April 30, 2008
Yesterday, Mr. Bear went to visit during the day and they had an eventful day. Mr. Bear was holding her and then she started to turn purple, so they called in the nurse and they put her in NICU. They gave her some antibiotics and she is fine now from what I know, she just needed a little extra care. Luckily, our good friend's mom is a NICU nurse at the hospital and Baby M is being well taken care of. Mr. Bear helped out and picked up Big Sister (2 years old) from grandma's house and brought her to the hospital when all was calmer. Big Sister told Mr. Bear, "she's sooo tiny!" Mr. Bear totally agreed! He told me Baby M is so small with little toes and all. He had an exhausting day and he was so stressed out from the experience.
I went to visit this morning to check in on mom and Baby M, but they were not in their room, mom and dad were probably in the NICU with Baby M. I will have to go back to visit later. I am just dying to meet her.
Even though we were out there from Thursday to Sunday, we only got our boat in the water on Saturday. It was breezy, which isn’t the best conditions for our small boat but we went across the lake with no problems. We watched the Desert Storm shootout and then cruised the channel by the London Bridge. It was ridiculously packed; there was so much boat traffic it was crazy! Luckily, we found a good spot to park the boat and hang out in the channel for a while. After a few hours, we decided to head back to the other side of the lake where we were staying. The wind had really started to pick up a lot and it didn’t seem like it would be letting up anytime soon. This is where our adventure began.
The lake was crazy with huge wells! You would have thought we were in the middle of the ocean. People were coming back from the lake in boats larger than ours and more equipped for the crazy swells telling people not to go out there is they didn’t need to. Well, we needed to go out there, we didn’t have much of a choice, and we had to get back to the other side. So we headed out. We got about ½ mile out and the swells were so big we kept going up and down. Mr. Bear is pretty good at maneuvering the boat and was doing really well, then we came down pretty hard off of one of the large swells and the screws holding the foot throttle pulled out. Yikes!!! No power to the engine!!
Mr. Bear was calm and had to think fast, since water was going to come into the boat given that our boat was small and those swells were huge. I was ready to put my life jacket on and do what ever needed to be done. Mr. Bear told me to lie on the floor and hold the foot throttle in place and so I did and he drove the boat back to the channel. He says that he was almost ready to give an abandon ship order if he wasn't able to get the boat out of the lake. We actually didn’t take in too much water and I stayed pretty dry, but then again I was lying on the floor under the bow. Mr. Bear, on the other hand, did get wet.
Mr. Bear parked the boat and he was going to take the ferry to the other side of the lake, get the truck and trailer and drive it around and get the boat. There was no way to get the boat across without power. Of course, the ferry was shut down! Uh duh, the wind and the water was crazy. Luckily, Mr. Bear found a couple of guys in a boat better equipped for such conditions and asked if they would bring him over and they did. They got over to the other side of the lake with no problems. I waited with the boat for 2 hours until Mr. Bear could get around and we got the boat on the trailer and back to the other side.
What a crazy adventure! We had never seen the lake like that. While I was waiting with the boat, I saw other boats being towed back to the channel. It was still a great relaxing weekend with a little blip of adventure. And of course, when we left on Sunday the wind had die down and the weather was perfect to take the boat out. We always get perfect weather at the river when we are ready to leave.
April 29, 2008
What a happy day! I can't wait to go and visit the little sweetie. After all the funerals that we have attend in the last 6 months, it is so nice to have new life brought into our world.
Yay for little girls!
April 28, 2008
On many blogs you will see the RSS symbol, like the one I have on the top left-hand corner of my blog feed. Click on that icon allows you to easily subscribe to a blog feed. Or you can easily subscribe to a blog on Google reader by directly typing in the URL, which is what I did before I learned about the RSS icon. I talk about Google reader, because that is what I have but there are many other readers/feeds out there from Yahoo, MSN, AOL, etc.
