PHANEROO \fan-er-o-oo\Greek: to manifest in word or deed.

Friday, January 30, 2009

What I've Learned Thru Diabetes

I've learned so much about how to eat, exercise, sleep, and so much more through my diabetes experience. Even though some days the diabetes is a complete drag because I can't eat all the chocolate that I want, I've certainly learned a lot more healthy habits over time. Here are some things that I've learned that might help anyone out there who set a New Year's resolution to lose a little bit of weight in 2009:

1. Calories are everything. Too many calories are bad, it doesn't matter if the calories come from good foods or bad foods, low-fat or high-fat, low-carb or high-carb. Calories are calories are calories. Too much of them will add weight and add to high blood sugar, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and more. First things first, always check calories on packages and try to stay within a daily caloric intake by spacing out calorie intake evenly throughout the day - like strive to eat small amounts every 2-3 hours.
2. Lowering carbs almost always means lowering calories and fat. When you pick low carb foods, you are almost always picking foods with less calories and fat. Carbs can pack on calories faster than anything. And most foods that are lowest in carbs, such as vegetables, are also the lowest in calories and fat. Think of it this way, if you start a meal by eating a salad (and this salad could be as big as a dinner plate) including leafy lettuce, carrots, broccoli, cucumber, peppers, shredded cheese, a few crumbled bacon bits, and regular ranch or italian dressing, your stomach will already be mostly full but you've only eaten a small portion of calories, carbs, and fats. You will be surprised at how little you can eat after that, but you will be completely satisfied.
3. If you replace desserts with fruit, you will eventually lose the cravings for sugary sweet desserts and fruit will become completely satisfying. Most fruits are only slightly higher in carbs than vegetables (some exceptions such as mango, grapes and pears) and they are way lower in carbs than any cake, cookie or ice cream serving. You can get a fix for the sweet craving with a serving of fruit. And if the craving is still really strong afterwards, you can go ahead and eat one Dove chocolate and that should do the trick.
4. I believe processed foods that are packaged and labeled as low-carb and low-fat are a complete hoax. If the product claims"low-" something, it almost always means it's high in something else. Low-fat translates to high-carb, and vice versa. The flavor has to come from somewhere. In addition, you can get the false impression that you can eat more of the product because, afterall, it's low-something so eating more won't hurt you. False, false, false!
5. Drinking water really is the best. Water does all sorts of things, including help to lower blood sugar and making you feel more satisfied and full. I've actually confused hunger with thirst. Sometimes I think I'm hungry but turns out I'm only really thirsty. Drinking water first will tell me if it's hunger or thirst.
6. Getting creative by cutting carbs (and calories) out of things such as beverages, dressings, condiments, etc. really does add up. I've learned how to make really tasty beverages that are completely sugar-free and nearly calorie free. Anything less than 6 g of carbs per serving is considered a "free" food, which means you can eat these things with little or no impact to your blood sugar. It's like your body doesn't even recognize these things. I look for things to enhance my food or beverages that are 15 g or less per serving. I'm addicted to a great iced mocha recipe that's only 90 calories and 15 g of carbs compared to Starbuck's iced caffe mocha at 165 calories and 35 g of carbs (based on about 16 fl oz each). I've learned to enjoy all sorts of teas, black tea, flavored tea, green tea, hot tea, iced tea, and more. Tea is such an easy way to add flavor beyond water without adding a bunch of calories and carbs. There are so many amazing flavors out there and it's fun to try them all. I almost always add one packet of sweetener such as Equal or Splenda and it's just perfect for my taste and need for something sweet.
7. Just 30 minutes of exercise can do wonders. It lowers blood sugar levels super quick. If I've over-indulged during a meal, I know a brisk 30-minute walk will immediately lower my glucose.
8. Spacing out food during mealtime is best. Instead of eating a full dinner and then immediately following it up with dessert, if I wait about an hour or two before having dessert (fruit or very small serving of ice cream or cookie), I will eat less overall throughout the day because my stomach will feel full for a longer period of time.
9. And most anything else in life food can be an addiction. Any time food takes the place of Jesus in my life, then it is an addiction and an idol. If I find myself running to food to celebrate, or to console my pains, or to relieve stress and anxiety, or because I'm bored, then I know I'm using food in the place of Jesus. Jesus is my all-in-all. I should run to him to celebrate by thanking him for my blessings. I should run to him with my pains and struggles because he alone can sustain me. I should turn to him with my burdens and anxieties because his yoke is light. Nothing else should take the place of Jesus. By putting food in it's proper perspective - calories for fuel for my body - then Jesus can also take the proper place in my life as my Everything. Here's a free, online Bible study that taught me how to feast at the Lord's Table and put food in it's proper place. Freedom from food and special diets is just that - Freedom!

