now you can figure out which city I live in!).  I am wondering if the musical is as sensual (with the hands all over the corsets) as the movie.  That's not in the book (so far).  When I'm done I'll try to compare the translated book, movie, and musical and see what I can learn from them.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Mind-altering Drugs

Was I on some mind-altering drug when I wrote that post about my preferred schedule? What craziness!! We are "supposed" to work 10% overtime (4 hours/week), but I had about 25% overtime planned into that schedule. I think it was because we needed the money at the time. Now BigDaddy has his job. He still isn't raking in the big bucks, but he's at least making enough to make it so that I don't have to worry about overtime.

Here's my real schedule:
5:30 Alarm goes off
6:00 Get up and get ready, make lunch, eat breakfast. Don't read scriptures. Don't do any housework
7:00-7:15 Bobbie-Sue* picks me up for work
7:45 Get to work late
6:30 Bobbie-Sue picks me up
7:10 Arrive at Bobbie-Sue & Emmy-Lou's house to get the kids. Emmy-Lou takes us home.
7:30 Get home. Sit on the couch and stare into space while nursing LittleMan.
8:30 Listen to the screaming children. Realize that we need food. Find something or just nurse LittleMan more and let the rest of us go hungry.
9:30 Go to bed

Wow! I have really been the woman, wife, and mother I wish to be, haven't I!!! (That was massively sarcastic, by the way).

*Bobbie-Sue and Emmy-Lou are some friends of ours (a mom and daughter) that help us out with babysitting our kids and taking me to work. Bobbie-Sue and Emmy-Lou are not their real names, of course. Also, I am not implying they are hicks, because they are the furthest thing from hicks. Maybe I should come up with some better pseudonyms. I just thought these were good because it's more obvious that they are fake names.

It's Been a While

I haven't updated since February?! Wow - the time flies. My life is still pretty much the same. I'm still working, still addicted to sugar. BigDaddy is working as a mortgage broker now. Once he makes enough to pay the bills and we have saved up for several months of bills, I will be able to quit. I've already told my boss the general idea, so I'm not worried about putting it up here in public.

I'm reading A Tale of Two Cities right now. I bought tickets to The Phantom of the Opera for Emmy-Lou (my real-life friend, whose real name is NOT Emmy-Lou) and myself. It was for her birthday. I've slept through the Phantom twice - once when it played in Salt Lake City, and once on a band trip to San Francisco. So I still didn't really know the story. We rented the movie this week, and I was surprised with the content. I was convinced that the story was bent right up until the end, and then I decided it was broken. I think that in many ways, the Phantom is portrayed as good and desirable, even though he is a murderer, and therefore, must be evil. I also decided that the story is healing. I can think of many ways to "heal" the story, but I don't have time to go into them now. I am looking forward to seeing the musical in two weeks, but I'm still disappointed that the story wasn't as pure and wonderful as I always thought. I am going to try to get the original book at the library today.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

My Schedule

This is the schedule I'd like to stick to. I'm not guaranteeing that it will actually happen.

5:00 Wake up
5:00-5:30 Read scriptures (stare at pages since I'm too tired to think yet)
5:30-6:00 Get ready
6:00-6:30 Clean house (dishes, kitchen, start Crock-Pot dinners, pick up stuff, do laundry)
6:30-7:00 Drive to work and check/write email
7:00-12:00 Work (5 hours)
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-6:30 Work (5.5 hours)
6:30-7:00 Drive home
7:00-8:00 Eat dinner, play with kids, prepare tomorrow's clothes and lunch
8:00-8:30 Bedtime routine, including READING to kids
8:30 Bed

Friday - we get off work at 12:00, so I plan to only work a couple hours extra instead of working until 6:30. Friday afternoons are library day, and maybe I can start taking the kids somewhere every Friday - to the park or a museum, etc.

Saturday - sleep in until 7:00, go into work for a few hours, come home and run errands, shop for groceries, finish laundry, prepare food and clothes for next week, etc.

Sunday -
6:00 Wake up, get ready, eat breakfast, get kids ready, etc.
7:45 Leave for church
12:30 Get home from church
1:30-2:15 Pick up dh from after-church meetings
Afternoon/evening - Read literature, study scriptures, prepare church lessons/FHE lessons, write in journal, do scrapbooking, play with kids, try to NOT clean

Now, I just have to find time to fit in exercising, having a life, getting a real education, STUDYING the scriptures every day (not just staring at the words when I'm so tired I can hardly think), doing my Ultimate Femininity class, having friends, taking care of myself, etc.


I just finished listening to Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. The only thing I didn't like about it was the bad language. The CD I have has a post-script by Mr. Card at the end. He says he went through and took out all the bad language in the book because he didn't want kids learning bad language from him. I guess he and I have a different definition of what we consider bad language :-) The worst word I didn't appreciate was bas****. I guess if I was reading this out loud to my kids, I would substitute for the words I consider to be inappropriate.