In addition to my friend's personal blogs, I follow many other topical blogs. There is quite a wealth of information on blogs, it is a great way to share information and to learn about many different topics. There are blogs on food, personal finance, fitness, frugal shopping, photography, fashion, and there are blogs on how to blog. I have learned quite a lot from many blogs, especially from the personal finance blogs, I have found some great recipes on food blogs, and I have enjoyed reading tips from health and fitness blogs. I have so many interests in so many areas and blogs are a nice way to get some information and learn about new things. (My disclaimer: Of course, one needs to realize that the information on blogs are not necessarily written by experts. As a researcher, I do take a critical eye to the information out on the web. Not all the information on the web is accurate and reliable.)
But I think that I might be developing a problem, I have 104 blogs that I subscribe to in my Google reader and I keep adding new blogs all the time. I am having a hard time keeping up. I need to figure out a better way to prioritize my blog subscription lists. Each day, I have over 200 new blog posts waiting for me to read in my Google reader and I never get through all of them. I was away from my computer for the weekend and I came home last night to close to 400 posts! Yikes! I want to read them all, but with work and life there is just not enough time in the day. I need to learn to let go and realize that I can't possibly read every single blog out there. Oh bother.
Photo Source: Microsoft iStock
April 25, 2008
It seems that parties and food go hand in hand and because of my upbringing and socialization, I find that I am a social eater who is unable to refuse food. On an every day basis, I am able to exercise willpower and discipline, but when it comes to parties that willpower and discipline seems to stay at home. It is so ingrained in me that in order to be social I have to eat and not eating is a sign of disrespect.
What's a girl to do? Somehow I need to be stronger. I am quite disciplined when it comes to exercise, if only I can apply that same discipline here. Here are some tips I have found that I will have to try.
Don't go to a party on an empty stomach.
If you eat a light snack before you go to a social event or party you are less likely to overeat and you are better able to resist the temptation of eating higher fat and higher calories foods.
Set a game plan.
Think about where you are going, who you will be with, and what foods are available. If you are going out to a restaurant take a look at the menu on the Internet beforehand. If you are going to a party, survey party buffet before filling your plate. Make a plan of action before diving in. By being cognizant of what you are doing, it will be easier to make better choices and not eat mindlessly.
Watch your portions.
It is okay to treat yourself a nice drink, dessert, chocolate or sweets without guilt, but watch your portion. Moderation is always the key. If you go for small portions you can sample all the different foods.
Choose your drinks wisely.
If you choose to drink alcohol, realize that alcohol is high in calories. And, watch out for calories in soda and fruit punch as well. Remember to practice moderation and drink plenty of water.
Stay away from temptations.
It is okay to indulge yourself once in a while, at parties we tend to keep eating simply because the food is there. To avoid grazing, be conscious of what is on your plate, eat slowly, and stay away from the food table to keep yourself from overeating.
Enjoy good friends and family.
Parties are about being social and gathering with friends and family. Focus on this aspect and away from the food aspect. It is okay to taste some yummy treats, but remember it is about balance and moderation.
If you do overeat, it is not the end of the work and one day won't make you gain weight! Just get back on track and put that one day behind you.
Here are a couple more of online resources and tips for eating at parties.
(I am going to a pot luck party next weekend, so let’s see if I can apply some of these tips.)
April 24, 2008
The numbers found on plastic containers are not meant to indicate the safe or intended use of a container or product, so they should never be used for that purpose. Different types of plastics must be separated before they can be properly recycled and reused, which is why the U.S. plastics industry created the numbering system in 1988. The resin ID codes were designed simply to help us properly sort our household trash for recycling--that's it. The resin codes do not signify whether or not our local towns will recycle those containers. For more clarification about the numbering system found on plastic containers, please view the plastics industry video recently posted at http://www.youtube.com/user
SPI President & CEO
Thanks William for your comment! I think this is important, especially since we just celebrated Earth Day, that we know what we can recycle. Many plastics can be recycled, for example shampoo and conditioner bottles. So don't just throw away those plastic bottles, look at the number on the bottle and recycle if possible!
So the main point is that the number in the triangle does not indicate anything about the safety of plastics, unlike the story that the Today Show reported, which said to stay away for #7 bottles. Rather it only indicates the type of plastic and whether or not it can be recycled and that is its only purpose. I have noticed that REI has pulled Nalgene bottles them from their shelves. Not because of the #7, but because of the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA), which is the chemical that may have harmful effects on humans. While there does not appear to be conclusive evidence of the harm, I did notice that there are other #7 plastic water bottles being sold at REI that boast being BPA-free. It is hard to know exactly what to do with all this information, but I do think for me it might be better to err on the side of caution. I may not be giving up all my Nalgene bottles right away but I will be giving other alternatives a try. Plus, I will be recycling all the other possible plastic bottles that I can.