I praise Jesus for my diabetes because it has taught me so much about being healthy and dedicating my body and health to the Lord. I've learned how to lean on him every day -and sometimes every moment - when food temptations want to take over. He has been faithful in setting me free from cravings that are unhealthy. I know I can talk to him about my temptations and he will guide me through. No matter how healthy I try to be and still struggle with diabetes and other illnesses, I've learned that this body is only temporary but my relationship with Jesus is eternal.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pixie Hair

I've been considering for a while now going back to my pixie hair cut. First I must lose all this baby weight, which will probably take no less than one year from the time Griffin is born since I feel like I'm gaining at the rate of 5 lbs per minute. This hair cut was so easy to take care of - no hair dryer, no hair brush, and very minimal hair products required to keep this hair style. The only maintenance was the frequency of visits to the hair stylist for trims - probably once every 2-3 weeks. But with two little ones at home and one on the way, I'm getting sick of seeing myself in ponytails every day because I can barely get a shower let alone style my hair for 30 minutes with a brush and hair dryer. Here are some photos of my 'do back in the mid-90's. These are photos of photos since I didn't have a digital camera back in the day and I don't have a scanner now. (Please excuse the closed eyes and bad shots but this is all I had.)

Rainy Day Paper Projects

This was Lily's idea - probably from watching Sleeping Beauty - and she hasn't taken her crown off for two days except to sleep. Schaeffer on the other hand demolished his crown in two minutes.

The Nursery Has Begun

Turns out we owe taxes, and quite a bit. I'm thankful that my sugar daddy brings home loads of cash (that was supposed to be funny), but it sure does get painful at tax time around here. So anyway, Griffin's nursery is going to be scaled back. I can still acheive my plans for the room but I'll have to do it with much cheaper furniture. I really like the furniture but I'm not sure it'll be the quality that I was hoping for and last until Griffin leaves for college. Here's the crib and here's the changing table/dresser combo. Both pieces will be in the dark espresso color as pictured. I think it'll look very nice with the blue stripe bedding I've chosen from PB. I ordered the changing table yesterday because I saw that it was out of stock at Walmart and I feared it would go out of stock at Target as well. But the crib is available at Target stores so I will save on shipping. Right after Christmas I picked up two of these bookcases while they were on clearance. They will serve as toy and book storage in Griffin's room. I bought four canvas storage cubes to place on the shelves. I feel like I've finally gotten smart and have decided to incorporate lots of toy storage into his room. So we have three pieces of furniture purchased and hopefully over the next 10-12 weeks we'll have Griffin's room complete with decor and all. I will definitely post some photos as the nursery comes together.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Day

After taking a 1.5 hour nap yesterday and getting nearly 11 hours of sleep last night, I'm feeling much better and a lot less cranky and hormonal. If only the rain would stop for a few days so I could get my rugrats out of the house to get some fresh air, we'd all be feeling a lot better around here. I'm feeling awfully vitamin D deficient lately with the lack of sunshine. And my kids are getting stir crazy, which makes Mommy very stir crazy! Oh sweet Springtime, where are you?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Must Be Getting Cranky and/or Hormonal

