Monday, February 26, 2007

Farewell, My Love

This week, I have made the choice to say goodbye to one of my dearest friends for many, many years. It was just a relationship that was too destructive for me - I was fiercely loyal, but all my friend could give back to me was unhealthy and painful. So, farewell, Diet Coke. We've been close for years, but now we've come to the end of the road.

How did this revolution come about?, you may ask. Well, about 2 weeks ago I started having some acid-related stomach problems. That was really about stress, but I noticed a pattern that my stomach would be upset the days I had caffeine, and it would be fine the days I didn't. It's been more than a week since I had caffeine, and my stomach is doing just fine. I even stopped taking the Zantac that the doctor prescribed "as needed." I don't need it anymore.

Well, why don't you just start drinking caffeine free Diet Coke?, you ask. Believe me, friend, this thought has crossed my mind. However, the evidence has been stacking up against diet drinks in general. Let me give you some reasons:

I was eating lunch with my friend, Kristy, last week, and she told me about her college roommate, who was a Diet Coke addict much like me. This roommate decided to do some looking into the effects of aspartame on a person's body, and she found some really bad stuff. So she decided to give up Diet Coke, and Kristy said that the most remarkable effect of her giving up aspartame was that her memory was markedly improved. If any of you have known me for any length of time, you will know that if anybody needs an improved memory, I DO! So I'm cutting back on aspartame in the hopes that it may help my declining memory.

For those of you who love your diet sodas and don't want to give them up, rest assured, it is still approved by the FDA for consumption by humans. There are just so many stories out there and testimonies of people whose lives were vastly improved by giving up aspartame. I'm trying to be more healthy and eat more natural, so I want to cut back on the consumption of this fake sweetener. (Someday, I'll be like my father-in-law and go all-natural to sweeten everything with honey or pure maple syrup. I'm not there yet...)

Also, there has been quite a bit of research that diet sodas do not in fact help anyone lose weight. This article on WebMD says that for each can of diet soda that a person drinks per day, their risk of obesity goes up by 41%. It is generally a well-known fact that diet sodas don't help you lose weight, but I hadn't realized that they actually make you fatter than if you were just drinking water. Most of you know that I've really been working hard to lose weight, and I've been quite successful even despite the diet sodas. But now I'm giving them up and hoping to boost myself even closer toward my goal.

So maybe you could drink Caffeine Free Diet Coke with Splenda?, some of you are thinking. Well, first of all, I don't think they make such a thing. Second of all, I've decided to just quit cold turkey. I'm done with diet sodas!

I am not, however, completely done with aspartame. I'll get used to life without Diet Coke, and THEN maybe someday I'll try to give up my Crystal Lite. But in the meantime, I'm taking baby steps toward a healthier me.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Congratulations, Dad!

I just wanted to use this public forum to say CONGRATULATIONS to my dad, who is the newest realtor at Star One Realtors! Yesterday he took his exam to become licensed in real estate, and he passed with flying colors - which I hear is a difficult thing to do in Ohio, especially on the first try! So I'm very proud of you, Dad, and can't wait to see you make your first sale!

This is an exciting and interesting time in the lives of my parents, they're venturing off into new territory with new careers on both sides! (If you're interested in custom embroidery, check out my mom and sister's business, Legacy Stitches.) I'm praying for you guys!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Adorable Faces

My sister just sent me some adorable pictures of my sweet nephews, the 2 most precious children on the planet. So I thought I'd post them since she doesn't have a blog of her own on which she can share them with the world. Plus, I don't have anything else to blog about! Enjoy these sweet faces!
This was Azlan's first time in the Exersaucer... I think he liked it!!!Apparently Patriot really likes helping Mommy give Azlan his bath. And Azlan likes watching them in the mirror. Adorable!And finally, Azlan was giving them some big grins when he was sitting in his Bumbo the other night. Look at that chunky monkey!!So these are my sweet sweet nephews - they're coming to visit for Justin's graduation in just a few months!!! Yippee!!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

My Hearos!

As a continuation of the previous post, I wanted to post about my Hearos, which save the day because of the ridiculous loudness emanating from the upstairs apartment. No, I'm not misspelling the word "heroes." Hearos are the brand name of earplugs that I've started using to sleep at night.

We use the blue kind, the "Extreme" Hearos, that block up to 33 decibels!

Now, before I married Justin, I had never used earplugs, never really seen them, and definitely never heard of someone who sleeps with them every night. But Justin is an INCREDIBLY light sleeper, and he wouldn't sleep at all if he didn't use them every night. If we go on a trip somewhere, the 2 things we HAVE to take with us are clean underwear and earplugs - everything else is optional. :) I, on the other hand, have always been a notoriously good sleeper. I can sleep anywhere and not much will wake me. One time I was sleeping at my sister's house, and the dang security alarm went off, and I still didn't wake up! (Admittedly, I was suffering from jet lag at the time, but still!) I sleep in the car, on airplanes, through movies. I love me some sleep. This is why the upstairs neighbors' loudness was so incredibly upsetting to me - they were actually keeping me from falling asleep and then waking me up early! So Justin finally convinced me to try earplugs, and they are like heaven. I just fall asleep and wake up when I need to! (Except this morning, I didn't hear my alarm, that was definitely not a good thing. I still made it to work on time, though.) I laugh in the face of my neighbors' heavy footsteps and early-morning hip-hop music! HA HA HA!

