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.