Update: Here are a few other online resources (courtesy of Robyn)
from The Consumerist Article
from The New York Times
Photo Source: Microsoft iStock
April 23, 2008
Well, I have finally found a running buddy. She is my running buddy for the 10K that we are running in 2 weeks! We just began running weekly, we ran together for the first time last week and again yesterday afternoon. As I mentioned before, I have never exercised with a buddy so let me tell you: a running buddy is great!!! It makes the time go by so quickly and I feel like I can run for longer lengths of time and distances than I usually am able to when I run by myself. She also keeps me motivated and challenges me to run longer. I actually enjoy running and I look forward to our weekly runs. Since we chat about different things while we run, I am learning to keep a comfortable pace and learning how to breathe better so that I am not so out of breath all the time. This has been a great experience. We haven't been tracking our miles but we have been running a little over an hour or so each time. I am guesstimating that we have been running about 5 miles. Not bad for this non-runner. Maybe even after the 10K is over, we can continue to do these weekly runs. I may not be a runner but I am enjoying running more than ever before with a running buddy!
Photo Source: Microsoft iStock
April 22, 2008
A people without children would face a hopeless future; a country without trees is almost as hopeless.In celebration of Earth Day, here are 10 facts about why we should make an effort to care for our planet:
~ Theodore Roosevelt
- The U.S is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world’s people generate 40% of the world’s waste.
- About 80% of what Americans throw away is recyclable, yet our recycling rate is just 28%.
- Plastic bags create pollution and kill wildlife in the USA every day of the year.
- If just 25% of U.S. families used 10 fewer plastic bags a month, we would save over 2.5 BILLION bags a year.
- One ton of carbon dioxide that is released in the air can be prevented by replacing every 75 watt light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs.
- Recycling just one aluminum can save enough energy to run a TV for three hours — or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.
- If we recycled all of the newspapers printed in the U.S. on a typical Sunday, we would save 550,000 trees--or about 26 million trees per year.
- On the average, the 140 million cars in America are estimated to travel almost 4 billion miles in a day, and according to the Department of Transportation, they use over 200 million gallons of gasoline doing it.
- Americans are exposed to 70,000 chemicals, some 90% of which have never been subjected to adequate testing to determine their impact on our health.
- Over 40% of all tropical forests have been destroyed and another acre is lost each second.
You can do very simple things to be green in celebration of Earth Day and every day! Here are a few green tips. (If I can do these things, anyone can!)
1. Recycle. We get the local paper daily. I make sure that after we have read the paper that it goes into the recycle bin along with plastic bottles and any alumnium cans we have. Many food packages are also recyclable (e.g., cereal boxes and plastic containers), so I am also trying to be better at recycling these food packaging too.
2. Use re-usable shopping bags. I make sure to always keep my re-usable bags in the trunk of my car plus some extra bags so I don't forget them when I go grocery shopping.
3. Use green cleaning recipes. Many cleaners contain a lot of chemicals that are not good for us or our environment. I have been transitioning all our cleaning products to be green. There are many green recipes on the web. Basically all you need is baking soda, vinegar, and castile soap. Good for you and the environment, plus it good for your wallet by saving you money.
(I previously wrote about a green fabric softener recipe. I gave it a try but I found that the baking soda didn't always mix very nicely with the vinegar. I used the rest of the batch I had but now I am using just plain vinegar in my rinse cycle. This actually is much easier to deal with and works out great.)
4. Go paperless. Save trees by paying your bills online and signing up for paperless statements. I signed up to recieve paperless statements for all my bills and I have been using online billpay with my bank for years. All my fears about going paperless were unnecessary. Paperless has been great, less paper clutter and very easy.
Here are more good online resources with great green tips:
Environmental Protection Agency
National Geographic The Green Guide
Photo Source: Microsoft iStock
April 21, 2008
Last September, my yoga instructor, Monica Mathews, filmed a yoga video, Yoga - Wherever You Are, and I am a cast member in the DVD (I'm in the back row, far right). It is now available for sale on her website along with her book!!