Either I'm getting really cranky in my old age or really hormonal towards the end of this pregnancy, but I'm really getting sick and tired of receiving forwarded emails containing false information and/or Internet hoaxes. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness, but it only takes two seconds to verify most of these forwarded emails by going to and searching by subject. Doing your homework first would be even more thoughtful and helpful to me. The two latest ones I have received were about a missing boy from PA and a bunch of recalled drugs containing PPA. Neither of these emails were completely accurate and both had begun circulation in 2000 or earlier - totally outdated and probably circulated by millions of gullible individuals. Just do me a favor, please do your research before forwarding an email to me. If I have to check it out and then discover it was false, I will probably end up throwing my PC through the window - yes, I'm that cranky and hormonal!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Baby Appointment Update

All is good with Baby Griffin. Today I am 25 weeks and 2 days - just 14 1/2 weeks to go, unless he decides to come early like my other two and then it would be just 11-12 weeks to go. I had a bit of a blood pressure scare today. I developed preeclampsia with Lily at 36 weeks, but then she was born at 37 1/2 weeks so it all worked out okay. Today when the nurse took my bp, she told me that I needed to lie down on my left side for 5 minutes and she would check me again. I thought "Oh no! Here we go again!" But after 5 minutes on my left side my bp returned to normal (120/70 from 150/85). Because it returned to normal Dr. B was not concerned. His explanation was that sometimes bp elevates for various reasons, but like always he'll be keeping an eye on my bp for the remainder of the pregnancy.

We return for another ultrasound in 3 weeks (Feb. 5) to check Griffin's kidney's again. At the 20-week ultrasound he had fluid in both kidneys. The nurse informed me that it was very common at 20 weeks, but that he would need to be checked again to ensure the fluid was gone. Griffin's heartbeat was good and strong today and his growth is consistent with 25 weeks. I'm optimistic that the kidney issue will be, or is already, resolved. I'm excited to get another ultrasound since I've never had an ultrasound past 20 weeks. It'll be fun to see Griffin again and to see how much he has grown.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Thought Provoking Statement

I was reading Cookie magazine a few weeks ago and I loved what one of the stay-at-home mom's said in her article: "Parenting is not a difficult task; anyone can do it. But being a parent makes doing everything else nearly impossible." I got a good chuckle from that. It's true. Being a parent does not require any prior training, although, faith in God and obedience to Him does make all the difference when trying to raise children who love Jesus. I didn't need my Bachelor's degree, nor my six years in the corporate world to get me ready for my little ones. God prepared my heart, and then the babies provided all the hands-on-training. From day one you enter into what I call "survival mode." You just have to figure out for yourself how to accomplish anything on 3 hours of total sleep, how to keep everyone fed, changed and content, how to nurture the little ones all day long and still give some quality time to Hubby in the evening, how to make a phone call, eat a meal, or go to the bathroom. All those seemingly simple tasks are now nearly impossible with a baby (or three) in the house. I enjoyed the quote from Cookie magazine because it did remind me that doing a good job as a parent requires you to really stink at a lot of other things, but it's so worth it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Christmas Slideshow

Long overdue, but here are some photos from Christmas at our house and at Grandmama and Granddad's house

Saturday, January 10, 2009

And the name is...

...Griffin James. This is Baby Three's name (unless God reveals otherwise). Even if someone were to tell me that they know someone with that name, or have a third cousin who was a complete geek with that name, or was considering that name for their baby, or that they just don't like it, there's a good possibility that this name will not be changing. In our home our babies' names have to go through rigorous testing. Unlike my grandparents who made the silly agreement that any son would be named by Grandpa and any daughter would be named by Grandma. They had four sons. My poor Grandma got the short end on that agreement! Our name testing looks like this:

1. Both BJ and I have to agree 100% on the name. If it's not 100% from both of us, the name is immediately tossed out. We've had several of those, even though they were all pretty good names, except William Wallace (BJ's first choice).
2. The name has no other associations or connections, such as, friends' children, or not-so-fond people from our past. We both liked the name Ian for a long time, until we ate out at a restaurant and the server's name was Ian. BJ thought he was a little "fruity" and so that's the association BJ had with the name Ian ever since.
3. The name has to be a good fit for our baby all the way up through adulthood.
4. The initials cannot spell something, and especially not something silly like my best friend from high school - E.L.F. Nor can they stand for something like my brother M.F. - poor guy.
5. For boys, the name cannot sound like a frat-daddy or quarterback. We're not opposed to fraternities nor football, but I guess we both have some negative associations with frat guys and quarterback types. For girls, the name cannot sound remotely like a stage name.
6. The name has to be prayed over and affirmed, or not dissaffirmed, by God.