My only fear with getting used to using earplugs, though, is that I may get to the point of not being able to sleep without them! I've always been such a good sleeper that I'd hate to alter that now! The great sleep I'm getting these days is worth it, though, so I'm just going to have to run the risk. In the meantime, I'm very grateful for my Hearos and for my hero, Justin, who gave them to me.

Monday, February 12, 2007

What the Heck Are They DOING Up There?!

A little over a month ago, we had some new neighbors move into the apartment above ours. The first sign of trouble was the fact that the apartment is the same size as ours, but SIX people moved into it: 3 adults and 3 children. The next bad sign was that the two women in the family are on the heavy side, which means they can't help but make some noise when they walk. Now I am by no means trying to criticize them for their weight (I'm the last person that could do that!), but it sure makes it unpleasant to live directly underneath the floor they're walking on. And really the noise they make while walking isn't the worst of it. They're just dang loud people. I've lived in apartments for several years, and I've NEVER experienced anything like this. So you have the heavy walking, plus the shouting, children crying, nailing things into the wall at 11 p.m., loud TV on til after midnight, and hip-hop music blasting at 8 a.m. on Saturday for crying out loud.

But even all this is not what motivated me to write a post about it. The straw that broke the camel's back for me is that every evening after dinner, I have no idea what they're doing up there, but it really sounds like they're rearranging furniture - scrapes, bangs, booms, thumps, and crashes. So the other evening while Justin and I were attempting to watch Wheel of Fortune (We could see it, but we sure couldn't hear it very well!), I was hypothesizing about what they might be doing up there. Here are some of my ideas:

1. They've put in a bowling lane, and they're trying to get the coveted turkey.
2. They got a pet pony, and they're riding him in laps around the living room.
3. Jello wrestling.
4. They want to join the Russian Circus, so they're training a dancing bear.
5. Choreographing a treadmill routine like the OK Go video I posted on here several months ago.
6. Breeding miniature buffalo that have a nightly stampede across the dining room.
7. Experimenting with the explosive properties of household chemicals.
8. Water balloon fights. (That might explain the loud dripping noise whenever they take a shower!)
9. They're training for the Olympic Trampoline event, but the ceiling is too low and they keep crashing to the floor.
10. Half pipe.

Justin says that I'm silly and it's just the sound of the kids playing. But come on! Are kids really that loud?! It's certainly made me aware of how wrong it is to try to live in an apartment with children! I won't be making that mistake, Lord willing. Coming up with silly ideas about what they might be doing, though, makes me laugh and keeps me from being too angry about the noise.

So does anybody else have any ideas about what they might be doing up there?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

February Already?

I don't really have anything to say, but it's been a week since I posted and that's my limit. So I'll just put a few bullet points to waste some of your time:

  • I had this whole blog all written out, then I hit "Publish," and it came up with "Server error, please try again in 30 seconds." But when I hit Back, lo and behold my whole post was gone, so now I'm retyping this! I'm not so sure I like this new Google blogger. This post may have a slightly more bitter tone than the original did. :)

    In case any of you haven't checked Justin's blog in the past couple of days, Justin has mono! Yikes! My poor baby! He's totally exhausted, but there are no days off in grad school. Please pray for his quick recovery, my ability to care for him and help lighten his load, and pray that I don't get it! (Well, I probably already have it. Pray that he's feeling better by the time I develop symptoms, which WebMD says should be in 4-6 weeks.)

    Justin told me that I make my paragraphs too long when I'm blogging and it's hard to read. I apologize to any of you that may have a hard time reading my blog. He suggested that I use different colors and more spaces to help the eye focus on where it's reading. So if you don't like my use of colors and spaces, blame Justin. :)

    My boss is at a conference all week this week, so I am unsupervised and BOOOOOORED to death!!! Sometimes I feel like stabbing myself in the eye with a pencil just to end the misery. OK, it's not that bad. But still! The really bad thing is that there are things I COULD be doing, but nothing I HAVE to be doing, and it's hard to motivate myself to do it when there's no deadline. Isn't that just like human nature? At least it's my nature. So I sit here blogging instead of working.

    There is a new kind of M&M's on the market: DARK CHOCOLATE!I LOOOOOVE dark chocolate! I tried these yesterday, and they are awesome! Dark chocolate is the only commercial candy I can eat on my diet, besides the "sugar free" stuff which usually isn't very appetizing. But these are GOOD, and I couldn't even tell the difference between them and regular M&M's. Of course, I can't remember the last time I had a regular M&M, so it could just be that I don't remember what they taste like. Regardless, these are good and you should try them.

    Geez, that's a pretty long post considering I didn't have anything to say. I hope it was even slightly enjoyable for you!