Monica's website also has some great information on yoga and your health as well as a student photo gallery (Hint: I am in some of the photos in the photo gallery too.)
Monica is an excellent yoga instructor, definitely one of the best I have ever had. The DVD reflects her great instruction and she has devised a well-rounded Vinyasa Flow yoga practice that is appropriate for yogis at all levels, beginning to advance. She includes modifications and great cues through out the practice. The DVD also has chapter buttons so you can customize your practice by navigating to various sections and poses. If you are new to yoga or an advanced yogi, check out her DVD, it really is a great Vinyasa flow practice.
April 18, 2008
April 17, 2008
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April 16, 2008
I know that being healthy is all about a balance of nutrition and exercise. I exercise regularly so I know it is the nutrition part of the equation that I have a problem with. Being in my 30's I have definitely noticed a change in my metabolism. I used to be able to eat anything and just workout like crazy to counteract the extra calories I consumed. Not so much anymore. Now it is truly about balancing the exercise with nutrition. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. This eating machine can't eat the same way she has been eating and stay healthy.
Notice that I use the word "nutrition" vs. diet. I don't do diets, I have never been able to stay on one and I don't truly believe in many of the diets out there. Diets fail and the word "diet" has become somewhat of an evil, negative word. It seems to imply a temporary way of eating (e.g., going on and off a diet) rather than a lifestyle of eating nutritiously, which is what it is supposed to mean.
I believe that life is about balance and moderation and being healthy is about balance and moderation. Most diets operate on deprivation principals and I know that depriving myself eventually ends up in binging and overeating. For that reason, I don't do diets. Like the Weight Watchers commercials say, "Diets don't work." And I think they are right, diets don't work and they never work for me. Long-term healthy lifestyle changes work; balance and moderation work. So that is what I need to do, I need to learn about what constitutes healthy balanced nutrition and how I can change my eating habits for a lifestyle change rather than for a temporary weight loss fix.
April 15, 2008
Restore & Renew Beauty Serum (retail $21.99) - This product is a light, non-greasy serum that quickly absorbs into your skin. There were definitely noticeable differences in my skin. My skin feels silkier and my fine lines appear softer. I am definitely happy with the results. It's not a miracle serum by any means and my wrinkles have not disappeared but it did make a difference. That is all I can hope for. From this point forward it is all about preventing those wrinkles!
Time Resisting Night Cream (retail $19.99) - I really liked the texture of the night cream, it is nice and lightweight - more like a lotion than a cream - yet provides enough moisture for me. I have combination skin that is a little more on the oily side, so this product is just enough to not make my face feel oily, rather it makes my face feel softer. I really like this product, it feel luxurious to put on. I put this on after cleansing my face and using the Restore & Renew Beauty serum. Prior to this product, I had been using the Arbonne night cream (retail $79) and I definitely prefer Boots No. 7 for the texture of the night cream and for the cost.
Time Resisting Day Cream (retail $19.99) - This day cream contains SPF 12 which is very important in preventing wrinkles. It is thicker than the night cream and I think it does a decent job. I do not like it as much as the other two products but I do not dislike it. I guess I am ambivalent. It does the job it needs to do but I don't find it to be anything special.
The verdict? The best thing about Boots No. 7 is the price tag. Boots No. 7 works as well as other more expensive, high-end products that make similar claims for a fraction of the cost. I will stick with Boots No. 7 and I highly recommend it based on it is a great price and the results.
April 14, 2008
In boot camp, one of our monthly assessments was to run a timed mile. I remember when I first started I thought I was going to die running a mile. My mile run time was awful!! I considered myself in decent shape but I was not a runner. I went to the gym regularly and did a lot of high impact step classes but running was not something I liked to do. I was pretty stagnant in my exercise routine and not seeing a lot of results and with the wedding approaching, it was time to jump start my workout routine and boot camp definitely did that for me. Over several months of boot camp, there was dramatic improvement in my mile time as well as my strength and endurance. There was improvement each month and just before our wedding last May my mile time was under 10 minutes, which is the best time of my entire life. For the Race for the Cure and because I was training for the tri-fitness competition, I started running again and although I haven't been able to run a mile in under 10 minutes again, I am running about a 11 minute mile and I am happy about that. I think that is my happy pace. For me it is the fact that I am able to run an entire mile and have started to enjoy running that is pretty awesome. I've come a long way since high school.