Griffin James just feels right now that I've had the chance to say the name out loud a few hundred times. The name makes me smile when I look down at my round tummy and think about the little guy in there named Griffin. And perhaps from my perspective as mommy, that's the real test of a good name for this baby.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Name Game Continues...

BJ and I thought we had a really great name picked out for Baby Three - we picked out Grant (no middle name yet). And it still is a great name. But just yesterday we discovered that some friends from church named their third baby the same name. I'd hate to be accused of stealing a name. Even though we don't get the chance to talk to this couple very often, it still doesn't feel right to use their son's name. There's a good chance our boys will grow up in nursery, children's minitry, preteens, youth group, etc. together. They'll be less than one year apart in age. It's still a wonderful name, but we are back to the drawing board for now. I believe it's no coincidence that on Monday I prayed and asked God to give me confirmation that Grant should be Baby Three's name. And low and behold, on Tuesday evening we learn of our friends who named their baby Grant. We may have some other good options soon...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas Gift

My parents were very kind and gave us a two-night getaway at a North Carolina Bed & Breakfast for our Christmas gift. They also kept the kids for us while we got away. It was a very nice and relaxing little vacation. No TV's and no phones (except when I called home once a day to check on the babies). The innkeepers were George and Hannake. Hannake was from the Netherlands, then she met George who was in the US military stationed in Germany. They spent many years living in Germany, which explains all the German memorabilia and decor throughout the inn. Hannake made the most wonderful European-style breakfasts. The breakfast consisted of eggs, assorted cheeses, meats, and homemade breads. And she always supplied us with a large variety of beverages, such as grape juice, apple juice, orange juice, coffee, hot tea, German beer, and water. I never got to try the beer (Pregnant women should never drink beer!). BJ and I explored the little towns that were just within 5-10 miles of the inn, such as Sylva, Dillsboro, Franklin and Whittier. Our favorite was Sylva. It had the quaintest little downtown with shops and cafes. We were surprised by the number of wonderful restaurants in this little downtown considering it's size. Our favorite by far was Spring Street Cafe. I would make the 2.5 hour drive just to eat there again. BJ and I had a really great time and hope to visit The Chalet Inn again.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Name Game, Nursery, Etc.

Baby Three may finally have a name, well, at least a first name...I'll reveal when I get the okay from Daddy. We need to let it simmer for a few days to make sure we really like it. I think it'll be a very appropriate name for a handsome little guy. We're also taking bets to see if Baby Three will have blue or brown eyes. History shows that very dark brown is the standard around here. However, I have blue eyes and there might be a very slim chance this little guy could have blue eyes, unless BJ is carrying the genotype BB and not Bb (remember the Punnett square).

We've begun Phase I of a multi-step process for getting Baby Three's nursery ready...

Phase I: Clear out boxes and random furniture so the room looks less like a storage unit.
Phase II: BJ will be adding additional insulation to the room's walls so Baby Three doesn't turn into a popsicle (the room is situated over the garage and is sandwiched between two storage spaces that lacks appropriate insulation to keep the temperature regulated).
Phase III: Purchase baby furniture, bedding and decor. This phase must be done after tax season because there's a good chance we'll be broke when we pay our '08 taxes and Baby Three will just have to sleep on the floor...only kidding, maybe...
Phase IV: Set up furniture and decorate room.
Phase V: Wash, sort and arrange Schaeffer's hand-me-downs into Baby Three's closet and dresser.
Phase VI: Give birth and enjoy months of sleepless nights!!