Other than the language, I loved Ender's Game! I have always liked most science fiction, although I do not read it often. I plan to read the other books in the Ender series, but I've already got a crate of books from the library, and I'll have to read the others by eye rather than listening, as my library doesn't have the unabridged audiobooks. I guess I'll find the time eventually.

I still haven't cut out sugar, and I feel like my brain is in a fog. I planned to record the insights I had from Ender's Game in this post, but nothing is really coming to me. This is one reason I'd like to buy books and read them (instead of listen). It's much easier to underline, record thoughts, re-read paragraphs, go back to past parts, etc.

Friday, January 28, 2005

The Purpose of a Blog

What is the purpose of a blog? It seems kind of narcissist. I mean, who really cares about what I say, besides my family and close friends? I'm not really an engaging or humorous writer, like some bloggers out there. I guess my purpose for this blog is to be a record for me and a place where my family can get updates and stories about us. I'd like to improve my writing skills and use this as a place to put my thoughts on all kinds of things. I haven't been keeping a personal journal, so I guess this is a good place to start. I'll probably still keep a separate personal journal, as there are many things I wouldn't want to share with the internet (sorry, internet).

Confederate Heroes Day

Did you know that last week, January 19th, was Confederate Heroes Day? Government employees in Texas used to get Robert E. Lee's birthday (January 19th) and Jefferson Davis' birthday (June 5th or something) off of work. When Martin Luther King Jr. Day was made a federal holiday, the two birthdays were combined into one holiday - Confederate Heroes Day - observed on January 19th each year. It figures that Texas would still observe something like this :-D

Lemony Snicket

I've listened to 2.9 Lemony Snicket books on tape now, on the way to and from work (The Bad Beginning, The Wide Window, and The Carnivorous Carnival). They are definitely engaging, but I can't decide if I really like them or not. I'm not sure if they're really appropriate for young kids. I guess they're not necessarily bad books, but there are many better things you could be reading. I guess if I want my children to read good literature, I should follow my own advice and pick up something better.

In Book the First, The Bad Beginning, the childrens' parents are killed in a fire. I don't think I'd be too comforted to read about this if I were a child. As a child I was always terrified that my parents were going to die. I don't think I would've appreciated a book where that very thing happens. Also in Book the First, Count Olaf, the Baudelaire orphans' distant relative, tries to marry Violet, the oldest Baudelaire child (14 years old), so he can control their fortune. Gross! He even makes several comments about how beautiful she is and how he looks forward to marrying her. Grosser! In Book the Ninth (or Eleventh?), The Carnivorous Carnival, two people fall into a pit of lions. The book doesn't describe exactly how they get eaten, but the thought is still gross. In fact, the book never comes out and says the two actually got killed and eaten. It implies it heavily, but it hasn't come out and said it yet.

I have learned many words, phrases, and idiomatic expressions from these books. That's one good thing about them. The first one I listened to was read by Tim Curry. It was an excellent performance. Not a reading, but a performance. I enjoyed it very much. The next one was read by the author, Lemony Snicket, himself. I was very excited to listen to a reading by the author - I would be able to hear the way he intended things to sound. It was awful compared to Tim Curry's performance. Lemony Snicket didn't do any special voices for the different characters, and I'm sorry to say this, because it's very politically incorrect, but his speech impediment makes him sound gay. I would much rather listen to Tim Curry's performances any time.

Other books on tape I've listened to recently include:
The Messenger, by Lois Lowry
Where the Red Fern Grows, by Winston Rawls
Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper
part of The Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum
others that I can't remember right this second :-D

Car Troubles?

Wednesday I was driving home (well, crawling through traffic) and my car semi-stalled. The oil pressure and volts lights went on, and I lost all power. I pressed the gas pedal and nothing happened. I think the engine was still on though. I freaked out - heart racing, adrenaline pumping. I thought "well, I guess I'll just get towed somewhere and then I can call BigDaddy." [We got rid of our cell phones because they were $80 a month!] I had the inspiration/presence of mind to turn the car off and start it again. It worked!! I didn't have any more troubles, but we took the car in yesterday morning anyway. The found nothing wrong with it, so hopefully it's ok. The best part is that I got to stay home until 2 pm because we only have the one car!! Yay for car troubles that resolve easily and give me a day off!! This morning BigGuy told me "Mommy, you stay home" (and he signed HOUSE in ASL). I told him that if he wants me to stay home, he needs to pray to Heavenly Father that Daddy will be able to get a job soon.
One other neat thing I realized from my car incident is that I feel really safe when BigDaddy is with me. We got rear ended a couple months ago [no damage was done], and I was just sitting there not even worried in the slightest. But when I was alone and the car stopped, I got very scared and tense. I'm so glad I have a strong husband to protect me :-D I'm sure that sounds a little old-fashioned, but that's how I feel.