So the 10K is fast approaching and I have to build my endurance and get my butt into gear. I slacked off last week because I was at a conference and wasn't feeling so great (I know too many excuses), so this week I will have to get serious. The good thing is I am not doing this alone, my co-worker is doing this with me. It will be nice to have a partner to train with. I usually workout and train on my own for the most part. I haven't been able to manipulate, I mean talk anyone into working out with me until now. :) We will have our first run together this week, I'm a little nervous since I don't know how fast she runs and I just hope I won't be keeping her back.
April 11, 2008
There are several references to this story circulating the internet. Basically, the story talked about the dangers of plastic bottle that are categorized as #3, 6, and 7 (You can find that information on the bottom of them bottle inside the triangle). Many water bottles, like Nalgene bottles, and even baby bottles, have the triangle with the #7 on it. The problem is that the plastic is made of polycarbonate (PC) which is composed of a hormone-disrupting chemical called bisphenol A (BPA). This chemical has been linked to health problems such as as cancer and may even influence infertility. Now that is pretty scary. Some say the chemical is only released when microwaving the bottle or heating it and other say that it is unsafe period.
This article will of course effect the sales of Nalgene bottles and such, since they are in this category of plastic. Some government agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, says that their review of the research shows BPA to have no risk to human health. Nalgene cites this information on their website regarding the safety of their bottles.
Hmm, do I want to take the risk, especially with the incidence of breast cancer in my family. I don't know about that. I think I might have to switch to a different type of water bottle, a Sigg bottle, which is made of aluminum. This one is pretty and I have heard keeps your water cooler. They are a bit pricey but they are more environmentally friendly since they are completely recyclable at the end of their long lives. I do have some dividend money from REI that I need to spend, now I know what I can spend it on, wohoo! Now what do I do with my other plastic bottles, I don't want to toss them, that would not be good for the environment.
April 10, 2008
Back in September, my father-in-law introduced me to a lecture given by Randy Pausch, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. There is an academic tradition called the "last lecture" in which a professor is invited to speak as if it's the last lecture he'll ever give. For Randy Pausch, this was truly his last lecture.
Randy Pausch was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and has not been given very long to live, his prognosis was very poor. His last lecture, Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, was inspirational and everyone should really watch the original lecture, it is 76 minutes long but well worth it. Click here to download the full length lecture on the CMU website or it can also be found on YouTube. I watched the entire original lecture totally mesmerized by his words and his message. I can't say that about many lectures. There are several shorter versions found on the Internet, such as the YouTube video above and he has a website with many of them posted. He has been getting a lot of press, he was on Oprah and he was interviewed last night by Diane Sawyer in an ABC New special. He also has a book that will be published soon.
The lecture was not only about achieving your childhood dreams but also about how to live your life. Although his lecture has gained so much popularity and inspired so many people, he had only intended his words for his 3 young children. It was meant for them to watch when they were older and better able to understand his words and message. You can see in his face and in through his words how much he loves his children and adores his wife. I watched that entire lecture with so much emotion. It touched me so much and truly inspired me. What a truly amazing man.
He is fighting the horrible disease with various treatments to slow the progression of the cancer, but his health is slowly deteriorating. He makes regular updates on his website.
April 9, 2008
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Here it is all wrapped up lazy girl style:
Every new mommy needs diapers, it is inevitable since babies poop! I also made a diaper cake for my friend covered with baby toys with a baseball theme since they are big baseball fans and I am sure this little boy is already a fan! Also, quite simple to make and there are several different "recipes" on the internet. This one actually uses a combination of "recipes," the middle layer is different from the top and bottom.
April 8, 2008
I found a local 10K taking place next month. I decided to sign up for it and convinced a friend to run the 10K with me as well. It is always good to have a partner to train with you to keep you motivated. So, I am going to run a 10K! I've never done one before, I've run plenty of 5K races in the past but never a 10K. This will be the farthest distance I've ever run. I don't have a whole lot of time left to train, 4 weeks will be here before I know it. I am definitely excited for the challenge! I better get off the computer and off my butt and move it. Gotta run!!!
April 7, 2008
Chase Monster is definitely a creature of habit. Every night we have our bathroom rendezvous. Every morning, I wake up to a fat cat on my head purring very loudly. He has pretty much stolen my pillow by that time and is watching me very intently, just waiting for me to finally get out of bed to feed him. As soon as I sit up he is meowing at me to feed him and once I get out of bed he rushes to his food bowl, ready and waiting. Once he has had his meal, he heads over to the litter box and does his business then lays at the foot of the bed to rest and watch me get ready for my day. While I have my breakfast he makes his way back onto the bed for his morning nap. Every afternoon, I come home to be greeted by my monster cat meowing and demanding me to feed him. He has his dinner and then goes back into the bedroom for a late evening nap. He wakes up and comes back when we are having dinner to join us and then waits until it is time for our bathroom rendezvous. When I get into bed, he plops onto the bed ready to end his exhausting day of many naps and meals.
As you can probably tell my Chase Monster loves food. If I am eating he wants to eat. In fact, he love crackers, especially Cheez It and Goldfish crackers, and chips (Doritos are his favorite but he is not a fan of Cheetos). He will stare at you as you eat and he will actually lick his lips. He never misses a meal and if you are eating he is there, hoping that you will share some food with him. You would think that he was a dog begging for food, well he is in fact bigger than some dogs so maybe this isn't so surprising. Maybe I will sound like every doting parent, but there is no cat like my monster cat. You just gotta love him!
Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person's physical, emotional, and mental states. ~Carol WelchLast week, I wrote about life expectancy and leading a long life. Many of the questions that the life expectancy calculator focused on had to do with healthy habits and family history. Keeping your body physically healthy boils down to exercise and diet. For the most part, I think I do pretty well with the first half of that equation. I workout 4-5 days a week and I actually like to exercise. It has become so much a part of my life that when I go several days without working out, my body feel awful. It is like I go through withdrawals. I always feel better after a workout, it is like a high.
But, I wasn't always an active person. I was never an athletic person by any means and never did anything active on a regular basis. It wasn't until I was in graduate school, back in the summer of 1998, that I decided to join a gym and try it out. I am not totally sure why I did it. I think part the reason was as a way to relieve stress from being in a doctoral program (it was my first year of grad school) and then the other part of it was dealing with depression (my boyfriend at the time broke-up with me after 6 years of dating).
I guess unlike other people I didn't start to exercise because I wanted to lose weight nor was I an active or athletic person, rather I did it for mental and emotional health reasons. Keeping the mind and body healthy are definitely interconnected. Starting to become active was one way to help me deal with my loneliness and depression and it was time for myself to let go and relieve some of the stressors of grad school. It did indeed helped and got me through grad school with some sanity! By having a regular routine of going to the gym and working out, I began to build my self-esteem and developed more confidence in myself. I also became less depressed over time and I was better able to deal with my stress. The benefits of exercise truly went beyond the physical part of me, it also impacted and improved my mental health and well-being.
It took time for me to make exercise a regular part of my life. I had to start off slow since this did not come naturally to me. I didn't know how to use any of the equipment at the gym at first, so I started off by trying out a few classes. Even though it took me a while to feel comfortable in the classes, I found that I really liked step classes. Over time and practice, I started to feel a sense of accomplishment in each class and so I kept going. Now it is 10 years later and I am still taking those step classes, not just for my body but for my mental health as well.
April 4, 2008
My life expectancy is 92 and my virtual age is 15. Wow, I guess that I will live a pretty long life if I believe this little calculator. My grandmother is 85 and is still going pretty strong. She has her ailments and she often tells me that is ready to be with my grandfather who passed away 10 years ago. But then again, she also told me last year that she was holding on until my wedding, which she made it to, and now she is holding on until I have a baby (I hope she won't be holding on too long, but I guess we'll see). My grandmother keeps on holding on and I hope that she will be with us for a long time. My great-grandmother, her mother, lived to her 90's so I think it is entirely possible for my grandmother as well.