Scripture Goal

My goal at the beginning of the year was to read scriptures every day. Not for a certain time, or a certain number of pages/chapters, but just to read. This way I can't say to myself "well, I don't have half an hour to read, so I guess I'll skip it." Even if I read just one verse, it counts. I've read 24 out of the 28 days this month. The 2nd and 3rd week of January I read every single day! I've been reading in the morning, as soon as I get up. I read 1-2 chapters or so. The days I've missed are days I sleep in (Saturdays, Sundays, and yesterday, when I didn't go to work until afternoon).

Breakfast Today

I mixed all of the following and microwaved it:
1/2 C oatmeal
1 egg
chocolate flavored protein powder
Then I added butter and milk. It was OK. It had 25+ grams of protein, which was the intent.


I've recently sent about 6 posts to my blog by email, and they haven't shown up! I guess they're lost in blog-land. I'll repost them later, I guess.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Rules & Regulations

This is just a quick "AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH" type post. BigDaddy has been working toward becoming a firefighter lately. He's planning to apply for a paid firefighter position in Austin. Today he read through the medical regulations for firefighters. There are Category A and Category B conditions. Category A conditions disqualify you. Category B conditions don't disqualify you if you can perform the duties of the job. When BigDaddy was 15, he had a series of back surgeries and metal rods placed in his back. This is a Category A condition. Disqualified. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200 - DISQUALIFIED!!! The following is an example of some Category B conditions:
(1)*Deformities of the skull such as depressions or exostoses
(2)*Deformities of the skull associated with evidence of disease of the brain,
spinal cord, or peripheral nerves
(3)*Loss or congenital absence of the bony substance of the skull

So if you had PART OF YOUR SKULL MISSING or your skull was deformed because of BRAIN DISEASE you would not necessarily be disqualified, but BigDaddy is because he had surgery almost 20 years ago. He can bench press and squat more than many guys twice his size, yet he may be disqualified based on a rule. He called the fire Captain to see if there are ever exceptions to the rules.

I know Heavenly Father has a plan for our family, and I sure hope that if BigDaddy can't be a fireman, we can find out what else he/we are supposed to be doing!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Wednesday Food Journal

2 fried eggs with 2 pieces of buttered toast
cookie dough
Boston Market Asian Chicken salad - greens (probably
just lettuce), chicken, carrots, tomatoes, mandarin
oranges, & Asian dressing (probably lots of sugar in
Peanut Butter Granola bar
Dannon Lemon Burst yogurt
Nachos - chips, refried beans, cheese, olives, & sour
More cookie dough

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

No Wonder!

My dh, BigDaddy, goes for a few days without any of his Sobe Power drinks, and then he goes and buys a case or two and drinks 3-4 bottles per day. We calculated this morning that there is 3/8 cup of sugar in EACH drink! (We're engineering-geek type people and derive great joy from calculating things like that). So if he's drinking 3-4 per day, he's drinking 1-1/8 cup to 1-1/2 cups of sugar per day! No wonder he's addicted to them! He thought it was just the caffeine, but wow - one and a half cups of sugar (in the form of high fructose corn syrup) per day in his drinks alone!

Test Post by Email

This is a test to see how it looks when I post by email.

And here's my food journal for the day so far:
2 fried eggs with 2 pieces whole wheat toast with butter
HUGE chunk of cookie dough!

My anti-sugar plan says that for now, while I'm working on getting a good breakfast and 3 meals a day, I can still have my sugar, but I'm supposed to eat it with meals. Whoever heard of such silliness? What's the point of sugar if you're going to eat it WITH a meal? Anyway, that's why I had to have my cookie dough with breakfast.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Tuesday, January 18, 2005 Food Journal

1/2 grapefruit
2 eggs with mushrooms, onions, & cheese
plain yogurt with lemon, lime, walnuts, & honey
chili - tomatoes, 3 types of beans, corn
salad - spinach, other greens, feta cheese, walnuts, craisins, vinaigrette
piece of chicken

Doing great, aren't I! OK, I'll admit what I ate at Enrichment night and after dh's fireman meeting:
chocolate chip cookie
6 oz. Sprite with raspberries
1 scoop cookies & cream ice cream
piece of coconut cake

1/2 potato cooked in olive oil with green pepper & onion

Monday, January 17, 2005 Food Journal

Oatmeal with raisins, milk, pecans, & butter
6" sausage with BBQ sauce - thanks to people at work
2 pitas with chicken, cheese, & sour cream
lemon-lime-honey-pecan yogurt
Tiny sliver of Barbie cake with little frosting
Salad - spinach, other greens, craisins, pecans, blue cheese
Large chunk of Barbie cake - mostly frosting
3 pieces homemade pizza - tomato sauce, Spanish olives, feta cheese, artichoke hearts, jalapenos
Wheat Thins
A few bites Dutch Chocolate ice cream
1/2 baked potato with butter
more Wheat Thins

If it wasn't for the friendly lady sharing her daughter's Barbie cake at work, I would have made it through the day with just a few bites of ice cream!

Monday, January 17, 2005


I think of myself as a generally healthy person. I don't have any chronic problems, and I generally don't feel sick. However, I can barely function most of the time. I make it through work feeling like my brain is only half-working, and then I come home and lay on the couch all evening. BigGuy begs me to come play with him, but I just don't have the energy. Even if I do manage to get off the couch, I end up laying on his floor to play with him. I can get up in the mornings at 5:30 or so, but only because I have to. I'm only 24 years old, and I want to have a BIG family. It won't happen if I have to be like this for the rest of my life. This sounds serious, but I know for certain that it's a result of my eating habits, specifically my sugar habit. (Also, I need to exercise). A couple months ago, I found myself carefully rationing out my candy supply to make sure I'd have enough to last the week. I brought cookies to work and found myself wanting to only bring 6 of the 12 to the meeting so I could have the extras all to myself. Over the past few months I've realized what a problem I really have. I've been following my friend Mary's journey (, but didn't think I could *really* give up sugar like she did. Well, it's time to get healthy.

I have wanted to get off sugar for probably two years. I have known about the book Sugar Blues by William Dufty for quite some time. I remember telling my midwife over a year ago that I was going to read it "after the holidays". I'm a year late, but I finally read it. I loved it! The author blames many of the world's problems on sugar. He blames the entire West African slave trade on sugar, for example. I think he's a little skewed in his perspectives, but my purpose in reading the book was to help me want to kick sugar, so I was fine with that. Mr. Dufty talks extensively about the effects of sugar on our bodies. If you think you might want to give up sugar, this book will help strengthen your resolve!

I was browsing around at the library and found a book called The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program by Kathleen DesMaisons, PhD. I thought "oh great, another pointless program that will probably recommend I eat Splenda(R) and won't tell me anything I don't know already." But of course I picked it up anyway. I have started reading it, and I highly recommend it. Dr. Maisons has a PhD in Addictive Nutrition. She went back to school specifically to study sugar addiction, so she knows what she's talking about. She says that the chemical response a sugar-sensitive person gets from sugar is exactly the same (but on a lesser scale) as the response an alcohol or drug addict gets from alcohol or drugs. She goes through the characteristics of an addict. I was able to recognize myself in nearly all of them.

She does recommend cutting out sugar or reducing it dramatically, BUT she helps you get your body ready first. People who are sugar-sensitive have a VERY difficult time giving up sugar because their serotonin, blood sugar, and beta-endorphin levels are usually imbalanced. Dr. DeMaisons shows you how to balance your serotonin, blood sugar, and beta-endorphins using food. THEN you cut out sugar. Since your body is more balanced, you actually have a chance at succeeding.

The first step of Dr. DesMaisons program is to eat breakfast with protein. I try to eat very little meat, so I'm trying to fill my protein requirements without it. I was dismayed to find out that my breakfast of oatmeal with nuts, honey, and butter only contained a measly 8 grams of protein. Eight grams is not enough to get me through the morning! I'm a believer in the work of Dr. Weston A. Price, and I believe that natural fats are good for you. That's why I included the butter and nuts in my oatmeal. I think the fats help me go longer without craving sugar, but I've got to get more protein in the mornings. I don't want to go to protein shakes, because I'm trying to switch over to more whole foods, and I think protein powder is the opposite of whole food. I used protein powder when I was pregnant, and I could go for several hours on one of those. So I know the protein helps. I may end up eating more meat for now and then try to cut down after I get my body straightened out.

I made some delicious yogurt last night. I bought Dannon Natural Plain yogurt. The only ingredient is cultured Grade A milk. I stirred in the juice and pulp of 4 lemons and 2 limes as well as a nice long squirt of honey. It was a little too tart to go with no honey at all. This morning I put some in a bowl and added chopped pecans to the top. It made it all the way to lunchtime without disintegrating (I thought the lemon juice might do something weird), and tasted DELICIOUS. No more corn syrup and sugar-laden yogurt for me!

My Blog

I want to change the name/URL of this blog, but I haven't come up with anything creative yet. It seems like I'm copying right now, since mine is KatieMom - but that's a variation of the screen name I've used for email for a long time. I also might do several different blogs - like one about kids, one about health, one about schooling, etc.

Friday, January 14, 2005


Welcome to my blog! I plan to post here about my kids, work, education, pregnancy/childbirth, nutrition, food, etc.