So, maybe I shouldn't be so concerned about my mortality as I was a few days ago. Or maybe it is because I have been working on leading a healthy lifestyle and creating healthy habits that according to this calculator I will live to 92. Who really knows how long we have and who really knows if a calculator can really predict the future (probably not, since I could die from an accident). It is best to live each day to the fullest and to continue on my journey to be healthy. Family history is still strong with heart disease (my daddy) and now osteoporosis (my mommy). Being healthy is a life long commitment, it's not worth it to stop being concerned, but there is no need to be obsessed.
April 3, 2008
April 2, 2008
1. As you might remember, my sister-in-law passed away in December from breast cancer and that forever impacted me and my thoughts of mortality. She was only 39 and way too young to be taken from our world. In addition, two of my maternal aunts are breast cancer survivors, so it does run in my family as does other types of cancer.
2. Several years ago, my daddy had a mild stroke and we later found that he had a 80% blockage in one of his arteries. My daddy is unique in that he was born with only 2 main arteries rather than the 3 that most other people are born with. So 80% in one artery when he was already missing one artery was not a good thing. As a result, he had to have a metal stent inserted into his artery to help clear the blockage. This was a very frightening event, my dad was not even in his 60's at the time. My daddy, my superman, for the first time was vulnerable. My daddy is a man with such a big heart and it was just ironic that he was at risk of a heart attack. His father, my grandfather, passed away before I was born due to heart disease, so this was something that is in our family history so I too need to be cognizant of it. As a teen I had high cholesterol. Some people think that occurs with unhealthy and overweight people. I wasn't overweight by any means, but both my mommy and daddy have had high cholesterol. Through proper diet and exercise I was able to bring it down to normal levels but it is something that I inherited from my parents and I need to continually monitor with my doctor. Heart disease is the number one killer of women and as a woman I have to do my best to live a heart healthy lifestyle.
3. Recently, my mother was diagnosed with osteoporosis, something that is most common among Asian women, making me also vulnerable (being an Asian woman and now having a family history). I believe that this is also found on my dad's side of the family as well. Luckily with treatment it can be reversed and there are many things you can do to prevent it.
Knowing that I have a pre-disposition to these illnesses, I can work to take steps now while I am still young (yes 33 is still young!) to prevent their occurrence. All of these things together have made me realize just how fragile and how important our health is. How fortunate I am to have my health to be able to run in a 5K to benefit breast cancer when my sister-in-law can not. I need to appreciate my health and live in such a way to keep myself healthy, I am lucky to be alive, so I have to treat my body in the right way. The way to do that is to educate myself and to strive to live a healthy lifestyle.
April 1, 2008
Several years ago (before Mr. Bear and I were married or even engaged), Mr. Bear's best friend and his wife just found out they were pregnant with their first child. Naturally, we were among the first to know and they wanted to tell Mr. Bear in a very special way. That evening we were getting together to watch a movie. They picked me up and we were going to meet Mr. Bear. While in the car they showed me a picture of the sonogram to announce that they were pregnant (so I knew before Mr. Bear!). I was so ecstatic for them. They hadn't told Mr. Bear yet but they had come up with a great idea where I would be the one to tell Mr. Bear. Basically, I would pull him aside and show him the picture of the sonogram without saying a word, somewhat implying that the sonogram was mine.
So when we met up with Mr. Bear, I told him that I had something to show him and pulled him aside so we could be a little more private. With a look of worry and uncertainty on my face, I then showed him the sonogram and did not say a word. The look on his face was priceless. He asked, "You? Me?" and had a look of panic, uncertainty, and confusion. After about 30 seconds or what seemed like a lifetime for Mr. Bear, Mr. Bear's best friend and wife came to the rescue and said, "It's mine! We're having a baby!" There was a sign of relief on Mr. Bear's face. Although, he was ready to step up to the plate and deal with having a baby if that was what was to be. So that was good to know. Probably not the nicest joke to play on someone (especially your boyfriend) but we definitely got him. Mr. Bear is not easy to get either. He, unlike me, is not gullible at all. Mr. Bear was extremely happy for his best friend (especially since the baby wasn't his). They had a beautiful baby girl who is now 2 years old and they are expecting their second baby in a few weeks.